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June 10, 2022

Corel AfterShot 3

Quick Review of the features of Corel After Shot 3

When you purchase Toast 19 Pro, you also get various other apps included including Corel AfterShot 3. I didn't need this as I have Affinity Photo and Photoscape X.

I decided to see what filters and features Corel has that other graphic programs don't have - and is it worth the space on my computer.

Corel After Shot 3

AfterShot 3

AfterShot Pro 3 is the latest version of Corel???s RAW photo editor. It offers a comprehensive set of features for adjusting, managing, and outputting your photos. AfterShot Pro 3 can handle RAW files from most popular cameras, as well as JPEGs and TIFFs.

One of the program???s strong suits is its non-destructive editing environment. You can make adjustments to your photos without harming the original file. This also makes it easy to revert back to an earlier version if you don???t like the changes you made.

AfterShot Pro 3 has a number of built-in presets that let you quickly improve your photos with just a few clicks. There are also tools for correcting lens distortion and chromatic aberration, removing noise, and improving detail in shadow areas. You can even create custom presets based on your own preferences or specific shooting conditions

Review and Thoughts

Luminar Neo has more powerful image adjustments. While the "Basic Adjustments" in Corel Aftershot are fine, you do have a lot more power in Luminar Neo and in Photoscape X.

The thumbnail view lets you see previews of images in a particular folder, and the thumbnails appear below the editor which is nice.

This is an application that would work well if I took a bunch of pictures at an event and there was some color correction that needed to be done before I sent it to a client.

There are a ton of camera profiles available to help fix images.

There's no filters or effects in Corel AfterShot 3.

The standard tools let you adjust the Temp, Brightness, Exposure, Highlights, Fill Light, Blacks, Contrast, Saturation, Vibrance, Hue, and Sharpening.

Final Thoughts

This isn't an application that I am likely to use that much. PhotoScape and Affinity Photo has a lot of similar functions. They also offer a lot more features that AfterShot is missing - such as advanced touch-ups and the ability to use masks and layers.

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June 3, 2022

Style App

Cool App is no longer usable

Style App is a pretty cool app that converts an image into an art piece. It's pretty cool because you could have a boring image and with a simple click of a button - you have a prize-winning art piece that would sure to pick up some $$$ in an NFT auction.

Product Description

Utilizing artificial intelligence and neural networks, Style App will take an image or video that you supply it and apply a style to your media.

The only problem is that since 2020, the application has failed to work. When you try to convert an image you get a dialog box that says, "Python cannot be opened because the developer cannot be verified."

Style App Python

Here's the technical error in the macOS console log:

ASP: Library load (/private/var/folders/yj/rkhkt9915kv1c5py9jpzspdr0000gn/T/io.macdaddy.Style/_MEIZFeMx5/Python) rejected: library load disallowed by system policy

There's nothing you can do to get this working. It would be risky to try to run the application as the "root" user, as you don't know what other changes are also broken.

The folks at MacDaddy have to fix this application so that it will work again - not sure if the application has been abandoned as the website hasn't been updated in a while.

These are some of the designs that you can create:

Style Examples
Some Examples of Style that I did back in 2017

Stlye Effect Names

It appears that some styles have been removed from preview versions of the app. Here is the list of style names:

Finger Painting, ASCII Full, Mandelbrot, Starry Night, Colorful World, ASCII Empty, Kandinsky, Psychedelic, Stone Art, Pencil Drawing, Drip Painting, Acrylic Paint, Jagged, Cubist, Outline, Seurat, John Constable, Acrylic, Colored Pencil Lines, Edtaonisl, Kanagawa, Moving Castle, Oil Painting, The Scream, Ballpoint, Composition, Dot Drawing, Candy, Colored Shrapnel, Wavy Lines, Psychedelic Blobs

Alternatives

There are a few alternative applications:

Image Tricks by Belight Software - They have many of the similar styles that are found in Style App.

Graphic Converter - The Filter and Effect menu have a ton of effects that you can apply to images.

Photoscape X - Has about 40 different effects that you can apply. You can't "apply all" as separate images as you do in Style App, but spend about 5-mins and you'll certainly find something creative.

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May 27, 2022

iMac Boxes

Save that iMac Box!

If you're like most people, when you get a new iMac, the first thing you do is toss the box. After all, who needs it? You've got the computer and that's all you need, right? Wrong! If you're ever planning on moving your iMac, or even just transporting it from one room to another, keeping the box is a must.

iMac Box 2022
iMac on a Desk - Don't you love the new iMac Smell?

