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I teach high-school students in a one-room schoolhouse in the state of Vermont. I am not an English teacher, science teacher, home-economics teacher, or history teacher; instead, I am a generalist. I teach my students a little bit of everything, and for the really hard stuff, the students work with outside mentors. But of all the things I don’t teach, the one subject I really don’t teach is math. When it comes to math, my skills and knowledge simply don’t add up.

That’s why I wanted to play a game called DragonBox+. Advertised as a “revolutionary math game” for learning basic algebra, DragonBox (I hoped) would help me brush up my skills while also giving me a tool to use with my students. Of course, with high-school students (especially most of my students), any hint of “math” turns them off. If DragonBox does what it says it can do, then maybe my students can get tricked into learning algebra. That’s something I had to try.

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ScreenFlow 4, the most recent version of the premier Mac screencasting application by Telestream, landed yesterday. We were given a look at it last week in advance of its official release and have the review for you hot off the press!

Read on to see how ScreenFlow 4‘s feature improvements, such as improved production features and Retina capabilities, stack up and whether it’s worth the hefty price tag.

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It’s easy to get lost among all the new content that we are around everyday. Throughout the day I usually find through many different ways (Twitter, RSS and what not) tons of articles and blog posts that I would like to read, but can’t do so right then and there. That’s why apps like Instapaper, Pocket and Readability exist, so that you can save articles for later without getting them lost in the sea of content out there.

But having an account with each of these services can get pretty confusing, and even if you only use one of them, using it in your browser is not always convenient. Today we’re reviewing Words, an app that can help you access and keep those articles that you bookmark, directly in your Mac. It’s especially interesting now, as it’s the only way to read Instapaper offline on your Mac now that the former Read Later app has been turned into the new Pocket for Mac. And, we’ve got 8 free copies for our readers to try it out, so keep reading!
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We’ve written before about the proliferation of apps that only do one thing, and do it very well. There’s something to be said for simplistic, minimalist tools that you bust out only when you need them, plow through the task, and close them again with blinding efficiency. One of the categories of apps that I find this to be the most true is graphics and design apps. Tools like Photoshop and Illustrator have ruled supreme as workhorse, Swiss Army Knife-style apps for some time, but innovative and well-designed apps are popping up all over that aim to replace single functions from these apps, and they often do it better than the larger programs.

Today we’re going to take a look at Spectrum, which is a beautifully designed app from developer Eigenlogik. Its designed to make it simple to create color palattes in a simple, beautiful interface. Put on your creative hat, and let’s dig in to find out more about how Spectrum works.

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Ever find yourself thinking of the games that you played years ago, perhaps on your first computer? They were simple by today’s standards, with low-res graphics and insanely low system requirements, but the captivated us and inspired many of us to learn to program. The GOG (Good Old Games) team has been working to bring back the magic of classic gaming to modern computers, rereleasing titles that were originally released 15 or more years ago.

After starting out supporting games on Windows, GOG just recently added Mac support to a number of their top games. Let’s take a look at how GOG games run on the Mac, and take one of my old favorites – SimCity 2000 – for a spin in Mountain Lion.

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To say the universe is big would be a gross understatement, so the idea of creating an app that lets people explore outer space must be hugely intimidating. Solar System simulator Cosmographia tackles the subject on a limited scale, by focusing on just the stuff in our galaxy. It has 3D models and star maps, great visual effects, and everything is built from real scientific data.

Cosmographia is akin to a beginner’s guide to the Solar System, and insofar as that it’s an impressive app — well presented and pretty to look at, with no assumptions of prior knowledge. But it doesn’t go deep enough, and you’re likely to leave wanting more.

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It’s very frustrating to take what you think is a great photo only to find it’s blurry when viewed later. Blur can result from poor focus, focusing on an object other than the one intended, or motion. In poor light the camera shutter often must stay open longer to allow in more light and it’s easy to move your hand resulting in a blurred image. Normally after seeing a blurry photo you’d have no alternative but to trash the photo.

On TV shows, there always seems to be a magic “fix photo” button that is used whenever a character needs fix a blurry image that magically restore it to perfect clarity. In real life, there is no magic button. But, there are some programs that can restore some clarity to images, and Blurity is one of the best. It will take a blurry image and in a few clicks produce a photo with recovered detail and far less blur. Let’s see how well it works.

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Poor OS X. It doesn’t have Siri, even though it does have Siri’s voice detection. It doesn’t support any Minority Report-style gestures like Microsoft’s Kinect, even though it does have great touchpad gestures. It’s filled with great features, just none of those headline-grabbing features that make it look like something from the future.

It’s the App Store to the rescue again, this time with a little free menubar app named Flutter. It promises to bring some Kinect-style gestures to your Mac’s music apps, so you can walk up to your Mac, motion to start the music playing, and silence all the doubters saying that OS X isn’t the cool kid anymore.

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This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on July 7th, 2011.

The Finder and I go way back: from my family’s ’96 Performa to my MacBook Pro, I’ve used it to navigate my Mac for well over a decade. Since the initial transition from OS 9 to OS 10, I would argue that the way we use the Finder has changed very little, and a lot of what has changed is purely aesthetic. Though I now have the option to browse through my files with Cover Flow or create smart folders, I still use the Finder in pretty much the same way as I did 10 years ago.

I’ve been very disappointed to see that the Finder hasn’t seen any major improvements in recent versions of OS X, but that doesn’t mean 3rd party developers aren’t hard at work to continue where Apple has left off. Cocoatech’s Path Finder has been around for quite some time and ambitiously tries to replace the Finder altogether to create a more modern, usable means of navigating your computer. Find out if Path Finder successfully replaces the ubiquitous Finder after the jump!
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In today’s day and age where mobility is essential, we’ve seen a huge proliferation of increasingly smaller laptops, led by the MacBook Air’s success. With smaller laptops come smaller screens. While this is great for mobility it does come with a cost. Screen real-estate!

Not everybody is fortunate enough to work on a big beautiful 27″ iMac or a shiny new Retina MacBook Pro (I know I’m not). Most, whether by choice or necessity, work on small screens, and more often than we realize find ourselves jugling windows around or Alt-Tabbing between them.

Thanks to SnappyApp, a delightfully simple app that’s proven to be oh so useful, this has mostly become a thing of the past for me. Read on to find out why.
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