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Quintin Carlson

Quintin is a Mac addict first and a student second. He loves to write, both on his blog and here. Quintin is currently based out of Pittsburgh, PA and studies at Carnegie Mellon University.

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I have to admit it: I’m a American Top 40 junkie. I spend too munch money on songs that get overplayed on the radio and eventually get ignored in my library. The $1.29 charges start to add up, and soon I’m spending $20/month on music.

I figured that there has to be a better system that doesn’t require me to waste that much on music each month. That’s when I ran across Rdio and their new application for the Mac.

So far, I’ve been really impressed. Read on to find out how it works!

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First things first – I’m not a “hardcore” gamer. In fact, some of the few games I play are Flight Control, Plants vs Zombies and racing games like the Need for Speed series. I was asked to review Asphalt 6: Adrenaline newly available on the Mac App Store and was interested to hear that it was a ported game from the iOS platform, which I why I was eager to take a look at it.

Now we’re all familiar with the “Back to the Mac” ideology where developers bring back elements of the iOS platform into Mac applications. One of the best examples is Reeder and Day One. How well would this work with a game though? Would the UI stay the same or would it be just the major game elements that would match?

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If you’re anything like me – you’ve bought a fair number of Moleskine and other notebooks in the hope that you would journal and keep track of your busy life a little better.

Journaling has been proven to de-stress as well as calm the business of your mind. However, writing out long hand is slow – almost as if your hand can’t keep up with what’s rattling around in your head. I’ve always loved the idea of keeping a journal or diary on my computer – a la Doogie Howser – but never really found a program that prodded me to keep up without spamming my Growl notifications or E-mail inbox.

Then I was asked to take a look at Chronories, from the popular Mac software development firm Synium Software, based out of Germany. I was surprised at the great Mac integration of the application, as well as how automated it was in recording little details from my day that made writing a few thoughts down a little less painful.

In this review, we’ll take a look at journaling with Chronories on your Mac, and see if this app can once and for all push your journaling from a vague resolution into a regular habit.

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We’ve featured Courier on our website in the past as a Weekly Sponsor, but we wanted to provide a walk-through and review for using this very slick app for uploading videos, pictures and documents to sites across the web.

Courier is now exclusively available from the Mac App Store, and shows itself to be one very well designed and simple to use app.

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One of my all-time favorite keyboard shortcuts (right behind the 1Password Auto-Fill command) is OS X’s capture screen commands. Anywhere and anytime, you can press Command + Shift + 3 to capture the entire screen. Alternately, you can press Command + Shift + 4 and the mouse turns into a crosshair. You can then drag a box around what you need to capture.

Afterwards, you’ll have an ugly-titled .png file, sitting on your desktop. Mac OS X titles them with a date and time. This means, before I dare send it to anyone, I have to change the title. Today we’re going to be taking a look at GrabBox, a simple utility that makes the process of naming and sharing screenshots very simple, integrating with everyone’s favourite web app, Dropbox!

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My desk has become a sea of paper. Drawers and drawers filled with old reports, warranty guides, receipts, and papers whose origin I haven’t the slightest idea about. I’ve never really considered trying to scan and catalog my physical world, converting it to a digital one.

I guess that is why I was taken aback when asked to review Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software like ABBYY FineReader. I never really thought I’d be able to organize everything in any of my drawers. But after looking at the different scanned-file organization and OCR options, I may yet find a way to search through the mess…

After the jump, I’ll explain what exactly OCR is, and walk you through a number of different solutions available for the Mac!

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I remember five years ago when I got my first Mac. Soon after, I had a .Mac account (the old version of MobileMe) in hopes I’d be able to enjoy some of the features of cloud storage and syncing.

Fast forward into today’s culture. Cloud storage is even easier to acquire (even for us Mac users) and syncing online has become an omnipresent feature with services like Dropbox. Today, I wanted to take a look at why people have moved away from MobileMe and give a few possible alternative solutions to avoid paying $99 a year.

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I don’t think any AppStorm reader would disagree with me on this: you would be crazy not to back up your Mac. Whether you use Time Machine or a complicated NAS with off-site redundancy, it is vital that you make sure data loss isn’t a possibility.

While many people find the default Mac OS X backup features to provide all the features they find necessary, some users – including myself – don’t enjoy the large downtime involved when recovering from a Time Machine backup (which, if you haven’t done before, can take hours!) Restoring a single file is easy, restoring a full computer isn’t the fastest thing in the world.

Today we’re going to be taking a look at a utility called SmartBackup to see how this handy little app can make backing up easy!

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I must be entirely honest – up until about two weeks ago, I was in the pretentious group of Mac users that never really maintained or “spring cleaned” their computer. Once or twice a year, this would catch up with me and I’d be occasionally fed up with Finder delays and general sluggishness (I blame my crazy tendencies to try dozens of new applications on a whim.)

About two weeks ago, as recommended by a half dozen of my friends (and the Mac.AppStorm review), I installed CleanMyMac. The application removed over 25GB worth of logs, universal binaries, drivers, multilingual support and caches. The amazing amount of space I got back, and the associated speed bump, was impressive.

However, paying money for cleaning services still seems very Windows-like to many Mac users. If you aren’t ready to install a shareware application, but want to take a look at cleaning out some of the cruft around your Mac, join me after the break to give OnyX a try!

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With the Mac being the go-to choice for many web developers and readers of this blog, I wanted to mention a gorgeous application for making sure no billable hour goes undocumented – TrackRecord. Sure, there are tons of applications for freelancers to track their time spent on different programs (RescueTime), time spent working (Billings/OnTheJob), but none of these apps offer the ability to sync your time recorded to the popular web app Basecamp.

TrackRecord does just that, and today we’ll be taking a closer look at what it has to offer users of 37signals’ Basecamp web application. Read on to find out more!

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