March was mad

I was looking at the list of podcasts I produced during March and there was less than half of my normal output, you would think that there was a certain amount of PodFade. However that was not really the case, as it was mostly down to external factors beyond my control. I lost over a week to having no power and no internet, I can’t record an interview when there is no electric in the house. I did go to my sister in law to get internet on a few ocasions but that is no help for recording as there are kids and noisy dogs in the house.

Following the week with no electric there was, certainly as far as I was concerned, too much time in the garden trying to sort out the devastation the storm left behind. Our garden is full of mostly cork trees and a few pines. Five of the pine trees fell down and all  of the cork trees lost branches, such was the weight of the snow. I still hate gardening, even if I get to use a chainsaw.

I did have interviews arranged during the month and the people were unable to keep the appointment. One of them seems to be very busy and the other had a bad cold. These have been re scheduled but has left us without the interview content. That is the problem with the fact that the shows rely on content coming in from external sources.

I did do something different last month also with the production of the Mac20Q ramble as a video. I enjoyed that experience because I did it with green screen in Final Cut Express. Of course it does take longer to arrange such a production, but I thought it came out well enough that I will do more of those. Good to have the video posted out in varoius places too all pointing back to the show notes for the audio podcast. I have bought a set of LED lights to illuminate the green screen and I will post a picture of the set in the studio shortly.

The lack of podcasts was overall for the Answer20Q network and I think I will have to do some catching up. Also though I will have to get a schedule. I plan to chose a day of the week for publishing a Mac20Q podcast and do that once a week. The Video 20Q can be a every other week and the others I will aim for one a month and I’ll see if I can ramp it up when the summer is over.

During the summer I work in a camp site, a bit of cash is nice,  I improve my Spanish and get to practice my German speaking too. It does mean though that the podcasting lessens during the summer also.  I have started work for this year already but until the end of May it will probably only be weekends. That works out quite nicely and I am not looking forward to the working 10 hours each day in a reception that has no air conditioning. The owners are too tight to look after the staff at this place. At least maybe I can write a script or two in the quiet moments. It is a shame though that it will have to be as today written using a Windows computer and a Spanish keyboard which has a few extra characters and a few in different places.

Funny thing about camp sites is that you get used to seeing people walking to the showers in the dressing gown and a toilet roll in the hand. Maybe I should think about a story involving a camp site as a location. I have seen one or two other funny things here.

I have started work on a story /  comedy sketch that I want to make as a short movie. Writing it first in Scrivener as a narrative as the first draft and for the second draft I will make it into a screenplay- script. I will perhaps keep doing that in Scrivener but I might try using Celtx which is dedicated script writing software. Planning to send the script to my son who is a professional cameraman because I can envisage him helping me both with the camera part of the filming and with the acting side of it. I need 3 actors for the job and I could see two of my sons and a friend filling the roles nicely.

I have not  written a screenplay before so I am also in the process of learning how to do that, luckily I found a web site that shows the correct way of doing it as per the industry standard and gives good practice type of tips too. After I have the short film made I will publish the script also on Video20Q.

June Podcasts Mac20Q

June was a good month for Mac 20 Questions Podcasting. I got talking to Chris Foley, Donato Esposito, Cameron Banga and Keith Blount. We got to give away some software donated by Keith, the excellent Scrivener for writers.

Chris Foley was a joy to talk to and really knows his stuff with the Mac, he is into all sorts of things business wise and just having fun with the Mac wise too. If you missed that podcast , then do have a listen. Very interesting chat to be heard there.

, a new user of Mac’s although he did a bit of over the shoulder learning from his son having a Mac and getting the one to one lessons in the Mac Store. Donato is a totally is still available to hear. Find out more about Brummie expressions and ways by checking out his site and you will want to be a Brummie too.

is a wanabee iPhone programmer with his mates at College kid App. Learning how to make an iPhone application as a summer experience. Hopefully they will make a pile of cash at the same time.

Don’t forget to claim your 10% discount at Godaddy.com by using the Pod146 code at the checkout. Best place to buy web hosting and domain names.

Keith Blount an ex primary school teacher that is used by many authors, writers, playwrights and scribblers. I bought the software for myself before asking him to take part in the show. There were two winners of Scrivener software. All you had to do was identify an item on one of the menus. Something Spooky was the question. The competition is over but you can get the software for small money at . Listen to the podcast .

Winners of the Scrivener Software

I put all the names that gave me the correct answer which was Ghost Notes Mode – or the other possible answer was Show Invisibles.

Here is the video of the draw.

Writers20Q Podcast 3 Scrivener

The developer of Scrivener

I got talking to Keith Blount the developer of , the excellent writers software for the Mac.

He tells me that he is a wanna be writer and a coder but not necessarily in that order. Used to be a teacher in primary school and gave up the high life to be a code monkey.

Talking about Scrivener

The idea behind Scrivener is that you write the long novel in chunks and you can use Scrivener to organise the whole thing. there are loads of ways of looking at the work. You can just concentrate on the small bit you are working on. You can see all of the small bits in an outline mode or you can see them on a corkboard view. Lots more information from Keith about Scrivener in the podcast.

He changed to Mac and was looking for a decent laptop and was blown away by the iBook and the retail store experience helped him to make the decision to buy. I have a number of questions for Keith in the interview about how he uses his Mac and you can listen to the podcast to get more.

Win a copy of Scrivener

The question to answer is Is there something spooky in the Text Menu

[contact-form 1 "Contact form 1"]

Mac20Q Podcast 47 Keith Blount

The developer of Scrivener

I got talking to Keith Blount the developer of , the excellent writers software.

