Macintosh Content- Page 3
August 26, 2022 by cryan.com
Mission Control is an essential application for anyone using an Apple computer. It provides a centralized location from which you can manage all of your open windows and applications.
To open Mission Control, press the F3 key on your keyboard, or click on the Mission Control icon in the Dock. From there, you can use the tabs at the top of the window to switch between running applications, windows within those applications, and spaces (multiple desktops). You can also use Mission Control to quickly move windows between spaces.
If you have multiple displays connected to your computer, each display will show up as its own space in Mission Control. This makes it easy to move windows back and forth between displays without having to drag them across your desktop.
Mission Control is a great tool for focusing on one task at a time. You can, for example, have separate work and home spaces. This way you can keep your work life and personal life separate. You can also use Mission Control to focus on specific tasks. For example, if you need to study for an upcoming test, you can create a space specifically for studying and then close all other applications except the ones that you need for studying.
Airport Express Setup
August 19, 2022 by cryan.com
During my recent move, I discovered a few Airport Express stations that I forgot that I had. While setting up my home office, I thought it would be interesting to see if I could still use them to set up my Epson Stylus CX7800 printer.
The Epson Stylus CX7800 printer is a scanner/printer that I got many years ago. It doesn't have any wireless capabilities that are pretty much standard in today's printers. The printer was released on July 27, 2005, and has not been officially discontinued by Epson.
The newer version of this printer is the Epson Stylus Photo RX595 All-in-One Printer. It still doesn't contain any built-in wireless functionality.
Setting up the Airport Express
AirPort Express is not found!
I tried using the latest Airport Utility on my iMac running macOS 12.5 (Monterey). The computer was not able to detect the Airport Express. I tried connecting the ethernet cable from the Airport Express to the iMac and setting it up that way, but the AirPort Utility didn't recognize the device.
In the above screenshot, you can see that another AirPort Express device was found. This was set up using my Powerbook computer:
The only way that I was able to set up the Airport Express was to use my Powerbook G4. It's currently running Mac OS 10.5.8 (macOS Leopard). When I plugged the Airport Express in a nearby wall outlet - the AirPort Utility was able to detect it.
Note: The location of the Airport Express isn't an issue as the two computers are sitting next to each other.
I learned that the iMac/Monterey is no longer able to setup an AirPort Express device. However, when it is set up, I can connect to it to print or to send music.
After playing around with all the various network settings, I wasn't able to get my Epson Stylus CX7800 printer to work with the Airport Express. It turns out that the AirPort Express won't work with the default Epson drivers. I would have to download alternative drivers and that's just to print. Who knows what quality and limitations I'll have. In addition, the scanning feature of the printer would not work using AirPort express.
iFelix.com has an Unofficial List of Compatible Printers that work with the AirPort Extreme and AirPort Express. My key take-way is that I can't use the scanner part of the printer - which kind of defeats having a printer/scanner.
There is a Launcher for Airport Utility for those that are running macOS 10.15 "Catalina." The utility allows you to run AirPort Utility v5.6.1.
This utility will not work if you are running macOS 12.5.
Basically if you have updated the macOS since COVID-19 you will not be able to use the Launcher for Airport Utility. You will need to use an older system to configure your AirPort Express.
If you really want to get your AirPort Express working, take it to a friend's house that has an older Mac and manually set it up there.
Download the AirPort Express Setup Guide and follow the instructions on manually setting up your AirPort.
Combine Similar Images
August 12, 2022 by cryan.com
There are times when I want to combine two similar screenshots. Usually, it's because I want to combine multiple popovers over text.
It happened this week. I had a screenshot of tooltips that had data and they didn't match up. I wanted to create a screenshot with the two pieces of data.
It's been a while since I did it, and I can't believe that I didn't blog about it in the past. So here's how I combined two images that had just a slight change.
Combine Image Difference
So the key to get this done is to use the Focus Merge in Affinity Photo
Affinity Photo's Focus Merge feature is a great way to combine similar images into one composite. This can be especially useful for landscapes or photos with a lot of detail. By selecting the images you want to merge and then using the Focus Merge tool, Affinity Photo will automatically align and blend the images together for you.
To create a new Focus Merge, go under the File menu and select "New Focus Merge."
Add a similar image that you want to merge together.
Then use the "New Focus Merge" tool to add and remove sections from each image. This takes some practice, basically, you select the layer and remove anything that you want.
It makes takes some time to understand this tool. It is the fastest way that I have found to combine similar images and touch them up.
The above image only took me 3-mins to clean up. It really is a useful tool for combining similar images.
August 5, 2022 by cryan.com
One of the limitations of Final Cut Pro is that you can't capture Video/Audio from a USB source. So if your using an UDB capture card you can't record it in Final Cut Pro.
Quicktime is an alternative solution, but I have been thinking there has to be a better way. The OBS Project looks to be a good solution. I'll be using this tool to capture video from my VHS player to my iMac.
Five Things I Like About OBS Studio
Instant Audio - When I launch OBS I can hear the input audio right away. I don't need to turn up the audio every time I launch the application. If you use Quicktime for video recording, you know what I mean.
