Instrumental Music on YouTube: Benedictus by 2CHELLOS

(See my other Music related posts) – I have liked 2CHELLOS since my son introduced me to them a couple of years ago. This video is from their “Live at Arena Zagreb” performance on June 12, 2012. This an arrangement of Benedictus by Karl Jenkins with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra. This video was uploaded to YouTube in July of 2013 by 2CELLOS.

I think this is very good Easy Listening music.

Today is World Backup Day

March 31 of every year is celebrated as “World Backup Day“. If you do it no other time, make a backup of your computer, phone, tablet, or other electronic device today!

Best backup strategy? – 3-2-1

That is three copies of your data. Stored in two different formats. One copy of your data off-site.

Backups on your Mac is easy using TimeMachine. Run TimeMachine on a regular basis to backup your data. For your iPhone or iPad, download iMazing. The free version allows you to backup those devices. It even allows you to schedule backups to occur automatically over WiFi.

Every device fails eventually. Make sure you are not caught without a backup.

 

Further Reading / Listening

  1. Mac Power Users Podcast: #499: Backups and Updates
  2. How to back up your iPhone, iPad, and Mac: The ultimate guide
  3. Why should you back up your device?
  4. How to back up your iPhone or iPad
  5. How to back up your Mac: The ultimate guide

Save Email as a PDF with three simultaneous keystrokes

 

(See my other Tech Tips ) – I am always looking for ways to improve my productivity on the Mac. I wanted a method to save an email as a PDF in the easiest way.

If you are in the Mail App you can do this by clicking on File => Export as PDF… I wanted to shorten this process. I set up a keyboard shortcut as described by David Sparks above.

Now when I am reading through my emails, I can save any as a PDF by hitting the Option-Command-P keys. Later I will come back and apply  Tags to those files to organize them.


See my other Mac and macOS related posts


 

Book Review: “Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: God of War

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – Author Jeff Rovin published the novel “Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: God of War” in 2020 (May). He has published more than 40 novels as well as other works. This is the 19th book in the Op-Center series created by Tom Clancy and Steve Pieczenik.

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. There is a mysterious outbreak of a fatal biological agent in Antarctic waters. The Black Wasp Team is called back to action.

An Australian bound airliner crashes after the rapid infection of all passengers and crew. A private yacht explodes in the South Indian Sea. A helicopter crashes on a South Africa bridge.

The years of apartheid in South Africa spawned many secret projects. Among these is the discovery of a lethal biological agent. The few who knew about it sought to hide it away. They thought it would be safe. They hid it on the frozen shore of a protected island the government-controlled. Unfortunately unlawful digging on the island released the agent.

Soon there is a Chinese vessel investigating the island. The US must find the source of the outbreak and keep it from falling into the wrong hands. Dispatching the Black Wasp Team to find the source of the contagion is the US response. They must find the source and make sure that no other country gets it.

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 352-page thriller. This is the second novel in the Black Wasp subsidies. I read the first “Tom Clancys Op-Center: Sting of the Wasp” and liked it. This novel is readable as a stand-alone book, but it would be best to read ‘Sting of the Wasp’ first. The Black Wasp Team is an odd collection of four characters. It is not the conventional Special Ops Team. The cover art is OK, though it is not tightly tied to the story. I give this novel a 3.8 (Rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

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

Zevrix Solutions Microsoft Office Output Automation Tools on Sale

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(Product Announcements )  – Zevrix Solutions of Toronto (ON), Canada announces a spring sale on all products including output automation tools for Microsoft Office. The company offers a 50% discount until April 3. Zevrix BatchOutput Office Suite is a collection of output automation apps for Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint for macOS. The only automation tool for Microsoft users on the Mac market, the software streamlines printing and exporting of Office documents to PDF through batch processing with time-saving output options.

BatchOutput Office Suite can be purchased at half price for US$30 from the Zevrix website until April 3. The suite’s applications – BatchOutput DOC, BatchOutput XLS, and BatchOutput PPT – can be also purchased separately for $10 (USD) each. The trial is also available for download. The sale also applies to all other products and upgrades. BatchOutput Office requires macOS 10.8 – 10.15 and Microsoft Office 2008-2019. InDesign and Illustrator solutions require Adobe Creative Cloud CS6 – 2020.

 

All You Can Books Offers Audio and eBooks

(See my other Reading related posts) – I came across yet another source of ebooks and audiobooks. All You Can Read gives you UNLIMITED access to over 40,000 Audiobooks, eBooks, and Foreign Language courses. Download as many audiobooks, ebooks, language audio courses, and language e-workbooks as you want during the FREE trial and it’s all yours to keep even if you cancel during the FREE trial.

