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Inventory/Wish List Applications – Delicious Library and Compartments

Have you ever wanted to quickly make an inventory of all your stuff? How about making a birthday wish list so that people get you things you actually want? Today I’m reviewing two great pieces of software to help you do this.

 

I’ll start off with Compartments, by LittleFin LLC. With a nice and cozy feel, Compartments is a very friendly and useful tool for cataloging your possessions. In fact, you can specify which room in your house an object is in. Also handy is the feature called WarrantyGuard. This means that if you enter warranty information for your items, you will be notified when a warranty is close to expiring. Another great thing is that you can export an inventory report, in chart form, of your belongings.

Pros:

-WarrantyGuard is helpful

-Several different types of items and locations

-Free upgrades for life

Cons:

-List interface is less helpful than a visual interface

Suggestions:

-Maybe if a dialog box popped up in Finder I’d be more likely to notice the WarrantyGuard alerts

Rating:

-User Interface: 3/5

-Utility: 5/5

-Price: 4/5

Overall Rating:  (4/5) 80%

 

Compartments

 

Compartments is on sale for $9.95. Buy it here before the sale is over!

Now, Delicious Library, by Delicious Monster, is another program for storing information about your items. Delicious Monster, thank you for the AppleScript support! As an AppleScripter, I fully support software that allows for complex scripting. Delicious Library fetches product information from Amazon and allows barcode scanning from the built-in iSight camera. As a fallback, though, you can add an item and fill in the information. The main view shows images of the products, and you can keep track of friends who have your movies. You can also search for friends who have a movie you’d like to see and mooch it from them. Drag an item onto a contact and it will show that you’ve lent it to that person. You can even sell your things on Amazon within the application! Delicious Library has support for foreign currencies and syncing libraries to iPod, iPhone, or iPad notes. Share your libraries over your LAN using Bonjour if you like. Delicious Library is feature-packed, in a good way.

Pros:

-Barcode scanning is excellent and quick

-Typing in the ISBN number works great as well

Cons:

-Sometimes when an item is available on Amazon, it still fails to show up in the search

Suggestions:

-An option to add an item from an Amazon URL would be nice

-ThinkGeek integration would be fantastical

Rating:

-User Interface: 5/5

-Utility: 5/5

-Price: 4/5

Overall Rating: A (4.66/5) 93%

Inspector 0 topmatter

Delicious Library 2 is on sale for $35. Buy it here before the price goes up again!

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2011 in Inventory, Software, Wish List

 

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Ensoul 1.0.4 – MacPaw

From the same team that produced one of the most successful maintenance utilities ever (CleanMyMac) comes another elegant application. Ensoul, by MacPaw, is somewhat difficult to describe. Part iPhone simulator, part image editor, Ensoul ensures that your iPhone wallpapers are perfectly sized, scaled, cropped, rotated, and more. Boasting several image editing features, such as contrast, horizon, hue, and saturation, Ensoul allows you turn any high resolution picture into a great background. You can specify between an iPhone 3GS or an iPhone 4, since the resolutions are different. My favorite feature, though, is Contact editor. This nifty tool allows you to take a picture of a friend, edit it appropriately, and save it as the contact’s caller ID picture. It shows you a preview of what it will look like when you receive a call from one of your contacts. Photos can be imported from iPhoto, Photo Booth, your Picture folder, or drag-and-drop. Best yet, you don’t even need to export the images! In the menu bar, click “Action”, and you are given the option to sync the photos straight to your iPhone! Ensoul provides you with a starting library of iPhone wallpapers, in case you need somewhere to start. A single user license of Ensoul can be purchased for $9.99 from here. Alternatively, a copy can be purchased from the Mac App Store.

Before and After

Pros:

-Although unlikely needed, the feature to export to disk and email may be useful to some people

-Very Apple-like interface

-While it’s a luxury, Ensoul makes the process of changing backgrounds and images much easier

Cons:

-Within the iPhone simulator, it is very easy to accidentally move the image

Suggestions:

-I think that Ensoul would be a more robust application if it supported iPads as well

Rating:

-User Interface: 5/5

-Utility: 4/5

-Price: 5/5

Overall Rating: A- (4.66/5) 93%
 
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Posted by on August 11, 2011 in Image Editing, Software, Utilities

 

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Application Launchers – LaunchBar and Alfred Powerpack

There are several ways to open your files and applications, and several people are content with Spotlight. But for some people, Spotlight isn’t a great filter. Others may be having problems with Spotlight endlessly indexing files. I recommend two utilities for either dilemma. LaunchBar, by Objective Development, has great features, like inline math operations. It found sines and logarithms fine, and seemed to be capable of simpler operations as well. LaunchBar has several features, such as showing the clipboard history, which are easily overlooked. In fact, I overlooked several great features in the review earlier!

One of the things I missed were LaunchBar’s “ClipMerge.” By double-typing ⌘C, you can merge the copied data with the clipboard contents. Also, you can run AppleScripts and Terminal commands in LaunchBar’s minimalistic window. You can also view the currently playing track from iTunes and browse songs from the same genre, album, and composer. Another feature is viewing Address Book contacts in LaunchBar. The file-system can be navigated directly from LaunchBar. This application can also be used to schedule events in iCal. One thing I noticed in LaunchBar, was that it composes messages in your default mail client when selected from the contacts, though it uses Apple’s Mail when you choose the New Email options. LaunchBar also has several smaller features as well.

A single license for LaunchBar is € 24. I find $35 to be on the pricey side for application launchers. Buy it here!

