macOS New App Release – Mellel 4.2


Product Announcements Mellel AAR of Tel Aviv, Israel, the developer of the leading word processor for Mac OS and iPad, is announcing the immediate release of Mellel 4.2, a new version including a completely re-written and innovative tables feature. Using styles, tables in Mellel now offer advanced features alongside the ability to maintain consistency in table design throughout the manuscript and from one document to the other.

“Clearly, our tables sucked before,” confesses Eyal Redler, one of Mellel’s co-founder and chief developer. “We’ve vehemently denied this, of course, but now that we have the best and most awesome tables feature, we can freely admit this.” Indeed, Mellel’s table feature – once strong and versatile – have become a weak spot in its otherwise shining armour of features.

The new table feature was completely re-written to suit the changing needs of users. Mellel, a long time favourite among writers of long-documents, who need to maintain consistency throughout the document and across documents, now offers an innovative Table Styles feature. This feature allows users to set every table option within a style, changes to which will be applied to every table using this style. Furthermore, templates within the style allow for adding text, and setting the size and positioning of variants to the basic style.

There’s more to Mellel tables than styles. Tables now support table headers and footers (and leading and trailing columns), repeating headers, colour alternation, outer padding, corner radius, smart vertical alignment, and much more.

Not unique, but really special, are the formulas. These can be entered to any cell, calculating sum, average, standard deviation, and more, and can mix within the same cell with text and other formulas – which is the complete opposite of the “spreadsheet as a table” concept.

A very welcome addition are the positioning and resizing options. You resize a table easily, with the columns and rows being resized proportionally. You can also set the table width proportionally, so it can change dynamically when the width available to it changes. You can also position a table anyway you like (at centre, right or plainly 15% from the left).

Finally, there are numerous but-of-course features, allowing users to add columns and rows easily, set the width of columns and rows in exact measurements, equalise width with a click, and much more.

Melle is priced at $49.00 and is available on their website

Why Buy if You Can Borrow from Your Library?

(See my other Reading related posts) – I saw an article that described the Library Extension a short time ago. I installed it in my Chrome browser and gave it a try today. It seems to work well.

What is the Library Extension? It is a free extension for either the Chrome or Firefox browsers that will tell you when you browse for books on Amazon (or Barnes & Nobles, Goodreads or Audible, among other sites) if your library has the book and if it is currently available.

Screen Shot 2019-07-14 at 6.53.08 PM

How do you use it? Download the extension and install it in your browser (visit the site and then click on the appropriate ‘Install’ button).

Screen Shot 2019-07-14 at 6.37.45 PMOnce the extension is installed in your browser you need to configure it. To do that click on the icon of a stack of books in the top right corner of your Chrome browser (A similar icon will appear in the top right corner of your Firefox browser too).


Screen Shot 2019-07-14 at 6.38.43 PM

In the window, you will first configure what libraries you have access to. These are organized by country and state. Both fields are pull-down menus. Then select the library from the pull-down menu and click on the ‘Add’ button. Add all of the libraries you have borrowing privileges from.


Screen Shot 2019-07-14 at 7.05.51 PM

When you have your libraries selected, click on the ‘Sites’ tab. By default, all the choices will be selected. I went through the list and disable those sites specific to countries other than the US.

Screen Shot 2019-07-14 at 6.44.00 PM

Now you are ready to start using the extension. Just visit a book site (like Amazon, Audible, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, or Google). As you browse looking for books, you will see a pop-up on the right side of the page to indicate that the book you are looking at is available at your library.

Apps & Sites for the Best Coffee

(See my other Coffee related posts) – I saw the article “5 Apps and Sites for Coffee Lovers and That Perfect Brew” this morning and thought it was interesting enough to share. So what were the recommended Apps?:

  1. BrewTime (Android, iOS) – Free – how to brew the perfect cup
  2. Omnicalculator’s Coffee Kick (Web) – Free – when and how much coffee should you drink
  3. Home Grounds (Web) – Free – brewing technique, coffee beans, brewing gear, and coffee recipes
  4. Barista Institute’s Recipes (Web) – Free – recipes
  5. Coffee Geek (Web) – Free – coffee related encyclopedia

This article is not the definitive ‘how to’ for brewed coffee, but it does provide some good ideas.

macOS New App Release – RailModeller Pro 6.1


Product Announcements Isle of the Kakapo of Munich, Germany has released RailModeller Pro 6.1, their model railroad and slot car layout design solution for macOS. The app offers sophisticated tools that enable hobbyists to quickly design model train and slot car track layouts via drag & drop, features more than 250 libraries for popular track systems as well as scalable libraries for accessories usable across all model scales, and offers customizable views of track layouts in both two and three dimensions. This latest major update of RailModeller Pro features:

* New QuickFilter in the Library Catalog
The new QuickFilter allows you to show only e.g. curved tracks or crossings to quickly locate the types of tracks you need right now when designing your layout. This can significantly improve the design experience in particular when working with extensive track systems.

