All posts by John Purvis

macOS App Sale – MacAppware Apps

Product Announcements – MacAppware of San Francisco, California, a division of 128bit Technologies LLC, is giving away every one of their apps and font bundles for only $5! If you haven’t grabbed the new font manager app, are still missing some commercial use font collections or have a business or organization that needs a great looking logo, now is the time to visit MacAppware and get what you’re missing now.

Plus, the MacAppware website still features a bevy of free font collections you can use for personal or commercial projects including 57 Christmas Fonts. These fonts are perfect for invitations, party signs, banners, websites, advertisements, brochures, holiday cards, classrooms, and more.

Here’s A List Of What You Can Get For $5 Each:
* Logo Pop – (Normally $39.99) easy logo design software that includes pre-designed logos and graphics to get you started quickly.
* MacOptimizer 3 – (Normally $29.99) clean up, optimize and fix your Mac.
* Candy Apple – (Normally $29.99) vector based graphic design app and image editor.
* Font Manager Deluxe – (Normally $19.99) quickly preview and install fonts, or the included collection of MacAppware fonts.
* Premium Fonts – (Normally $99) 2,018 commercial use OpenType fonts to use in any online or print project.
* 1000 OpenType Fonts – (Normally $99) 1,000 completely different OpenType fonts to use in any commercial project.
* Comic Fonts – (Normally $19.99) 19 page-popping commercial use comic fonts that can be used for comics, manga or any other design project.
* Mini Design Bundle – (Normally $379.90) a beautiful mix of icons, logos, logo graphics, website buttons, backgrounds, price boxes, and talk bubble captions.

All apps are supported only on a Mac. Font Collections are delivered in a zip file and work on both Mac and PC computers.

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Robots at Walmart

Apparently even Walmart is looking at automation in its stores. Two different initiatives seem to be under evaluation by Walmart.

EMMA (Enabling Mobile Machine Automation), an autonomous machine for scrubbing store floors, is under evaluation at five stores. After a training run controlled by a human operator to identify the desired operational path, the machine will autonomously clean the floor. It has built in sensors and cameras similar to autonomous vehicles currently on the roads that allow it to navigate around obstacles at a sedate 2.5 miles per hour. EMMA is a product of Brain Corp.

In a separate trial, Walmart has deployed shelf-scanning robots in 50 stores. These machines will scan store shelves to verify inventory, prices and misplaced items. These units are from Bossa Nova Robotics.

Will these attempts at automation cost jobs? Well, probably over the long term, but it is unlikely that the impact will be significant. It is clear though that robots and automation will be in our future.

macOS App Sale – iFunia Video Converter & YouTube Downloader

Product Announcements – iFunia Studio of San Angelo, TX , a professional developer of Mac OS multimedia software, has announced its Thanksgiving sale. During the sale, iFunia Video Converter for Mac and iFunia YouTube Downloader for Mac are offered with 30% off discount plus a buy-one-get-one-free promotion. The sale will end on November 28, 2017.

iFunia Thanksgiving Sale 2017

Deal #1: Buy iFunia Video Converter for Mac Pro/Lifetime License (reg. price $59.99) with 30% off discount and get iFunia Voice Recorder for Mac (reg. price $9.99) for totally free. Save $27.99 in total. Use discount code “Thanks30” at checkout.

iFunia Mac Video Converter can batch convert video and audio files with extremely fast speed and lossless conversion between 400 preset formats, rip DVD, burn video to DVD with background music and various menu templates, batch compress video and audio files with high quality. In addition, the app can also download HD videos in bulk from YouTube and 1000 other sites. Users can also use it to do some basic video editing by adding watermark and subtitles, merging, cropping and trimming videos, etc.

iFunia Voice Recorder for Mac is an audio recorder designed for high quality sound recording. The app allows users to record lectures, personal notes, meetings, voice diaries, etc. in mono and stereo. It supports background recording and continues recording after interruption. What’s more, users can apply quick fade in/out effect to recorded voice for special use.

