Interview with a Best Selling author – David Hewson

Since the first Nic Costa title, A Season for the Dead, appeared in 2003 the series has grown a book a year, and spread to some twenty different languages around the world including Japanese, Thai, French, Spanish and Italian. It has won multiple plaudits including, most recently the American Library Association award for Best Mystery of 2008 for the sixth book, The Garden of Evil and was on the shortlist for the Theakston prize for Crime Novel of the Year.

David talks to me about using his MacBook Air which he will carry with him when he is traveling. He likes to use the excellent Scrivener software and the his other favourite is MacJournal. He is not a fan of the iPhone and has an Android phone on which he uses the task manager Remember the Milk.

He can’t decide whether to keep using Mobile Me, but likes Dropbox and Evernote. The fact that you can use Dropbox to have your files available to you while you are out and about.

He treats writing as a job or profession and works 5 days a week writing. I found out about him because I have on my shelf the book , which is of the NicCosta series. I have not read the earlier books but I don’t think it will matter in terms of needing to know what went on before. One of his early book has been made into a film

David talks about how he went to Italy, learned the language and writes about italians in Italy rather than writing about an English man in Rome, His books are translated into Italian as well as about 20 other languages and he says that the italians love his books too. He likes to choose an area and go there and walk the streets, visit the cafes and talk to people to get the feel for the place where he will be setting the story. His book The Garden of Evil won Mystery of the year.

Since the first Nic Costa title, , appeared in 2003 the series has grown a book a year, and spread to some twenty different languages around the world including Japanese, Thai, French, Spanish and Italian. It has won multiple plaudits including, most recently the American Library Association award for Best Mystery of 2008 for the sixth book, and was on the shortlist for the Theakston prize for Crime Novel of the Year.

Mac20Q Podcast 44 Chris Foley

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Chris has a company called and that’s his name of twitter too. he creates web pages so has to use Windows just for testing the web pages in the versions of IE
When editing sound uses Logic and we discuss Garageband.
Chris likes to use Pages as much as possible, has Office to be able to get into xl spreadsheets and has been known to play sudoku on the iPhone
Like me Chris is really impressed with the GPS on the iPhone, thinks it is great to see yourself as that little blue dot walking down the street.
He has bootcamp set up and also VM fusion – always amazes clients to see Mac and Windows on the same machine.

The browser gets a mention for its super blogging tools built in and it is all in the sidebar – Facebook included which is normally a time sucking vortex. Easy to see  when things have been updated without having to go to the Facebook site. A Tweetie user on the Mac and on the iPhone and Seesmic gets a mention too.
Chris is a guitar player and has a covers band uses Garageband a lot to share ideas and is into Photography has a Nikon D90 digital SLR camera. personally I think that Aperture doesn’t need the faces and places extras from iPhoto, not really in keeping with the professional photographer needs, although he uses iTunes professionally
Finds Garageband to be great to use really easy  to make music with.
Time Machine is the best thing since sliced bread says Chris, he also use Carbon copy Cloner and
He has 14 drives do back things up with – Wow what a lot of drives. every 60 days will wipe the Time machine drive and starts again. Will not recommend Time Capsule because other things happening on the network like streaming from an Apple TV or a NetFlix thing will lead to corrupt back ups.
is a favourite application and would like to have this built in to Apple’s iCal
NetNewsWire  is the bees knees of an RSS reader likes the way it is synchronised so only has to look at a post once and have all the news aggregated in one place.
Apple J in iTunes gives you the show options and you can have more information in front of  you. Like if you want to mark tracks for whatever reason – comment and notes too
Chris rents movies from iTunes now and then.
iPhone favourite app is and Scrabble, Chris also uses Mobile Me user and likes having all stuff synces through the cloud, he uses the public folder rather than have to use FTP


This week in Photography TWIP – listens and goes out shooting too at same time
Mac Os Ken

On writes an ezine every month about tech things to do with the Mac
Recommended web sites

Reads Mac Life from the magazine good for tips
Like myself Chris loves and uses it to create web sites for clients

Mac20Q Podcast 38 Adam Christianson

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When I switched to the Mac more than 4 years ago the first podcast I started listening to was the .  I love the layout of the show with the news, application reviews,  tips and the music at the end of the show.

He truly covers it all in his podcasts and is really knowledgeable about the Mac as he has been with a Mac for so long.

I see that he is even called upon in the old media in his local to comment on things happening that are tech. Lately he has been going to events like MacWorld and interviewing people there. Excellent for those of us that can’t get to events like Macworld. Mind you, you never know I might get there one day.

