QuickLock Is The Quickest & Most Convenient Way To Lock Your Mac

QuickLock is a terrific little tool from ThinkDev that makes it quick and convenient to lock your Mac when you leave your desk. It sits in your menubar out of your way, and a click (or a keyboard shortcut) is all it takes to keep your Mac safe.

With the latest version of QuickLock, users can enjoy a brand new interface and a number of new features. Best of all, it’s completely free.

QuickLock is a must-have if you use your Mac in an office, a classroom, a library, or another public place where you might leave it unattended for a while. You probably already use a password to ensure no one can gain access to your computer while you’re away from it, and the quickest and easiest way to activate that password and lock your Mac is with QuickLock.

“QuickLock is the absolute best way to lock your Mac,” ThinkDev says. “Unlike OSX’s hot corners, QuickLock works with a simple keyboard shortcut or menubar click, and never gets in the way of your workflow.”

And here’s what’s new in its latest update:

– Completely redesigned user interface
– Revamped user experience
– New icon
– Great new animations for locking/unlocking
– An awesome screen bounce or lock animation when typing
– Upgraded security features
– New display features
– Major bug fixes and improvements

Because QuickLock’s new features are currently in beta testing, you can get a copy of the app and try them out completely free. Just visit the QuickLock website and download it to get started.

ThinkDev has another awesome app that called QuickRes, which has been developed to make it super simply to switch between display resolutions on a Retina MacBook Pro. Like QuickLock, it sits in your menubar.

QuickRes is the best way to switch between screen resolutions on your Mac. With the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, you can set your resolution all the way up to an extreme 3840 x 2400! With other Macs, you can set your resolutions to things you’ve never seen before, including a HiDPI mode, which is as close as you can get to a Retina Display on a standard display.

A free version of QuickRes can be downloaded from the Mac App Store, but due to Apple’s restrictions, it only allows you to switch to one resolution — and you have to go into System Preferences to switch back. The paid version, however, let’s you switch between resolution as much as you like.

It’s just $1.99, but Cult of Mac readers can get 50% off for a limited time.

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QuickLock Is The Quickest & Most Convenient Way To Lock Your Mac

These Laser-Cut MacBook Lids Will Take Your Mac Décor To An All New Level

Putting a sweet decal on your MacBook’s lid is cool and all, but if you’re looking to take things to another level with your MacBook decorating skills, maybe you you should try cutting some artwork into it with a laser.

The process of laser cutting artwork into your MacBook’s lid isn’t easy, but the people over at Uncover will do it for you. You can get almost any design cut into your MacBook, but Uncover requires that you send in your MacBook to be beautified, or just buy a new one through them so they can customize it before sending it out to you.

The results are pretty stunning, and it will definitely help you stand out at a college or your next IT conference.

Here’s a peek at some of the cool laser-cut artwork others have had Uncover do for them:

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Uncover says they can modify both MacBook Pros and MacBooks Airs. Unfortunately, laser cutting isn’t cheap. Some of the simple designs will only set you back $260, while more complicated procedures demand up to $780. Whatever you decide to go with, you better love it for the rest of your MacBook’s life because there’s no going back once you’ve cut your lid with lasers.

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Source: Uncover

Via: iLounge

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These Laser-Cut MacBook Lids Will Take Your Mac Décor To An All New Level

The Best Laptop To Run Windows On Is A Mac

How crappy are Windows PCs these days? The most reliable, best performing, highly rated laptop for running Windows on is a frickin’ Mac: specifically, a mid-2012 MacBook Pro 13. That’s the conclusion of a new report released by Soluto, purveyors of a cloud-based PC monitoring and management software suite, sampling data gathered for the first three months of 2013 from 150,000 portable PCs, and awarding them a score according to how many times programs on average crashed or hung, how long it took to boot up, how many background processes were running, and how many times it BSODed (or completely crashed).

