Posts Tagged ‘software’

SimplyBurns for simple burning

November 27, 2008 Leave a comment

simplyburnsThings have not been going well in the disc burning dungeon at Basshead towers. The big name disc burning/video editing/everything but the kitchen sink software that I have used for a couple of years was struggling with dual layer discs. I tried everything I could think of. Firmware update for the Pioneer 215 drive? Already on the newest one. Burn at 4x or 2x instead of 8x? Didn’t make a difference, discs still either failed during burning or could not be verified. Change disc brand/dye type? No change, still burning coasters. Reboot and close all other apps/startup items before burning? Still no good.

The only thing I hadn’t tried at this point was some different software, and there’s quiet a bit of it available. The first one I tried is SimplyBurns, an oss/gnu disc burning package. It’s not flashy but offers a lot of funtionality. And the best part is that it flies through burning and verifying dual layer discs. These are from the same spindle that previously failed, burned at 8x with not a single coaster yet. Donations to the project are accepted, so give it a try and do the right thing if you find it useful.

uTorrent now in Mac beta

November 27, 2008 Leave a comment

utorrentBefore completing my switch to the Mac platform my favourite bittorrent client on Windows was uTorrent. It combined a good feature set with good performance and tiny system resource requirements. It was unavailable for Mac OS until recently when some alpha versions with limited functionality appeared. That’s now changed with the release of a Mac beta available from The site makes it clear that this is beta software so may contain serious bugs, but anyone looking for a lightweight bittorrent client should give this great piece of free software a try.

Huge software savings with Koingo and MacUpdate

September 7, 2008 Leave a comment

Here’s a bargain for anyone who has bought, or is considering buying, the current MacUpdate bunde. Koingo software, makers of the included Alarm Clock Pro software, are offering their entire collection of apps (the utility package) for $19.99 instead of the usual $79.99. You need to have bought the MacUpdate bundle to qualify, but this is a huge saving over the usual price and a massive saving on the individual cost. Here’s the breakdown.

MacUpdate Bundle

  • HookUp $20.00
  • Alarm Clock Pro $19.95
  • Periscope $39.95
  • DEVONagent $9.95
  • Mellel $49.00
  • Norrkross Movie $59.00
  • Bookends $99.00
  • MacJournal $34.95
  • Contactizer Pro $119.90

Total $491.70, you pay $49.99. Lightzone will be added if sales reach 7,000 bundles, making a total of $621.65 for $49.99.

Koingo Utility Package

That adds up to an additional $205.50 of software for $19.95, bringing the total to $827.15 of software for $69.94, a saving of over 90%. The Koingo offer ends 30th September, and can be bought here.

UPDATE Lightzone has now been unlocked, so the MacUpdate bundle is now for the full $621.65 value of software. I haven’t received a Lightzone serial number yet so it’s a good job the Lightzone trial lasts for 30 days.

UPDATE The Lightzone serial arrived a day later, so I now have all the bundle apps.

New MacUpdate promo bundle

August 27, 2008 Leave a comment

The latest bundle deal from MacUpdate has just gone live (111 sales as I type) offering the usual deal of 10 apps for $49.99 with three locked until sales targets are reached. The first target is 1,000 sales so it shouldn’t be too hard to see all the apps being made available. I’ve bought the last two of these deals and everything was unlocked so I expect the same will happen this time. The apps on offer are:

  • HookUp An iTunes and iPhoto companion which allows you to access, stream and download media from shared libraries in a remote network
  • Alarm Clock Pro manages alarms and a variety of notification methods
  • Periscope is a webcam recording app
  • DEVONagent powerful internet search app
  • Mellel word processor with several advanced features
  • Norrkross Movie video editor offering features beyone iMovie
  • Bookends bibliography/reference and information management system
  • MacJournal personal journaling software (locked until 1,000 sales)
  • Contactizer Pro manage, share, organise personal and business information (locked)
  • LightZone powerful desktop photo-editing (locked)

I’m guessing this bundle is aimed at students off to college or university, with the exception of the last app LightZone. This sells as either a basic version for £75 or a full version for £115. The MacUpdate bundle doesn’t say it’s the basic version included, so it looks like a £115 app plus nine other apps for under £30. Now that’s a bargain, especially since I have been looking at buying LightZone for a while.

