I don’t backup. Correction, I didn’t back up. When Leopard was released into the wild, my MacBook Pro began backing up my data hourly, a good precaution. Just weeks after my external hard drive became overflowing with backups and Time Machine had been hard at work, 10.5.1 was released, which ended up causing more problems than it was supposed to fix. My Mac froze during the installation, and the OS, plus some of my files, became corrupt.
I’ve always been curious about how to shoot panoramas, and yet even more curious about how to “stitch” them together on my computer. While shooting some photos in Europe, I decided to try my hand at a panorama, and solve this mystery. When I came home, I loaded the six connected photos onto my computer, and then went searching for the best panorama app out there. At first, I threw my pictures into Photoshop and used the “Photomerge” function to stitch them together. The photo came out distorted and warped. I searched for a new solution, and eventually found Autopano Pro. Autopano isn’t like most stitchers, as it’s automatic and does nearly everything for you. It stitches, blends, and even finds the best area to crop.
So for the past year or two I’ve been using a Griffin RoadTrip to send songs from my iPod to the car radio. I bought the RoadTrip after having a bad experience with an iTrip, one of the early models that hooked into the top of my 3G iPod. The iTrip had a weak signal, tons of interference, and always ended up playing my music with static mixed in. After a few years, I’ve decided to revisit the iTrip, using one of the latest and greatest versions, the iTrip Auto from Griffin Technology.
Even though we reviewed WhatSize before, I didn’t realize it’s usefulness until now, when my hard drive started acting up. I was browsing through my folders in the Finder, and saw that the “space remaining” on my hard drive was shrinking by the second. It went from 50 GB free, to about 64 MB free in about five minutes. I didn’t know what to do, and I thought I would have to wipe my hard drive to fix the problem. I didn’t want to have to back up and reinstall OS X, as that was a last resort. I remembered MacApper’s review of WhatSize, from ID-Design, and immediately downloaded the app.
I’m not a big fan of putting videos on iPods. In fact, the last time I used my iPod video to actually watch a movie was over a year ago. Getting a movie from DVD to iPod was a long and tedious process. Converting the video to iPod format used to take ages, and was almost pointless at times. However, Elgato has recently introduced their Turbo.264, a hardware video encoder designed to speed up video encoding. Think of the Turbo as a processor that’s devoted to converting video.
With my MX1000 crapping out, I went searching for the perfect new mouse. The Microsoft mice didn’t appeal to me, and neither did the Razer mice. The Mighty Mouse was out of the question, and I wanted something nice and clean cut, yet portable. I finally found that when I got my hands on a VX Revolution from Logitech, the portable little brother to the MX Revolution. Recognized and known for it’s advanced scroll and laser technology, the VX Revolution is a great mouse for any notebook or portable owner.
We had some fun announcing yesterday’s 1st prize winner in our switcher's contest, but the truth is that there are really two first place winners, both receiving the 23 apps and t-shirts from Insanely Great Tees. Unlike yesterday’s winner who was chosen by raw skillz and uber Mac talent, today's winner is really just a lucky duck. This morning we gave all the contest entries a number, and over Skype a few of us chose the other winner of this great list of software.
Wow what a week. Aside from school and my usual stuff I have had the massive job of pouring through nearly 150 creative contest entries, to our massive Switcher’s Giveaway from last month. It was really very interesting and tons of fun, but choosing a winner for these types of things is never easy.
So before announcing the winner I just wanted to thank all the great companies who made this possible, and just congratulate everyone who entered and posted about it on their blogs and websites. Once again the Mac community really pulled through. Also a huge thanks to Miles, Josh, Kyle, Kiro and the other great contributors here for coming together on this effort with your time and expertise.
Switching to the Mac can be a difficult process. Although the physical act of going to the Apple Store and buying a computer is easy and delightful, it’s often tough to find all the apps you’ll need to work productively and maintain a seamless workflow. There are various lists on hundreds of blogs describing what apps are necessary and best, and reams of opinions on how to convert. We decided to put together a list of apps we actually enjoy using ourselves. But really this list of switcher apps is very different. Why? Because we’re giving all of these apps away!