Ember is a new web application, recently launched to complement the excellent LittleSnapper. I’m thrilled to let you know that our sister site, Web.AppStorm, has announced a great competition to win two copies of LittleSnapper and five Ember Pro licenses.

It’s a great chance to get your hands on a solid inspiration-gathering system, and entering is simple. Just read through the competition announcement at Web.AppStorm for all the details.

Good luck!

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Thank you for all your comments regarding the MacTastik strip. It seems that, although a few of you aren’t big fans, the majority of our readers enjoy the quick laugh the comic brings each week. It will be continuing for the foreseeable future, and if you have any suggestions, comments or questions, please feel free to email me.

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

If you’re a website designer, developer or blogger, the ability to test websites locally can be remarkably useful. It could serve as a testing environment before uploading a new page to your website, or provide a way to work on a website project without an internet connection.

Although OS X comes bundled with a basic web server installed, a more user-friendly solution is available in the form of MAMP. Today we’ll be walking you through the process of setting up a local server with MAMP and outlining the difference between the basic and pro versions.

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Sending invoices is a vital task if you ever expect to make any money as a contractor or freelancer. Fortunately, numerous applications on OS X can turn this mundane task into a streamlined and efficient process – often also creating great looking invoices.

Today we’ll be taking a look at 7 examples of invoicing software for the Mac, ranging from very simple tools such as Involer through to a more complicated all-in-one packages. Most applications come with a small cost, but we’re also highlighting a free alternative if you’re a little strapped for cash.

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We’re kicking off another big software giveaway today, with two copies of VoodooPad and ten Pathfinder licenses up for grabs.

We have recently reviewed VoodooPad – a place to dump all your information, no matter how obscure. The application is elastic, and can stretch to meet your needs, and shrink accordingly.

Pathfinder featured in our roundup of Finder alternatives, coming out as the most powerful and full-featured of those on offer.

Entering is simple. All you need to do is:

  • Post a link to this competition – either on your website, or via Twitter
  • Leave a comment, letting me know where you posted the link!

The competition will run for one week, and we’ll randomly select three winners on Wednesday 9th September. Good luck!

There are some cases where certain files open in applications not well suited for the current task at hand.

Personally, this happens to me when I create JPGs in Photoshop. Mac OS X naturally wants to open it up in Photoshop. Surely Photoshop can open it (it did create it after all), but for preview purposes it can be a slow process. Opening the file in Preview, on the other hand, can offer a much quicker solution.

Enter DefaultApp, a preference pane that makes system wide default app changes. You no longer have to set the preferred application for each individual file you create. Just set it up once, and forget about ever setting it up. It’s that simple.

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Tables in web design were an anchor I clung to for far too long. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) were a mad mojo that I could not wrap my head around for the longest time. Until I finally just told myself “no” to tables. Using Dreamweaver to develop sites with CSS has always proved frustrating, as pages never looked right in the preview pane and were difficult to manage.

When I first started using CSSEdit from MacRabbit it was as though someone lifted the blinds and made CSS easy to understand. It offers an elegant, easy-to-use system for crafting a CSS file and takes away all the headache of doing it manually.

This review will run through my experience with CSSEdit, highlight the major features, and explain how it may really help your web design workflow.

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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.

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.

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.

ForkLift – Forklift is a powerful file manager and ferociously fast FTP client, clothed in a clean and versatile UI.

The Mac Sale – A great bundle sale of Mac software, which has now ended. You can sign up to find out more about the next one.

Pixelmator – Pixelmator, the beautifully designed, easy-to-use, fast and powerful image editor for Mac OS X has everything you need to create, edit and enhance your images.

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

Easy Tasker – Manage your projects, invoices, clients and so much more from as little as $11 per month, with a companion iPhone app.

Branchr – Simple, effective, affordable, unobtrusive, text and image based pay-per-click internet advertising.

TidyUp – Tidy Up! allows you to search for duplicate folders; by name, date modified, date created, label visibility, empty folders, their contents and more.

Pi Cubed – Pi Cubed is a visual math application for the iPhone / iPod touch that lets you perform calculations as you would on a piece of paper.

Super Cool Coupons – SuperCoolCoupons is a social discount community where every day consumers come to find and share coupons for thousands of online stores.

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

Although spreadsheets aren’t the most interesting or exciting application to discuss, many of us interact with them on a regular basis. Whether it’s for tracking mortgage payments or arranging your kid’s football schedule – spreadsheets are incredibly versatile.

Microsoft Excel has long been the market leader, but various other software is available. Today we’ll be taking a look at 5 different options for Mac users – from the pricey behemoth of Office for Mac, right through to completely free solutions such as OpenOffice.

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