Category Archives: Uncategorized

Review of “Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: For Honor”

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Book Reviews – “Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: For Honor” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Jeff Rovin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Rovin). Mr. Rovin has published nearly 50 novels as well as several non-fiction and biographies.

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 ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. At the height of the cold war Russian nuclear weapons were quietly put into place in a remote East Russian fishing village.

Now decades later the Russian military is making a deal to sell the warheads to the Iranians. Op Center steps in to stop the sale. Their efforts are challenged by opposition within the White House and the FBI.

This was an interesting read of 8+ hours for this 352 page thriller. The cover art is OK, but something closer to the story plot would have been better in my opinion. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

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

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macOS New App Release – Duplicate File Finder 5.3

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Product AnnouncementNektony of Odessa, Ukraine has released Duplicate File Finder version 5.3. The application is addressed to those who are looking for the simplest way to remove duplicate content on macOS. Apart from the main option, the app allows users to compare similar folders and merge them, to view duplicates’ removal history and even to select duplicates in bulk.

Usually, computer users may not even guess how many duplicate files exist on their disks and the significant space they take up on hard drives. Manual searching for duplicates is not so easy and takes up so much time. That’s why Duplicate File Finder was created and new useful features for quick organizing and removing duplicates were added. Here are some of them:

  • Select Duplicates in Folder – quickly select duplicates in bulk in particular folders
  • Merge Folders – find similar folders, compare duplicate and unique files in them and merge the content
  • View Duplicates’ Removal History – restore removed duplicates from Trash

All you need do to find duplicates is to add multiple folders or disks and click to start scanning them. In less than in a minute, the app will provide a visual report of all the duplicates found. Moreover, the app can find hidden duplicate files and similar folders. With a wide set of the app’s features, it’s super easy and quick to get rid of unneeded duplicates: cleanup hints, file sorting, file previews, smart autoselect, select/keep options and others.

System Requirements:

  • OS X 10.9 or later
  • 64-bit processor
  • 15.5 MB

Duplicate File Finder 5.3 is Free to download from the Mac App Store and allows the users to remove duplicates files. The Pro version is available with in-App purchase for $4.99 (USD) and allows the users to remove duplicate folders and merge folders.

macOS New App Release – Startup Disk Full Fixer

 

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Product AnnouncementsNektony of Odessa, Ukraine is proud to announce the release of Startup Disk Full Fixer – a freeware app addressed to those Mac users who suffer from low disk space and regularly get annoying popups that “Startup Disk is almost full.” Generally, the first thing most Mac users do is to find and delete the biggest files. In fact, there are dozens of junk files on Mac that you can remove without regret.

Startup Disk Full Fixer allows you to find and remove useless junk files on your Mac: application caches, application logs, web browser caches, iTunes temporary files, Mail downloads, application remains, Xcode junk files.

All you need to free up your disk from junk files is to launch the app, click to Analyze Disk Usage, select the unneeded files, and click to Clean them. Thus, it will take less than a minute to find and get rid of unnecessary service files. The Startup Disk Full app is a small but efficient tool, which helps to free up Startup Disk quickly and safely.

Best strengths

  • See what’s eating up space on Startup Disk
  • Find all junk files on your disk (caches, logs, iTunes temp files, app leftovers)
  • Clean up your disk with a few clicks
  • Speed up your Mac by getting more free disk space
  • Avoid annoying popups about low disk space

System Requirements:

  • macOS 10.13 or later
  • 64-bit processor
  • 4.2 MB

Startup Disk Full Fixer is Free to download and available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Productivity category.

macOS New App Release – Keep It 1.3

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Product AnnouncementReinvented Software of Swansea, United Kingdom has released Keep It 1.3, which adds iCloud folder sharing, PDF annotation, focus on folders, and the ability to edit saved searches, plus improvements to notes, the info view, and more. Keep It is the successor to Together, a brand new app that preserves the very best of its predecessor, but recast for today and the future.

Keep It is a notebook, scrapbook and organizer, ideal for writing notes, saving web links, organizing documents, and finding them again. Available on Mac, iPad and iPhone, Keep It is the destination for all those things you want to put somewhere, confident you will find them again later.

