Instastack, an OS X client for Instagram

Instastack is “The most elegant way to browse Instagram on the Mac” according to its authors.

Instastack

Thanks to the AppShopper.com notification, I’ve learned that this 4.99$ app is available for free in these hours on the Mac AppStore, and I’ve decided to give it a try. Once downloaded it asks you for your Instagram account, and then shows you all the photos on the network in every way made possible by their API. Loved ones, most favorites, search by tag or user. All works intuitively … as the interface is clear and mimics the UI of some more famous apps like the official Twitter client, or the Wedge App.Net client.

In some ways it remembered me of the Flow iOS iPad app for Instagram which, and the original Instagram app itself, has a big advantage in terms of user experience. Differently from Instastack, the former uses all the space available on your monitor, letting the user immerse himself in photos.

This is probably the biggest miss in the app I’ve found. But it’s probably more a philosophical one than an actual one, since the ultimate goal of this app is to keep a quick eye on your network without having to reach your smartphone (probably not appropriate or educate when you’re at work or with other people talking around).

Astropad, getting a graphic tablet out of your iPad

Released last week, ASTROPAD is one of the most interesting software released in the Apple ecosystem in these last few months.

Pairing a free app on the iOS device, with it’s counterpart on OS X, it enables a two way communications between the video of your Mac and the input capabilities of the touch display of the iPad, becoming de-facto a graphic tablet (like a Wacom).

At download time you have a 7 days, full featured, trial period. Then you’ll have to pay ~50$ for it. From the fist test I’ve done with some friends the app behaves better with tools like Photoshop, Pixelmator and such… other than some CAD, where it misses some keyboard integrations.

The developers are really active and interacts with their customers (potential ones too), so be sure to follow @astropadapp also on Twitter…

What version of OS X is installed on this drive?

It may occur to some to have a bunch of old disks laying in closets and them suddenly having the need to attach them to a running machine to restore some old data. Or you could have the need to boot up it’s System.

How to know which OS X operating system is installed on that drive? Well, all you have to do is a simple:

more /System/Library/CoreServices/SystemVersion.plist

over the Terminal.app. I’m writing this as a reminder for an eventual future need.

EtreCheck

EtreCheck is a simple little app to display the important details of your system configuration and allow you to copy that information to the Clipboard. It is meant to be used with Apple Support Communities to help people help you with your Mac.

EtreCheck automatically removes any personally identifiable information from the output. EtreCheck does not need super-user privileges to run. It will also never ask for your password. It is signed with my Developer ID issued by Apple so it can be installed on systems protected by Apple’s Gatekeeper system.

EtreCheck version 2.1.2 (105)

Discovered by chance thanks to Tevac’s forum user Tsem, EtreCheck is the newest tool in my arsenal of resident sysadmin… check it out!