Posts Tagged

Utilities

Unit conversion has always been a task I would delegate to the web, since Google handles it so well. Whenever I need to convert kilometers to miles, inches to feet, and Philippine peso to any other currency, I would simply type the units in the search bar and wait for the results to appear.

There’s tons of unit conversion apps out there (we even have a roundup of calculators and converters for the Mac), but it didn’t seem like a necessity to buy or download one. I then came across Converto, one of FLIPLAB’s newer and free Mac utilities, and decided to give it a test run.

Could Converto finally break the ice and stand as the best unit converter for the Mac? Read on to find out.

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“I didn’t think Macs got viruses.”

A friend told me that as I helped her clean off a spyware program from her Mac computer last year. While the Mac user has less to fear than a PC user when it comes to the dark side of the Internet, the days when a Mac user could just assume they had nothing to worry about from malware are over. It’s not just viruses causing damage and data loss to be concerned about, but also programs that want to steal your data or personal information. These applications send your info to someone with malicious intent, track what you do and where you go notifying you, and otherwise invade your privacy. Being careful about what you install can do a lot to protect you. Even then, security flaws in software can let software such as the Flashback Trojan that took advantage of a bug in Java to silently install and begin sending your personal information back to remote servers.

It’s just good to see for yourself what’s running on your computer and connecting out. Overall a program that shows you what your computer is doing will help you better understand what’s running and notice when something is amiss. Private Eye from Radio Silence is a free network monitor for the Mac that gives you a real time view into the network connections to and from your computer. Let’s see how well it works and if it can help keep you safe online. (more…)

Back when I first made the switch to a Mac, part of the appeal of both the OS and the hardware was the minimalist approach that Apple takes. I always hated having to delete the trial software that Microsoft lets other companies dump into their systems. Apple lets you start with a clean slate and enjoy your new machine from the second you turn it on. Unfortunately, though, Macs are just as prone to getting cluttered as anything else over time.

Even if you aren’t a digital neat-freak like me, chances are the available space on your drive shrinks a little bit more every day. If you aren’t proactive, you’re going to run out of space. If you’ve gotten a newer Mac with an SSD or replaced your Mac’s hard drive with an SSD, chances are you’re dealing with less storage on your Mac than you would have expected in the past. While SSD prices are falling, the price-to-capacity ratio still means that space is at a premium, and you’ll need to start keeping better tabs on what is eating up space. Luckily, there are a number of options for cleaning up the clutter, and we are going to take a look at a few that I’ve used in my battle to keep my laptop lean.

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Remote desktop application Royal TS is one of the most powerful and feature complete RDP client managers for the Windows environment, and has just made its way to OS X. For IT administrators this is a huge boon for folks who prefer using OS X but had to previously rely on CoRD to handle our RDP sessions.

CoRD, the current de facto RDP client, does a more than adequate job with RDP sessions, so is Royal TSX worth taking a look in to and eventually paying the €20 when it’s out of beta? Read on to find out.

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This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on August 2nd, 2011.

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about text-to-speech in OSX, and one commenter suggested I check out Repeat After Me, a text-to-speech utility hidden in the Developer folder.

While checking it out, I discovered that the Developer folder holds a stash of useful applications and utilities I’d never heard of before. I’ve found some real gems while digging through Developer Tools, including some utilities that I now use on a regular basis. Let’s go hunting for burried treasure!

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We’re big fans of apps which reside in the Menu Bar here at Mac.AppStorm. Personally, at least two of my most essential Mac apps live up there in the top right hand corner of the screen. However, with the proliferation of useful, lightweight Menu Bar apps, things can begin to get a little crowded in no time at all.

Well, for this admittedly niche problem, there’s an elegant solution in the form of Surtees Studios’ Bartender. Its a utility which promises to give users about as much control over the Menu Bar as one could reasonably hope to have.

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As more of our documents get moved off our local drives and into the cloud, it can be difficult to stay on top of them all. I keep stuff scattered around in my Gmail account, Dropbox folder, and laptop, among many other places, and can have a hard time remembering where a particular item is.

The developers of Found recognized this problem and created an interesting solution. Using a search concept similar to Spotlight, Found searches not only your local machine but also common cloud services. Any app designed to help you find files needs to do so quickly, using an intuitive interface. How does Found fare under these important conditions?

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There was a time when my desk was perpetually covered in Post-It notes. I used to have to write down every little task I needed to complete for a project, and then keep track of them in an admittedly chaotic manner. Fortunately for people like me, various methods such as Getting Things Done have inspired fantastic productivity apps that make our lives more organized.

Such productivity apps are a dime a dozen, but today we are going to be looking at two task managers that set themselves apart. Producteev and Wunderkit are two powerful task managers that offer a similar set of features. I’ve spent the last few weeks playing around with each of these apps, and we are going to look at how their features stack up against each other.

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I’m something of a neat freak when it comes to keeping my computer organized. When I use a friend’s computer and find the desktop littered with old, poorly named files like “WordDoc1,” I start to feel nauseous and begin rethinking our friendship. Consequently, I love to see new utilities for the Mac that help me keep things in order on my laptop.

OS X has never been great when it comes to moving files around. It prefers to just copy a file when you drag it rather than move it completely. Furthermore, having a bunch of windows open can make navigating to your destination difficult when you’re dragging something and you have your mouse button pressed down. DragonDrop is an app that saves people like myself who are frequently moving files around the headache of dealing with these problems.

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I love Apple products, and have been using OS X fairly exclusively for nearly seven years. Now and again, however, I have use Windows to get various chores done, and a feature that Windows 7 has down pat is the ability to snap windows around on the screen.

There are a couple of tools for OS X that attempt to replicate this, but the best one I have used so far is called Windownaut, from Binary Bakery. It makes arranging and snapping windows a breeze, and also has some extra powerful features that I’ve never seen before!

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