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My desk has become a sea of paper. Drawers and drawers filled with old reports, warranty guides, receipts, and papers whose origin I haven’t the slightest idea about. I’ve never really considered trying to scan and catalog my physical world, converting it to a digital one.

I guess that is why I was taken aback when asked to review Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software like ABBYY FineReader. I never really thought I’d be able to organize everything in any of my drawers. But after looking at the different scanned-file organization and OCR options, I may yet find a way to search through the mess…

After the jump, I’ll explain what exactly OCR is, and walk you through a number of different solutions available for the Mac!

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Corkboard is the future of copy and pasting on Macs. It provides a simple and elegant way to manage all the data you put in your clipboard. You can drag photos, text, links and more to the application’s menu bar, and it will be securely stored until you need to use it.

This review will give you an in depth look at one of the most powerful clipboard managers available for the Mac. Read on to find out just how amazing this $10 application is, and how it can change the way you copy and paste!

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Happy birthday, OpenOffice. Believe it or not, it’s been ten years since the mighty “other” productivity suite—the open-source uncle of Microsoft’s ‘Monopoloffice’—began the slow fight for recognition. How far we’ve come.

Of course, it’s been slightly less than ten years for us Mac folks, but in any case the milestone merits a re-evaluation of this streamlined suite of apps, especially in light of Microsoft’s recent release of Office 2011 for OS X.

At the end of the day, the question has always been whether or not OpenOffice is able to sufficiently replace Microsoft Office. Has it reached this stage today? Read on to find out…

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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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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple years I’m guessing you’ve heard of Last.fm. On the off chance you haven’t, I’ll give you a quick high-flying overview. It’s a music streaming service (similar to Pandora or Spotify) that goes a little further to make listening to music a real experience and exploration.

Last.fm is a web app, and through their website you are able to access all the features of the streaming service. The website is great, a lot of fun to explore and the only way to really get into Last.fm. But there are times when you don’t want to open another web page just to listen to some music.

SweetFM is an application that functions using the Last.fm stream service without using a browser. Let’s take a look and see how it performs!

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With the release of iTunes 10, many people suddenly realised that iTunes really wasn’t that great, and might be starting to suffer from a major case of feature bloat. The interface is starting to become messy and hard to navigate, the icon is atrocious, and Ping just clutters everything up further.

But if your main priority remains to simply listen to music, what alternatives do you have?

Songbird will do everything you want your music player to do, and more. The Songbird developers realised that you don’t want an app to handle most of your media needs, you want an app which handles all of your music needs.

But how does it stack up against iTunes, and is it really a viable alternative? Read on to find out…

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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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Satellite radio has come a long way since its creation many years ago, and now the two main companies – Sirius and XM – have merged to become Sirius/XM Satellite Radio. There are many ways to get this content in your car or home, but getting it on a Mac can be problematic.

Fortunately, there’s Pulsar, an application by Rogue Amoeba that makes streaming satellite radio to your Mac easy. Once you’ve made the switch to Pulsar, you’ll never want to listen to satellite radio on your Mac any other way again.

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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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Anyone who works extensively with diagrams will be hard-pressed to find a more full-featured application than OmniGraffle. It packs all the functions anyone needs to create attractive and professional charts, graphs and diagrams.

But how about those of us with less formal diagramming needs? How does OmniGraffle work for us? We’ll be exploring this question today as we uncover the power of this mainstay of the Mac environment.

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