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One thing I try to keep on my Mac is a clean and organized desktop. Sometimes when working on larger projects I let it slip and never really get around to cleaning it up like I should. Eventually, when I do get up the courage to try and organize all of the files into folders and subfolders, I find myself wondering where I put that one file I need at that moment and wishing I would have just left everything as it was.

DeskShade from MacRabbit is an application that allows you to cover up all of that clutter with a background image of your choice. It also allows you to require a password to unlock the computer and get back to the main desktop so you can see and use all of that clutter again while preventing others from beating you to it.


Your Mac can be the center of your life, with all of your pictures, music, movies, and more stored inside. What would happen if you Mac was stolen? Would it even be possible to get it back?

This is where Undercover from Orbicule steps in. This application hides deep inside your Mac and waits until your the computer gets listed as stolen. If the Mac goes back online, it will tell Orbicule’s headquarters it’s IP address, which can be used to find the computer’s location.

This review will take an in-depth look at Undercover, explain how tracking works, and also outline a few other solutions available.


Whether you’re an expert cinematographer or passionate about Lost, most Mac users find themselves needing to convert video between formats from time-to-time. I used to swear by an app called VisualHub, but the developer has unfortunately now stopped work on the project.

In late 2008, an older DVD ripping application – HandBrake – was given a new lease of life. It is no longer limited to purely archiving DVDs, but can now open and convert between practically any type of video source.

This review will take a look at how HandBrake works, give an overview of what the application is capable of, and highlight how it can be used to better managing your video library.


If you regularly work on website design or development, there’s a good change that you encounter MySQL from time-to-time. It’s a widely popular database system, often coupled with the infamous phpMyAdmin as a visual administration system. For many years, I longed for a better alternative to this clunky, visually dated front-end to MySQL.

Recently, my prayers have been answered in the form of Querious, a native Mac application for managing your MySQL database right from the desktop. This review will take an in-depth look at what Querious has to offer, and how it can make managing a database far more enjoyable.


To be completely truthful, anyone can use some extra help when it comes to learning a new subject. The study process can often involve late nights, sitting in front of a ridiculously heavy textbook, and a tall can of your favorite energy drink.

Cram is a simple and easy-to-use study and testing tool that can be your go-to study buddy when you room mate is out partying. By simply entering a set of questions and answers into the application once, Cram will help you review for the upcoming exam with flash-cards. Afterwards, take a practice test, apply the knowledge, and see how much you have remembered.


There’s no shortage of task and to-do list managers for the Mac and iPhone, but today I’ll be looking at one which takes a slightly different approach. Put Things Off is a new iPhone application from Spiffing Apps with a beautiful interface and simple goal.

Rather than offering a huge array of scheduling and grouping features, each to-do has three simple options: Today, Put Off, or Done. This review will take a look at the design, basic functionality, and also show a few competing iPhone apps which may be of interest.


Of all the web apps that threaten to replace their desktop brethren, Gmail is the grandaddy of them all. A web-based email app that has enough functionality to compete with the likes of Apple’s Mail or Mozilla’s Thunderbird, Gmail is used by many people around the world as their primary email service. But if you’re like me, sometimes you really wish it had some of the features common to its desktop counterparts, like the ability to drag and drop images into a message, or integration with Address Book.

Mailplane steps in to bridge the gap, bringing the functionality of your desktop mail applications to the comfort and familiarity of Gmail.


Following your favorite website doesn’t require checking it every hour or two for new stories. RSS readers provide one-stop websites, or applications, that gather all the posts from your favorite blogs or news portals. Several great applications exist for the Mac for organizing your RSS feeds, from Apple’s own Mail, to NewsFire, NetNewsWire and the web based Google Reader.

All of these applications (or web sites) are similar, displaying the unread stories in your feed like an e-mail inbox. However, Times provides an entirely different reading experience. Using your favorite websites, or the great set of default RSS feeds, Times formulates a digital newspaper, providing a more natural reading experience.


With the availability of all-in-one development apps such as Coda and Espresso, a dedicated FTP program is beginning to seem like a fairly archaic way to access remote data. ExpanDrive offers a modern solution to FTP access by integrating seamlessly with the OS X Finder. Once connected, you can modify files from any application as if using a local USB drive.

After using ExpanDrive for a few weeks I can safely say that I won’t be returning to any other system. It works completely as advertised and performance is impressive. This review will take a look at how ExpanDrive works, and suggest a few changes you may need to make before migrating to it fully.


We’re fairly fortunate as Mac users to run an operating system which clean up after itself. I have never needed to re-format an OS X installation for a speed boost, but that doesn’t mean that we’re free from unnecessary files and caches taking up drive space.

CleanMyMac is an OS X utility that helps to keep your Mac clean and healthy. It’s capable of freeing up space through slimming Universal Binaries, removing unnecessary language files, deleting old caches and logs, and various other miscellaneous files. This review will put CleanMyMac through it’s paces and assess whether it offers a good spring cleaning solution.


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