* JMRI Export
A RailModeller Pro layout can be exported to be used in the PanelPro application of the popular, free JMRI package for computer-controlled model railroads. This makes all tracks in a layout as well as most types of turnouts and crossings available in JMRI without any additional effort.
For more information about JMRI please visit the project’s website at

* Improvements to Community Layouts
We have improved all aspects of the Community Layouts feature making it easy to browse the most popular layouts or model scales in a new leaderboard, find related layouts in the overhauled details view, or quickly spot the overall dimensions for layouts shared by our community of fellow model train hobbyists.

* Enhanced 3D Mode
A new settings panel offers additional control over the 3D viewing mode such as optionally hiding tunnel tracks, a new dark mode, and other customization options as well as a new function to export an image of the current 3D scene.

RailModeller Pro’s easy-to-use interface allows track designers to create layouts of up to 10km x 10km or 6.2 x 6.2 miles organized in up to 99 layers. The app includes all components to complete a train or slot car track layout, including flex tracks, buildings, symbols, and other items in scales from T (1:450) all the way up to G or IIm (1:22.5). Track elements can be dropped onto the layout, rotated, and positioned where desired, users can simply click to append one or more track elements in the layout, create tunnel sections, add graphical shapes, arrows, dimensions, import background images and specify baseboards to indicate the available space for a train layout.

RailModeller Pro automatically generates a shopping list, (including prices), as the layout is created, making for an easy reference when it comes time to purchase required components for the layout. An integrated stock management maintains the inventory of tracks already purchased, displaying the number of tracks remaining in stock when working on a specific layout or filtering the shopping list to show only missing tracks that need to be purchased to complete the layout.

* A library catalog featuring libraries for more than 200 track systems for all popular manufacturers of model train tracks
* Covers model scales from T (1:450) up to G or IIm (1:22.5)
* A clean and intuitive, Mac-like user experience
* An automatically adapting drawing canvas never running out of space
* Sophisticated, yet easy to use tools to quickly build awesome model train layouts
* Assistants that allow placing tracks at arbitrary heights, creating track grades, insert parallel tracks or close gaps
* Dedicated tools for creating tunnel sections
* Advanced functionality for creating selections
* Clean-up wizards for complex layouts
* Customizable viewing modes for visualizing the track layout in two and three dimensions
* Automatically generates shopping lists as the design is laid out
* The built-in stock tracking feature keeps track of items already owned
* Print layouts in any scale from a single sheet of paper to full-sized 1:1 scale
* Image import in various formats (PNG, JPEG, PSD, GIF, TIFF, PDF, and others)
* Export track layouts in numerous image file formats at any resolution
* An integrated help manual

System Requirements:
* macOS 10.11 or later
* 64-bit Processor
* 50 MB disk space

Pricing and Availability:
RailModeller Pro 6.1 is available for only $39.99 USD (or an equivalent amount in other currencies) worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Graphics and Design category. A free version, RailModeller Express – which is suitable for smaller layouts with a limited number of tracks – is also available through the Mac App Store in the Graphics and Design category.

Book Review: “Cursed”


(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Cursed” eBook was published in 2019 (October) and was written by Thomas Wheeler. This is Mr. Wheeler’s second novel.

I received an ARC of this novel through 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 medieval England. The primary character is Nimue, though Arthur, Merlin, and others from the traditional tales of King Arthur are there too.

In this version of the story, Nimue, whose mother is an Arch Druid, ends up with the famous sword of power. She has also grown adept at very powerful dark magic. Her mother along with everyone else in her village is killed by the Red Paladins, a militant group of the Catholic Church. The Red Paladins seek any and all of the Fey folk they can find. They want to purge their souls through torture and death. They also want the sword of power Nimue carries.

