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Roundups

Whether you are at school, work, or home, locking your screen can help you keep your apps, documents, personal information, and passwords safe from unwanted intrusions. You can rather quickly lock your Mac screen by pressing Ctrl+Shift+eject (or power on newer MacBooks), but that’ll only turn off your screen and then let you see the login screen when you tap a key.

Today, we will look at Lock Screen Plus, a screen locking application that looks amazing when in use. But, is spending money for a feature your Mac already has worth it, even if the Mac’s implementation is basic? Let’s find out! (more…)

I tend to use my Mac’s desktop as a place to dump the files I’m currently working with, and as a writer and app reviewer, that means I’ve got a dozen or more screenshots and markdown files on my desktop at any given time. It works, but gets a bit messy, and while it makes it easy to drag-and-drop images into articles when I’m working in a normal sized window, it’s not so simple when I’m writing in full-screen mode.

Unclutter is a neat new app from the people behind DaisyDisk that aims to solve this this problem. It’s a rather useful little tool once you’re used to using it, enough that I kept it around even though I didn’t anticipate using it much when I first tried it out.

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Did you know your MacBook Pro has a motion sensor? The hardware in your Mac – no matter which Mac you own – has some great features that you might have not even ever realized. We keep coming across fun apps that show some of the more unique ways you can use your Mac’s hardware, so we decided to put them together in a roundup.

Before we start though, we would like to point out that there are a couple handy articles throughout this roundup. These articles will help you enhance and customize the way you use some hardware features on your Mac. The rest of the roundup is filled with fun and useful apps that can make your Mac even more useful. With that, let’s begin!

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I’m a die-hard fan of Gmail’s web service. I just can’t get myself to work with Mail.app, I’m not used to it and I’d much rather take advantage of Gmail’s labels and filters directly from their web mail. Still, there are a few things that I like about Mail.app, like the notifications for new messages.

Some time ago, I had a menu bar Gmail notifier that solved this problem and worked wonderfully called Notify. Eventually it stopped working and the developer ceased developing it. I started searching for a similar app, but I couldn’t find anything worthwhile. Well, it’s been a while since then and some new alternatives have come out that I’ve found just as good if not better than Notify. Want to check them out?
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When you spend most of your work day in front of a Mac’s screen, you develop a system for being productive. Fortunately, there is an abundance of apps available for OS X that fill very specific needs and help keep you and your computer running efficiently. Some of the utilities that I use on a daily basis are rather expensive, such as 1Password.

However, I use dozens of utilities as part of my workflow that cost five bucks or less. Here are some of my favorites.

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A lot of us are going to make New Year’s resolutions this year, but most of us are going to find it hard to keep them. Whether we fall back into bad habits or don’t really commit to our resolutions in the first place, a lot of us end up feeling pretty disappointed in ourselves and more than a little disenchanted with the whole New Year’s resolution process.

But just like every year, the start of 2013 is a clean slate, a chance to start over. If you haven’t managed to keep your New Year’s resolutions in the past, you’re not alone, but with some help 2013 may be the year you succeed. We’ve gathered together some great apps to keep you on the path to resolution success, and with some planning and a bit of work on your part, 2013 may be the start of a whole new you.

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With content being distributed nowadays through many ways like Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, and the rest of the sea of social networks, RSS has become kind of unnecessarily complicated. I don’t know about you, but I don’t really feel compelled anymore to open my RSS reader just to find dozens of new items that I will eventually see throughout the day in another place like my Twitter timeline.

However, there’s still a few sites out there that I don’t want to miss out on. That’s how I came across a few simple RSS notifiers that work with the Notification Center to give you almost immediate updates through RSS, without the need of using a big reader app like Reeder or NetNewsWire. I’ve put together some of them here, want to check them out?

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If you’re like me, you should have noticed that Mac screens are really bright. This is especially obvious on my early–2007 iMac where, even during the day, I set the screen brightness to the minimum. Since I’m already at the minimum, at night, it is definitely too much bright.

Staring in front of a computer screen that bright is a bad thing for your sleep. OS X provides a built-in but often underused way to adapt your monitor, called the Night Vision Mode: simply press Cmd-Option-Ctrl-8 to invert screen colors. If you’d like to experience more subtle ways to manipulate your screen brightness, read on to find out some clever apps.

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GeekTool is a small, yet remarkably powerful application that some neglect because of it’s steep learning curve. Thankfully for uniquely useful apps like GeekTool, there is always a community of users that make the app even better — and in this case simpler.

From basic to exceedingly complex, the following is an assortment of very useful, powerful and fun Geeklets and scripts that can help you get started with GeekTool. From weather, power consumption and productiveness to social, music and Internet, there are plenty of great Geeklets to try and enjoy. Just remember not to use too many Geeklets at once; your RAM will thank you.

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FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, is the standard way of transferring files between your computer and your server, whether it be shared or dedicated. One of the nice things about FTP is the fact that you can view and edit the entire file structure of your website or file server remotely, without ever touching your server. In order to do this, you’ll need an FTP client. FTP clients allow you to connect your Mac to your remote server via the Internet.

While FTP clients are pretty basic applications, they’re not all created equally. Some feature different price-tags, feature lists and other important differences. There’s a number of well known paid FTP apps for the Mac, but what if you just want to upload a couple files and don’t want to spend a ton to do it? That’s why we’ve thrown together a list of the best free FTP clients for Mac OS X. At the end of the article, we’ll also show you a few paid alternatives which are sure to fit the needs of the power user, if you outgrown the free FTP options.

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