|Earliest: June 26, 2003||Latest: January 18, 2019||Total: 279|
|January 6, 2017|
This week my iMac internal hard drive crashed.
I believe that this happens because my computer was doing some read/write activity and the power went out. As a result, I couldn't boot up my internal hard drive.
When I first attempted to boot the computer the startup process appeared to be normal but then would just shut down right when the startup progress bar was about 2/3 completed.
Lucky for me that I got a couple of flash drives for Christmas. I took one of them and installed the latest Mac OS on it.
The key thing to remember about creating a bootable drive its that it has to be formatted correctly:
I was able to boot up the computer using the flash drive by using the keyboard shortcut 'C' when the computer booted up.
I wasn't getting this to work with my Bluetooth keyboard and had to connect a USB keyboard to get it to work.
After the computer booted up, I saw the following message on my screen:
"You can still open or copy files on the disk, but you can't save changes to files on the disk. Back up the disk and reformat it as soon as you can."
Lucky for me that the drive is accessible and that I have an opportunity to recover my files.
If your manually backing up a computer, you should back up the following Directories:
Apple has a Disk First Aid which tries to fix hardware issues. I ran the program several times to see if it would fix it. However, it keeps failing
This isn't my first computer crash, but it's been a long time since I have had to deal with one.
A quick chart that I put together showing how fast the four most common ways to transfer data off of an iMac.
|December 30, 2016|
If you migrating from Pixelmator to Affinity Photo, you might be confused by a common tool: The Repair tool.
Pixelmator describes the Repair tool as:
Use the Repair Tool to correct imperfections, causing them to disappear into the surrounding image. The Repair Tool also matches the texture, lighting, transparency, and shading of the sampled pixels to the pixels being repaired. As a result, the repaired pixels blend seamlessly into the rest of the image.
The tool that produces the same effect in Affinity Photo is the InPainting Brush Tool. Some users may get confused because the Affinity Photo used the same bandaid icon for the Healing Brush Tool.
Affinity Photo describes the Inpainting Brush Tool:
The Inpainting Brush Tool restores damaged, lost, deteriorated or unwanted areas of an image.
To access the InPainting Brush Tool in Affinity you can select it from the toolbar or simply by typing the keyboard shortcut:
When using the tool, it's best to use a smaller brush size, and to zoom into the area. If you use a large brush, you might encounter some unwanted objects replacing the area that you are trying to clean up.
I tested both the Repair Tool in Pixelmator and the InPainting Brush Tool in Affinity Photo and they both produce the same output. I think the InPainting did a better job keeping the wood colors to match in my example.
In this example, I am removing the white words from the sign.
Using the InPainting Brush Tool in Affinity Photo
Using the Repair Tool in Pixelmator
|December 23, 2016|
Early this year, I reviewed several screen captue tool; Capo and TechSmith Snagit.
Recently I became aware of Snappy Screen Capture Tool by Nextwave SRL. The tool takes snapshots that always stays on top, has some annotation tools. The screenshots can be shared using various built-in tools - including the option to share a link with a password and set a destruct timer.
You can install the application from the Mac App store for free.
Once installed, simply type Shift+Command+2 to take screenshots. The initial capture works the same way that the built-in screen capture does, select the area that you want to capture. You can also press the SPACE BAR to capture the current window.
After you Capture the image, the image stays on your screen. If you right click on the captured screen you have several options to modify the screen capture: Brush, Text, Cursor, Eraser, Quick Draw.
The Snaps library is a great place to find all the previous snaps. You'll find images are sorted by:
In addition, you can search the entire library by the capture title.
Snappy is a good general replacement tool for the built-in screen capture in Mac OS X. You have a lot more powers to what to do with a screen capture immediately after you take it. You don't need to open up any third party application to make modifications to your image.
There are some functions that are missing that are available in other screen capture tools:
If you're looking for a simple replacement tool for Apple's Screen Capture than Snappy would be it. However, if screen capture is an essential tool to doing your job, then I would highly recommend using TechSmith Snagit.
|December 16, 2016|
Here's a list of all the default Keyboard Shortcuts that are in the LaunchBar application:
Typing these shortcuts will update the particular Index category.