Deal #2: Buy iFunia YouTube Downloader for Mac Pro/Lifetime License (reg. price $39.99) with 30% off discount and get iFunia DVD Creator for Mac (reg. price $19.99) for totally free. Save $31.99 in total. Use discount code “Thanks30” at checkout.

iFunia Mac YouTube Downloader can batch download videos and audios from YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Facebook, Instagram and 1000 other websites and batch download songs and playlists from Spotify, SoundCloud and other music sites. It supports a variety of output video and audio format including MP4, WebM, M4A, MP3, etc. Users can use it to download HD online videos in 1080P, 4K or higher without quality loss.

iFunia DVD Creator for Mac can burn video to DVD with subtitles and background music. Gorgeous DVD menus are available for different events or occasions such as vacation, Christmas, birthday party, wedding ceremony, holiday celebration and so on. It also allows users to adjust the videos with tools like trim, crop, effects, subtitles, watermarks, etc.

Note: The 30% off discount code “Thanks30” also applies to the Pro/1 Year License version and Multi-Users version of both iFunia Mac Video Converter and iFunia Mac YouTube Downloader.

About iFunia
Dedicated to developing multimedia software for Mac, iFunia Studio provides easy software solutions for video lovers all over the world. The company creates powerful, easy-to-use and affordable multimedia apps to make Mac life fun. For more information, visit the iFunia website.

Trailer for “Dark”

Trailers – Netflix will air a new 10-episode series beginning in December called “Dark”. The dialog is in German with English subtitles. The synopsis:

The disappearance of two kids in the German small town of Winden opens abysses that turn the concept of time on its head. The question is not who has kidnapped the children… but when.

Though I don’t have Netflix, this does look interesting. The only downside is the subtitles. I am not a fan of subtitles.

macOS New App Release – Elements+ 10.0

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Product Announcements – Independent author, Andrei Doubrovski of Chelyabinsk, Russian Federation has released Elements+ 10.0, his new enhancement patch for Adobe Photoshop Elements. Elements+ is a handy add-on that unlocks the undocumented advanced functions in Photoshop Elements+ featured in the latest versions of Photoshop.

The product includes hundreds of tools: missing adjustments, smart filters, vector masks, and many more advanced tools normally hidden under the hood. The unleashed features can be explored and used in many ways: from PSE menu, Effects panel, or from Mac OS Doc. All versions of Adobe Photoshop Elements+are supported, however the feature sets in each version may vary.

Feature Highlights:

  • 11 main feature categories: Color and Tone, RAW Corrections, Selections, Layers, Styles, Masks, Smart Filters, Paths, Text, Scripts, and Tool Presets
  • Script catalog includes 100 additional utilities for miscellaneous tasks

New Features in Elements+ v.10:

  • Many tools otherwise missing in the PSE-version of the Adobe Camera RAW plug-in
  • Styles dialog with undocumented layer effects and advanced blending options
  • Tool Presets let you save and load most used favorite tool settings
  • Noise Stacking script reduces noise by stacking photo series

“As most people probably know, Photoshop Elements+ has not inherited all the essential features of the full Photoshop,” said Andrei Doubrovski, developer of Elements+. “The available functions are quite sufficient for a beginner. However the limitations grow more and more frustrating as you advance. For example, why on earth we are not allowed to look into layer group or use justify text alignment mode? Fortunately, not all the missing features have been completely removed. Most of those are just stay hidden.”

Language Support:

  • Multilingual interface (8 languages)
  • Documentation in English, German, and Russian

System Requirements:

  • Mac OS X Version 10.4.11 Tiger or later
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements

Elements+ 10.0 is $12.00 (USD) to download. Distribution kits are also available for all the previous versions of Adobe Photoshop Elements.

macOS New App Release – Station 1.4

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Product Announcements – True North Software of Plymouth, Minnesota has released Station 1.4, the company’s multilevel (hierarchical) launcher for macOS. Station promotes a more natural organization of applications and documents into folders. With nested folders, you can arrange items in Station in a way that fits your workflow with an uncluttered look and feel. Scalability is greatly increased through logical groupings thus increasing the sheer number of items that can be added to Station without having to shrink the launcher size.

