Oct 13

Answer: Use Mac OS Extended.

Mac OS Extended, also known as HFS Plus or HFS+, is the file system that was used on all Macs from 1998 until the last couple of years. APFS is the new file system for OSX and it works well for an SSD drive. But you can’t backup to an APFS drive using Time Machine (even if the external drive is an SSD drive). It sounds a bit backwards I know but that’s the way Apple are doing it at the moment.

There’s a work-around: you can use a sparse image to create a DMG to back up to an APFS SSD drive, (see here). I would not recommend this because the Apple recovery mode will not be able to find your backup.

From Apple Support:

Important: You can back up from an HFS+ or APFS-formatted disk to an HFS+ disk; however, Time Machine can’t back up to an APFS-formatted disk. If you select a back up disk formatted as APFS, Time Machine offers to reformat it as HFS+.

[retrieved Oct 7 2020 from ‘https://support.apple.com/en-au/guide/mac-help/mh15139/mac’]

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Oct 06

I recently received a warning from Google Play Music that they are closing their Music service and migrating it across to YouTube Music. I wrote an article 4 years ago about the advantages of Google Play Music over iTunes. Unfortunately this has come back to bite me as I’ll now need to import all my songs back into iTunes again!

Google offered to transfer all my music for free from Google Play over to YouTube Music. I took them up on this offer, only to discover that ‘Youtube Music’ has ads unless you take up their paid subscription. So I paid Google to purchase these songs, and now I am required to pay a further subscription if I want to listen to them ad free through YouTube Music.

I have a lot of songs in Google Play Music – nearly 2000. Some of these are from CD. Some were purchased though iTunes, some were purchased through Google Play Music. At 0.99c a song that’s $2000 worth of music that I own. I don’t want to have to pay a subscription to listen to it!

Thankfully Google also has the option to download all of your songs. To do this you need to go to a website called Google Takeout.

When you are selecting what you want to export, it looks as if it won’t download the actual audio files (see this screenshot below.) But don’t worry, even though it says ‘list of tracks….in your library’ it will do more than just a list of tracks – it will send you the actual audio files.

You can then choose the compression type (zip) and maximum file size (I choose 50MB).

That’s how to export all your music files from Google Play Music.

A few hours later I received a link in an email to download all my music files:

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Sep 28

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.

Continue reading ⟩

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Sep 18

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.

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Sep 13

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.

Continue reading ⟩
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Sep 12

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.

Continue reading ⟩
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Sep 04

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.

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Sep 02

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





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