Carbon Copy Cloner 4: from peace to mind to enjoyable backups

Carbon Copy Cloner 4

Backing up your Mac isn’t something you do for pleasure. It’s a necessity and necessities are seldom fun. But when the day comes your hard disk or Mac gives up, you’ll be happy to have a backup you can start from. That is: if you can start up from your backed up volume in seconds. Chances are that, if you are using Carbon Copy Cloner, you can.

Crystal-clear & perfectly manageable: Audirvana Plus 2 music player

Audrivana Plus 2.0.1

A year or so ago I reviewed Audirvana Plus. I found it one of the best music players around. Amarra was just a tiny little bit better, in my opinion. Then came Amarra 3.0, which sounded the same as the previous version, but had more capabilities. Now, Audirvana Plus 2.0.1 has been released, and I am starting to see the light. Audirvana Plus 2 outperforms evrything else and if you’ll give me a couple of minutes, I’ll explain why.

Contour Design ShuttlePRO v2 with driver v3 on OS X

ShuttlePro v2 black edition

I know Contour Design for as long as I write about Mac products, which is well over two decades. I have always been fascinated by their ergonomic shuttle device, the ShuttlePRO. Over the years, Contour Design released a ShuttleXpress and the ShuttlePRO v2. With the introduction of the new driver (v3), I finally got the opportunity to review the ShuttlePRO v2. I was prepared for a device that I could use in NLEs and a few photo editors only, but I found that one of the reasons why the ShuttlePRO v2 (and ShuttleXpress too, for that matter) is such an interesting device is its impressive application support.

PopClip, a smart clipboard aide

PopClip clipboard enhancer

I’m not a huge fan of applications that seemingly make your life easier. In many cases, they only take up memory space and make your life more miserable as a result of your Mac choking on them. But there are exceptions. PopClip is one of those.

Pacifist, file extraction and system forensics tool

Pacifist

When I reviewed Pacifist for the first time, now some five or six years ago, it was pretty much a one-trick app. No more. Pacifist is a must-have for extracting files from installers and zip files, as well as for system forensics/troubleshooting. In that area, Pacifist is just as indispensable as DiskWarrior.

Ulysses III, enhanced plain text editor

ulysses III sidebars visible

Imagine a blank slate on which you can write your thoughts and ideas and work on them further, regardless of whether it's a note, a brief or a book you're trying to compose. You'll need an app that supports your stream of thoughts without intruding. Ullysses III is such an app.

Plantronics Blackwire C720 headset

Plantronics Blackwire C720 headset

Besides making what are probably the best wireless headsets for Unified Communications (UC) on the market, Plantronics also has a range of products that are wired and more targeted at desktop users, and even gamers. The Blackwire range sits in-between the desktop and UC market. These are wired headsets with a built-in battery for Bluetooth connection to a mobile phone. I tested the Blackwire C720, a stereo version that works on the Mac as well as the PC.

WidthScribe and ColliderScribe Illustrator plug-ins

WidthScribe and ColliderScribe result

Astute Graphics recently released two new Adobe Illustrator plug-ins: WidthScribe and ColliderScribe. WidthScribe enables variation of multiple width strokes, while ColliderScribe is a toolset that enables you to position shapes accurately, placing any object precisely next to another when it touches or comes close.