Mac App Review: Sleep Monitor

Sleep Study

Does your MacBook snore? Do Macs … dream?

OK, so it’s not that kind of study. If you suspect that your MacBook has Sleep Apnea, this review won’t help you. (Just for the record I think my Mac Pro suffers from Apnea. It keeps waking up after it’s been put to sleep, but don’t get me started.)

This review covers an application from DssW called Sleep Monitor. If you guessed that Sleep Monitor keeps tabs on your Mac’s energy usage and battery drain, you’d have guessed correctly. DssW bills Sleep Monitor 3 as an app that audits your Mac’s energy usage. To this extent, the app, now in its third version, is very simple and utilizes straight-forward graphics to display battery drainage (and charging) when awake or asleep. [Read more…]

Attack Of The Two Headed Editor


Since the day of it’s release and the first minute it launched, much has been written and opined about Apple’s long awaited update to their renown video editing software.

Reviews on the Mac App Store:

I feel like I’ve been had.

To professionals saying:

I’m shocked. That’s the best word for it. I’m just shocked. It’s incredibly bad…

This is Apple’s worst release in history.

This is the worst release of anything by anyone.

As of this writing, the one star ratings lead the five star ratings 679 to 508 in the Mac App Store. Wow, this must be some bad stuff. Whatever it is, it doesn’t sound good. Of course I’m talking about the new version of Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Pro X ($299 on Mac App Store). Even if you’re not into the latest in non-linear editing you may have seen Final Cut making the rounds on the late night talk show circuit. Good or bad, this app has stirred a lot of emotions in just a couple of weeks. One thing is for certain, I’ve not seen this kind of vitriol and hatred toward a software app since, well ever. The negativity came so fast and furious it led one blogger to speculate that it could have been organized by competitors. [Read more…]

App Review: iMovie for iOS

Along with its iPad 2 launch, Apple also released a new version of iMovie for iOS. iMovie is $4.99 from the App Store, or a free update if you already own the iPhone version that debuted alongside iPhone 4 last summer.

As for iMovie, I think I’ve used just about every version of iMovie from iMovie 3 on a 2002 iMac to the latest iMovie ‘11 as well as the iPhone version, so I was eager to get my hands on the new iPad version. However, Apple states you must have an iPad 2 to run iMovie. iMovie for the iPad is not available for the original iPad, but I have read several reports of people successfully installing and using iMovie on an original iPad. Nonetheless, I have an iPad 2. If you’re thinking you’d like to use the iPad version of iMovie, but don’t want to shell out the dough for a new iPad, you can go here for instructions to install iMovie on your original iPad, but please note the cautions regarding the installation of additional apps. Also keep in mind, my experience with iMovie (as you’ll read below) says it is a very resource intensive app (obviously, right) and I wouldn’t make any guarantees. It started to get bogged down during heavy editing sessions with the iPad 2’s dual core A5, faster graphics chip and supposed 512 MB of RAM. So consider yourself warned.

Since the announcement of the first iPad — iPhone really — I have been waiting to see what touchscreen computing would do for the non-linear editor (NLE). The gestures of swiping and pinching with your fingers to manipulate footage seemed to me to be a perfect fit for an NLE. Final Cut Pro is Apple’s professional NLE, whereas iMovie is for the consumer. As if to put an exclamation point on this, Apple rebuilt iMovie from the ground up in 2008 taking what was a capable consumer level NLE and stripping it down into something much simpler. The past few releases and updates has seen iMovie get back much of it’s original functionality. The latest version is really quite good and can take on some fairly serious editing tasks, but make no mistake with iMovie, Apple’s goal is to make editing movies fun. Final Cut Pro is an incredible editor, but to use it for “fun” and to edit my home movies with it isn’t what I think of when I think “Final Cut”.

iMovie for the iPad is no different in this regard. iMovie for the iPad is a stripped down version of it’s older bother on the Mac although it’s far more capable than its iPhone counterpart.
[Read more…]

TiddlyWiki: A Personal Non-Linear Web Notebook

Wiki Wiki

Your what hurts? A personal non-Tiddly, what? Look, buddy we don’t need any of that Communist dogma here.

Okay, it’s not what you think, I’m not stealing secrets. The name and tag line are a little different, but what is this tiddler…tattler…whatever? Well, before describing it, let me first state how I discovered it. It started a few years ago while looking for a specific kind of productivity software that ran on Windows. Like many of you, possibly, I use a Mac at home, but am stuck on a PC at work. For researching and writing at home, I would use any number of tools on my Mac, from OmniOutliner, to Scrivener, to Notebook. On OS X and now iOS, there seems to be no end to these types of tools. When I found that, at work, I needed some of the same software I used at home. I thought it would be easy. After all, there’s so much more software for Windows than there is for Mac, right? What I found though is, if there is a deluge of research storing, note-taking, and outlining software for the Mac, then there is a dearth for Windows. At least there was several years ago. I haven’t looked recently, and things may have changed since. Needless to say, I didn’t find what I was really looking for when it came to a native Windows app. In my hunt, though, I did stumble upon a great tool that I have found useful, not only on my PC at work, but on my Mac at home.

TiddlyWiki's Home Page

What I discovered was a little tool called TiddlyWiki.
[Read more…]

Review: ÜberMask for OS X

I recently had the opportunity to look at ÜberMask, a new application from German software company, nova media which purports to help you hide your files from “curious eyes.” With so much of computer security employing encryption, this application’s different approach caught my eye, so I was curious to check it out.
[Read more…]

The Chronicles of Macintosh: The Last Battle


I have this idea for a movie. It starts out with a tech company, Flynn Computer Corp, who’s developing a revolutionary new product. They approach another tech company, Encom, to help develop software for this new product. Encom has never been a competitor to Flynn Computer and therefore Flynn Computer considers Encom to be more of an ally. The villain in this movie is a bigger tech company, C.L.U., which is a direct competitor to Flynn Computer. The movie unfolds with Flynn releasing its revolutionary new product and it’s a success, but the plot thickens as Encom announces a new product of their own that’s nothing more than a clone of Flynn’s. It comes out that Encom betrayed Flynn Computer by stealing some of their secrets and technology. Flynn Computer and Encom go on to become bitter rivals, but Encom’s open business model allow its product to be used anywhere. Flynn keeps their product closed which allows Encom to take over the market. It’s full of intrigue, betrayal, ruthlessness, rich people, and lots of tech stuff.

What, you’ve heard that one before? You know the story. It takes place back in the early eighties. Replace Flynn Computer with Apple, Encom with Microsoft, and C.L.U. with IBM and the revolutionary product was the Mac. Oh, no, that’s not the one you were thinking of? That’s ancient history. You were thinking of Flynn Computer as Apple sure, but Encom is Google, and C.L.U. is Microsoft and the revolutionary new product was the iPhone.

Funny how history seems to repeat itself. [Read more…]

The Chronicles Of Macintosh

The Lion, The Air, & The App Store

The Future Of The Mac & Computing

Image Copyright Apple Inc.

In October of last year Apple held their “Back To The Mac” event and made several announcements. Chief among them was a new MacBook Air, a preview of the next version of OS X, and a new App Store for the Mac. Though by the time you read this, the Verizon iPhone will have been announced and that will be the story on everyone’s lips, I got to wondering if we won’t look back at this October event and see it as far more pivotal than we first realized. [Read more…]