All posts by John Purvis

macOS New app Release – fmEZcharts

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Product Announcements – The Proof Group and NorthEast DataBase Solutions of Jacksonville, FL have released the first community edition version of fmEZcharts, a chart and dashboard tool for Claris FileMaker. fmEZcharts allows for the quick and easy creation of JavaScript and HTML chart components, even if users don’t know anything about JavaScript or HTML.

Over a year in the making, the newest version of fmEZcharts offers a tighter, cleaner look and feel, with improved functionality and usability. It includes new features like the ability to pick themes, colors, and data sets, as well as a larger selection of ready-to-go charts. With the newest version of fmEZcharts, it’s even easier to use and create amazing charts in FileMaker!

Ernest Koe, CEO of The Proof Group, writes, “It has been fun working with Brian Ouimette of NorthEast DataBase Solutions on this exciting new tool. Brian has done quite a lot of work to improve the functionality and usability of fmEZcharts. The community edition looks phenomenal and feels like a solid first release.”

The community edition of fmEZcharts is available to download for free. It comes with a locked copy of fmEZCharts, pre-configured chart examples, a demo video to get you started, and community forum support. Users are invited to give it a try and let us know what they think!

Book Review: “The Revenant Express: A Newbury & Hobbes Investigation”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Revenant Express: A Newbury & Hobbes Investigation” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by George Mann. Mr. Mann has published more than a dozen novels. This is the fifth in his “Newbury & Hobbes Investigations” 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. The story is set in a Victorian Europe, though not our own.

Sir Maurice Newbury is headed to Russia with Veronica’s sister Amelia to pick up a mechanical heart. The heart has been made by Faberge. Meanwhile Veronica lies ill in London. Their other team member, Sir Charles Bainbridge, is also in London trying to determine who is infection prominent men with the Revenant plague.

I enjoyed the 5 hours I spent reading this 234-page steampunk mystery. This is not the ifirst novel in the series and this novel expected the reader to be familiar with the ongoing plot and characters. I recommend reading them in order. I do like the selected 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).

Detroit Public Library-Detroit, Michigan

(See my other posts related to Libraries) – I liked this review of the Detroit Public Library. I like to visit these old libraries myself.

The Critiquing Chemist

Over this past week I celebrated my.. shhh… 33rd birthday. I love birthdays just as much now as when I was younger. To celebrate Luke and I had a date day in Detroit where we went to the historic Eastern Market, the Detroit Institute of Art, and last but not least the the stunning Main Branch of the Detroit Public Library. Outside, Michigan was experiencing a toasty, summery 83°F. However, due to the air conditioning being broken within in the library, it was a humid, glistening 88°F. Having first found photos of this delightful library when I was compiling my 150 most beautiful libraries in the world I was excited to finally see it in person, however upon walking into the library it was not at all what I was anticipated with wall to wall marble. That being said, upon making our way to the second floor we found…

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macOS New App Release – fmRESTor

Product Announcements 24U Software of Prague, Czech Republic has released a new version of the popular open-source PHP library designed for PHP developers to easily integrate their code with the RESTful FileMaker Data API without having to learn the FileMaker Data API itself.

The new version brings support for all new features added to the FileMaker Data API with the recent release of FileMaker Server 18, while maintaining full compatibility with the FileMaker Server 17 Data API as well.

fmRESTor is now also available via Composer, a popular application-level package manager for the PHP programming language that provides a standard format for managing dependencies of PHP software and required libraries. Using Composer makes it even easier for PHP developers to maintain future compatibility of their code depending on fmRESTor.

Features of fmRESTor:
* One object class conveniently handles everything
* Automatically generates authentication token
* Re-uses existing token to avoid unnecessary additional connections
* Automatically re-generates expired token
* Handles exceptions and provides meaningful error results
* Can handle raw form data for easier container uploads
* Provides customizable debug logging

Features added in the new version:
* Simple way to run a script and wait for its result with FileMaker Server 18
* Methods for gathering information about FileMaker Server 18 and the accessed database
* Support for easily gathering value lists, i.e. for populating selects
* Added to Composer to make it easier for developers to maintain dependencies

Requirements:
fmRESTor requires PHP 5.6 or newer, including PHP 7, with support for cURL, and a FileMaker Server 17 or 18 to connect to.