In the podcast we talk about what he uses in his podcasting set up – Alesis IO14 mixer and DBX286A pre amp processor to get rid of the hum from electrical things, such an item would cost about 250 dollars.

He has a Snow flake mic but that would be his main mic but is great for when you are on the move as it is light and small.
Adam is an iWork user but at work will use MS office. One of his sponsors is Circus pony and the  notebook application, of course he mentioned that during theinterview but tells me that he will use Omini Outliner to build his show note for the podcast because he has been using for a long time and because it builds it out to a  html page, makes it nice and easy for his workflow.

Adam also uses Evernote  and we talk about the cross functionality in applications and getting the right thing for the job, or using a combination of applications sometimes.

Net News Wire is one of his favourite apps and he thinks that Neo Office is fabulous.
As part of his day job making web pages Adam has to sometimes use VM ware with IE to be able to test web sites – also has Crossover.
We got talking about web standards and how some developers do a poor job of sticking to the standards and end up with web sites that won’t run on some browsers like Safari.
Adam had proved that he can produce a finished video with a sound track and transitions  ready to be published out to the web in a lunch hour. Isn’t amazing what you can do with iMovie.

Has used Time machine back up to move stuff across to a iMac from a G5 machine and is a firm believer in making back ups as am I

Other favourites
Textexpander, Feeder for the RSS feed I mentioned Jumpcut
Flight control, Cool iris and 1password were all favourites on the iPhone
Things for GTD

Favourite Podcasts
Mac OS ken – Extra life radio  This American life – financial crisis stuff – The planet money podcast explains it simply.
Mac round table Eletronista, Maccast artechnica, Mac nn, Apple Insider, Mac Rumours

Wizardgold Ramblings

In my ramblings I talk about Bento and also about putting encryption on your Mac. I use GPG and a couple of front end GUI’s to make it easier to work with.

I have GPG FileTool and GPG Drop Thing so that I can encrypt whole files or just some selected text.

it really is very easy to do and I will be pleased to help you set up if you need help. We can send each other encrypted messaged to test it out.

I also witter on about my use of bento on the Mac and also a little bit of using it on the iPhone. I can see the benefits of having an application that can be put to a number of database tasks and one that is configurable. Bento also will link into data that you have already in iCal and Contacts.

How cool is that?

Mac20Q Round Table Meeting 3

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The main topic was to say what you did with your computer today

People present were Paul Shadwell, Elaine Giles, Mike Thomas, Mark Dalton, Ross Craig, Matt Hillyer, Michael King and Ross Craig. Gazmaz called in as did Beijuu and Pat Mahon. Anyone I missed just let me know and I will add you.

Elaine mentioned Curio for coralling her thoughts, and Spam sieve. Natuarlly Devon Think and Evernote were on the list of things done during the day. Mind maps even got a mention. Curio works with Evernote and you can do drag an drop of things.

Devonthink is what Elaine uses as a Knowledge base, the long term storage. Keynote is important to Elaine but she also uses Open office and other stuff to be able to do her online presentations. was mentioned and some of us show pictures of what our desk looks like.

Later in the chat Elaine gave us an update on the problems she has with AppleCare. Have a look at or on

Mike Thomas was secretive about exactly what he was doing with his blog but he was doing something though. Mike also mentioned the ElGato TV thingy.

Mark Dalton brought up gigabit networking in the home office, and a discussion about the CAT cables ensued. Paul told us about his woking on video. Here is one of his video’s

Paul getting down with his guitar. What a superstar?

Paul and Martina video evidence of hovering technique

Mike Thomas and his desk at work.

Michael King

Michael King

Michael uses his computers for his work and uses iPhoto, Aperture and Lightroom depending on exactly what he is working on.

Mac20Q Podcast 27 Dirk Twiehaus

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Dirk was a little concerned before the interview that he was being interviewed in English and his mother tongue is German. He need not have worried seeing as he speaks English brilliantly and we had a super conversation about how he uses his Mac. Always good to hear from people from other countries, we don’t practice xenophobia here on Mac 20 Questions.

He tells me that he like the browser Flock and I have it on my computer here too. It is swwet that it has blogging tools built in. Trails and Houdah Geo are mentioned because of the geotagging possibilities that are available in iPhoto09.

I had never heard of Mellel which Dirk uses as a text editor. I use Textwrangler and Bean in that department.

