I’ll never forget the first time I installed Mathematica in college. I was excited by the demos, and wanted to see how much it could help me take my calculus knowledge further — and take the drudgery out of math. Turns out, it was far more complicated to use than I ever anticipated, even more so than my trusty TI-89.

Couldn’t CAS — computer algebra systems — be a bit less complex and more accessible to everyone who doesn’t have time to take a whole class on using them? Computers were designed originally to solve complex math, but normal calculators, spreadsheets, and CAS systems have remained too basic on the one end and too complex on the other to change the way most of us feel about math.

It’s more than understandable that we’d tend to be skeptical when a new app claims to make math simpler for everything from engineering to basic budgets at the same time — but that’s exactly what Calca claims. It’s a markdown text editor fused with a CAS; can it possibly be the answer to the frustrations of math?


Ever wanted a simpler way to share files with Dropbox, Skydrive, or Google Drive? After all, with each of them, you can get tons of storage for free or cheap, and odds are you’re already using one of them to keep your files in sync anyhow. Why not use them instead of signing up for something like Droplr or CloudApp?

There’s a lot of reasons, really. For one, Droplr and CloudApp let you drag-and-drop files from your desktop or any Finder folder to directly share from your menubar, whereas with Dropbox or other services you’d have to add files to your folder first, then get a link, which is more time and steps. Then, there’s no simple way to take a screenshot and upload the file in one step.

That’s where Share Bucket comes in, with its drag-and-drop sharing from the cloud storage service of your choice. It’s not perfect, but it does make sharing files a lot quicker without CloudApp or Droplr.


Lightroom 4 was the gigantic leap in image development that really set Lightroom ahead of the Aperture curve for many Mac users. It was a tremendous update, and just over a month ago, Adobe followed up with Lightroom 5 and is jumping ahead of the curve again.

I still use Aperture, which I find fits better into my workflow, but I always want to try the latest and greatest to see if it’s worth switching. And Lightroom 5 is tremendously tempting — check out a sample list of the new features. Let’s take a look at it to see what extra power under the hood it brings both seasoned pros and hobbyists. (more…)

There’s more to-do list and project management apps out there than you can even reasonably list in one article, and most of us could list a half dozen we’ve tried off the top of our heads. But when you get into collaborative project management, with tasks listed in a calendar flowchart, alongside notes and files for the project, with everything synced with your teammates, there’s relatively few apps that can fit the bill.

One of the best apps to fit the bill is Pagico, a Mac, Windows, Ubuntu, and iOS app that is great for managing your own personal projects or working with a large team on collaborative projects. We liked it when we looked at Pagico 3 years ago, and it’s better than ever today. Here’s what’s brilliant about one of the few cross-platform project management apps on the market.


Watch out Evernote. Look nervously in your rear view mirror. You see that hot sports car quickly gaining on you that seemingly came out of nowhere? That’s NoteSuite.

Okay, maybe Evernote doesn’t need to be that nervous because NoteSuite is only available for iOS and OS X — so it doesn’t compete across platforms. But for Mac and iPad users, this app is the next big thing in note taking, task management, Internet research, and file annotation. In other words, NoteSuite wants to be your Mac’s new productivity powerhouse. (more…)

I was recently introduced to Kippt, and I felt like I’d been missing out on something big. It’s similar to Evernote in that you can save notes and links and even annotate the links you’re saving, but there’s a bonus social aspect. Find Kippt users you admire or with similar interests and watch for all the neat stuff they’re clipping.

Klipps is a snazzy client that frees you from your browser and lets you do all of that cool Kippt stuff on your Mac. I’m going to try it out and see if it stands up to the official web app. (more…)

Let’s be honest, Apple’s calculator app nearly as appealing as the other stock apps on the Mac; heck, it even falls short against its iOS counterpart. With just the basic functions available, it’s one of the least used (not to mention forgettable) apps on my computer. And of all things, it has a Dashboard sidekick that’s even more forgettable.

On the flip side, this can mean more breathing room for more flexible and powerful mathematical tools for the Mac. In fact, a quick search on the Mac App Store shows a wide range of apps to choose from, ranging from scientific to purpose-specific calculators.

One of these that I’m interested in is Numi by Dmitry Nikolaev & Co, a menubar app that moves away from the typical way we use calculators by incorporating text into computation. The idea is that calculations can be made more comprehensive by adding text into the process, and so it is easier to see and understand how we’d arrive at the result.


We all love finding great deals, but it’s easy to waste more time trying to find good deals than it’s worth. Then, it’s easy to get tempted to get things that you don’t really need right now, just because they’re a good deal.

What if you could spend $2 and let your Mac find the deals you’d like to know about automatically? That’s exactly what LittleFin’s new app, Deal Alert, is.


There’s extremely powerful and complex task management apps like OmniFocus that are the subject of books and screencasts. Then, there’s the barebones, dead-simple task lists like Clear, or plain text todo lists that feel more like text editors, such as TaskPaper.

But perhaps you want something different. An app, perhaps, that has features like due dates and tags you’d expect in a professional task app, but that’s simple and uncluttered. You want a todo list that’s great with a mouse, but equally great with just your keyboard. And you don’t want to spend a fortune.

How does $4.99 for a menubar todo list app with scheduled tasks, tags and task notes, and rich keyboard support sound? That’s exactly what Taskdeck is.


Skype, FaceTime, Facebook, and more have revolutionized how we communicate with others. It continues to blow my mind how we are busting through the walls of communication to work with others who are miles apart. It’s more normal these days to collaborate with people across the planet, in many ways, than it is to collaborate with those across the hall. It’s a brave new world.

One new app that can make communication simpler, in many ways, is Collaaj. It’s an app that lets you communicate to others using video, audio, and your Mac. It’s the collaboration of Skype combined with the simpleness of email, in a way that’ll help you get your point across to others better than you could with just text and images but without having to be online at the same time.


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