I am working on a cool keyboard graphic. Will be up soon!
|December 9, 2016|
One of the nice things about the Macintosh applications is that developers will assign keyboard shortcuts to common applications. After performing certain actions, you begin to learn that using the short cuts is a quick way to get things done.
After a while you begin to learn some of the fundamental shortcuts that are in most applications:
|⌘||w||Close Application Window|
Apple has a macOS Human Interface Guideline that has specific recommended keyboard shortcuts that developers should use.
Learning application specific shortcuts can be tricky. One way is to pull down every menu and see what shortcuts are available. Some applications do list the menu and command shortcuts in their help section.
A really cool way is to use Cheat Sheet by Media Atelier. Here's how they describe how CheatSheet works:
Once installed, go into any application and hold the ⌘ key for a couple of seconds and a Window will pop up to show all the Menu shortcuts that are available:
CheatCheat view of BBEdit Shortcuts.
Once you let go of the ⌘ key the window goes away.
Note that this only shows Menu based tips. Some applications will have hotkeys, for example, Pixelmator has hotkeys to select various tools in the toolbar. For those you'll have to access the application specific help pages.
Did you know that you could print out the tips?
On the bottom of the CheatSheet window is a Cog icon, click on it and you'll see a Print option. You can print out a copy, or create a PDF cheatsheet.
There are tons of cool keyboard shortcut guides, these are very useful to print out and keep by your computer. Spending a few minutes learning the various keys can save you lots of time when your working on a project.
Here are some very cool Shortcut Guides that I have found.
|December 2, 2016|
One of the things that you can't easily do in Affinity Designer is to add an image as a background pattern. Especially if you have a small seamless image (96 x 96) and you want to make a repeating pattern.
Lucky for me, I have OmniGraffle Professional 5.4.4. It turns out that complements very well with Affinity Designer. Using OmniGraffle I am able to create a Shape Tool and add a background image and title it. I can even scale the background repeating image so that it looks the way that I want.
First I created a shape, for that I used 568px x 266px Rectangle. I then open up the Inspector and select the Image Style. I then drag/drop an image into the placeholder. Then I select the title icon to the left of the image upload. Then I play around with the scale and opacity slider to make it look good.
Once I am satisfied that the pattern looks the way I want, I then select the shape and Copy it.
OmniGraffle has some great shape configurations.
I then switch over to Affinity Designer and Paste the shape. The Shape appears on its own layer as a vector curve object. Now I can do lots of cool things with that object.
The first thing I decided to do was create a bunch of background styles, so that I would have a library to choose from whenever I needed it. I thought it would be cool to have a category of seamless background images.
Using a small selection of background images that I had from Open Door, I was able to generate 13 background styles. Now I have a nice selection of styles to use whenever I want.
I don't know that this is the best way to create background images, but it suits my needs and it was very easy to implement.
If you have Affinity Designer, you can add these to your collection. Note: these images are low quality and may not look good in print.
To install this:
|November 25, 2016|
Back in the 1990s there was a System Extension called "The Grouch." The extension would run an annimated Oscar the Grouch and sound byte whenever the system trash would be empty.
This became a cool novelty that kids would put stuff in the trash just to see the animation and sound. This is from the version 2.0 Read Me file:
The Extension version of "The Grouch" plays an animation every time "Empty Trash" is selected from the Finder's "Special" menu. This version must be placed into your System Folder (or Extensions folder under System 7) and you must "Restart" your system for it to work.
The Application version was created after several parents informed me that their children liked "The Grouch" so much they threw out all of the files on their hard disks. This version is child-proof as far as I can tell since it is completely self- contained. It does not modify the Finder and draws the animation in a window instead of on the desktop. It does not require the Extension to be present.
Sadly the developer, Eric Shapiro never ported over to Mac OS X.
Here's a copy of the sound that people would hear when the animation was run. This is a combination of the two sound bites:
|November 18, 2016|
HyperCard was an application program for Apple Macintosh and was an influence for the first web browser. It allowed developers to create stacks of information and link the stacks together. Developers would program stacks using HyperTalk, an object-oriented scripting language.
From the Introduction Stack on HyperCard Help screen:
HyperCard is a Macintosh Software environment that allows you to create your own way of doing things on your computer.
If you're new to HyperCard, you should go through the HyperCard Tour Stack to find out how HyperCard works. You can also use the book "Getting Started with HyperCard" for some beginning practice.
