A good dungeon crawler may drive you to the edge of insanity, but it’ll never get old and can always be reinvented. Case in point: Torchlight from Runic Games, available from Valve’s Steam for Mac digital storefront, combines the best elements of Blizzard’s classic Diablo titles with an accessible arcade style that makes it easy to create a character, upgrade their talents, and keep playing without interruptions.
Everybody knows they should practice safe surfing, but how do you know when a website might contain malicious code? LinkScanner attempts to give you a heads-up by scanning pages of search results and displaying a badge letting you know if a site is safe or not. Unfortunately, LinkScanner is marred by too many cryptic warnings, and too little useful information.
Since Flickr’s inception in 2004, shutterbugs have been posting their photos to flickr.com for the world to see--and comment on. And Flickery from Eternal Storms improves that experience by providing a portal that makes everything cleaner and faster.
As snug--and smug--as OS X’s security may make us feel, your data’s safety is up to you. Smart practices and strong passwords help, but thanks to ubiquitous USB flash drives, cloud file storage, and ever-shrinking MacBooks, it’s easier than ever to share sensitive documents or misplace the drives and computers where they’re kept. That means more opportunities for bad guys to snoop through your important stuff. Knox is a utility that gives you an extra layer of protection from prying eyes by encrypting specific files, folders, or external drives on your Mac. While it’s suited for users who need easy encryption on a daily basis, Knox deserves a look from anyone seeking more flexibility in their daily security regimen.
Tracking your work hours has evolved considerably since Fred Flintstone held a slab of rock in a bird’s mouth and bonked it on the head. Virtual TimeClock ’10, the latest product to tackle the job, has refined employee time tracking to the point where clocks, cards, and their attendant administrative tedium are handily tamed. As the name suggests, Virtual TimeClock replicates the functionality of the traditional employee time clock.
Livescribe’s latest “smartpen” builds upon the success of the original Pulse, which we rated five stars in the Apr/09 issue. And while Livescribe has been hard at work adding new features and redesigning the pen itself to make it even better, the lack of bundled accessories and some missing software features hamper what’s otherwise a great package.
Insanely great as Macs are, using them means losing some of your day to launching apps, hunting down files, and performing other routine iChores. Keyboard Maestro helps reclaim some of that time by letting you create custom macros--keyboard commands that automate lengthy or repetitive tasks and add new productivity tricks to your favorite applications. It’s a powerful package that can simplify any Mac user’s life, but if you’re not already comfortable with Macs, you may need to work a bit harder to get the most from the application.
Bigfoot may get the majority of the media’s attention, especially after his stint on The Six Million Dollar Man. But the real star in the half-man/half-bear/monkey/gorilla arena is the Yeti. While Bigfoot is out stomping his footprint into mud, the Blue Microphone Yeti (shown left at very close to its actual size) is doing a bang-up job recording your podcasts, band practices, and events. Pretty good for a mythical creature--er, an affordably priced USB mic.