QA Graphic
February 4, 2022

ForkLift 3

Is it a better alternative to Panic Transmit?

ForkLift by BinaryNights is a very popular dual file manager. In 2012, I did a quick review of the application and things have changed a lot over the years, so I thought it would be good to review it again.

My go-to FTP file manager is Panic Transmit, so this review is based on the things that ForkLift does well and some things where Transmit does a better job.

Fork Lift Preview

Five Things I Like about ForkLift 3

Commands - The Command menu option allows you to send various server commands without having to open up a separate terminal window. You can make symlinks, alias, sync, compress, copy, and delete to name a few.

Local File Size - You can quickly tell how much space you have on your local devices, if you are run low on disk space, the ???pill??? color will be red.

Sidebar - You can have the sidebar visible whenever you need it. This makes it easy to navigate between favorites and local devices while still having a two-panel window visible. This would be useful when migrating a site from one cloud service to another.

Custom Shortcuts - You can set or change any Forklift preferences. This means that I can quickly navigate through the application using shortcuts that I am familiar with.

Forklift Mini - This puts some features of ForkLift in the menu bar. For each favorite, you can mount it as a disk, open it as a droplet or open the location in Forklift. To mount it as a disk you need to install ???FUSE for macOS??? a free third-party framework,

Two Things That Panic Transmit Did Better

Apple iCloud Drive - When viewing iCloud folders, Forklift doesn???t show files that haven???t been downloaded. Panic Transmit does show non-downloaded files.

Connecting Servers - I spent way too much time looking at how to connect a server. In Transmit, the connection location is easy to find and the interface is much better.

Recommendation?

Overall, I think Transmit is a great application and won't be switching to ForkLift anytime soon. However, if I fund that ForkLift is running a sale, I may consider purchasing as a secondary FTP tool.

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January 28, 2022

Smart Folders

Create Quick Search for Common Searches

In this short entry, we are going to explore Smart Folders in the Finder - a way to quickly find common files at a click.

New Smart Folder

Smart Folders

Apple's description of Smart Folders:

Smart Folders automatically gather files by type and subject matter. Smart Folders are updated as you change, add, and remove files on your Mac.

Creating a Smart Folder

To create a smart folder: In the finder select the New menu then "New Smart Folder."

Tips and Tricks

Here are four useful Smart Folders to have:

Template Files

Motion Search Template

Template files - Are their files that you like to use on a frequent bases? Create a template so you can find them. (Apple Motion files in this example.)

Recent Apps

Recent Apps

Recent Apps - Highlight applications that you use on a regular bases. The cool thing is that you can decide on the last open date.

Recent Files

Last7 Days

Recent Files -Do you work with a lot of files and want quick access to the most recent ones? Set up a recent

Media Search

Go Pro Search

Specific Video Files - Do you frequently look for videos taken with a certain camera? Create a Smart Folder.

Full List of Search Attribute

There are 144 Spotlight Criteria and Attributes.

You can get the full list of all the available Spotlight search attributes on https://simonbarnett.co.za/ website.

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January 21, 2022

Pixelmator Remove Background

Quickly remove backgrounds from the Finder

In November, Pixelmator Pro added a AI-powered background removal tool. This is a very powerful feature that makes it easy to remove background from any image.

Pixelmator Pro was certain that you'll be using this feature all the time, that they built in a Finder Quick Action so you can remove a background from any image without having to open up the application.

Pixelmator Quick Action

Three Reasons Why This is Great!

You can quickly remove the background of any image. Pixelmator Pro creates a new image so the original image isn't impacted. There's no harm to use this to any image that you have.

This works anyplace in the finder. So you can be looking at an image on a flash drive and apply this tool.

The whole process takes place in the background. Pixelmator won't open up and disrupt your desktop view or flow.

Not Enabled by Default

Here's the steps to enable this.

  • Open up System Preferences. Apple Menu -> System Preferences
  • Search or Click Extensions. (Tip: The icon is a puzzle piece.)
  • Click Finder on the Left navigation.
  • Click check box next to "Remove Background,"

If you don't see "Remove Background" you will need to update Pixelmator Pro to the latest version.

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January 14, 2022

Setting up new MacBook Pro

Changing the Defaults and Software Install

This week I got a new MacBook Pro laptop at work. This means that I had to set up the computer to the way I link to use it.

Here are three things that I had to get done. I created this blog post for future reference.

Apple Screen Capture

I use Apple Screen capture all the time. However, I don't like the drop shadow and I don't want the PNG format since it's usually larger than the JPG format.

Remove Drop Shadow

The drop shadow is so 2010. Remove the default drop shadow on all screen captures.

defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool true

Save as JPG

Save disk space and make your captures JPEG files. Why did Apple make the default screen capture as PNG format?

