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This week I have been getting stuck into the programming and learning about things like the if else , for and while loops and I dare say that for most listeners it would not be that interesting.

I have though during the last couple of days been trying to work out how to do for free – what I demonstrated in the last quick tips video screencast – In which I was using Hazel – A paid app – I made an automation of separating audio tracks and converting to AIFF ready for Amadeus Pro – I want to do as a free option as in using the tools we get free with Mac OSX.
That means Automator or AppleScript

With these there a few flavours of automation. You have folder actions, services, workflows, automator actions and the ability to save workflows as Applications.


The folder action is good when you want to drop files in folder and things will happen to them as if by magic. The Applications obviously can be used to open a file and do something with it
Services are workflows that you can get to from an application such as with finder with a right click on a file and the contextual menu will have the services that are applicable to that file or files.
You can also get to the services from the application menu item and again it give you the services that are available to that application.

Services was a new concept with Snow leopard and is trying to make automation all the more accessible. Then there is AppleScript – which can be run separate or can be included in an automator work flow or runs as an application.

Leon Walsh

In this episode of the Mac20Q Podcast I am pleased to say I was talking to a really decent chap from Southport in England. he works for an Australian company which is pretty marvellous seeing as he is based in the UK. Ah the power of the internet! After studying computer science he went on to work indirectly for Apple at an Apple reseller, fixing hardware and also working in sales. So Leon Walsh surely knows his way around the Mac.

We chat about how great the iPhone is and he tells me that his could be surgically implanted because he makes so much use of the device. he has plans to buy a iPad when he makes a trip to the US in June. Leon tells me that he has his iPhone jail broken and will be using the iPhone to provide the connectivity for the iPad when he gets it also. Seems like a good plan that, saves having to have multiple data plans to serve the various devices he wants to use. Having said that though he may buy one of the MiFi devices from the UK Mobile phone company ’3′ and jail break that as I have recently done because it could be extra useful when he is travelling to his place in Spain.

A favourite application of Leon’s is iTunes because all that you can do with it. I mention in my ramble too about how you can increase its functionality further by getting scripts from the . I do that as part of my ramble about automating things with things like Automator, AppleScript and Hazel.

Leon and i talk for quite a while because as usual it is a friendly chat about using Macs generally and covering things like best free application, most expensive application and so on. Leon tells me that he loves using Garageband and also Logic because he is a keyboard player and a bit of a musician.


Learning iPhone programming.


In the ramble I talk about how I made my first iPhone application, simple but I think an important first baby step of many steps in the process of becoming an iPhone and iPad developer. I was so delighted, I did a little dance because it took me a couple of attempts with the tutorial, I learned a few things on the way including the fact that a step had been missed out and I was lucky to spot in an accompanying picture on the site.

Do you have any suggestions for me to try to make for the iPhone or iPad? It could take me a long time but I do plan to eventually make it to the heady heights of Mac and iPhone developer. I have a couple of ideas already but more is always good.


Evernote has a new version of the application for the iPad and iPhone and many of the improvements are shown off It has improved tagging – keywording facilities. If you are not using tagging in your applications that support them then I suggest that you get into it. Last podcast I was waxing lyrical about how they were so useful within iPhoto, especially when combined with Smart folders

Comments or questions are welcome.

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YouTube - YourMacCast_s Channel.pngDennis is a firefighter he has 2 iPads one for himself and one for his wife, an iMac and has a MacBookPro that he has recently bought. and likes the Wacom Tablet instead of always using the mouse., She is a bit stubborn and has not switched yet but maybe in time. Listens to the MacGeek Gab podcast, loves Don MacAllister. Also appreciates what a good podcast Adam Christianson makes and has got into podcasting himself. Like to pass on tips to make users and likes to use ScreenFlow same as I do. He gets his wife to drive everywhere so he can sit in the passenger seat reading on the

Dennis makes the podcast , a wealth of information for Mac users

He gets questions he doesn’t know the answers to but is not afraid to ask questions, he uses Skitch to grab screens and work with Screensteps the app that Allison Sheridan loves to use. Denis likes to use Things on the iPad and Circus ponies NoteBook

Notational Velocity and Simple note as per Merlin Mann and his ideas about how to take notes. I think a good idea is to spread tasks to certain applications so that you pigeon hole the task on the computer and help avoid information overload. Dennis is a big fan of PathFInder and will be talking about organising files and folders.

