Apr 01

When Wunderlist closed down we’ve been left without a good task manager that easily syncs across Google and MacOS. AnyDo doesn’t have a MacOS app. I can’t get my Google assistant to add a new todo into to ‘Todoist’. Google Tasks isn’t great but it does have the advantage that it is built right in to gMail. So it’s what I’m running with at the moment. Google tasks is available on MacOS but the App is called ‘Tasksboard’. Here’s the convoluted way to get it up and running!

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Mar 30

Fantastic article on how to do a livestream here:

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Mar 28

Zoom is optimised for speaking.  If there is any other noise (e.g. a guitar) Zoom will think it is background noise and try to remove it!  To share a movie or song via screenshare you need to change some settings.

Go to Zoom/Preferences/Audio Advanced and select the following options…

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It’s best to turn off background noise suppression when playing music like a guitar. “Enable Original Sound” will put the audio from your mic or movie directly to Zoom without noise and echo cancelling.

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Thsi is what it looks like when ‘Original Sound’ is turned on.

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When sharing a video click these options as you share it to include the sound and optimise the quality.

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Mar 24

With COVID our church has moved to putting the talks online.  The most important thing when recording talks is good audio quality.  Your eyes can put up with poor video,  but poor audio gets irritating very quickly.  Thankfully it’s very easy to get clear sound.

The key is to use an external microphone so that the mic can be close to the person who’s talking. Don’t use the mic that’s built into your laptop or phone.  This is especially important if you are in an online meeting where you are listening as well as speaking.

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Mar 11

Last week my daughter was given a Spider-Man DVD for her birthday from her younger sister. We went to play it from our laptop and watch it on the Apple TV but because of the Disney copy protection it would not work! So we went out to my study and tried to watch it on my 2018 Mac mini with an external DVD player, but the video kept crashing the computer. This has some heavy duty software protection on it!

In the end I had to buy some software to copy the DVD onto our computer before we could watch it. I was a bit nervous because some of the DVD ripping sites looked undesirable. But in the end I found a good site and the software worked well. Sadly we were unable to watch the video that night on my daughter’s birthday, but we were able to watch it the next night!

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Mar 11

“This Program can’t be opened because it is from an unidentified developer”

Apple are getting tighter on which software they allow you to run on your computer. This is good because it avoids you getting any malware on your computer from bad software developers. But it also means that some legitimate software won’t run. If you are trying to download software from somewhere other than the Apple app store and you trust the source you are downloading your software from, here’s how to manually turn on the security settings for it to run.

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Feb 10

Before you upgrade to OS X Catalina you may need to stop and assess the applications that will stop working. Catalina is what is called 64 bit. They are not at all compatible. Previous OSX version (e.g. Mojave) would have given you a warning about 32 bit applications that you are running. So I knew that Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and some other apps would stop working when I upgraded to Catalina. But I was not prepared for how many applications would stop working!

Here are just some of the apps that stopped working wth my upgrade to Catalina:

Bento

I used it a lot to edit my Apple Address book contacts. It’s the only program thatI know of that can interface directly with Apple address book and export your contacts into a CSV file. A shame that there is no alternative.

Quicktime player 7

I had the pro version which allowed me to do some nice video editing and compression. The newer versions of quicktime do not have a pro version.

Data Rescue

Requires $150 to upgrade to the newer version.

Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator

These products now only come as a subscription so I purchased Affinity Designer to replace them.

Sibelius First and Dragon for Mac.

These still worked on OS X Catalina until I purchased a new laptop. The Serial number validators don’t run in Catalina. That means Dragon and Sibelius will continue to run as long as you keep the same computer. I just upgraded my laptop and both Sebelius and Dragon asked me to re-verify my serial number. There is no way to enter a valid serial number under Catalina. So Catalina killed those two apps even though the apps them selves are 64 bit.

Fujitsu Scansnap Scanner drivers.

I have a Fujitsu Scansnap S1500 scanner that I used to import all my documents into Devon think pro. The Fujitsu scanner drivers that work in Catalina do not work with older Fujitsu scanners so now my $800 scanner is rendered useless even though it was working perfectly.

The bottom line is when you install Catalina a lot of your existing apps may stop working and you may need to buy new ones or upgrade them. For some applications that just means forking out some money but there are other discontinued applications that there is no alternative for Catalina. (e.g. iDVD, Bento, Quicktime Player 7 Pro, CSSEdit.)

I’d suggest waiting till you have a fair bit of free time before upgrading to Catalina, and after you upgrade give all your Apps a test to make sure they still work.

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Jan 27

In OSX Catailna Apple have introduced lots of security ‘Features’ which make it harder to install and run software, especially with software that interacts with other applications. You may get a warning telling you that accessibility needs to be enabled.  Here is how you can turn it on for a particular application.

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