GeekTool Review (Mac OS X Desktop Customisation Tool)

geektool-logoDo you consider yourself a geek? A nerd? Do you live, breathe, sweat and bleed technology? Well if you do, then theres a fair chance you’ve spent hours tinkering. With any piece of tech, wanted or unwanted, to make it do something magical. Hardware-wise, you may have spent many an hour spent alone, tool in hand getting all dirty and sweaty over a few screws, and many of us crave that satisfactory feeling of a job well done with our software, too.

Linux, I’ve found, in its many forms is the ultimate platform to tinker and play with the UI and basically customise it to your own personal pleasure. Android, in the mobile arena, has adopted a very similar approach whilst iOS is pretty much restricted to what you see is what you get. Similarly, Mac OS X is pretty limited in terms of desktop enhancements. Sure, it has the basics: changing wallpapers, arranging icons, folders and what have you, but in terms of actual productive and attractive enhancements, it’s way, way behind Linux and though not as far, it lays in the wake of Windows thanks to a host of third parties creating their own tools for Microsoft’s OS-in-chief.

Enter GeekTool. An application for Mac OS X, predictably aimed almost exclusively at geeks, to aid in the customisation and personalisation of your Mac OS X desktop. [Read more…]

Pulp For Mac OS X Review

Pulp_AppIf there’s one thing that the software world, be it desktop or mobile applications, is not short of, it’s RSS readers, in fact we recently posted a list of our top 5 news reader apps for the iPad. The various app stores around are bursting at the seams with the things, and they all serve a very similar purpose: to deliver an aggregated feed of news to your desktop, from your favourite sites. For this reason, there is very little room to differentiate in such a crowded market, but for factors such as price and ease of use. Enter Pulp, a recent discovery of mine thanks to the Mac App Store.

As you may have guessed, Pulp is an RSS reader for the Mac. But before we begin taking a closer look at some of the features, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Pulp costs £6.99 as an app store exclusive, although you can download a trial from the developer’s website. Regardless, I saw the screenshots and splashed the cash. Clearly love at first sight is beyond a myth when it comes to good software. Having said that, if you’re someone who prefers not to pay for software when there are perfectly acceptable freebies available that provide the same service, then stop right here. It’s not for you. [Read more…]

TunesArt For Mac OS X Review

TunesArt_LogoNot so long ago at Zath, we looked at CoverSutra, a minimalist iTunes interface that slaps some album artwork on your desktop and adds a host of convenient features for controlling your music. Well here we are again, but this time we’re looking at a rival application called TunesArt, which whilst largely based on the same principle, does have a few extra tricks up its sleeve.

It’s worth mentioning that when I bought the app, it was a great deal cheaper than CoverSutra on the App Store, costing me just 99-pence. However I believe that was a sale price, and it has now been restored to a slightly more thought provoking £4.99, and a few pounds more than Coversutra which is now on the App Store at a reasonable £2.99. [Read more…]

Win A Three Mobile PAYG 3G Broadband Dongle (Competition)

three-mobile-huawei-e367-3g-broadband-usb-dongleHere on Zath we’re obviously a big fans of the Internet and like to be able to access our favourite online services wherever we might be. In the past we’ve looked at various ways of doing that including using a MiFi, tethering with your mobile phone or using a 3G broadband dongle.

Well now we’ve teamed up with Three Mobile to bring you a competition for our UK-based readers to win one of the latter, specifically Three’s PAYG Premium 3G Broadband Dongle (Huawei E367) which we recently reviewed.
[Read more…]

Windows Phone 7 Tango Update Confirmed As A Minor Update For Minor Handsets

Windows_Phone_7Despite Mango still teasing Windows Phone users with its enormous array of new features, without making its way onto any consumers’ handsets, there is already talk of the next updates to the still relatively new OS. ‘Tango’, it’s been dubbed, but up until now there hasn’t been such clarity about exactly what Tango will be, as there has been about the name.

