Update & correction on saving Preview Filters tutorial from last week; new tutorial here. My latest video tutorial all about ClamXav from clamXav.com is up at screencastsonline.com/mac/show/0487/. Audio Hijack gets a MAJOR update at rogueamoeba.com. We kick back into some more CES interviews. First up is Mobee from mobeetechnology.com/ including a hands-on review. Next we talk to Tome who is hoping their software combined with Humanscale’s standing/sitting desks will help you get healthier at work. Finally Escort shows off their latest radar detector. In Chit Chat Across the Pond I’m joined by Chris Ashley of the SMR Podcast at smrpodcast.com to talk about the new face of Microsoft and how they’ve become so much more of a platform agnostic company.
Hi this is Allison Sheridan of the NosillaCast Mac Podcast, hosted at Podfeet.com, a technology geek podcast with an EVER so slight Macintosh bias. Today is Sunday January 25, 2015 and this is show number 507. We’ve got a lot of fun on today’s show. First I have an update on my tip for how to do better file compression using Preview, then an announcement about a video tutorial I created. After that I’m going to talk about a huge update to one of my favorite applications. Next we’ll dive back into some more interviews from CES including a hands on review of one of the devices we saw there. In Chit Chat Across the Pond we’ve got Chris Ashely from the SMR Podcast back to talk about the changing face of Microsoft and get his thoughts on their strategy to become more platform agnostic. It’s a great discussion with one of my favorite people!
Update on Saving Preview Filters
Last week I told you about a cool trick to give you more and better options on reducing file size in Preview. I had succeeded in using the ColorSync utility to create new filters but it turns out when they’re only in your User-level Library folder, they do NOT show up in Preview after all. I must have dreamt that they did! Thanks to George, Bill, Frank, and especially Sandy for letting me know it wasn’t working and advising me on what needed to change. I have posted a “new and improved” version of the instructions over in the tutorials and of course linked in the shownotes! In the new instructions I included how to move the filters from your local User-level Library over to the System-level Library. Thanks again to the team for setting me straight!
After the interview, Fred was nice enough to give me my own Magic Feet to test out at home (Magic Feet for Podfeet!). You get three things with the Magic Feet. You get the charger surface itself which is very Apple looking with brushed aluminum and a white top surface. You get the battery pack for the Magic mouse, and you get one Power Bar, which slides into the Apple Wireless Keyboard replacing the standard AA batteries. I Plugged the Magic Feet into power, and then connected the included USB cable into my Apple Cinema Display. I don’t think he mentioned it, but with USB connected, the Magic Feet also acts as a four-port USB hub. I replaced my keyboard batteries with the Power Bar, and slid the keyboard into the Magic Feet and instantly a green light started blinking showing that the Keyboard was charging. I put the Mobee battery pack into he Magic Mouse, set it on top of the Magic Feet above one of the red lights, and the light turned green, giving me a positive indication that it too was charging. There are two red light areas so you can simultaneously charge the Magic Mouse and their iPhone battery case.
My downstairs TV has a Mac mini connected to it and the batteries in the keyboard and mouse are ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS dead. I’m not sure why since we hardly ever use it, but we put the Mobee Magic Feet down on that Mac and it’s the perfect solution. Instead of always dead, the keyboard and mouse are always charged now. The Magic Feet + Magic Mouse Battery + Magic Bar combination is not cheap, it’s $149. That’s a LOT of batteries for a return on investment but I still think it’s a great device. It’s not just about the cost of batteries and the environmental impact, it’s that OS X warns me my batteries are almost dead way way way before they’re actually dead. Drives me nuts actually. In a week of use we’ve been really happy with it. I know that’s not a long test but it’s so easy to just place the keyboard back into the Magic Feet and set the mouse on top at the end of the evening.
I decided that I would put my money where my mouth is on this and buy some Mobee products for my own MacBook Pro setup upstairs. I use a keyboard and trackpad so I actually don’t need the Magic Feet. Instead, I bought a Magic Bar which is a cylinder the length of the keyboard that comes with a Power Bar to replace your keyboard batteries. Again you simply slide the little knob end of the Power Bar into the Magic Bar and a green light comes on to tell you you’re charging. It’s very light and easy to move around. It does not come with extra ports but it also doesn’t require a power supply (yay!) so again it’s much simpler. Now this solves my keyboard problem but what about the trackpad? Moree sells a separate Power Bar so I could get one of those for the Trackpad and just alternate charging with the keyboard.
