I like to try out new Mac Apps that I come across. One that I found today is MacLampsX. This one seemed appropriate for the season.
What does it do? it puts a border of Christmas lights and ornaments around the perimeter of your Mac computer screen. It can also simulate snow on the screen.
This is a ‘just for fun’ App. It doesn’t do anything other than bring some Christmas spirit to your display. The App has been around for a few years. At lease since 2005. It has been updated (version 3.0b3) recently enough to run without problem on macOS Big Sur 11.0.1. A few ‘third-party’ downloads are available with add-on bulb types so that you can customize your display.
if you want to make your desktop more of the Holiday season, this is an App you should try.
(See my other macOS related posts) – The name of the latest version of the Mac operating system is Big Sur. The announcement of Big Sur came at WWDC on June 22, 2020. It became available for users to download and install beginning on November 12, 2020.
Big Sur marks a significant change in the macOS. Macs have been running version 10 since March of 2001. This version of the OS moves to version 11.
So what will you find different in Big Sur? There are many incremental changes. The highlights of the improvements in Big Sur are listed below. The reading list provides links to where you can find more detailed information.
A new design – new icons more like those found on iPhone and iPad
Control Center – what you are familiar with on the iPhone and iPad
Improved Finder – more like what you see on iPad Files App
Enhanced Notifications and Widgets – more like iPhone and iPad
Photos – improved editing
Messages – more like what is found on iPhone and iPad
Improved Safari – better performance, Privacy Report, language translation
Maps – more like iPhone and iPad
Support of iPhone Apps (only for Macs with the M1 chip)
Odessa, Ukraine – Xwavesoft today is happy to announce a Back-to-School sale on their entire range of macOS and iOS applications. Starting on August 31, all their applications on Mac and iOS App Stores will be offered at a 60% discount. The range consists of widely known applications, where the most effective productivity techniques are incorporated to help people maximize their time, avoid burnout, and get rid of procrastination.
Acknowledging the worldwide research about Work-Life balance, the Xwavesoft team are excited about the chance to help people manage their time more effectively, and easily align their daily routines in order to achieve better results. These apps increase personal productivity and helps to focus on things that really matter naturally organizing plans, projects, and ideas in a clear way for faster goal achievement.
* Be Focused Pro (Mac) – $4.99 (USD) – now $1.99 (USD)
* Be Focused Pro (iOS) – $1.99 (USD) – now $0.99 (USD)
*Focus Matrix (Mac) – $9.99 (USD) – now $3.99(USD)
* Focus Matrix (iOS)- $4.99 (USD) – now $1.99 (USD)
* Cloud Outliner (Mac) – $9.99 (USD) – now $3.99 (USD)
* Cloud Outliner (iOS) – $2.99(USD) – now $0.99 (USD)
* eXtra Voice Recorder (Mac) – $4.99 (USD) – now $1.99 (USD)
* eXtra Voice Recorder (iOS) – $1.99 (USD) – now $0.99 (USD)
* Chrono Plus (Mac) – $4.99 (USD) – now $1.99 (USD)
* Chrono Plus (iOS) – $1.99 (USD) – now $0.99 (USD)
* Daily Habits (iOS) – $2.99 (USD) – now $0.99(USD)
* Christmas Gift List (iOS) – $2.99 (USD) – now $0.99(USD)
* Guest List Organizer (Mac) – $9.99 (USD) – now $3.99 (USD)
* Guest List Organizer (iOS) – $4.99 (USD) – now $1.99 (USD)
* Top Contacts (Mac) – $9.99 (USD) – now $3.99 (USD)
* Top Contacts (iOS) – $4.99 (USD) – now $1.99 (USD)
* Magic Cutter (Mac) – $9.99 (USD) – now $3.99 (USD)
The discount in the Mac App Store and iOS App Store is valid from Monday, August 31 through Saturday, September 5.
I like this short (11:30) video from MacMost which explains some of the features of Textedit. MacMost uploaded the video to YouTube in April of 2020.
I have used Textedit for years, but I learned a few new things from watching this video. Their tagline for the video is:
TextEdit seems like a simple text editing tool, but it actually has some pretty rich features. You can do things like set document properties, edit code, define and use styles, insert images, audio, and video, and even export HTML documents.