Rating:

-User Interface: 4/5

-Utility: 5/5

-Price: 4/5

Overall Rating: B+ (4.33/5) 87%

Another good application launcher is the popular Alfred. The basic version of Alfred is free, but for the price of £12, you could own the Alfred Powerpack. Now this is one of the coolest little apps I have seen in a long while. With the free version, you’re simply able to launch your applications and files. The Powerpack, though, offers several customization options, including themes, which are exportable. Alfred now has extensions, which are either shell scripts, AppleScripts, Workflows, Files or Groups, or search filters. Alfred also offers file-system navigation, as well as an iTunes mini-player, which I adore. You can configure Alfred to exclude certain file types, or to watch for them. There’s also a built-in Address Book. Just type a name, hit enter to confirm, and Alfred will show you the contact info within the application. Another thing Alfred does so well is help with the clipboard. It won’t remember things copied from applications like 1Password, Wallet, and Keychain Access. You can get definitions straight from the Alfred bar as well by typing “define” before another word. The partial matching feature in Alfred allows you to abbreviate application names. The Powerpack is £12, but will cost more after version 1 is released. However, if you buy a Mega Supporter license for as little as £30, you get free lifetime upgrades! Buy it here!

Rating:

-User Interface: 5/5

-Utility: 5/5

-Price: 5/5

Overall Rating: A+ (5/5) 100%

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2011 in Application Launcher, Utilities

 

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Renamer 4.1.0 – Incredible Bee

An Austrian-based group, Incredible Bee Ltd., has created some of the most beautiful software I have ever used. A while back, I reviewed their product Archiver. Now I’m back from an informal sabbatical to write about their brilliant program Renamer. Not too long ago, I needed to download a textbook for Chemistry. The pages exported with a crazy prefix that I don’t recall. However, once I put in a few details about what part of the name to replace, I ended up with files called Page 1.jpg until the very last page.

Not only does Renamer have find and replace features, it also boasts case changing, as well as numbering and text manipulation. You can store settings as “Presets,” change text encodings, and modify extensions as well. Renamer also has a menubar icon, to make your renaming as quick and pleasant as possible. I have never seen batch renaming made so easy, and this is clearly an easy “A.”

For only $19, it’s a real bargain. Renamer has saved me from hours of tedious work. Buy it here!

Thanks, Ramon!

Pros:

-Ridiculously easy to use

-Find and Replace option is perfect

-Time spent renaming is minimal

-Elegant interface

-Built-in presets, which are customizable

Cons:

-None

Suggestions:

-None

Rating:

-User Interface: 5/5

-Utility: 5/5

-Price: 5/5

Overall Rating: A (5/5)

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2011 in Renaming, Software

 

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Postbox 2.5 to be Released

 

Several Mac users have problems with Apple’s default mail client. Sparrow, which I’m currently reviewing, is a fix for Gmail users, but people who don’t use Google’s mail are left out. Sure, Mail.app will see improvements in the upgrade to OS Lion, but we all know that Apple leaves out critical details in every update. This is why Postbox, a great mail client, is in such high demand. Version 2.5 is to be announced on June 29.

Postbox has several features that Apple’s Mail.app leaves out, like tagging emails with categories, image and attachment searching, as well as a very focused and attractive layout.

Attachment Search

Main Window

Not only does Postbox feature anti-phishing detection, it also supports add-ons, including C-Command software‘s popular SpamSieve, as well as several others. Soon I will have more details.

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2011 in Mail, Software

 

Scrivener 2.0.5 – Literature & Latte

For years, there have been text editors, but text editors focused toward serious writing (prose, plays, and poetry) are a recent innovation. Scrivener is a writer’s best friend, and has several templates to start writing from. One of Scrivener’s best features is its versatility. For example, you can add, remove, or change the traits in the character sketches. A writer myself, I have found Scrivener to be a very handy tool in writing, and it is much better for writing than Microsoft Word. While there is competition from OmmWriter Däna, Ulysses, and WriteRoom, Scrivener seems the most well-rounded. And best of all, Literature & Latte offers a student discount. Several writers swear by Scrivener, which is not surprising, considering its wide range of applications. Buy Scrivener here!

Scrivener

Pros:

-Great interface

Cons:

-No actual templates for song lyrics

Suggestions:

-An optional “distraction-free” interface, like WriteRoom

Rating:

-User Interface: 4/5

-Utility: 5/5

-Price: 5/5

Overall Rating: A (4.66/5)

Buy Scrivener 2.0 for Mac OS X (Regular Licence)

Scrivener for OS X

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Text Editors, Writing

 

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Fontcase 1.5.8 – Bohemian Coding

The pre-installed font manager for OS X, Font Book, is really weak, and most designers know it. You only see the “waterfall” of characters in the font preview. In Fontcase, however, you can view filler or custom text in the selected font. Another feature provided by Fontcase is the ability to copy a single character from the selected font to the clipboard. Want to share your fonts with friends nearby? No problem. Just go in Fontcase’s preferences and select the “Sharing” tab. If you want, you can password-protect your fonts over Bonjour. Buy it here!

 

Fontcase

Thanks, Pieter and BohemianCoding!

Pros:

-The “Body-Text” feature makes it quick and easy to preview the fonts you want to use

-Since all the fonts are stored in a relocatable “vault,” you can share the fonts in your Dropbox folder.

-Sort by Designer Name works well

-In-App Purchasing is very simple and secure

-Sort between Activated and Deactivated fonts

Cons:

-No sample fonts are included

Suggestions:

-None

Rating:

-User Interface: 5/5

-Utility: 5/5

-Price: 4/5

Overall Rating: A (4.66/5)

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2011 in Font Manager

 

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