Productivity is increased because related items can be grouped together into a single folder. For example, one folder can contain work related items and another folder gaming items. Another useful feature of Station is the ability to launch, all at once, the items in a launch folder. This is useful when switching between tasks like business and spreadsheets to graphics work. With ten levels of folders available, enough space is provided to spread out even the most diverse set of applications and documents.

What’s New for Version 1.4:

  • In the preferences you can specify if you want Station to justify the panels to the left, center, or right.
  • A “Populate Folder Icons…” menu item was added to the Station icon which allows you to automatically populate folder icons.

Station Features:

  • Up to ten levels of folders can be shown
  • The size of the icons can range from 24 to 64 points
  • An alias folder can be created from any existing folder
  • Display panels can be justified to the left, center, or right
  • Icons can be assigned to folders to give them a more distinctive feel
  • All applications and documents in a folder can be launched all at once
  • Station can be displayed on the left, right or bottom side of the screen
  • Folders automatically open after a short delay when you drag items over them
  • Station can be displayed statically (always shown) or automatically hidden when not needed
  • The display name of a folder can be renamed (e.g. “untitled” to “Graphics”)
  • Scrollbar support for launch panels that exceed screen dimensions
  • Embedded open folder icon can now be either blue or red
  • Auto collapse of folders after launch of an item
  • Select any color for the panel background color
  • You can automatically populate all folder icons
  • Station will automatically launch at login
  • Fullscreen and multiscreen support

System Requirements:

  • Requires macOS 10.11 or higher
  • 64-bit processor
  • 17 MB

Station 1.4 is priced at $14.99 (USD) and is available through the Mac App Store in the Productivity category. A demo version is available from the True North Website.

macOS App Sale – Graphic Node Products

Product Announcements – Graphic Node of Sakiai, Lithuania, the developers of high-quality templates and illustrations for OS X, have announced their biggest discount campaign this year so far. The company offers savings up to 40% on its products. This happens only once in a year, so it’s a good chance to get the good stuff for your Mac, or stock up on gifts in the form of ‘redeem codes’ to colleagues and friends. Graphic Node is marking the occasion with an offer up to 40% off selected website products until November 30th.

Graphic Node today announces the largest discount campaign this year so far. The company offers savings up to 40% on its products. This happens only once in a year, so it’s a good chance to get the good stuff for the Mac, or stock up on gifts in the form of ‘redeem codes’ to colleagues and friends. Graphic Node is marking the occasion with an offer up to 40% off selected website products until Saturday. Users can view applications on the Graphic Node Web site and purchase over Mac App Store.

According to Graphic Node’s general manager Jolita Unguvaitiene, “the Black Friday campaign is always about letting people know more about what we are doing and how we can help them. It’s a wonderful chance to grab one or more design products and see how they fit into your business.”

The offering kicks off now and ends on November 30th. Get up to 40% off on Graphic Node selected products:

GN Bundle For iWork (40% OFF):
The ideal tool for users of iWork, GN Bundle for iWork provides you with over 3,100 unique designs for Pages documents, 400 spreadsheet templates for Numbers, over 150 first-class slideshow themes for Keynote, and over 2,000 images for illustrating your content. All templates are available in the US and international paper sizes.

Templates For Pages (20% OFF):
The modern and polished Templates for Pages supplies a collection of over 3,300 easy-to-use templates for creating business and personal content with Apple’s Pages. It’s the biggest templates pack for Pages on the App Store. We provide regular monthly updates with new templates.

GN Templates For Keynote (40% OFF):
This set consists over 150 high-quality designs for Keynote presentations. These are more than just beautiful backgrounds – each one of them includes up to 25 different master slides. which lets you choose the best layout for your information.

