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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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I have previously written about DiskInventory, a great solution for discovering the files and programs eating up hard drive space. The main problem with DiskInventory was a lack of development, and I expressed a wish to see a modern solution.

Enter DaisyDisk. Whilst no relation to DiskInventory, DaisyDisk takes the concept of visually displaying your drive and brings it into the 21st Century. With some fantastic interface features and speedy analysis, it’s certainly worth taking a closer look at.

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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.

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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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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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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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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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