Crossover Review

April 15, 2007

Cxlogo Mac

Last week I posted about running Windows on the Mac OS X. The problem with both methods (Parallels and Boot Camp) is that they both require a Windows Licence, which is usually quite expensive. Enter Crossover.

Crossover is a program that allows users to run Windows programs on Mac WITHOUT having Windows running at the same time, meaning no Windows licence required. What Crossover does, is emulate the Windows environment, which makes the program think it’s running on Windows. For more information check out the official site.

The main advantage of Crossover is that it runs directly with Mac OS X, which means it’s not as resource hungry as Parallels and as inconvenient as Boot Camp.

The main disadvantage is that it doesn’t really support a lot of programs, and those that do work are usually slightly buggy.

Shot Mac Cxsetup Thumb

Crossover boasts about being able to run Steam and more so, Counter-Strike. I’ve tested it myself and while it does run, there are a few minor problems.
1) It takes a very long time to actually get started. In the time it took to launch Steam, I was half contemplating if I should even bother playing the game anymore.
2) The bugs. When I ran the game, the mouse wouldn’t click where it was, instead it would click a few cm above. This meant that I would need to click below what I wanted to click in order to select it. Getting into the game was ok, except once I was in, my HUD missing a few things. More specifically, health and ammo. For some reason, these weren’t being shown, and if you play CS even a little but, you’ll know that you want to know how much ammo you have left or how long you have before you die.

At the moment, I wouldn’t really recommend Crossover too much, as it has a few problems doing what I wanted it to do. But for those of you who are ambitious and don’t want to purchase a Windows licence, you might want to look into Crossover.

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SMARTReporter Review

April 1, 2007

SMARTReporter is one of those programs on my Macbook that I don’t even remember I’m running unless I open the Activity Monitor. I think this is the way it is with most people who use it. You see, SMARTReporter is a program that you don’t realise is as important as it is until you need it. But what does it do that makes it so important?

SMARTReporter is a program that runs in the background of you computer and constantly checks your HD to make sure everything is going well, and if it’s not, you have time to either back everything up before a crash or find a way to fix the problem. When SMARTReporter detects that something is wrong, it will alert you with the problem so that you won’t be working away with a damaged HD in your computer. You can also choose to display a status of your HD in your Menu Bar, but I don’t think that’s necessary unless you know something may be wrong with your HD and want to check on the status all the time.

I recommend that everyone get this program, as you’ll be grateful you did if anything does go wrong with your system. Better safe than sorry.

iClip 4

March 24, 2007

If you constantly copy and paste files, you’ll find it annoying when you constantly need to refer to certain file, website or text and think that it’s annoying going back and forth copying every single thing you need. Enter iClip. iClip is a fantastic little program that allows you to store things that you copied into the program for further reference without having to go back and find the source.

For example, you’re searching for a present and find a lot of little websites that you want to save for future reference. Just copy each url and input it into iClip. Easy as pie. Then when you want the url again, either copy it back from iClip or double click on where it’s stored and it will automatically open up in your browser.

For those of you who don’t like having a program sitting on your desktop, there’s iClip Lite which is a dashboard version of iCip. This works pretty much in the same way, except it hides neatly on your dashboard, ready to be called up when needed.

Both iClip and iClip Lite are available for download and purchase (iClip Lite is free) from

Yojimbo and Journler

March 17, 2007


I mainly use two apps to organise my personal and school life. These are Yojimbo from BareBones software and Journler. They are both programs which store information and are often compared against each other about which program to use. Yojimbo is around $53 AUD and Journler is donationware.

But which to use over the other? I tried for a while to figure out which is better to use for school and to organise my life. Journler is probably the better one if you could only use one, but if you can, I say get both. I use Yojimbo to organise my personal information, and Journler for school work. (Taking notes, writing essays) Journler is so good that it’s even replaced Microsoft Word and Pages! Yojimbo has the nice F8 feature and docktab which are both quick ways of inputing data into Yojimbo without having to directly open up the Yojimbo interface, which is very minimalistic and simple. Fits in great with the Mac GUI. Yojimbo also has the option of storing Serials, Bookmarks and Websites very simply which makes it great for organising any little snippets that you may want to refer to later on.

Journler is currently in BETA 2.5 but the developers reccomend that you download the BETA since it’s basically a finished product (there has been 2 updates in a few days) and with the final 2.5 due around mid-March, so not too far around the corner. Get it here.

Yojimbo just released version 1.4.2 which had a very minor update, but it’s the latest release none the less. You can check it our and grab a 30 day trial from the website here.

Review – STM Glove

February 28, 2007
The STM Glove by Matthew Lew

The STM Glove is a real treat. It allows me to protect my Macbook but still maintains around the same width as the laptop without the case. It fits extremely well, just like a “glove”. STM is correct in saying “Think of it as a wetsuit for your laptop

My STM Glove

My main attraction to the case/sleeve is the size. As I stated, even with the case on, my Macbook is pretty much the same size. This helps a lot when I have a lot of books to carry between classes or when my bag is too jam packed. The glove offers protection from bumps, dust and scratches, but offers little protection for serious damage (e.g. If you drop it), although the material feels like it could still absorb a small amount of shock. One feature of the STM Glove that people seem to rave about is that fact that the laptop doesn’t actually touch the zip, as it is protected by an extra flap. This was a good idea, as it helps protect from accidental scratches since the glove is such a tight fit.

The Extra Flap

The negatives of the STM Glove are few but there are some. One is that when you first buy the glove, it may require some stretching to fit your laptop inside. This is because it’s designed to be the tightest fit possible. For most people, when using a product they bought for the first time, they don’t want to be pulling at it like it’s going to tear it apart. Another problem is that when you go to zip up the bag, the flap sometimes gets in the way. This is annoying when you are in a rush, as you need to stop and tuck in the flap as you close the zip. Once again, only a minor problem, but still one none the less.

Something that confuses me though, is what this extra corner handle is really for. (See pic) The STM Glove is meant primarily for people who already have a bag to put their Macbook in, but want some extra protection while it’s in there. The inclusions of this barely movable handle in the back top right corner puzzles me, as it seems to be almost completely useless. It’s so small and tight that you can’t even carry the case by it. I’m not saying it gets in the way, it’s just that if STM are going to put a handle on the glove, they should make it a LITTLE more useful.

What’s the point of this?

I compared my STM Glove to my Crumpler School Hymn in size and protection. The School Hymn, in my opinion, would be classified as a hard case, as it has an outer shell that is quite hard and seems to be resistant to heavy damage. But being a hard material, the School Hymn takes up around a cm more space when the laptop is inside. It is also more bulky to carry, and would be more uncomfortable than the STM Glove to carry around with a lot of things. But if you have just the laptop to carry and have space to fill, the Crumpler School Hymn may be the better option.

The Crumpler School Hymn and STM Glove

Compared in thickness

In conclusion, the STM Glove is the perfect case/sleeve for anyone who already has a bag to carry their laptop in but want a protective and very portable case for the occasion that they do have to remove their laptop from within the bag and carry it by itself. If you don’t need to protect your laptop from anything extremely hazardous, like a truck, then the protection that the STM Case offers is more than enough.

Pro’s – Very Portable, Offers good protection from scratches, dust and bumps

Con’s – Doesn’t offer major protection