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:
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.
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.)
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?
The purpose of the hashing at offsets close to the start and the end of the file is to ensure that if a
TAG editing tool modifies either the beginning of the end of the file, at least one of the two hashes should
survive and allow us to get meta-data on a specific file.
MD5 Hash in file : 41004751cb6cb5219a51e6935ec97b66
MD5 Hash of audio data : 41004751cb6cb5219a51e6935ec97b66
If you're on the hunt for the best gifts to buy an Apple fan this year, we've put together a helpful guide to point you in the right direction. While personal preference always plays a part in gift-giving, sometimes it can be hard to come up with any ideas for someone in your life who loves tech and Apple products.
The gifts in this guide largely relate to products created by Apple and third-party accessories that work well with Apple's devices. We've divided things up by Apple Products; Cases, Skins, and Screen Protectors; Charging; Audio; TVs; Smart Home; and Miscellaneous. Be sure to save this guide and browse it throughout the year whenever you need to buy a birthday gift or other present for a loved one.
If your budget allows for it, Apple has numerous devices that make for solid gift-giving ideas. If the person you're buying for subscribes to Apple Music, AirPods and HomePod mini are great companions to the streaming music service. For anyone active on your shopping list, the new Apple Watch SE is a great workout companion at an affordable price point.
HomePod mini - A smaller version of the HomePod at a much more affordable price perfect for holiday gift-giving.
AirPods 2 - The cheapest AirPods are getting on in years, but still make a great gift for the holidays, particularly at lower prices.
AirPods 3 - Redesigned in 2021, AirPods 3 are the latest version of Apple's most beloved accessory.
AirPods Pro - This model of the AirPods Pro now comes with a MagSafe Charging Case.
Apple Pencil 2 - Pair a new Apple Pencil 2 with the latest iPad Air and iPad Pro models for a smooth illustrating or note-taking experience.
Apple Watch 7 - The newest Apple Watch has an always-on Retina display and 20% more display area than the 6.
10.2-inch iPad - If you don't want to spend as much on an iPad Pro, Apple's entry level iPad got a 2021 update as well thanks to the A13 Bionic processor.
iPad Air - The new iPad Air with an edge-to-edge 10.9-inch display and Touch ID power button.
MacBook Pro - The all-new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros are the best all-around notebooks on the market, equipped with Apple's M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.
Cases, Skins, and Screen Protectors
With their cheap prices and small sizes, iPhone cases and screen protectors make for great, quick gifts. Of course, if you're looking for MacBook protection, companies like Pad & Quill and Twelve South offer solid options, and the growing popularity of AirPods has caused third-party brands to introduce some case options for the wireless headphones as well.
Cases for iPhone:
Apple's Leather and Silicone Cases with MagSafe - Apple's newest iPhone cases, now enhanced with MagSafe.
Nimble's iPhone Cases - Stylish, sparse cases that protect your new iPhone 12 from drops, with proceeds going toward eco-friendly causes.
iPhone LED Cases - Phone led phone case is a case with multiple built-in LED lights. LED back panel blinks when you have an incoming call or notification.
BodyGuardz Pure 2 EyeGuard - Protect your iPhone from drops and your eyes from harmful blue light effects.
Incase Hardshell Case for MacBook - Incase is well-known for its hardshell MacBook cases, which provide durable protection to Apple's laptops.
Twelve South BookBook - Twelve South's BookBooks make your MacBook look like a vintage novel.
Pad & Quill Leather Valet Case for 13-inch MacBook Pro ($160) - Fit your MacBook Pro, iPad, iPhone, Apple Pencil, cables, and more in Pad & Quill's leather case.
Logitech Folio Touch for iPad Air - Logitech's keyboard comes in under the price of Apple's and has a bunch of useful features like a touch pad and backlit keyboard.
Elago's Cases for AirPods 1 & 2 - Stylish dual-tone protection for your AirPods.
Elago AW6 AirPods Case - Protect your AirPods in a case that looks just like an iPod.
Elago AirPods Pro Slim Case - A sleek case to protect your AirPods Pro.
Portable chargers are one of the best go-to gifts since most people can relate to needing a quick charge on their smartphone at one point during the day. Anker's popularity and reliability in the market remain strong, so you can't go wrong buying from them, but look to Choetech, RAVPower, and the new brand Nimble for a few other notable charging accessories options.
Kingston Nucleum USB-C Hub - Expand your MacBook's ports with Kingston's USB-C Hub.
OWC USB-C Travel Dock - Add up to five ports of expansion onto a MacBook Pro or iPad Pro.
