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After my flatbed scanner died around a decade ago, I completely gave up with owning one. They were slow, clunky, and something that I only used half a dozen times a year. Besides, everything was going digital, and we’d soon stop receiving paper altogether, right?

Unfortunately, that never seemed to happen. And eight years later I had two filing cabinets and various files full of receipts, invoices, statements, and all manner of other correspondence. I decided that enough was enough, and picked up a ScanScap scanner to digitise all those documents.

Coupled with DevonThink Pro Office, everything has OCR performed on it (Evernote works just as well), and I’m now filing cabinet free! Scanning once again feels like a state of the art process to be doing, with a modern combination of hardware and software.

But is this something you do? I’m not sure whether a scanner is considered a necessary computer accessory any longer… Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

WWDC 2011 is just around the corner, and both developers and users have high expectations. This is the annual conference for Apple developers and, since they no longer exhibit at Macworld, is the one “official” platform that Apple uses each year for announcing software and hardware upgrades.

Although Apple has strongly implied that we won’t see any updated iPhone hardware, it’s difficult to be completely sure of what to expect.

It’s likely that the two main areas of focus will be iOS 5, and OS X Lion – two major software updates that Apple will be releasing this year. Both of these hold lots of promise, and we’re still not sure of the exact features that either will offer.

Although Lion has been available as a developer beta for a while, it’s not unheard of for Apple to announce extra features and functionality nearer the launch date.

Speculation surrounding “iCloud” is also rife, with some people hoping for a cloud music service (this seems likely), and others wanting an official Apple file-synchronisation system akin to Dropbox. We’ll have to wait and see!

I’d be interested to know which of these you are particularly looking forward to, and what you’ll be hoping to see announced. Of course, another big question is whether we’ll see Steve Jobs presenting. I certainly hope so.

Much has been speculated over the idea of Apple creating a competing service to Dropbox – either under the MobileMe/iDisk banner, or through a completely new service. Some people think it would be great for competition, and others think that Dropbox already has the market sewn up.

I’d hazard a guess that the majority of AppStorm readers are Dropbox users in some form or another (if not, you should be!) It’s hands down one of the most useful applications I’ve ever had the pleasure of using.

Will Apple launch a competing service? My hunch is no – at least not directly. There’s little reason for them to create a like-for-like competitor that allows storage of all your files in the cloud.

There is, however, a good opportunity for them to create a better sync platform, so that developers don’t feel the need to use Dropbox as a central storage location for syncing between multiple Macs/iOS devices. This would be much better handled by the OS, and it’s an area where I’d love to see some innovation from Apple.

What do you think? Have your say in the comments, and let me know whether you think Apple has a plan to get into this market!

After opening Skype to have a conversation with a colleague this morning, I discovered that my trusty Logitech headset had completely stopped working. It’s served me well for four or five years, and is always useful to have on hand.

There’s something about using my in-built MacBook microphone that feels sub-par in terms of quality – especially when not using headphones, as you tend to hear quite a bit of feedback.

I also picked up a Samson Studio Condenser mic last year for recording screencasts and podcasting, and am incredibly happy with it. The quality is second to none, and it looks pretty stylish.

I thought it would be interesting in today’s poll to find out what type of microphone you use when on your Mac – whether it’s for chatting with a friend, screencasting, audio production, or gaming. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

Since transitioning to an SSD earlier last year, I’ve become accustomed to dealing with a smaller amount of hard drive space in my MacBook Pro. Moving from 256GB down to 128GB felt like a risky thing to do at the time – the last thing I wanted was the constant headache of a hard drive that’s full to the brim.

The reality is that I absolutely haven’t noticed the decrease in size. I trimmed down my Applications directory, moved all my iMovie content off to an external drive, and started a new photo library in Lightroom (my old Aperture library was becoming an out of control nightmare to manage).

These few changes freed up over 100GB of space and, by being mindful of what I download, save, and store on my internal drive, this space is still more or less completely free.

Downsizing to a smaller drive hasn’t once caused me a problem – I’ve found that when it comes to internal drives, bigger isn’t necessarily better. But would you be happy to sacrifice all those extra gigabytes? Let us know in today’s poll, and share your thoughts in the comments.

I have something of a clutter-free desktop compulsion, and can never bear to have more than a couple of icons on my desktop at any time. There’s something about having icons, folders and files stored away – rather than on display – that offers a simpler and more enjoyable working environment.

But not everyone thinks this way. Every time I log on to my parents’ Mac, I’m greeted to countless swathes of icons cluttering the desktop – from old application volumes, to family photos.

Although this occasionally gives me a nervous OCD twitch, it’s a helpful reminder that what works for me doesn’t necessarily work for everyone.

I’d be interested to hear what you think about desktop clutter. Is it something that you’ll go to great lengths to avoid, or are you perfectly happy with using the desktop as a place to store current files and projects?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

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!

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?

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!

Launching applications is a functional, necessary action that you take every day. Rather than being an exciting process, when it comes to opening an app, the less friction and interaction required the better.

For a long time, Mac users have favoured a dedicated application launcher for doing just this. Although you can store plenty of handy application shortcuts in your Dock, it soon becomes cluttered and difficult to navigate (and it requires the use of your mouse).

For speedy application launching, few options are better than a piece of software such as Quicksilver, LaunchBar or Alfred. For the purists among you, OS X’s built-in search tool – Spotlight – is perfectly adept at this. Just invoke it using Cmd-Space and type the name of the application you’d like to start!

But which do you prefer to use on a daily basis? Or are you perfectly happy with the OS X Dock? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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