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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.

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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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In theory, I love the idea of being able to easily take handwritten notes and have them stored on my computer. I’m going back to school and taking a bunch of math classes, so it would be nice to be able to handwrite equations and insert them in my notes, rather than using a dedicated equation editor. I could try to do the handwritten style notes on my iPad and take regular notes on my computer, merging them after class, but that seems unnecessarily difficult. Unfortunately, I kind of need something that doesn’t seem to exist quite yet, so in the meantime I’ve been exploring various apps to take handwritten notes directly on my computer.

PenJournal was my latest trial – it’s a simple program made to take handwritten notes, primarily using a graphics tablet. You can take notes, draw simple images, import/annotate PDFs and much more. Obviously, using a graphics tablet is not ideal for taking notes in class (my desk in class isn’t big enough for all that), but it’s still a program worth taking a look at. Stick with me after the jump to learn more about the features of PenJournal and how it stacks up to its pricier competitors, and how it works both with and without a tablet.

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Sometimes it’s good to know what’s going on beneath the hood of your Mac. Keeping track of memory and processor usage helps you manage open apps and current tasks, ensuring that your computer never grinds to a halt because you’re doing too much at once.

iStat Menus is one of the more popular apps to help you keep tabs on your Mac, with its advanced monitoring of memory usage, processor usage, network bandwidth, hardware temperatures, and much more. It just got a major new version upgrade, with a slew of new features — including history graphs, calendar events, and an improved interface — so we thought we’d take a look to see how this new release stands up.
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Before the rise of wireless networks, getting online or setting up a network required running a cable to each place that you want to connect your computer. Now, almost every device from computers to phones comes with wireless built in, and in many cases is the only option to get that device onto the network.

Installing a wireless network isn’t always easy. Interference from other nearby networks and electronics can interfere with your signal, a common problem in crowded small apartments. In an office or enterprise, machinery and other system can produce problems. In addition, covering a larger area will often require multiple access points while trying to place them in a way that will adequately cover the entire area using as little equipment as possible.

You can overcome these problems by trial and error, but it’s better to find a program to help you out. NetSpot is just the app for the job. We previously looked at NetSpot on Mac Appstorm, but recently version 2.0 of the software came out adding new features and functionality. How does this version stack up and can it work for the home and enterprise? Let’s see. (more…)

I’m always looking for apps to make things easier and make my workflow run more smoothly. Especially when I’m repeatedly opening the same document or the same website, over and over again, I want to make what I’m doing less of a chore. I stick things on my Dock or in my bookmarks bar, but then I just end up with a lot of clutter. What I need is workflow help that goes unseen until I really need it.

RocketShip may be the app I’ve been looking for. It allows users to create shortcuts to just about anything, including applications and URLs. Instead of clicking an icon in your Dock or on your menubar, you get there by typing a keystroke you created yourself. Can RocketShip save me the time, and most of all the stopping and starting, of switching among applications and websites all day? (more…)

At school the only subjects to truly capture my attention were the sciences. I was always utterly enamoured with space, the not so final-final frontier. Today, many years later, I realise that space is far from a singular topic, but, rather, a subject in a constant state of flux further sub-divided into many schools of thought far beyond my level of comprehension. Such a vast topic can be understandably daunting—especially for young students—but everybody has to start somewhere; somewhere like the solar system.

Solar Walk utilises a fully-explorable 3D model of the solar system to make the subject interactive and informative helping to encourage seedling scientific minds. By introducing new found lovers of space to the fundamental make-up of our celestial home it can help build a solid platform of knowledge that can be used to undertake a deeper, more complex interest in the cosmos. Join me after the break to find out how Solar Walk stacks up!

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