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Joshua Johnson

Josh Johnson is a writer, designer, photographer and lover of all things Apple from Phoenix Arizona. He's been using Macs since the logo on the laptops was upside down.

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This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on September 21st, 2011.

I used to absolutely love menu bar apps. Years ago, it was a fairly tiny niche of the Mac app market that contained only a few really solid gems. These utilities provided a quick and easy way to control iTunes, run a quick maintenance script and get back to what you were doing.

At heart, menu bar apps were essentially thought to be little things that perhaps didn’t quite merit a full on application but still merited a permanent, always-on spot on your Mac. Things have changed though and I find myself becoming annoyed when I download an app and find that it has no alternative to the menu bar mode.

Should developers move past the trend of offering menu-bar-only apps in favor of giving users the power to decide? Let’s discuss.

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This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on September 9th, 2011

As you would expect from the editor of a Mac blog, I’m a complete app addict. I have random applications for everything from cataloguing recipes to counting characters in a TextEdit document. Some of these I use on a daily basis, but many of them admittedly sit and collect dust in my Applications folder.

This article is an attempt to narrow down my absolute bare essentials. What three things do I think are fundamentally lacking in OS X and would need to be installed on any machine that I use for more than a few hours, regardless of what I’m doing? Which apps genuinely save me a considerable amount of time in my daily routine? Let’s take a look!

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This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on July 27th, 2011.

Editor’s Note: Mission Control in Mountain Lion is almost the exact same as it is in Lion, so everything here still applies even if you’ve just upgraded to Apple’s latest and greatest OS. The only real change is that there’s an option to not group windows by their application, to make it easier to see more at once.

For years Apple has been tweaking and rethinking the way we interact with open windows and applications inside of OS X. Exposé came along and allowed us to quickly view all open windows or even hide them completely. Then Spaces entered the scene and allowed us to create a number of unique workspaces or desktops, each containing its own applications and windows.

Mission Control is the evolution of this process. It represents a new and very powerful way to manage your multitasking mess inside of of OS X. Some find the new system intuitive, but many others find it completely intimidating. Today we’re going to show you how to master Mission Control so your Mac can become a beacon of productivity.

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This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on August 3th, 2011.

Remember iWeb? This former iLife member’s lofty goal was to translate the intimidating task of building a website down to the “drag and drop” simplicity of the Mac experience.

Apple’s brief foray into the world of DIY websites was impressive at first, but aged quickly and was eventually abandoned altogether. Discounting professional developer software like Dreamweaver, this leaves Mac users with three primary options for WYSIWYG website building: Sandvox, Rapidweaver and Flux. Today we’ll take a brief look at each and offer some advice on which you should use.

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This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on December 20th, 2011.

If you’re a fan of CSS preprocessors, then you know that despite their usefulness, they can be a bit of a pain to work with at times. Most of them require some sort of Terminal voodoo to compile, which immediately scares off a good portion of potential users.

As always, the Mac development community has come to the rescue with some amazing tools that completely take the effort out of the process. Follow along as we take a look at five great apps that will help you work with LESS, Sass, Stylus and even some non-CSS languages like CoffeeScript and HAML.

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This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on June 28th, 2011.

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System was a phenomenally fun console that successfully ate up a large portion of my childhood. There are so many classic games from this era that have long been forgotten. If only there were a way to download and play those 16-bit masterpieces on your Mac. Oh wait, there is.

Today we’ll flood your memory with enough digital nostalgia to make you teary eyed by showing you where you can grab these games and play them today. Be sure to read the fine print though as emulating old Nintendo games on your Mac is risky business!

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WWDC brought a little more clarity to the story of Apple’s next major operating system: OS X Mountain Lion. There were no real surprises, but we should all have a solid idea of what’s to come.

Because of the Mac App Store’s inability to handle paid upgrades, many tech blogs and Mac users have been speculating lately that Apple would transition us all into a utopian world of free software upgrades. I never bought that story for a second and Mountain Lion’s recently announced $20 price tag validates my skepticism. Personally, I think $20 is a small price to pay given that it’s not unprecedented for operating systems to cost over $100.

However, plenty of people are not happy about the dream of free operating system upgrades vanishing. For this and other reasons, I’m sure there are many users out there who will hesitate to hit the download button on the day that Mountain Lion releases.

In this week’s poll, we want to know if you’ll be among the early adopters who will download Mountain Lion right away or if there is something holding you back. Cast your vote in the poll and leave a comment below explaining your answer.

Our featured sponsor this week is TaskBurn, a fun and unique task manager.

Have you ever thought about how satisfying it is to complete an item on your todo list? It makes you feel productive and encourages you to push forward and complete more tasks. Now, with that in mind, think about how much more fulfilling it would be if, instead of simply checking a box, you could set your tasks on fire and watch them burn, reveling in your victory. This somewhat maniacal dream becomes a reality with TaskBurn.

Aside from the fun and crazy animations, TaskBurn is a serious task manager with great features: iCloud sync, easy task addition, task groups, burned task recovery, menu bar access and more.

If you’re looking for a way to add a little excitement to your task management process, check out TaskBurn and set your todo list on fire!

Go Get It!

Can’t wait to go pyromaniac on your tasks? Give TaskBurn a download from the Mac App Store. If you’d like to see TaskBurn in action, check out the app website for a video demo.

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.


The day after the WWDC keynote is always an interesting one. The dust has settled, the excitement and hype are over and you’re left with the realization that your life is pretty much the same as it was a few days ago.

There were plenty of amazing announcements to be sure. It’s a great time to be an Apple fan so don’t read this as an overly negative question.

That being said, no reality can ever live up to the overactive Apple rumor mill so there are always bound to be a few disappointments.

Today we want to hear about the biggest WWDC let down from your perspective. Were you hoping for a new iMac? Or perhaps you were ready to see an awesome new Apple TV SDK. Cast your vote in the poll and leave your rant below!

Our featured sponsor this week is Onde Audio Recorder For Mac, an easy way to record audio from any application on your Mac.

Have you ever wanted to grab and record audio from specific applications? Say you’re listening to a recording in a web browser or would like to have a record of a Skype conversation, Onde Audio Recorder is the perfect solution.

The interface is straightforward and super easy to use. Simply select the application that you’d like to use as an audio source and hit the record button, that’s it! On top of selecting specific applications, Onde Audio Recorder also allows you to target any input device that’s connected to your device.

After you’ve recorded your audio, you can trim it in seconds flat with the built-in audio editing tools. This app is a fully loaded toolbox of great utilities for capturing and editing audio and I’m confident that it’s perfect for your audio recording needs.

Go Get It!

If you’re convinced that Onde Audio Recorder For Mac is the app you’ve been waiting for, grab your copy from the developer’s website today. In addition to the option to purchase, you can also test drive the app completely free to see if it’s a good fit for your workflow.

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.


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