PhotoBulk from Eltima Software is a bulk-processing app that provides watermark, resizing, and image optimization services. If you're a photographer, graphic designer, web designer, or blogger, PhotoBulk can be a key ingredient in optimizing your workflow.
You can use PhotoBulk to add watermarks, including text and/or graphics, to an image. You can control the watermark's position, transparency, and fonts, as well as resize images or optimize them for JPEG or PNG formats.
PhotoBulk is $7.99. A demo is available.
See other software choices from Tom's Mac Software Picks.
Although the price of printers has come down a great deal over the years, there are still quite a few reasons not to connect printers to every PC or Mac in your home or office. Instead, you can save money by sharing printers that are already attached to your Mac or PC with other computers on your network.
Image courtesy of Epson
Many network-aware printers already have built-in Ethernet or Wi-Fi connectivity. If you have one of these printers, or plan to buy one, just follow the networking instructions that came with the printer.
If your current printers aren't network-aware, you can still connect them to your network by using the printer sharing capabilities available in Windows and OS X.
If your Windows OS is older than Windows 7, you'll find additional guides to printer sharing at:
From time to time, we get questions from our readers about problems they're having with their Mac's startup drive. Whenever I see these questions, I always hope that the readers have current backups, because if there's one thing I'm sure of, it's that every drive, no matter the make or kind, will eventually fail.
I tend to use drives for a very long time. I don't throw them away when I replace or upgrade a Mac; I reuse them as external drives, or dedicate them to a spare computer that isn't of critical use. Although I haven't kept records, I think that every drive I've ever owned has failed at some point. That's why it's important to maintain current backups of your data; you never know when you might need them.
Back to the original question: how do you repair a drive when your Mac won't boot? This may sound like the worst possible situation to be in, but there's actually a good chance you'll be able to boot your Mac, repair the drive, and get back to work, all in the same day.
In late April, Charity Buzz launched an auction for a 30 to 60-minute coffee-and-chat session with Apple CEO Tim Cook. Proceeds from the auction were earmarked for The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights; Robert F. Kennedy was one of Mr. Cook's heroes when he was growing up.
Courtesy of Apple
The auction's organizers hoped to raise about $50,000 or so; they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. The auction closed on May 14th, with a winning bid of $610,000; that's more than $10,000 per minute for a 60-minute chat (coffee not included).
If you had the chance for a one-on-one with Mr. Cook, what would you ask him? Please leave your questions in the comments section, below.
iWork, Apple's suite of desktop productivity applications (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote), may be updated sometime this year. And it's about time. Since its last major release (2009), iWork has only received minor changes and bug fixes.
Courtesy of Apple
In the past, Apple hired software engineers to work on the suite, but recently, according to MacRumors, Apple has been looking to hire QA (Quality Assurance) engineers to work with the iWork team. QA engineers are traditionally involved in the later phase of product design and development. They check to ensure that a product meets the design goals and the internal requirements to move on to the next phase, usually a release to production.
Since Apple is only now looking for QA engineers, I expect iWork to be ready for release in a short period of time. It's also possible that we'll see a product announcement this summer, with a fall delivery.
iCloud, Apple's application-centric cloud service, is a boon for those of us who use apps that support iCloud. It's a simple task to use the Open and Save dialog boxes in any of these apps to access files that the app has stored in the cloud.
Courtesy of Apple
But what about all those apps we use everyday that haven't been updated to work with iCloud? Or what if we want to store a few files in the cloud, but we don't need or want to access these files with a specific iCloud-compatible app?
That's where MobileMe's iDisk system came in handy; it was just a basic cloud storage service. You could put whatever you wanted in your iDisk, and access it from any Mac, once you signed into the MobileMe service.
Even though it doesn't include iDisk, you can still use iCloud as a general storage system for your Mac; you just need to do a bit of tweaking first.
Find out the simple steps to getting iCloud storage working for you:
The Apple refurb store is my go-to place for finding discounts on Apple products, from Macs to iPhones, iPods to iPads. Just about every product that Apple makes will eventually end up in the refurb store. I check the refurb store every week and post the best deals that I find. I tend to focus on recent generation products, but once in a while an older item is available for a price that's just too good to pass up. If you're looking for a deal on an Apple product, check this blog every Sunday.
Screen shot courtesy of Coyote Moon, Inc.
This week sees a reversal of fortune, at least when it comes to refurbished iMacs. Usually, there are a number of 21.5-inch iMacs in the store, and only a few of the 27-inch models. This week, things are turned on their heads, with a single small iMac available, but quite a few 27-inch models to choose from.
Also re-entering the store after a bit of an absence is the Wi-Fi only iPad mini.
Quantities are limited, so if any of these tickle your fancy, be fast on the trigger to make a purchase.
