Before Halo rocketed to system-selling success, before Marathon showed how an intricate story could weave into an action-heavy first-person shooter, it was 1993 release Pathways into Darkness that put Bungie on the map. The company’s third game, PiD combined the first-person action of id Software’s Wolfenstein 3D with an exploration-focused adventure game.

It was a revelation, quickly reaching bestseller status and earning plaudits across the Mac-focused press. And now you can play it in OS X (without an emulator), courtesy of a port by Mark Levin and Bruce Morrison. I’ve spent the past few weeks struggling through its many twisty passages, and am pleased to report that it’s still a great game.

But boy is it hard — brutally so. Allow me to walk you through a little of Pathways into Darkness’s legacy and gameplay, and to explain why — difficulty aside — you should seriously consider giving it a try.
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If you are in need of custom branding or UI elements for your next project, Microlancer might just be the answer.

Envato (the company that runs the AppStorm network) has just launched a new digital marketplace where you can connect with freelancers who offer services to help you get your projects off the ground. Microlancer puts you in touch with those who can provide logo design, app icon design, branding elements, UI features, web design and a whole lot more – easily, affordably, safely and transparently.

Why is it different to other freelance sites?

  • You don’t need to set up a project and review bids
  • You can review providers by the type of service you need
  • You can review their existing work, website and compare them to others
  • Prices, turnaround time and revisions are all presented up front
  • Envato reviews all providers to provide peace of mind

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Whether you’re just learning to play guitar or you’re an experienced musician, it’s always helpful to have some music theory resources lying around. Chord books are especially useful for guitarists, they can help you find variations for playing known chords as well as new ones to play around with. But wouldn’t it be nice to have an interactive chord book on your computer?

ChordMate is just that, and much more. It’s a Mac app that can help you find new chords, new voicings, and even string together chord progressions right on your computer. Sounds interesting?

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You’ve got a lot of things to write down, but you want to keep them safe. Sure, there are a lot of notes apps to choose from, but how secure are they? Bluenote not only keeps your notes secure with AES-256 encryption, but it will also manage your passwords for you, too.

We’ll take a look at all Bluenote has to offer! (more…)

Every product requires preparation to release, especially new mobile apps. If you’re trying to make people more productive, you’ll . Creating a great app demands planning, testing and studying in the look out for the best ways to achieve its intents.

One of the main culprits for a poor app is poor navigation, often caused by the lack of a prototype where you can visualize your app’s engines and hierarchies between screens. That’s what Briefs does. It allows you to set actions to the elements of your static design and create an interactive mockup, which you can send to partners for feedback or just grab a feeling of how it is to navigate within your project.

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File syncing services such as Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft SkyDrive all have one thing in common: they provide a centrally hosted solution. Your files are stored not only on the devices you’re using but also on their servers. It’s an extremely useful feature as it means you can easily share files to other people without any complicated setup and you’ll always be able to access your files through a web browser. Whilst these services are extremely secure, there are those who are a little wary of having personal (or even confidential) information stored somewhere that they have no control over.

BitTorrent Sync is a new service that provides a decentralised file syncing solution with an emphasis on security and keeping your files off such servers. Is it a worthy alternative for the security conscious?

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In the time I’ve been a Mac user, I’ve nailed down a pretty solid set of applications that get just about any job I throw at my computer done. For the most part, my Mac is used for reading and writing, podcasting, coding (web development, mostly), and your standard web browsing fare. For most of those things, I’ve found my current-generation spec’d out Macbook Air to be more than adequate, although coming from a 27 inch iMac, I actually need to conserve screen real estate, which plays a role in the applications I choose to use.

Before we continue, I should also warn you that I tend to be a bit obsessive-compulsive when it comes to the applications I choose to use: I’ll literally stop using an otherwise fine application if I think its icon is ugly. The end result is that each application on my Mac is here for a reason. So while I’ve tried out hundreds of different applications, only a select few have made the cut. If I’m not using it, it’s been deleted: end of story.

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If you’ve got a job that requires invoicing the time you worked on certain tasks, it can become quite a chore to keep up the tracking of each of them, hence the justification for project managing and time tracking apps. They lend a helpful hand if you want to track your work time or simply if you want to know more about where your time is going.

The downside is that most of these apps tend to be pricy and overcomplicated. It’s refreshing to see an app that takes a more simplistic approach to the task of time tracking. Chronos is one of them, and we’ll be checking it out today.
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John Calhoun’s original Glider — dating back to 1988 — may well be my favorite game. Quintessentially Mac in style, it put you in charge of a paper airplane in a rundown, dilapidated house. You needed simply to stay afloat, lifted by air vents, and try to reach the window leading to freedom.

It was a game of wits, and patience, and it’s one of the most innately-charming pieces of entertainment I’ve ever encountered. The shareware series earned a dedicated fan-base and awards from Mac magazines through its five main installments, culminating in a commercial release (Glider PRO, 1994), then gradually faded into the background … that is, until Glider Classic for iOS was released in late 2011, which was followed up last year by a Mac version simply called Glider.

Let’s see how this throwback stands up — both to modern standards and to the nostalgia of Glider games past.
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I love making videos, but I don’t love editing them together. I always have the best of intentions at holidays and birthdays and family gatherings, but it all falls apart once I’ve gotten the footage onto my Mac. I just never seem to do anything with it, and I’m the first to admit that a big part of my problem is my video editor.

I recently tried out Shotcut, a free and open source video editor. I’m no video professional, but then, most of us aren’t. Let’s see how it works out for a layperson just trying to put together some family videos without pulling out her hair. (more…)

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