If you're interested in HyperTalk, the language you use to write scripts, choose HyperTalk Reference from the Help Menu.
Hypercard was distributed free with any new Macintosh purchase.
HyperTalk was popular among Macintosh users as consumers could easily create their own stacks for their computer needs. Some examples of HyperCard
Bit of Apple humor in the "HyperCard And You" Technical Note that some developers might have missed:
The 15 Billion Horsemen of the Apocalypse
With the introduction of HyperCard 2.0, many of the old bugs were quashed, and absolutely no new bugs were created. In fact, the software was so bug-free that it immediately attained Nirvana and Apple has had problems getting it to do anything since. Just kidding.
In the early 1990s, the Boston Computer Society distributed HyperCard stacks of Boston Freedom Trail and a Welcome to Boston on its CD. The CD were released at MacWorld Boston and available for sale at Trade booths and later via mail order.
HyperCard application was included on version 11 CD but was removed on version 12 and 13. Not sure exactly why it was removed in later CD versions.
The Boston Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile, red-lined route that leads you to 16 historically significant sites ? each one an authentic treasure. The Boston Computer Society created a set of HyperCard Stacks so that people would learn about the 16 historical sites. This was a very popular HyperCard stack collection.
The application has trail maps and pictures of the various sites around the City of Boston.
At the 1992 MacWorld Expo, The Boston Computer Society put together a HyperCard Stack of getting around the City of Boston. The stack featured 16 different categories of places to visit and important phone numbers.
|November 11, 2016|
Aldus SuperPaint was a graphics program capable of both bitmap painting and vector drawing for the early versions of the Macintosh OS.
SuperPaint was a fun tool that allowed people to explore computer graphics. There were a lot of cool tools that allowed you to be creative.
Aldus SuperPaint was discontinued sometime after 1993. The last version that I have was 3.5. I was able to use the application just fine on my PowerBook G3 using Mac OS 9.1
Here are some of the tools that were available in the tool palettes:
The Draw & Paint Plug-ins palette is available in both layers. The tools found on this palette are those plug-in modules in the SuperPaint Pouch that work in both the Paint and Draw layers. SuperPaint came with these Draw & Paint plugin tools: 3-D Box, allGON, Crop Mark, Cycloid, Flowers, Grid, QuickShadow, and Spiral.
Other Tools that were available in the tool box:
Screen Shot of the Aldus SuperPaint Setup
The Custom Brushes dialog box allowed you to create you own brush!
Some of the things that you could create with the Paint and Draw Tools.
Surprised that some of these tools are not in the latest graphic programs such as Pixelmator, Affinity Design or AutoDesk Graphic programs. Perhaps developers or program managers will see some of the functionality that was in earlier graphic programs and will add them to the current versions.
|November 7, 2016|
When I put together my personal Disney travel books, I worked hard on putting together a very simple cover.
My last trip to Disney was the first one where I didn't print out a book simply because I found that in the previous trip I hardly used any information that I gathered. I felt it wasn't worth wasting my time printing and binding the book.
The book usually contains a centered graphic and the date on the bottom right. I'll usually have some text under the graphic with some theme of the trip. Some examples:
I wanted to be creative and use a Disney font for the book cover. When I started the whole book idea it was well the internet wasn't structured good - for example, today there are whole sites that are dedicated to free fonts and clip art. I resorted to fonts that people posted in AOL forums.
The most common font face that I used in my covers was the Haunted Mansion Font.
Ravenscroft was inspired by the lettering used around Disney's Haunted Mansion attractions. The characters were drawn by Kronos (TombSweetTomb.com) and together they put them into a font filled with alternate letters, logos, and dingbats.
It appears that tombsweetomb.com has gone to the Internet Graveyard as the site doesn't appear anymore.
This is the original file that I download back in 2001. You can download similar fonts from other websites, but why not get the original? This version has special characters: Wallpaper and the Disney park logo. Complete information is included in the Zip file.
The hidden fonts are hard to find on a Macintosh. Here's a quick guide to accessing some of the hidden extras in the Ravenscroft font:
The next time your at DisneyWorld look around and see what creative fonts people use. The Disney Imagineers spend a lot of time creating the perfect font for that attraction/place.