King Pendragon is another force that wants to hold the sword that he will become the one true king. Complicating matters is the Viking Ice King who is also after the sword. Nimue and her friends must survive this lethal field of adversaries, while she tries to survive and save the Fey.

I enjoyed the 10+ hours I spent reading this 416-page fantasy. While I liked the overall plot, the familiar characters have little to do with the history we have all grown up with regarding Arthur. I think I would have liked the story better if there had been no effort to tie it to the Arthur legend. The cover art is OK. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (

Music of WWII: “I’ll Walk Beside You”

(See my other Music and WWII related posts) – The song “I’ll Walk Beside You” was written by Alan Murray and Edward Lockton. It is usually associated with singer John McCormack.

The song was introduced in 1939 and was popular in the UK during WWII. A British movie with the same name, “I’ll Walk Beside You“, came out in 1943 and featured the song. The movie was moderately successful rating 5.2/10 on IMDB.

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 320 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.

macOS New app Release – Mirror for Sharp TV

Product Announcements AirBeamTV of Naarden, Netherlands has released their new screen mirroring app for Mac computers exclusively developed for Sharp Smart TVs.

Sharp back in the game:
Last month, Sharp announced it agreed to establish a new form of partnership with TV manufacturer Hisense Limited to re-enter television business in the U.S.A. market the second half of 2019. Sharp will try to get a foothold in the growing market of cutting edge 4K/8K televisions.

Screen mirroring app for Mac:
AirBeamTV, global market leader in screen mirroring apps for Apple products, announced they have launched this new mirroring app for Mac users to provide existing and future Sharp TV owners a cutting-edge mirroring app.

According to the company’s CEO, Jan Van Ottele, AirBeamTV is adapting to the changing landscape of Smart TVs in the US market. “We have received a lot of requests from Mac users to provide a high-quality screen mirroring app for newer TV brands. With our app, Mac owners can share videos, photos and apps from any Mac device to Sharp TV models from 2012 and onward”. Important to notice is that the app also supports Sharp TVs running on the Android TV or Roku TV operating systems, or Sharp TVs using the Aquos sub brand.

Device Requirements
* Macbook, MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Mini & Mac Pro
* Requires MacOS 10.10 (Yosemite) or newer

Pricing and Availability:
Mirror for Sharp TV is free to download on AirBeamTV’s website (trial version). Users can test the app free before upgrading to the paid version ($9.99 directly from the AirBeamTV website). The premium version has no time limits for mirroring and supports lifetime updates. For both the trial and the paid version, everyone can count on fast and free customer service.

macOS New App Release – GIPHY extension for Apple Mail

Mailbutler GmbH of Berlin, Germany, provider of the leading email enhancing software, released a GIPHY extension for Apple Mail. The free, easy-to-install plugin allows users to search for, preview and add GIFs from the GIPHY library, which serves up more than 1 billion GIFs on a daily basis, to their emails. With the pressure to stand out in a crowded inbox, Mailbutler’s GIPHY extension makes it easy for anyone to create fun, meaningful content that instantly connects with the recipient.

“In today’s world full of distractions, it’s increasingly difficult to capture a reader’s attention. Whether you want to create a dynamic email newsletter, or just wish to have some fun with your colleagues, you can add your personal touch through a GIF when words are just not enough,” said Tobias Knobl, CEO and co-founder of Mailbutler.

A study concerned with Dell’s email campaign confirms the overwhelmingly positive impact GIFs can have on email marketing. It showed that emails with GIFs are 6% more likely to be opened and 42% more likely to gain clicks for an email’s embedded links. Emails with GIFs also experienced a 103% increase in conversion rate and a 109% increase in revenue for Dell.

With Mailbutler’s GIPHY extension, users no longer need to exhaust themselves googling for instructions or downloading and converting files to make them compatible with their email provider. The extension brings them a possibility to simply access the entire GIPHY library and add GIFs with one click within their inbox, thus creating more engaging content and ultimately increasing conversion rates and revenue for the company.

macOS New App Release – Typinator 8.0


Product Announcements  – Ergonis Software of Perg, Austria has released Typinator 8.0, a major new version of their highly acclaimed text expander. Typinator 8 offers a new statistics mode, where you can see the usage counts for abbreviations and sets, and how long ago an abbreviation has been used most recently. You can also sort your snippets by these values, to see which abbreviations you are using frequently and which ones you may have forgotten about.