(See my other Tech Tip related posts) – I recently traveled again to Henderson, NV to visit family. I knew that I would be here for a while, so I brought my Mac Mini. Its size and solid-state drive make it easy to travel with.
I have a monitor available at the location I was headed to but I will need a keyboard and mouse. I chose not to bring the keyboard and mouse from my desk at home. I had secured the cables for those under my desk. I brought along instead a generic keyboard. This Windows keyboard works well, but the key layout isn’t the same as my Apple keyboard at home.
The video above is from the suggested Further Reading
There turns out to be a simple solution for this. Remap the keys to the more familiar Mac layout. I followed the procedure outlined in the video. Now the keyboard layout is Mac-friendly and much easier for me to use.
The desire is to remap the Modifier Keys. On a Windows keyboard those keys on the left-hand side are in the order:
Control Command Option
On an Apple keyboard the order is:
Control Option Command
I have been using the Apple keyboard for a decade. It is difficult to change typing behavior. By remapping the Modifier keys my typing becomes more efficient. This also means that I become a fraction more productive.
(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.
I thought that this short video (06:06) from MacMost was a good start to customizing your mail signatures under macOS.
You can actually do far more than that. The Mail signature files for macOS Catalina are found in /Users/[your user ID]/Library/Mail/V7/MailData/Signatures/. This is an HTML file, so you can take advantage of that to further customize your signature.
Select a signature file to customize. Apple’s naming convention for signature files is not intuitive. I recommend that you create a new signature file.
Open Mail then go to Preferences > Signatures > enter “+” to add a new signature
Type in the text you want to appear
Now in your Finder go to /Users/[your user ID]/Library/Mail/V7/MailData/Signatures/. Select the file with today’s date and open it for editing. I use BBEdit for this.
The file is larger than you might expect. Insert the HTML you want for customizing the signature. I added a table with one row and two data fields. The field on the left has artwork, the field on the right now has my text. Save the file.
In Finder select the updated file and Right-Click (or Control-Click) on it. Select “Get Info”. Now click on the “Locked” box. If you do not do this, Mail will overwrite the changes you made to the Signature file.
Now open Mail and you will find the updated signature is ready for use. One of my signatures now looks like the image below. It now identifies the topics I most often post about on my Blog – Mac & iOS, WWII, and Books. Those interests are also reflected in a simple image.
macOS software is now being compiled in a large, cumulative table. Many titles were appearing repeatedly in this list. I think the directory will both take less time for me and provide users with a better way to discover Mac software.
The macOS Software directory is updated frequently and currently contains more than 460 entries. More than 170 of those entries are available for FREE download.
Please give me feedback if this expanded list is valuable to you.
This is NOT a curated list. All I know about these titles is what you see below. None have been tried or tested by me.
Games – Astral World LP is proud to announce the release and availability of The Astral World 1.04 for the iPhone. Technically a fitness application, Astral World puts the typical process far beyond what is accustomed thanks to the augmented reality technologies. Astral World 1.04 is free ans is available worldwide through the App Store in the Games category. Convenient in-app purchases are available. Download from the App Store
Health & Fitness – Independent developer, Nikolay Iliev today is proud to announce the release of Rina 90 Day Diet 1.4.0, an important update to his popular weight loss app developed exclusively for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. 90 Day Diet is a quite simple and functional mobile application that can be used by anyone. Even the persons who never kept a diet in their entire lives can use this user-friendly weight loss app. This app is based on the extremely popular 90 days challenge diet. Rina 90 Day Diet 1.4.0 is Free (With In-App Purchases) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Health & Fitness category.Download from the App Store
Social Networking – Today, Alexandre Colucci is proud to announce the release and immediate availability of Clatters 1.0, an app exclusively designed for the iPhone and iPad. Clatters makes it easy to monitor in one place a brand name, product name or any other keyword on social networks – Twitter, Reddit, HackerNews and even comments on the iOS App Store. Thanks to on-device sentiments analysis, users get insights into the audience emotions and can quickly take actions: retweet, like or reply with a predefined message. Clatters 1.0 is free to download and use. It is available worldwide exclusively through the iOS App Store in the Social Networking category. Clatters Pro unlocks a range of advanced features and is an optional paid subscription. Monthly subscription: $2.99. Yearly subscription: $29.99 (USD). Download from the App Store
