Biofilm – Replicate and kill

Biofilm is not a new game but it’s still a very creative idea. The entire game takes place in a petri dish where you are in control of a colony of bacteria. There are nutrious areas where your little friends can grow and replicate, and there are evil cancer cells with whom you compete over nutrients. So you try to grow as much “soldier”-cells as possible to outnumber the enemy. Naturally there are different types of cells like glowing light cells, supporting cells, freezing cells and bomber cells. The gameplay is quite similar to old versions of command and conquer or warcraft so you will quickly feel comfortable.

This game is a lot of fun especially if you love simulation games (which are rare anyway) and the graphics are very cute. The price tag is $18 or €15 which is not so cheap but ok. (That’s the price of a 3D-Movie ticket) .

The only problem I had, was that my MacBook touch pad did not work properly with this game. Only half of my right-clicks were actually accepted so it was a bit fuzzy to control my germs. Yet I think this is not an issue with a mouse and there are keyboard controls, too.

Maybe you just download it and try it yourself 🙂

App: Biofilm
Price: €15 / $18
Requirements: G5 or Intel, Mac OS 10.3.9, (two button mouse would be useful)
Publisher: Battery Acid Games

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Scribo – Finally a MAC Latex editor

scribo icon

Ok, let’s be honest: Latex is a pain in the ass and we would all rather use MS Word. The problem is Latex has some features that Word does not offer. First: professional bibliography management. Second: Good looking type setting (not OK-type-setting but really-good-type-setting). And although we cannot change Latex itself with all its useless error codes and complex package management, we at least can choose our Latex-Editor. And now finally, after – what? 30? – years of latex there is a real Mac Latex editor. Of course there were some Editors on Mac that I don’t want to mention here but you know what they looked like.

Now Scribo is a very cool Mac app. First thing you will notice is: there is only one command to typeset. And surprisingly it will correctly typeset all Latex documents. No need to set up any commands.

The other thing is the totally clean interface. No thousand buttons to insert the strangest math formulas. After all that’s why we use Latex because we can focus on the text and not on the program or the layout. And for the inevitable rest like error checking, formatting and spell checking (yes spell checking is included!) Scribo really eases your work.

scribo screenshot

So what makes Scribo a good Mac citizen:

  • very clean interface
  • native Cocoa app (no Java)
  • included Spell Checking
  • in-app-preview
  • split sreens
  • no setting up – start and go
  • improved error console with line marking

What’s missing:

  • still in beta but free
  • I miss nothing so I’m very excited what features will follow in the final version

App: Scribo beta
Price:
still free / final version will have a yet to be announced price
System Requirements:
MacOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
Publisher: no pointless apps

Copy DVDs – RipIt

ripit icon

Ripping DVDs is not only for pirates. Even if you own a DVD it may be important to copy it to your Mac. Especially to

  • make a backup copy because DVDs get very easily scratched
  • watch it on your MacBook and save battery (the DVD drive takes much more energy than your hard disk)
  • copy it to your iPod/iPad

For quite a long time I have been using MacTheRipper because it is easy to use and free. Yet MacTheRipper is no longer supported, is PPC only and it’s successor has a very doubious payment process in which I don’t want to lose my money.

So I have been trying lots of other ripping Apps but quickly excluded most for their heavy price tag ($50 is too much in my opinion)

But finally I found the perfect replacement for MacTheRipper: RipIt. RipIt perfectly well rips DVDs and even gives a garantee to rip every DVD. If your DVD will not rip the developers promise to buy it and adjust RipIt to work with it. Devolper “The little App Factory” even claim to have a 99.9999% success rate. Of course I could not verify that but in my experience MacTheRipper had only about 90% success rate. To rip all DVDs obviously includes DVDs with copy protection and that really works well 🙂

But RipIt can even rip and convert your DVD in one step to high quality mp4 or iPad/iPod/iPhone format. On my MacBook convertion takes about 1 hour so it’s quite convenient just having to click once to have it doing it in the background.

ripit screenshot

So what can RipIt do for you:

  • very, very easy to use one click
  • rips DVDs
  • converts DVDs to all iTunes formats
  • fair price: €16 / $20

What’s missing:

  • option to only rip the movie not the extras (according to the website this is intended to keep it simple)

App: RipIt 1.5.3
Price: €16 / $20
System Requirements:
MacOS 10.5 (Leopard)
Publisher: The little App Factory

ToDo List – Remember

Honestly I have a quit unorganized, unstructured way of working. I get easily distracted and do many things at the same time. So often I forget to do important tasks. What I want to say is: a ToDo list is essential for me.

Over the last years I’ve tried many different ToDo Lists including pinning papers at the wall and even some webbased approaches but finally I sticked to Remember.

So what do I like Remember for?

  • it’s free
  • it’s invisible unless you need it
  • has cool black window look
  • you can organize your tasks in folders
  • Remember runs in the menu bar, in the dock or in both

After all it’s just a to do list and nothing else. Very clean and simple.

App: Remember 1.1
Price: free
System Requirements:
MacOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
Publisher: Lighthead Software

Hello world!

Welcome World. This is the first post. This blog shall be an access point for Mac and iPhone software reviews. I will try feature games that you have not already read on hundreds of other blogs and I will try to introduce you to Mac tools that you will love.
My name is Markus and I’m a Software Developer from Germany but I don’t want to focus on developer topics. Smiling Mac is especially supposed to be a blog for those who are new to the Mac and all “normal” members of our Mac community.

We start off with a static page “Mac Standard Accessory” showing you some applications that every Mac user should have on his machine. All experienced readers probably already have them but I hope many Mac newbies will find this helpful.

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