This gives you another option to fill your time at home under the quarantine.

Get eBooks from your library

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(See my other Reading related posts) – So many are currently confined at home. One of the activities that many are turning to is reading. Not everyone has a stack of books to turn to. Nor does everyone want to buy expensive additions for their library.

I came across the article “How-To Borrow eBooks for Your Entire Family: 4 Great Apps!“. Given our quarantined state, I thought that this was something worth sharing. The suggested Apps are:

  1. Overdrive – supports most local libraries
  2. 3M Cloud Library – supports many local libraries
  3. Kindle – many free titles, titles for purchase, Kindle Unlimited for a monthly fee
  4. Books (formerly iBooks) on Apple devices – many free titles, titles for purchase
  5. Other sources for free books are listed

 

Personally, I like Kindle for my reading. It is my go-to App on my iPad. I also use Books sometimes. I use it more to read PDF files than books on my iPad. I have not used the library services yet. I do need to find my library card and try them out. Have any of my readers tried these or other borrowing services?

Some of the notification services with free/ low-cost book offers I have used include:

  1. https://www.bookbub.com
  2. http://readcheaply.com/
  3. http://www.rifflebooks.com/select/
  4. http://eBooksHabit.com
  5. http://www.moreforlessonline.com
  6. http://www.ebooksgrowontrees.com
  7. http://booksends.com
  8. http://daily.ereaderiq.com/

These offers are not exactly for bestsellers, but the price is right and it does expose you to new authors.

WWII in 13 Minutes – A Crash Course

I came across the 13:12 video “World War II: Crash Course World History” a few days ago.   While the presentation is not the most serious, this would be a good video to use in introducing WWII to kids. It was uploaded to YouTube in October of 2012 by CrashCourse. Their description of the video:

John Green teaches you about World War II, aka The Great Patriotic War, aka The Big One. So how did this war happen? And what does it mean? We’ve all learned the facts about World War II many times over, thanks to repeated classroom coverage, the History channel, and your grandfather (or maybe great-grandfather) showing you that Nazi bayonet he used to keep in his sock drawer and telling you a bunch of age-inappropriate stories about his harrowing war experiences. So, why did the Axis powers think forceful expansion was a good idea? (they were hungry). So why did this thing shake out in favor of the Allies? HInt: it has to do with the fact that it was a world war. Germany and Japan made some pretty serious strategic errors, such as invading Russia and attacking the United States, and those errors meant that pretty much the whole world was against them. So, find out how this worldwide alliance came together to stop the Axis expansion. All this, plus Canada finally gets the respectful treatment it deserves.


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

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 360 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

Book Review: “Drawing D – Day: An Artist’s Journey Through War”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – Author Ugo Giannini published the book “Drawing D – Day: An Artist’s Journey Through War” in 2013. This was his only publication.

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 ‘PG’. This is the story of Ugo Giannini and his wartime experiences.

Giannini was an artist. He was part of a Military Police unit landed at Normandy on D-Day. Only 6 of his platoon of 37 made it ashore. He used his artistic abilities to make drawings on D-Day and throughout the war. Included in this book are some of these drawings. Most of the book consists of letters Giannin wrote to his girlfriend and family.

Most of his letters reflect his dark feelings about the war. While he was never wounded, many around him are killed or wounded.

I thought that the 5+ hours I spent reading this 196-page non-fiction book. The included drawings were good, but there were fewer than I expected. For me, the many letters became tiresome to read as they repeated his depression. I do like the selected cover art. I give this book a 3 out of 5.

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


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

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 370 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

Is Caffeine Bad?

coffee

(See my other Coffee &  Health related posts) – I saw the article “Is caffeine really bad for you? A doctor weighs in” earlier this month.

I like coffee so articles like this always catch my eye. The author relates the facts about caffeine she has discovered from a medical professional.

The gist of the article:

  • Who shouldn’t drink caffeine? – kids and the pregnant
  • How much caffeine should I consume? – no more than 400 mg per day
  • Will caffeine give me heart disease? – no, but those with high blood pressure should consult their doctor
  • Is it bad if I’m addicted to caffeine? – that depends
  • Are there any health benefits to caffeine? – Yes, short-term cognitive and perhaps (from antioxidants in coffee) a lower risk of cancer

If any of those questions/answers interest you, please read the article “Is caffeine really bad for you? A doctor weighs in” for more information.