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md828 reviewed on 23 Jul 2011
Excellent app, I find it indispensable for daily work. I use it primarily to access folders and files but not apps. The main selling point over most other alternatives is that DragThing is highly customizable and can be tweaked to suit your needs.

Why use this app and not the Finder, or Dock or Launchpad? DragThing is a drawer that is readily accessible from the edge of the screen and shows you big and nicely arranged icons. After you use an item the drawer closes automatically leaving your desktop uncluttered.

I've know this app for 10+ years which is an indication of how mature it is. The only con I would say is that it needs a bit more modernization in the UI as well as the aesthetic skins. Otherwise it's an excellent and I hope it continues development. Launchpad in Lion doesn't hold a candle to this!!
[Version 5.9.6]


md828 reviewed on 13 Aug 2010
Slowed down my system. I'm on an iMac 24" 3ghz, 4GB ram, and after uninstalling iStat Menus my system became faster and more responsive.

• Highly customizable
• Elegant and polished
• Battery info for cycles, capacity etc

• Performance degradation
• Price

I want to monitor my system to manage resources and take action whenever an app may bog down my system. But what happens when the monitoring utility itself has stability issues and bogs down your system? Not worth the elegance. Goodbye iStat (for now at least) Hello MenuMeters.
[Version 3.05]


md828 reviewed on 08 Jul 2010
Wow well done. This app is very close to CandyBar, but the interface offers several improvements and there is integration for icon downloads.

I have to admit, the resemblance to CandyBar is quite striking, even the quirky icon transitions when switching collections is the same, I wonder if there is any connection from the developers?

One huge request: please allow us to import our entire CandyBar libraries. I'd love to easily move my collection over to IconBox, but I'm not able to.


• Get info window is integrated as a sidebar. Selecting an icon automatically shows its info. CandyBar, on the other hand, has a separate window which needs to be brought up manually for every icon and adds window clutter.

• Exporting to PNG correctly shows 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512 sizes. CandyBar is broken here and will not allow the user to export to 256, it only shows 255.


• When importing an icontainer, the icons are imported individually not as a collection. This is horrible design/bug. If I import a Star Trek set, I want the set to be imported as a collection with its icon, and author info etc.

• I can't drag icons, or icontainers to the IconBox icon to import.

• The groups, boxes and library for organization seem confusing. I imported an icontainer and it asked me to create a library. The "library" seems to act like a box, I can put a box and a "library" inside of a group. What's a library for? I'm confused.

• Delete key doesn't work when trying to delete a group or box.

• When searching for icons, when selecting an icon in search results, it's not possible to find out which collection the icon belongs to.

Finally some serious competition to CandyBar. I'm looking forward to fixes and new features. The challenge now is whether there will be significant progress periodically, or whether it will fall into life support like candybar and keep design flaws and bugs for eternity. Let hope it's the former.
[Version 2.0.0]


md828 reviewed on 16 Jun 2010
Vector Magic blows every other tracing app out of the water. There are a couple aspects that make this the best: first, the results are clean and accurate. Secondly, it has 3 modes of usage that makes it simple to use, but also offers expert control. There are 3 modes: automatic, basic, and expert. Personally I use the basic mode which works very well even with the most difficult bitmaps.

Perhaps the best attribute is that I rarely have to spend time tweaking parameters all day like I used to with Illustrator, Corel Draw, Inkscape and others. The wizard walks you through a couple of simple steps where you specify image quality, number of colors etc. Vector magic outputs excellent results regardless of whatever you throw at it.

I would have rated this a 5 star app except for the fact that it's based on Flash. While the interface is nice and easy enough to use, it could have been better if it had native OSX controls and integration. But I'm just nitpicking here :)

Also the pricing is a bit steep. There is also an online option that's subscription based which is more affordable.

If you do this for a living, I can't recommend this highly enough. Finally tracing for the rest of us :)
[Version 1.17]


md828 reviewed on 17 Apr 2010
I wrote a review 2 years ago and expressed my praise and hopes that an iphone version of the iphone AJAX remote would come soon. The AJAX remote is a joke, and no one does any serious iphone app in AJAX. Why does the iPhone AJAX remote keep being advertised like it's the best thing since sliced bread? Anyway, the developer didn't make promises but he said an iphone native version was in the works. I've sent feedback several times on forums, and there seemed to be progress. But after 2 years, my question and frustration is: where is it?

I've also been very unhappy with some quirks in functionality that make it a pain to use. For example, when using Plex, or XBMC or Boxee, why can't Remote Buddy auto-detect them and automatically enable the right mapping? In other words, if I launch XBMC with my mouse, auto-detect it and enable the right mapping. At least make it an option.

Then, battery management of remotes like the PS3 remote is very poor. Originally the remote is reported to last 4-6 months when used with a Playstation 3. But with Remote Buddy batteries only last about 1-2 weeks. This is unacceptable. Even if justified by whatever technical limitation, it should stated on the website so users know what to expect.

Also, RB doesn't seem to remember the last used behavior, so I always need to reselect the behavior. No matter what I do, no matter which preferences I set, if I use mostly use XBMC, it doesn't seem to be remembered, and I always need to reset the right behavior.

There are also a few GUI quirks as well that hasn't been fixed even after feedback was sent. For example the Mapping edit window contains several hundred button mapping lists, but the window can't be resized. So the user has to do a lot of scrolling even if he has a 27-inch iMac that would allow a bigger window. Also it's not possible to edit Mappings if the remote isn't activated. This is inconvenient. Suppose that my remote isn't activated or that the batteries are dead but I wanna edit the mapping anyway, I can't do so with RB.

