Apptivate is an incredibly useful little app that lives in your menubar and allows you to set keyboard shortcuts to launch applications and scripts.

Today we’ll look at where to get Apptivate and how to set it up. As a bonus, I’ll show you how to create your very own window management application similar to SizeUp using a combination of AppleScript and Apptivate.

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I have tried a number of online backup solutions – among them Mozy, Carbonite, JungleDisk, MobileMe’s iDisk, and CrashPlan. This article is not about those products, but I can tell you that all of them let me down in one way or another.

I hit problems with one of them when disaster struck and I found that I couldn’t actually use my backup files; another was terribly, unusably slow and gave little control over when backups were run; another kept my MacBook’s fan’s running all the time, because the backup app was leaking memory all over the place.

Despite all these disappointments, I do feel that I need an off-site backup (along with my Time Machine and SuperDuper! backups) – it’s an extra line of protection that helps me feel more secure – so I’ve kept looking for a solution that’ll do the best possible job.

For the last few months, I’ve been using Dropbox and, although it’s not expressly designed for the purpose of backup, it just works, and I’ve been very happy with the service. My only complaint is that Dropbox is a little expensive for my needs – after all, I’m only currently using 12% of the 50GB my $10/month buys.

I recently came across Haystack Software’s Arq, and I’m thinking this may be a very good option for keeping online backups running smoothly and seamlessly. Join me after the break for a walkthrough of its features.

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Obviously, the very fact that you’re reading AppStorm makes you a pretty cool customer… But it’s hard to deny that there’s something wonderfully geeky about software. I’d be the first to admit that when I see a shiny new app appear from nowhere, my heart skips a beat. And it takes a certain type of person to get excited about the updated release of an FTP program.

So here’s a roundup for all our fellow geeks! Let’s take a look at a handful of Mac software that lets you tinker, dig a little deeper, and generally appreciate some of the technical aspects of your shiny Apple machine.

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Tumblr has become a wildly popular blogging platform for many reasons. It’s easy enough for beginners to pick up in an instant, and powerful enough to customize to your heart’s content.

The online Tumblr interface is surely not lacking, but some users still prefer the feel of a desktop environment. Today we’ll look at an application designed to help you publish to your Tumblr account on your Mac: myTumblr from MOApp.

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Quick Look posts are paid submissions offering only a brief overview of an app. Vote in the polls below if you think this app is worth an in-depth AppStorm review!

In this Quick Look, we’re highlighting NRGship UPS. The developer describes NRGship UPS as the fastest, easiest way to ship UPS from your Mac and organize all the details of your shipment in one place. NRGship is the only software for the Mac authorized by UPS for rating, shipping and tracking day to day domestic UPS shipments.

Built in importers allow you to quickly bring in address books from UPS Worldship or UPS.com, making it simple to “switch” to the Mac. Read on for more information and screenshots!

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Today we’re going to look at an awesome new hybrid Mac application and web service called CloudApp. It’s completely free, extremely easy to use, and very useful for anyone looking for a better way to share files.

We’ll take a look at the app’s main functionality along with the accompanying web app and rich plugin system.
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Whether you’re a designer, developer, writer – whatever you do – freelancing is becoming an evermore popular choice of working style. Because you don’t necessarily have a team of people working alongside you, great software becomes incredibly important to help you get the job done.

You’ll need applications to help you manage your time, brainstorm new ideas, invoice clients and track finances. The very nature of freelancing means that you encounter a wide range of different challenges and situations every day – these 25 applications are the ones I swear by to help get the job done.

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Quick Look posts are paid submissions offering only a brief overview of an app. Vote in the polls below if you think this app is worth an in-depth AppStorm review!

In this Quick Look, we’re highlighting Busy Bee Invoicing. The developer describes Busy Bee Invoicing as a great tool to simplify your invoicing. Busy Bee Invoicing is ideal for small businesses and contractors, and lets you quickly create professional invoices and quotes.

It is fairly inexpensive, with no monthly fees – once you purchase a full license you will automatically receive all future updates free. Read on for more information and screenshots!

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You don’t need this app. There are good guides available on the Apple website to help you get the best performance and extend the life of your Mac laptop’s battery. You can even download from that page an iCal file that will add periodic reminders to your calendar, so that you’re more likely to remember to calibrate your battery. Follow that advice, and respond to the reminders, and you and your computer’s battery will be fine.

I’m on the second battery in my MacBook (which is coming up to its fourth birthday this week). Apparently it’s in quite good health at the moment, though it’s lost 18% of its capacity. You see, I’m not so good at remembering to calibrate it, and because I tend to use it all over the house, it’s constantly being plugged and unplugged, and is drained completely on most days. I’m not so hot on looking after batteries…

And so, though I know I don’t need it, I think Watts is well worth having. Read on for an introduction to this little app that could make it easier for you to look after your laptop’s battery.

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As a student, I am well versed in the world of handwritten notes. Just like many of you out there, when taking notes you tend to miss what the professor, speaker, or person of interest is saying, as you’re concentrating on what you are writing.

What if you could combine someone’s lecture with your typed notes? When you’re reviewing, you can match your notes with their speech. Pear Note from Useful Fruit Software does just this – recording audio/video from your Mac and keeping it in time with your written notes and even presentation slides.

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