Voila Screen Capture Suite – Review

On June 5, 2013, in Apps, Mac OS X, Review, by David Cohen

Voila Screen Capture Suite — Review
Company: Global Delight
Price: $29.99 (either from developer web site or the Mac App Store)

Does anyone remember Skitch? Developed by Plasq, it was a light, simple app that allowed you to quickly take screenshots on the Mac and then annotate them easily with text, callouts and graphics.
Skitch was acquired by Evernote a couple of years ago, and as it has become more deeply integrated with their platform it has refocussed on document annotation and as such has lost a lot of its charm. However, Voila from Global Delight boldly takes up that mantle and aims to deliver a complete toolset for any Mac user needing to work with screen captures.

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Boom Volume Boosting App – Review

On May 13, 2013, in Audio, Mac OS X, Review, by David Cohen

Boom – Volume Booster for OSX
Company: Global Delight
Price: $6.99

One of the delights of being a Mac fan is the availability of small, lightweight applications that provide specific, useful functionality to improve your computing experience. With Apple’s traditional strengths in the area of music and video, many of these apps look to improve your media consumption experience, and Boom falls squarely into this market.

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Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary,8th edition (app edition)
Price: $29.99 US
Company: Paragon Software Group

You want to learn or perfect your skills in English? The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 8th edition (app edition) is something that may help you at this task.

Oxford-App

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Dragon Dictate for Mac Review

On June 25, 2012, in Apps, Mac OS X, Review, by Russ Walkowich

Dragon Dictate for Mac version 2.5.2
Company: Nuance
Price: $199.99 MSRP Boxed Set, $179.99 Electronic Download

I learned how to type when I was a freshman in high school. Of course, that was on a manual typewriter. Now, decades later, I’m still typing and just as good and as fast as I did in high school. The only fly in the ointment is the fact that arthritis has raised its ugly head.

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Macspiration 117
Menubar Gems for Your Mac

On March 15, 2012, in Apps, Macintosh, Macspiration, by Donny Yankellow

Looking for some cheap little utility type of apps for your Mac? Here’s a few that are available in the Mac App Store for $1.99 or less.

Alfred (free) Alfred is a great Spotlight replacement. I have never been a fan of Spotlight, but I used to love Quicksilver. Alfred is more like Quicksilver for finding things on your Mac. It does a bunch more too, but personally I only use it to find and launch applications on my Mac.

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Adobe Photoshop Elements 10
A Beginner’s Review-Part 2

On November 28, 2011, in Review, by Elisa Pacelli

Adobe Photoshop Elements 10
Company: Adobe
Requires: multicore Intel processor, Mac OSX 10.5.8 or higher, QuickTime 7
Price: $99.99, upgrade $79.99

In part 1 of this review I focused on the Adobe Elements 10 Organizer. Now we’ll talk about the Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 Editor.

New to PSE10 is the ability to paint effects onto specific photo areas. Use the Smart Brush in the toolbox to create new ways to work with and visualize your photos. The first photo below is the original I took of a cruise ship. In the second photo I applied a Pencil Sketch to highlight the ship and give the photo a little interest. Since the sky was a bit overcast the day the photo was taken, I brightened it up in the third photo. Finally, just for fun, I gave the entire photo a fluorescent glow.

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Adobe Photoshop Elements 10-A Beginner’s
Review Part 1

On November 8, 2011, in Review, by Elisa Pacelli

Adobe Photoshop Elements 10
Company: Adobe
Requires: multicore Intel processor, Mac OSX 10.5.8 or higher, QuickTime 7
Price: $99.99, upgrade $79.99

When Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 was released a number of years ago, I decided to buy it, even though I had no graphics experience whatsoever. I even bought a book to teach me how to use it. Sadly, I used PSE6 mainly to create coupons for my husband’s business, slightly edit screen shots I take for MyMac.com articles, and superimpose faces on other people’s bodies (Don’t ask. It’s silly.) So when the opportunity arose for me to review Adobe Photoshop Elements 10, I jumped at the chance to really sit down and learn about some of the fun and powerful techniques I could use with this software.