Easily Record Segments of Video Feed - I can click Start Recording and Stop Recording when ever I want. In Quicktime, when you stop recording the 'main feed' is gone and your 'stuck' with the recording window waiting for me to save. The nice thing about this format is that I can save clips with relevant names. The bad thing is that it takes time away from doing the next clip. OBS Capture makes it easy to focus on the capture part.
Separate Scene Setting - I can setup different input configurations and easily switch between them using the Scene collection.
Quality Video - OBS Capture has Good Quality input. I am not loosing quality by using OBS Studio. I can capture raw video/audio and make final edits in Final Cut Pro.
Enhance with Filters - I can apply filters on Import. There are eleven filters available: Apply LUT, Chroma Key, Color Correction, Color Key, Crop/Pad, Image Mask/Blend, Luma Key, Render Delay, Scaling/Aspect Ratio, Scroll, Sharpen.
Still Lots of Learning
I am just getting started learning how to use OBS Capture. The application looks to be what I am looking for in a USB Video capture.
There are a couple of tricks I had to learn to get started:
Getting Audio to Play While Recording
People use OBS Capture to stream games and things on your computer. The OBS Project team disabled playing audio on capture because of audio feed back. It's easy to enable it once you have your Audio Input and Video capture sources enabled:
Select Edit Menu and then Advance Audio Properties
Scroll to the right and under 'Audio Monitoring' use the pull down option list and select 'Monitor and Output'
Showing Only the Live View
When you first launch OBS Capture, you see two video windows. You can simplify the view by only showing the one view. This is done by clicking on 'Studio Mode' in the Controls section.
July 29, 2022 by cryan.com
Back in 2017, I blogged about using Page Curl in Graphic Converter. At the time it was the only application that offered any decent page curl effect.
Turns out the Page Curl library is part of Apple's Core Image library. So any application that uses Core Images has the ability to add the Page Curl with Shadow functionality.
I was surprise to see that Affinity Designer. Affinity Photo, Pixelmator Pro and Photoscape X don't offer any page curl feature. Yes, you can always use masks and layers but there has to be an easy way.
While it's not something that I use all the time, it would be nice to add a page curl effect. Besides Apple provides the library for free.
Image Tricks is a great application to add Page Curl to any image.
Image Tricks by Belight Software, offers a lot of the Core Image functionality. It's a nice application that makes simple touch ups easy.
To get the best use of Image Tricks, I would suggest getting the pro version. It's only $9.99 - a one-time fee. You can read my quick review from the March 4th blog post.
Page Curl in Image Tricks Pro
Here are some notes from my use of the Page Curl feature in Image Tricks Pro:
There are nine options for Page Curl with Shadows: Time, Angle, Radius, Shadow Size, Shadow Amount, Extent, Shadow Extent, Target Image, and Backside Image. You can use these settings to customize the look of your page curl.
To make the curl appear on the bottom right, set Time: .2, Angle: 2.44, Radius 28.71.
To make the curl appear on the top right: set Time: .31, Angle: -2.29, Radius: 28.71
When you click on the thumbnail on the Backside image or the Target image you get some images to pick from. This is a feature not offered in GraphicConverter.
Easy and Fast
If you're looking to add Page Curl effects to any image, I highly recommend using Image Tricks.
LaunchBar Quick Search
July 22, 2022 by cryan.com
Here is a quick uses for LaunchBar.
Quick Amazon Search
LaunchBar can quickly search Amazon with just a few keystrokes. Once you get familiar with this process, you'll see how this is much better than using bookmarks or the browser Bookmark Bar.
- Enable LaunchBar using the Command - Space
- Type: Amazon
- Type: ( spacebar )
- Then type in your search term and hit enter
If you see a lot of files when you type in "Amazon" you may have your Cloud Drive Index. I would recommend disabling your iCloud Drive so that you can better navigate around LaunchBar.
How to diable the iCloud Drive
- Enable LaunchBar using the Command - Space<
- Type in: Command Option I to open the LaunchBar index pane
- On the right scroll down and right-click on the iCloud Drive
- Select Disable
Note: You can always re-enable the index by following the above steps but select "Enable"
Some Parting Thoughts
As you continue to use this LaunchBar will put the Amazon search higher in the quick action/
This is much faster to use than opening a browser, clicking the bookmark, and then typing your search query.
The nice thing about this method is that you get a new tab every time you use it. So if you're searching for multiple items, you can stay focused on what area you're shopping for.
Once you use this method, you'll see the advantages of other search sites such as DuckDuck Go, Bing, and others. I added Etsy and Stackoverloy to my custom Search template.Permalink
360 Photo Viewer
July 15, 2022 by cryan.com
My 360 Camera
The Ricoh Theta is a unique device that captures spherical images with just the press of a button. No post-processing or stitching is required; the Ricoh Theta does it all in-camera. This makes sharing your spherical images quick and easy, as they can be viewed right on your smartphone or computer.
The Ricoh Theta also has some great features for business users. For example, you can embed 360 degree views into your website or blog to give customers a better sense of what your business is like. You can also use the Ricoh Theta to create immersive marketing materials such as product demos and virtual tours.
