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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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I went for years not even knowing what a text insertion or text expansion app was, and when I finally did learn, I was so put off by the high prices of some of the big names on the market that it took awhile before I even found out what the big deal was. Once you’ve started using a text insertion app, though, it’s hard to imagine those days of yore, when you used to actually type things. The memories still haunt me.

But man, are those apps expensive, right? Not necessarily, and today we’re going to take a look at aText, a great text insertion app with a tiny price tag. But does that mean it’s also going to be small on features? We’ll check it out! (more…)

If you were a SkyDrive user before April of last year, you probably got that free 25 GB storage bump, or if you’re an Office 365 user, you may have a chunk of storage sitting around. Even with a new SkyDrive account today, you’ll get 7 GB of free storage. Pony up $10, and you’ve got yourself an additional 20 GB for the year.

In fact, with a whopping 100 GB only running you $50 per year, SkyDrive is probably one of the least expensive cloud storage and file synchronization services out there. What do you get for your money, though? We’ll take a look at the SkyDrive app for Mac and see how well it compares to the competition. (more…)

Adium has long been a favorite for instant messaging on the Mac. With support for more services than you can shake a stick at and plugins to take care of the rest, Adium pretty much does it all. More than that, though, Adium is infinitely customizable. With a vast library of crowd-sourced Xtras, you can pretty much make Adium look and sound however you want.

We’ll take a look at some of the best Adium Xtras – not just all the awesome Dock and menu bar icons, but also the plugins and AppleScripts that can really boost Adium’s functionality.

(more…)

Recently out of beta and available for download, Bitcasa has a new Mac client and a new pricing plan. With a base plan of 10GB of free cloud storage, Bitcasa is definitely setting itself up to compete with the big boys.

But what is Bitcasa? If you’ve never heard of it before, it’s an online storage service which offers limitless – or nearly so – storage, online. With a free account, you can use Bitcasa as an online locker for cloud storage of some of your most used files or to share photos, videos, music, or documents with your friends. If you have a paid account, Bitcasa can automatically backup your entire computer. Size isn’t everything, though.

How does Bitcasa compare on speed and usability? We’ll find out! (more…)

I know there are Mac users out there who still have hurt feelings, even after all these months, over the most recent iTunes redesign. Let me tell you, you’re among friends here, and I want to help. While it’s hard to replace iTunes, especially if you have to sync any iOS devices with your Mac, you can find alternatives to lessen the iTunes sting.

Music player app Pinna works with your iTunes library so you won’t have to give up iTunes altogether, but it’s a far sight better looking and easier to use. Will it have what it takes to displace iTunes, at least for pumping out your jams? (more…)

The beginning of a new year is always a good time to start new things, especially a journal. Even if you may have fallen a bit behind, it’s never too late to start. I’m just terrible at keeping journals, though, and have lots of lovely books with only the first ten or so pages filled in. I need an app to help me out!

My Wonderful Days is that app, recording everything that happens to me everyday. With reminders and lots of ways to customize my entries, including images, I may just be able to stick to my journal this year. (more…)

I like anything that can make my workday run more smoothly and remove those little stumbling blocks that slow me down. Continu is just such an app. While you’re watching old episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air on YouTube or however else you spend your time on your computer during the day, Continu is working silently in the background. It can either make sure your applications stay open no matter what, whether they crash or you accidentally exit out of an app, and it can open applications when triggered.

How helpful is it really, though? We’ll take a look! (more…)

I spend a lot of time on the Hype Machine website, listening to the latest or most popular tracks from some of the best music blogs around the web. Constantly having a webapp open in the background can get in the way, though, especially when I get click happy and close all my open tabs.

What I need is a desktop client, but there’s nothing official out yet. Fortunately, Hypegram is filling the void, allowing me to listen to new music I wouldn’t hear otherwise without fear of my clicking finger running amok. We’ll take a look at how Hypegram stands up to the official web app and see if it’s as cool as the real deal. (more…)

There are two ways I get a job done: I keep copious notes from start to finish and do really well, or I don’t take any notes and I fail miserably. This means I’m utterly dependent on some sort of notes editor at all times, and if it has syncing, well, that’s even better.

I’m always on the lookout for a better way to do what I do, including keeping notes, so I was happy to give Moccanote a spin. With an uncluttered interface and iCloud sync with the companion iPhone app, Moccanote is definitely a contender. Can Moccanote’s notetaking and organization features cause me to jump ship? (more…)

A lot of us are going to make New Year’s resolutions this year, but most of us are going to find it hard to keep them. Whether we fall back into bad habits or don’t really commit to our resolutions in the first place, a lot of us end up feeling pretty disappointed in ourselves and more than a little disenchanted with the whole New Year’s resolution process.

But just like every year, the start of 2013 is a clean slate, a chance to start over. If you haven’t managed to keep your New Year’s resolutions in the past, you’re not alone, but with some help 2013 may be the year you succeed. We’ve gathered together some great apps to keep you on the path to resolution success, and with some planning and a bit of work on your part, 2013 may be the start of a whole new you.

(more…)

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