FREE iOS, tvOS AND macOS SOFTWARE for 03/2019

I have been publishing a list of free software for iOS, tvOS and OS X each month.  You may find some of these programs of interest. I have also attempted to mark which Apple OS the title is targeted at (iOS, macOS, tvOS) as well as the category of the App.

This is NOT a curated list. All I know about these titles is what you see below. None have been tried or tested by me.

March 2019

  1. iOS/Games – Wannabe kingpins and criminal barons around the world can celebrate today as game publisher and developer TORN LTD. announced that its long-running MMORPG TORN has launched on iOS mobiles and tablets. Beginning life as a 16-year-old college dropouts’ bedroom project, the game boasts over 27,000 daily active users (up 35% from 2018) and has enjoyed an incredible 14-year success on desktop as players indulge their deepest desires to become rulers of this gritty virtual underworld. TORN is completely free and available worldwide through the App Store in the Games category. The TORN app is available as a cross-platform title, meaning players can move seamlessly between the mobile and desktop versions. Download from the App Store
  2. iOS/Games – Funpax is pleased to announce that Ancient Creed for iOS is released and available on iOS! Adventure is at every corner of this magical continent with over 50 legendary heroes to recruit from and form your party of 5. Join millions of players worldwide and reminisce your favourite past time playing WC in the world of Azeross! With nearly 100 maps and different game modes, there is always something to do in Ancient Creed! Ancient Creed is free and is available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category. Convenient in-app purchases are available. Ancient Creed 1.0
  3. iOS/Games – Independent developer Smartphone Pliable is proud to announce the release and immediate availability of iPliable 1.0, their entertaining new arcade game for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android devices. Players must aim and release their magnetic ball, in an effort to clear the board of the dazzling gems before the board fills to the top. iPliable 1.0 is free and is available worldwide through the App Store in the Games category. Download from App Store
  4. iOS, tvOS/Business – Numerics 6, the latest version of the realtime business dashboard app, integrates deeply with Siri to deliver a handsfree experience of tracking business performance metrics. Customers can ask Siri questions about metrics tracked in their Numerics dashboards to hear Siri respond with a spoken brief for that KPI. Each visualization has a carefully designed spoken description that provides deeper insight into the metric via Siri, without opening the app. This makes Numerics usable in a handsfree, voice only mode and hence compatible with HomePods and AirPods. So users can ask Siri about a metric on their dashboard using any Siri device and be instantly updated with the latest numbers. Numerics 6 is Free (With In-App Purchases) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Business category. Download from App Store
  5. iOS/Utilities – HooliApps, a publisher of utilities and mobile games, today announced that version 6 of iziTime for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices is now synced with Dropbox. The update has been published in the App Store. iziTime : Work Planning 6.0 is free and is available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Utilities category. Subscriptions are available as convenient in-app purchases. iziTime : Work Planning 6.0 
  6. iOS/Games – Baccarat is not a game that’s commonly played by casino goers in general, but it is gaining speed in popularity. Once played hidden behind closed doors by the elite, it has slowly made its way into the foreground by being featured in movies and in online gaming platforms. If you are a Baccarat fan and are looking for a new gaming experience to enjoy it, consider downloading Dragon Ace Casino. Download for free from the App Store

    See my other macOS and iOS articles


Celebrate​ ‘World Backup Day’

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March 31 is celebrated each year as ‘World Backup Day’. As the name implies, it is a day intended to make everyone think about their digital data. From the National Day Calendar site:

WHAT IS BACKUP? A backup is a second copy of all your important files — for example, your family photos, home videos, documents, and emails. Instead of storing it all in one place (like your computer), you keep another copy of everything somewhere safe. For more info on this day – go to www.worldbackupday.com

HOW TO OBSERVE

If you haven’t already, invest in an external hard drive, USB stick or purchase some space in the cloud. While you’re waiting for your file transfer to reach 100%, take a moment to plan out your next big data dump. Because let’s face it, one day a year isn’t nearly enough.

Take the pledge to back up your phone, computer, tablet, and all other coveted devices and share with the world using hashtag #WorldBackUpDay.

