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The beloved Mac OS dock has been around for ages. Before Alfred, Spotlight or even Quicksilver, the dock was our solution for quickly launching applications. In fact, seriously old school Mac users will remember Launcher, a similar utility dating back to before OS X and the dock we know now even existed. In fact, maybe Launchpad is just Launcher resurrected, but I digress.

Though I’m definitely more prone to turn to Alfred these days for my app launching needs, I still like to maintain a nice dock: a handful of apps, neatly categorized and separated with spacers, zero magnification. I have a close friend who is the opposite. His dock is positively overflowing with apps set at the smallest size with a large magnification on hover.

Today we want to know about your dock-related tendencies. Use the poll on the right to say how many apps you keep in the dock and then leave a comment below about your setup. Are the apps organized? Do you use spacers or magnification? How about custom artwork?

We’d like to take a moment to say a big thank you to this week’s sponsor, 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!

After tracking, just drag and drop activities into projects. Sophisticated graphs show you how you spent your time each day and which projects consumed most of your time.

Reasons to Love Timing

Avoid Procrastination
Timing mercilessly shows you which activities are hogging your time, like browsing the web and playing games.

Properly Track Work Time
Don’t worry about forgetting to start or stop a timer for billing your clients. With Timing, all the tracking happens automatically.

Document-based Tracking
Timing tracks the path of every document you view or edit.

Safari and Chrome Support
Domains of websites you visit are also tracked.

Date Filtering
Watch your productivity plummet during the holidays.

Projects
Drag your activities into projects to categorize the time you spent.

Go Get It!

Only this week, Timing is available at a 30% discount off the regular price of $19.99. Get it from the Mac App Store today!

Since the dawn of home computing, those in the know have measured a machine’s worth with a look at the system’s specifications: A Sinclair Spectrum ZX which sported 128K of RAM was better than the 48K version and, likewise, a 500MHz iBook G3 was naturally superior to its clamshell ancestor, which housed a 300MHz processor. Once you understand the terms and the math, it’s simple. Or it was, anyway.

In more recent years, the picture has become a little muddled – is a 2.2GHz AMD CPU superior to its Intel rival? Throw in multiple cores and a choice of video card and a confused mess becomes positively Byzantine. Then there’s Apple, who as usual do things their own way.

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In Lion, the Spaces feature has been replaced by Mission Control, one central location with some major window management capabilities (Exposé shortcuts are still available).

We recently published an article on Making the Most of Mission Control and would love to know how you’re getting along with the new system.

I think the best way to judge your acceptance of Mission Control is by noting how much you actually use it on a day to day basis. Is it a novelty feature that you forget exists (Dashboard anyone?) or is it something that you use constantly and couldn’t live without?

Cast your vote in the poll and then leave a comment below about why you love or hate it and if you miss any functionality from Snow Leopard.

Thanks to Our Weekly Sponsor: CheckUp

We’d like to take a moment to say a big thank you to this week’s sponsor, 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. It monitors and detects hardware issues, keeps an eye on your processor and network performance, gives you stats about your files and storage, shows you a history of recent crashes and a whole lot more.

The application itself is gorgeous and conveniently sits on the side of the screen in a dock until you need it. You’re never more than a click away from all of your important information.

Here are some more reasons to love CheckUp:

  • Optimized and build for recent Macs
  • New core completely rewritten for Snow Leopard and Lion
  • More than 100 new features planned for version 3.1 in September
  • Available in 5 languages
  • All updates always free for life

Go Try It Out!

CheckUp 3 is available for $29.99 on the Mac App Store. Alternatively, you can stop by the CheckUp website and try the free trial version.

Native Mac clients for social networks are a massive market – Twitter is the obvious example here, with a vast number of awesome apps. Even Instagram has a few nice solutions. But what about the biggest social network out there, Facebook? It has over 750 million users, and there’s no market leader for native clients.

Today, I’ll be having a look at what options we have if we want a Facebook app, if any of them are any good, and why this market desperately needs a game-changer. (more…)

Today we’re going to take a look at Simplify, an attractive and convenient way to interact with Spotify from your desktop.

Read on to see if you should download Simplify to help manage your Spotify addiction!

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Good news! We’ve chosen our five winners. The following readers will receive an email shortly with details on claiming your prize. To everyone else, thanks for entering and be sure to check back next week for another awesome giveaway!

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VirtualDJ was first released in 2003 and over the years has grown into a real success story for Atomix Productions, providing professional DJ’s and hobbyists with effective DJ software. Originally sold in shops, this multi-platform ‘Home’ version is now available for free in the Mac App Store and sees the developers adopt an innovative pricing model to offer a largely uncrippled and feature-packed app in the hope of enticing users to eventually upgrade, with the end result being a big win for the consumer.

Let’s take a closer look at this innovative App Store favourite.

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Now that Lion has been out for a while, many of us have downloaded it on our primary computers and are now using the operating system full-time. As far as stability goes, the reports that we’re receiving are a bit scattered.

For my part, Lion roars along nicely. I upgraded the day it launched and apart from an initial slowdown while Spotlight finished indexing, I can’t say that I’ve run into a single major issue that couldn’t be addressed in a few minutes or less (even on my ancient 2007 MacBook).

However, I’ve heard several people, including some of our own writers, describe OS X Lion as an “extremely buggy” and all around unstable release. Given the variety of different Mac setups that exist, there are bound to be some pretty disparate experiences from users. Today we want to know what you think. Is Lion solid as a rock or one big, buggy mess?

Cast your vote in the poll and then leave a comment below telling us about some of the persistent problems you’ve run into and what machine you’re running.

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