Categories
audio

How to get good sound (from video or music) over Zoom

Screen Shot 2020-03-28 at 10.39.53 pm.png

Zoom is optimised for speaking.  If there is any other noise (e.g. a guitar or piano) Zoom will think it is background noise and try to remove it!  To share a movie or song over a zoom meeting you need to change some settings. Here’s how.

Categories
Apple News

How to set up remote login to a VPN using OS X Server

This article is a bit technical. I have an office at home but I wanted to be able to log into the church computer to control it remotely, upload files, and also print to the printer there. Here’s how to do that.

Categories
audio

How to export multi-track audio files from GarageBand

There’s no option from the GarageBand menus to export the individual files from your multi-track recording. You can only save the entire GarageBand file or a stereo version of the song. But there is a way to do it manually.

Firstly save your GarageBand file.

Navigate to your GarageBand song file and right-click it, then select ‘Show Package Contents.’ (See the picture below).

Now the Finder will open a folder that contains the individual parts of your Garage Band song. Find the folder called ‘Media’ then ‘Audio Files’ and in there you will find each original track from your GarageBand file as a wav file.

You can import these files into a different audio editing program such as Ableton live or ProTools etc.

If you don’t know where to find this GarageBand file just right click in the name of your project in the top of the GarageBand window and you will be able to see where the file is on your hard drive.

Categories
productivity

Managing yourself – quick calendar access

For my particular workflow and management I’ve settled on using Google calendar. My tip for super fast calendar access in OS X is to dedicate a browser to your Google calendar and use that browser for nothing else. You may choose Chrome or Safari or Firefox, I chose Microsoft edge and here’s why.

Categories
phone

How to Copy files from an Android phone to Catalina

Recently I’ve discovered Macdroid and it’s running very will in Catalina with my Google Pixel 3.

I find the ‘Android File Transfer’ app very unreliable. In a previous article I recommended another solution called Pocketshare but it also has its problems. Macdorid is working wonderfully for me.

Step 1 is to Enable USB debugging.

  • To do this open the “Settings” on your phone, scroll down and select “About phone.”
  • Scroll down to find the ‘build number.’
  • Press the build number repeatedly 7 tiles until it says ‘you are a developer.’
  • Scroll down to “Debugging” and press “USB Debugging” to ON

Step 2 is to run Macdroid and plug your android phone into the USB port on you Mac.

  • You’ll get a screen on your phone asking if you want to “Allow USB Debugging.”
  • Press ‘Allow’
  • In your notifications go to the USB notification and select ‘File transfer’ as follows:

Your Pixel or Android Phone will mount on your desktop and you can access it like a regular USB drive. The free version allows you read-only access. The paid version allows you to write files to your Android phone as well as read them.

Categories
software

My essential Mac apps

I’ve just purchased a new 2020 13inch MacBook Pro and rather than use migration assistant to copy everything across I’ve started fresh. I have installed my apps one by one. So here’s a list of the first few ‘must have’ apps that I just installed…

1Password.

I can’t live without it. It’s the first thing I installed as it contains all the passwords and serial numbers to my other apps and email logins etc. It’s one of the one monthly subscription apps that I’m willing to pay for.
A great password manager

Dropbox.

I use dropbox to sync my working documents across all my computers. The free tier allows you to sync limited data across 3 computers but if you’re only syncing a few folders you can get away with it.
dropbox

Jumpcut.

Can’t live without it. Allows you to go back through your copy/paste history and find an item you pasted earlier in the day – like a browser history for the clipboard. For example writing this article I just went and gabbed the link to Jumpcut using Jumpcut, from when I installed it earlier today.
Jumpcut – multiple copy and paste

Dragon.

It’s quite unique but I prefer to dictate rather than type, for example I’m dictating this article right now. You can no longer buy Dragon for the Mac but it still works fine in Catalina and thankfully it’s a 64-bit app so should still work for a few more years. If you buy a second hand copy make sure that the serial number has been deregistered on the sellers computer otherwise you won’t be able to use it.
Dragon Naturally Speaking – keeping it going with Catalina

Karabiner Elements.

I have an extended keyboard with lots of function keys up to F15. I like to use these as shortcuts in apps but some apps do not let you use the function keys as shortcuts. Karabiner Elements lets you map keys to other keys. So for example I can map my F13 key to Option-F13 and use it as a shortcut in apps.

https://karabiner-elements.pqrs.org


NValt.

A fast, simple app for keeping notes synced accross computers and phones. I sync them with Simplenote on the Android and iPhone. An older app but still works with Catalina.
Notational Velocity (NValt) and Catalina

Quicksilver.

Hit the command key once and then type the name of any app or document to launch it. So fast! Probably the second app I install after 1Password.
How to use Quicksilver

AutoMounter.

Automatically mounts my Synology Network drive which contains my movies and images. From NZ!

https://www.pixeleyes.co.nz/automounter/

Keyboard Maestro.

Allows me to easily run Applescripts. I have a great macro one to copy bible verses into any document with a single hotkey. There are times when I have used it to automate repeated tasks.

https://www.keyboardmaestro.com/main/

ImageOptim

I can drag images onto this app and it shrinks them before I post them to a webpage. It’s free.

https://imageoptim.com/mac





Categories
OS X

Hidden files

OS X has lots of files you can’t see. This is to make it look prettier and also so you don’t break things. Sometimes you may want to see a hidden folder. For example there’s a Library folder which can contain settings for Applications. To show hidden files in OSX from the finder, click in a finder window and press “Shift Command .” (Shift – Command – Period).

It will look something like this when you can see the hidden files. All the slightly opaque files are hidden files.

Categories
drivers

Scansnap S1500 now working in Catalina

This week Fujitsu surprised everyone by releasing new software that allows older scanners to work with OSX Catalina. The software is 64 bit and works works in MacOS 10.15, it supports older models like the ScanSnap S1500, and it fully integrates with Devonthink Pro. Thankyou Fujitsu!