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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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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.

We’d like to take a moment to say a big thank you to this week’s sponsor, Box Shot 3D.

As a graphic designer, I am constantly faced with the task of creating 3D product mockups. Unfortunately, 3D modeling programs are extremely expensive, quite cumbersome and can take years to master. Box Shot 3D has come to my rescue quite a few times.

Box Shot 3D allows you to render custom software boxes, book covers, magazines, CD, DVD and Blu-Ray boxes, cans, bottles, mugs, bags and much more. No 3D-knowledge is required at all and the results look very professional because of the raytracing rendering technology.

So Easy, Anyone Can Use It

Box Shot 3D provides probably the easiest way to create virtual boxes for representing software products on the web or to create 3D book images for e-books. Box Shot 3D is used by thousands of designers around the world to represent their work to customers, as it supports more than 50 different shapes and most of them can be configured. It is also possible to render external 3D files.

What’s New?

The latest updates feature the support of multiple shapes in a single scene, external Collada files, sample ready-to-use scenes, image transformations and lots of other improvements.

Go Try It Out!

Box Shot 3D runs on Mac and Windows and is available for $80. Be sure to stop by the website to download the free trial version and see what you think!

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!

  • Jumsoft Money – Money provides small businesses and home users with a simple and remarkably effective way to track their financial records and create budgets. Among other novelties, the new Money 4 features a fully redesigned user interface, allows direct downloads from financial institutions, and institutes smart importing rules and a document-based system that allows multiple users to work with a single copy of the application.
  • Screeny – Screeny is a beautiful, simple and effective utility for taking screenshots and recording screencasts. The controls are basic enough that you can pick the app up immediately and powerful enough that you can create just what you want with almost no effort.
  • Postbox – Postbox is one of the most powerful alternatives to Mail.app that you’ll find anywhere and is a simply incredible email client. In addition to your favorite standard Postbox features like tabs and beautiful reply formatting, Postbox 2.5 sports several brand new features that make it even more irresistible.
  • Raskin -Raskin represents an entirely new way of interacting with and managing your open applications and windows. It makes finding, organizing, previewing, and opening documents a fast and remarkably seamless process.

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!

Along with a ton of great new features, OS X Lion brings about at least one fairly controversial change: the default behavior for scrolling has been reversed. It used to the case that if you wanted to scroll down the page, you made a downward swiping gesture, and of course the reverse of that for going back up.

However, the iPhone changed things up a bit. With the direct interaction model, it felt more natural to move the page instead of the scroll position, so to scroll down on an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, you swipe up.

When you’re directly interacting with a touchscreen, this scrolling model is incredibly intuitive. You reach out and touch the page and move it freely in any direction that you please. Your brain immediately understands what’s happening and there is zero adjustment period.

With Lion, OS X has picked up this system. Now the scroll gesture acts as if you’re reaching out and touching the screen: swipe up to scroll down. Now instead of moving the scroll bars, you must imagine that you’re tossing the page.

For some, the new system immediately made sense and required very little adjustment time. However, many users are complaining that the indirect nature of a mouse or trackpad is in conflict with the direct model of scrolling. Our brains are already so set on the way things have been for years that it’s difficult to reprogram them, especially since there doesn’t seem to be a pressing need to do so.

Today we want to know what you think. Do you like natural scrolling in Lion? Or do you wish Apple would subscribe to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” theory? Have you decided whether or not to adjust to the new system or revert back to the old way? Vote in the poll above and leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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

There are very few Mac applications that one can label as truly unique, Raskin is one of them. It represents an entirely new way of interacting with and managing your open applications and windows. It makes finding, organizing, previewing, and opening documents a fast and remarkably seamless process.

Take a Step Back

Raskin allows you to use intuitive gestures to zoom out and view all of your content on a single, zoomable surface. The idea is an extreme one and it makes for a wonderfully simple window management process. By maintaining Finder’s built-in file and folder structure, it helps you stay effortlessly organized.

An Awesome Way to View Your Files

Quickly review and organize your visual files – photos, graphics, presentations, and artwork on the Raskin Surface with seamless zooming of all file types. No importing necessary. And Raskin’s “Bird’s Eye Windows” shortcut let’s you zoom-in on and get details of all open application windows.

New In Raskin 1.5

Raskin 1.5 is an awesome update that brings tons of new features. Here are just a few of the awesome additions:

  • Light Table View: Use Raskin’s New Light Table View (from the View menu or ⌘L) for ad hoc presentations or as a dedicated review space
  • Autofocus while dragging items (moving and re-organizing made easier). This behaves similar than Finder’s “Spring-Loaded Folders”, drag objects on a folder and wait for Raskin to move it into focus. Delay can be adjusted in Preferences.
  • Auto-open (eg. Drag and Drop pictures and text straight into your layout document). Similar to Autofocus, documents now are “Spring-Loaded” as well.
  • New “Focus” menu and shortcut menu for a better navigation experience.
  • Hide objects: New keyboard shortcut to hide selected objects (^⌘H)
  • And much more!

Save 25% Now!

Raskin 1.5 is available for purchase on the Mac App Store for $48.99, but MacUpdate is currently running a limited-time promo that will let you snag it for 25% off that price.

Though my initial knee-jerk reaction to the news that Apple were making Mac OS X Lion available only through the Mac App Store was one of disapproval, upon reflection the decision makes sense from an environmental standpoint at least. There will be trees saved without those retail boxes needing to be made, in addition to fuel and emissions saved from the various vehicles which would have been needed to transport those boxes to their destinations – not to mention a digital distribution method fits in with Apple’s minimalist ethos and their slow but steady march to a complete rejection of physical media.

That’s great and all, but there are situations in which a physical copy of OS X is very useful, such as if the user desires a completely fresh install, or to upgrade several Macs at once, or those wishing to skip Snow Leopard altogether and move from Leopard straight to Lion. If you have any of these needs or just want a physical copy as a means of insurance, read on after the break because we’ve got you covered…

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In addition to the long-awaited launch of OS X Lion, Apple gave us another surprise this week in the form of an update to the MacBook Air. New processors and a Thunderbolt port are just two of the exciting features in the newest models.

However, there are still plenty of doubts to be had about the overall direction Apple has taken for their line of MacBooks. Is the MacBook Air an acceptable replacement for the plain old MacBook? Have the risk-takers at Apple stripped off too much or have they created the best MacBook ever?

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It’s been a long two years since the release of Snow Leopard, and with all the fanfare surrounding Apple’s mobile devices recently, many Mac users, myself included, are feeling a little left out. Lion’s much-anticipated release follows Apple’s promise to bring focus “back to the Mac” by integrating advancements from iPhone and iPad development into the Mac platform. In its attempt to bring the best of iOS to the next generation of OSX, Apple has some people worried that Lion will turn their Macs into giant iPads, or introduce iOS-like restrictions to the Mac. Now that this cat is finally out of its cage, let’s dive right in and see what Lion has to offer!

Unlike Snow Leopard, which featured mostly behind-the-scenes improvements and few obvious changes, Lion is a feature-packed major update that will noticeably change the way you use your Mac. Lion comes packed with over 250 new features, so let’s take a look at some of its biggest selling points (in no particular order).

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It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for, OS X Lion is finally available for public download in the Mac App Store.

Apple tossed in a few surprises for the day as well with some welcome hardware updates. Let’s very briefly take a look at what’s going on just to keep you up to date around the Mac user water cooler.

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