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg

Restart the System Server

killall SystemUIServer

All together now

Simple Cut/Paste of the three commands mentioned above:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool true
defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg
killall SystemUIServer


Fix BBEdit Settings

Removed the dreaded return after applying a paragraph tag:

defaults write com.barebones.bbedit HTMLParagraphMarkup_ParagraphsOnSeparateLines -bool NO

BBEdit Default Preferences

Make the following adjustments:

Appearance

  • Application appearance should be set to dark.
  • Editor color scheme should be Haunted Mansion (cryan.com)
  • Turn off Page guide at [90] characters.

Application

  • When BBEdit becomes active set it to "Do Nothing"

Completion

  • Enable "Include system text replacements in completion list"

Editor Default

  • Enable "Soft wrap text to" and select the Window Width.

Applications Install

These are my helper applications - outside of anything specific that my work provides.

  • BBEdit - Essential text editor
  • Keyboard Maestro - #1 Productive App
  • LaunchBar - Launch Applications quicker
  • Panic's Transmit - Transer files between the computer and server
  • Magnet - I use Mosaic on my personal computer, but Magnet has the iCloud license. Keyboard shortcuts are essentially the same.
  • Photoscape X - Quick graphic editor.
  • iTerm2 - Essential Terminal App.
  • DBeaver - DB management tool

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January 7, 2022

Chrome Mouse Shortcuts

Three Simple Shortcuts to use Everyday

If you right-click on a link to Open a Link in a New Tab, or a Window. There is actually an easier way to get the task done.

Chrome Command Click

Here are three useful Chrome shortcuts that are worth using every day:

Open a link in new background tab ??? + Click a link
Open a link, and jump to it ??? + Shift + Click a link
Open a link in a new window Shift + Click a link

These tips work in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari - it seems to be a universal standard. So they are worth knowing and using. You can save some time and be more efficient.

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December 31, 2021

Most Used Macintosh Apps of 2021

Great Productive Apps

Usually, I feature the top ten Macintosh blog posts of 2021. However, this year I decided to do something a bit different. This year the last Macintosh post will feature the top ten applications of the year.

Macintosh Apps 2021

Top Ten Apps of 2021

These applications were the ones that I used the most in 2021.

BBEdit - In late July, Bare Bones released BBEdit 14 and some cool new features - including notes. Now there???s no excuse to not use BBedit as your go-to notes tool - especially for programming. Read my review of BBEdit 14.

Final Cut Pro - In October, Apple released Final Cut Pro 10.6 and some cool Object Tracking and Cinematic Mode features. I use Final Cut Pro for weekly video editing. Read the Final Cut Pro Blog posts.

Transmit - I did look into switching to Viper FTP Lite, but I kept going back to Transmit because of the easy to use functionality.

Luminar AI - I purchased Luminar Ai in October and I use it to touch up all my photos. The application does a great job with enhancement and adding some cool special effects. Read my initial review of Luminar Ai and a followup review a month later.

This is a great application to have if you???re doing any photo work. The whole point of Luminar AI is to make enhancements as quickly as possible. If you are a Photoshop or Affinity Photo pro then you may not need this application. However, over the long run, I think the time saved is worth the cost.

Keyboard Maestro - According to Keyboard Maestro stats, the time saved using this application is 32 hours and that???s just this year. Keyboard Maestro released version 10 in early November - read my review.

I created 404 macros and use a lot of them on a day-to-day bases. You can see some tips and tricks on my Keyboard Maestro Blog.

Day One - This is where I keep tabs on my day. It???s a great way to track things that were important that day. I really like going to ???On This Day??? and seeing what happened personally over the past years.

Affinity Designer - This is where I create all my graphics for work and this website. It???s easy to use and offers a lot of power to create amazing images. I like Affinity Designer because it opens up EPS files for easy manipulation.

DBeaver - I started using this in July and have found it to be a great database tool. I can connect to various databases and perform similar tasks. Having one tool means I don???t have to remember different shortcuts as I switch between database types.

Photoscape X - When I want to create collages this is an application that I turn to. In a matter of minutes, I can create a collage that looks awesome. PhotoScape has a lot of tools to help touch up files - such as screenshots and Memes.

An updated version of Photoscape X should be announced soon!

Drop Zone 3 - I use Drop Zone to transfer files to my webserver. There are separate actions for different projects. To copy a file to the remote server, I simply drag an image to the taskbar and then drop it on the icon that represents the final destination.

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December 24, 2021

Christmas Graphic

Done using Affinity Designer.

Happy Christmas Eve!

The main website graphic was created using Affinity Designer and a clip art that I had around.

Welcome to cryan.com
...

Some Notes

I used the "My Dear Santa" font from Creative Market. It was free during the first week of December.

The text background color was done using the 50 Glitter Texture Images. It's a great collection to have for background or for text masks.

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December 17, 2021

EPS Thumbnails

Bug in macOS Monterey

One of the bugs that macOS Monterey (12.0.1) has that the Finder isn't able to display EPS thumbnails and when you try to preview the images it doesn't work.

This is due to changes in macOS Monterey on how thumbnails are created.