Keep in mind that this review is coming from a novice’s perspective. Even though I have used PSE6 in the past, my experience is so limited that I’m still considered a newbie. For a more in-depth review of PSE10 from a user who has an extensive Photoshop background, check out MyMac.com writer Donny Yankellow’s article.

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Sibelius 7
Review

On October 11, 2011, in Audio, Book Review, Review, by Mark Sealey

Sibelius 7

Sibelius 7

Sibelius 7

Avid (North American distributors)
Price: $599 ($149 upgrade)

Review by Mark Sealey dedicated to the memory of Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

When Sibelius 7 was released recently, its appearance was sufficiently different from that of Sibelius 6 to have thrown some (long-time) users. Avid was criticized on those listservs and forums which do such a sterling job of supporting Sibelius owners and prospective owners. Since so many creative professionals and enthusiasts have so much invested in a piece of software which they use for extended periods each day and to the ways of which their muscle memories had become fully used, change seemed particularly hard.

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Adobe Creative Suite CS 5.5 Master Collection
Adobe Illustrator CS5
Flash Catalyst CS5.5
Adobe Systems Inc.
$2,599.00 US, Upgrade from Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection 5 $549.00 US

 

Adobe Illustrator  CS5 and Flash Catalyst CS 5.5 Part 1

In April, Adobe released the Creative Suite CS 5.5 Design and Master Collection. The collection includes Photoshop CS5.1 Extended, Illustrator CS5, InDesign CS5.5, Acrobat X Pro, Flash Catalyst CS5.5, Flash Professional CS5.5, Flash Builder 4.5 Premium Edition, Dreamweaver CS5.5, Fireworks CS5, Contribute CS5, Adobe Premier Pro CS5.5, AfterEffects CS5.5, Adobe Audition CS5.5, Adobe OnLocation CS5.5, Encore CS5, Bridge CS5, Device Central CS5.5, and Media Encoder CS5.5. This is a robust suite for designers, creatives, and developers. The Adobe CS5.5 Master Collection offers HTML5, enhanced video production and digital publishing capabilities with cross platform support including mobile devices. For this review I will be exploring Adobe Flash Catalyst CS 5.5 and the latest features in Adobe Illustrator 5.

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GoToMyPC Review

On December 31, 2010, in Review, by Scott Willsey

GoToMyPC

Company: Citrix Online
Price: $9.95 – $19.95/mo
http://www.gotomypc.com/

Choosing a remote computer access service can seem a little like wandering around the strip in Las Vegas — there are lots of interesting choices vying for your attention, and possibly some gambling involved. But it needn’t be that way. GoToMyPC from Citrix Online provides a quality, easy to use product backed by a name that’s well known in the online computer services industry. Citrix Online also provides the highly regarded GoToMeeting, GoToTraining, GoToAssist, and Webinar, which gives an indication of the company’s ability to run secure and scalable services.

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MailPlane – Review

On June 7, 2009, in Apps, Macintosh, Review, by Scott Willsey

MailPlane
Company: Uncomplex LTD

Price: $24.95
http://mailplaneapp.com/

This morning on my way to work, I was listening to the latest iPhone Alley podcast, and the podcasters had a brief discussion about how each of them handled email. It’s a topic that gets brought up in many circles and with great frequency, because managing email can be a huge chore. When I had just the MacBook Pro, it wasn’t really an issue. Then my brother amazed me with a hand-me-down Mac Pro, and as I used it more and more, I realized that syncing mail through .Mac (later MobileMe) and using Apple Mail wasn’t cutting it. It didn’t address the issue of mail saved in folders, and there were lots of problems. The more I researched it, the more I realized I was wasting a lot of time trying to deal simply with a problem that seemed a lot more complicated than necessary.

