|September 21, 2018|
When Macintosh Users first start out doing videos on a Mac chances are they use iMovie. Two Key reasons:
After a while, as more video gets made, users start to see the limits of the application.
Soon you start seeing the same iMovie effects all over YouTube. Wouldn't it be great if you had a more powerful application to edit videos.
Final Cut is great and powerful, but it has a high price point and a steep learning curve.
Wondershare Filmora is definitely the next step up from iMovie. Its a nice application that makes it super easy to create awesome videos.
Once you start using it, you'll never open up iMovie again.
Two Things That I Like:
The really cool feature of Filmora is the Title Inspector. You have a lot more flexibility in your titles than you do in iMovie, check out this side by side comparison.
Filmora Title Inspector is on the top, while iMovie Text editor is on the bottom.
In Filmora, you have a lot more options to how the text is displayed in the video. There are 23 text style presets, in addition, there are 29 animation options. Giving the producer a lot more control over how the text appears in the video.
Oh, and if you like a particular style you can save it as a favorite to use in a different project - can't do that in iMovie.
In Filmora there are a lot of title options, lots of good ways to add lower third text to your video clip to introduce the scene. In fact there are 42 different designs to select from. In iMovie, you have only 53 titles in the entire library (including lower thirds and Standard titles)
Why settle for the boring Cross Dissolve when you transition between video clips? Filmora offers a lot more. iMovie only has 24 transitions while Filmora offers 37 just in the "Warp" category. Check out this screenshot of just a sample of the transitions in Filmora:
I have been using iMovie for years, loved it's simplified the interface and how easy it is to create videos. However, every time I make a video I get frustrated with the limitations.
Filmora does have some issues:
Despite these limitations, Filmora is a great product and I certainly recommend trying it out. They have a great team of support reps that show you some cool tips and tricks.
Download the Trial and see why 50,000,000 users love Filmora.
|September 14, 2018|
TechSmith’s Snagit Editor is a great editor to touch up screenshot images. It’s popular because it has a lot of the tools you need without a steep learning curve on how to use them.
Here’s a couple of feature highlights that make the Editor very cool to use:
One of the cool Snagit Editor effects is the Edges effect. You can quickly transform any image to look like it was torn out of a book:
Simple Steps to add a Torn Effect
I like adding a drop shadow or a thin border to give the image a pop.
This is cool when you have a screenshot of a social media post, or an email screenshot and just want to dress it up a bit better. This is much easier than using Photoshop or Affinity Photo to touch up the image.
Did you know that you can grab the text in the screenshot? This is useful when you may want to include the text version of what you captured, for example, if a spec was in a PDF and you can’t simply copy the text.
This shows how Snagit was able to grab the text from a screenshot
Simple Steps to Get the Text
This is useful if you want to include an ALT text in a blog posting, or if you want a description in Slack posts.
|September 7, 2018|
Last week Belight Software released a new MacOS app call Letters. This is a cool free application that allows anyone to be creative.
Letters is an application that transforms any letter or text into a professional looking graphic. You can choose from many styles and change the font/color and the 3D rotation. This application is great if you write blogs or want to add some creative text to your Slack Channel
Letters offers a multitude of text design templates easily customizable to your liking. Each text style is the result of long hours of professional design work on creating texture materials and photo objects, and carefully selecting proprietary fonts. Simply enter your text and voila! You get amazing graphics as a flattened image or a set of files with a background, a text object and various effects separated into several images.
You can get Letters from the Apple Store.
|August 31, 2018|
Aladdin StuffIt is an application that compresses files. Stuffit became popular in the mid-1990s because of the need to store large data on floppy disks and CDs.
Stuffit has changed hands over the years, and is now owned by Smith Micro.
I purchased the application in the 1990s, but never felt the need to update it. Once I was storing data onto CDs and DVDs I didn't encounter any max storage issues.
Here's the description of Stuffit from the Educorp Catalog from 1990:
Over the past few years the application had lost its effectiveness. Thanks to cloud services such as Dropbox and Google Drive:
You can still buy Stuffit from SmithMicro for $19.95. The cool feature is the new StuffIt Destinations Toolbar, where you can drag and drop your files to various destinations.
Stuffit still is an important app because of encryption and storage space. For example, you can encrypt project folders that you don't want to end up in file search results from Spotlight or on shared space in Google Drive or Dropbox. Since Spotlight won't index the files,
One of my all-time favorite screenshots:
That comes to 84,308,617 days or 2,309.82 Centuries. The Mar19_2517.jpg file should definitely be worth the wait.
|August 24, 2018|
Apple introduces Sherlock with Macintosh OS 8.0 on July 26, 1997. There were several versions of Sherlock and the software was discontinued in Mac OX 10.4 in favor of Spotlight.