Availability and Pricing:
fmRESTor is available free of charge as open-source, licensed under the “GNU LGPLv3” License. 24U greatly appreciates any feedback and contributions, but cannot provide free support for the tool. Developers may hire 24U to help them with their projects, either by purchasing paid support or by utilizing 24U’s custom development services. fmRESTor can be downloaded from the website.

macOS New app Release – Notebooks for Mac 2.0

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Product Announcements – Alfons Schmid of Salzburg, Austria has released ‘Notebooks for Mac 2.0′, a major upgrade of his productivity application which has a strong focus on text processing and also allows users to manage task lists and organize files and documents in nested structures. This unique combination ensures an uninterrupted flow of ideas while collecting notes, creating documents, consulting supportive documentation or gathering ideas and breaking them down into tasks.

Notebooks for Mac 2.0 has been rebuilt from ground up to address the shortcomings of previous versions: it has become a native Mac application which perfectly integrates with the macOS system, and it matches the functional scope of its successful iOS counterpart. Notebooks 2.0 supports smart books, contexts tags and advanced document processing tools which are well known from “Notebooks for iPad and iPhone”, but it also adds additional features which are not yet available in Notebooks on iOS. This makes Notebooks for Mac 2.0 a more than equal sibling.

Notebooks for Mac 2.0 takes full advantage of being a desktop application and presents its contents in a familiar three-pane document browser with outline, document list and document view. It allows users to selectively hide the browser’s columns or open documents in separate windows and tabs. Windows provide an optional breadcrumbing navigation bar along the top which makes it easy to navigate to other documents without consulting the document browser. Support for history buttons, dark theme or distraction free modes are a given. – “Notebooks for Mac 2.0 is finally the application it should have been from the start. If feels like a Mac application, it is light weight despite its capabilities, and it supports the writer’s workflow in a very unobtrusive way” Alfons Schmid comments.

Notebooks, originally designed to do away with paper notes, has evolved into a powerful text processor. Users can create formatted documents with styles, attachments, tables, and checklists using WYSIWYG style editing, but they can also create formatted document from plain text using Markdown (Notebooks includes two Markdown flavors) or Fountain, a markup format for screen writers. For those who prefer working with plain text, Notebooks offers numerous assistive tools: indent and align lists, automatically insert closing characters for matched punctuation marks, emphasize the currently edited line and keep it centered on screen, display line numbers or highlight Markdown syntax are a few examples. They can be selectively disabled like many other features in Notebooks. – “A tool should support the writer as best as possible, but it should get out of the way, and ideally, the writer should not even be aware of it. This is what we try to achieve with Notebooks” the developer adds.

Writing aside, Notebooks is also meant as a place to store and organize documents and files of any type: email, PDF documents, web snippets, or any other reference material. Notebooks supports unlimited nested structures (books) to arrange documents by topic, subject, project or any personal preferences. This makes it easy to separate private notes from business documents, client data from journal entries, or a novel’s chapters from each other. – “Notebooks stores all its documents as regular files on the Mac’s file system. No complex import or export procedures are necessary, the user always remains in control and can access the documents even without Notebooks. This is in strong contrast to the numerous apps that lock the user’s documents away in databases”, Alfons Schmid remarks.

Task management is another one of Notebooks’ integrated building blocks. Any book in Notebooks can display its contents as a regular list of documents or as a list of tasks. With the flick of a switch a collection of notes or documents turns into a task list with options to assign due dates and alert times. Tasks can be marked as “in progress” and ticked off when completed. Like regular books, task lists may be nested, so users can split complex projects into smaller packages which are easy to manage. – “Note taking often goes hand in hand with task management: a quick note sparks off an idea, generates a handful of todos, and it is just natural to handle them directly in Notebooks rather than switching to another app.” the developer says.

With this unique combination, Notebooks has the potential to replace multiple separate apps:

* Word Processor for WYSIWYG editing
* Text Editor for processing plain text
* Markdown and Fountain composer (including an HTML to Markdown converter)
* Task Manager for managing simple or complex projects
* File Organizer for any type of documents
* PDF Converter
* eBook Creator
* Document Archive

So whether users want to draft or outline a business presentation, collect ideas for a novel or type a chapter of a short-story, save web pages for reading later, write an entry in a diary or journal, tick off tasks, or just capture notes and ideas on the go, Notebooks is the all-inclusive application that will effortlessly handle it all.

Notebook for Mac is available for $35.99 on the Mac App Store.

macOS New App Release – Toolbox for iWork

Jumsoft of Vilnius, Lithuania has released an update to their popular productivity assistant Toolbox for iWork. The update brings some of the most anticipated features just in time for the new academic year. The most notable change is that Toolbox for iWork becomes truly cross-platform and allows using purchased items on any macOS or iOS device with a single purchase.