2012 11.6-inch MacBook Air 1.7 GHz Dual-Core i5 with 64 GB SSD and Intel HD Graphics 4000: $849.00
2012 13.3-inch MacBook Air 1.8 GHz Dual-Core i5 with 128 GB SSD and Intel HD Graphics 4000: $999.00
2012 13.3-inch MacBook Pro (Review) 2.5 GHz Intel Dual-Core i5 with 500 GB drive and Intel HD Graphics 4000: $1,019.00
2012 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display (Review) 2.5 GHz Dual-Core i5 with 128 GB SSD and Intel HD Graphics 4000: $1,269.00
2012 15-inch MacBook Pro (Review) 2.3 GHz Intel Quad-Core i7 with 500 GB drive and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics: $1,489.00
2012 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display (Review) 2.3 GHz Intel Quad-Core i7 with 256 GB SSD and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics: $1,679.00
2011 17-inch MacBook Pro (Review) 2.4 GHz Intel Quad-Core i7 with 750 GB drive and AMD Radeon HD 6770M and standard glossy screen: $1,899.00
2011 Mac mini (Review) 2.0 GHz Quad-Core i7 with dual 500 GB drive, and Intel HD Graphics 3000, outfitted with OS X Server: $759.00
2012 21.5-inch iMac (Review) 2.9 GHz Quad-Core i5 with 1 TB hard drive and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics: $1,269.00
2012 27-inch iMac (Review) 2.9 GHz, Quad-Core i5 with 1 TB hard drive and Nvidia GeForce GTX 660M: $1,529.00
2012 27-inch iMac (Review) 3.2 GHz, Quad-Core i5 with 1 TB hard drive and Nvidia GeForce GTX 660M: $1,699.00
Mac Pro (Review) 2.4 GHz 12-Core Intel Xeon with ATI Radeon HD 5770 graphics: $3,239.00
27-inch LED Thunderbolt Display 2560x1440 resolution: $829.00
27-inch LED Cinema Display 2560x1440 resolution: $829.00
2012 AirPort Express with simultaneous dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi. Includes support for attaching a printer as well as using Apple's AirPlay to send audio to any attached speakers: $85.00
16 GB Wi-Fi iPad 4 $449.00
32 GB Wi-Fi iPad 4 $549.00
64 GB Wi-Fi iPad 4 $649.00
16 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad 4 $579.00
32 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad 4 $679.00
64 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad 4 $779.00
16 GB Wi-Fi iPad mini $299.00
32 GB Wi-Fi iPad mini $389.00
16 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad mini $429.00
32 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad mini $519.00
64 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad mini $619.00
Want to find out more about Apple refurbished Macs? Take a look at the process my wife and I experienced when we took the Apple refurbished store for a spin.
Unclutter from Software Ambience Corp. is a clever app that provides quick access to pockets, which are special panels that pop down from the Mac's menu bar and allow you to create and edit notes (Notes), drag and drop files and folders (Files), or view and edit your Mac's clipboard (Clipboard).
You can detach and move each panel anywhere on your display, for quick interaction. Detached panels always display on top of any other open window. Because I'm always copying images and links when I work on articles for About: Macs, I like the detached Clipboard panel, which lets me see what's currently on the Clipboard.
The File panel is a great housekeeping tool. I can quickly clean up the Desktop by dragging and dropping files to the File panel. I can just as quickly drag files off the panel and mess things up again.
Unclutter is $4.99
See other software choices from Tom's Mac Software Picks.
The Mac has quite a few built-in features that are often overlooked. One of these forgotten features is Disk Utility's ability to create and manage various types of RAID arrays to increase performance, provide data redundancy to increase reliability, or string together a bunch of drives to create a single mammoth storage volume.
Courtesy of Apple
Disk Utility supports three basic types of RAID. The first is RAID 0 (striped), which can increase drive performance. A Mac can read and write data from a RAID 0 array much faster than a normally formatted drive. The next RAID type is RAID 1 (mirror), which provides data redundancy and can increase the overall reliability of your Mac. Finally, there's JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks), which isn't strictly speaking a type of RAID, but Disk Utility can use it to create a single large volume from multiple drives.
No matter which type of RAID system you may be interested in, we have the necessary guides to take you through the process step-by-step.
Don't forget that the process of creating a RAID array involves formatting your drives, so be sure to make current backups of your data before you start this process
Fonts are fun; they add that extra bit of pizazz to apps, documents, newsletters, posters, and other printed and web-based media. But fonts can also be difficult to manage. If you have a large collection of fonts, it can bog down your Mac, both in storage space and performance.
You don't have to be a font collector to appreciate the importance of managing your Mac's resources. That's where Font Book comes in; it's an easy-to-use font management app included with the Mac OS.
If you would like to tidy up your font collection, or just learn about fonts and the Mac, take a look at How to Manage Fonts With Font Book.