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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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It’s definitely no secret that Alfred is one of AppStorm’s all-time favorite apps. Several of us use it daily and thoroughly enjoy the extended capabilities it brings to OS X.

One of these awesome features is the ability to set up custom searches. These allow you to quickly launch a search on almost any website straight from Alfred. Today I’ll show you some of the custom searches that I’ve personally set up and use daily.

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Once upon a time, the Apple Mouse was just another reason for Windows PC users to hate Macs. Putting aside bizarre physical designs like the hockey puck, Macs seemed stubborn in their insistence on a primitively simple input device. When PC users were enjoying multiple buttons and even scroll wheels, we were still rolling our eyes and wondering why they needed anything more than one universal button.

When the Mighty Mouse came, many Mac users, including myself, realized that the PC folks might have been right about fancy mice. Having multiple clickable controls and a dedicated input for scrolling turned out to be a significant improvement!

Unfortunately, the scroll ball turned out to be the most frequently failing thing Apple had designed since the G4 Cube. Some users suggested rolling it on paper, others literally gave weekly toothbrush treatments to the cursed thing, just about everyone was forced to admit that it was a lousy piece of hardware.

After decades, it seems Apple has finally gotten in right. The Magic Mouse is, hands down, the best mouse I’ve ever used. Though some still complain about the shape being not ergonomic enough, I’ve used it extensively since it was first released with zero issues. Multi-touch scrolling is a dream (no ball!) and the bonus of gestures is far beyond what I could’ve hoped for in a mouse.

However, some still insist that third party tools are the way to go. Still others are content to use a trackpad 100% of the time and have absolutely no need for a mouse. The Magic Trackpad is certainly a fantastic input device and offers desktop Mac owners even more versatility and functionality than the Magic Mouse.

Today we want to know what you use for input on your Mac. Are you a purist, bent on only using Apple products or do you have a third party input device? Do you mostly use a mouse or a trackpad?

For my part, I use my Magic Mouse most of the time and my MacBook’s trackpad when I’m not at my desk. After you vote, leave a comment below telling us about your setup! Which products do you own and use?

Our sponsor this week is Radium, our favorite way to listen to the radio on a Mac!

Radium is a fantastic, Lion-ready Internet radio player that nestles right into your menu bar. Don’t let that fool you though, just because it’s small doesn’t mean it isn’t packed with features. Radium allows you to listen to thousands of radio stations from around the world and gives you a song history, album art, keyboard shortcuts, social media integration and more! There’s even an equalizer so you can custom tailor your audio experience.

Go Get It!

Here at AppStorm, we’re huge fans of Radium and gave it high marks in our review. If you’re a radio fan, you simply shouldn’t be without this application. To learn more, check out the Radium Website or download it right from the Mac App Store.

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


At any given time, there’s a lot going on in your computer’s brain. You may be focusing on writing an important email or watching a video, but that doesn’t mean your CPU is likewise focusing its attention. It’s still assigning valuable resources to that open web page you have in the background and that Twitter client chirping away on your desktop.

App Tamer is an incredibly handy little app that finds all these processes and helps you pause those that aren’t important until you need them again. This helps cut down on CPU time, battery usage and even heat! Follow along as we take a closer look.

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Great news, we’ve randomly chosen our five winners! Each of the entrants listed below will receive both the Mac and iOS versions of Day One for Mac completely free.

A big thanks to all who entered. Check back soon for more great giveaways. If you won, keep a sharp eye out for an email from the developer as promo codes tend to expire and will no be reissued.

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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 6th, 2011.

Automation is one of my favorite topics. There’s something about sitting back and watching my Mac perform tasks for me that makes me smile every time.

Today we’re going to take a look at Task Till Dawn, a simple and free little automation tool that will allow you to schedule files and applications to launch automatically.

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As a full-time professional writer, I’m always on the lookout for utilities that will improve my workflow and help provide a much needed boost in efficiency.

Today we’ll take a look at thirty of the best utilities around to help serious writers in their work. Whether you want a better way to work with Markdown or need something to help you plot out the scenes in your next novel, this roundup has just what you’re looking for.

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As new technologies like HTML5 and CSS3 become more prevalent, your choice of browser is becoming more important than ever. Browsers differ not only on their overall UI experience and feature base, but also in their support of newer standards and practices in web development.

Today we want to know which side you stand on in the browser wars. Vote in the poll on the right and let us know which option you use most frequently. If your browser isn’t listed, write it in!

After you vote, leave a comment below defending your answer. Do you prefer Webkit or Mozilla browsers? Or perhaps you like the unique offerings of another system like Opera. We want to know!

As for me, I’ve been a Safari fan since the early days of the browser. I’ve done my fair share of skipping around though, I spent six months as a Camino user a few years ago and recently had extended experiences with Chrome and Rockmelt, in the end I’m not entirely sure why I end up back in Safari but I always do!

I’d like to take a few moments to say thank you to our weekly sponsor, CleanMyMac.

CleanMyMac is a powerhouse of Mac maintenance. This all-in-one solution to keeping your Mac in tip top shape will help you free up hard drive space, purge those pesky universal binaries and extra languages, clear out unnecessarily large cache files, locate stranded unused files, clean your external drives, securely delete files and a lot more.

All of CleanMyMac’s 50+ features are packed into a gorgeous interface that’s as functional and easy to use as it is attractive. It’s the easiest way to get your Mac running smoother and faster!

Check It Out!

Take a look at the full feature list, watch the introductory video, and free up some time this week to give your Mac a thorough cleansing!

CleanMyMac is available on MacPaw’s site in two flavors: a $14.95 6-month license for emergency temporary tidying or a $29.95 license that gives you a lifetime of intense cleaning.

We’d like to say a big thank you to this month’s Mac.AppStorm sponsors, and the great software they create! If you’re interested in advertising, you can purchase a banner advertisement through BuySellAds, or sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot.

Thank you to the fantastic applications we had sponsoring each week during the month, all of which we personally recommend you download and try out!

  • Stuf 2 – Stuf is a super advanced clipboard manager. Not only does it give you full access to your clipboard history, it lets you easily copy and paste between Macs over your wired or wireless network!
  • NetUse Traffic Monitor – NetUse provides the best way to monitor your network traffic on the Mac. Utilizing the SNMP feature of any modern Internet router or gateway, NetUse monitors and collects real-time Internet usage statistics for all the computers in your home or office that share an Internet connection.
  • Timing – Timing is the best way to keep track of the time you spend with your Mac. It automatically tracks which documents you are editing, applications you use, and the domains of the websites you visit. You’ll never have to worry about forgetting to start or stop a timer again!
  • CheckUp – CheckUp is an awesome utility designed to help you monitor the behavior and health of your Mac in real time. Like the dashboard of a car, CheckUp gives you a quick reference for important information about your Mac.
  • Box Shot 3D – Box Shot 3D allows you to render custom software boxes, book covers, magazines, CD, DVD and Blu-Ray boxes, cans, bottles, mugs, bags and much more. No 3D-knowledge is required at all and the results look very professional because of the raytracing rendering technology.

Finally, thanks to you for reading AppStorm this month, and for checking out the software that our sponsors create. I really appreciate it – you make the site what it is!

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