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Category Archives for "Software"

October 10, 2011

How to Reset the Mac OS X Lion Screen Zoom

I really like my Mac.  One thing I miss when I use my Windows computer is the Mac’s ability to zoom the screen with CTRL plus moving my finger forward or back on my magic mouse.  As you get older, your eyes start appreciating this feature a LOT! When I upgraded to Mac OS X Lion, I had to go to Universal Access and set this up by turning Zoom on.  Every once in a while, zoom turns itself off.  I suspect it’s another program doing this, but it’s easy enough to get it working again Related Site.  Here’s what you do: Step 1 Click on the upper left Apple symbol and choose “System Preferences” Step 2 Click on the Universal Access icon on the right as shown here: Mac OS X Lion Universal Access Step 3 Click on the “Zoom in Window” check box, then click it again to de-select it.  This resets it every time I’ve done it so it goes back to the normal zoom I use every day. Mac OS X Lion Universal-Access STEP 2 If you haven’t tried the screen zooming in Mac OS, try it.  You’ll like it!  If it stops working, try this trick to get it working again.  I don’t need to do this often, but it’s handy to know how to when you need it! Enjoy the Mac OS X Lion Screen Zoom!!

July 25, 2011

Mac OS X Lion: Keyboard Shortcuts Reference

I live in Europe and am always looking for characters that aren’t on the U.S. English keyboard on my Mac. I found a pretty cool web page last year with the Mac keyboard short cuts at Washington State University. A few of the keys are different with Mac OS X Lion, but overall it’s close. I wanted an updated reference and I added the visual Keyboard Viewer graphics. They are a nice visual overview of what’s available.

Mac OS X Lion did add a pretty cool new feature. If you hold down a key with one of the accents, a little selector bubble will appear over your cursor. Here’s what happens when I hold the letter a down:
Mac OS X Lion Keyboard Trick

That’s a pretty cool trick. My son, Spencer, pointed out that this is how the iPhone works.

Here’s the Mac OS X Lion Keyboard Shortcuts Reference… enjoy!

U.S. Keyboard

With the Option Key

With the Option + Shift Keys

Accent Key Strokes Available Characters
Grave ` option ` + the character À È Ì Ò Ù  à è ì ò ù
Acute ´ option e + the character Á É Í Ó Ú á é í ó ú
Circumflex ^ option i + the character Â Ê Î Ô Û â ê î ô û
Tilde ~ option n + the character Ã Ñ Õ ã ñ õ
Umlaut ¨ option u + the character Ä Ë Ï Ö Ü Ÿ ä ë ï ö ü ÿ

 

Key

Stroke

+Option +Option-

Shift

Key

Stroke

+Option +Option-

Shift

A å Å 0 º
B ı 1 ¡
C ç Ç 2
D Î 3 £
E ´ 4 ¢
F ƒ Ï 5
G © ˝ 6 §
H ˙ Ó 7
I ˆ 8 °
J Ô 9 ª ·
K ˚
L ¬ Ò = ±
M µ Â [
N ˜ ]
O ø Ø \ « »
P π ; Ú
Q œ Œ æ Æ
R ® , ¯
S ß Í . ˘
T ˇ / ÷ ¿
U ¨
V
W
X ˛
Y ¥ Á
Z Ω ¸

 

July 23, 2011

Mac OS 10.7 Lion – What Software Works and Doesn’t Work

Lion
I know I shouldn’t have done it but I did anyway.  I’ve been a beta tester years ago for PC Tools and even Windows 95 (It wasn’t my fault…).  Being on the bleeding edge is fun and upgrading to the latest and greatest software is always exciting, until stuff starts not working.

Rewind to last week when Apple rolled out their newest Mac operating system 10.7 or Lion.  The OS only costs $29.99 so the price is attractive enough to click the Buy button in the App store.  The upgrade was through the App Store.  Pretty simple to download the installation file and get started.

The previous upgrades I went through with Apple I had no issues whatsoever.  Not so this time.

This is a major update

Apple really wants to move the OS towards the portable devices with gestures.  I suppose a lot has to change under the hood for this to happen.  Many things have changed in Lion.  Overall I’m happy with it.  I have a lot of software installed on my iMac and nearly all of it is unaffected.  The only programs I have that have hiccuped are:

  • Telestream Episode 5 and Episode 6 (they are releasing an update in August so I can run Episode again)
  • Briksoftware’s Camouflage which hides your desktop icons
  • Intego’s VirusBarrier X6  (http://www.intego.com/virusbarrier/ )  They say Lion compatible on their website so I might be able to get this to work.  Not sure yet.
  • Disk Inventory X ( http://www.derlien.com/ )
  • VMWare Fusion 3.1.2 (for running a virtual Windows OS.  At http://www.vmware.com/fusion) caused a Kernal Panic during the update to 3.1.3 and I had to reboot.  3.1.3 did NOT install.
Ok.. What’s working?