There are quirks with XBMC and possibly Plex. While I understand that this may be a XBMC limitation, Remote Buddy should not include something that doesn't work. For example in the PS3 remote, the button "Display OSD" will display the Music OSD instead of the Video OSD during video playback. Items that don't work should be excluded. And, a workaround should be used, for example include a keyboard shortcut instead. Also talking to the XBMC devs would be nice to arrive at a possible solution.

Bottom line: while Remote Buddy has some viable uses, usage in real life may be frustrating and inconvenient. With no iPhone native app after 2 years of wait and no feedback from the developer, Remote Buddy is no longer cutting edge as it once was. The lack of context-aware mapping switching is painful in real life. I keep resorting to using the true and tested Apple remote because of these issues.
[Version 1.16.2]


md828 reviewed on 17 Mar 2010
I really wanted to give this app a chance. I tried about 2 years ago and thought, hey it's early to pass judgement, lets hope it keeps getting better. So fast forward two years later, I launch the app, the default GUI theme looks cheesy unmac-like and worse than the one years ago. The store is buggy: after leaving it, songbird got stuck on previewing a song. There is no way to import a CD?

I downloaded songbird because I thought that being open source it would have the awesome LAME encoder which iTunes doesn't have. But guess what? 4 years in development and no CD importing, no LAME encoder!?

The program remains buggy, the browser-based GUI is just wrong. Just because we can put a browser inside doesn't mean the GUI needs to be based on it.

To be fair, I liked the integrated lyrics feature, the itunes-like browse feature, the quicktime playback for fairplay.

But overall I'm not sure what to make of it. Lack of CD importing alone should make this a 0.5 app, not a 1.4.3 app.
[Version 1.4.3]

md828 commented on 07 Mar 2010

There is a problem with the shadow feature, it looks bright on a dark background:
[Version 2.1.3]


md828 reviewed on 08 Feb 2010
After following this project since a few years ago, I was very happy to see a OSX version finally come out. I eagerly started testing it to see if I could replace the default desktop but I immediately encountered several issues which are impeding me to switch. I hope the following observations are helpful:

• Font sizes are too big and there is too much text truncation - by default font sizes should be the same as the Finder and it'd be nice being able to customize fonts.
• Stacks expanded view is too small - the default size is a 3x3 icon grid which is too small and one needs to do a lot of scrolling. Possible solution: make the window bigger by default and make it resizable.
• Files on a wall can't be moved to desktop as a selection - when selecting files from the wall and trying to move them to the desktop, only 1 file moves, the rest stay on wall. Solution: Allow moving selections to desktop.
• Expanded stacks don't auto-close when launching files or opening folders - on a expanded stack when opening a folder, the stack doesn't auto-close like OSX stacks. Solution: stacks should always auto-close where appropriate to reduce clutter.
• New Folders aren't placed on the right spot: When right-clicking and creating a New Folder, the folder gets created in the middle of the screen. That's counter-intuitive in a spacial environment. OSX had this issue and Apple fixed it in Leopard. The folder should be created on the spot where it was clicked with mouse or touch input.
• No Spring-loaded folders - this is an excellent OSX feature that is not present on bumptop. The lack of this feature hinders productivity for many OSX users.
• No formatting on notes - notes can't be formatted to have bigger fonts or colors.
• Stacks can't be arranged by date or name. Request: Allow arranging stacks by name, date, size etc.
• No icon grids - the lack of icon grids contribute to the "messy" look of bumptop. It'd be nice if there were grids.
• No labels - Labels in OSX boost usability since one can tag and prioritize items with color. It'd be useful if bumptop had labels.

Other comments, kudos:

• Rearranging icons inside a stack spatially: awesome.
• Big and small icons on the desktop are great, productivity boost.
• Walls: excellent, placing notes there is great, also a clipboard may be nice too, productivity boost.

These are my first impressions, I hope the project keeps improving and some of these observations can be taken into account.

I'm rating it as 4 stars for the premise of the concept even though it's unfinished and in early stages of development. It has a looooooooong way to go to become usable, but the potential is there.
[Version 1.04.2]


md828 reviewed on 29 Nov 2009
I got fed up of the constant notifications to update. I also hated whenever notifications got on top of media players disrupting movie experience. Yes there are ways to work around these annoyances but why? Why should the user work for growl when growl should work for the user? Is the user watching a movie fullscreen? Don't fraking bother me. Is there a new update? Download and install silently, don't bother me.

This utility could have potential, but it's not there yet.
[Version 1.2]


md828 reviewed on 20 Nov 2009
I've been waiting for such utility for a long time, since it's a must-have for any icon lover. Back in the day (classic Mac OS) we used to have the app "Icon Tools" by Riccisoft, which let users apply an icon stamp to a folder easily via right click. Ever since OSX, such utilities have been scarce. Enter Iconxprit. This app has many features and potential to grow. However I found several issues. My main use of applying a stamp to a plain folder was frustrating and unintuitive. Furthermore the interfaces are awkward especially the editor. Outline of issues follows:

• Editor is horrible. The GUI looks like old C code. Manipulation of sizing, position and importing of base icon and stamp icon is hard.
• Redo doesn't work (undo works)
• GUI controls in editor are too small, less than 16x16.
• Not intuitive: user should be able to right-click a plain folder, select icon stamp, and the result should be folder + icon stamp. Iconxprit does the opposite, it pastes the folder into the stamp. Awkward design.
• The main menu can't be dragged, it's fixed nonstandard UI.
• Adding text via the "Add text..." menu has a horrible UI. As you type, you can't drag to reposition text. It has a nonstandard UI controls such as the close button and apply button which can be confusing to first time users.

This utility has potential to become much better, but it will need a GUI revamp to expose all the functionality in a user-friendly package.
[Version 2.0.1]

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