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I already have Caffeine installed on my computer and it’s pretty great – no more computer going to sleep while I’m watching a movie or reading a long article. Unfortunately, the problem with Caffeine is that I always (ALWAYS) forget to turn it off. That means sometimes I leave my computer open for hours and it just never goes to sleep. That’s not too good, so I decided I definitely needed to check out an alternative.

I recently heard about this cool new Mac app called Should I Sleep. It does the same type of thing as programs like Caffeine (keeps your computer from going to sleep while you’re using it), but rather than always staying on until you manually turn it off, Should I Sleep uses different sensors to prevent your computer from going to sleep. The sensors do things like detect sound and movement, to make sure your computer stays on where you’re around, but automatically goes to sleep when you leave. It seemed like a pretty novel idea, so I decided to check it out.


There are a lot of ways to extract archive files, but if you want to see what’s inside of them first, you’re options are going to become more limited. And if you want to see inside something like a RAR, the field is going to narrow considerably. There are plenty of ways to do it from a command line, but for those of us who want to preview archives with a GUI, we haven’t had a lot of choice. Now The Archive Browser, successor to the popular extraction application The Unarchiver, let’s you do all of that with just about any archive file you can name. Is this just a rehash of its predecessor app or can The Archive Browser hold its own?


With the new year coming up, Mac AppStorm wants to make sure you get introduced to apps that will make you more productive in 2013. Mind mapping apps just may be the type of tool you need to boost your productivity in the upcoming year. From project management to presentations to brainstorming, mind mapping apps are flexible tools that assist users in storing and processing information of all types.

This review includes two apps that take a more minimalist, simplistic approach to mind mapping—MindNode and SimpleMind—and two apps that take a more power user approach—XMind and NovaMind. Read on to find out which app may best fit your needs.


“I didn’t think Macs got viruses.”

A friend told me that as I helped her clean off a spyware program from her Mac computer last year. While the Mac user has less to fear than a PC user when it comes to the dark side of the Internet, the days when a Mac user could just assume they had nothing to worry about from malware are over. It’s not just viruses causing damage and data loss to be concerned about, but also programs that want to steal your data or personal information. These applications send your info to someone with malicious intent, track what you do and where you go notifying you, and otherwise invade your privacy. Being careful about what you install can do a lot to protect you. Even then, security flaws in software can let software such as the Flashback Trojan that took advantage of a bug in Java to silently install and begin sending your personal information back to remote servers.

It’s just good to see for yourself what’s running on your computer and connecting out. Overall a program that shows you what your computer is doing will help you better understand what’s running and notice when something is amiss. Private Eye from Radio Silence is a free network monitor for the Mac that gives you a real time view into the network connections to and from your computer. Let’s see how well it works and if it can help keep you safe online. (more…)

In 2002, a book entitled Getting Things Done was published by author David Allen, to widespread critical acclaim and quickly began to amass an almost cult following. In it, the author set forth a method for improving the efficiency of work processes by employing time management techniques, task prioritisation, and concentration on the most important tasks. Ten years, and many improved work-flows later, Allen’s theory remains as prevalent as ever, but not necessarily in the state he first imagined.

Despite being the title of Allen’s book, Getting Things Done, or GTD, has since become the byword for any method of improving productivity, regardless of relevance to the author’s original. Allen’s paper-based method has become outdated in the ten years since its publication, and, largely in response to technological advance and the Internet, other more relevant GTD theories have emerged, such as David Sparks’ Paperless.

With the myriad of electronic devices that now dominate many work flows and work places, making distractions easier to come by—ahem, Twitter—new ways of boosting productivity have come about. However, not everybody has time to read, implement, and stick to a special system. So, how do we bridge this impasse? It’s simple: take away the Internet, or at least part of it. Intrigued? Find out more after the break.


I’m just going to lay it out here: I’m a reformed PC-user. I had a lot of PCs for a long time, and though I’ve have my succession of Mac systems longer than I allowed PCs in my home, I do miss some of the customization I could do on a Windows machine. I could fiddle. Sure I got stuff wrong sometimes, but I could eventually fix anything I’d broken too badly.

A Mac doesn’t really give you that option. So many of the really cool settings are locked away from the lay user. Mountain Tweaks draws back the curtain, at last, and is giving all of us, not just Mountain Lion users, maybe the easiest way yet to get at some of the best OS X tweaks. (more…)

I try to automate as much as possible, both in the real world and on my computer, as I find myself staring at my screen for more that ten hours a day. My house lights turn themselves on and off, my outlets power down to save energy, and the files on my MacBook Pro are doing all sorts of things while I’m not looking.

Why, you ask? Because if not, my Downloads folder would take over my hard disk, all of my MP3s would be on my Desktop instead of in iTunes, and my MacBook Pro would be 73% cat gifs. I need something to automatically manage all of my files while I’m doing real work. Sorter is just such an application. It monitors folders for file changes and then takes the actions you want to keep your Mac fighting like a champ. (more…)

Think of a typical task on your to-do list, and I’m sure there’s an app that can help you accomplish it. You’ve got Mac apps designed for a plethora of purposes, each designed to solve or complete different kinds of tasks in a number of unique ways. In fact, there are apps that are made to bring different standalone apps and services together to easily manage and keep track of. Off the top of my head are Words for save-for-later articles, MarsEdit for publishing to different blogging platforms, and Favs for all your social favorites.

For today’s review, I’ll be taking a look at Notesdeck for Mac, a relatively unique app that consolidates all of your iCloud, Dropbox, Simplenote, and Evernote notes into a single dashboard to view, edit, and sync in real time. Developed by Michael Petruzzo of Dark Heartfelt, it’s an app where notes—whichever service or note-taking app used—are editable and available at a click of a button.

With this concept in mind, can Notesdeck assist the everyday note-taking Mac user? How does Notesdeck fair in the productivity circle? Let’s find out.


Back when I worked in quality assurance, good screenshotting applications that did anything more than what you could already do with Command+Shift+3 were few and far between. I ended up pasting together a lot of screenshots, wishing I could just hit a button and capture the whole webpage at one time.

Those days days are over. Web Snapper, with its range of tagging features and ability to snap an entire webpage, is a pretty useful tool to have. Add to that it’s multiple export formats, and is there anything this app can’t do? We’ll find out! (more…)

A few weeks ago the trackpad of my Macbook started acting funny. The bottom right side of it stopped working when being clicked, and since then it’s only gotten worse as the problem seems to be expanding to the rest of the trackpad.

This got me thinking what I would do if all of its clicking functionality eventually stopped working, and that’s how I came across the app that we’re reviewing today. It’s called DwellClick, and it’s a pretty unique app that lets you click and drag without using any buttons in your mouse or trackpad. It’s kind of hard to explain, so let’s get deeper into it!

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