Mekentosj is a delightfully geeky company, specialising in science and research related software. Although they publish a few other applications, they’re best known for Papers, which won an Apple Design Award back in 2007.

The app used to be billed on their website as ‘Your personal library of science’, a subheading I’m pleased to see they’ve changed now to ‘Your personal library of research.’ Previously, it stood a chance of getting stuck in a kind of science-ghetto, where it might seem less interesting to others who would definitely benefit from it.

For researchers and students across all disciplines, writers and journalists, or basically anyone who needs a reliable focus and storehouse for their research, Papers is a great application and has few – if any – real competitors.

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We all have reasons for importing our DVDs onto our Mac. Whether it is to preserve the movie if the original DVD gets scratched, or to have the ability to carry your movie collection in a digital format. For the duration of this tutorial I will be using my Ice Age DVD (a great movie by the way!)

This step by step guide will teach you how to use the power of HandBrake to rip your DVD’s so that they show up in iTunes, as well as on your iPod/iPhone device!

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Everyone has an inherent fascination with desktop wallpapers. Operating system developers spend a long time shipping the perfect set with a new OS release, even commissioning photographers to shoot suitable, vivid images.

We’ve certainly covered wallpapers in the past – rounding up gorgeous Mac wallpapers, a selection of iPhone backgrounds, and even running our own wallpaper competition. Today we’re looking at 7 different places to find your own wallpaper inspiration. Hopefully you’ll find something you like!

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Isn’t it annoying when you import photos from your camera and they are all labelled some variation of ‘P1163954.jpg’. With Renamer, you can quickly and easily batch rename all your photos to ‘Car1.jpg’, etc, or even change the file extension. Renamer doesn’t stop there, it has the power to batch rename any type of file. Through a series of Automator like actions, your files can be renamed in a matter of seconds!

Renamer is developed by the team over at creativebe – who have also brought you some other fantastic apps such as iArchiver. The application doesn’t contain any unnecessary ‘frills’ and is excellent at what it does.

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If you’re a designer, working with colour is a daily task. Sometimes it can be a real pleasure, but on other occasions a piece of software to help would be much appreciated! Last week we reviewed ColorSchemer Studio 2, a great app for coming up with effective and professional color combinations.

I’m pleased to announce that we have three full licenses to give away to a few lucky readers. Entering is really simple – all you need to do is leave a comment, letting us know which feature in ColorSchemer 2 is your favourite. To find out what’s included in the new version, just head over to the ColorSchemer website and take a look at the range of features on offer.

Best of luck, and we’ll be announcing the winners on Monday 18th January!

We’ve done something a little special for our 50th comic, with a quadruple length bumper issue. Thank you to everyone who reads and enjoys the site, and here’s looking forward to reaching our 100th week at the end of the year!

Embedding this MacTastik strip elsewhere? Please provide a link back to this post and to NCWinters.com

Many of us have more than one web browser on our Mac – I have copies of Safari, Firefox, Opera, Camino, Google Chrome and various others. Although I certainly don’t use them all regularly (Safari is my browser of choice), I do open them all occasionally to try out new features and test the appearance of a website.

If you regularly use different browsers, manually opening them and copy-and-pasting links into specific ones can become frustrating. You can only have one “default browser” on OS X, and there’s no easy way to quickly specify which particular one to use at any given time.

Today’s How-To will be introducing an application called Choosy, which helps to make running multiple browsers far more enjoyable.

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Alarm clocks are great and all, but if you find yourself becoming immune to the repetitive noise they make or hitting ‘Sleep’ far too often, it might be time to look elsewhere to get you out of bed in the morning.

Awaken from Embraceware Software is a marvellous alarm clock app that lets you wake up to your choice of music or sound in a great interface, even if the application isn’t open and your computer is asleep. This review will look into what else this app can do.

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I’ll be the first to admit that there’s nothing particularly fascinating about archiving and zipping files. It’s a fairly mundane operation, but something that many of us do regularly on a day-to-day basis. For that reason, it seems sensible to spend a few minutes picking the right application for the job.

This roundup will cover 5 different apps that can help make archiving easier. One you’ll certainly already have, and the others are mostly free or relatively inexpensive. I hope you find something useful to make your life slightly easier!

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Let me say right at the outset that I’m not an obvious choice for reviewing this application. I’m not a designer, and I don’t currently work on maintaining any websites; I have little use of software for working out effective color schemes in my day-to-day life and work. These facts might make me either entirely the wrong person to assess ColorSchemer Studio 2, or just the right guy.

I used to be involved in running the website of a big local authority, and I have seen first-hand the damage that can be done by untrained eyes when the thought arises “Wouldn’t it be nice just to add a little splash of color to this page?” With ColorSchemer, this needn’t be such a big problem any more.

This is a really clever app that simplifies the work of coming up with effective and attractive color combinations for websites or any screen design work. You don’t need to be a professional designer to appreciate its great features or to find it useful whenever you do need to work with colors.

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