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Creative pursuits are getting easier and easier to go after these days, especially ones involving technology. For a long time, expensive software with steep learning curves has been prohibitive for newcomers to the world of digital creativity. Animation has long been a field affected by such problems – software from companies like Autodesk and Adobe runs hundreds if not thousands of dollars. This is certainly not something the amateur animator is going to be excited to invest in.

Luckily, a number of developers over the past couple of years have put out some great software for amateur animators. These programs allow you to make simple animations, stop-motion videos, time lapses and much more. The apps I’ve included are all under the $50 benchmark, with many available for $10 or less. Stick with me after the jump to learn about the great variety of software available for the home animator.

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This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on September 9th, 2011

As you would expect from the editor of a Mac blog, I’m a complete app addict. I have random applications for everything from cataloguing recipes to counting characters in a TextEdit document. Some of these I use on a daily basis, but many of them admittedly sit and collect dust in my Applications folder.

This article is an attempt to narrow down my absolute bare essentials. What three things do I think are fundamentally lacking in OS X and would need to be installed on any machine that I use for more than a few hours, regardless of what I’m doing? Which apps genuinely save me a considerable amount of time in my daily routine? Let’s take a look!

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Over the past year, I’ve really upped my freelance work. That means I’m spending my time on my personal computer, rather than a work computer that I can’t customize. As such, I’ve been moving away from relying completely on web apps, and begun to explore more apps made for my mac.

One thing that I’ve been looking for was an app that would allow me to access my calendar without loading up a dedicated calendar app or using the Google Calendar web app. When I started searching for the perfect app, I knew I wanted a menu bar app, even if I didn’t know exactly what functionality I needed. I found and tried a ton of different applications. I chose three plus a bonus app to share with you, so stick with me after the jump to find the perfect menu bar calendar app to fit your needs.

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Developers build all the cool tools we use to stay productive and entertained on our Mac and other devices, but it turns out, they need good tools themselves. One of the reasons Macs make such great development platforms are all the great development apps in the App Store and ready for download directly from around the net.

Here’s 30 of the best tools for developers, some of which you might already be using and others you might have just have heard of in passing. Even if you’re not a developer, be sure to give the roundup a look, as there’s a lot of productivity apps in here that just might appeal to you too!

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In the summer of 2009 I began working on my Master’s degree part time. In addition to my degree I also work full time and keep up with other activities (such as writing for this site) all while trying to have some semblance of a life. In December I should complete my Capstone project and graduate.

It’s taken a lot of careful management of time and more importantly energy to keep moving to this point. When I moved to a MacBook as my primary computer last summer, I had to redo my workflow and evaluate the best tools to keep up with my courses. Here I’m going to look at a few of the tools that I’ve used to keep my notes, organize my assignments, complete assignment, and work on my thesis project. (more…)

Like many other people in these busy, modern times, I find myself constantly making lists. Things to do, places to go, people to see … And it just never stops! The lists go on forever and I can’t reach the end. Quite frankly, it causes me a great deal of stress and sometimes I just need to stop thinking about the lists. When I reach that point, I often need some help to successfully relax.

Luckily for me, there are a ton of apps out there for the Mac that can really help you to relax. In this roundup, I’ve included some of my favorites. I have selected some apps with instructions for relaxation and meditation, apps to remind you to relax and even a few games that can be quite relaxing. Stick with me after the jump to learn about some of the many relaxation apps that I’ve chosen to include.

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Kids love to use computers. That’s a fact. Even babies love to press buttons and see things happen. I completely believe that once a child is ready, they should be given access to a computer with quality “grown-up” software and the ability to really utilize the computer with less restrictions. Until they reach that age, however, you probably need some sort of solution to prevent your child from completely screwing up your computer.

Luckily, a number of apps exist that are great to include in the user account for your children. This roundup includes child-friendly browsers, games for learning and for fun and even apps to create digital content. Stick with me after the jump to learn more about some of the most popular apps out there for kids.

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This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on August 2nd, 2011.

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about text-to-speech in OSX, and one commenter suggested I check out Repeat After Me, a text-to-speech utility hidden in the Developer folder.

While checking it out, I discovered that the Developer folder holds a stash of useful applications and utilities I’d never heard of before. I’ve found some real gems while digging through Developer Tools, including some utilities that I now use on a regular basis. Let’s go hunting for burried treasure!

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If you frequent the AppStorm sites, you know that we love apps. We love writing with them, designing with them, coding with them, and so much more. Our prime directive is to share our love of apps with you. In this occasion, however, we will support our love for apps and design by giving you a sweet roundup of some of the most amazing templates for your video projects.

If you are currently working on a summer-themed wedding video, or a simple intro for a business, this list should help you if you need a refreshing touch of summer on your projects. You can use these files with Final Cut, iMovie, Adobe Premiere, After Effects, or whatever you use to edit your videos.

Let’s not keep you waiting and let’s check out these fantastic files from VideoHive, AudioJungle, and GraphicRiver, marketplaces run by our parent company, Envato.

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Math can pose difficulties for even the most brilliant among us. Complicated equations, complex graphs, or even just troubles adding fractions can cause trouble and frustration for anyone trying to conquer math. If you find yourself or someone that you know struggling with math, rest assured. There are a number of apps that can help to ease the worries of a tough math problem or class.

All ages can find an app to help them. I have included in this collection a number of apps for a variety of ages and subjects. There’s apps here for everything from complex graphing to statistics to simple multiplication problems. Stick with me to learn about some of the many applications available to help you ace that nagging math class you are struggling with, along with a few bonus apps at the end.

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