macOS New app Release – FontAgent 8

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Product Announcements – Insider Software of San Jose, California has released FontAgent 8 for Macintosh, which adds support for macOS High Sierra and Adobe Typekit, as well as many new capabilities to its long list of industry-leading font-management features. New functionality in Version 8 includes:

  • An all-new Tile View for fast, compact previews of font sets and families
  • An improved spreadsheet Table View with WYSIWYG previews
  • Integration of Adobe Typekit and other subscription fonts
  • Support for macOS High Sierra, Sierra and El Capitan
  • Searchable, freeform font comments and tagging
  • Optimized font import and validation engines
  • A new lightning-fast font search engine with the industry’s most comprehensive searchable, indexed font metadata
  • Auto-activation in Adobe Creative Cloud 2017, QuarkXPress 2017 and leading Mac applications
  • Automatic font cache clearing

New, Sharper Ways to Preview Your Fonts:
FontAgent 8 delivers faster, sharper previews in its waterfall, plank, paragraph, compare, slide show, and glyph-insert views. A new Tile View in FontAgent 8 displays fonts in a grid of adjustable-size thumbnails that’s ideal for viewing lots of fonts and for looking at all the styles in a font family. You can check font formats, and activate fonts with a click.

FontAgent’s Table View is a spreadsheet-like view that lets you quickly explore and compare font metadata. V8 adds WYSIWYG previews and faster sorting and display. Users can click a column to sort currently selected fonts by their traits, foundries, sizes, file formats and version numbers. With another click, users can activate fonts, group them by family or foundry, or apply star ratings.

Lightning-Fast Font Searches:
FontAgent 8 has vastly improved search and metadata engines that let you enter a search term and instantly see fonts whose names, styles, foundries, designers, tags, comments, ratings, or other properties match it. You can also perform complex searches and save their results as Smart Sets that auto-update as you add fonts to your collection.

Free-Form Comments and Tags:
Enter free-form comments and tags for fonts and sets to describe the projects, clients, colors, type settings or treatments for managing creative workflow. Later, users can search by tags and keywords to find the ideal fonts for any projects, and use them consistently.

Adobe Typekit and Subscription Fonts:
FontAgent recognizes fonts activated by subscription services like Adobe Typekit and Monotype SkyFonts. Users can preview and add them to sets, just like all other fonts. With FontAgent’s open architecture, all fonts are a click away.

Automatic Cache Clearing:
FontAgent 8 automatically clears font caches to ensure that font names appear correctly in application Font menus, and to protect against display problems, garbled fonts, strange font substitution, printing problems and application crashes.

Simple, Fast Printing And Exporting:
Users can have FontAgent create hardcopy and PDF font samples for sharing with clients and co-workers. Fonts can be exported into organized folder hierarchies for archiving or sending to service bureaus.

Build a High-Integrity FontDNA Library:
As users add fonts to their catalogs, FontAgent’s FontDNA(TM) technology uses 28 different font properties to verify font integrity, fingerprint fonts, and detect duplicates. It also keeps a full history of font imports and can archive fonts in the Cloud for safekeeping.

Modern, Adjustable Interface:
FontAgent 8 makes all its new functionality available in a clean, modern interface that features fast, crisp font previews, simple controls and powerful set management. Users can activate, deactivate, find fonts, change colors, customize text and resize UI panes in seconds.

Instantly Share and Sync Fonts:
The Sync Edition of FontAgent 8 is a simple, cost-effective way to standardize, share and sync fonts across teams and computers. It makes fonts instantly available to others without the need to define libraries, create folders, maintain a server or find an IT expert.

Cost-Effective Licensing Choices:
A perpetual license for FontAgent 8 Standard Edition is priced at $99 (USD) per user. Existing FontAgent 7 users can purchase V8 upgrades or opt for a FontAgent Sync subscription for $59 a year. The Sync license includes free software upgrades and support and lets you archive and share fonts with others through Insider cloud services. For more information about FontAgent 8 and FontAgent Sync, visit Insider Software online. Free 30-day trials are available for download.

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Review of “The Fallen”

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Book Reviews – “The Fallen” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Eric Van Lustbader (https://www.ericvanlustbader.com). Mr. Lustbader has published more than 45 novels. This is the second in his “The Testament” 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 Mature Language. The story is set in Europe with the primary character being Braverman “Bravo” Shaw, head of the Gnostic Observatine sect.