Sherlock was never ported as a Universal Binary. So when Apple killed off Rosetta, it meant the end of Sherlock.
What made Sherlock neat was the ability to select the source of your search query so you know where your searching. It was a simple single source to find anything you want in one dialog box.
This is a great snapshot of internet search engine history. Notice that Google isn't listed? Know why? They were not a big player in 1999/2000.
When I tried to search for some of the internet sites, Sherlock crashed. I wasn't able to get any successful internet search.
I wasn't surprised by this, as I am sure most of the sites had removed the legacy code years ago.
|August 17, 2018|
I have been using BBEdit for many years. The earliest copy that I could find was BBEdit 4.3. Recently, I was looking through my applications on my Macintosh Powerbook G3 and found an old copy of BBEdit 6.0. I thought it would be interesting to see how the Anchor tag has changed over the years.
BBEdit 6.01 for OS X
BBEdit 12.1.5 (Latest Release)
|August 10, 2018|
A classic shareware game on Macintosh OS 9, was "If this, than That" by Mike Anderson. The game was created on July 11, 1993, and distributed via shareware.
If this, than that, is a logic game where you try to break the code the computer randomly generates. You have six tries to break the code. After your sixth try, the computer will display the code on the top part of the game.
It was fun playing the game on my Macintosh PowerBook G3 and figuring out the puzzle. The game is pretty hard to use at first since you need to figure out the correct pattern. You were never told which pattern was correct and where it's correct. To be successful at this game takes a lot of logic skills.
This would make a great iOS game. I checked and couldn't find one that worked the same way. If you know of one, let me know in the comments below.
|August 3, 2018|
There are more than 200 Apple Computer items in the American History section of the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. Not all items are displayed at once. Along with all the other computer exhibited there are two iconic items are always displayed - the original Apple and the Macintosh.
Right behind the original Apple Computer is a blackboard that showcases several computers that were sold at the HomeBrew Club. This club is where people would go to learn about the latest computers and buy build-your-own computers.
One of the interesting things is the price of the Apple Computer - $666. At first, I thought this was a joke someone at the Smithsonian was playing. Turns out that it was the original price of the Apple Computer at the Homebrew club. The actual price was $666.66
Wozniak reportedly chose the price for two reasons: it was a markup of a third on the parts' cost and because he "liked repeating digits"
In 2018, that $666.66 computer would be worth $2,994.49. Today, a top of the line iMac computer - Retina 5K Display 3.8GHz Processor 2TB Storage cost $2,299.0
Today anyone having one of the original wood Apple Computers has a $195,433 computer - there were 200 models sold between July 1976 and September 1977.
The National Museum of American History is located on the National Mall, Constitution Avenue, N.W., between 12th and 14th Streets, Washington, D.C.
The Apple Computers are in the Transportation and Technology section on the 1st Floor, which is one floor down if you enter via the National Mall. The computers are in the "Lightning a Revolution" room.
|July 27, 2018|
Magnet is a cool utility that allows you to neatly organized all your application windows on your screen. This works great between multiple applications such as having Mail and Chrome open at the same time.
The application is a huge hit with MacOS users as it has a five-star rating with 12,517 reviews. Probably the highest rated app in the App Store.
The application is a bit tricky to work with multiple displays. There were times when I tried to align right and the window appears on the right screen.
You can exclude the functionality from working in any application via settings
The Keyboard shortcuts are tricky to remember, but they can be changed to whatever you want.
The screen activation point for 'Maximize' is a bit too sensitive as I have accidentally triggered it. It would be nice if there was a way to disable that trigger point.
I found the left/right alignment works great with testing websites in Chrome and Firefox.
The icons in the drop-down menu in the menu bar helps me figure out what command I am looking for.
Magnet cost $.99 and well worth the price. If you do any type of multitasking between applications, I think you'll find Magnet useful and worth the investment.
|July 20, 2018|
Earlier this year I blogged about how Smart Converter is a great application for converting media files. I finally decided to upgrade to the Professional version. So this post is all about the differences between the two versions and if it's really worth going for the upgrade.
With the Pro version you can:
Remember the output quality is only going to be as good as the original. Many clips that I was converting were encoded using RealMedia for low bandwidth connections. Remember dial-up?
Here's the results of one of the videos that I got converted - A video of Marshall "Do" Applewhite from Heaven's Gate from 1997 original format was rv10 (RV10 / 0x30315652), yuv420p, 160x112, 33 kb/s, 15 fps, 15 tbr, 1k tbn, 1k tbc:
It's not great, but it works and it was quick. Smart Converter Pro did a great job!
I believe it worth the upgrade if you have a lot of media files that you are looking to convert. The free version gives you a taste of what you can do and is a bit limited of the capabilities.