“Toolbox for iWork is by far our largest and most comprehensive collection of templates designed for the Apple iWork suite. It offers items for Apple Pages, Keynote, and Numbers – all in one place. It is truly an unmatched product in terms of quality, quantity, and price in the market” – said Algirdas Unguvaitis, CEO of Jumsoft. “We always wanted to give our users a truly integrated experience with our products across any number of devices. The update brings our users something they were eagerly waiting for quite a while – seamless cross-platform activation. It means that Toolbox for iWork users will now be free to use the app on any macOS or iOS device, regardless of where they purchased the app originally!”

The technical changes required to implement cross-platform purchase activation meant that the app had to transition to a free download with in-app purchases business model. This allows handling activations via iCloud instead of requiring users to sign up to additional, completely unnecessary accounts. As a side-effect, this also enables users to download the app, browse its content and try out some items before having to commit to a purchase. Users of previous versions of the app are automatically granted the “Lifetime” activation, which can always be re-activated by using the “Restore Purchases” option.

Toolbox for iWork is the largest productivity templates collection available on the Mac and iOS App Stores. It currently contains over 40,000 original, hand-crafted and quality-checked items. Jumsoft update content regularly: 700 new items have already been added to date in 2019 alone! The range contains everything from comprehensive and professional presentation layouts and themes for Keynote, a plethora of infographics templates, to an expansive collection of print templates for Pages – it is a perfect choice for any student, educator, business-owner, and anyone in between. The updated Toolbox for iWork is available worldwide on the Mac App Store and iOS App Store.

How Chocolate Helped To Win The War

I thought that this article was worth sharing. If you find it interesting, you might also like the article Chocolate Went to War I published a while back.


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 330 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.


 

Pacific Paratrooper

Seventy-five years ago, more than 160,000 Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy during the D-Day invasion.  And while we all know that day served as a huge turning point for the Allied cause, you probably haven’t thought much about what those soldiers carried with them to eat during and after the invasion.

Food had to be lightweight, nutritious and very high in energy; after all, these men were about to invade Nazi-occupied land.  As it so happens, the one substance that could fulfill all those requirements was a very unlikely it — a Hershey’s chocolate bar.

D ration chocolate bar

The Hershey Chocolate company was approached back in 1937 about creating a specially designed bar just for U.S. Army emergency rations.  According to Hershey’s chief chemist, Sam Hinkle, the U.S. government had just four requests about their new chocolate bars: (1) they had to weigh 4 ounces; (2)…

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79th U.S. Airborne Birthday

I think this deserves to be reblogged. I missed it on the 16th because it ended up in my Junk folder.


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 330 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.


 

Pacific Paratrooper

16 August,  National Airborne Day

The history of United States Airborne Forces did not begin on the training fields of Fort Benning, Georgia, as some believe. In fact, the origin of Airborne Forces in the U.S. military began with a familiar name to American military history, Brigadier General William L. “Billy” Mitchel (1879-1936).

As well as being considered the spiritual father of the United States Air Force, which he advocated for fiercely during his tenure in the military, BG Mitchell was the first to imagine airborne tactics and sought the creation of U.S. Airborne Forces.

BGeneral Billy Mitchell, the father of the U.S. Airborne


It is not recorded exactly when he organized a demonstration of Airborne Infantry for U.S., Russian and German observers. However, according to records
 at Ft. Benning, Georgia, it is confirmed that BG Mitchell held the demonstration “shortly after World War I” at Kelly Field, in San…

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Book Review: “Madame Fourcade’s Secret War: The Daring Young Woman Who Led France’s Largest Spy Network Against Hitler”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Madame Fourcade’s Secret War: The Daring Young Woman Who Led France’s Largest Spy Network Against Hitler” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Lynne Olson (http://www.lynneolson.com). Ms. Olson has published seven books.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence.

This is the story of thirty-one-year-old Marie-Madeleine Fourcade. This young French woman became the only woman to lead a resistance unit in occupied France. She sent away her children to live with friends so that she could direct one of the most effective espionage rings operating in France. Her unit knows as Alliance, operated until well after D-Day.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 10.5 hours I spent reading this 421-page biography and history. I thought this was an interesting story of WWII French resistance. I like the selected cover art. I give this book a 4.2 (rounded down to a 4) 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 330 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.

Music of WWII: “On the Swing Shift”

(See my other WWII and Music related posts) – The song “On the Swing Shift” came out in 1942 in the film Star Spangled Rhythm. It was sung by Marjorie Reynolds, Betty Jane Rhodes, and Dona Drake. The theme of the song focuses on the romance between wartime aircraft plant workers who are on the “swing shift”, that is between 4PM and midnight.


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 330 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.