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While we have all of this information and inspiration at our fingertips, it’s often a little difficult to pull quantitative data from what we’re seeing. Mac OS X has some built-in measuring abilities, but they’re fairly limited and stuck inside the screenshot function. Fortunately, there are some third party tools available in the form of browser plugins and stand alone applications that aide in acquiring some actual data that can be useful when working on your own project or just to quench your curiosity.

Many solutions are often a little odd to use or just not there when you need them. PixFit aims to remedy that situation. PixFit is a very quick and simple menubar application that lets you measure anything that is displayed on your screen.

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Journals or diaries are a great way to look back on things that you’ve done. You probably think that you don’t need to write down what you experience because you will remember it in the future, but if you try to look back now on anything you’ve done, I can guarantee you there’ll be some spots where your memory will fail you.

That’s why taking pictures when you’re traveling and just keeping a daily journal is a great idea if you care about having it there for posteriority. There are quite a few apps for the Mac that seek to simplify and improve that process, and today we’ll be reviewing one of them called “Chronories”. Let’s take a look!

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Steve Jobs has been nominated to be the 2011 Time Person of the Year. Join us as we take a brief look into why he’s being considered, who nominated him and the interesting history he has with this very title.

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Great news! We’ve chosen the ten winners who will receive a free copy of SideWriter. The Twitter users listed below will be receiving emails shortly outlining how to claim their prize.

For everyone else, thanks a bunch for entering and reading AppStorm. Check back soon for more awesome giveaways, next time that list could have your name on it!

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It’s time for another “Ask the Editor” post. A big thank you to everyone who sent in their questions, it’s always a pleasure to help out the awesome community of Mac users.

Today I’ll be offering some advice about moving libraries to external drives, password protecting folders, and finding a solid TeX editor. Read on and see if you learn anything new!

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As of 1 March, 2012, all new apps/updates submitted to the Mac App Store will be forced to implement a security feature called sandboxing. In brief, sandboxing limits the scope of each application by restricting how much of your system that app has access to. Developers will have to go through Apple and request specific entitlements in order to receive permission to stretch the limits a little further and give their apps access to certain information.

The benefit here is obvious, your system will be much safer given the restricted access that apps will have. The downside though is a big one for seasoned Mac users and developers of particularly powerful utilities as this restriction has serious potential to limit features. As Techworld.com reports, Alfred’s developers have hesitated to submit the Alfred Powerpack to the Mac App Store for this very reason.

Back in June, I wrote and published an article titled“1984 and the Future of Mac Software” containing a fairly gloomy outlook on the future of the Mac should it continue down its current road towards heavier developer regulation. It seems fairly obvious that Apple wants control over every aspect of what does and doesn’t make its way onto your Mac. That’s not inherently a bad thing though, iOS serves as a great example of a successful system (that users love) which happens to be very tightly controlled by Apple.

Ultimately, whether or not sandboxing is a good thing is completely up to you. We want to hear what you think. Vote in the poll above and leave a comment explaining your answer.

Hat tip to SmileyKeith for submitting this poll idea via Twitter. Shoot us a tweet at @MacAppStorm with the hashtag “#appstormpoll” if you have a poll idea you’d like to see published.

Our featured sponsor this week is FreeSpace, a lightweight utility that helps you keep an eye on your disk space.

FreeSpace is a menubar utility that can show you how much space is available on all local, connected, network drives, and disk images with a single click. All the partitions and drives are grouped into their own categories. FreeSpace also allows you to eject all connected drives by 1 click on the menu, or eject individual drives by clicking an eject icon next to each drive name. FreeSpace comes with mount and eject indicator, which flashes on the menu bar when mounting or eject is complete.

There’s a lot to love about this little gem. It’s awesome to be able to manage your drives so easily right from the menu bar. My favorite feature is the ability to eject discs without switching to the desktop. FreeSpace also works great with Time Machine. When the Time Machine drive is plugged in, the free space is immediately shown on the menu. When Time Machine backup is complete, Free Space flashes an eject indicator to show that the drive has been safely ejected by Time Machine.

Go Get It!

FreeSpace is available in the Mac App Store for a mere $0.99! The developers could easily justify charging double or triple that so this price is really a steal. Stop by to grab your download today and instantly take control of your external drives.

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot.


As we move to more and more things becoming digital, it’s not surprising that we can now have cookbooks as eBooks and even as apps on our Macs. And thanks to integrated technologies cooking apps don’t have to simply hold a recipe, but can include detailed photos of ingredients and step-by-step tutorials.

The Photo Cookbook makes it deliciously easy, to fix any kind of dish and it does so with beautiful images and easy to follow instructions. Learn after the break how this app can bring you on your way to be the chef in your kitchen.

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We’ve discussed, on several occasions here on Mac.AppStorm, the niche of apps comprised of consumer-grade imaging and design software. It is still a fairly young app space with huge potential for hobbyists and part-time designers that may not have the funds (or the feature requirements) for the professional tools like those developed by Adobe.

I like to dabble a small bit (emphasis on “small”) in vector art, and with a brother who is a graphic designer by trade, I’ve had my time to play with the big guns like Illustrator. Not only is it way more firepower than I’ll ever need, but I’m also not willing to shell out the required cash for what amounts to a part time hobby for me. Today, I’ll take a look at iDraw, a vector drawing app by Indeeo with a more reasonable price tag and a less immensely overwhelming feature set for the small-timers like me.

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Quicksilver. For seasoned Mac users that word instantly draws up fond memories of an app that was once at the top of every list of must have utilities. The beloved launcher has been out of the game for years though, an unceremoniously abandoned project that went before its time.

It seems though that the story doesn’t end there. The open source Quicksilver project, housed at QSApp.com, is alive and kicking and recently released a major update for Lion users. Intrigued? Read on!

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