Anker PowerCore 10,000 mAh Battery - Anker's PowerCore batteries are a backpack and travel necessity, and 10,000 mAh is a perfect mid-range size.
Mophie powerstation USB-C XXXL - Mophie's powerhouse portable charging station offers a 26,000 mAh portable battery.
Anker PowerWave Wireless Charging Mat - Wirelessly charge an iPhone 8 and newer on Anker's cheap-but-reliable mat.
Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Dock - Wirelessly charge your iPhone, along with your Apple Watch, on Belkin's convenient and useful dock.
Twelve South HiRise Wireless - Wirelessly charge your iPhone on the stand, then pop out the puck for an on-the-go Qi mat that perfectly fits the AirPods.
Moshi Lounge Q Wireless Charging Stand - With an adjustable-height design and aesthetic inspired by Danish furniture, this Moshi charger fuels up your iPhone in style.
Web enthusiast. Enjoy writing tech reviews. All-around dev & writer, an on-air contributor to various websites & magazines. My job entailed show prep, YouTube management, writing segments, running tests on different tech.
Image Tricks is a quick image application. You would use this software to make a quick adjustment to an image for social media or blog posts.
Features of Image Tricks
Core Image Filters - Access to all the built-in Core Image Filter filters in the Core Image API. Adjustments like Transform, Color, Focus, Distortion, Style, Halftone, Tile, Lumine, and Overlap. Apple has 174 of them. Image Trick Lite users get 118, whereas Pro users get 160. (Not sure which Core Image Filers are not in Image Trick)
Quartz Compositions - Users get access to Stylize, Distortion, Utility, Other. Use this set of filters to create comic book-like effects on your images. Image Trick Lite users get 35, whereas Pro users get 41.
Image Generators - If you don't have a background image, why not use Image Tricks and create one. Image Trick Lite users get 13, whereas Pro users get 20. The nice thing is that after you generate a design, you can use the Quartz and Core Image Filters to touch it up.
Photo Frames - Quickly add a frame to your image. Some of these are not scaleable so your image may crop. Image Trick Lite users only get 12, whereas Pro users get 115.
Border Masks - Don't settle for boring square corners on your photos, add a border mask for an interesting effect. If you know how to create masks in Affinity Photo or Photoshop, this may not be an exciting feature. The advantage of Image Tricks is that they are super easy to apply and switch to see which design works best. Image Trick Lite users only get 35, whereas Pro users get 149.
Masks - These add image overlays to your image. Image Trick Lite users get 36, where as Pro users get 76.
Belight Software is based in Ukraine. As of today, all their developers are still in Ukraine. You can help support Ukraine Developers by purchasing their software. Following BeLight Software on Twitter for all the updates from the front lines.
I have been thinking of purchasing Image Tricks for years - I finally decided to purchase it to help support the Macintosh Developers in Ukraine. It's not an application that I plan to use a lot, but it seems the right time to buy.
CocoaTech is no longer adding the version to the PathFinder name. They are planning on releasing monthly updates and they felt having a version number in the name may confuse things.
Cocoatech has also moved Path Finder to a subscription model. This means that you now have to pay annual fees to get the latest version. They dropped the price, a yearly plan now costs $29.95. Path Finder 10 was $36.
Cloud Folder Uploader - You can easily send a file to any cloud service simply by right-clicking and uploading a file to SFTP/FTP, Amazon S3, Dropbox, and Google Drive servers.
Bug Fixes -Fixed issues with Terminal, git, and SVN modules
sFTP Cloud Uploader
The sftp integration is cool, it just takes a bit to get used to set up. Some tips I learned:
The Remote Path is from the root directory when you log in to the sftp server. This isn't the absolute path, just the path you would take logging in.
Make sure to end the Remote Path with a directory slash, example: images/website/
Cocoatech should add a "Test Connection" button which would make it easier to see if you type the right password or file path.
You still can't mount an sftp server to Path Finder - maybe in a future release? Sending files to sFTP servers is a great first step.
Some Bugs with Monterey
There are still some issues with macOS Monterey. I am not seeing detailed information when I get file information. It seems to be working for macOS Catalina. (Apparently, this was supposed to be fixed in the 2121 version.)
I am also having some issues with the "Symbol Table" reports - works in Catalina but not in Monterey. This is pretty minor as a lot of people probable don't use this feature.
File Rename - The file rename dialog allows you to have multiple criteria in renaming files. Really a good way to rename similar files. The before/after is really useful to see the impact of the changes before they are applied.
iPhone Viewer - Use the Size Browser to see where the largest files are being kept on your phone.