He tells me that he is a wanna be writer and a coder but not necessarily in that order. Used to be a teacher in primary school and gave up the high life to be a code monkey.

He suggests some books in the podcast and I may well get them myself I would love to be able to write a Mac application. I still want to have a go at writing an iPhone application too. Books by Stephen Kochan

Aaron Hillegas

Talking about Scrivener

The idea behind Scrivener is that you write the long novel in chunks and you can use Scrivener to organise the whole thing. there are loads of ways of looking at the work. You can just concentrate on the small bit you are working on. You can see all of the small bits in an outline mode or you can see them on a corkboard view. Lots more information from Keith about Scrivener in the podcast.

He changed to Mac and was looking for a decent laptop and was blown away by the iBook and the retail store experience helped him to make the decision to buy. I have a number of questions for Keith in the interview about how he uses his Mac and you can listen to the podcast to get more.

Coming soon to Writers20Q

Keith Blount

I have one interview completed with the developer of the writers software Scrivener, Keith Blount. I heard about this software originally from Andy Inhatko who is a tech writer for the Chicago Sun Times and he writes blogs, articles for magazines and web sites. He was pleased to be using Scrivener because he could focus on the writing and then export it out for whichever publication, knowing that it would in the right format for that destination.

So I bought Scrivener after trying it out on my Mac for a couple of weeks. I really like using it. You can go full screen and block out all the distractions. There a number of super features in the software all designed to help you organise your writing, outlining tools, a corkboard area to keep the writing and the research.

One neat trick is that after you have bought it you can have it on more than one machine you own. I have the iMac and the MacBook, I can’t use both at the same time  so it makes sense to be able to have on both of my machines and not have to buy 2 licences. It is what I call sensible licencing.

Abbie Clarke

I have interviewed Abbie about her writing and it is a breath of fresh air to talk to a young enthusiastic writer who is just getting started with her creative writing. I just have to edit the interview and get it ready to turn into a podcast. and has started to publish her writing on it. Check it out.

Matthew Wayne Selznick

Matthew is the writer of an audio book entitled Brave Men Run. I listened to it during the last week. I found it to be enjoyable and I contacted Matthew to see if he would come on this show. Totally delighted to announce that I will be interviewing him next Tuesday. I will be asking questions about going the audio book route and how it might be leading to sales of eBook versions and print versions. I will also ask about what sort of help he needed to be able to get good production values on the podcasted audio book. I will be asking about he latest work which is called Hazy Days and Cloudy Nights and I want to find out what he is planning next.

Mac20Q Podcast 42 The Mac Mommy

Click the Picture to listen to the Podcast

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.

Writers20Q Podcast 1 SplatEric

Click on the picture to Listen

Mike has a MacBookPro as his main computer and has a Mac Mini connected to the TV. Mike is a writer and had taken the brave step of giving up a job in order to make his way in the world into being a writer. Has been using the mac for about 3 years before the writing he was a coder.
Connected to the computer he goes for wired mighty mouse the nipple scroll button is mentioned regards getting it cleaned. He rubbed the nipple on paper where I have blown into the gap around the edge of the button the get the gunk out, and has a brother HL5240 printer.

I guessed at Mike using and was 100% right. Well he is a writer and it seems that it was coded by a writer that could get what he needed from the word processor route. Mike says it is a cracking bit of software. likes the chaptering and versioning – templates for various things – make it easy to collate it and output the final work, and the price was good too. For script writing you might look at a free app and free is always good.

Mike has an extensive collection of iPods and it may have had a slight effect on the buying of an Apple computer. Mike is a Firefox person and once in a while will use Safari, he likes the plug ins with Firefox, like the debug tools and sage plugin

is mentioned by Mike because it connects to so many social networks, lately getting more integration added to it. Mike has recently changed to Tweetie for his twittering.

Mike as had a play with apps but is not a big user because of doing movies in . Found that the faces feature in iPhoto just takes time from him and his writing.

One of his writing projects is a web drama and has other things in the pipeline. We talk about how level the playing field is for aspiring writers to be able to get work out in front of an audience online. There is content coming out from the top down, as in the BBC’s and other institutions and also from the grass roots level of people like the young woman in the North east of England who has put out videos on YouTube showing people how to put on make up. Good content will always find an audience.

Mike acknowledges the steepness of the learning curve with and says he learns something new each time he has some editing to do.

Mike like features in and come in there as a favourite application especially when operating with iTunes. Fav for the iPhone is iExpenseit as a way to control what he spends, seeing as he needs to build an income with the writing.

The film where Tom Cruise is moving stuff around on a huge screen is something that would be in a wish list of computing equipment.
Sceptics Guide to the Universe podcast. gets a mentions and I tell him about podcasted novel called 7th Son.

Go now to watch the and have a look at .
Screenwipe a TV program about writers

ScreenFlow an application that I love using to make screencasts. Edits video as well

Monday Morning at Mac20Q

Nothing done at all during the weekend due to family party yesterday. So it is nose to the grindstone this morning.

End of last week I purchased the application Scrivener, which I am really pleased with. It is a writers piece of software and I will have to contact the developer to ask him to come on the show. It has some really good features to help organise your work. It won’t write it for you but has many useful features.

There have been a few entries to the competition to win a copy of Amadeus Pro. I will let this run until the end of the week and then I will draw the winner from a hat, like a rabbit but with more panache.

Working on the next podcast today editing the interview with Evan Montgomery. Looking good so far should have posted later today.

The next task after that will be to make a screen cast for AmadeusPro to show a few things. So that is one vide thing and the other is to do a Wizardgold news show.


Elaine Giles Mac20Q Podcast 10

Click on picture to hear podcast

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.

PODCASTS

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




with Bert Monroy