Navigation – There is excellent news for truckers across the USA who wish there was a quick and easy way to find trucking jobs! The TruckBook app, launched by California-based TruckBook Inc, is a comprehensive platform for truckers to check and apply to jobs across the country, find real-time information related to maps, routes, roadside assistance, and truck stops. TruckBook: Jobs Maps Repair 2.7 is currently available for Free at the Apple Storeunder the ‘Navigation’. Download from the App Store
Lifestyle – Pixite, Inc. is pleased to announce Zinnia Journal 1.0, the newest in a line of best-in-class creativity apps, is available for pre-order now. Zinnia is a journaling app that incorporates the creativity of a sketch pad with the practical features of Bullet Journaling(R). Zinnia will be a daily companion that will encourage mindful activities such as sketching, planning, collaging, and tracking the things you want to do today and in the future. It’s a great way to document activities with friends, what you’re reading, your daily routine and anything else going on in your life. Zinnia Journal 1.0 will be Free (With In-App Purchases) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Lifestyle category. Zinnia also offers an optional subscription to Zinnia Premium which gives you access to unlimited journals and pages. Download from the App Store
Games – MADFINGER Games has announced that Shadowgun War Games, the latest release in their critically-acclaimed mobile games franchise, is now available on iOS and Android devices. Earlier entries in the series, including Shadowgun, Shadowgun: Deadzone, and Shadowgun Legends, have been enjoyed by 50 million mobile players worldwide. Players can get in on the action by downloading the game from the App Store or Google Play Store today. Shadowgun War Games is now available as a free download on the App Store. Download from the App Store
Games – For those of you who wish to be soccer superstars but find yourself stuck in a rut – OM Entertainment, a company based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, that specializes in games and entertainment – has released a high-octane soccer-themed disc game that will give you the thrill of competing in premier soccer leagues around the world on your smartphone. Fans of Soccer version 1.0.11 is available for Free with In-App purchases on the App Store in the Games category. Download from the App Store
Business – Cynapse is updating Numerics: the KPI dashboard app exclusively designed for the iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Apple Watch – with 2 new cloud service integrations, Teamwork Projects & Jamf Pro. The new version also empowers the Help Scout integration by adding new KPIs to now present stats for chats, phone, docs along with overall company performance.Numerics 6.1 is a universal app for iOS, watchOS, and tvOS. It is available as a free download exclusively on the App Store with many free services including custom data sources like CSV and JSON available for users to track their KPIs. Numerics Pro is an in-app subscription with a monthly and annual option. Pro unlocks access to all integrated services, allows adding of unlimited dashboards & widgets. The in-app Pro subscription comes with a 7-day trial that can be canceled at any time. Download from the App Store
Travel – CrossAxis Inc. is very pleased to announce the release of OodyMate 3.1.1, an update to their social travel app developed for all travelers and foodies. This social travel app provides the opportunity to meet other foodies, anywhere in the world. OodyMate is not an itinerary recommendation app, nor is it a dating app. Female solo travelers with safety concerns can request to meet with other women only. OodyMate 3.1.1 is completely free of charge (free from advertisements) and available worldwide through the App Store in the Travel category. Download from the App Store
Games – Indie game developer, Toward Inc. is proud to announce the release of The Witch’s Forest 1.1.9, an update to the company’s fun-to-play Black Forest casual RPG title for iOS and Android devices. Version 1.1.9 offers minor bug fixes with optimaized performance. Featuring a beautiful and unique graphic design, The Witch’s Forest offers a unique style of gameplay. Players only grow the world tree The forest was beautiful and tranquil due to the World Tree and the witch, the sources of magic. The Witch’s Forest 1.1.9 is Free (With In-App Purchases) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category. Download from the App Store
(See my other macOS related posts) – I have posted about MacMost before. Today I watched this video “12 Things you may not know you can do with Preview”. I had been familiar with some of the abilities of Preview, but I learned a few new things from this video.
For me, I particularly like the ability to merge PDF files and annotate them with highlights and notes. As I write various articles, this is very handy.
Preview has so many abilities that few people are aware of. Instead of buying Apps, Preview often will give you what you need directly from Apple. You just have to take some time to familiarize yourself with the App. MacMost does a good job of that in this video.