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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
software

Notational Velocity (NValt) and Catalina

NValt

My favourite quick note syncing utility – NValt broke with Catalina. I was getting error that it could not find my notes folder, but when I tried to select another notes folder it did not work

I was able to get it up and running again, but it took a bit of fiddling. Most of the forums have given up on it, but it does still work. The trick for me was completely re-installing the app from scratch.

  1. Make sure your notes are synced using Simplenote.
  2. Delete the notational velocity notes folder from your ~/Library/application support folder.
  3. Delete the ‘net.elasticthreads.nv.list’ from your preferences folder.
  4. Delete the Notational Velocity App from your Applications folder.
  5. Download NValt 2.2.8 again from https://brettterpstra.com/projects/nvalt/
  6. Re-sync with Simplenote and it will download all your notes again.
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software

Allowing programs from unidentified developers

“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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software

Blogging software update.

This post if for WordPress users. In this post I reviewed several blogging apps and found them all lacking. Since then Blogo has had a few updates and it’s evolving into a very useful app! You can check it out here.

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software

Help with Aussie alternative to Quicken finance software.

I have a friend who has just changed from a PC to a Mac and she has asked for an alternative to Quicken. Apparently the OS X version of Quicken does not have support for Australian customisations such as Australian banks, GST, BAS etc. The PC version of Quicken did. So do any Aussie users know of some good software for the Mac that works in Australia?

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software

How to make a DVD in OS X

idvd-icon

We live in a post-DVD world now but there are still occasions where you may need to burn a DVD.  My son recently played in a piano concert and he wanted to burn a DVD of the concert for his grandfather.   iDVD  is the best option for doing this. Here’s how to get hold of it and what it can do.

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software

How to open very old ClarisWorks or Appleworks documents

LibreOffice

I am running OS X 10.11 El Capitan. For a while now  I have not been able to open my old ClarisWorks documents. ( I think maybe since Appleworks 6 or so.)  I have not thrown them out in case a solution would arise one day and thankfully I have found one.  You can open old ClarisWorks document using Libre Office.  It doesn’t seem to work on drawings, but it does work on word-processing documents.

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software

How to access your old iPhoto library without iPhoto

iphoto

Recently I was trying to access some photo’s from my Mum’s iPhoto library on her time machine backup, but my computer doesn’t have iPhoto, it has Photos App. When I tried to open the iPhoto library with the newer Photos App, it wanted to upgrade the entire iPhoto library. Here’s how to access an individual photo from an old iPhoto library.