mt3_usingspaces

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WriteRoom is a great tool for distraction free writing and editing. Our review, posted a few days ago showcased the major features along with my comments on the application. I’m delighted to announce that we’re giving away a copy of WriteRoom, kindly donated by Hog Bay Software. The competition will be run via Twitter, and entering is simple:

  1. Sign up for a Twitter account if you haven’t already
  2. Follow AppStorm (macappstorm)
  3. Tell us (via Twitter) why you’d like to win WriteRoom. Your tweet should take the form: @macappstorm I want to win WriteRoom because… – The funnier the better!

The competition will run for one week, and the winner will be chosen based on which tweet we found to be the funniest and most convincing. The closing date is the 20th February 2009. As with all competitions, there’s just one legal point to make – you aren’t eligible to take part if you work for Envato.

Good luck, and if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment!

Whilst OS X ships with a huge array of stunning software, one area lacking is that of font management. The basic tool shipping with Leopard is Font Book, a very straight forward and simple app with few advanced features. A few tools have appeared to fill this gap in the market, notably FontExplorer X and Suitcase Fusion. Another competitor emerging in recent months has been Fontcase, developed by Bohemian Coding.

Fontcase aims to replicate the ease of use found in an application such as iPhoto, applying it to the task of managing your font collection. The interface is uncluttered and intuitive, sharing many innovative user interface design features found in Apple software. A few feature-highlights include versatile metadata support, the ability to share fonts on your local network and fantastic ways to preview all your fonts.

This review will provide an overview of what Fontcase has to offer, along with why it may be worth giving a try over your existing font management app. It isn’t yet perfect, but breathes fresh air into this area of software.

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Running a freelance business requires you to be an expert at everything – from communicating with clients to meticulously tracking your time and expenses. Doing all this manually can be dramatically time consuming, and it’s easy to make mistakes – nobody is perfect. Fortunately there are a range of Mac applications which can lend a hand and assist in the day to day running and organizing of your business.

This overview will focus on two key areas:

  1. Invoicing, Accounting & Time Tracking – Tools to ensure that you’re on top of finances and invoicing, whilst devoting most of your time to work you enjoy
  2. Organization & Utilities – Applications for managing thoughts, research and speeding up the day-to-day use of your Mac

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There are a number of different screenshot utilities for OS X, but none with the functionality and style offered by LittleSnapper. Produced by the developers behind RapidWeaver, LittleSnapper provides a tool for capturing inspirational websites or any area of your screen. It’s simple to organize hundreds of screenshots, exporting to a variety of different formats for use elsewhere. Innovative vector editing functionality allows you to annotate and edit screenshots through an incredibly simple interface.

If you regularly feel inspired when browsing the web, LittleSnapper is one way to keep track of all the information you come across. This review will delve into the application, outline the different features on offer, and provide a handy tip for keeping your inspiration in sync between multiple computers.

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Every computer needs an operating system to operate, just like we humans need our brains to function. Unlike us, computers can have more than one brain, running multiple operating systems at the same time. Virtualization is the process of concurrently running another (fully functional) operating system over the main OS X installation.

The great advantage of a virtual machine is that your original system is untouched – you can operate or remove a Windows installation without causing any harm to OS X. This how-to will walk you through the process of setting up Windows on your Mac using the free VirtualBox application.

It’s a simple process, requiring an Intel Mac with at least 512MB RAM and a copy of Windows – we’ve used XP, but any version will do. Without further ado, let’s get started!

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Thank you to all those who entered our first competition to win a copy of Things. We received over 500 entries, and confirmed my suspicion that everyone loves a good app giveaway!

Three winners have been randomly chosen, and I’m excited to announce that they are:

Congratulations to the winners, who will be contacted via email shortly. I’m very grateful for all your useful comments and input on what you’d like to see on AppStorm. I’m still working my way through all the suggestions, but so far have found some fantastic ideas.

If you didn’t win this time, don’t worry! A competition to win a copy of WriteRoom will be coming later this week. Rather than entries via comment, this time I’ll be asking you to send me a tweet. In preparation, feel free to follow AppStorm and I’ll let you know how to enter in due course!

Today marked the beginning of the latest installment of the MacHeist software giveaway, coming back for the third time since 2006. The project begins with several “missions”, each one providing opportunity to earn free software and gain credits to reduce the price of the software “bundle” announced at the end. The bundle generally includes a number of well known Mac applications from independent developers, and is priced at around $49 (a discount of several hundred dollars over purchasing each app separately).

Previous MacHeist bundles have included software such as TextMate, Delicious Library, RapidWeaver and various games from Pangea. If you’re new to the Mac, it’s a brilliant way to get your hands on a selection of popular software at a heavily discounted price.

I’d recommend heading over to the MacHeist site and signing up – doing so will allow you to download a free copy of ShoveBox along with a selection of Valentines email stationery designed by Equinux. Good luck completing those missons!

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The day to day use of a computer always involves some form of writing. Whilst this may often be a short, snappy task (drafting an email, blog comment or twitter post), there are often times when you find yourself writing a longer piece of work. Plenty of software exists for assisting with word processing, but often creates more distraction than simplicity in its approach.

WriteRoom is an application which takes a completely different approach to writing, stripping away all the distractions you commonly find yourself faced with when using a Mac. It achieves this goal in a bold and novel way – by removing everything else on your screen. When activated, WriteRoom creates a full screen “writing environment”, a concept which has proven to be very well received by many writers:

“Unlike practically everything else in our digital lives, WriteRoom’s minimalist interface implies a truly flattering proposition: It’s you, not the software, that matters.” — Jeffrey MacIntyre, Slate

This review will outline the features and functionality of WriteRoom, explain how it integrates with your Mac, and fill you in on the accompanying iPhone application.

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