Every now and then I stumble across a life changing app that completely changes the way I interact with my computer. Quicksilver. Devonthink Pro. Jumpcut. Keyboard Maestro. 1Password. Dropbox. Hazel. These are Apps that I cannot do without! In my 20 years of being a mac user there has been a handful of such apps that are mandatory to install on any new computer that I use. I’ve just discovered a new app to add to the collection – Unclutter…
You can use any monitor with the new Mac mini 2018. (Except for an Apple one because they don’t make them any more!) The Mac mini has a HDMI port for a display, but you can also plug a monitor into any of the 4 USB-C ports. My strong advice it try to get a monitor that comes with a HDMI cable or a USB-C cable – don’t rely on Apple’s Thunderbolt to USB-C adapter.
If you have a choice go for a monitor with a HDMI cable so as to leave the 4 USB-C ports free. There are a wide variety of monitors available. I went down to the local computer shop and tried a few out and the ones that stood out to me were LG, BenQ, Samsung and Dell. I’ve also read good reviews on Acer and HP. But be aware that all of these brands make low quality monitors as well. So it’s more important to look at the quality of the monitor than the brand. e.g. Check out the contrast ratio, colour reproduction and resolution.
Don’t just look at the monitor in demo mode in the store. Make sure you plug it into a computer and have a look at some text on the screen. Take your own laptop in or ask the store for a demo plugged into a MAcintosh computer. The demo modes on the monitors are made to look crystal clear and sharp, but when you plug it into you computer and display plain text some monitors can be fuzzy or blurry or even look washed out. Read more to find out what monitor I ended up buying!
Have you ever wondered which application is using up all your internet data? We live out-of-town on a rural property and I’m on a plan that only has 60GB per month. Sometimes I am tracking along fine when overnight my data usage spikes and I lose 10GB. Where has it all gone? After trying out various Apps that monitor and track your internet usage I have found TripMode to be great for tracking my usage.
TripMode is a little menu bar application that monitors every application on your computer and it’s internet use per application. For example here is a display of my usage in one day:
As well as keeping track of how much data each application is using, you can manually enable or disable the internet for each application. For example, in the screenshot above I have disabled internet access for the ‘Slack’ \application. This is handy if you are low on internet allowance and what to control what each application uses.
Tripmode will also let you choose whether to view the data for a day, a week, or the entire month.
Tripmode costs $10, but there were no free alternatives that I could find, so after running the trial for 7 days I decided to purchase it.
I use it a lot.
It gives mea general feel for where my internet usage is going.
It allows me to see when new apps are trying to access the internet.
It allows me to see how much data the Apple software updates are using.
It allows me to see how much data I am using in Safari or Chrome when I access a youtube video.
When travelling I can control which apps I want to have access to the web. I can turn off apps off (eg software update)and only let the important apps (eg mail) access the internet.
I have no relationship with Tripmode, but I love it! I purchased it for $10 and I think it’s well worth the price. You can download it here.
Here’s a screenshot of my OS X menu bar. I thought I’d walk you through them one by one in case you find any of them useful. If you would like more information on one in particular let me know and I can write an article on it.
This post if for WordPress users. In this post I reviewed several blogging apps and found them all lacking. Since then Blogo has had a few updates and it’s evolving into a very useful app! You can check it out here.
Over the past 3 months I have been trialling a Google Pixel Phone. I’m not sure why. I started getting attracted to the Google apps on my iPhone. I found myself using Google Inbox for my email, Google Play for my music, and the Google calendar app instead of Apple’s calendar app. So when Google released their Pixel phone I took the plunge and purchased one to see if it would play nicely with Apple. It’s been a challenging a few months because I can’t get myself back onto my iPhone. I’ve tried three times and I simply cannot go back to the iPhone. The Pixel is a great phone and it works very well with OS X. Google have really nailed the cross-platform syncing. In fact, when it comes to music and photos it syncs more easily with OS X than the iPhone does. So this article is not really a review of the Pixel phone. This my experience transitioning from iPhone to Pixel phone. Continue reading 〉
I’m a great fan of the Apple TV so I’ve been waiting a while for the release of the new model. The day it arrived I went to the Apple store but just as I was about to add one to my cart, I had to choose between a 32GB or 64GB model. (Apple’s first mistake. This is way over complicating things). So I went to check out the tech specs and it was there that I noticed something so stupid that it is giving me flashbacks of 1985-97 apple years… The Apple TV has no audio out. No I am not making this up. The new Apple TV has no audio output. No line out. No optical out. The audio signal comes only on the HDMI cable to your TV.
Today Dragon Dictate Version 5 (renamed “Dragon for Mac”) was released. It’s a major upgrade from Nuance who are the creators of Dragon Naturally Speaking. They have flagged the importance of this release with the name change from ‘Dragon Dictate’ to simply ‘Dragon for Mac’. It looks different and it feels different, my overall my initial response is… it’s the best and worst version of Dragon so far. Worst because it crashes a lot. The best because of the design and accuracy.
The Good: Incredibly accurate. Fast. Looks great. Does not require significant time to be trained.
The Bad: Slow to Load. Problems with capitalisation and spacing.
The Ugly: Crashes a lot. Unstable. Does not work with Microsoft Office 2016.