A series of events take place that seem to herald the End of Days. A man finds the long hidden Testament of Lucifer in a remote Lebanese cave. Shaw, along with his blind sister, Emma, and Fra Leoni begin the chase to retrieve the Testament and stop the End of Days.

I enjoyed the nearly 11 hours I spent reading this 352 page Paranormal Thriller. I have been a long time fan of Van Lustbader, but this novel seemed to fall short for me. It felt a little “raw’, in the need of “polishing”. While the second in a series, this novel stood well on its own. The cover art is OK, but doesn’t really give a feel for the story. 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).

Trailer for “Lazer Team 2”

Trailers – So I never saw the original Lazer Team (rated 5.6 on IMDB). This trailer for “Lazer Team 2” looks a bit silly, but it might be a fun movie to watch. While there will be a short theatrical release in mid November, most will catch this film on YouTube. The synopsis:

After Woody (Gavin Free) goes missing working on secret, alien research, scientist Maggie Wittington (Nichole Bloom) must recruit the former members of Lazer Team (Burnie Burns, Colton Dunn, Michael Jones) to join her in rescuing their lost friend. It’s up to Maggie to bring the Lazer Team back together and rescue Woody.

This looks to be more comedy that thriller scifi.

macOS New App Release – Disk Drill 3.5

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Product Announcements – CleverFiles of Atlanta, Georgia has released an update to their well-known data recovery app, Disk Drill, which now enables support for Apple’s new APFS file system. After 9 years of superb file recovery and hundreds of millions of recovered files, they are raising the bar yet again with full support for macOS High Sierra (10.13 ).

In addition to being the first data recovery solution to fully support APFS and overcome Apple’s new technical hurdles in macOS High Sierra, the new Disk Drill 3.5 also adds full data recovery support for iOS 11.

Disk Drill’s software development team commented on some of the technical challenges of Apple’s new macOS update, “High Sierra introduces many technical challenges which is why nobody else is supporting it yet, the big one is that the startup disk on macOS 10.13 devices is no longer directly accessible to third-party apps, which makes many things difficult such as data recovery”.

The technical team goes on to explain that while this may sound like a huge challenge, it’s nothing for the likes of CleverFiles. Disk Drill was already a cutting-edge data recovery solution featuring a state-of-the-art algorithm considered to be one of the best in the industry. What this all means for Disk Drill users is that they have the best possible chance to recover files in a convenient and very intuitive software program.

The Disk Drill software development team went on to explain, “We have developed a few very easy techniques to get users back to happy data recovery on their macOS 10.13 High Sierra devices. It’s not complicated, doesn’t take long and works great. We are excited to take such a difficult challenge and turn it into another case of lost data recovery success for our loyal users”.

Spirits were high amongst the CleverFiles team and the excitement real, Disk Drill users have already begun to comment on their experiences including a software engineer with IBM who said the following about macOS High Sierra support with Disk Drill 3.5:

“Disk Drill beats out every single respected tool I could come up with. I’m still in the process of copying all my files, since it is so much data.”

Real reviews like this one give us some insight into the challenges that have been introduced with macOS 10.13 and how Apple has inadvertently thwarted the data recovery industry yet again. Despite all odds, full data recovery support is now available for macOS 10.13 High Sierra with Disk Drill 3.5 by CleverFiles.

There have been some other great improvements to Disk Drill with the latest update too, including very notable support of data recovery from mobile devices running iOS 11. It’s also been noticed that the user interface has been improved and is even easier than ever including added hints to help guide users to successful recovery of their lost pictures, videos, songs, emails and many more files.

Short Science Fiction Film “Explorers”

Short Films – The short (5:27) science fiction film “Explorers” was published on YouTube in October of 2017 by DUST. The Synopsis:

A short film which shows an idealistic look at the future of space travel, seen from the perspective of those who dare to venture into the unknown.

The film was made by Rob McLellan as a tribute to the science fiction films of his youth and to those real life pioneers that inspire it. This was a solo project of his completed in six weeks (in his spare time) and produced entirely in Unreal Engine 4.

