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To be blunt, I’m cheap when it comes to buying software. I often find myself waiting for a sale, looking for a discount code, or putting off a purchase until the next great ‘bundle’ is announced. However, I occasionally see an application for which I’m happy to plunk down my credit card and pay the full price for (because it’s just that good!)

Bento is a personal database for OS X that integrates with other applications on your Mac. It was out for about 38 seconds when I downloaded it to try it out, but I didn’t really see the value in it at first. Over time, however, the ease of use of the application, beautiful interface and included templates drew me in. The new features in version 2 more than earned my $49, giving Bento a permanent place in my applications folder – and recently, a slot on my iPhone screen as well.

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Big air, big mountains, and lots of snow, are some of the things that Shaun White loves. Thanks to Ubisoft, he is happy to share them with us. Shaun has proven time and time again his skills on the slopes and now his red-haired fame has gotten him to make his first attempt at videogames ala Tony Hawk. In Shaun White Snowboarding, Ubisoft has crafted a well-balanced blend of both realistic and arcade styles of gameplay in a free-roam atmosphere. While seemingly a strange mix, the end result gives a rather decent experience – especially if you are an extreme sports fan.

Like many recent extreme sport games you start out as a rookie and work your way up to soon become a glorified champ; don’t get scared of the huge masses of snow though, Shaun has your back at all times. At the very beginning of the game, Shaun becomes your mentor as he pledges to unleash your inner snowboarding beast. To successfully complete Shaun’s course, you must collected several coins scattered across all four mountains, and complete different sets of challenges. Once you’ve tackled those slopes and collected the precious coins, you will face the “Flying Tomato” himself.

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Today I’ll be taking a look at a simple timer application – TimeBoxed. A whole range of advanced time tracking and management software is available for OS X, but you may not necessarily have a need for the complex features offered by these tools.

TimeBoxed offers a remarkably simple solution for ensuring you stick within a time limit for any given task. After entering the desired time, a progress bar illustrates how long you have left to get the job done. The idea is remarkably straight forward, but TimeBoxed impresses on account of the wide variety of notification options available and the polished user experience.

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It’s safe to say that you can never have too many tools. No matter what your trade, you will always be more effective if you have quality tools at your side (as long as your don’t bankrupt yourself in the process). Luckily, if your tools are of the software variety, you don’t even need to find room in the garage to store them.

One example of an incredibly innovative and effective set of tools for designers and web developers on the Mac is xScope. XScope is an app that has a wide array of features, allowing you to layout and measure elements on screen in an incredibly “Mac-Like” way. The seven included tools offer everything from color sampling to pixel spacing, and everything in between.

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SizzlingKeys is a brilliant System Preferences plug-in from Yellow Mug that’s easy to use and allows you to control iTunes from any application without using the mouse at all. SizzlingKeys is free to use, or $5 to go Pro which gives you a few extra features. It also provides you with clean visuals of which songs you are listening to.

This how-to will show you how to set up SizzlingKeys on your Mac, and how to use it to make the most of your music without the hassle of finding your way around iTunes.

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Until recently purchasing a scanner, I commonly found myself taking a digital photo of a document to import it into my Mac. Results were rarely perfect, and I was never completely satisfied with the result. Prizmo is a new application which caught me eye, allowing you to adjust the perspective of a digital photo.

Completely altering the perspective of a photograph is a technically impressive operation, and uses the latest technology in OS X Leopard. This review will outline the features which make Prizmo such an interesting photo manipulation tool.

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Tweetie has long been my iPhone Twitter client of choice, and news of a desktop application being developed certainly caught my attention. Launched today, Tweetie for Mac represents an extension to atebits already popular iPhone client. It’s the first time that an iPhone application has been ported to the desktop with such fanfare, and is certainly worth taking a look at.

The interface takes a slightly different approach to a standard Twitter client, but still feels incredibly natural and easy-to-use. Performance is excellent, the app is free (for an ad-supported version), and it offers a comprehensive set of features. We’ll be taking a look at what’s on offer, and walking you through what Tweetie for Mac is capable of.

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Despite the ever-increasing capacity and speed of Mac computers, there comes a time when everyone needs to find out what is eating away all their disk space. I always enjoy giving my Mac a thorough spring clean, removing all the rubbish which seems to accumulate at an alarming pace.

With spring in the air, there’s never a better time to ruthlessly delete those apps, documents and videos which have built up over the last year. In true AppStorm style, we have a tool which will save you a huge amount of time – Disk Inventory X. It’s completely free, and offers a quick way to generate a visual representation of what, exactly, is consuming all your hard drive space.

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All of us deal with bills in one way or another, whether through running a house, car, family, education, or expensive software obsession. It’s easy to lose track of what needs to be paid, and at what time. Rather than having an elaborate system of sticky notes, Chronicle aims to provide a central resource for storing all your bills and recording payments.

The application is still young with a number of areas for improvement. That said, I’m a fan of the concept, iCal integration, handy reminders, and quirky, original interface.

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Using a computer is often all about events and communication. Changes are always occurring, data is being received, tracks are changing, and news is pushed to you. All of these events occur in a bunch of different applications, and each has a specific way of letting you know that something has happened. It could be a Dock badge, a popup window, or even an audible alert.

The problem with this setup is that, as a user, you’re constantly bombarded with notifications from different areas of your screen, grabbing your attention in different ways. Growl aims to solve this by providing a central system for managing events. It integrates with a huge range of apps to provide a single, simplified way to receive notifications.

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