Here are four reasons why:

  • The box provides great protection for your computer. If something happens during transport and your computer gets damaged, having the original box will make filing a claim much easier.
  • The box can serve as extra storage for your cords and other accessories. Once everything is packed up inside of it, there's no need to worry about losing any of your cables or adapters - they'll be safe and sound until you need them again.
  • The box can help keep your desktop clean and organized. When everything has its own designated space in the packaging container, there's less chance of things getting jumbled around or misplaced during transport.
  • Finally - and this may be the most important reason of all - if something goes wrong with your computer after purchase but still within Apple's one-year warranty period, having the original packaging could mean that Apple will consider repairing or replacing your device under their warranty policy."

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May 20, 2022

CameraBag Pro

Great Tool for Videographers

CameraBag Pro is a professional photo editing software for macOS that can help you to improve your photos with just a few clicks. The app offers an intuitive and easy-to-use interface, as well as a wide range of features and filters that will let you edit your photos to perfection. CameraBag Pro also includes support for RAW files, so you can get the most out of your images. If you're looking for an easy way to improve your photography skills, then CameraBag Pro is definitely worth checking out.

Product Description

CameraBag lets you instantly apply one of the hundreds of beautiful presets to your photos (and videos with CameraBag Pro), and then dive deeper with ultra-intuitive professional adjustments. It's no wonder Apple awarded it the #2 Mac App of the Year and Professional Photographer Magazine called it "a revolution for photo editing."

Camera Bag Pro

Five Things I Like About CameraBag Pro

Here are the five things that I like about CameraBag Pro - and why you should get it if you are a videographer.

Color Correct Videos - The Pro version has the ability to correct videos and images. Now you don't have to play around with Final Cut Pro color settings. You can touch up videos right in CameraBag Pro and save the changes. This feature is really worth the $50 by itself. Basically, you save a lot of time second-guessing how to make a video clip better.

Export Filter LUT - When you have found the color style you like for a particular situation, you can save it as a LUT. You can then easily apply it to similar shots in Final Cut Pro. So for example, you can take a short video before a major production shoot, and use CameraBag Pro to create a LUT that will work for that scene and lighting.

20+ Classic Motion Film Stock Filters - CameraBag Pro 20+ Classic Motion Film Stock Filters is a professional photo editing app that allows you to add beautiful and realistic film stock filters to your photos. With this app, you can give your photos an old-school film look with just a few taps. The filters are adjustable, so you can customize the effect to suit your own style.

Quick Look / Presets - You have the ability to preview at all the settings. This gives you a good visual of what setting works for your particular image. Maybe you need Grain, Dynamics, or a slight Tone Curve adjustment? No more second-guessing - that's what the Presets are there for. Check to see how your image/video will look - you can still make adjustments to make the image stand out.

Not a Subscription Service - No monthly/yearly software subscription fees. Instead, a one-time payment for lifetime use of the software. Just pay for it now and use it whenever you need it. A nice change from other MacOS apps.

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May 13, 2022

Macintosh ExFAT Format

Best Format for USB Drives

Macintosh ExFat Format is the best way to format your USB drive for use with a Macintosh computer. This format provides compatibility with both Mac and Windows operating systems, making it the perfect choice for cross-platform users.

If you're having problems copying large files to a USB, chances are it's because the USB is using an outdated file system. Unfortunately, the only way to convert to ExFAT is to reformat the USB.

Enfain Ex F A T

Use ExFat Format

USB thumb drives are a convenient way to move files between computers, but their size can be limiting. A USB thumb drive formatted with the Macintosh ExFat file system can store large files without running into the size limitations of other file systems.

The ExFat file system was designed for flash drives and other portable media. It supports files up to 16 terabytes in size, making it ideal for storing large video or image files. The ExFat format is also compatible with both Windows and Mac computers, making it a versatile choice for transferring files between different platforms.

Microsoft Patents

Microsoft owns the patents on several elements of the ExFAT technical design. This means that any company that wants to use this technology must license it from Microsoft. While this may seem like a burden, it is actually a good thing for companies. Microsoft has a strong track record of protecting its patents and ensuring that its technology is used in a responsible way. This means that companies can be confident that they will not face legal challenges from Microsoft if they use ExFAT in their products.

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May 6, 2022

AppleScript Script Menu

Make AppleScript Accessible in Any app

Adding a script menu to the menu bar is an incredibly useful feature that I recently discovered. This allows you to easily run AppleScript whenever you would like, without having to search for it in your Applications folder. This can be really helpful if you need to run a script regularly, or if you just want easy access to your scripts.

