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When Time Machine was released with Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) back in October 2007, it was one of the highlights of the new release. Apple was the first company to offer a fully-functioning, built in backup utility into their operating system and in true Mac-style, they pumped it full of eye candy. Well, only Apple could take a simple system utility and transform it into a work of art.

Although Time Machine is good for recovering files if anything does happen to your Mac, it is a bit basic in its functionality. You do not have the option to schedule backups depending on when you want them – when your external hard disk drive is plugged in (or the device you are backing up to), Time Machine will simply sync any changed files and folders hourly.

For the average user, this won’t cause too much of a problem, but for someone who uses their Mac for high-end software or gaming, the backup can slow down the performance of your Mac. Time Machine also isn’t a true backup option per se, as it does not create disk images (unlike other programs), where you can restore your Mac in the case of a drastic failure.

This is where ChronoSync comes in. At $40, it is quite a pricey alternative to Time Machine (which is bundled in with Mac OS X 10.5 and above) and some might question paying this amount for a piece of software which is pretty much identical to something they get for free anyway. I decided though to download the 30-day trial version of ChronoSync to give it a test run and to see whether it is really a viable (or better) alternative to Time Machine.


I’m a sucker for notebooks. Paper or digital it doesn’t matter. I’ve got a stack of Moleskines right next to my Field Notes notebooks. And you don’t even want to know how many different journaling-type applications I have on my MacBook. Most of these digital notebooks don’t try to mimic a “real” notebook. The few applications that do try to look and feel like a paper notebook have always failed in that regard (though they often have other redeeming qualities).

But along comes Per Se, the new digital journal from Sprouted Software. It’s the first application that actually feels like a three-dimensional, paper journal. Too good to be true? Let’s take a closer look.


Instagram is a widely popular, but unusual, app. It has had a huge success on the iPhone, continually improving over the past few years, but you can’t really browse your pictures or view your profile if you are away from your iOS device. The support for desktop and web versions of Instagram is pretty much non-existent from the developer.

Fortunately, the API of the service is open to any developer who wants to take advantage of it. This gives people a chance to build on the huge community behind Instagram, and make it easy to browse images from locations other than the iPhone app. Today we’ll be reviewing Instadesk – an app that aims to do just that!


It is a rare but welcome occasion when an app is developed to do something I’ve always wanted an app to do. Fantastical is precisely that app. Often, when adding an event to iCal, getting frustrated with date and time fields, and giving up on adding any details but the name, I’ve pondered “shouldn’t there be another way?”

The developers of Fantastical have endeavoured to answer this plea with a menu-bar iCal tie-in promising the ability to quickly add events in natural language.

Upon further research, I learned that Fantastical wasn’t the first app to offer such a handy feature, apps like the cheaper QuickCal promise the same features. So, is Fantastical fantastic enough to justify the price?


I’ll be honest: the past 18 years of school have made me a forgetful, disorganized, unmotivated procrastinator. Since I like shiny, pretty interfaces and putting off doing work, I’ve spent a lot of time looking into various GTD and to-do list apps. During the school year, I used a full-featured GTD app (Things) to track and organize dozens of readings, assignments and exams.

However, now that school’s out and I’m freelancing a lot more, Things is starting to seem a bit excessive, and I’m still waiting on the promised iPhone cloud-sync. Enter SpeedTask, the iPhone-turned-Mac to-do list app that promises clever, easy-to-use features and powerful cloud sync.

SpeedTask deserves to be looked at from three different angles: as a Mac app, as an iPhone app, and as a cloud-syncing solution, so we’ll discuss each feature one at a time.


“Fast” and “Mac” are words that get used together pretty frequently. Macs, in comparison to Windows computers, don’t tend to slow down over time – at least not in a noticeable way. But there are things that might prevent your Mac from running quite as fast as it did when it was new, and developers know this.

That’s why there are a lot of apps that can help you “clean” your computer and get rid of logs, files, and caches that you don’t need and that are only using up your memory. The app that we are reviewing today is called MacCleanse, and it claims to let you find and delete these useless files to make your computer fast again. But does it deliver, and how does it compare to similar solutions?


Let’s face it, passwords are a hassle. Everyone advises against using the same ones over and over again, but it’s just so very convenient only having to memorize a couple of them. Recently, a lot of apps have come out that promise to get rid of this problem by helping you remember all of your passwords, but most of them aren’t very convenient to use.

The app that we are reviewing today, Concealer, isn’t very different from the competition, but it does add a few unique features. Check them out after the jump!


If you’re anything like me, your downloads folder is a huge mess of disorganized PDFs, Word documents, Keynote presentations and text files with uninformative names like form.doc and scan0111.pdf.

To clean up this mess, Ironic Software developed Yep, promising iPhoto/iTunes-like management for your documents

I’m a die-hard Alfred fan, and when I’m being good and giving my documents appropriate names, it’s a huge help. However, when I’m downloading and reading dozens of documents on a short deadline, all my good habits go out the window with my to-do list.

Yep claims to be the document organizer for the lazy and forgetful among us, find out if it delivers after the jump!


Although there are tens of different solutions you can appeal to for handling your day-to-day GTD routine, the one corner of the market that has seen less attention is the student subset. Although workarounds can be accomplished with all the major task management systems out there, it’s clearly preferable to have a solution that is dedicated to managing your education specifically.

This is the void that iStudiez Pro aims to fill. Available on the iPhone since April of 2009, this powerful app has recently made its way to the Mac App Store, and following the recent 1.01 update we wanted to take a look and see how well it’s made the transition to the desktop!


Tinderbox from Eastgate Systems, Inc. is an information management application notorious for its long, steep learning curve. Almost any review you read will hammer that fact to the point that many people are sure it’s beyond their ability to master. This is going to be a review for them, actually for us — because I was one of them.

I won’t deny that Tinderbox can be challenging. I’ve been using it for two years and still feel like a babe in the woods. But the message I want to convey with this review is that Tinderbox can be remarkably useful even if you never venture too far into its more advanced features. To shift metaphors, if Tinderbox is a swimming pool, this review is about the fun you can have even if you just splash around in the shallow end. So let’s jump in.


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