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Ben Straw is a fellow podcaster on the Tech Podcasts Network and has a Mac Mini with a G4 processor and is short on RAM because he is worried about opening up the beast to change the RAM and possibly breaking the case. This is despite him being a get your hands dirty type of geek that swaps out parts and makes a Dell into a Hackintosh. For example he changed the network card in the Dell and also the video card to be able to get the MacOS working.

Only changed to the Mac properly as he was a Windows fan up until about a year ago. He did have contact with Macs in 2003 with a Bluberry iMac which was sold through Ebay before getting any use from Ben. He tried a previous Hackintosh but was unsuccessful but now for the last 7 months or so has running OSX. Ben even produces a and it doesn’t make much difference to his approach to the podcast.

Ben has been with Mac OSX long enough now that he finds it confusing to go back to Windows. He was telling me that he was very untidy in the way he arranges his files on the desktop and all over the place. The audio connections baffle Ben for how it works and how is able to record with his Heil PR20 mic connected to a Yamaha mixer. We talked microphones and I told him about my Behringer B2 studio mic I use for the podcasting and the mixer and also about the Shure SM58 which get used with the Canon Vixia camera.

Ben is planning to make a video podcast at some time and is finishing up with a tech based podcast he has been doing moving on to a podcast that he will do with a friend that is a truck driver. It will be stories and tales from the road. His mate is a hoot that loves talking so should be a fun podcast.

Terminator surprisingly gets a mention in the podcast – ‘I’ll be Back’ Automator and Applescript are not part of the staple diet for Ben, he found it a bit fiddly to use. Talking about tagging of files I mention MetaX which is an application that will tag video files.

He gets his Blackberry filled with podcasts and music by bringing in content with an RSS feed reader, and tells me how Windows media player messed things up with bring in some of his music.
Most expensive application he has is CS3 for Photoshop and uses an application that works out colour. The first things that he would put on a new machine would be TinyGrab which is a screenshot application that would be similar to Skitch. Ben also has to have Skype on his Mac along with Text Expander. I like Text Expander too and I have recently upgraded to the latest version. Ben likes to use Textexpander to do some automatic spell checking.

DropBox gets a recommendation, which I wholeheartedly agree with. Filezilla has hot been working as well as he would like so I suggested that he might try Cyberduck for FTP file transfer.
Bens’ Twitter usage gets the Tweetie application and he has recently found it to be not functioning as well as he would like, but prefers if because he doesn’t like Adobe Air applications like Tweetdeck. Memory sucking pile of rubbish, but II have been using Tweetdeck because it has so much more in the way of facilities.

Ben uses GarageBand for his podcasting and has made about 80 podcasts on his Mac. He does other creating things with the Mac too like images creating in Photoshop.

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Got talking to Damian who is a developer and uses his MacBook Pro for work. 24 inch monitor connected either when at work or when at home. Seems to be working for much of the time and has not had chance to get to play with the MacBook and have fun with iLife.

He is from South Shields on Tyneside near to Newcastle in the UK. I have been to that area recently and it is a great place to live. My brother has been  living there for quite a few years and shows no signs of leaving either.

Damian told me about EventBox and it looks quite interesting but I am able to get to more social networks through Ping.FM which I don’t have to pay for.

Have a look at the ScreenFlow page because that is the software I use to make screencasts. Excellent software for capturing and editing video. I think it is the best screen capture software I have tried. I have used iShowU and another one can’t remember the name of but ScreenFlow is the best by a long way.

I have been trying to work out how to join some .mov files together using Automator. Manually I select what is in the 2nd file and past at the end of file one. the do the same with subsequent files. Got to be a way to automate the process.

I did get an AppleScript from DavidBCohen which sort of did the job but made too many tracks. With four files I got 8 tracks and that led to more work and inefficiency. In the mean time I found a few resources for learning AppleScript and Automator. .