Apple Script Menu

Five Things I Learned

Each application can have a specific set of AppleScript files. This helps declutter the menu and have only the essential scripts shown. Every application can have its own script folder - even if the Applicationdoesn't have built-in support for AppleScript.

In the example above, I have two AppleScripts where I generate an anchor tag for HTML or Markdown. The script output is saved to the clipboard - ready to be pasted in any application.

Do you code in PHP, Python, or BASH? No problem, you can always have AppleScript run your code! Here's a sample line:

do shell script "Python3 ~/scripts/something.py"

That one line of code will execute a Python Script. It can be modified to run any Shell command. Now you can run your code anyplace.

There isn't a way to assign shortcut keys to any AppleScript command.

This is the AppleScript that I wrote to generate the HTML tag of the active Chrome Browser:

tell application "Google Chrome"
	set broswerurl to get URL of active tab of first window
	set browsertitle to get title of active tab of first window
	set the clipboard to "<a href="" & broswerurl & "" >" & browsertitle & "</a >"
end tell

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April 29, 2022

Year On A Page

Posterino is the Best Option

There are several Macintosh applications that make it really easy to create a Year on a Page calendar. These calendars can be used as quick reference tools to help you plan your year.

You can't create Year on a Page printout using Apple Calendar or Google Calendar. The best application that I found to create Year On a Page is Posterino. It's really easy to use and you can produce a simple customize calendar in a matter of seconds.

Posterino

Here are the steps to create a custom Year on A Page:

  • Launch Posterino
  • In the Template Wizard select Calendars and then double click on the "One Year - plain" Template
  • Select whatever Page size you want. 8x10 is a good standard size to use.
  • To make changes to the calendar, mouse over the months and you should see a cog wheel in the top right corner.
  • Noe you can change the start year and month - making it easy to create a calendar whenever you need it. You can even create a layout for the next three months (quarters).
  • Once your done - just print or save it as a PDF.

YOAP- Posterino

Some Notes

You can add references to Apple Calendars in your "Year on a Page Calendar." The only problem is there is no guide, on the page, to what color goes with the calendar.

There are all sorts of additional configurations in the Adjust panel. You can change the color of the Month, have Weekday have longer names, and more. You can even have adjacent days show up on the months too - in a lighter color. There's also a setting to draw the month frame and grid lines.

There are 11 different Calendar templates to select from in Posterino

Posterino cost $19.99 for a single user or $29.99 for the household. Obviously, there's a lot you can do with this application. The Year on a Page functionality is just one way to use the application.

Online Options

There are some online services that are available that you can use. These are free and don't offer the same customization that Posterino does.

TimeandDate - Create your own PDF Printable Calendar. You can create a login so you don't have to type in events every time you create a calendar. Very popular solution and they have good templates.

CalendarLabs - Quick and easy calendars. Just download the PDF and your on your way. There are some customization available.

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April 22, 2022

SentinelOne

Service Blocking Keyboard Maestro App

Sentinel One  Cyber Security

SentinelOne is the world???s first artificial intelligence (AI) powered cybersecurity platform that prevents threats at a faster speed, greater scale, and higher accuracy than humanly possible.

The platform uses AI to identify and prevent cyber threats in real-time, across all devices and networks. It does this by analyzing data patterns and behaviors to identify malicious activity before it can cause damage.

Since SentinelOne is powered by AI, it can detect threats that traditional security measures cannot see. This makes the platform incredibly effective at preventing cyberattacks from causing harm or stealing valuable data.

In addition to its threat prevention capabilities, SentinelOne also provides comprehensive reporting on all activity across your network so you can stay informed of any potential risks.

Sentinel One Keyboard Maestro

Keyboard Maestro

Apparently the Keyboard Maestro application is considered a threat in the SentinelOne world.

When you uncompress the keyboardmaestro-1002.zip file, immediately SentinelOne will remove the Keyboard Maestro Engine. There is no chance to override it. Poof! it's gone.

Without the Keyboard Maestro Engine you can't use the application. THere's no way around it.

You can get approval from Admin that the file is safe, but the file has been removed. Someone from IT will need to log in to the computer and disable the SentinelOne and unzip keyboardmaestro-1002.zip so that SentinelOne doesn't delete it.

It's one thing to protect a computer, but should you limit the productivity of the users?

Why Keyboard Maestro?