As ZDNet’s Ed Bott points out, the laptops that were determined to be most reliable were the ones that ran clean installs of Windows, instead of bloatware-infected OEM installs. And surprise, every Mac running Boot Camp must use a clean install of Windows, making it the king.

Jeez, PC makers. This is just sad.

Source: Soluto

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The Best Laptop To Run Windows On Is A Mac

Hacker Builds Retina PC Using An iPad Display

You don’t necessarily have to spend $1,200+ on a new MacBook Pro to get a computer with a Retina display. Providing you’re happy to pull apart your iPad and you know what you’re doing with a soldering iron, you can build your a Retina display for your PC.

That’s what Polish hacker Andrzej did.

Andrzej took advantage of the eDisplayPort interface on his iPad’s Retina display — which was manufactured by LG — and turned it into a traditional DisplayPort using a connector he found online for $14. Soldering everything together was the hardest part, Andrzej describes on his blog, but the effort was well worth it.

Creating the PCB was fairly straightforward, I just had to route all the FPC connector pins out to pads where I would solder DP cable wires. It was possible on a single-sided home-made board.

I tried to make the traces for DP lanes to be of the same length (that’s very important for high speed differential signals), and as it turns out, either my PCB design is pretty good, or DisplayPort is very forgiving. 🙂

Soldering everything was a little difficult, the FPC connector has tiny pins, but they stick out a little bit, so it’s doable with a regular soldering iron.

After the PCB was done, I cut open a DP cable and soldered all the wires in their places.

Unfortunately there is no standard for wire colors, so I had to open up the DP plug to trace them to the correct pins.

Andrzej was left with a Retina display for his PC that runs at full resolution. The whole thing cost him around $70 in parts, he says, with the display itself purchased from China for just $55. Andrzej says that this is just a prototype, and that he’s working on a “professional PCB with a DP connector so no wire splicing will be required in the future.”

Maybe you’ll soon be able to buy a readymade adapter from Andrzej that’ll do all the hard work for you. But in the meantime, you can try out the hack yourself by following the instructions on Andrzej’s blog.

Source: EmertyHacks

Via: Macgasm

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Hacker Builds Retina PC Using An iPad Display

Pupil Switches Retina Resolutions Right From Your Menubar

Remember when we used to switch resolutions on our computers? No, probably not. That’s because only old people experienced the pain of doing such a thing manually – these days our monitors are built in to our computers, and the pixel-mapping is done by the OS.

Unless you have a new Retina MacBook Pro that is. Now there might actually be a reason to switch resolutions. But who wants to dig around in System Preferences? Instead, you can use Pupil.

Pupil is nothing more than a menubar pull-down which lets you select the res for your Retina MacBook Pro (RMBP) screen. Why would you do this? Because the RMBP doesn’t run at its full resolution. Instead, it takes four screen pixels and molds them into one notional pixel. This is A Good Thing most of the time as it a) makes everything looks smoother thanks to some clever jiggery-pokery at the pixel anti0aliasing level, and b) means that you can actually see the on-screen icons without a magnifying glass.

But sometimes you might want to see all the pixels rendered individually. Some apps, like Adobe’s Lightroom, can do this – they show the UI in the smooth, four-in-one pixel mode and display the actual photo as native pixels.

But that relies on the app. If you want to take control, Pupil will add let you switch up resolutions at the pull of a menu item. You can even name your presets so they’re easier to find.

The app is just $5, and has a generous trial period to check it out first. What are you waiting for? What? An eye test? Ah, yes. Fair enough.

Source: Pupil

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Pupil Switches Retina Resolutions Right From Your Menubar

Boost Your Volume With Boom For Mac [Deals]

This Cult of Mac Deals offer is for Boom, a sweet little Mac app that both boosts your Mac’s volume and equalizes and enhances its sound. Boom seamlessly integrates itself with your Mac so all you have to do is adjust the volume as you wish. As for the deal….we’ve got it here for just $4 for a limited time.