Application Switcher - See all the available applications on your computer. Not just the applications in the ~/Applications folder. This is available in the menu bar
It has been a while since I posted an update of all the features in PhotoScape X. This week's post is look at some of the features added since my .PhotosScape Update in November 2020.
Version 4.2 shipped in January 2022. This is the release note on the new features:
New Object Effects: Inner Glow, Inner Shadow, Emboss
New Image Effects: Outline
Added Background, Fill, Color, Masks options to Image and Sticker Objects
Added Mask option to Color and Film Effects
Added Close menu to Collage tab
Added 'Merge Selected Layers' to Editor tab
Added 'Font Favorites'
Added 'WEB Quality option'
Added 32 Camouflage Patterns
Added 180 Flower Stickers
Added 469 more Pixel Stickers
Selecting and Editing Multiple Objects
Improved Object Effects: Long Shadow, Overlays & Masks
Improved Shadows/Highlights Filter
Quick Sample of some the the features in this update
Six Things I Learned from the New update
This update was a month late! In the past, PhotoScape did their major updates in Oct/Dec. I am not complaining, I just like to see what cool things that the PhotoScape team comes up with.
The Inner Glow, Inner Shadow are great ways to add make text objects stand out more.
Webp capability - Now I can save files in Webp format and see the savings using that format. (For example, the image used in this Blog post is 40 KB had I used Jpeg format it would have been 76 KB)
Note: Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and Graphic Converter don't offer support for Webp. Pixelmator Pro does allow users to save in Webp format but PhotoScape is the only app that I have that shows the preview of the saved image.
Font Favorites are a great addition! Now I can quickly switch between fonts and not have to scroll the long menu just to get to a font that I want.
The flower stickers and pixel stickers are nice, but I don't think that I'll ever use them. I guess its a good way to create a comic graphic? There's a lot of variety in the Pixel stickers, certainly worth a scroll through to get ideas.
The Camouflage Patterns are a nice addition to the large pattern library. They add a nice touch as a background color in text. I didn't realize that there were 32 different camouflage patterns.
This week, Skylum finally shipped version 1 of Luminar Neo. In this release users get the Core Luminar features, Remove Dust Spots, Relight, Remove Powerlines, Luminar Share, Presets and Layers.
In a later release the Mask and Portrait Background removal will be available - there is no date on when that release will occur. It will be a free update.
Luminar Neo is a creative image editor driven by AI technologies of the future. It empowers creators to bring their boldest ideas to life. And enjoy it.
With leading-edge AI technologies and a flexible workflow, Luminar Neo allows users to accomplish creative tasks and achieve professional editing results. The new engine in Luminar Neo is based on all the best solutions from our experience at Skylum for maximum performance and flexibility, allowing you to achieve complex creative results.
Check out how Luminar Neo transformed a boring church photo into something awesome:
This photo was taken using the GoPro Hero 9.
Key Features of Luminar Neo
Features not available in other Luminar products
Luminar Neo's goal is to make a single image look awesome. Luminar AI is designed more for batch editing, like Lightroom
Specific features not found in Luminar AI: Relight, Develop and Crop.
Relight is the ability to change the lighting in a photo. You can add or darken an image with a simple click. The cool thing is that Neo produces a 3D map so the light spreads naturally in the photo.
Develop is you opportunity to change the Exposure, Smart Contrast, Highlights, and shadows.
Crop is very similar to the Composition tool in Luminar AI. Clicking on Crop gives you the best crop image - making sure that the portrait's eyes are in the center of the image. Luminar AI adds Persecution and Image 3D Transform.
Argumented Sky Removal. It's interesting to note that Luminar decided to remove Argumented Sky in Luminar Neo. Argumented Sky is where you can place objects in the photo such as the moon or a rainbow. I recall seeing it in early versions but that feature is now gone.
You can get advice and tips from the Luminar Insider Form. The form is an active place of die-hard photo users. They frequently run contests for the best photos or styles.
Luminar Neo has Presets just like Luminar AI. When I ran the same image, the preset suggestions were the same. However, I rarely use these and would rather spend a few minutes in the editor fine-tuning the image using the awesome tools.
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.
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.
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.
My Friday Blog tips and tricks will be based on my experiences using a Macintosh computer since 1989. I have seen the evolution of the Macintosh software and hardware, and have a good understanding of the capabilities of a Macintosh computer. I also have experience in troubleshooting and fixing problems that can occur with a Mac.