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The Apple experience is pretty slick, but one thing that frustrates many users is the Finder. Although it gets the job done, it hasn’t evolved a great deal in recent years and is missing a few widely-requested features.

As an integral part of OS X, the aptly named ‘Finder’ is used to find, move and delete files, install applications and even preview files – but all of this activity leaves us with a lot of windows open. Sure, you can keep pressing ‘cmd + w’ until they’ve all gone, or you can download TotalFinder.

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Burning files to CD or DVD, although gradually becoming an outdated practice, is still a necessary function for many people. Mac OS X comes bundled with some basic disc writing capabilities in iTunes and the Finder, however these options do not give you full control over some of the finer details of burning to optical media

Today I’ll be reviewing the free, open-source burning application (aptly named) Burn. Although keeping things simple on the surface, Burn packs quite a bit of useful power and custom functionality under the hood.

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That little green ‘zoom’ button at the top of windows in Mac OS X has always puzzled me; it almost never seems to do what I want it to, and so I generally leave it alone. There are, however, some great applications out there which strive to make window management quick, easy and predictable.

One such app is Cinch from Irradiated Software which lets you instantly position and adjust the size of any window with a drag of the mouse. This review will have a look at what Cinch has to offer, as well as some other great apps.

We’ll also be showing you a quick video demonstration of just how Cinch works!

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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!

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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.

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It’s happened to all of us. You’re working on a document in Pages, a spreadsheet in Excel, or a masterpiece in Photoshop, and you completely forget to save. Suddenly the power cuts out, the application crashes, or someone closes your document without saving, and all of your hard work has vanished without a trace.

Just as I finished typing the paragraph above, Pages automatically saved itself. This is not a feature included with iWork, but the wonder of a new application from Tool Force Software called ForeverSave. This work of genius automatically saves and backs up all documents in applications you ask it to. This review will take a look at what this app lets you do, along with a few limitations.

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It’s nice to be able to memorize multiple lines of code, and I applaud you if you’re able to do so. For others like me, though, remembering every different snippet of code can be a challenge. You could always refer to your 300-page programming book, but that’s a lengthy process to repeat on a regular basis.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a library of your most important code snippets always available on your Mac? If the answer is yes, Code Collector Pro could be a good solution. In this article, we are going to take a detailed look at Code Collector Pro and it’s companion web application, codecollector.net.

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Google Quick Search Box is the next step in the evolution of Google Desktop: it goes a step beyond simply letting you search the files on your computer to provide an integrated tool that lets you take a variety of actions from a launch bar. It’s designed in part by Nicholas Jitkoff, one of the original developers of Quicksilver.

The biggest advancement with Google Quick Search Box is the ability to perform actions on your search results. Where once you could only find files from Google Desktop, you can now launch files, email them as attachments, and move them to the trash just as easily.

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Even with Finder’s Cover Flow view option, organizing your applications, files and creating smart collections isn’t the easiest thing to do. However, with an application called Berokyo this can be done in a simple and stylish way.

Berokyo lets you add files, smart collections and applications into “cabinets”. Along with providing a way to organize your desktop, it allows you to quickly launch your applications, open documents, and personalize each “cabinet” to your liking.

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If you use iCal to manage appointments and to-do items, you’ll already be enjoying access to them on your Mac, iPod and (in all likelihood) through some form of online service. Calendar data is easily accessible and can be viewed from a range of different locations.

iDeskCal doesn’t stray too far away from home, displaying a list of any upcoming appointments and to-do items right on your desktop. It’s possible to gain a quick overview of your schedule without needing to open iCal at all. This review will outline the functionality of iDeskCal, along with how to customize it to your heart’s content.

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