Think of what Boom can do for the volume on things like:

YouTube videos Hulu content The music in your iTunes library Skype calls FaceTime and iChat communication Your favorite games …and more!

Boom can boost them all. Add to that the ability to boost audio and video files and you have the ultimate sonic boom for your Mac.

Boom will improve the audio quality from the Mac’s built-in stereo speakers on the latest MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, MacBook Pro with Retina Display, and the new iMac as well. With this deal you’ll get a licenses that allows you to run it on 2 Macs, meaning you can have enhanced sound on your home and work machines.

But this offer won’t last. Head over to the Deals page now and add some much-needed ‘oomph’ to your Macs with Boom for only $4!

[subscribebutton]deals[/subscribebutton]

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Boost Your Volume With Boom For Mac [Deals]

This Wool Felt Sleeve Case Is The Comfiest Home You Could Give Your MacBook [Review]

Do you ever worry that your beloved MacBook’s sleek aluminum shell will get damaged when it’s packed inside your bag with the rest of your gadgets and gizmos. This handmade, wool felt sleeve from MyBanana aims to give your notebook a home of its own, away from sharp keys, USB cables, chargers, and all the other things you might need to pack into your bag when you’re on the road.

Wool Felt Sleeve by MyBanana
Category: Sleeve
Works With: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro
Price: £48+

Its slimline design holds your MacBook Air or Retina MacBook Pro — depending on which size you go for — plus smaller items in a pocket on its front. This is ideal for carrying Lightning cables, an iPhone, or even an iPad mini.

Anything you stick inside the sleeve is secured by two vegatable tanned leather traps with snap fasteners.

Pricing starts at £48 ($56) for the 11-inch MacBook Air sleeve, then rises to £54 ($63) for the 13-inch MacBook Air or Retina MacBook Pro models. If you have a 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, it’ll cost you £58 ($68).

Let’s find out if it’s worth it.

The Good

I’ve been using this sleeve for several months now, and the thing I love about it is that it’s completely unique. It’s not mass produced on an assembly line that churns out thousands of these cases each week — every one is lovingly made by hand.

These fasteners are super strong.

That means you’re unlikely to find anyone else with the same case. I took mine to Mobile World Congress back in Febuary, where I saw hundreds of MacBooks every day — and not one of them was protected with this case.

At MWC, I used the sleeve to protect my MacBook inside my bag, and to prevent it from being scratched or dented by my camera, my iPad mini, and all the cables, pens, and other stuff I had rolling around in there.

It fits incredibly well — it’s not too tight but it’s not too loose — and the leather straps gave me peace of mind when I was pulling my laptop out of my bag; it didn’t matter if I yanked it out at an angle, because my MacBook wasn’t going to fall out.

The pocket on the front of the sleeve was also handy for carrying the odd Lightning cable, and sometimes my iPad mini. You can also fit your MacBook’s charger in there; it’s a bit of a squeeze and I don’t recomment it, but it will fit. But you have to watch what you put in there — more on this below.

Another thing I love about this case is its build quality.

Another thing I love about this case is its build quality. It’s super tough, and everything feels solid and secure, and the stitching and straps are more than strong enough. Mine’s taken quite a battering over the past few months, and it still looks pretty much brand new.

The Bad

The sleeve doesn’t have a handle, so if you wish to carry it by itself — not inside a bag — then you’ll have to tuck it under your arm or trust your grip. And I have to say, the wool doesn’t provide the best grip, especially when it’s carrying a heavy notebook.

If you’re popping to a local cafe and you just want to catch up on some emails over a coffee, then this won’t be too much of an issue. But if you plan on carrying your notebook around all day, then it will.

MacBook chargers are a tight fit.

As I mentioned above, you’ll need to watch what you put in the front pocket of the sleeve. While an iPad mini or some cables are just find, smaller items — such as memory cards — are likely to slip out of the gaps at the sides and get lost. I actually lost a pen this way; I’m just glad it wasn’t something more valuable like an SD card full of photos.