Then my brother sent me an email message with a word in it that changed my whole outlook (no really bad pun intended) on email. MailPlane. That was the word. It was his answer to my question about how he handled email. "But that’s a Gmail wrapper," I said. "That means you’re leaving all your mail in the cloud." "Yep," he replied. And thus began my own questioning about the nature of email, how I use it, and how I should use it.

I’m not going to write an essay here on the merits of online versus offline mail storage. But using Gmail and letting it deal with everything makes a lot of sense, so I would like to make a couple comments about it. First off, let’s get the privacy and security issue out of the way. The feds are already able to scan all your email. This is no secret. Given the fact that any ISP in the country will hand over whatever the feds want, whenever they want it, you may as well forget the notion that downloading your email using POP3 and only saving local copies buys you much in terms of privacy or security. Secondly, IMAP is still a remote to local sync technology. So having Gmail as your mail solution and not using any mail client at all gets around both of those issues. But if you’re like me, you probably don’t really enjoy having the browser be your email client either. It’s not quite the same thing doing email in a mail client and doing email through web mail. That’s where MailPlane comes in.

MailPlane basically functions as a wrapper for Gmail. It takes the Gmail web interface and puts a Mac window around it, complete with a toolbar containing various buttons for functions such as navigation between email messages, composing a new email, selecting an address from your Mac address book, and more.

It takes a little use of the app before the beauty of this sinks in. First off, you get integration to your Mac’s address book, as well as media libraries such as your iPhoto library, iTunes library, and movies on your hard drive, for easy email attachment. In fact, MailPlane supports drag and drop file insertion. The address book integration is very nice. I’ve never done much with my contacts list in Gmail. I have an address book on my Mac and it syncs to all my computers and devices nicely thanks to MobileMe. And thanks to MailPlane’s handling of address book contacts, I haven’t had to change that thinking to use MailPlane at all.

The file handling with the Media button for quickly finding and attaching files from your computer is nice, as is the drag and drop. When you drag and drop a picture onto an email you are composing, for example, it gives you a dialog with options for how you want the image optimized. When you’re done with that, it uploads it and attaches it. You can also tell it to use those settings as your default settings.

Probably the nicest thing for me personally, and the one that made using Gmail without a traditional mail client a real option for me is that MailPlane handles multiple accounts very nicely. You can have as many Gmail accounts as you like, and switch between them by using the accounts drawer. Just double-click on the account you want, and you’ll be in that account’s inbox. You can have the account info stored in the keychain and it will really be just like moving between mail accounts in Apple Mail, or whatever your previous mail client was. Smooth and easy. Much better than dealing with multiple Gmail accounts in the browser.

There are also a bunch of other little niceties, such as how it works with Gmail’s labels for organizing your email. I won’t go into all those here, but the web site (http://mailplaneapp.com/) has screencasts and examples which point these out.

There are a few glitches, but I think those might be partly due to Gmail itself rather than MailPlane. Sometimes you might switch to one of your accounts and find it never loads, so you jump back and forth a couple times before it does. However, this type of delay seems to happen periodically with Gmail in the browser also. And sometimes you’ll read your emails in your inbox, go to move them to another folder or delete them, and the action never seems to finish. Then you’ll notice when you go back to that account that it still shows the emails as unread. Again, I have seen similar oddities with Gmail through the browser directly, so I’m not really sure if it’s Gmail or MailPlane that is at fault. It’s annoying when it happens, but it’s not frequent enough for me to get angry at it. Therefore I rate it at an anger level of 0.5, which takes away from a perfect 5 rating, leaving me at a 4.5.

MailPlane has changed my entire mindset about email. I no longer deal with sync issues between computers. I no longer worry about managing local copies of everything. If you can wrap your brain around having your email in the cloud, or even if you just have a few Gmail accounts you want to manage in addition to some other email accounts that you do deal with through a regular email client, MailPlane makes things smooth and easy for you, just like using a regular email client. I recommend it to any heavy Gmail user on the Mac.

MyMac.com Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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