Sample Issue

macOS Finder EPS Thumbnail

I have found other applications were having a problem with generating thumbnail images as document icons, such as Pathfinder and Commander One.

Quick Fix

The only application that I found useful is Graphic Converter. The Browse functionality let you get a real view of all your EPS files.

Here's the same directory using the Graphic Converter Browse functionality:

macOS Graphic Converter

Right click on the image and you can open it in Affinity Designer!

Until Apple fix the bug, this is a good solution to look at directories that have lots of EPS documents.

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December 10, 2021

MacBook Restart

Fixing an issue with the computer not booting up

This week I have been having some issues with my MacBook not starting up. There has been a couple of times when I would see the battery icon with a lightning bolt.

Battery Lighteningbolt

According to Apple

The best solution is to Force your Mac to turn off and back on (Knowledge Base Answer: HT204267).

What's Going On?

For MacBooks, this means that the battery has died. The computer is charging the battery up enough so it can work.

You may have to wait a couple of minutes before trying to start the computer.

Long Term Solution: You should take the laptop to get looked at - Apple will likely install a new battery.

Try Resetting the SMC

The System Management Controller (SMC) may need to be reset. The SMC manages tasks like thermal and battery management. Resetting may help restore your computer back to life. (Note: It can't hurt to try this!)

Here is how to reset the SMC via MacBook:

  • Shut down your Mac
  • Press and hold 'Control' (Left) + 'Option' (Left) + 'Shift' (Right) keys
  • Keep holding them for seven seconds and press and hold the 'Power' button. Keep pressing for another seven seconds
  • Release all the keys, wait, and then restart your Mac.

What Worked for Me

After resetting the SMC, I restarted the computer by holding down the power button for 10-seconds. This seems to be the "best way" for me to get out of the mode that it is in.

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December 3, 2021

Christmas Accessories Idea

Create Gift Ideas for that Tech Person

This week's post are some suggested ideas to give to your favorite Macintosh User. Every Macintosh user is different, and some people might be brand specific, but honestly, you can't go wrong with these items.

This list covers various items from various stores online.

Home Desk Cartoon

Mac Accessories

USB-C Hub - $$$$ - After using the MacBook and iMac for a while, you quickly find that there are never enough USB-C ports. The OWC Thunderbolt Hub adds 4 USB-C Ports and one USB-A port. At $179.00 it's a bit of a pricy gift, but your Mac User would be so much more productive with it.

Qi Charger - $$ - All the newest smartphones are based on wireless charging. Having multiple Qi chargers around the house can be a great gift idea. Even if they have one in every possible room - they could use one for travel! The Mophia 3-in-1 7.5W Wireless Charging Pad at Best Buy is a practical gift idea. (Currently selling for $49.99)

Wireless Keyboard - $$$ - Having a spare wireless keyboard can be a time saver! Your Mac User may think they don't need a new keyboard, but it may make their life a bit easier. Apple's Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad is selling for $129 on Apple.com

1TB SSD External Drive - $$$ - Everyone can use more local storage. A SSD drive is practical way to backup your data quickly. The SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD is one of the best devices, B&H Photo has them on sale for $140.00.

Clip on Light Reading Light, 3000K - 6500K - $$ - These are so useful on Zoom calls - especially if you have a lot of light behind you. Here's one on Amazon that is currently selling for $13.99.

Extra Large Mouse Pad - $$ - A large mouse pad makes using the mouse so much easier. No more fumbling with the mouse to keep it on a tiny mouse pad. The extra-large pad helps keep the desk safe from hot drinks. You can find a lot of good options on Etsy. There are some places that will customize your own desk pad. I find the 35" by 15.5" be a great size.

USB Flash Drive Dock - $ - Keep your USB drives in a handy stand so they get lost in the top desk drawer. Patriot3dPrinting on Etsy makes one for $5+ shipping.

Memory Card Carry Case - $$ - Does your Macintosh user have a lot of memory cards hanging around? Get a Memory card travel case so they can find a card when they need one. B&H Photo Video has some good cases starting at $10 and up to $300 I like the ones that hold both SD and MicroSD cards.

10000mAh External USB Power Bank - $$$ - A good portable charger can be very handy to have when you away from the desk. Get at least a 10,000mAh size so that you can charge your phone multiple times. Amazon.com has a large selection of devices and they start at $10 and goes up to $133.

USB-C to USB-A Converter - $ - Useful for MacBook users when traveling. Keep an adapter in the travel bag - so it's handy when you need it. You can find a lot of multi-packs on eBay, some starting at $5. At this point in time, you may want to select the search query location for your country.

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About

As someone who has worked on Macs since 1989, I will use my experience to share tips and tricks with you on Fridays. As a Mac user since 1989, I have seen the evolution of Mac software and hardware, and I know how Mac computers work. I also know how to troubleshoot and fix Mac problems that can arise.

Check out all the blog posts.

Schedule

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