I thought that this was a very enjoyable and well done animated film. It is a film that might be of use in stimulating kids to have an interest in STEM, especially space science.

macOS New App Release – Videux 1.2

Product Announcements – Half8Fish LLC of Boca Raton, Florida has released Videux version 1.2 for macOS. Videux is an organizer, player, and workflow assistant for video that is highly optimized to get tens of thousands of videos organized and ready for editing. Videux is an indispensable tool for stock videographers and people with large video libraries.

With effective organizational features, Videux can handle just about any video collection with ease, tagging them with keywords, ratings, and flags. Videux keeps track of model releases, license agreements, metadata, and much more, making it easy to see at a glance the state of your video library. This free upgrade is packed with new features and functionality: transcoding, proxies, keywords enhancements, in/out points, markers and more:

  • Named markers and in/out points are now supported, and exported to Final Cut Pro X (Premiere Pro support coming soon). In/out points can now be used to trim clips. Markers can also be used to export still frames. In/out points and markers are shown on the player, and can be edited or deleted.
  • Keywording is significantly enhanced with keyword suggestions and auto-complete. Keywords can now be renamed globally. In the filter view, keywords now can scroll and there is a new search function to find keywords. This allows Videux to support tens of thousands of keywords.
  • Videux now supports transcoding of video clips, in batch. Transcoded clips are automatically added to the catalog. Major encodings and containers are supported, with more options on the way.
  • Users can now make proxies for better playback of difficult to play clips. An example would be a 4K MPEG2; on slower computers this format can be choppy. By creating a proxy, playback is smooth at all speeds, making it easier to review clips.
  • Trimming clips is now supported, and can operate on many sections of multiple clips. Trimmed clips are added to the catalog
  • Extracting still frames (JPG or PNG) is supported, in batch
  • A major database optimization means faster response when dealing with large catalogs
  • Added ‘add keyword’ shortcut and menu item
  • More file types supported
  • Like all of our new versions, this upgrade is free to existing customers

“If you’ve ever used Adobe’s Lightroom for stills, Videux offers similar functionality for video files: you can ingest and catalogue your footage, assigning star ratings and keyword metadata to make sure it’s searchable (and crucially, findable) in the future.” – Elliott Smith; News Shooter

Versions: Videux ships in three flavors: Videux Pro DL (full version, downloaded from videux.com), Videux Pro AS (full version, Apple App Store), and Videux Play LT (player only version, Apple App Store).

  • Videux Pro AS and Videux Pro DL:
  • Videux Pro AS and Pro DL versions include all of the following features:
  • Import by File menu or drag-drop
  • Import Final Cut Pro X or iMovie libraries
  • Import Premiere Pro Projects (Pro DL Version)
  • Player: Plays most modern video formats, more being added contiuously
  • Fast clip-to-clip movement
  • Multi speed playback, both directions
  • Fullscreen mode
  • Frame accurate timecode display
  • Skimming playhead
  • Set ratings and picked status
  • Collections
  • Can be nested
  • Default collection makes adding clips very fast
  • Keywording with autocomplete and suggestions
  • Freeform metadata
  • Detailed video info display
  • Track and attach licenses and releases
  • Action history
  • Powerful filter based search
  • Search text (includes metadata)
  • Picked status
  • Ratings
  • Keywords, search
  • Resolution
  • Frame rate
  • Directories
  • Collections
  • iMovie libraries
  • Final Cut Pro X libraries
  • Premiere Pro projects
  • License agreements
  • Model releases
  • Imports
  • Playlists
  • Any combination of clip types
  • Clips can repeated
  • Playlists can be fullscreen and loop for a kiosk
  • Export to Final Cut Pro X with keywords and metadata
  • Export to Premiere Pro or After Effects
  • Named markers and in/out points, exported to Final Cut Pro X
  • Transcoding of video clips, in batch.
  • Proxy generation, in batch
  • Trimming clips, in batch
  • Extracting still frames (JPG or PNG), in batch

Announcing Videux – Video Organizer, Player and Workflow Assistant

Videux Play LT: The Play LT version is different in that it includes primarily only the player portion of Videux, along with the ability to pick/cull, rate and sort video. The player includes the same features as the full versions, with multi-speed and fullscreen playback, and skimming playhead. Videux Play LT can be upgraded with in-app purchases to be equivalent to Videux Pro AS. Priced at just $4.99, Videux Play LT is the easiest to use, most enjoyable video player for the Mac.

