Apr 16

An apology to international readers – some of the details in this post apply specifically to Australia, although there will be principles here that you can apply. I live just 5 km line of sight from a regional Australian city and our internet comes by ‘fixed wireless.’ Fixed wireless is essentially a dedicated 4G connection with a local directional antenna. The problem is that most of the towers are oversubscribed, and upload and download speeds are very poor. (5Mbps down and 1Mbps up).

My experiment

For the past 3 months I’ve been experimenting with various configurations of 4G carriers and modems to tweak the maximum speed I can from the 4G data network. The results have surprised me!

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Apr 06

Now that dragon speech recognition is no longer available on Macintosh computers I have not been able to find a good dictation solution for OSX. Built-in Apple dictation is woeful and Siri is not great. So my go-to solution for dictating emails is to use Google assistant on my Android phone.

The main problem I am having when dictating with Google assistant is that I have not been able to work out how to dictate a new line. I have tried saying “new line” but it just types the words “new line”. Today I accidentally stumbled across something that seems to work.

If you say “full stop new paragraph” it puts a full stop and then follows it up with a new paragraph!

Apr 01

When Wunderlist closed down we’ve been left without a good task manager that easily syncs across Google and MacOS. AnyDo doesn’t have a MacOS app. I can’t get my Google assistant to add a new todo into to ‘Todoist’. Google Tasks isn’t great but it does have the advantage that it is built right in to gMail. So it’s what I’m running with at the moment. Google tasks is available on MacOS but the App is called ‘Tasksboard’. Here’s the convoluted way to get it up and running!

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Mar 30

Fantastic article on how to do a livestream here:

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Mar 11

“This Program can’t be opened because it is from an unidentified developer”

Apple are getting tighter on which software they allow you to run on your computer. This is good because it avoids you getting any malware on your computer from bad software developers. But it also means that some legitimate software won’t run. If you are trying to download software from somewhere other than the Apple app store and you trust the source you are downloading your software from, here’s how to manually turn on the security settings for it to run.

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Feb 10

Before you upgrade to OS X Catalina you may need to stop and assess the applications that will stop working. Catalina is what is called 64 bit. They are not at all compatible. Previous OSX version (e.g. Mojave) would have given you a warning about 32 bit applications that you are running. So I knew that Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and some other apps would stop working when I upgraded to Catalina. But I was not prepared for how many applications would stop working!

Here are just some of the apps that stopped working wth my upgrade to Catalina:

Bento

I used it a lot to edit my Apple Address book contacts. It’s the only program thatI know of that can interface directly with Apple address book and export your contacts into a CSV file. A shame that there is no alternative.

Quicktime player 7

I had the pro version which allowed me to do some nice video editing and compression. The newer versions of quicktime do not have a pro version.

Data Rescue

Requires $150 to upgrade to the newer version.

Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator

These products now only come as a subscription so I purchased Affinity Designer to replace them.

Sibelius First and Dragon for Mac.

These still worked on OS X Catalina until I purchased a new laptop. The Serial number validators don’t run in Catalina. That means Dragon and Sibelius will continue to run as long as you keep the same computer. I just upgraded my laptop and both Sebelius and Dragon asked me to re-verify my serial number. There is no way to enter a valid serial number under Catalina. So Catalina killed those two apps even though the apps them selves are 64 bit.

Fujitsu Scansnap Scanner drivers.

I have a Fujitsu Scansnap S1500 scanner that I used to import all my documents into Devon think pro. The Fujitsu scanner drivers that work in Catalina do not work with older Fujitsu scanners so now my $800 scanner is rendered useless even though it was working perfectly.

The bottom line is when you install Catalina a lot of your existing apps may stop working and you may need to buy new ones or upgrade them. For some applications that just means forking out some money but there are other discontinued applications that there is no alternative for Catalina. (e.g. iDVD, Bento, Quicktime Player 7 Pro, CSSEdit.)

I’d suggest waiting till you have a fair bit of free time before upgrading to Catalina, and after you upgrade give all your Apps a test to make sure they still work.

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Feb 09

Since Catalina our movies keep getting interrupted by the Apple mail app randomly opening. One minute we are watching a movie then next moment half our scene vanishes and the Apple Mail appears! Thanks to my son Tim who worked out the solution below.

If you close Apple mail (Apple-W or hit the red circle) then if Apple mail has problems making a connection it will pop up fullscreen next to your movie. If however you hide mail, (Apple-H) then it won’t pop up and interrupt your movie.

It turns out to be some kind of a problem with Apple’s mail app that when it can’t connect to your server it comes up full-screen. My theory is that when you are watching a movie perhaps at times this makes it hard for mail to check the mail. Hiding mail instead of closing the window is a good workaround.

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Jan 27

In OSX Catailna Apple have introduced lots of security ‘Features’ which make it harder to install and run software, especially with software that interacts with other applications. You may get a warning telling you that accessibility needs to be enabled.  Here is how you can turn it on for a particular application.

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