A week ago we announced our biggest competition yet, offering two licenses for Tweetie and one for DevonThink Pro. One week and 400 entries later, we’re ready to announce the winners.

Congratulations to the winners – I hope you enjoy the great software. Another competition is planned for next week, so get yourself subscribed if not already!

Disk Utility is an excellent OS X utility for managing hard drives and removable storage. If you’ve ever installed OS X, wiped a hard drive clean, or needed to re-format a USB stick, there’s a good chance that you’ll be familiar with the app. Whilst managing disk images is undoubtedly Disk Utility’s forté, it can also be used to good effect for creating images.

This how-to will walk you through how simple this process is. We’ll illustrate how to create a simple disk image for storing files, a few of the uses that images can have, and also investigate how images can be encrypted to keep your files secure.

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Today I’ll be taking a look at a simple timer application – TimeBoxed. A whole range of advanced time tracking and management software is available for OS X, but you may not necessarily have a need for the complex features offered by these tools.

TimeBoxed offers a remarkably simple solution for ensuring you stick within a time limit for any given task. After entering the desired time, a progress bar illustrates how long you have left to get the job done. The idea is remarkably straight forward, but TimeBoxed impresses on account of the wide variety of notification options available and the polished user experience.

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One of the great things about iTunes is the range of third-party software developed to make playing and browsing songs easier. Whether a tiny widget sitting in your menu bar or a gorgeous display of high quality album art on your desktop – there’s an iTunes controller to match every taste.

A number of the applications mentioned are free, and we’re covering both desktop and mobile device software (not solely for iPhones, you’ll be pleased to know!). If you use iTunes on a regular basis I would definitely recommend giving a few of these tools a try. They simplify the process of skipping through tracks, and can make digital music even more enjoyable.

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It’s safe to say that you can never have too many tools. No matter what your trade, you will always be more effective if you have quality tools at your side (as long as your don’t bankrupt yourself in the process). Luckily, if your tools are of the software variety, you don’t even need to find room in the garage to store them.

One example of an incredibly innovative and effective set of tools for designers and web developers on the Mac is xScope. XScope is an app that has a wide array of features, allowing you to layout and measure elements on screen in an incredibly “Mac-Like” way. The seven included tools offer everything from color sampling to pixel spacing, and everything in between.

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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. Elegantly designed invoices ensure you reflect a professional image when it counts the most – asking for payment. Packed with 30 professionally designed invoice templates, you’ll be ready to bill, right out of the box. Staying on top of client accounts is easy – quickly identify overdue clients and send them a statement with the click of a button. Track partial payments, taxes, and retainers collected, then run reports to see how your business is doing.

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.

We’re running a bumper competition this week, with two copies of Tweetie and one DevonThink Pro license up for grabs. These are two stunning applications, with a total value of over $120.

We’ve recently reviewed DevonThink Pro, finding it to offer an excellent solution for storing and organizing documents. It also provides a way to create a paper-free office system; a goal many of us are looking to achieve! Our Tweetie review found it to be a thoroughly well designed, fully functional Twitter client for the Mac.

Entering is simple. All you need to do is:

  1. Post a link to this competition – either on your website, or via Twitter
  2. 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 6th May. Good luck!

SizzlingKeys is a brilliant System Preferences plug-in from Yellow Mug that’s easy to use and allows you to control iTunes from any application without using the mouse at all. SizzlingKeys is free to use, or $5 to go Pro which gives you a few extra features. It also provides you with clean visuals of which songs you are listening to.

This how-to will show you how to set up SizzlingKeys on your Mac, and how to use it to make the most of your music without the hassle of finding your way around iTunes.

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Thank you to everyone who entered our Espionage competition. The results are in, and I’m pleased to announce that the winners are as follows.

Comment Winners

Twitter Riddle Winner

We posted a riddle on Twitter this week, which was correctly answered by @visualpro in the blink of an eye.

Congratulations, and I hope you enjoy encrypting away! Hot on the heels of this contest, we’re running another bumper giveaway of Tweetie and DevonThink Pro. This will be getting started in the next couple of days so stay tuned!

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