Finance Software:
Record/Plan your exercise:
Needs no explantion, an absolute MUST HAVE:
RAW picture editing:
Picture editing part1:
TOP! Picture editing part2:
Text editor for those who like it easy:
Geo tagging for all photos:
the other browser:
THE software, GTD:
my blogging tool:
better than LitteSnapper?!:
another MUST HAVE:

Contact me if you would like to be featured on the Mac 20 Questions Podcast. I am looking forward to hearing from you.

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Mac20Q Podcast 23 Stu Helm

He’s a bit of an IMP so you will probably enjoy hearing what Stu Helm has to say about how he uses his Mac. Stu lives in Leeds in England and I know that’s a good place to live as I lived in Leeds for 4 years myself in the early eighties. I expect it has changed totally since I was there. The international Mac Podcast comes out once a week and Bart Bushotts is on there also to keep things in check. Sometimes they have just too much fun on there. I was on there once myself  and a few of the people I have interviewed here on Mac 20 Questions have also appeared on the show.

Stu was recently in America and tells me that he took more tech stuff than clothes, so if you have a funny story about a fella from Leeds in England turning up somewhere in the USA only partly dressed, then let us know about it, won’t you. Seriously these days international travel does restrict the amount of stuff you can carry onto an airplane and when you have computers and microphone you can be sure to get your bags searched and molested. It is when they start to put on the rubber gloves you have to get worried though!

Stu is into video production as well as audio podcasts. He is keen to use iLfe and was tellin me a bit about his video camera in the interview.

Stu listens to quite a few podcasts as well as produces them. Listen in to the podcast to find out which are his favourites.

Levelator – Software I use to do some trickery on the levels of the file in between raw editing stage and the podcasting part of the job in Garageband. There a good article which tells you some details about what it does and how it does it. Have a look to learn more.

Mac20Q Podcast Rob Hanson

Rob is otherwise known as @Switchmac and he has a web site dedicated to new users of the Mac system. Some great information for switchers. Rob seems to have found it easy enough to switch but must have thought that the fears of some new users needed to be allayed.

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Rob uses PDF Pen if he gets PDF document that needs to do work on and send back to other people. We talk about Crayon Physics, an iPhone game.

We talk about Garageband as a tool for making podcasts and mention Ubercaster, which people like Stu Helm swear by. I did look at Ubercaster once but decided I was happy using Garage band and AmadeusPro for making my podcasts.

Favourite software is for making web sites and is not terrible expensive. As far as buying things off iTunes is concerned well we got talking about .

an iPhone photography site and on the iPhone – Your external brain. Did you know you can scan things into Evernote and have it do the OCR on it to make it searchable. Rob tells me about how he uses Spaces with certain spaces for certain tasks.

Growl gets a mention

Podcasts and podcast RSS reader

  • For Mac Eyes Only
  • Apple Quick Tips
  • Geek brief TV
  • Podcast for freelancers
  • Mac Craic
  • Stealth Mac Podcast

Rob's desktop set up

Elaine Giles Mac20Q Podcast 10

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I’m talking to Elaine Giles, an IT consultant based in Manchester, UK.In her professional life Elaine runs training courses in applications for end users, develops web sites, works as a system administrator and generally undertakes a myriad of other computer related tasks.

Elaine is also Co-Chair of the and User Group Manager of the there are regular meetings so if you’re in the vicinity feel free to say Hi.

Elaine  switched to a Mac in April 2006 after what proved to be a life changing visit to an Adobe event previewing Lightroom.

Elaine likes to use a scanner to create a paperless office. She scans everything and organises it with Devonthink Office Pro which has OCR capabilities. She even uses the computer for the TV program watching, something I would like to set up  and for this the hardware is from El Gato

BROWSERS! Thats right Elaine has an addiction. I was listening to the podcast and she claimed to have 17 web browsers, so I think there are some that have been left off this list.
- Safari
- Opera
- Firefox
- OmniWeb
- Shiira
- Camino
- iCab
- Sunrise
- Netscape Navigator
- Fluid

Microphones are really important because Elaine is a podcaster too, mostly she uses  the and has a to use with the MacBookPro.

Back Up software

Backing up is important for all of us and here are two of Elaines’ recommendations and 

Software Pick

I have been trying this one out also on a recommendation from Andy Inhatko last week on the Mac Break Weekly Podcast. It is a very good toolkit for writers.

iPhone Apps

for being organised, for collecting information and being more orgainsed, and for telling everyone how organised you are.


*of course* because she is the co host of the podcast.

with Bert Monroy