Spherical Viewer is a free Panoramic view application that you can use to view 360 degree photos and videos. With Spherical Viewer, you can pan around the photo or video to see all the details.
This is a good application to view 360 images or videos. However, all you can do is view images - there's no ability to save views.
The RICOH THETA app is a powerful panoramic viewer that enables users to view 360-degree photos and videos. With the app, users can easily share their photos and videos with others via social media platforms or email. The app also provides a variety of viewing options, including split screen mode and full-screen mode. In addition, the RICOH THETA app offers users the ability to control playback speed and add music to their videos.
The one feature that I like about this app is the ability to take capture of the current 360-view. Images captured are saved with the following dimensions: 3418''-1958 - which is slightly bigger than the 16:9 ratio.
Embed 360 image
Panoraven has the ability to host the image:
momento360 can also host the image:
Which 360-Viewer do you like better?Permalink
Toast Audio Assistant
July 8, 2022 by cryan.com
I was really excited to try Toast Audio Assistant. I read all the great reviews and thought it would be a great tool to help me with my audio editing. Unfortunately, I found that it was very difficult to use and didn't really do what I needed it to do. The interface is not very user-friendly and the controls are confusing. I also found that the software crashed a lot and was generally unreliable. Overall, I was disappointed in Toast Audio Assistant and wouldn't recommend it to anyone."
Toast- Audio Assistant lets you capture audio from a variety of sources. You can then edit the audio, break it up into tracks, add effects, and export it to iTunes or burn it on disc.
My Notes on Testing
You can't resize the edit window, basically you have to zoom in/out to see the entire track and edit segments. You can't expand the window to make use of the large screen.
I can't find the edit button. The PDF Instructions says there's an edit button - I can't find it.
Supported Export format: m4v, Apple MPEG-4 Audio, Wave, AIFF, AIFC, CAF, and MPEG-$ Audio.
When you select a section of the text you can add individual track information.
Available Audio effects are the System-Supplied Audio Units in OS X: AUBandpass, AUDynamicsProcessor, AUDelay, AUDistortion, AUFilter, AUGraphicEQ, AUHipass, AUHighShelfFilter, AUPeakLimiter, AULowpass, AULowShelfFilter, AUMultibandCompressor, AUMatrixReverb, AUNBandEQ, AUNetSend, AUNewTimePitch, AUParametricEQ, RoundTripAAC, AURogerBeep, AUReverb2, AUSampleDelay, and AUPitch. You can read up on the effects on the Apple Developer site.
This is a basic audio editor. There's so much more power in Audicity and Rogue Amoeba Fission.
You are much better off learning all the tools in Audacity and Fission than using Toast Audio Assistant.
For this review I give it 2 stars out of five:
July 1, 2022 by cryan.com
Back in 2018, I wrote about Magnet - an awesome productivity tool for multi window management. Since it's been a few year, I thought I do a quick follow up Post.
Four Things I Learned
- The default settings are simple enough for my needs. Magnet makes it easy to have two application windows open side by side. It's easy to remember to use Control-Option-Right Arrow to line the current window to the right side of the screen.
- Drag a window to the corners to make a quarter-size window, and drag a window to the display side to do halves. I use it so much that when I use a different computer, I get frustrated that the tool isn't available.
- You can't configure it as much as you can with the Mosaic app by Light Pillar.
- Magnet cost $7.99 in the App store - while it may seem like a lot of money, it's a good tool to have. I purchased the app back in July 2018 and I feel that I got my money's worth. I can't tell you anything else that I purchase in July 2018 that I still use today.
Scanning Dialog Box
June 24, 2022 by cryan.com
When you scan items into your computer, using the Apple scanning api, there are several options in the dialog box. This blog post takes a look at those options.
I would recommend using the 'Auto Selection' and the Detect Separate items. Then make the adjustments as needed. This is an easy way to scan an image into your Mac.
Here's is a breakdown of the various configurations that Apple provides.
Scan Mode - Choose Flatbed or Document Feeder from the pop-up menu. Most cases it will be flatbed - where you scan and remove items.
Kind - What type of image are you scanning; Text, Black & White, or Color.
Resolution - What quality scan should you use. I would recommend using
Size - This is the size of the area being scanned. This is important if you know the size of the document you're scanning. This will tell you if you're getting the entire document size.
Rotation Angle - If you didn't place the object straight on the scanner, you will need to adjust the angle. When you adjust the
Image Correction - Adjust the color or exposure of the scanned image. Choose Manual, then adjust the controls. In most cases, you are better off doing this post scan in photo editing software.
Unsharp Mask - Makes the edges of certain image areas clearer. Turn off this option to leave softer edges.
Descreening - Removes the ripple pattern that might appear in subtly shaded image areas, such as skin tones. This option improves results when scanning magazines or newspapers. (The results of descreening do not appear in the preview image, only in your scanned image.)
Backlight Correction - Removes shadows from photos that have too much background light.
Dust Removal - Removes dust marks from your originals automatically.