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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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Financially uncertain times require that we become better stewards of the money and resources that we have. Many who feel this way are looking toward technology to help them fill the gap. Financial software for the Mac is nothing new and there are many good options available like Chronicle and iBank. Moneybag is on version 1.0.1 and is hoping to take its competition head on.

Moneybag is a new personal finance app for OS X that allows you to monitor your spending, budget, and set goals. The app sells for $59.99 and is on version 1.0.1. The developer bills Moneybag as “the world’s simplest and best financial software.” To put that claim to the test, we will also compare Moneybag to iBank 4 in our review. Is Moneybag the best? Read on and lets find out!

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We’ve shown you a fair share of distraction-free writing apps before, everything from markdown editing apps to other more intricate apps that can get you writing a novel by playing sounds and placing images to get you in a creative mood. However, today we’re going to show you an even simpler and cheaper alternative to all the other apps we’ve showcased before.

It’s called Imagine. Instead of just imagining how it’d be to write with, let’s take a look at it and see how it holds up to the competition.
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The critically-acclaimed iPhone task manager Clear just came to the Mac earlier this month. Even though it received a lot of great support from reviewers across the Internet, users responded harshly to this release. Some claimed that it “doesn’t live up to its hype”, others that it was merely a start, and some went so far as to bash every living feature of its being. For the price, can you get more? Jimmy Do, developer of Mochi, thinks so.

Do introduced the app in August, put it on sale for 99 cents last month, and then updated it with printing and bug fixes and raised the price back to normal. In other words, it’s been around for a few months and the developer cares about updating it — two good signs. Mochi takes the same simple approach as clear, only with a bit more detail in the areas that count. It’s not to be considered a competitor to the colorful task manager, but rather an alternative. Does it live up to such expectations? (more…)

Looking for the best way to make static HTML sites on your Mac? Hit the nail on the head with Hammer – the newest addition to the web developer/designer’s (devigner’s?) toolbelt. Hammer is a brand new auto-build tool from Riot intended to make a developer’s life easier by speeding up the design-code-test loop. It speeds up your process of converting CoffeeScript to Javascript and SASS/SCSS to CSS, while keeping the build folder clean of trash and various dependencies.

Join us as we hammer our way through a demo of this App Store newcomer and show its features in all their glory. We’ve got two copies to giveaway to our readers as well, so keep reading to get your chance to enter.

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Two years ago, when I reviewed Curio 6.4, I described the application as a “workshop for your creative projects.” Today I’m going to take a long look at the just released Curio 8. According to Curio’s developer, George Browning of Zengobi, the new version is “the most ambitious Curio release since its inception ten years ago.” Does Curio 8 live up to this billing? Is it a major improvement? Should you upgrade? I hope to provide those answers for you, as well as giving you an orientation to the new version that will help you better evaluate it for yourself.

Those not familiar with Curio should begin by reading my earlier review, because I’m not going to repeat the basic introduction to Curio that is provided in that article. With over 40 improvements, there is plenty to say just about the changes in version 8.

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With the advent of the shift to a Paperless world, OCR has gained even greater importance. It’s the often overlooked detail that you may take for granted. That is of course until you try and search a PDF you scanned and realize it’s just an embedded image. Chances are that you may already have a good document scanner that does OCR. If, however, you don’t, then Prizmo 2 may just be what the doctor ordered.

Now I could just say that Prizmo does OCR with style, but the truth is that it does so much more. Read on after the break to find out what I mean. (more…)

If you often find yourself running out of disk space, you may find yourself in somewhat of a pickle. While you could opt to upgrade your hard drive or SSD, that can be expensive, not to mention you actually have to wait for the drive to arrive. So, if you need to free up some disk space quickly, what can you do? Simple: you can grab a file compression app from the Mac App Store.

Since the Mac App Store is a big place, when searching for a file compression app, you may be overwelmed with choices. And as someone who has tried quite a few of these apps, I can assure you that some of them don’t work that well. Don’t let that scare you away from the whole compression category of apps though, as today we’re reviewing MoreSpace, a popular compression app which just recently hit the App Store for a mere $1.99. So, with such an attractive price-tag, does MoreSpace work? You’re about to find out! (more…)

One source of frustration for Mac users, especially those switching over from Windows, is the inability to switch between windows of an application using command + tab. Fortunately, many developers have come to the rescue offering solutions that allow for switching between open applications and windows within the same app using a keyboard shortcut.

One such application is Optimal Layout . But to think of Optimal Layout as just an application switcher would be a serious understatement of this app’s capabilities. It’s more of an application / window switcher plus all-around window manager. This app has become indispensable for me in my daily computing. It is set to open at login and seems so natural to OS X that in my mind its functions should be standard in in the OS. Read on to find out why this app fits so well into daily computing on OS X.

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Not too long ago, we reviewed Parallels Desktop 7 and deemed it to be a great app for all those needing to run alternate operating systems on their Macs. Now the team behind Parallels has release a new version of their flagship app and we decided to take a renewed look to see if they managed to improve on an already excellent product.

Join us as we discover some of the improvements and tweaks Parallels Desktop 8 has to offer and work around the few snags we found along the way.
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