“Tinker, v.: attempt to repair or improve something in a casual or desultory way, often to no useful effect.”

If I could get back just some of the time that I have spent tinkering with computers over the years, I think I might be able to extend my lifetime quite significantly. One of the great things about OS X is that it actually requires little tinkering (and yes, some systems do require quite a lot of it!).

If you simply hand over control to the operating system, things will generally run quite smoothly. This does, though, also mean giving up on some choice, and so some freedom.

There are many apps available that help you to change various aspects of your Mac’s appearance and the way it generally runs. One of the best, and widest known, is Marcel Bresink’s TinkerTool. Join us after the jump as we explore what this app can do for you.

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We’ve collected the top five reviews, roundups and how-to articles from across the AppStorm network in July. 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!

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Apple made a controversial change in Snow Leopard. It’s a fairly system-level one, though, so perhaps the majority of users will not have had any issues with it – but it’s made some experienced Mac users pretty unhappy. What’s changed is the way in which files open when double-clicked.

It used to be that OS X embedded what’s known as a Creator Code in new files, so that the system knew to open files within the applications that made them. Rob Griffiths published a discussion of this behaviour, and the changes in Snow Leopard, in Macworld back in September last year. Have a read of that piece, and the lengthy comments that accompany it, if you want to understand the issue better.

I haven’t been impacted by this change to a great degree, but one of the applications that comes up in discussion of ways of fixing the change, and giving back more control over what applications open files, caught my eye. Michel Fortin’s Magic Launch is a Preference Pane that lets you manipulate file-opening in ways that allow you a great deal of flexibility.

It solves the problem of Creator Codes being removed, but it also adds some excellent functionality, and that means it’s well worth a look even if you’re untroubled by the main issue it addresses.

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If you’re a developer, you’ve probably come across a few snippet managers before. If you haven’t prepare to have your life become a whole lot easier.

For those that are familiar with the idea of saving small sections of code, you’ll definitely want to check out Snippets, an amazing snippet manager that will be an instant must-have for anyone looking to improve or build a personal code database. Below we’ll go over what Snippets is and how to use it to improve your workflow. Then we’ll discuss how it performed during our review process and whether or not you’ll be able to find a decent free alternative. Let’s get started!

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We’ve taken a look at the various different screenshot apps for OS X previously, but I’d like to focus on one in particular today. Skitch is a combination of a desktop application and web service that makes capturing and sharing screenshots fun.

As well as all the functionality you’d expect from a traditional screenshot app (or OS X itself), you can annotate your captured image, easily drag out the result, or publish it to your Skitch.com page in a few simple steps. Read on to find out how the application works, and whether it’s for you!

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So you just unboxed that shiny new Mac, fired it up and heard the glorious chime. Now what? It can be a little bit overwhelming to start from scratch and build a library of useful applications but we’re to help!

Today we’ll take a look at 50 awesome apps that are perfect for new OS X users switching over from a PC. As I’m sure your new Mac has cleaned out your savings, I tried to focus on primarily free apps. There are a few thrown in that will cost you but the vast majority won’t set you back a single cent. I’ve seen a lot of users ask for more screenshots lately so we’ve piled them into this roundup!

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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 order a slot through BuySellAds.

You could also consider a Quick Look submission, an easy way to showcase your app to all our readers.

MacKeeper – What can MacKeeper do for you? It’s an app that will keep your Mac clean, foolproof, secured, fast, reliable and attended!

CleanMyMac – CleanMyMac represents a sophisticated all-in-one-suite utility that helps keep your Mac clean and healthy.

Billings – Billings’ simple workflow and intuitive interface makes quoting, invoicing, and time tracking effortless.

MiniBooks – A handy iPhone app from FreshBooks that lets you track your time and invoice your clients while you’re away from your computer.

Daylite Touch – Daylite Touch is a business productivity manager for the iPhone and iPod touch, winner of a 2009 Macworld Best of Show award, designed as a companion to Daylite on the Mac.

Hidden – The FBI reports that 97% of stolen computers are never recovered. hidden will provide you with the information you need to help you recover your stolen computer. Don’t let them get away with it.

App4Mac – Makers of several different Mac applications, including CheckUp, SecretBox, Sequence, Projector, FlexTeam, and Delegate!

iPad Max – 4Media iPad Max for Mac is a must-have tool for Apple iPad and Mac fans to help them backup and transfer movies and audios from iPad to Mac, from Mac to iPad, and from iPad to iTunes.

Transcriva – Transcriva is transcription software for the Mac. Whether it’s your meeting minutes, interviews, lectures, home movies, dictation, speeches, or your favorite TV show, Transcriva can help you transcribe them all. You do the typing, Transcriva takes care of the rest.

VoteBundle – A new concept in the Mac software bundle, VoteBundle lets you decide which applications to include in the final offer!

ImTOO Video Convertor – Looking to convert all your media files on your Mac to just about any format you fancy? Look no further than ImTOO Video Converter for Mac. This versatile Mac video converter can convert between nearly all HD/SD format videos.

Winners Announced

We’re pleased to announce that the five Compartments winners have been chosen. Congratulations are in order to:

  1. OTaillon
  2. Francisco Graciani
  3. djflippy
  4. Atanas Kirjakovski
  5. Mike Douglas

Discount Code

I’m also pleased to let you know that we’ve been given a discount code for Compartments. If you didn’t win, don’t worry!

Just use the code THANKYOUFIN at checkout, and it will take $6 off the price of Compartments (making the total price only $8.95).

Old Giveaway

After recently reviewing LittleFin’s latest app – Compartments – I’m pleased to let you know that we have five full licenses to give away! Compartments is a “home inventory app”, built to help catalog and track any and all of your worldly belongings, from software licenses, to furniture, to your brand new car.

LittleFin offer “free upgrades for life”, so you’ll be sure to benefit from any future additions with your free license code as well!

To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post answering the following question: If you could win any Mac application, which one would it be?

I look forward to seeing what you come up with, and wish you all the best in the competition. We’ll be randomly selecting the five winners in one week, on Thursday, 5th August. Thanks for reading AppStorm!

Despite Apple having done a great job of streamlining the process of app switching on OS X, it’s easy to reach a point where having many applications open can become a jumbled mess. Making sense of a maddening scene full of application windows, open folders and several documents can make it difficult to get anything done.

Spaces was Apple’s answer to the chaos, but for those that don’t find it deep or intuitive enough, Many Tricks’ Witch may provide a way out. This is an app that promises to do a better job than Spaces, Expose and Command-Tab ever could in making switching through any open window elegantly easy.

And since Witch installs into System Preferences, the level of customization is pretty high, which can be a bonus for those looking to have maximum control of what’s open and where. Let’s take a look at how it works!

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