UPDATE Lightzone has now changed to Lightzone Basic on the description page. Looks like that was just too good a deal to be true.

Tomtom V8 gallery and changes

July 8, 2008 4 comments

A couple of months ago I bought a Tomtom Go 720. The GPS unit comes with maps of Western Europe, which was great for my recent trips to Italy and Spain. Using the Tomtom home application it’s easy to download map corrections and software updates, which brings me to the reason for this article. After several minor updates to the version 7 software the Go 720 came with, the latest update has installed version 8.010. Read more…

Categories: gps Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Istat menus updated to 1.3

June 15, 2008 Leave a comment

The rather excellent iStat menus by iSlayer was recently updated to version 1.3, and it’s well worth a try if you haven’t already got it running. It’s a menubar information display that shows a range of details including CPU, memory, drives, network, temperatures, bluetooth and date/time.

The screenshot above (from the iSlayer product page) gives you a good idea of what to expect. There’s some nice improvements in the new version, and the top five processes for CPU and memory utilisation are now displaying correctly on my Macbook and hackintosh. The only issue I have is that the temperature and fans/power displays don’t work on my hackintosh, but that’s to be expected since its not official Apple hardware.

Not only is this an excellent and useful piece of software, it’s also freeware, so there’s no excuse to to try it.

Get iStat Menus at

MacUpdate Update (MacUpdate² ????)

April 23, 2008 Leave a comment

I fired an email of to the guys at MacUpdate yesterday after receiving a somewhat misleading email about their current software bundle. This was the reply.

‘Don’t worry about it. Come back closer to the end of the promotion if you want (like Thursday or Friday even). The bundle will be where you want it to be. :)’

The reply missed the original point, since I was asking about advertising a bundle as available today when three apps were not yet ‘unlocked’. Looks like the guys at MacUpdate are pretty confident all ten apps will be included, so I expect I will be buying the bundle before the end of the week.

Macupdate Promo

April 16, 2008 Leave a comment

Following hot on the heels of the Macheist Retail bundle comes the latest Macupdate deal. As before, there’s seven software packages on offer for the slightly higher than previous $64.99, with three more to be unlocked after sales hit certain numbers. Hazel, Art Text, MenuCalendarClock, Leap, StoryMill, Typinator and DVDRemaster Pro are the apps you get to start, with Sound Studio, BannerZest and Parallels Desktop as sales targets. There’s some very interesting software in this bundle so it’s one to watch to see if the final three apps are added.

Mac Heist bundle on sale

January 10, 2008 Leave a comment

Mac heistI’ve been waiting for this one since December, but now it’s here I’m a bit disappointed. It sounds good value at 10 apps for $343.75, but the total value listed includes the three apps that aren’t unlocked yet. CSS edit is currently 3/4 of the way to the 5,000 sale unlock but we don’t know how many sales are required to get the final two apps. I found Mac Update’s approach of listing the sales required to unlock was a far better method. At least you could judge if the targets would be reached after a few days.

My disappointment is with the apps in the bundle. 1password has been on my want list for a while, so great. Coversutra? Looks great, don’t need another iTunes controller. Cha-Ching (personal finance), iStopMotion (stop motion filming) and Awaken (turn your mac into an alarm clock) wouldn’t get used. AppZapper is nice for uninstalling apps, but I use the free AppCleaner. Taskpaper? Nope, don’t need another to-do list editor. CSSedit (CSS editor, surprise!) and Snapz Pro X (screen grabber) would also not get much use if they are unlocked. That leaves Pixelmator, the only mainstream creative app in the bundle. I wouldn’t mind Pixelmator if it gets unlocked, but $49 for two apps seems lika a waste of a bundle.

The biggest problem is that the recent Mac Update bundle raised the bar. Yep, Swift Publisher, Memory Miner, Forklift and Rapid Weaver are great packages I have found very useful, and once the other software was added on it was a much stronger package. I’ll be watching the Mac Heist bundle for developments, but it certainly isn’t a must buy at the moment.

The Best Free and Open Source Software

January 4, 2008 Leave a comment

Mohawke has several pages of free and open source software recommendations, spread across OS and platform categories. Click the links to view.

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