Another great new feature of Typinator 8 is Magic Keys. You can now use the modifier keys Shift, Control, Option, and Command in abbreviations as if they were real characters. This allows you to use them as special trigger characters and offers a simple way to avoid conflicts in abbreviations.

A very slick user interface enhancement is the new “mini menu bar” right above the expansion field, where you can find all markers and editing functions in one central place. A nice side effect of this improvement is that the expansion field is now wider and you have more space to enter your expansions.

New is also the integration with Ergonis’ award-winning PopChar. With PopChar 8.2 or newer installed, you can now use Typinator to search for and insert arbitrary Unicode characters by their name or Unicode number. In combination with a hotkey for Typinator’s quick search, this is a great way to type arbitrary Unicode characters without taking your hands off the keyboard.

A long list of further new features and enhancements makes Typinator 8 the best text expander ever. Visit Ergonis Software’s website to learn more about the changes in this release and to download and try the new version.

Typinator is a powerful, yet elegantly simple solution that boosts your productivity by automating the process of inserting frequently used text and auto-correcting typing errors. Across all applications, it detects specific sequences of typed characters and automatically replaces them with text snippets, graphics, URLs, dates and special characters.

System Requirements:
* OS X Mountain Lion (10.8) or newer
* Recommended for macOS Mojave (10.14)

Availability and Ordering:
Typinator can be purchased securely on the Ergonis Software website. The upgrade to Typinator 8 is free for anyone who purchased a license for Typinator on or after January 1st, 2019. Upgrade paths are available for owners of older licenses. For information about purchases, including enterprise licenses, volume discounts, and upgrade pricing offers, see the company’s web site.

macOS New App Release – Duplicate Finder for Mac 4.6.0

Product Announcements Cisdem of Madelia, Minnesota has released Duplicate Finder for Mac 4.6.0 with improved user interface and increased speed of finding duplicate files. Cisdem Duplicate Finder is a lightweight, easy to use and powerful duplicate file finder for Mac. Users can use it to look for duplicate photos, music files, videos, documents, archives and other kinds of duplicate files on Mac’s internal storage, external HD, SSD, USB flash drive, memory cards, etc. The Auto-Select and One-click Deletion features allow users to remove unwanted duplicate files all at once.

“Many of us may have gigabytes of duplicate files on our computers, it’s almost impossible to accurately and quickly find them all by hand,” said Edward Riley, Cisdem’s project manager. “That’s why we developed Cisdem Duplicate Finder. This upgrade makes it even faster to look for duplicate files on supported devices. The scanning speed is significantly increased. You just need to click the Scan button, have a sip of your drink and let this duplicate file finder work its magic.”

What’s New in Version 4.6.0:
1. Refined interface
2. Improved duplicates finding speed
3. Fixed some minor bugs

Main Features:
1. Support various file types and formats
This duplicate file finder for Mac can scan selected folders and drives to look for duplicate images, audios, videos, documents and other types of files. Users can set it to identify duplicates by content (default) or by filename.

2. Find similar images
In addition to duplicate images, it can also find similar images. Users can set the similar level in settings.

3. Support various storage devices
This Mac duplicate file finder can also find duplicate files on external storage devices such as external HD, SSD, SD card, etc.

4. Remove duplicates from iTunes and Photos
Cisdem Duplicate Finder can find and delete duplicates in iTunes and Photos apps without damaging the libraries. It’s as safe as manual deletion.

5. Allow side-by-side preview
There are three preview modes for users to choose from. One can zoom in or out for better view.

6. Multiple selection options including Auto-Select
By default, this duplicate file finder for macOS will automatically select duplicate copies for users to delete. Totally, there are 4 selection options. With respect to similar images, there are 7 options including Select Lowest Resolution.

7. Allow high degree of customization Users can choose from multiple scan methods and removal methods according to their needs. In addition, there are scan filters, folder exclusion, extension exclusion and other options, enabling users to have control over the scan and removal process.

Price and Availability:
Cisdem Duplicate Finder for Mac 4.6.0 is available for download and purchase on the Cisdem website. Users can purchase a lifetime license for $29.99 and enjoy lifetime free upgrades. A free trial is available for download at the Cisdem website.

Observations on SciFi, Books, Space Exploration, Robotics, and Productivity