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.
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.
A huge range of websites seem to offer weather information, though until now there has been a fairly limited range of integration with desktop apps (other than through Dashboard). The idea of integrating a weather forecast with iCal is one which seems obvious, but has only recently been introduced in the form of WeatherCal.
WeatherCal is a $10 System Preferences app which adds a five day weather forecast into iCal for cities of your choice. Forecasts appear as all day events, and are easy to sync with your iPhone or iPod Touch. This review will provide an overview of WeatherCal as well as a couple of solutions which provide very similar functionality for free.
We’ve recently looked at a few screenshot tools, along with a range of screen recording applications. A recent addition to this area of software which caught my eye is Layers, a screenshot utility which records all your screen content in a layered Photoshop file.
Layers is actually quite an advanced application, with a whole bunch of different preferences and options for changing what is recorded and how the file is produced. This review will take a look at what’s on offer, and investigate how useful this functionality actually is.
Suffering from data loss and crashing applications is, thankfully, a fairly uncommon occurrence on a Mac – but it still happens. There’s nothing more aggravating than losing a few hours of work, simply because you forgot to hit the save button. It happens to even the most proficient computer – we all suffer from “Untitled Document Syndrome” from time to time.
One new application aiming to combat our reluctance to save documents is EverSave, a free menu bar tool which can automatically save your open documents after a set time interval, or when switching between applications. The idea is a simple one, but could save you a real headache when you accidentally close an application without thinking. This review will provide an overview of EverSave, the various options and settings available, and a few areas which need further development.
With the introduction of Spotlight and system wide smart folders, Apple took a big step forward in making your local files far easier to search and organize. Many complementary tools exist to help tag and label files, and Fresh is a new app which provides a simple way to display and interact with the most recently added/edited files on your Mac.
Fresh takes the form of a floating interface, showing a graphical list of recent files. You’re able to drag and drop a file from Fresh to anywhere in your system, double click a file to continue working with it, or store files in the ‘Cooler’, a virtual space for making regularly edited files easily accessible. This review will outline the main features of Fresh and show you how to download the app for free (usually $9).
I’ve always been a fan of running multiple monitors with my Mac, and firmly believe that extra screen estate can have a huge impact on increased productivity and reduced clutter. Extending your desktop is fairly straight forward with OS X, and providing you own a compatible display it’s easy to connect to a laptop or desktop machine.
However, there are a number of scenarios where adding a new monitor isn’t possible; extending to another machine screen (e.g. an old iMac or laptop), extending to a Windows computer, or running more than one additional monitor from a laptop. ScreenRecycler is a great little app which can extend your desktop over the network to any old computer and monitor, regardless of whether it’s running OS X or Windows. This review will outline the features of ScreenRecycler and explain how it works.
There are a number of different screenshot utilities for OS X, but none with the functionality and style offered by LittleSnapper. Produced by the developers behind RapidWeaver, LittleSnapper provides a tool for capturing inspirational websites or any area of your screen. It’s simple to organize hundreds of screenshots, exporting to a variety of different formats for use elsewhere. Innovative vector editing functionality allows you to annotate and edit screenshots through an incredibly simple interface.
If you regularly feel inspired when browsing the web, LittleSnapper is one way to keep track of all the information you come across. This review will delve into the application, outline the different features on offer, and provide a handy tip for keeping your inspiration in sync between multiple computers.