Thank you to everyone who entered our competition to win a copy of Slammer. I’m pleased to announce that the results are in, and our five lucky winners are:

  1. Scott Arthur
  2. Toastedtoast
  3. MarFan
  4. Cristoffer
  5. Margaux

Sorry to all those who missed out, but we’ll have another competition coming soon. Thanks for reading Mac.AppStorm!

We’re sporting a new, classic theme for the MacTastik comic this week. Let us know what you think in the comments, and stay tuned for a bumper issue next week – it’s our 50th comic already!

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

Have you ever needed to do some simple photo editing or creation, but didn’t want the hassle of opening up Photoshop, or are too afraid to learn it? Then Acorn is for you! It’s a lightweight image editor that allows you to do many of the functions of more advanced programs (such as Photoshop), but doesn’t have quite the same learning curve or price.

Developed by Flying Meat, Acorn is an image editor that allows you do paint, draw and crop photos. It is also jam-packed with other features and a range of useful filters.

We reviewed an earlier version of Acorn last year, but will be covering new features and exploring the basics in greater depth today.

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As a New Year is upon us, it may be a good chance to take stock and give your Mac a spring clean. Although OS X doesn’t accumulate a great deal of clutter in day-to-day operation, there are still a number of actions you can take to free up disk space, speed up operation, and ensure that your data is safe in 2010.

Inspired by a recent series of articles published at Minimal Mac (a great blog to subscribe to), this post will take a look at a variety of different steps to clean up your Mac for the New Year.

Grab a duster, throw on an apron, and let’s get cleaning…

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Although Dashboard received a huge amount of attention when it was originally released, it has since become a fairly standard feature of OS X. Thousands of different widgets are available – some far more useful than others.

Today I’ll be taking a look at 10 widgets that really stand out from the crowd, and have something unique and interesting to offer you in your day-to-day computer use. I hope you find a few of them useful!

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DVDs can be a nuisance to carry around. They also scratch, break, or go missing over time. RipIt, from The Little App Factory lets you rip your DVDs to your Mac so that you can watch them at anytime without the DVD inserted in your drive.

RipIt is an application so beautifully simplistic, even your mum would have no problem using it. This review will have a look at why RipIt is better than other apps out there, highlight how the process works, and take a look at what’s missing.

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Slammer is an interesting application for designers that we reviewed a few weeks ago. It’s an advanced layout tool that allows web and interface designers alike to create and tweak their layouts to align with a grid system, golden sections, harmonious sections and the fibonacci series.

I’m pleased to tell you that we have five licenses to give away to a handful of lucky readers. Entering simply requires that you leave a comment on this post. Easy!

Good luck, and we’ll be announcing the winners on Monday 11th January.

We’ve previously covered a range of complex task managers for the Mac, but what if you’re looking for something much simpler? Today I’ll be investigating a number of basic to-do list applications that can help with managing a straight-forward set of tasks.

Most are desktop applications, but a few are really fantastic web apps combined with a site specific browser called Fluid. As the New Year rolls in, these should offer a great place to store that list of goals and aims for 2010!

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We’d like to say thank you to this month’s AppStorm sponsors, and the great software they create! If you’re interested in advertising, you can order a slot through BuySellAds.

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

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.

LittleSnapper – Take a look at LittleSnapper from Realmac Software, It’s an awesomely powerful new app to snap, annotate and share screenshots.

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

CSS Gallery App – CSS Gallery is the premiere iPhone app that simplifies the way web designers browse sites for inspiration.

Wallet – Your own flexible, personal database for storing web passwords, serial numbers, and credit cards, and anything else!

Layers App – Layers captures every window, palette, and menu on your screen, and stores each as a separate, editable layer in a resulting Photoshop file. Very handy!

Snowtape – The missing “record” feature in iTunes, allowing you to easily record internet radio and export it to iTunes or an iPod.

Audubon Field Guides – What happens when you take the world’s best-selling and most authoritative field guides and make them interactive?

Whisper – Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chat and messaging for the iPhone.

So you were one of the lucky ones who received (or bought yourself) your first Mac over the holiday period. Congratulations, and welcome to the Mac community! Perhaps, like more and more people, you’ve made the move from that other operating system – you know, the one that’s a little more popular, but also not quite as well-designed, and more prone to security issues.

The one where you’re considered a brave person to go online without the full metal jacket of antivirus, antispam, antimalware, and firewall in place. If so, then chances are that you’ve already started thinking about what you need to do in order to protect your new machine from viruses, trojans, and other kinds of nasties that you may have encountered previously.

Many will tell you not to bother – Macs don’t get viruses, right? It’s true to say that there are fewer such issues with Macs (after all, smaller market-share means less incentive to antisocial types), but it’d be foolish not to take even the most basic precautions in order to keep your data and your personal information safe.

When I made the switch, I immediately went in search of the kinds of protection I was used to having in place before I would bring my computer anywhere near a network connection of any kind. But friends talked me down, reassured me that I didn’t really need the same level of protection for my shiny new MacBook. But they did offer a few little tips, which I will pass on in this article, just to cover the basics…

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