DesiGN Templates For Numbers (40% OFF):
The high-quality Templates for Numbers for iWork collection offers 400 diverse and useful templates for Apple’s Numbers. Use them for your business or personal needs. Handle your day-to-day assignments a lot easier. Customise the template to your requirements: create tables, make calculations, draw diagrams, insert images thus tackling your job efficiently and effortlessly. Available in the US and international paper sizes.

Review of “Airborne”

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Book ReviewsWWII –  “Airborne” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Robert Radcliffe (http://www.christopherlittle.net/authors/robert-mawson-aka-robert-radcliffe/). This is the seventh novel published by Mr. Mason(Radcliffe).

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 Mature Language. The story is set throughout Europe during World war II. The two primary characters are British Army Medical Officer Captain Daniel Garland and Theo Trickey, a young and heavily injured paratrooper.

The story begins with the risky Operation Market Garden, the airborne invasion that the Allies hope will bring a quick end to the war. The attack fails and thousands are killed, wounded or captured. Among the captured are both Garland and Trickey. The story follows these two and jumps back to their experiences prior to the Battle of Arnhem.

I thought this was an interesting 8+ hour read of 285 pages for this World War II era novel. I liked the characters in the story, and the plot was different. Not so much combat experiences, but what went on with the characters before and after Arnhem. The story did jump around a bit and I thought ended rather abruptly. The cover art is reasonable. I give this novel a 3.7 (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).

macOS New App Release – Merlin Project 4.3

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Product Announcements – ProjectWizards GmbH of Melle, Germany has released a new version of Merlin Project, the leading project management software for macOS. In version 4.3, the application is now optimized for macOS High Sierra. However, all Merlin Project users will benefit from an update as several optimizations have been implemented.

Mac users who have installed High Sierra can now be sure to have the best Merlin Project experience. An update of Merlin Project is recommended for all High Sierra users for optimal performance.

With Merlin Project 4.3, the software is now available in Japanese and Simplified Chinese. ProjectWizards GmbH emphasizes its corporate strategy to focus on international markets. “Our software localization was a logical next step”, says ProjectWizards CEO Frank Blome. “During the initial project with a leading Japanese brewery and in cooperation with the German based translation company Wordcrafts we have created the perfect translation. Now our Japanese and Chinese speaking customers can use Merlin Project even more comfortably with an interface in their mother tongue.”

Also, we have implemented several optimizations and made stability improvements in our latest version of Merlin Project. That’s why we recommend this update for all users. For detailed information about all improvements please view the release notes at the Merlin Project website.

To learn more about Merlin Project 4.3, visit the Merlin Project website.

Merlin Project 4.3 is free of charge for any licensed Merlin Project 3 or Merlin Project 4 user to update to version 4.3. Upgrading to Merlin Project 4 for Merlin 2 users is $159 USD (or an equivalent amount in other currencies). New users can purchase Merlin Project 4 for $289 USD (or an equivalent amount in other currencies) through the website.

Short Science Fiction Film – “Two Worlds”

Short Films – The short (7:31) science fiction film “Two Worlds” was published to YouTube in November of 2017 by DUST. The synopsis:

Two Worlds is a story about two opposites coming together out of necessity and finding hope at the end of the world.

Snibb, a stranded and lonely character, but not by choice. He has been marooned on a desolate planet where he struggles to utilize his weak and failing satellite link to attempt daily distress beacons for rescue. But with little power available, he is unable to get just enough solar power to send that one frequency “S.O.S”.

L.O.I.D., a two-bit cargo droid en route to his galactic destination is in a suspended state of consciousness, drifting through space in his cargo vessel the “Lucky Strike”. Through fate or just unfortunate circumstance, L.O.I.D’s ship collides with a piece of space debris and is woken by the chaos of his ship speeding through space uncontrollably towards Snibb’s lone planet.

With L.O.I.D’s ship crash landing on Snibb’s planet, these two characters are able to benefit from each other through their new friendship and attempt to find a solution off this isolated world.

A simple, animated story. Not great but I like it. It has a 6.8/10 on IMDB.