Archives for the ‘Software’ Category

Keeping Mountain Lion from Sleeping on the Job

A few weeks ago I began reformatting some video files on my aging iMac, and it was taking f-o-r-e-v-e-r. I queued up several files in HandBrake and went to bed, expecting to find the work mostly complete by morning. What I found was a stone cold snoozing iMac. I tapped on the keyboard to bring […]

An ordinary guy’s snapshot sorting workflow in Aperture

It has been far too long since I have sat down to sort through the accumulating mass of digital imagery on my machine—I still haven’t even tried to winnow down the hundreds of photos we brought back from Brazil in September. Last Tuesday morning I went outside for a walk to see what damage hurricane […]

Mountain Lion from Scratch—Not as difficult as I thought it would be

Two weeks ago I gave in to the temptation to install Mountain Lion on my aging iMac. Immediately, I began to see evidence that entropy was catching up to me after years of upgrades. The first sign was when my password safe application crashed every time I launched it. Their support team started asking me […]

A couple of AppleScript droplets to tweak EXIF timestamps

Most of the time I don’t really bother with the timestamp information that my camera embeds in each digital photo. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I checked to see if the clock was right. Scanned photographs are an entirely different brew. They typically represent events from the distant past, and scanner software […]

Why must basic copy/paste operations always result in “Ransom Note” text?

I estimate that in any given day I must use clipboard copy and paste operations a few dozen times—and if I’m working with multiple documents, such as when transcribing information from a spreadsheet to a Word document, that figure becomes more like a few hundred times a day. But in all of those times, I […]

Get it while it lasts—Microsoft’s easy way to lock down a shared computer

Do you have a shared computer somewhere in your life? A computer that anyone and everyone uses in order to hop online to do a quick web search or to print a document? I have been dealing with situations like this for years, working with computers in a small school and at a nonprofit volunteer […]

Sort out those disorganized thoughts with a Mind Map

You know the feeling: you are involved in some intractable problem that has all kinds of weird angles and you just can’t get your head around it—perhaps you feel like you are inspecting an elephant, one square inch at a time, or maybe you simply feel like you are herding cats. There are plenty of […]

New life for an old PC—no geek card required

Do you still have an old machine kicking around in the basement or the back room, long forgotten? For no cost and almost zero effort, you can set it up as a dedicated network appliance, using one of the many turnkey products from the open-source TurnKey Linux project. I’m serious. You don’t need to know […]

A handful of sweet freebie tools to save the day

It so happens that my employer has made a most welcome decision to replace the aging creaky old Novell GroupWise mail software with Microsoft Outlook, joining the rest of the modern corporate world. Now, there is little love in my heart for GroupWise, but it does have one feature that the new Outlook configuration will […]

Don’t punish your family with stacks of photos!

A while back I had a rare opportunity indeed: I went on a business trip to India to visit our offshore team. We knew it was a once in a lifetime trip, so four of us took some vacation days and paid our own way on a side trip to some of the great cities […]