Slowly but surely, awareness about backing up computer data is on the rise. Much of this attention toward backup comes from the recent crop of cloud based storage solutions. The problem with these online storage options is the unavailability of options to backup data over your own network or external drive. There’s also the time it takes to download data from remote servers when you need to restore.

Twin bridges that gap. Nowadays—especially if you’re a freelancer—there is a very high probability of having a web server for running your own website/blog, so why pay an additional monthly subscription for storage?

And in the case of small and medium businesses, there’s likely to be a network storage device or a bunch of RAID servers to use for your backup.

After the break, let us take look how Twin can help us back up data efficiently within our existing storage infrastructure.

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Ever wanted to turn your Mac into a security camera, to snap a few pictures of what’s going on in your home when you’re away? Or how about a timelapse recorder? Periscope is a very clever application from Freeverse which utilizes your Mac’s built in camera and mic to automatically detect when to take the right photos.

Alongside some very cool motion detection, Periscope also has the ability to save and even upload the photos to a whole bunch of different places immediately after snapping them. Read on to find out more.

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When Steve Jobs gave a preview of the new version of OS X, he talked at length about the idea of bringing what they’d learned through iOS “Back to the Mac”. Unsurprisingly, sweating the details of one of the best mobile interfaces in the industry has given Apple a great deal of insight and experience that can be applied to OS X.

This concept excites some people, and disturbs others. Although I love my iPad, do I want the same experience on the desktop? Or is this platform still better suited for more intricate, complex interface design?

Although iPhoto ’11 started to hint at how this transition may play out, it still felt very much like a traditional desktop app. I couldn’t really see how bringing iOS interface elements and functionality to the desktop would lead to an overall better experience.

Until this week.

Having spent two days using the Reeder for Mac beta, I’m completely blown away by how well—when executed to perfection—this amalgamation of iOS and OS X can work.

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We’ve collected the top five reviews, roundups and how-to articles from across the AppStorm network in November. Whether you’re interested in Mac, iPhone, or Web apps, there’s bound to be something you didn’t spot over the course of the month. Now would be a good time to explore a part of the AppStorm Network you’ve never seen before!

Thanks for reading AppStorm, and I hope you have a great month in December. We have some fantastic news in store for you over the coming weeks, so stay tuned to find out more… If you don’t already follow the general @appstorm Twitter account, I’d recommend doing so!

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Let’s be honest, there has been a flurry of activity in the task manager/list space over the last couple years. For better or worse, there seems to be an endless stream of such apps making their way to the market. Some are very complicated and almost do too much, while others are incredibly simple and cover just the basics.

Hub List is a very new piece of software that has just made an entry into this cramped space, falling very much into the latter category of a super-simple task manager. A “super early adopter beta” version has been released recently.

Beta versions—let alone “super early adopter” beta versions—can be pretty buggy, but I’ve been playing around with the software for a few days, so read on to get my first take!

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In today’s interview, I’m talking to Andrew Pepperrell, the developer behind one of my favourite applications of the year—Alfred. This is a fantastic application launcher, and seems to keep growing and expanding every month. It’s certainly been developed with care and attention to detail!

Andrew has taken a few minutes out of his busy day to answer our questions, talk about how Alfred is developed, share his thoughts on the latest Apple developments, and even drop a few hints about what to expect in future versions…

I hope you enjoy the interview!

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There are lots of repetitive tasks that people do every day, and sometimes it can get a little bit monotonous. Uploading a file to an FTP site, installing a new application, or copying files to a folder buried deep in your system can all be annoying. After doing it for the one hundredth time, you may decide that it would be nice to have some way to do these tasks without the hassle.

Dropzone does all this and more, all via the dock. Once the program is set up, it’s just a case of dragging a file to the Dock icon, then dropping it into the correct “action”. Sounds easy, right? Well it is, and there’s so much more to it than just drag and drop…

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We’d like to say a big thank you to this month’s Mac.AppStorm sponsors, and the great software they create! If you’re interested in advertising, you can purchase a banner advertisement through BuySellAds, or sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot.

Thank you to the fantastic applications we had sponsoring each week during the month, all of which we personally recommend you download and try out!

  • CleanMyMac – A great tool for keeping your Mac in tip-top shape that packs an impressive functionality punch for the price. I run CleanMyMac every couple of months, and it always manages to free up several gigabytes of unnecessary data.
  • Billings Pro – The basic version of Billings is perfect for freelancers and small companies – but if you run a larger organisation, it’s definitely worth taking a look at Billings Pro. This advanced version offers powerful time tracking, synchronization between different computers, and the ability to review and approve invoices. It’s a powerful beast.
  • Radium – A lightweight internet radio player with a wonderfully retro icon! Radium allows you to listen to thousands of radio stations from around the world, right from your OS X menu bar. It’s simple, functional, and an absolutely fantastic way to listen to the radio on your Mac.
  • TextExpander – If you regularly find yourself typing the same piece of text over and over again, TextExpander could be a real life-saver. It’s a simple way to store a library of regularly used text snippets, and easily recall them using a pre-defined keyword. We also have an exclusive discount code (APPSTORMTE) for AppStorm readers, good for 20% off until the 5th December.

Thanks for reading AppStorm this month, and for checking out the software that our sponsors create. I really appreciate it.

I’m looking forward to all the exciting things we have planned for next month. It’s going to be a pretty amazing end to the year, so stay tuned!

Apple’s retail operation has been a huge success for the company, with over 300 stores worldwide, across 11 different countries. Rather than a dry retail experience, everything in an Apple Store is carefully thought about—right down to the type of wood used for the counters.

The model of “Come to shop. Return to learn.” works well, instilling a sense of creativity and education into an otherwise very commercial experience. Although the primary aim of an Apple store is obviously to sell Apple products, the commitment to having creative specialists and dedicated trainers is something rarely found elsewhere.

I have a couple of Apple Stores close by in Manchester, but have been finding that over the years they are becoming far more crowded, all the time. What used to be a fantastic browsing experience is now akin to fighting your way to the front of a packed concert venue.

Are you finding the same thing? And how often do you visit an Apple Store nearby? I’d be interested to know whether you still find it a great place to check out the latest Apple gadgets, or if the ever-increasing crowds make visiting more of a necessity than a pleasure.

Your Mac already comes loaded with three functional calculators: the actual application “Calculator”, the Dashboard calculator and the Spotlight calculator (try typing an mathematical operation into Spotlight to see what I mean). However, all three of these lack certain advanced functionality that you may need.

In this roundup we’ll go through some of the best third party widgets and applications that give you greater calculation power on your Mac, as well as a handful that are great for converting all manner of different values.

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