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Wouldn’t you love to have a dashboard for your Mac, similar to the one in your car that alerts you if anything seems likely to malfunction? CheckUp is exactly that. From your hard drive to your OS installation, CheckUp will keep watch for anything that’s wrong with your Mac, and tell you how to fix it.

Today we’ll go into detail with every aspect of this application, and assess whether it’s a worthwhile purchase to keep your Mac running in tip-top shape.

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For years, the mind mapping software market has been perceptually dominated by FreeMind. I say perceptually, because it seems more people have been recommending it than actually using it. Despite its ubiquity on free software alternatives lists, FreeMind is an awkward fit in the OS X environment. It’s cross platform, which often means “looks sub par everywhere”. It’s Java based, so performance is unpredictable.

And, most importantly, it’s not MindManager.

MindManager was never born as a FreeMind alternative. It’s existed on Windows since 1994, and on OS X since 2006. This is mind mapping with a totally native interface, and a novel idea for system integration. Let’s see how it performs.

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Mail.app is fabulous, fast, and dependable for every-day email communication needs. But now that many of us use Gmail for personal and professional use instead of an IMAP or POP account, Mail isn’t necessarily the perfect solution any more. A lot of Gmail’s productivity-enhancing features aren’t available on the desktop.

This isn’t just the case with Mail, but a lot of email clients lag behind when embracing Gmail. How awesome would it be to have a native Gmail client that goes above and beyond the competition? Read on to find out how close the newest Mac Gmail client, Sparrow, comes to fulfilling your dreams of email nirvana.

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I believe in preparing for the uneventful. Because if you’re not, technology can be unforgiving. Hardware failure or human carelessness can easily cause you to lose files that are important to you. Even while writing this article, I managed to rid myself of the screenshots I had just gathered!

That instant, when you realize you’ve lost something dear, is absolutely horrifying. And yet everyone – yes, every single one of you – makes these kind of mistakes.

You throw away an old folder without checking its contents, or prematurely decide you won’t be needing a certain file anymore. That’s why you should consider using an application like Disk Drill; to protect you against yourself and the fancies of technology.

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Have you ever thought that there just has to be an easier way for interacting with the web? How about not having to type the same information into forms repeatedly, or just logging into a website with one single click instead of half a dozen?

With Fake, an app by the developer of the widely popular Fluid, you can finally automate your web-based workflow to save you lots of time and unnecessary clicks. Intrigued? Then read on after the jump.

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The market for task management apps seems to be one of the most active of all. There are so many variations on this theme that it’s very easy to end up spending more time on finding, setting up, and tweaking your tools than you do on actually getting things done.

It also seems that the quality of such apps is also steadily improving, as new contenders build on the success of older, more established tools, or learn from their errors or exclusions.

Today we’re considering Firetask for Mac, which promises to combine aspects of David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology with more traditional systems using due dates and priorities to manage your task list.

Join us after the jump for a walkthrough of Firetask’s main features…

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Although Macs don’t come with much of the bloatware suffered by PC users, they do come with a few apps (and associated data) that most users don’t need. The problem is, they hog up hard drive space – often a problem when you also have mammoth video files and thousands of jpegs all fighting for space.

There are many utilities on the market that can help with this problem, but Contents looks aims to approach it from a different – and cheaper – angle than most. Better yet, it also includes some excellent utilities, making it a great value for the money.

So what makes Contents different from the competition? Let’s find out.

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I don’t think any AppStorm reader would disagree with me on this: you would be crazy not to back up your Mac. Whether you use Time Machine or a complicated NAS with off-site redundancy, it is vital that you make sure data loss isn’t a possibility.

While many people find the default Mac OS X backup features to provide all the features they find necessary, some users – including myself – don’t enjoy the large downtime involved when recovering from a Time Machine backup (which, if you haven’t done before, can take hours!) Restoring a single file is easy, restoring a full computer isn’t the fastest thing in the world.

Today we’re going to be taking a look at a utility called SmartBackup to see how this handy little app can make backing up easy!

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With any computer, there are often some personal preferences in the way you work that make you think, “Wouldn’t it be great if only I could work differently in this one area.”

That, presumably, is what the developer of Switché thought about switching between applications. This inspired him to build a piece of software focused on enhancing and adding greater flexibility to the Command–Tab application switching method built into Mac OS X.

Switché introduces greater control to application switching and also presents a stylish Cover Flow view of the applications your computer is running. This review will show the immediate visual impact of using Switché, and also introduce the range of preferences that let you customize it to meet your particular needs.

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