Keep It 1.3 adds iCloud folder sharing, where any top-level folder can now be shared with other Keep It users via iCloud. This version can also focus the sidebar on any folder that contains other folders, bundles or saved searches, hiding all other folders not in the hierarchy, making it ideal for focusing on particular projects.

Keep It 1.3 now allows saved searches to be edited. Complex searches can either be created by combining suggestions in the search field, or both created and edited using a rule-based editor that allows for more options, such as finding all items with dates in a particular period (e.g. the last 7 days), untagged or unlabelled items. In addition, saved searches can now be nested in the folders they target. Saved searches can be created and edited on both Mac and iOS.

It’s now possible to add highlights in a variety of colors to PDF documents, and notes to those highlights. There is a new “Where” line that can be shown in the Info view to see the path of the folder in which an item is stored, along with any bundles that contain the item. When highlighting text in notes, there is now the same choice of highlight colors as in PDFs, and it’s now possible to drag other items to a note to insert a clickable link to the item.

About Keep It:
Pretty much anything can be added to Keep It, including notes, web links, rich and plain text documents, PDFs, images, or any other kind of file, using drag and drop, its share extension, the Services menu, or a browser bookmarklet. Keep It can also create new files of any type from stationery, and uses iCloud to make everything available across your devices and to share folders and items with others.

Keep It has all the organization tools you could need, including folders, tags, colored labels, and bundles. Keep It stores everything you add as files in folders that you can access in the Finder on Mac or the Files app on iOS 11, and open in other apps for editing. Saving files to these folders will automatically add them.

Building on Together, just about everything in Keep It has been improved or streamlined to work consistently across Mac and iOS, while taking advantage of each platform’s unique strengths. Keep It’s innovative tag filter that can drill down through combinations of related tags, and works in conjunction with search, which offers suggestions and makes it easy to combine terms. Keep It for Mac’s Compact Mode reduces the app to a single column, ideal for using as a floating window, or alongside another full screen app in split view, as you would on iPad.

Keep It for Mac 1.3 requires macOS 10.12 Sierra or later, and is available as a 15-day trial. A license for Keep It for Mac costs $49.99 (USD), and will include all Keep It Version 1.x updates. Together 3 users can purchase a $24.99 upgrade, or get a free copy if Together 3 was purchased during its final 6 months on sale. Keep It is also available on the Mac App Store, also with a free trial, and a choice of one-time purchases to buy Keep It, upgrade from Together, along with monthly or yearly subscriptions. Keep It for iPad and iPhone is available separately with either monthly ($1.49) or yearly ($9.99) subscriptions.

macOS New App Release – Create Booklet 2.0.1

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Product Announcements – TheKeptPromise of Ratingen, Germany has released Create Booklet 2 (v2.0.1), their new Mac application. Create Booklet 2 has some big shoes to fill following its 5-star predecessor “Create Booklet.” Create Booklet 2 goes beyond what the pro market offered so far, while putting even more emphasis on user-friendliness. The idea behind this software solution is simple: Bringing professional booklet printing to everybody’s homes, even grandma’s and grandpa’s.

“We are very pleased to provide our clients with a tool which fulfills all the needs concerning booklet creation and printing and is yet very simple to use,” said Christoph Vogelbusch, CEO of TheKeptPromise. “We have extremely loyal customers, as Create Booklet goes far beyond what competitors offer. Yet we still had feature-requests and customers being overwhelmed with the complex topic of booklet creation. Create Booklet 2 is the answer to all those emails, it satisfies your every booklet need.”

To satisfy the pro users, Create Booklet 2 makes use of PDF boxes, allowing custom impositions and much much more. The Team is proud to open Booklet printing to everybody with these 3 key features:

1. Onboarding:
Creating the booklet comes with a few surprises: Pages should be a multiple of 4, the page size should be half of the paper you use and best of all you can write your favorite booklet in any app you love. Create Booklet 2’s onboarding gets customers up to speed before they run into any surprises. It gives all the information they need to feel comfortable and gives them their first booklet: The help of Create Booklet 2 itself as a booklet. During this onboarding, the app is also testing the printer to make sure that it’s smooth sailing from here on out and even the first booklet is instantly printed perfectly.

