Posts Tagged ‘ software ’

Easily rename files – NameChanger

There is a wide selection of file name changing tools of which several are very powerful but of course also cost money. They are worth it if you need to do batch renaming very often and need quite complex options.

I do file renaming not very often – maybe once a month – and I don’t need any complicated algorithms. Just for things like renaming all images from my camera from ‘IMG0012’ to ‘image_0012’. Very simple. And luckily there is just the right Application for me: NameChanger.

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New free text editor – Tincta

Tincta text editor icon

The History (skip if you want)

A long time ago everyone on the Mac was using Smultron. Smultron was a really Mac like text editor written in Cocoa. It was easy to use, had all the important text editing features and was free. However after version 3 Smultron was abandoned (yet buggy) by its developer. This year with the start of the App Store Smultron 4 returned as a commercial product for 5 Dollars but has lost all the things that once made it valuable, especially the all-in-one-window design but also features like split views. So for me it was no longer an option to use and I had switched to TextWrangler though that never became a happy relationship.

The interesting part

So much more pleasantly surprised I was when I discovered “Tincta“. Tincta is a new free text editor released some time this summer. But despite being still in the 1.x version numbers it already is a very mature editor. It is a one-window app and has a very similar design as the old Smultron, Kod (also an interesting editor but still in version 0.x) and most other modern OS X Apps. All your open documents are displayed in a sidebar so you can easily switch between them (which I prefer over the tab design in Kod). Continue reading

Cooler Computing – smcFanSpeed

It’s summer and it’s getting hot. If you use a MacBook you know what this means. It’s 30 degree and you have an aluminum brick on your lap that heats up to over 65 degree (Celsius!) and finally you have to stop working because your palms are melting and glue to your MacBook.

I started using a little tool called smcFanSpeed about a week ago. This allows you to set the minumum fan speed of any MacBook. The idea is to prevent your MacBook from getting hot.

It even allows to set different fan speed profiles and can automatically switch profiles when you switch from power to battery.
smcFanSpeed runs in your menu bar and displays the current fan speed and temperature – and it is free.

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Learning foreign languages – Papapapaya

I have decided to refresh my French language skills. I already had French in school for seven years so I know the grammar and don’t want to go to class again. I just need to learn more words so I was looking for a vocabulary training app.

There are several applications that promise to help you. (Just ignore all those iPhone ports in the App Store – you know them by their names which usually are “Learn Chinese”, “Learn Inuit”, etc). I wanted something flexible and Mac like.

Finally I found Papapapaya (sic!) which is a quite powerful vocabulary trainer but easier to use than the competition (like ProVoc that I found way to complicated).

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Easily edit audio – Macsome Audio Editor Review

Sometimes you need to edit audio files like when you want to split a recording from your iPhone or if you have some digital copies of your old vinyl records.

Macsome has several audio applications for all purposes like copying from your iPod, conversion of different formats or recording audio. I want to tell you about two products that are free: Audio Editor and Audio Splitter.

Audio Editor shows you the wave form of any audio file and allows you to crop or delete certain parts. You can also add fade in and out effects. This is usefull if you want to trim a recording.

Audio Splitter can split any audio file into several parts. You can either specify the length of the parts or the number of parts you want to get. Unfortunately there is no option to automatically split at silent locations so you can’t automatically split your old Beatles vinyl recording…

Anyway both tools are free and fine for quick and dirty editing. I do audio editing only about twice a year it’s not worth it but if you if you need something more professional you might want to try out  Sound Studio (€45) or Amadeus Pro ($40).


Product: Audio Editor / Splitter
Price: Free
Requirements: Mac OS 10.4 (Editor) Mac OS 10.5 (Splitter)

Finally my MacBook can sleep – PleaseSleep

Almost since the biginning that I have my MacBook (Al, 2009, 2.4 Ghz Core 2 Duo) I have had problems with sleep mode. My MacBook just won’t sleep when left alone (closing the lid works fine) so often when I come back my battery is fully drained. I have tried everything.

Now finally today I found a tool that’s called ‘PleaseSleep‘. It runs in the menu bar and it forces the Mac to sleep when it should. It reads out the Energy Settings and there is nothing to set up. Best of all it’s free but I think I will donate some money for solving a problem Apple could not solve…

App: PleaseSleep
Price: Free (Donationware)
Requirements: Mac OS 10.5 [update thanks to Martin: 10.3] and a sleeping problem (you don’t need it if your system works…)

Time for a break – Time Out

When I’m working (or playing) very concentrated on my Mac I easily forget time. And often I find myself sitting in a very unergonomic position for over 2 hours, so when I finally get up my back and my shoulders and my neck don’t feel very healthy. I think this is a general problem of using Computers, especially if you have to use them at work (and who doesn’t?).
I think it would be much better for my body and my concentration if I’d do 10 minutes of exercise, relaxing or eating a snack every hour.

So went on a search to find an App that reminds me to take breaks. I didn’t find the perfect one but I found three very promising apps that I want to introduce to you. And hopefully one of them just fits your needs.

Time Out
Time Out is what I am using now. You can freely set up how often you want to take a break (for example every 45 minutes) and how long it should last (for example 10 minutes). It is also recommended to take Micro Breaks every 10-15 minutes lasting only 1-2 minutes just to relax your eyes.

When it’s time for a break Time Out dims and blocks your screen. This is a quite rude approach, but actually I need to be pushed to take a break. So this is perfect for me. But it is also possible to postpone the break by 5-10 minutes if you’re in such a good flow at the moment. [oh, time for a break now. I’ll get some coffee now]
Yet Time Out has no option to run in the menu bar and you can not disable it without quitting. But there is a new version 2 coming up  which may have such features.

At the moment Time Out is free – with the release of version 2 there will be three versions (free, normal and pro).

Be Healthy
Be Healthy works similar to Time Out but runs in the menu bar. Anyway it won’t count breaks if you don’t pause for the full time. So if you return to work early it will remind you again much sooner which is a bit annoying in my opinion.

Be Healthy is free, too.

Drink has a bit another aim. It reminds you to drink enough since that is another thing you easily forgetwhen you are working. Drink displays a glass icon in your menu which empties over time, representing how your real glass on your desk should look like. When it’s empty it will remind you to refil it. Of course you can use this as a break reminder as well and think of the water glass as a coffee cup. (And on weekends you can use it as a drinking game 🙂 )

Drink costs $3.99 .

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