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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!

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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Whatever profession you’re in, there’s a strong chance that as a Mac.AppStorm reader you occasionally need to delve into a FTP client. Whether that’s to transfer a file to someone, update your website, or access a service such as Amazon S3 – there are a multitude of reasons why an FTP app might come in handy.

Personally, I’m a big fan of Transmit 4. It’s a beautiful app with a very thorough feature set – two selling points that make it hard to ignore. In fact, it was one of the apps that originally made me want to switch across to the Mac (along with everything else designed by Panic at the time…)

There are plenty of other contenders, though – Forklift, Interarchy, and YummyFTP to name a few!

These all have their own unique selling points and features – you’d be amazed at how much scope there is for individuality in such a theoretically mundane niche of software. From disks that mount on your desktop to Automator support and “Droplets” – software can actually make FTP fun!

I’d be interested to hear which application you use – feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Which FTP app do you use, how often do you need to open it, and why?

This week’s wonderful AppStorm sponsor is a new Mac application called Hearts Cards. For the past decade or so, the card game “Hearts” has been a staple time sink for Windows user, but there hasn’t been a great equivalent for the Mac.

With the recent opening of the Mac App Store there have been several attempts to bring this classic card game to Mac users, but many of these have been somewhat half-hearted (if you’ll excuse the pun).

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, and submit your requests and feedback for future versions.

If you’d just like to give the app a try (it’s only $4.99, after all), you can head straight to the Mac App Store and take a look!

Old Competition Post

Most Mac users will find a need for an FTP client from time to time, and there are plenty to choose from. Forklift is undoubtedly one of our favourites and the latest incarnation in version 2 brings a fantastic range of new functionality.

Forklift will connect to any server you can throw at it (FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, S3, iDisk, SMB, AFP and NIS), can synchronise browsing between local and remote folders, split/combine files, mount remote volumes as a local drive, and much more. Usually priced at $29.95, we’re giving three readers the chance to grab their own copy completely free!

All you need to do is leave a comment below, letting us know how you use your current FTP app. Is it to manage your website? Backup files to Amazon S3? Or to connect to other computers on your network?

The competition will run for one week, and I’ll pick three winning comments at random on Wednesday, 20th April. Best of luck, and happy FTPing!

Winners Announced!

Congratulations to the following three winners, who will shortly be receiving their Forklift license!

  1. Laurence Wilks
  2. Geoffrey Schumann
  3. Robert in SF

It’s not often that you see customers queueing for a new product release. With the exception of the occasional video game or smash-hit novel, Apple are fairly unique in their ability to encourage masses of tech geeks to congregate outside their stores a few times each year.

I’m far from immune. Over the past few years I’ve queued for an operating system, a couple of iPhones and, most recently, the iPad 2 (which garnered the biggest line I’ve ever seen).

Although the general media relish the opportunity to ridicule these events as being attended by gadget-obessed Apple “fanboys”, this isn’t always the reality.

I met a huge range of people queuing for the iPad 2 – from kids just finishing the school day, to a handful of 70+ year olds. Some people were disgruntled at the notion of having to queue to get their hands on Apple’s latest gadget, but many people enjoyed the experience. It’s a fun, social atmosphere and a good chance to chat with like-minded tech enthusiasts.

I’d be interested to know how many of you have stood in line to get your hands on a new Apple gadget. Is this something that I’m unique in enjoying, or would you agree that it can be a fun experience? Share your thoughts in the comments!

I’d like to take a moment to say a big thank you to this week’s sponsor, Jumsoft. In particular, we’d like to highlight a fantastic offer they’re running at the moment on two of their Pages products: the Inspiration Set, and Clipart.

Both of these are currently on offer over at the Mac App Store for the reduced price of $9.99. This is a great deal for a large collection of Pages add-ons, which can really boost what the application has to offer.

The Pages Clipart package contains a total of 1,200 polished clipart pieces to help you compose even more thrilling text documents. This isn’t your average, boring Microsoft Word clipart – the high quality of design fits what you’d expect in graphics built for an Apple app.

The Inspiration Set includes 150 Pages templates: 100 from the previous version and 50 brand-new additions that have only been released in the past few weeks.

Check out the offer on either Clipart or Inspiration Set, and make the most of this reduced price before it ends on Friday 15th April!

Ever since Apple’s initial foray into touch screen technology with the iPhone, people have wondered whether touch based input would make the transition to the Mac desktop. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have an iMac that you could reach out and touch, swiping between applications and interacting with your media?

Well, maybe. Consumers are divided on whether or not this would be a good thing and, despite many other computer manufacturers including this technology in their machines, Apple has taken a fairly out-spoken stance against it. It’s now almost four years since the release of the first iPhone and we’re yet to see any sign of touch screen input making its way to the Mac.

But will this always be the case? And – even if Apple does decide to start shipping new-fangled touch screen Macs – would it be something we’d really use?

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We’re taking a step away from the usual weekly competition today to bring you something a little more exclusive! This week only, Mac.AppStorm readers can get a copy of Wallpaper Wizard completely free (usually $6.99).

This is an application we’ve covered a few times in the past, and our review is a great place to start if you’d like to find out more. The bottom line is that Wallpaper Wizard gives you a great solution for finding and applying thousands of fantastic wallpapers for your Mac desktop.

Read on to find out how you can grab your own free copy of the full version!

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