Keyboard Maestro is an automation tool that helps speed up personal productivity. Users can save a lot of time by not having to type repeated statements.

Keyboard Maestro has an excellent ClipBoard History manager that makes it easy to recall previously saved clipboard content - saving lots of time from copying common text and images. You can even save the content to be reused over and over again.

Keyboard Maestro has the ability to tap into Chrome. Users can parse URLs to be used in other apps. For example, if I am in Slack and I want to post the current Jira ticket that I have open, I can type a simple command and instantly have a Markdown parse version of the Jira page.

There's so much more that Keyboard Maestro can do to help users be more efficient in their day-to-day activities.

SentinelOne

According to the Developer, SentinelOne needs to fix its software. They have voiced their complaint and nothing happens.

I wonder what other applications are being prevented installed by SentinelOne.

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April 15, 2022

Measure Tool - Epic Ruler

Unique Measure Tool for all Your Mac Needs

Epic Ruler is an impressive set of design utility tools to measure distance, dimension, position, pick colors, test contrast, and align on-screen elements. It's a great tool for web designers and developers who need to quickly check the dimensions or positioning of objects on the screen. With Epic Ruler you can easily select any color from your screen with a built-in color picker, and test the contrast between two colors. You can also use it to quickly align objects on your screen by selecting one or more points and clicking "Align."

Epic Ruler Sample
Epic Ruler shows exactly how far objects are on a webpage.

Five Things I have Learn

The ruler is very cool. It works based on the screen elements and not windows. This means that you can use it to check the proper placements of objects on a webpage. You can type 'd' to save the measure tool. In addition, you can use the arrow keys to extend the boundaries of the measure tool.

Guidelines are a good way to make sure elements are properly spaced out. This might be useful when I need to validate that objects in tables are properly aligned correctly. What's nice is that's its an overlay, so you can keep it on the screen as you doing work.

Color Picker is a fast and easy way to identify the color of objects that you see on the screen. By default, the color picker will show RGBA values, but you can change that to HEX values in the appearance section in the preferences dialog box.

To capture the results of Epic Ruler elements you need to use the included screen capture tool. This captures all the saved rulers, guidelines, and color picker elements. You can then send the capture to any program such as Snagit or Slack.

Note: There is a bug in macOS Monterey and that sharing the capture isn't working. Luckly you can still access the capture files in in ~/Pictures/EpicRuler

Epic Ruler works in the background and you can trigger elements by using the shortcuts. Two useful shortcuts worth remembering is Option D to enable the Measure Tool and Option C to clear the screen.

Worth Getting?

The ruler functionality is certainly worth getting. I haven't seen rulers work the way that Epic Ruler works. Most applications are just based on the window edges - which can be useful - but to find the spacing between elements is pretty cool.

The nice thing is that isn't a browser plug-in. So you can use this in graphic and page layout programs too. This makes it a great universal app so you can use it no matter where you are on the computer.

I would recommend getting the application as a unique tool for your toolbox. It may come in handy someday when your trying to figure out if something is align correctly.

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April 8, 2022

Guarded macOS PDF Hack

Sneaky ways around the PDF Text Copy permissions

One of the things I don't like about macOS Monterey is the additional security features. When you try to copy text from some PDF documents you may encounter this dialog box:

PDF Box Monterey

All I am doing is copying the text. Why should this be prevented? How do I know who the document owner is? Do you think that they would just give me the username/password to unlock this document?

This all worked fine in previous versions of macOS. But the new rules make a simple copy and paste a crime.

FireFox Solution

One creative way around this security restriction, is to open the PDF file in Firefox. You can open the PDF, go to the page and copy the text. You can then paste the content of the text into any document (as text data.)

Fire Fox P D F Blur

Duplicate File!

If you're going to be frequently referencing data from this PDF, you can bypass the copy/paste permissions by duplicating the file! Yup. Simply duplicate the file in Preview and you'll be able to copy text like it was macOS 11 (Big Sur)

Who knows if Apple will make future changes with the ability to duplicate PDF documents?

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About

A Mac veteran since 1989, I'm here to share my experience with tips and tricks every Friday. Witnessing the evolution of Mac software and hardware firsthand, I've gained a deep understanding of how these machines work and can help you troubleshoot any issues that may come up.

Check out all the blog posts.

Schedule

FridayMacintosh
SaturdayInternet Tools
SundayOpen Topic
MondayMedia Monday
TuesdayQA
WednesdayNew England
ThursdayGluten Free