Personally, I recommend a 3-2-1 backup strategy

  1. Three copies of your data
  2. Data stored on two different media
  3. One copy off-site

 

Singapore, Singapore – Civilian War Memorial

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When I went out for a walk around Singapore the other day I passed by the Civilian War Memorial. The memorial was built in memory of the civilians killed on Singapore during the Japanese occupation of the island during World War II.

Work began on the memorial in 1963, but the 230 foot (70 meters) high quad pillars were not completed until early 1967. It was formally dedicated on February 15, 1967. The four identical pillars of the memorial represent the shared war experiences of the Chinese, Eurasian, Indian and Malay residents who suffered through the occupation together.

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An inscription is on the base of the memorial in the four major languages of Singapore – English, Malay, Chinese, and Tamil. It reads: “Memorial to the civilian victims of the Japanese occupation 1942-1945”.

 

 

 

IMG_0620The memorial sets in a 4.5 acre War Memorial Park located near City Hall in the central business district.  Most of the civilians who died were of Chinese heritage during the Sook Ching massacre. How many actually died is still a matter of debate. Japanese reported that 6,000 died, but official estimates range between 25,000 and 50,000.

 


See my other articles on Locations 


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these two pages of mine of interest. 

The  World War II Sources” page is a collection of more than 210 links to museums, websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds with information on the World War II era in history.

The “World War II Timeline” page shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.

Friday WWII Flix: “Beach Red”

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WWII – I saw this movie mentioned by Military Stuff a few days ago. I was surprised to see that this film was released in 1967. I had never heard of it before.

Fortunately, the Military Stuff post included a link to the movie on YouTube. I watched the movie a few hours ago and walked away with mixed feelings about it. Before I start, the synopsis of the film from IMDB is:

As a US marine unit fight against the defenders of a Japanese held island, both sides are haunted by their own thoughts and memories.

On the positive side, this looked like a film with a fairly large production budget. Both the US and Japanese forces in the movie had plenty of WWII era equipment. There were also a sufficient number of actors and landing craft in the invasion scenes to make it look realistic. As with many WWII era films, there was actual footage from the war mixed in.

As the synopsis mentions, beyond the combat, much of the film was devoted to the flashbacks by both the US and Japanese personnel. Both sides were thinking of home and the loved ones they had left behind. Many of these were still shots and for me, those seemed to break the flow of the movie.

Going further on the negative side, both the US and Japanese troops seemed a little too clean. Certainly, the US troops had just come off the ship to invade, but their uniforms and equipment were a little too clean and shiny. The same can be said for the Japanese who would at this point have been suffering from limited supplies. Part of the film was hard to understand as those scenes with the Japanese speaking had no English subtitles.

The largest negative for this film, in my opinion, was in the acting.

I do not think this is a very good film. Surprisingly, IMDB rates the film with 6.4/10.


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these two pages of mine of interest. 

The  World War II Sources” page is a collection of more than 210 links to museums, websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds with information on the World War II era in history.

The “World War II Timeline” page shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.

Boston Dynamics ‘Handle’

(See all of my Robots posts) – Most of us think of the biped or quadruped robots when we hear of Boston Dynamics. The ‘Handle‘ is a much more immediately useful robot.

Per the Boston Dynamics website the ‘Handle’ is:

Handle is a robot that combines the rough-terrain capability of legs with the efficiency of wheels. It uses many of the same principles for dynamics, balance, and mobile manipulation found in the quadruped and biped robots we build, but with only 10 actuated joints, it is significantly less complex. Wheels are fast and efficient on flat surfaces while legs can go almost anywhere: by combining wheels and legs, Handle has the best of both worlds.

Handle can pick up heavy loads while occupying a small footprint, allowing it to maneuver in tight spaces. All of Handle’s joints are coordinated to deliver high-performance mobile manipulation.

The all-electric ‘Handle’ can pick up items weighing up to 100 lbs (45 kg). The robot itself weighs just over 230 lbs (105 kg). With the grasping attachment shown in the video above, 11 lb (5 kg) boxes are being manipulated. Boxes up to 33 lbs (15 kg) can be accommodated.