2. Presets:
On the quest of making the app as user-friendly as possible, TheKeptPromise introduced presets to Create Booklet 2. It makes even complicated booklets as easy as 1-2-3

1 Load PDF
2 Select a preset
3 Print

“Select a preset by us or create your own. We are sure presets will be loved by all: beginners and pros.” said CEO Christoph Vogelbusch. “Since presets make everything easy, Create Booklet 2 even includes a preset for a real book. Print, glue – done!”

3. Automatic warning system:
Create Booklet 2 has an automatic warning system. When you allow this many settings, things can go wrong. As soon as the program senses that something could be off with printing the booklet, it draws the user’s attention to the problem – before printing of course. Furthermore, Create Booklet 2 is not just drawing the user’s attention to the problem but also suggests ways of solving the problem.

The user-friendly approach is well received by the customers:
* “OMG! This is about the best and most valuable utility I have found in a loooong time. Finally I can create and print booklets from within Quark XPress without having to pay a fortune for their Printcollection XTension. Thank you so much!!!” – Guido Henke

* “Wow. I wish this existed years ago, or that I’d known about it. […]. Thank YOU. ” – Mark

* “THANK YOU for Create Booklet! I have used it several times now to print out playbills for my children’s various school plays, and it has been an absolute lifesaver.” – William W. Lin

* “I came across this site, and it was almost like a Christmas miracle 😉 Thanks so much for making and sharing Create Booklet. It works perfectly and really helped me out.” – Dan

* “This Create Booklet may just save my wedding :)” – Tim

* “Create Booklet is simply amazing. Drop dead simple to use and the results are perfect.” – Nate

Features:

  • Single click Presets like: Standard Booklet, Mini/Micro Booklet, Music Sheet and Simplified Book
  • Advanced Settings: Find anything you need and finetune Create Booklet for your product
  • Custom Presets: Create your own Presets for your daily use. You can even mark it as default in the Preferences
  • Booklet Factory: Process many booklets automatically. Apply the same presets to all or individual ones to each PDF
  • Mini Booklet Imposition: Design complex impositions, based on how your booklets should be on the big sheet of paper (We support fold and cut as well as cutting the full stack of paper)
  • Manual Duplex: You don’t have a duplex printer? Then this is the App for you
  • Booklet Factory: Convenient batch procession built-in.
  • Create a booklet from any app: Our PDF Service lets you print directly into Create Booklet
  • Export your booklet to a new PDF
  • Instantly print from Create Booklet
  • Online Help: Included documentation for the most common problems
  • Select output print format and orientation
  • Autocreate output paper size form the input document
  • Decide which PDF boxes are used as media and as crop box
  • Scale Pages based on fitting OR the input size
  • Fine adjust and layout your PDF to the final output size
  • Reverse booklet page order (allows right to left documents usage!)
  • Print pages in straight order, necessary in some specific use cases
  • Support for auto-rotation of landscape pages
  • Add page numbers with positioning and font settings
  • Split thick booklets into multiple thin ones or to create a book
  • Easily find booklet splits: Create Booklet adds an empty page in between
  • Creep compensation! Shift content to the inside so you can cut off the paper stand out
  • Easily staple booklets: Create Booklet adds staple marks on the first and last page
  • Rasterize complete PDF documents. Can save corrupted PDFs
  • Add a PDF crop box
  • Print cut marks onto the first sheet of paper or all
  • Create your own custom Imposition in our Mini Booklets feature
  • Preview your cut guides before you print
  • Direct PDF editing:
  • Add Empty pages
  • Add images
  • Add complete PDFs
  • Reorder pages
  • Remove unneeded pages
  • Split landscape pages into two portrait ones
  • Rotate pages

Supported Languages: English, German, French, Italian and Portuguese

System Requirements:

  • macOS 10.10 Yosemite or higher
  • 64-Bit Processor
  • Family Sharing
  • Rated 4 +
  • 36 MB of disk space

Create Booklet 2 (v2.0.1) is $19.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Utilities category.

macOS New App Release – Yummy FTP Pro 2.0

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Product Announcements – Yummy Software of Verwood, United Kingdom has released Yummy FTP Pro 2.0, a major upgrade to their flagship file transfer app. Yummy FTP Pro is an advanced Mac file transfer app which provides a full-featured professional toolkit combined with blazing speeds and impeccable reliability, so whether you want to transfer a few files or a few thousand, schedule backups, edit and maintain websites, even automate transfers, you need this time-tested and truly dependable app.

