Outer space is big. From our vantage point, it’s mostly just dots in the sky that we see at night. But there are billions of stars, asteroids, comets, and planets out there. You can see of them when you look up on a clear night, more if you use a telescope, and more still if you use SkySafari, an app that shows 46,000 stars and many of the best-known galaxies and nebulae with images from NASA and other expert star-gazers.
SkySafari isn’t the prettiest app around, but it more than makes up for it with the majesty of the stars and reams of encyclopedic information. It’s deep enough that serious astronomers can use it as a reference tool, and suitable for the rest of us to explore and learn about outer space.
Looking for a new indie game to try out? Released this September, Subset Games’ FTL: Faster Than Light is an indie spaceship simulator/RPG that has garnered a lot of praise among the indie game community. FTL’s fresh take on old strategy games is finishing out the year at the top of several Best Of lists. Does the gameplay stand up to the hype? (more…)
To say the universe is big would be a gross understatement, so the idea of creating an app that lets people explore outer space must be hugely intimidating. Solar System simulator Cosmographia tackles the subject on a limited scale, by focusing on just the stuff in our galaxy. It has 3D models and star maps, great visual effects, and everything is built from real scientific data.
Cosmographia is akin to a beginner’s guide to the Solar System, and insofar as that it’s an impressive app — well presented and pretty to look at, with no assumptions of prior knowledge. But it doesn’t go deep enough, and you’re likely to leave wanting more.
Games don’t often show players the future implications of their decisions or the systems behind their interactions, but for Eden Industries’ Waveform this is a core feature. It tasks you with guiding a wave of light safely through levels, layering ever greater complexity on a simple idea.
Colorful visuals, great music, and slick presentation combine to make Waveform a compelling, atmospheric experience well worth your attention, although the game falters and frustrates at times. (more…)
Since transitioning to an SSD earlier last year, I’ve become accustomed to dealing with a smaller amount of hard drive space in my MacBook Pro. Moving from 256GB down to 128GB felt like a risky thing to do at the time – the last thing I wanted was the constant headache of a hard drive that’s full to the brim.
The reality is that I absolutely haven’t noticed the decrease in size. I trimmed down my Applications directory, moved all my iMovie content off to an external drive, and started a new photo library in Lightroom (my old Aperture library was becoming an out of control nightmare to manage).
These few changes freed up over 100GB of space and, by being mindful of what I download, save, and store on my internal drive, this space is still more or less completely free.
Downsizing to a smaller drive hasn’t once caused me a problem – I’ve found that when it comes to internal drives, bigger isn’t necessarily better. But would you be happy to sacrifice all those extra gigabytes? Let us know in today’s poll, and share your thoughts in the comments.
They got us to the moon using a sliderule and computers with only a tiny fraction of the processing power available in your iPhone. They were math and science geeks, and I salute them. Mac OS X is home to some truly great software that can help you get your job done, as well as educate and inspire the next generation of geeks who will take us deeper into the stars.
Many of these apps are complimentary, but each stands alone and can be used separately with fantastic results. If you’re into astronomy, chemistry, algebra, calculus, or physics then there’s something for you. In no particular order, here are seven different Mac apps specifically for the math or science geek in each of us.