I like how I can customize the button row for things that are important to my typical conversion types.
|July 13, 2018|
On May 20, 2018, Cocoatech officially announced Path Finder 8. It's the first major update in 2 year!
In Path Finder 8, it's all about the Modules. Path Finder was written so that you can customize the Browser window how you want. You can now place various modules in positions that work best for you.
Modules functionality includes: ASL, Attributes, Cover Flow, Drop Stack, Git, Hex, Image Browser, Info, Open With, Permissions, Preview, Processes, Recent Documents, Recent Folders, Selection Path, Sidebar, Size Subversion, Tags and Rating, Terminal and Trash.
Simply drag and drop the modules where you would like to see it. It's great when you're doing certain tasks, such as disk cleaning where the Info Module may come in handy or when your working on a software project and Git and Subversion would be handy.
According to the Path Finder Blog, Modules is just one step of many exciting changes coming to Path Finder. Expect to see more features and enhancements.
Path Finder has an icon in the menu bar, which gives you quick access to various computer points - such as Active Applications, Open a new Terminal Window and a Quick way to launch any application via the Command - F8.
If you don't like using the Command-Space functionality, using Path Finder menu bar is yet another way to open up applications. The launch application functionality gives you a Browse and Search Application window to make open up your favorite App. This is useful when you may know about the app by its icon but not necessarily by the name.
You can add an 'Info' column to the browser grid which will give you some information about each object, for images you get the image dimensions. Which is extremely helpful when you're browsing around looking for a particular image. Videos objects will show the length.
Once you find the right image, You can right click, and select the 'Image Size' and now you have the image dimensions in your clipboard.
There's a lot more configuration in the Path Finder Browser than what's in the Finder. Path Finder gives you the ability to customize the Mac experience to your needs.
Basically if you want more power and configuration with the Mac OS Finder, Path Finder is certainly the way to go.
Remember Path Finder has been around since Mac OSX first came out. So they know a thing or two about what people need in a good file management application.
|July 6, 2018|
Video Slideshow Maker CofeShow is the quickest way to create professionally looking slideshows. Simply select the theme, add the photos, add music, and then build the slideshow. The final video can be uploaded to YouTube or added as a clip to iMovie or Filmora.
Current available designs: Mint, Bokeh, Summer Holiday, VintageSparks, Chalkboard, Watercolor, Roller, Blurry, Pan and Zoom, Baby, Corporate, Vanilla, Blue Denim, Black, Brown Wood, Birthday Party and Magic Tree.
You can preview the designs on cofeshow's website.
This is a quick video that I put together using Video Slideshow Maker CofeShow. I haven't purchased the license - yet. But I plan too in the near future.
There is a slideshow functionality in Apple Photo. However, there are only seven designs to pick from. The seven slideShow designs in Photos are Ken Burns, Origami, Reflections, Sliding Panels, Vintage Prints, Classic and Magazine.
Vintage Prints is the only design that I really like in Apple Photos. I haven't been able to find anyone else have a similar style.
|June 29, 2018|
There are a few Finder 'Go' keyboard shortcuts that everyone should be familiar with. These are the most common places that you will go when using the computer.
The one that I always get confused about is the Download folder. Why didn't Apple keep the same keyboard convention? Afterall Shift-Command-L doesn't do anything.
If you know of any other cool keyboard shortcut graphics, let me know in the comments below.
|June 22, 2018|
Gif Brewery is the easiest way to create GIF images from any type of videos, especially those taken with the iPhone. You can open up a video file, import one via URL (including YouTube), Stitch images and video, Record Screen actions or record video from the computer camera.
The nice thing about Gif Brewery is that you get a lot of flexibility to create animated GIFs. If I needed more flexibility I can use Wondershare Filmora and then import it to Gif Brewery.
It took a while to understand how to work the timeline settings - but once you play around with it for a bit it is fairly straightforward.
Gif Brewery is free and definitely worth downloading and adding to your collection.
Gas Prices in the Bay Area in 1999.
Train Arriving in Framingham
|June 15, 2018|
Photoshop Elements has lots of cool features, one of which is the ability to add various photo effect using a guided wizard. In the Photo Play category you can add Out of Bounds, Picture Stack, Pop Art, Puzzle Effect, Recompose, and Reflection.
If you open up Photoshop Elements and then select Photo Play and then Puzzle Effect. You can have a cool puzzle effect on your image:
You have a choice of puzzle effect: small, medium or large. (The best image appears to be the 16:9 format type.) Photoshop Elements allows a user to change the photo effect choice if you don't think the right type is selected.
After you select the effect type, you can then select the puzzle piece and then extract it from the image. You can then move the piece around wherever you want.
What's neat about Photoshop Elements is that you have a choice of what puzzle size is best for your design;