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Thanks to the Mac.AppStorm Weekly Sponsors

We’d like to say a big thank you to this month’s Mac.AppStorm sponsors, and the great software they create! If you’re interested in advertising, you can purchase a banner advertisement through BuySellAds, or sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot.

Thank you to the fantastic applications we had sponsoring each week during the month, all of which we personally recommend you download and try out!

  • Flux – Billed as an advanced HTML5 Web design application, Flux is capable of creating stunning sites from scratch. Far from being a simple template based solution, it’s a creative design environment.
  • Inspiration Set, and Clipart – The Pages Clipart package contains a total of 1,200 polished clipart pieces, and the Inspiration Set includes 150 Pages templates: 100 from the previous version and 50 brand-new additions.
  • Hearts Cards – This is one of the first solid Hearts games on the Mac App Store, and it’s great fun to play. You can check out a video demonstration at the developer site.
  • Patterno – This unique app is a tiled pattern and background image generator for Mac OS X, and can be a huge time-saver for graphic designers everywhere.

Finally, thanks to you for reading AppStorm this month, and for checking out the software that our sponsors create. I really appreciate it – you make the site what it is!

It’s going to be the 800-pound gorilla in the room for the entirety of this article, so I’m just going to acknowledge it now: Photoshop. There. I said it.

Photoshop has been king of the computer graphics hill for a very long time. Even though other software exists, and other applications take more specialized approaches to creating digital graphics, in a professional environment it always comes back to Photoshop.

This article isn’t about Photoshop. And yet it kind of is. It’s about Acorn, the image editor for humans, from Flying Meat Software. Specifically it’s about version 3 of Acorn, and how this update brings Acorn so close to taking on Photoshop in the minds of so many people.

For a lot of those people, it’ll beat Photoshop. Let me show you why.

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Today’s interview is with Alykhan Jetha (“AJ”), the CEO of Marketcircle. Developers of popular applications Billings and Daylite, Marketcircle has a long-standing track record as a top-notch Mac software development company.

In today’s interview, we’ll be talking about the Marketcircle team, inspiration for their products, the Mac App Store, and some very interesting updates currently in the pipeline for Billings.

I hope you enjoy the interview!

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Winners Announced

Thank you to everyone who took part in the competition! I’m pleased to let you know that the winners have now been chosen. Congratulations are in order to:

  1. Mats Abrahamsen
  2. Kexxcream
  3. Fernando Feldberg
  4. Kat
  5. Sirirat
  6. Mike Li
  7. Andy Bell
  8. T24G
  9. iamtom
  10. Waqas Abdul Majeed

You license code will be on the way shortly!

Old Competition Post

As well as sponsoring the site this week, Patterno have kindly agreed to offer ten free licenses to a handful of Mac.AppStorm readers.

This unique app is a tiled pattern and background image generator for Mac OS X, and can be a huge time-saver for graphic designers everywhere. Patterno allows to create various images that you may use to design your site, Twitter, MySpace or just to create a new wallpaper for your desktop!

Entering the competition is really easy. All you need to do is:

  1. Post a link to this competition – either on your website, or via Twitter
  2. Leave a comment, letting me know where you posted the link!

Best of luck, and I’ll be picking the winners in just over a week. The competition closes on Wednesday 4th May, but you can head over to the Patterno site to download a trial in the meantime!

Earlier this week, while chatting to someone on Skype, I reached forward and knocked a full cup of coffee straight over my Apple Wireless Keyboard. This wasn’t a minor spillage – the whole keyboard was completed drenched (I don’t do things by halves!)

As quickly as I could, I followed the advice so wisely imparted by a fellow Envato colleague. I took out the batteries, and tipped it upside down to let the liquid drain out.

Two days later and it seems that, unfortunately, the keyboard isn’t going to recover from its coffee encounter. None of the keys work (something of a problem…), and the only key that does work remains depressed constantly! Thankfully it wasn’t my actual MacBook, and the replacement cost isn’t all that bad.