Why use Yummy FTP Pro?

  • Get the fastest and most reliable file transfers available on the Mac
  • Schedule one off or repeating transfer or folder synchronization tasks
  • Manage websites with file management, editing, diff, preview, & sync tools
  • Create FTP drop folders on your Desktop for quick and easy uploading
  • Get frequent free maintenance + feature updates
  • Fast and free technical support when you need it

Feature Highlights

  • Full FTP/S + SFTP + WebDAV/S protocol support
  • Easy-to-use, clear and simple user interface
  • Site Bookmark manager with auto sync across Macs
  • Comprehensive logging of all actions taken
  • Bandwidth limiting to play nice in a shared network
  • Directly open and view local and remote folders in the Terminal
  • File/folder filtering to allow specific exclusions or pattern matches
  • Get notifications, OS-style or even by email
  • Import favorites from your old app to be up and running in no time

Version 3 includes :

  • Retina-focused UI overhaul with streamlined local/remote file browser design
  • New navigation path bar, drag’n drop-enabled with integrated favorites, history
  • Spring-loaded folders in file browsers
  • Drag’n-drop reordering of queued transfer tasks
  • Added Open WebURL & Open In Terminal toolbar buttons
  • New toolbar icons
  • New secure in-app updates using industry standard Sparkle
  • New transcript view to view the selected session’s server interaction
  • New log viewer to easily inspect every detail of every action
  • New interactive & informative notifications, plus a complete history lookup
  • New standalone FTP Aliases work without any Yummy app installed
  • And much more

System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.8 or later

Yummy FTP Watcher 2.0 costs $29.99 (USD) and is available directly from Yummy Software only. Upgrades cost $15 (USD). Customers who purchased v1 directly from Yummy Software since 1st Dec 2017 can obtain a free upgrade.

macOS New app Release – XEffects Rips Plugins for Final Cut Pro

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Product Announcements – FxFactory of Boston, Massachusetts has released a new set of Final Cut Pro X plugins called XEffects Rips. Developed by partner Idustrial Revolution, the plugins emulate the ripping of paper, separating the media into two halves with a photorealistic edge. The pack consists of effects and titles for single clips and transitions to rip between clips.

“We wanted to develop a plugin that would offer realistic looking rips and tears within Final Cut Pro X. It’s a look many graphic designers will be familiar with and we wanted to make that great style available to video editors inside FCPX” said Peter Wiggins, plugin developer at Idustrial Revolution. “We put a lot of effort into our plugins making them easy to use with a couple of clicks. However, we also believe in flexibility, hence we try to publish as many of the custom controls possible so that editors can tweak the look of the plugin to exactly what they want”.

The rip has onscreen controls for direction and rotation and the rip itself can be positioned using X & Y controls and rotated to any angle. Each plugin comes loaded with a choice of 10 different edges which can be adjusted for edge width, colour and offset.

Features:

  • All Transitions, Effects & Title Plugins work with video or images
  • Control tear direction and paper tear angle
  • Onscreen controls for paper tear angles
  • Position tear anywhere in frame using X and Y controls
  • 10 different edges to choose from
  • Control depth of edge and edge offset
  • Add a drop shadow to outgoing or incoming tear
  • Make multiple tears using Compound Clips
  • Control speed of tear
  • Pin sharp results even in 4K FCPX timelines

Idustrial Revolution’s designers and editors have been at the forefront of using Apple technology and software in creating content for broadcasters, corporate users and videographers. They have been successfully producing products for Final Cut Pro for over 11 years.

