I'm always so pleased when I find a way round some exasperating computer problem that I thought I'd share my moments of triumph ...

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Five nice apps for your Mac

Five incredibly useful applications, I use them all the time. Free or worth the low cost.
  • Thunderbird (free) - A free open source email client from Mozilla that's streets ahead of Mail imho.
  • VLC Player (free but donate) - I expect you know this. Play music without all the total domination of iTunes, play almost any format video file.
  • Airfoil ($25) - if you don't have Airplay on your Mac, Airfoil does the biz. Plug your iPhone or iPod into your radio, speakers, whatever, and transmit whatever you're playing on your Mac to the radio, speakers etc.
  • TotalFinder ($18) - Finder windows open in tabs, just like in Chrome or FireFox. Yes, Mavericks does that too, but I prefer the upward tabs to Maverick's downward ones as in Safari. Also the Mavericks version seems more complicated and less intuitive. Folders on top of the file list, just like in Windows (ssss...) Easily show system files ...
  • Web Snapper (£10.49) - Capture web pages as pdf files (or a range of other formats), just as you see them on the screen.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Time Machine - change backup interval

Time Machine can be a life saver - but do you really need backups every hour? I've got a big external hard drive and it really slows my Mac down when it starts its backups, always at the most inconvenient time.

Change the frequency! It's easy. There are two little applications that will let you do this, such as -

TimeMachineEditor (free).
Reviews say this is very easy to use (it is, I have) but there are some warnings - if your Time Machine backup drive is not available or if Time Machine is turned off you get confusing warning messages.

TimeMachineScheduler (donate).
Reviews - this one scores better than TimeMachineEditor, but there seem to be more problem reported.

Or, you can open Time Machine preferences and switch it to Off - but remember to switch it on again at intervals.