Well it turns out, as some predicted, that Tango will indeed be a minor update to the platform, making the OS more suitable for low-end handsets to be made available in the developing countries seeking where budget is a huge problem. [Read more…]

You Could Soon Charge Your Mobile Phone While You Walk! (Future Tech)

duracell-bunnyThe problem with modern smartphones, and indeed the majority of devices that don’t enjoy the luxury of a wall socket, that stationary tech seems to revel in, is battery life. For all the wonderful, magical and bizarre tricks that our handhelds can handle these days, they do tend to run out of juice quicker than a St Bernard on speed, though unless you’re using Windows Phone, they don’t tend to crash quite as hard.

A research and development team at the University of Wisconsin, however, has published a report that hopes to put an end to all those early nights your Android seems to be taking these days, and giving it a bit more stamina by recharging your device whilst you walk, using recycled kinetic energy familiar to many fans of Formula One motor racing this season, I’m sure, and the famed KERS system.

Essentially, the new system will consist of a chip placed in the shoe of the phone-bearer, and will convert their steps into an electrical current that will be sent to the phone in your pocket and give it a little more endurance whilst on the road. [Read more…]

Facebook Tweaks Privacy Settings To Add Clarity And Control

facebook-f-button-logoEvery company has its downfall. Whether it be a small startup with employee numbers in the tens rather than the thousands, or the billion dollar brainchild of Mark Zuckerberg, there will be something, that one thing, that haunts it throughout its existence. For Facebook of course, it’s the much publicised and heavily criticised privacy settings. Yet here we are, Facebook now has improved privacy controls.

So what does this mean? Well, users of Google+ might be familiar with the new settings on offer to users wishing to share anything on the site, because everything you do choose to share, will now be accompanied by options of exactly who to share it with. You can make it public, by choosing public, or just share with your friends, by selecting friends. There are some custom options too, but in the interest of simplicity, the ultimate aim of this change from Facebook, we’ll leave that to anyone who dares venture beyond the boundaries of what’s laid on a plate for them. [Read more…]

HP To Discontinue Production Of All webOS Devices, But What Next?

palm-preDespite having only relatively recently splashed out over a billion dollars on the original developer of webOS, Palm, HP has now decided to scrap production of all devices sporting the certainly capable, but slow selling mobile operating system.

The news certainly came as a surprise to us, but what’s even harder to believe is that this was all news to the in-house developers as well, when the press release was sent out into the wild.

It wasn’t that long ago, just back in February in fact, that we were hearing of the weird and wonderful long-term plans that HP had for webOS, which included installing it on printers, as well as the recently released TouchPad tablet and Veer smartphone, and the announcement of this discontinuation comes just a single day after the release of the flagship smartphone, the Pre 3. [Read more…]

Top 5 News Reader Apps For iPad

rss-logoIn the past here at Zath, we’ve paid attention to a number of newspaper apps, such as The Daily, that are available for the iPad and commented on the usefulness of the iPad as a reading device, but rather than decide upon a particular newspaper or publication to provide us with news, many people choose another way. RSS is used to aggregate news from a variety of sources in one place, such as a standalone app, so here’s our rundown of the top 5 news reading applications for the iPad.
[Read more…]

10 Most Wanted Video Game Releases For Autumn / Winter 2011

deus_ex_logoThe autumn/winter period of 2011 looks set to both blow my tiny mind just like the gaming end of 2010 did last year, and financially destroy me. The cavalcade of great games coming out just in the next few months, let alone early 2012, is almost too long to list, so here’s a few of my most anticipated releases that will keep me firmly in front of the video gaming screen during the cold months.

10. Dead Island

Release: September 9th
This is my wildcard, so to speak. I can’t vouch for any tried and tested genius from this game to make it onto my wanted list. However, the less-is-more direction of the zombie-play has me more than a little intrigued. For instance, just one zombie is tough to fight off (so could be somewhat different from the likes of Left 4 Dead 2), thus the bleak screams of four or five of the chaps becomes utterly petrifying. Plus, plenty of melee frolics, including kicking and explosive throwing knives, makes Dead Island a worthwhile gamble. [Read more…]