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Answer 20 Questions

The 20Q Podcast Interviews – Video, Mac, Photo, Writers & More

Mac20Q Podcast 42 The Mac Mommy

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Melissa is totally in mommy mode and in the process of producing another baby too. Still has time for the using and loving of the Mac. During the interview she tells me a story about a mouse eating one of her peripherals. Melissa uses a MacBookPro and passes her old machines on to her husband, hang on that’s not right ! Oh it’s OK she is the geek of the family. She can be found at and

A favourite gadget is called a Huckleberry that she keeps in a Tupperware container (Such a Mommy thing to do). She showed it to Alison Sheridan @Podfeet of the Nosillacast when they met up. This gadget is a periscope so that she can video things on the other side of the computer, she is not limited to filming herself sitting in front of her MacBookPro.

is a fan of iWork and likes using Numbers, recently using it for collating all the figures for the tax man. Used to be a designer when she left school and used the pro applications for that, but now that she teaches the ‘Snow Birds’ how to use computers. Due to teaching people with bog standard computers, as in not tricked with the likes of QuickSilver for example, she keeps to the applications that you can find on all Macs mostly.

I recommend Bean and Melissa has used it too. We both can’t stand Microsoft Word and the inconsistencies of the formats within it. When will people realise that you DO NOT need to get Word just because other people are using it. Bean makes doc files and so does Pages in iWork. I just bought Scrivener the other day too. Pretty pleased with it. Melissa says that if the person receiving a document from you and they don’t need to edit it then just send them a PDF. That makes sense.

does not have an iPhone yet but would like one, despite being unwilling to change to AT & T. I didn’t want to change to Telefonica but had to, mind you it has been OK so far, so I will stop complaining.

In Safari the tabs at the top are good for as it is good for using with the senior citizens that are snow birding it in Arizona, and learning about computers while there. Used to love FireFox though. For Twitter Melissa likes Nambu. I was using Nambu but found that it needs more development, wasn’t behaving itself somtimes. I think she will be trying Tweetie soon although likes Twirl a lot.

Melissa made up to the family for eloping with her husband by having a big wedding for the one year anniversary. She made the wedding music with iTunes, did all the printing end of things with iWork and iLife. Sounds like it was a mammoth task but totally enjoyable. Probably did the photos in iPhoto also. Could have used PhotoBooth to take the pictures of all the guests one by one.

The back up strategy is an ABC method Archive, BackUp and Clone. You have to listen to how that works, it is a lesson to all those out there that don’t back up. What!?? you don’t back up?? Listen to Melissa for her great strategy. Get SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner and get

In the process of saving cash Melissa has turned to Boxee to not have to pay for cable TV. I don’t think we can get Boxee here in Spain. U.S. only.

. I recommend that you though so that you don’t miss any episodes.

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?

Mozy online Back up (advert)

So many people don’t bother with backing up their data it is just a crime. Especially when they cry real tears as a hard drive bites the dust. So to that end I have been checking out online storage. Of the solutions I have found one of them stands out because you get 2GB storage for free so there is no cost to try it out and the cost per month if you want to back up more than 2GB is minimal at only $4.95.

If you decide to get the unlimited Mozy then put in the code APRIL to get a 10% discount.

I still think you should have an external disk  with data -  going for the belt and braces approach is the way forward for proper safety. I recommend using Time Machine with Leopard for back up one. Then once a week do a Superduper back up to a separate hard drive, and make it bootable. Then use as the off site part of the strategy. If anything happens to the physical drives such as theft or fire you will still have peace of mind about your data.

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Mac20Q Podcast 20 Joshua Rodriguez

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I had some time to use and I wanted to do an interview for the Podcast and so I asked on Twitter if there was any Mac user ready to get started with an interview straight away. Up pops Joshua Rodriguez who is a student from Canada. We had a super chat about how he uses his Mac and maybe I was able to give him a tip or two as we were talking also.