Overall most of my software is working.  I can use Handbrake and Compressor while I wait for Episode 6 to get updated.  VirusBarrier probably isn’t as critical on a Mac due to FreeBSD’s enhanced security anyway.  I have a Windows computer next to my iMac so VM Ware Fusion rarely gets run.  The main thing that annoyed me was Camouflage.  I REALLY got used to a very clean desktop.   I did find a way to take care of this problem:

How to hide your Mac OS desktop icons

This is from a post in 2009 but it still works
  1. Go to “Applications” and find the “Utilities” folder, then the “Terminal” application
  2. Enter the following in Terminal:
    defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop -bool false
  3. Enter the following in Terminal to kill Finder and have the changes take effect:
    killall Finder
  4.  You’re done!
To show your icons again:
  1. Open “Terminal” again
  2. Enter the following in Terminal:
    defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop -bool true 
  3. Enter the following in Terminal to kill Finder and have the changes take effect:
    killall Finder
  4. You’re done!
I guess I don’t really need Camouflage, but it’s so easy to use!
Overall Lion is the same but different than Snow Leopard.  There are some interesting changes and I’m sure I’ll grow to like over time.  I’ll write more about it as I kick the tires.
April 19, 2011

Notebook 3.0: My Secret Weapon to Organizing Information

Notebook 3.0 - Circus Ponies

I work from home and start my workday while waiting for my boss to call me on the telephone. He always has plenty of tasks for me to complete either today or in the near future. I have so many things to do that it’s easy to lose track of them. I have yellow pads of paper to write notes while my boss is giving me my marching orders for the day but it never seems right to me. I’m a computer programmer and I live in the digital age. Shouldn’t my notes be taken electronically?

I was talking with a friend and told him about my discovering Scrivener. He said he’s used Scrivener for a long time. I wondered why he hadn’t shared that with me but I suppose I never asked him. He told me he loves Scrivener and thought I would also like another application he uses. One to take notes electronically! I was instantly curious. He told me to check out Notebook 3.0 for the Mac.

Notebook 3.0?

That sounded like a new generation of laptop. But I knew it was a note taking application so I searched for “notebook software” and the first listing was from a company my horse riding wife would love the name of: Circus Ponies. They make a product called Notebook 3.0. I went to their product page and saw a Mac desktop that looked like mine, with tons and tons of icons on it. I knew I had to have this software. So what does this software do?

1. Helps you stay organized

2. Let’s you take great notes

3. Easily search your notes

Let’s see how Notebook 3.0 does these things.

1. Helps you stay organized

My desktop is cluttered. It’s the serious I-can’t-find-anything cluttered. I have too many things I do and I constantly see useful snippets of information I want to store, but there’s no good place to store it. My desktop ends up with the information most of the time. It ends up being a massive jungle to find anything. I’ve tried software to move items to different folders but I can’t remember what’s in each folder.

Notebook 3.0 uses the paper notebook metaphor with outlines. This is perfect for managing lists of things, like my daily to do tasks. I can put them all in one page because Notebook pages are as long as you need them to be. I could organize my work notes by date or type of task or project. Whichever way I want to organize it I can. The “wow” factor for me was when I learned Notebook lets you store documents, images, moves, sound files and text in your documents. This was an “ah ha” moment for me. Now I finally have a place to put code snippets, random thoughts, photos, music clips etc. in one place. But I also need to take good notes every day.

2. Let’s you take great notes

I think this was the original design goal of the software. Note taking. You can setup a to do list in an outline and set check boxes and due dates for each item. This is exactly what I need. I can even record my boss on speakerphone and put his directions right in the note! That is such a cool capability.

You can add flow charts and hand drawings to your notes. The software supports pressure sensitive table devices so you can type or write your notes out. I think I’m a faster typist but I think I’m going to buy a small tablet to try it out. Because you can drop documents into your notes, imagine putting your PDF lecture notes into a notebook page and drawing your real time notes of the lecture on top of the printed notes. Just like you would do with paper notes and a pencil. After you take your notes, you have to be able to find them or what was the point to taking notes in the first place?

3. Easily search your notes

Notebook can search your entire notebook with ease. Each notebook can hold massive amounts of information oxycontin high. This was the problem I had before. How do I find that piece of information I saved? Notebook note not only stores your information, but meta data about your information’s attributes. These are things like the date, when the note was updated or any numbers in your notes for example.

The Multidex indexes all of your information in various ways to help you find it faster. Do you remember a specific word? Perhaps you remember a capitalized word? Or you can only remember part of a number or Internet address. You can highlight in six different colors and find all items that have that same color of highlighting. You can search by different types of dates: creation, change or due dates. All of these methods help you find that obscure piece of information you tucked away so you can use it when you need it.

Isn’t storing the information in my Notebook keeping bloating my hard drive?

Not necessarily. You can embed your documents, movies and other large files inside of your Notebook; however, you can also insert links to them instead. I think an interesting idea is to store you information with cloud file sharing online, like dropbox or Amazon S3, and link to the files in the cloud.

Thanks to my friend, I now have a solution to keep my information organized

I was in heaven finding Scrivener, but that’s oriented towards writing. Notebook 3.0 helps you organize all of your information and manage your to do lists. I have lots of yellow pads of paper but I don’t think I’ll be using them soon as I start converting my note taking to Notebook 3.0

Give Notebook 3.0 a try

There’s a free trial so there’s no risk to give it a try. I highly recommend you watch all of the tutorial videos. They aren’t very long and really help you understand what Notebook 3.0 can do for you. You won’t regret trying it.

http://www.circusponies.com/