Spilling something on your Mac is everyone’s absolute worst nightmare, but it happens to most of us at some point. Or does it? Maybe I’m more clumsy than most…

Have you ever spilled something on your Mac or keyboard? What was it, and did your machine recover? Let us know in the comments!

Thanks to Our Weekly Sponsor: Patterno

I’d like to say a big thank you to this week’s AppStorm sponsor – Patterno. This unique app is a tiled pattern and background image generator for Mac OS X, and can be a huge time-saver for graphic designers everywhere.

Patterno allows to create various images that you may use to design your site, Twitter, MySpace or just to create a new wallpaper for your desktop.

There are 50 pre-defined templates to choose from, or you can create your own interesting effects with just a few clicks. Whatever medium you design for, this is a really handy way to easily create repeatable patterns to use as backgrounds and textures.

Patterno is available for $14.99 in the Mac App Store, or you can pick up a trial copy from the developer’s site. It’s definitely worth downloading and giving a try!

Learning a foreign language is never an easy task. Especially for someone that has grown up speaking English his entire life (with the exception of a few Spanish classes in high school). Besides taking classes in school there are some other ways to learn another language. Books and software are the most common methods now days.

Human Japanese is one of those software methods. It is, however, much more immersive than the standard memorization method you may find in some books and other software applications. It does teach you terms and phrases but really aims to help you actually understand the language. For a language like Japanese this is no easy task, but it is essential.

I’ve taken Human Japanese for a spin to see how this application works.

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People want to be able to do cool stuff with their computers. It’s why they bought them in the first place, right? The promise of power, being bestowed with abilities that up to now you didn’t possess.

One category of apps that has long been ruled by high-end software is graphic creation. There’s no doubting the utility of these apps for the professional, but both their toolkit and their price tag are overkill for the average consumer.

Developers have spied an opening here, and Mapdiva have created an interesting app called Artboard. It’s directly aimed at the average consumer who’s looking to create vector-based graphics.

But while the marketing message and pedestrian price tag of $19.99 appeal to the consumer, does Artboard fulfill on their promise of “Simple. Powerful. Fun.”? What does Artboard have to offer? And while we’re at it, how does it stack up to its high-end competition?

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Winners Announced

I’m excited to let you know that the ten lucky winners have been chosen! Licenses will be on the way shortly to the following readers:

  1. Adrusi
  2. Sérgio Miranda
  3. Derek Jensen
  4. Adam Everett
  5. MJ
  6. Tavy
  7. Jonathan Griffiths
  8. sh0ebox
  9. Synnøve
  10. DavidKotaev

Old Announcement

After reviewing ScreenFloat earlier last week, the developers have been kind enough to offer ten free licenses for us to distribute to a few lucky readers!

ScreenFloat is a simple piece of software that can help you take screenshots and keep them on top of any other window. It is good for any type of work that requires you to go back between two windows to copy the content of one to the other. Entering the competition is easy, and requires two steps:

1. Like Mac.AppStorm on Facebook

This is as simple as clicking this little box, and means that you’ll also receive our updates and content on Facebook in the future!

2. Leave a Comment With Your Facebook URL

The next step is to leave a comment on this post with a link to your Facebook profile page. That’s it!

The competition will run for one week, and I’ll be selecting the ten winning entrants after Thursday April 28th. Best of luck, and be sure to check out our review of ScreenFloat for more information about the prize on offer.

As my three-year-old 15″ MacBook Pro starts to show its age, I’m starting to think that I’ll soon be in the market for a new Apple notebook. It’s been a fantastic machine to own, but after three years of lugging a 15″ portable around, I’ve decided that a laptop this big isn’t particularly… portable.

Last year, Apple released a series of new MacBook Air machines that have received rave reviews – both in the major press, and from those equally in the know. The big dilemma here is whether an 11″ or 13″ screen makes the greatest sense. And are either of these really adequate to replace a 15″ display?

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