XEffects Rips is distributed through FxFactory online. It is being launched at a discounted price of $39 (USD) for one week until the 1st March 2018. Normal price $49 (USD).

macOS New App Release – Process Flowcharts Solution for ConceptDraw PRO

Product Announcements – CS Odessa of San Jose, California has released Process Flowcharts Solution for ConceptDraw PRO, the new samples and library objects expand a set of tools and features for ConceptDraw PRO to allow users to accurately diagram business process scenarios.

The new Process Flowcharts solution makes it even easier to represent the transferring of data, documents, and tasks during the performance of a business process. It is not an easy task to trace the path of a task or a document. To make easier the study and analysis of business processes and for presenting them in a simple visual manner, process flowcharts are often used. With the help of a flowchart, it is possible to see the path of the task in as it relates to the overall process, the person who is responsible for execution at each stage, which documents are associated with the task and identified resources that are required for implementation. Knowing this it becomes possible to discover its inherent weak points and to optimize a process flow.

The new edition of Process Flowcharts Solution includes the CH-1 Business Process Modeling Notation to graphically describe the steps of a business process and is available in Solution Park at no charge to owners of ConceptDraw PRO v11.

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 users.

ConceptDraw PRO is supported by the powerful business solutions located in the Solution Park and is compatible with Apple macOS and Microsoft Windows. It retails for only US$199 per end user license and is included in ConceptDraw Office v4 which retails for US$499.

macOS New App Release – Currency Assistant 3.2.9

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Product Announcements – MaBaSoft of Milano, Italy has released Currency Assistant 3.2.9, the latest version of their currency converter for macOS. Currency Assistant allows users to easily calculate conversions between 174 world currencies (all major circulating currencies plus the 19 Eurozone legacy currencies) and updates exchange rates automatically over the Internet. Version 3.2.9 introduces two new currencies, the new Mauritanian ouguiya (MRU) and the new São Tome and Príncipe dobra (STN), and fixes a minor bug.

Currency Assistant is a very flexible currency converter; users can define multiple conversion windows which can contain up to 24 currencies. Converters are very easy to set up or edit and have an Action pop-up menu to quickly accomplish recurrent tasks, a Rate pop-up menu to view and copy exchange rates, and a tape in a drawer to log results.

With Currency Assistant users can quickly calculate conversions to multiple currencies and automatically convert the result of expressions. In addition to that, multiple amounts can be copied from a spreadsheet or another document and pasted to the desired input display: Currency Assistant will automatically convert the pasted amounts and log results in the tape. Finally, Currency Assistant can import text files, Word documents, and text clippings containing series of amounts and automatically convert the enclosed values.

Working with results is also very easy. Amounts can be copied from a display or from the tape, conversions can be exported by dragging them from the tape to a document in another application, and the tape can be saved to a RTF or plain text file and printed. Moreover, configurable Copy Special commands allow users to copy results including ISO code, currency name, or symbol and quickly copy frequently used text snippets containing conversion results, ISO codes, currency names, and symbols.

Managing currencies is simple and straightforward with Currency Assistant. The Currencies window allows users to quickly search, sort, edit, batch edit, and restore currencies, set a base currency, and automatically update exchange rates. Currency Assistant uses the rates published by the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Bank of Italy to automatically update exchange rates.

Language Support: US English, German, French, Dutch, and Italian

System Requirements: macOS 10.6, 10.7, 10.8, 10.9, 10.10, 10.11, 10.12, or 10.13 (High Sierra)

Currency Assistant 3.2.9 is now 50% off and available for just $8.95 (USD) for new users or $4.95 (USD) for Euro Assistant Pro registered users from the website. Version 3.2.9 is a free update for registered version 3 users. Site and world-wide licenses are also available.

Keyboard Shortcuts – Paste and Match Style

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One of the Keyboard Shortcuts that I use on a regular basis is “Paste and Match Style”. The shortcut for this is CMD + OPT + SFT + v

What it does is past the content of the clipboard but drops any formatting and uses the format of the location where you are pasting the text. In other words it strips any formatting from the text and applies the formatting of the destination.

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I find this very useful when I am copying and pasting text from reference articles into an article that I am writing, or into an email that I am writing. In the example above using standard Paste and Paste and Match Style are shown in Yellow highlight.


Read my other macOS and Keyboard Shortcut articles