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Matt Reich

I'm a freelance writer and web developer and Mac nerd (obviously). I enjoy technology, bicycles, writing, good beer, music, and baseball. Killer combo, right?

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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 15th, 2011.

Puzzle style adventure games have never exactly been my “thing”. I’m not a hardcore gamer, but when I do play, I usually stay away from these types of games. After deciding to expand my horizons, I looked around in this genre and spotted Machinarium. The screenshots of the game immediately drew my attention. The visuals were absolutely stunning and enough to get me to venture off into the realm of puzzle/adventure gaming.

Machinarium is a point and click game that takes place in a magical industrial environment full of amazing sights and sounds. You must solve puzzles of varying complexity within the environment in order to move forward in the game. Does the gameplay measure up to the graphics? Read on to find out.

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There is typically high anticipation when applications that could potentially compete with the powerful Adobe CS product line-up get released. Designers everywhere are very reliant on those products in a lot of situations and while they do get the job done (and typically better than any other available option) there seems to be this burning desire for something different.

Even though applications like Photoshop and Illustrator are so widely used, you’ll often see complaints about different aspects of these tools. One common gripe is that the applications have begun to feel bloated after so many years of feature additions. If you’ve ever spent time with either Photoshop or Illustrator you are nodding your head right now. That’s probably why when a prospective, more simple, competitor pops up we’re all staring right at it hoping it can be just what we want. We hope that all of the great features we love in our CS applications make it over and all the fluff dies off.

The buzz about the release of Sketch 2 started a while back and being a designer myself I followed along closely. All things pointed to this thing being pretty darn cool so I decided to take it for a spin.

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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 May 17th, 2011.

The “utility” software niche is one that is extremely active in the Mac application community. There is an abundance of fantastic utilities currently available, and that list is ever changing. We love this type of software at AppStorm, regularly reviewing different apps that let you tweak and tune your computer.

With the area changing so fast, we decided to take a look at some of the best and most useful Mac OS X utilities that are available right now. What you’ll see here is by no means an all-encompassing list, but rather a collection of utilities broken up into some basic groups that I found to be very useful to a lot of people.

I hope you discover some applications that will be helpful for you!

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PDF has become a worldwide document type standard and you no doubt deal with these documents fairly regularly. Because the file tpye is so common there is a plethora of applications available to work with them.

It can be a bit tricky to wade through the large number of choices though, so I’ve attempted to pull out ten of the most useful apps for performing various functions. Everything from simply managing your PDF files to editing, extracting and more.

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Time management is incredibly important for many people. We all have busy lives and the more we can get out of our time working, the more time we have for other things. With there being only twenty-four hours in a day it really comes down to being as efficient as we can with the time we have.

Time Sink is an application that helps you become more efficient. More specifically, it tracks the time you spend in different applications on your Mac and you’ll be able to see exactly where you’re spending your time. Trust me, you may think you’re operating with the utmost level of efficiency, but I’m certain the data will uncover some room for improvement.

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Online streaming, subscription based music delivery services are making an attempt to become the golden ticket solution for music lovers everywhere. Having access to a gigantic library of music is well worth the subscription fee for a lot of people and as the music libraries of these services grow they continue to gather steam.

The two big competitors in this field right now are Rdio and Spotify. Rdio released a major interface update recently that is a big step forward to separate itself from Spotify (only paid subscribers get a sneak peek). The interface changed substantially for the better with new features added and others more prominently placed. Not only is the update quite beautiful, it makes discovering new music an even more social experience. Let’s take a spin through the new Rdio.

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I don’t think we can necessarily say something like "yoga is all the rage these days" anymore, but it is safe to say that yoga has become a fairly steady, mainstream workout activity for many people.

We have resources all around us and make no mistake about it, there are plenty covering the wide variety of yoga disciplines. And as you would have guessed, the next progression is to venture into applications. There are many applications that are available on multiple platforms that either walk you through a yoga workout or help to teach you yoga. I searched for one in this category and decided to give All-in Yoga a try.

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With the recent release of iBooks Author from Apple, I started to think more about using Apple products as learning tools. The iBooks Author announcement and accompanying video certainly generate some excitement at the possibilities using the iPad in classrooms and that is great, but I became curious as to what type of applications were currently available in the Mac App Store.

I began exploring and trolling for educational applications. We’ve done roundups on educational tools, such as note taking aids and other utilities of that nature, so I wanted to focus more on applications that directly help you to learn something. This wasn’t an easy task as they proved to be quite difficult to find. Here’s a list of fifty to get you started.

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Screencast recording and screenshot capture is an interesting space in the application world. There are a lot of selections that accomplish a variety of different things and many of the same things. You have the super robust, every feature you can think of type of application all the way down to the native OS X tools which are very basic.

Screeny is an application that finds itself somewhere in the middle. I think this is the area where many of us would place ourselves so a solid option in that area is definitely welcomed. We’ve checked out Screeny before and after the recent major version release we thought it was worth another look.

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We go through a lot of apps here at Mac.Appstorm. We review a ton of applications and we research and test even more. A fair amount of time is spent on trolling the App Store as well as the web searching for applications worth a review.

I’ve become increasingly more aware that I’ve developed a bias toward paid applications. I don’t think I’m alone with this viewpoint. I see people in my circle more interested in paying for apps now than more than ever. What does this mean? Is the market maturing?

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