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Time’s a very limited resource, and most of us are looking for ways to share extra minutes off our work whenever we can. Whether it’s with a text-expanding app, a web app, or a snippet library, there’s tons of ways software can speed you up, and it’s always great to find new ways to make your computer help you save time.

More often than not, though, these solutions are all over the place, and while they offer a speedy way to get the results you want, they aren’t very intuitive. For example, there are plenty of web apps out there that allow you to get CSS3 gradients, but in order to get exactly what you want, some require you to edit the code after you’ve mess around with its interface. So, wouldn’t it be cool if you could do it all from one application that you are already using? Wouldn’t it be cool to get almost-perfect results?

Of course it would. That’s why we were excited about CSS Hat. CSS Hat is not an app or a web app, but rather a Photoshop extension that’ll help you concentrate in your code and design rather than worry about vendor prefixes and RGBA vs HEX or the like. We don’t usually review Photoshop extensions, but since many of our readers use Photoshop and need an easier way to make CSS on their Macs, we thought you’d enjoy seeing our thoughts on our review copy of CSS Hat. (more…)

I’m a huge news junkie. I run multiple RSS apps on my Mac, including Pulp and Reeder, each for different sets of RSS feeds that I subscribe to. In those rare moments that I get to step out of the office, whether I’m standing in line at the deli down the street or riding a bus downtown to meet up with my brother for lunch, I’m usually on my phone checking even more news feeds. Simply put, I drink heartily from the fountain of information that the Internet provides.

I recently stumbled across a somewhat unique RSS aggregator, and I wanted to show it to you today. Retickr is an app that lets you put together custom playlists of news feeds and display the top stories from them as a scrolling ticker on your screen. The idea is relatively novel and the execution is unique, but does Retickr have what it takes to become an arterial channel of information?

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The smartphone revolution has made it extremely simple to document our life, every step of the way. In a lot of ways, it’s a good thing. Thanks to the crystal clear lenses in our pockets, we can forever capture cherishable moments not only as pictures, but also as videos with impeccable resolution (at least compared to what we’d have used a decade ago).

Over these years, a ton of apps and services have come up to help people organize their digital media. Managing images has never been easier, and from Picasa to iPhoto, there are so many nifty apps to help deal with our mountain of images. But what about all the shaky, blurry and perhaps the random good enough videos? That’s what Clipstart is for.

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If you work regularly with an editing program of any sort – be it Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, Avid, or other advanced programs – chances are good that you understand how truly important your personal preference files are. From keyboard shortcuts to import/export presets to installed plugins, preference files can incorporate a lot in a good editing program. In fact, without the proper preference files in place, an experienced editor’s productivity can completely disappear.

This brings me to the focus of the article – why it is important to always backup your preference files. If you are a serious editor, you probably already know why you should backup the files, and you might even be doing it already. If you don’t yet understand why you should backup the files or simply want to learn an easy way to backup the files with a convenient, free program called Preference Manager, then read on after the jump.

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Wouldn’t it be great if Apple released an app that we could use to customize the look of the operating system? Just imagine that for a bit. Think of how you’d tailor your experience. Think of the abundance of different themes that people would post on the internet for everyone else to use. Hey, think about how many roundups we would write up!

Sadly for us, the ability to theme our system’s interface has never been an easy or flawless task. Sure, we had Manifique and a few apps like it, but now they are gone. That’s why icon customizers are still interesting, since tweaking icons is one of the best ways you can still tweak your Mac experience.

iCondubber is dubbed as the “definitive icon/theme manager”, and while it probably isn’t the “definitive” icon manager, it is without a doubt a helpful and useful tool. Let’s take a look, and see if it’s worth trying out. (more…)

It’s a huge pain having to constantly juggle multiple windows and apps to get the information I need to reference for the task at hand. Whether on a tiny MacBook Air or a spacious two-monitor desktop setup, I often have to rapidly switch from text editor to App Store to any of a dozen browser tabs while I work on an article.

With ScreenFloat those days are now largely behind me, as I can float screenshots of the pertinent information atop other windows. It’s easy to use, surprisingly versatile, and a huge time saver. And it lives right in my menubar (although there’s also an option to show the Dock icon instead, if you’re out of menubar space).
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Many of us have been using Mint’s web app to manage our finances online for years now. It even makes it easy to keep up with our spending on the go with full-featured mobile apps. But until recently, Mint hasn’t had a presence on the Mac.

All that’s changed with Mint QuickView, Mint’s first time out on the Mac App Store. A lot of what’s inside is going to look familiar, but there’s enough that’s new here to really make it a useful addition to the Mint family of financial tools. (more…)

Small business owners often need all the help they can get when it comes to running and managing their business. Keeping track of employee data is vital, but can often be overlooked and mismanaged. HR programs are useful as they allow business owners to keep track of everything from salaries and qualifications to absence data and training programs all in one handy piece of software.

Employment:app is a nice little HR management app designed for small to medium sized businesses and at first glance looks to pack a large punch in a small package. There are lots of competitors in the HR software market, so let’s see how it holds its own. Read on for my thoughts.

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While recently reviewing Justnotes, a minimal Simplenote client for Mac, I remembered that I still had some data stored in Notes for iOS. Those notes have been around since iOS 4 and sync with email accounts that are set up on the device. However, Apple has now added a native Notes app in Mountain Lion. It syncs with iCloud and will one day be available on the web version of this celestial service as well.

Hopping back and forth between the two note services, I wondered which one I should keep around for daily use. While Apple’s solution does well for basic noting, it’s not the best app out there for more advanced users that avail features like Markdown formatting. On the other hand, iCloud Notes does have well designed native apps, the area that Simplenote falls short in with third-party clients similar to the aforementioned Justnotes. In the end, which one wins me as a steady user? The two services go head-to-head after the break. (more…)

Remember when iCal didn’t look like it had been designed by a fifth grader learning to use KidPix? The only other decision I’ve ever seen Apple make that was so universally panned as the iCal redesign was Ping, but at least you could just turn that off. Whether your aversion towards iCal is due to its tacky design or its cumbersome method of inputting events, you fortunately have no shortage of alternatives when it comes to scheduling your day.

Of course, buried beneath the eye sores is one redeeming quality: iCloud syncing. Many alternative calendars for OS X and iOS still integrate with iCal in order to utilize that syncing power. SmartDay by Left Coast Logic lets you interact with your calendar and to-do lists from the menubar, while adding a few neat features. This isn’t a new concept, so making it an appealing option for Mac users means it needs to introduce some innovative features.

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