You’ll also want to be careful cramming your charger in there. It’ll fit, but it’ll be tight, and if you happen to drop your laptop and it lands on the charger, it’s more likely to get damaged than if it lands on an flat iPad mini.

The Verdict

Smaller items can fall out of these gaps at the sides.

While this sleeve isn’t built for carring a notebook around all day, it’s terrific if you want added protection for your device while it’s inside your bag, or if you want to pop out for a couple of hours and get some work done in a cafe or a library. It’s even good for carrying your laptop to and from the office in the car.

I’m also a big fan of the fact that it’s handmade and completely unique. And because of this, I don’t mind spending a little more on it — not that it’s overly expensive anyway.

Just be careful how you use the front pocket, and make sure you hold it tight when you’re out and about.

Product Name: Wool Felt Sleeve
The Good: Strong, looks good, and completely unique. The most comfortable home you could give your MacBook.
The Bad: No handle and therefore not much grip.
The Verdict If you want a MacBook sleeve that’s unique and well made, then this sleeve from MyBanana is certainly worth a look.
Buy from: MyBanana

Rating: ;☆☆☆☆☆ ;

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This Wool Felt Sleeve Case Is The Comfiest Home You Could Give Your MacBook [Review]

Apple To Refresh MacBook Lineup In Time For WWDC [Rumor]

There have been some absurd Apple rumors that hit the web this morning, but here’s one that actually has a chance of happening in the real world.

Apple will be updating its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro line of laptop just in time for Worldwide Developers Conference this June. 

Even though the rumor is coming from the unreliable “supply chain sources” at Digitimes, we think there’s reason to believe the update will happen soon. Both the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro haven’t seen updates since June of 2012, so we expect Apple to come out with a minor spec bump for all models in the near future at the very least.

Intel is still waiting for its Haswell processors to be ready for primetime this summer, which is when Apple will also update the MacBook lineup too. Some have speculated that the MacBook Airs will get Retina displays, but with their paltry battery life, we’re not so confident that will happen quite yet.

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Source: DigiTimes

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Replace Your MacBook’s Keys With These All Wood Danish Mid-Century Chiclets

I’m a sucker for wood paneling my Apple products, and so I’m absolutely going to have to do this: the guys over at RAWBKNY (whom we’ve written about before) are now selling laser-etched replacement keys for the MacBook Pro.

They look great, and Michael over at RAWBKNY say that while they are only designed for the non-Retina MacBook Pro right now, he’s tweaking it so it should work on Retina MacBook Pro and MacBook Airs soon.

We’ve got a review unit on the way to see how well these work, but be warned: replacing every key on your MacBook is likely to be a time consuming process. $40 will get you a set.

Source: RAWBKNY

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Replace Your MacBook’s Keys With These All Wood Danish Mid-Century Chiclets

Huzzah! OS X 10.8.3 Update Gives Retina MacBook Pro Owners 20+ Minutes of Extra Battery Life

If you own a Retina MacBook Pro, here’s a nice little perk to upgrading to OS X 10.8.3: you’ll get about 20 minutes more battery life per charge.

The Mac Observer ran the update through its paces and here’s what they found:

We decided to also run tests on our 2012 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display (rMBP). We privately tested each beta build of 10.8.3 on both MacBooks as they were released and, starting with build 12D76, we saw a noticeable jump in battery life on the rMBP. Running time went from 398 minutes, which was roughly the same as the public release of 10.8.2, to 421 minutes, a change that persisted with the final build.

If you have any other MacBook, though, don’t hold your breath. The new update doesn’t improve much for non-Retina MBPs.

Source: Mac Observer

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Huzzah! OS X 10.8.3 Update Gives Retina MacBook Pro Owners 20+ Minutes of Extra Battery Life