One of the things I was wondering was, what do students in schools do regards taking computers into schools. Joshua wants a MacBook. They do cost quite a bit of money and you know what kids are like with other people’s property. Maybe with a computer you could expect a higher level of care, but it only takes a couple of mad minutes doing something silly and everyone says “It wasn’t me.” Maybe by bringing this up here I am showing my age and bringing out the dad of three lads part of me or the ex teacher part of my life.

Does anyone have any experience of how portable computers get looked after by school children? Let me know fill in the contact form below.

Seeing as he is a poor student, mind you – all students are that way, I remember it well, I suggested that he might use Mozy for his back ups. Like my son has no money to buy an extra hard drive to be able to use Time Machine or SuperDuper to make a back up, so what can be done is have all of the important files being backed up automatically with Mozy to the Cloud. 2 GB of free space is not to be sneezed at, for sure.

I have been using Mozy for about a month now and I am impressed. It just does the backing up I have set it to do and I forget about it. There is an icon on the bar at the top of the screen and if I click it I can see when the last back up happened and how many files and how much data was backed up to Mozy. It really is ttransparent in use.

The show sponsor for this episode as usual is . Here is a page with more information. I use it a lot and it is impressive. of was the person that told me about it when I met up with him in Barcelona last September.

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Jack Allen Mac20Q Podcast 14

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My son came to visit for my birthday and seeing as I gave him my iMac 17″ to use and also a to use also, I thought it would be fun to interview him. I don’t think he took it totally serious, but what can you expect from a young art student being interviewed for a podcast by his dad. We had some fun anyway.

This is a short interview and makes me think that I should spend some time with him showing a bit more of what you can do with a Mac. last time I went to visit him though in his student flat in Dublin. I spent the time watching him do drawings in Photoshop with the Wacom that would take him a few minutes which would I would have to spend ages drawing. I used to be an art teacher and now I think I used to be OK at drawing.

I suppose at some point in time I will have to buy him an external USB hard disk so that he can make use of Time Machine. I did tell him though that he should get a and also a account so that he can have some offline back up and also be able to share him files. he is obviously keen to show off his drawings.

I would be pleased if he would start to learn to some Flash animations, but I think that he prefers the drawing of the traditional way with a pencil and a sketchbook.

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Chris Pinchen – Mac20Q Podcast 3

Last autumn I met Chris Pinchen at Podcamp Barcelona along with Don McAllister. The Podcamp was a success and of course amongst the podcasters there, there were a plethora of Mac users. Amongst the Mac persons  Chris Pinchen, who was also the organiser of the Podcamp. I have already conducted an interview of Chris for the Podcamp and naturally he had to be considered fair game to be a victim (I mean interviewee, just joking !!) for the .

He is a Ludd Geek and you will find out the meaning of that in the podcast. Chris wants Apple to design a computer and software that he can command solely by voice as he doesn’t seem to like typing. He uses . Amongst the favourite applications Garageband comes top of the list, with him being a musician and that’s what he like to mess with on a day off and just messing about computing.

Chris works as an English teacher and likes to use Spaces to organise his desktop in OSX and he tell us all about that in the interview. With Spaces he likes to use apps called Dock Spaces and Space Suit to make it work better for himself.

He uses Google docs to store the work he does with his English students, so he is definitely not afraid of using the cloud to store files. Another place of storage he uses is called on which he has 2 GB of storage space for back ups. You get 2GB for free and unlimited space for a small monthly fee. I am a user of Mobile Me so have some storage space there. Don’t use it that much, but perhaps I ought to.

Chris also mentioned as an application he uses and asked me to mention Scrivener. I downloaded Scrivener after hearing about it from Andy Inhatko on Mac Break Weekly. Andy is a journalist with a Boston Newspaper and regularly comments on things Macintosh, he waxed lyrical about saying what a boon it was for him as a professional writer. I have really only had time for a quick look, but it looks nice and has a full screen mode that forces concentration on the job in hand. Skitch is a tool that you can use to do screen grabs and then annotate the image. I have it on my computer but often forget about it and go for the Cmd,Shift+4 to make a screen grab. I have just used it to do a test of  it again and I like it – Must leave it open and ready to play with, for sure.

Chris is doing some translation on a site called and is organising an event called which will take place in May.