Archive for the ‘Software’ Category

New Lower Japanese Pricing in App Store (Yay!)

July 14, 2011 Leave a comment

I just went to the App Store today and was amazed to see the new prices… I had contacted Apple Japan by email, feedback form and finally by phone in an effort to ascertain why prices were so fracking expensive.

For example, until the new pricing came into effect, Japanese customers (me included) were paying nearly 50% over the odds… Due to the really high yen.

The Yen, as it stands is currently at an unfathomably high ¥78 per US$1.

For example.

  • $0.99  was ¥115  =  $1.47 at current exchange rates.
  • $4.99 was ¥580 = $7.34
  • $9.99 was ¥1150 = $14.70
  • $49 software was ¥5800 = $73.41

Now, thankfully things are far more reasonable.

  • US$0.99 software is now ¥85 = $1.07
  •  US$4.99 software is now ¥450 =  $5.69
  • US$9.99 software is now ¥850 = $10.75
  • $49 sofware is now ¥4500 = $56.90
This represents a rather impressive 25% price cut.
Fanstastic. A rare bit of good news!
RIght, I’m off to the App Store.

Indispensable Mac OS X Software : Window Management Utilities

July 12, 2011 Leave a comment

I find myself setting up my home and office’s Macs perhaps a little more often than I would like and when I do, I find, more often than not that I install the following software.

In the first installment of this short series, I will mention a trio of window management utilities.

Note that this is not a list, just software that I am intimately familiar with and have used practically every day for over a year.

I’m running a 27″ iMac with the Awesome IBM T221 3840 x 2400 (yes, that’s right) monitor for photo editing. As such, I really need a bevy of good screen and window management software to keep the huge real estate in order.


$13  /  OS X 10.5+

by Irradiated Software

Used on my smaller iMacs, this allows for a window to be sized automatically by user defined shortcuts into full-screen, top / bottom / left / right halves and quadrants. Has some fine tuning functions, too. For example, to adjust the balance between left and right and top and bottom, such as a 60:40 split or 70:30 split or to enable the screens to avoid edges and the dock, etc.

Simple to set up and effortless to use.

Useful rating: ☀☀☀☀☀


$7 / OS X 10.5+

by Irradiated Software

Made by the same company that made Sizeup. Best new UI feature stolen from Vista, drag a window to the top of the screen and watch it maximise. Drag it to the left or right edge and have it neatly resized to half the screen width! The only reason it doesn’t get a rating of five is that cinch doesn’t integrate with the custom left/right settings of Sizeup, and as such screens cinched to the sides tend to interfere with screens manipulated using Sizeup.

Takes 10 seconds to install and get working. Simplicity itself.

Useful rating: ☀☀☀☀


$14 / Mac OS X 10.5+

by Mizage

I consider this the king of window management software. You can divide your screen into a user defined grid and assign shortcut keys to resize windows to an arbitrary shape and size for the ultimate flexibility. Alternatively, if you need a custom size window, you can press a hotkey and rapidly assign a window to anywhere on the grid using the mouse!

As with most powerful utilities, the trade off is time required to set up the software in a personal and meaningful way. Still, if you’re willing to invest a little time in it, the payoff is increased productivity and more efficient screen use.

Useful rating: ☀☀☀☀☀


Free / Mac OS X 10.5+

by Willmore

A little different to the others here, Isolator allows you to focus on just one task or window and thus reducing distractions on the average, cluttered desktop by darkening or blurring the other windows out with a simple definable keystroke or a click of the mouse on the menubar.

Elegant and simple.

Useful rating: ☀☀☀