These are much more likely the kind of robots we will first see working beside humans.

Home Front – Wartime Recipes (3)

WWII – I have reblogged two prior posts with WWII era recipes. I have always thought that seeing how they had to cook with the wartime rationing was interesting.


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these two pages of mine of interest. 

The  World War II Sources” page is a collection of more than 210 links to museums, websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds with information on the World War II era in history.

The “World War II Timeline” page shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.


 

Pacific Paratrooper

From: The 1940’s Experiment .

We discussed rationing and we’ve discussed just how well our parents and grandparents ate – despite the rationing and time of war when all the “good” stuff was going overseas to the troops!  So …. as promised, here are some more of the wonderful recipes from the 1940’s.

Please thank Carolyn on her website for putting these delicious meals on-line!

Recipe 61: Chocolate biscuits & chocolate spread

Recipe 62: Curried potatoes 

Recipe 63: Vegetable pasties

Recipe 64: Wheatmeal pastry

Recipe 65: Homemade croutons

Recipe 66: Quick vegetable soup

Recipe 67: Fruit Shortcake

Recipe 68: Cheese potatoes

Recipe 69: Lentil sausages

Recipe 70: Root vegetable soup

Recipe 71: Sausage rolls

Recipe 72: Eggless ginger cake

Bubble n’ squeak #78

Recipe 73: Mock duck

Recipe 74: Cheese sauce

Recipe 75: Duke pudding

Recipe…

View original post 287 more words

Which Format Should You Choose For An External Drive?

Tech Tips– Most of us use some sort of external USB attached storage on a regular basis. It is important to keep in mind that media can be formatted in many different ways. Which filesystem you format an external drive with depends on the system(s) you plan to use it with. That said, there are many different filesystems to choose from

Linux

For Linux systems, the most common format is ext3 or ext4. But neither of those formats of disks can be natively read by your Mac. You can, with the use of the third party software such as “FUSE for Mac” or “extFS for Mac by Paragon Software“, read ext3 or ext4 disks. 

macOS

Our current Macs use disks with either the “Mac OS Extended” (HFS+) or the more modern “Apple File System” (APFS) filesystem.

You may be able to mount and read an HFS+ disk on your Linux system without additional software. Or maybe you will need to install some additional software. That depends on what was included in the installation. The same is true for APFS formatted disks – install apfs-fuse to read these. There is also a Paragon product for Linux that allows Apple disks to be mounted.

If you want to read either HFS+ or APFS disks on a Windows systems there is third party software you can get to do that. For HFS+ disks, install HFSExplorer, Paragon’s HFS+ for Windows, or Mediafour’s MacDrive. For APFS disks you can buy “APFS for Windows by Paragon Software“. The MacDrive package can also be purchased to read your macOS drives on a Windows system. The article “How to Read a Mac Formatted Drive in Windows: 6 Methods” covers these and more.

Windows

There are four different filesystems common to Windows – FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS. The exFAT filesystem was created in 2006 for use with USB flash drives and SD cards, so it is not directly associated with a version of Windows.

Reading a drive formatted in any of these filesystems is easy on your Mac. Just plug the drive into your Mac and it will mount it. If the drive is formatted with FAT16, FAT32 or exFAT data can be read as well as written to the drive. If the drive is NTFS, data can only be read. If you want to write to an NTFS disk, then purchase either “Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Paragon Software” or “Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera“.

Making it easy

Usually, we know in advance where we are going to want to use an external drive. The simplest thing to do is to format the drive for use across as many systems as is possible. That means that for cross-platform compatibility, the best filesystem to use is FAT16, FAT32 or exFAT. Both FAT16 and FAT32 are readable on Windows, Mac, and Linux without any additional software needed.

The exFAT filesystem can be accessed by the Mac without additional software. Linux systems will need exfat-fuse, but that is easily installed.

Most Thumb drives or external disks come pre-formatted with FAT32. That makes them useable anywhere out of the box. The only reason you would want to go to exFAT is if the data you wanted to store on the media was larger than 4 GB. FAT32 has a limit of 4 GB on files. With exFAT, files can be up to 16 EB in length. That is 16 Exabytes or 1018 bytes (see “What Do Those Terms of Storage Mean?” for more on data storage) – sufficient large for any storage need.

