• pyrite

    Published on 2nd June 2011 by
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    Sick of the outdated layout and aesthetic of Mail.app? Sparrow's fresh, minimalist take on e-mail might be what you're looking for. After starting life as a Gmail-only mail client, Sparrow has gone on to add broader IMAP support for MobileMe, Yahoo and custom IMAP accounts. It's a deliberately pared-back app, offering only the bare essentials of e-mail, all designed around Gmail's conversation view, so if you tend to send and receive a lot of group emails, Sparrow may feel like a huge step up from Apple's app ...
    Published on 27th May 2011 by
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    I've given gaming on iOS a fair shot. Over the last few years, I've purchased countless games for both iPhone and iPad in an attempt to find seriously engrossing and impressive titles. While I can conclude that iOS gaming has evolved into a brand new and (for some gamers) exciting scene which can't be directly compared to conventional/core gaming, I've personally ...
    Published on 11th April 2011 by
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    Gaming on the Mac has historically been the subject of much laughter and side-jabbing on the part of PC lovers, and much denial and defence on the part of those solitary few who actually partake in it. A dearth of decent games, video cards which are mediocre and can't be upgraded and peripherals which weren't designed with gaming in mind are all arguments against the Mac as a viable gaming platform. Yet I, the console-loving, Xbox-hugging, mac-gamer-jeering gamer that I am, have spent more time playing games on my Mac this year than I have on any of my many consoles. Why? ...
    Published on 28th March 2011 by
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    Last month's MacBook Pro refresh (which I immediately snagged and reviewed) unleashed a whole new connectivity standard on the (mostly) unsuspecting world. The name? Thunderbolt. It's an important new step for connectivity in modern desktops and laptops, so let's take a quick look at how it works, and how it might (and should) dethrone USB3 and Firewire for high speed devices.

    If you're a MacTalk reader, we can only assume you read other tech-related news and have heard ...
    Published on 23rd March 2011 by
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    Completing what's possibly been the most drawn out three-part series in MacTalk history, I bring you my thoughts on mastering your own music with iZotope Ozone 4 on Mac. In parts one and two of this series, we covered some great options for input boxes, mics, DAWs and even Macs for your home studio. But all the great gear and cutting edge software in the world comes to nil if we don't pay due attention to the final mastering stage.

    It's a common belief that you shouldn't master your own music at all, and in many cases I'd tend to agree. You can very easily get too close to your own work and it's impossible to be totally subjective in shaping your own songs' final sound. The fact is, by the time you reach the mastering stage you've probably heard ...
    Published on 22nd March 2011 by
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    A couple of weeks ago, I started a cruel experiment involving the self-inflicted deprivation of what's by far the most used device in my digital life outside work hours — my iPad. This was partly because I was curious to know how not having one would change my usage habits, and partly because I was a little short on cash and saw selling it as a way to get something back before iPad 2 was announced, when the value of my iPad was sure to drop ...
    Published on 27th February 2011 by
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    Should you cross to Sandy Bridge? Yes, you should. In the early hours of Friday morning, after a painfully long stint of Apple Store down time and a few too many Safari refreshes, we were graced with the release of an all new line of MacBook Pros, featuring Intel's still-a-virgin Sandy Bridge architecture and a whole new connectivity standard called (unfortunately) 'Thunderbolt'. Lucky for us, a wanky new name does not a wanky new format make.

    On the low end, the bump seems quite modest at first, seeing the long overdue switch to a modern Intel i5 processor (despite ...
    Published on 23rd February 2011 by
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    The recent flood of distraction-free plain text apps for iPad and iPhone has brought attention to this great entrant in the least-cluttered-app-on-the-planet race on Mac. And it's a good thing, too. Full-featured word processing apps like Word and Pages may be very powerful, but they offer far more features than those required by most users and can be distracting with their many toolbars, sidebars and tabs (Pages is not nearly as guilty of this as Word, ...
    1. Games
    Published on 8th February 2011 by
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    Who'd have thought building goo scaffolds could be so much fun? 2D Boy's masterful puzzle game, which made indie history on Wii and PC in 2008, is now available on iPad. It's an unadulterated port of the full game, and I'm happy to say that its transition to iPad has made for an almost perfect game. It's actually far more suited to multitouch than a Wii remote or mouse, and can even be easier to play on more challenging levels, thanks to the speed of touch input over peripheral-wagging for this style of game.


    The premise of World of Goo is simple. Each level starts with a bunch of itchy-looking goo balls who want to go home. There's a little more to the story than that, but I won't spoil those few great twists here. For now, their home is a glass canister which they can only reach through a pipe. That pipe is the target for each level, and its location and the obstacles you must conquer to reach it*change every time. The goo balls have a handy tendency to stick together and make great building blocks, so that if you manipulate them correctly to reach the pipe (by building towers and other structures towards it), the goo which wasn't used up in construction can run along your created path and pass through the pipe to go home. There's a target number of goo balls to collect in the vat/vial for each level, so you have to be thrifty with the number you use in construction, lest you find yourself short on goo in the end (only the goo you don't use up are able to pass though the pipe and count toward your score).

    [caption id="attachment_12294" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="The first few levels are easily conquered"]
    Published on 17th January 2011 by


    2010 was a great year for Apple. We witnessed the birth of the consumer tablet, a hugely refined iPhone, and a bold re-imagining of one of Apple's oft-forgotten products, the MacBook Air. We also saw fantastic revisions of Apple TV and Mac Mini, plus great updates to the iPod, iMac and, it seemed, every other major product Apple has to offer.

    So how can Apple trump this in 2011? It may not be a year quite so filled with revelatory new products and massive feature leaps, but many of our favourite toys will see exciting upgrades which will have me, for one, waiting in line on day zero.

    Let's look at some of the changes we believe we'll be seeing before the year is out. Much of this is pure speculation, of course, but I've tried to include only items which have a reasonable chance of seeing the light of day. ...
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