However, someone on Twitter (wish I could remember who) discovered that a third party is selling the real Mobee Magic Bar which includes the Power Bar for less than the Power Bar alone! Normally the Magic Bar is $40 and the Power Bar alone is $30, but as of when I’m writing to you, BlueProtron is selling the Magic Bar including Power Bar for only $18.50! I bought two of them and I’m set! Even if you don’t catch this great deal, I think the entire line of Mobee products are really cool, solve a real problem for me.
I don’t work in a real office any more but I thought the idea of how we influence each other’s behavior (especially at work) really made sense, and if alternating standing and sitting makes us more healthy at work, I’m all for it! A few of us started to have walking meetings when I was working and it took off as an idea. Even today you can see people having these engaging discussions as they tromp around the building. You can get a mile done in 15 minutes and the meetings are much more energized than sitting in a stuffy office. Of course, it’s in the mid 70s most of the time too so that’s a bit of an advantage. My point though is that by seeing some of us do this, many more people started doing it so I think Tome is onto something.
I had to kid around a bit with Ron from Escort after the interview because I have a whole different solution to speed traps. I drive the speed limit. I know, it’s a radical idea and it’s not for everyone but it seems to work pretty reliably for me! It all started years ago when I got a ticket for speeding and took traffic school to clear my record. The instructor told us that the city of LA ran some experiments. They took two groups of people and told half of them to accelerate as fast as they could out of stop signs and lights and slam on the brakes to stop at the other end, and they told the other group to just drive the speed limit. The results came back and they found that the difference in time getting across the city of LA (which is HUGE by the way) was a total of 2 minutes. He said that if you speed in the city, you’re endangering the lives of others, you’re endangering your own life, AND YOU’RE NOT GETTING THERE SOONER! He also pointed out that on the highway you’re endangering your life and others but at least you’re getting there sooner so making a tradeoff there might make sense. Now in all likelihood he made all of this up but I bet the results would hold up if they every did that study.
I gave myself 2 months to drive the speed limit and if I couldn’t stand it, after that I’d go back to my bad habits. By a month in I knew it was going to stick. As he said we’d notice, I was calmer when I drove. I toodle along, watch people roar by me wasting gas and making themselves nuts, and then I casually notice them sitting at the next light right next to me. Maybe I’m making them more nuts, but at least I’m happy and calm. And you know what? In the first month that I counted it, I missed 3 lights that I would have made if I’d been speeding. Something to think about, or get one of these cool radar detectors from Escort!
Let’s see, what did I do with Clarify this week? I documented my setup for Skype calls in the new Audio Hijack. After I spent a half hour or so experimenting with the best way to set it up so that I got the right bit rate and sample rate, didn’t hear myself in an echo and actually created some successful recordings, I whipped open Clarify and took 4 screenshots with it. I plopped in a few sequence numbers and wrote reminders for myself of why I set each setting. I backed up to the top and wrote down my requirements for recording, again so I’d remember why I did things this way.
I pushed the Save to Evernote button (and saved a local copy JUST in case) and quit Clarify. Boom, I’m done. In just a couple of minutes I had great instructions so that if I ever do a nuke and pave, or someone else asks me how to set it up for their own Skype calls, I’ve got beautiful instructions. I think the part where it takes so close to zero time to do is my favorite part, closely followed by how easy it is to update the instructions, closely followed by how easy it is to post the instructions….well you get the point, right? If you’d like to make tutorials for yourself and others and look like a genius with so little work, head on over to clarify-it.com and give their free trial a spin. You’ll be so happy when you finally break down and buy Clarify!
Chit Chat Across the Pond – Time: 37:51
In Chit Chat Across the Pond I’m joined by Chris Ashley of the SMR Podcast at smrpodcast.com. Chris is an avid Microsoft enthusiast, and I wanted him on the show to talk about the new face of Microsoft and how they’ve become so much more of a platform agnostic company. We get into the advancements coming to Windows 10 and the mobile devices and he even talks a little bit about gaming. If you’d like to follow him on Twitter, check him out at twitter.com/bigchrisashley.
That’s going to wind this up for this week, many thanks to our sponsor for helping to pay the bills, the makers of Clarify over at clarify-it.com. Don’t forget to send in your Dumb Questions, comments and suggestions by emailing me at [email protected], follow me on twitter @podfeet. Check out the NosillaCast Google Plus Community too – lots of fun over there! If you want to join in the fun of the live show, head on over to podfeet.com/live on Sunday nights at 5pm Pacific Time and join the friendly and enthusiastic NosillaCastaways. Thanks for listening, and stay subscribed.