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Compared to Word and TextEdit, Bean is a happy, open-source alternative. It has more features than TextEdit, though not enough to be a full-fledged word processor. But that’s the point.

Like every good app, Bean has a story. Its creator, James Hoover loved to write. His tool was Microsoft Office X, which started to leave a bad taste in his mouth. Seeking a tool that “Worked like he did,” he began to research what a good writing tool should have, seeking something that worked for him. And now we have the result of that process – Bean.

In this article I’ll go over what’s included in Bean, how it implements the basic features a text editor should have, and determine whether it really is worth using.


The quest for the perfect information store is unending. Many of us long for a single place where we can put everything so that it’s easy to find and work with. Of course you could use various folders in a complex directory structure – I did that for years, nesting folders for months within folders for years within folders for particular areas of interest.

Needless to say, this soon became unworkable! So then I broke down my intricate folders and dumped everything into a single big ‘Archive’ folder, trying to rely on Spotlight to find what I needed. That worked better, but I sometimes found it difficult to track down what I was after.

My system’s gone through a few more transformations since then, and I have tried several different apps along the way. Together is one of the best I’ve used, and it has some features that might make it the ideal solution for many people.


With iFlicks, you can manage your entire video collection through iTunes. iFlicks imports video files of almost any kind (.avi, .mpeg, .mkv, etc), tags them with all the meta data you could wish for and even converts videos into a different file type – but only if necessary!

The days of searching for files across drives and spending hours with conversion processes are finally over. In this review, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at how iFlicks makes managing your digital TV shows easy!


Apple’s System Preferences are fairly extensive, and certainly allow you to quickly alter the most common settings related to your Mac. Though this is perfect for most users, occasionally it becomes necessary to dig a little deeper into your system configuration.

This is where Cocktail comes in. It’s a standalone application that provides all manner of advanced options for you to configure – everything from how the interface of various apps behaves, to adjusting Spotlight, Time Machine, and emptying caches.

We’ll be taking a look at just how powerful this little utility is!


PDFs are in part designed so that they cannot be edited. However, often you may need to change or correct something in a PDF document. PDFpen from SmileOnMyMac is a wonderful tool that lets you do just that.

Though important, the ability to edit text is only a small part of PDFpen’s abilities. This review will investigate what can be achieved using this application; from merging pages to character recognition, as well as what could be improved.


Mekentosj is a delightfully geeky company, specialising in science and research related software. Although they publish a few other applications, they’re best known for Papers, which won an Apple Design Award back in 2007.

The app used to be billed on their website as ‘Your personal library of science’, a subheading I’m pleased to see they’ve changed now to ‘Your personal library of research.’ Previously, it stood a chance of getting stuck in a kind of science-ghetto, where it might seem less interesting to others who would definitely benefit from it.

For researchers and students across all disciplines, writers and journalists, or basically anyone who needs a reliable focus and storehouse for their research, Papers is a great application and has few – if any – real competitors.


Isn’t it annoying when you import photos from your camera and they are all labelled some variation of ‘P1163954.jpg’. With Renamer, you can quickly and easily batch rename all your photos to ‘Car1.jpg’, etc, or even change the file extension. Renamer doesn’t stop there, it has the power to batch rename any type of file. Through a series of Automator like actions, your files can be renamed in a matter of seconds!

Renamer is developed by the team over at creativebe – who have also brought you some other fantastic apps such as iArchiver. The application doesn’t contain any unnecessary ‘frills’ and is excellent at what it does.


DVDs can be a nuisance to carry around. They also scratch, break, or go missing over time. RipIt, from The Little App Factory lets you rip your DVDs to your Mac so that you can watch them at anytime without the DVD inserted in your drive.

RipIt is an application so beautifully simplistic, even your mum would have no problem using it. This review will have a look at why RipIt is better than other apps out there, highlight how the process works, and take a look at what’s missing.


I guess I should start this review off with an admission… when it comes to personal finances, I’m very lazy. So lazy that I never budget and therefore always end up a couple of days before payday with no money. I guess the reason behind this is that setting up a spreadsheet to forecast my financial situation does not appeal to me in the slightest.

However, when Cashculator dropped on my desk this month, I thought I should at least give budgeting a go, if only just to review the software. It turns out that Apparent Software have made a pretty decent little app.


Wouldn’t it be good to organise all your social networks in one window that sits right on your desktop. Socialite combines the power of Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Digg, Google Reader and RSS feeds in one convenient location.

Socialite organises your social networks together so you can easily manage all your services. It also allows you to use most of the functionality of the websites within the application (e.g. Twitter’s new ‘Lists’ feature).


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