System Requirements: 64bit Intel Mac running El Capitan, Sierra or later

Pricing and How to Buy:
Videux Pro DL – The full version, available as a download with a 7 day trial:
Videux Pro DL Introductory Pricing $99.99 (USD)

Videux Pro AS – The full App Store version:
Videux Pro AS on the App Store Introductory Pricing $99.99 (USD)

Videux Play LT – The player only version, with in-app purchases
Videux Play LT on the App Store Introductory Pricing $4.99 (USD)

Trailer for “The X-Files, Season 11”

Trailers – I was a fan of The X-Files when it originally aired (1993-2002), and it was generally well received with 8.7/10 on IMDB. The synopsis:

The secret lies in the X-FILES folder. Find out the truth when the X-FILES returns all-new in 2018 on FOX.

This looks interesting and the answers, or at least the questions, are always found in the X-FILES Folder. I’ll be looking for this 10-episode installment in the series sometime in 2018.

macOS New App Release – Human Anatomy Solution

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Product Announcements  – CS Odessa of San Jose, California has released Solution Park, Human Anatomy Solution. The anatomy solution for ConceptDraw PRO allows one to quickly assemble medical diagrams of central and peripheral nervous systems, respiratory system, cardiovascular system, digestive system, endocrine system, reproductive system, urinary system, skeletal system, muscular system, integumentary system, lymphatic system, sensory system, visual system, and immune system.

Many in the medical profession are involved in description and instruction, ConceptDraw PRO with its new paid anatomy solution makes quick work of visually communicating medical information to any audience.

ConceptDraw PRO is well-known for its ability to exchange documents with Microsoft Visio – the de facto standard in business graphics documents. It can open and save documents that can be used by Visio (VSD, VDX and VSDX documents) users. It is supported by the powerful business solutions located in Solution Park, and retails for only US$199 per end user license.

ConceptDraw Office v4 is the third generation suite of ConceptDraw products that uses InGyre4 integration technology to share data between its applications, allowing user to switch gears for different tasks more quickly. It includes ConceptDraw MINDMAP v9, ConceptDraw PROJECT v8, ConceptDraw PRO v11, and the Solution Park with many solutions to power you through difficult and time consuming tasks. The ConceptDraw Office suite is designed for knowledge workers, project managers, managers, and academics. It retails for US$499 and can be purchased directly from CS Odessa or their resellers.

The Human Anatomy libraries and samples are available at for $25 (USD) to users of ConceptDraw PRO v11 and ConceptDraw Office v4, via Solution Park. ConceptDraw products support the latest versions of both Apple macOS and Microsoft Windows. ConceptDraw PRO is a perpetual license with no annual fees associated with it. It is an economical and powerful solution for users.

Review of “The Guns Above”

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Book Reviews – The Guns Above” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Robyn Bennis (http://www.robynbennis.com). This is Ms. Bennis’ first novel and the first in her “Signal Airship” 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 Mature Language. The story is set in another universe where steam is the king of technology. The primary character is Lieutenant Josette Dupre, the first woman to Captain an airship.

Her command is challenged by a doubting crew as well as an untested airship. Her life is further complicated by the foppish aristocrat, Lord Bernat, who has been assigned as an “observer” to her vessel. Clearly he is there to spy on her for his uncle, the general.

While on their shakedown cruise, still evaluating the ship, they are drawn into battle. Led by Dupre, the crew is able to survive, just barely. Dupre finds many ways to make her little airship have a large impact in the battles being fought.

Dupre steps into her shoes as Captain, leading her crew with creative ideas and courage. Her successes reach the press which is why the King had, against tradition, appointed her an Airship Captain. Now, like it or not, she is in a leadership role that some hope will see the military integrated with women in all capacities.

I really enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 352 page Steam Punk Thriller. I enjoyed the characters and the plot. I look forward to further books in this series. The cover art is well chosen. I give this novel a 4.6 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

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

Star Wars Fan Film “Turncoat”

Short FilmsStar Wars – The short (13:30) Star Wars fan film “Turncoat” was published to YouTube in August of 2017 by Optio Productions. The synopsis:

On a distant planet in the Outer Rim, a group of Jedi track down what they believe to be a traitor to the Jedi Order. Their mission, to deal with the conspirator with whatever means necessary.

I thought that this was a pretty good Star Wars fan film. It had well choreographed light saber fight scenes.

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