Formatting Media on Your Mac

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External media can easily be formatted (these examples are on macOS High Sierra 10.13.6) on your Mac. Connect the drive to your Mac and open Disk Utility (Finder ==> Go ==> Utilities ==> Disk Utility). On the left side you will see all the connected external drives listed (red arrow in image above). Choose the one you want to format and then click on the Erase button (orange arrow in the image). NOTE: Formatting a disk permanently erases all data on the disk!

Screen Shot 2019-03-28 at 3.51.42 PM

This will drop down a window that allows you to give the drive a new name and pick the format you want used on the drive.

Screen Shot 2019-03-28 at 3.51.53 PMIf you click on the Format window, a drop down menu will appear giving you a list of the format options available to you. While the Mac lists MS-DOS (FAT) this is really FAT32. You also have the option of formatting a drive as exFAT.

 

Disk Filesystem Summary

Filesystem Native to Journaled[1] Max File Size When Introduced
ext3 Linux Yes 16 gigabytes 2001
ext4 Linux Yes 16 tebibytes 2008
FAT16B (BigFAT) DOS 3.1 of later No 4 gigabytes 1987
FAT32 Windows 95 or later No 4 gigabytes 1996
NTFS Windows NT or later Yes 16 exabytes 1993
exFAT Windows CE 6.0 No 16 exabytes 2006
HFS+ macOS 8.1 or later Yes (as of 2002) 8 exabytes 1998
APFS macOS High Sierra (10.13) or later No, more modern methods 8 exabytes 2017

 

References

  1. A journaling file system is a file system that keeps track of changes not yet committed to the file system’s main part by recording the intentions of such changes in a data structure known as a “journal”, which is usually a circular log. In the event of a system crash or power failure, such file systems can be brought back online more quickly with a lower likelihood of becoming corrupted.

Book Review: “Victoria Marmot and the Shadow of Death”

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Book Reviews – “Victoria Marmot and the Shadow of Death” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Virginia McClain (http://virginiamcclain.blogspot.com). This is Ms. McClain’s sixth publication. This is the third in her “Victoria Marmot” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and quite a bit of Mature Language. The story is set in an alternate universe to our one. One with magic and creatures of fantasy. The primary character is 17-year-old Victoria Marmot.

This story picks up shortly after the second novella in the series (“Victoria Marmot and the Inconvenient Prophecy“) ends. When the story resumes, Marmot is being held captive on a deserted ‘Hell’ world with the ‘squirrel demon’ and is fighting to survive.

Marmot must escape. Then she must rescue her comrades again. There isn’t so much a plot for this novella as there is the overall plot for the series. This is mostly just a continuation.

I thought the 3+ hours I spent reading this 250-page young adult fantasy were interesting. I still think the characters are a little crazy. There are no details, but Marmot is still sexually attracted to the same pair she hooked up within the last novella. I do like the cover art. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Wednesday SciFi Flix: “Renegade Kenobi”

Short Films – The short (4:48) Star Wars fan film “Renegade Kenobi” was uploaded to YouTube in June of 2016 by Michael Ryan Hahn (the films writer and director). The synopsis:

Ben Kenobi’s mother encounters a notorious Sith Lord who wants to change the fate of the galaxy.

I have watched several Star Wars fan films over the past few months. I have to say that I think that this is one of the better ones.

Instrumental Music on YouTube: “Star Wars: The Rebellion’s Last Stand”

Music – Star Wars – This composition named “Star Wars: The Rebellion’s Last Stand” was composed by Graham Plowman. He uploaded it to YouTube in April of 2018. As he says on his post:

This is an original piece but I wanted to make it in the style of the amazing John Williams and his Star Wars music so that it might fit in with that harmonic language and orchestration style he uses.

This is nice instrumental music and definitely fits in with the music heard on the Star Wars films. I have definitely added it to my music collection. If you like this video, there are many others on Plowman’s YouTube site.