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Paula DuPont

Paula DuPont is a New Orleans-based ukulele player, writer, and geek. She has six cats, but only one has a Twitter account.

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You do a lot of searching. You can’t even try to front that you don’t, because we’re all searching all the time. Even simple calculations and unit conversions are getting done in a search engine. But you could be doing it better. The folks who made search utility Phlo knew that and wanted to make internet searching awesome.

Did they succeed? We’ll test this tiny searchbox app and find out! (more…)

It seems we’re always looking for ways to keep our hands on our keyboards and away from the mouse. From application launchers to apps that create extra productivity shortcuts, there’s a big market for tools that help us use our computers more efficiently.

Shortcat is just such an app, giving every element within an application window its own shortcut. I’ll take a look at Shortcat and see how good of a job it does at keeping my hands on my keyboard and me on task. (more…)

Long a favorite on iOS, Instacast is now in beta release on the Mac. More than just a complement to the version you’ve got on your iPhone or iPad, Instacast for Mac is a fully-functional podcast app built with usability in mind.

But will it be able to supplant iTunes as your go-to iTunes podcast app? We’ll see if the Mac app stands up to its iOS predecessor. (more…)

The most recent addition to the X-COM franchise, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, recently made the jump to the Mac. Including all the previously released downloadable content, this Elite Edition has been much anticipated by Mac fans of the franchise.

Let’s take a look and see how gameplay on the Mac matches up to console and whether it’s worth it to double up if you’ve already got XCOM on another system. (more…)

You’ve got a lot of things to write down, but you want to keep them safe. Sure, there are a lot of notes apps to choose from, but how secure are they? Bluenote not only keeps your notes secure with AES-256 encryption, but it will also manage your passwords for you, too.

We’ll take a look at all Bluenote has to offer! (more…)

I love making videos, but I don’t love editing them together. I always have the best of intentions at holidays and birthdays and family gatherings, but it all falls apart once I’ve gotten the footage onto my Mac. I just never seem to do anything with it, and I’m the first to admit that a big part of my problem is my video editor.

I recently tried out Shotcut, a free and open source video editor. I’m no video professional, but then, most of us aren’t. Let’s see how it works out for a layperson just trying to put together some family videos without pulling out her hair. (more…)

Reminders are a super way to keep you on track, especially if you can get into a work rut like me and forget there’s an entire world outside of your computer. I don’t just need to be reminded to check my to do list or go to the gym, though. I’ll be typing away and completely forget that it’s time to go home or, perhaps worse, that my laptop is running out of power.

A neat little app to help with all of that remembering, Notifi will create notifications based on your preferences. You tell it what’s important, and it let’s you know when you need to make a move. Notifi isn’t the only app of its kind, though, so can it hold its own? (more…)

Endless Space is a 4X strategy game in the vein of the Civilization and Masters of Orion series, which means you’re going to explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate. Build a mighty galactic empire by stripmining colonized planets and dominating rival civilizations through military might, diplomacy, or cultural influence.

So does Endless Space stand up against those big names of the 4X genre? (more…)

Maybe you’re the kind of person who can’t leave well enough alone and are always customizing OS X. Or maybe you’re the opposite, maybe you want to have that same sort of devil may care attitude but are afraid of digging a hole so deep, even Spotlight can’t find you.

I’ve been in both camps, and while I definitely prefer to be in full control of the experience on my Mac, I don’t want to get myself into a bad situation either. MacUtil, a neat little OS X tweaking app, can help both groups: those who love to personalize their OS and those who don’t know where to start. (more…)

The Cave was recently released by the same people who did Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion and some other people who did Psychonauts. That’s some pretty impressive video game chops, so it’s no surprise that adventure game-cum-platformer The Cave has been met with high expectations.

How does it perform on the Mac, and just what is the mystery of the Cave? We’ll try to find out! (more…)

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