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Category: Apple (page 1 of 38)

TECHSHOW “Mac Mastery” Downloads

In addition to attending great sessions and meeting interesting people, I presented two sessions at the ABA TECHSHOW in Chicago last week. One of them, Mac Mastery: Top Mac Workflows Used By Real Attorney, featured a few automation workflows and other processes I use in my practice. I shared a link to a page during the presentation, and indicated I would later publish downloads of the various workflows to the page. That page is now populated with the downloads and other information:

TECHSHOW 2019 – Mac Workflows

BBEdit to MarsEdit (AppleScript)

You can never own too many text editors. Okay, I can never own too many text editors. I recently splurged on BBEdit, the venerable HTML and text editor for the Mac. There’s something pleasurable about tweaking BBEdit to use it as a blogging tool. One such tool I hacked together is an AppleScript to send a post from BBEdit to MarsEdit for final publishing. Here’s how you do it.

Paste the following text into the Script Editor app on your Mac (warning: I’m no coder, and did this through trial and error based on other scripts, so this script probably contains some completely unnecessary code):

on run
	tell application "BBEdit" to set theFile to file of document 1
	set appleScriptPath to theFile as text
	set currentURL to POSIX path of appleScriptPath
	set currentURL to ("file://" & currentURL)
	tell application "MarsEdit"
		make new document
		tell document 1
			set body to theFile
		end tell
	end tell
end run

Compile then save the AppleScript. For the final step, you need to move this AppleScript to the BBEdit scripts folder. Get there by clicking on the Scripts icon near the far right of the BBEdit menu, and choosing “Open Scripts Folder.”

BBEdit menu item - Scripts folder

Once the AppleScript is in place, it will appear at the bottom of the dropdown when you click on the Scripts icon. Selecting it will take the text in BBEdit, and open it in a new MarsEdit document. I wrote the initial draft of this post in BBEdit, before using the AppleScript to send it to MarsEdit for final edits, adding of the image, assigning tags and categories, and sending off to WordPress.

TiVo Coming to the Apple TV and Other Devices →

Jared Newman, writing for TechHive:

As announced during CES, TiVo will release apps for Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices in the second quarter of this year. Apps for Apple TV and Android TV will follow in the third quarter.

If you have a TiVo that supports transcoding (including the Roamio Pro, Roamio Plus, Bolt, Bolt Vox, and Bolt OTA), these apps will let you stream live and recorded video to another TV, either at home or on the road. For other TiVo devices that lack transcoding, such as the entry-level Roamio or Roamio OTA, you’ll need a separate TiVo Stream box to use the apps.

This is huge news. Well, for me at least. I have an Apple TV, but not a TiVo Mini, hooked up to the TV at my treadmill. I get some shows to that TV by running cTiVo on a Mac mini. cTiVo is an app that automatically downloads shows off my TiVo, formats them, and adds them to my Plex library and iTunes library.

The problem for me is that there are frequent glitches in the process, and shows never make it into iTunes or Plex. I hope the app lets me eliminate this whole setup.

One catch is that the apps will only support video at 720p and 30 frames per second. In my current setup, shows come through at 720p, but at 60 frames per second. It remains to be seen how noticeable this will be to my non-discerning eyes.

Even with the resolution and FPS limitations, this is another great benefit of the TiVO ecosystem. I had previously toyed with going to a streaming television service, but this alone will enough to keep with my TiVo, which I love. Of course, let’s see if TiVo delivers the Apple TV app in the third quarter, as the announcement indicates.

iPad Limitations With Reactive Work →

Riccardo Mori, at morrick.me:

The point that some iPad die‐hard fans seem to miss is that it’s not a matter of people not wanting to adapt to an iOS‐based workflow; it’s not a matter of people lacking mental agility to ditch their computers and switch to iPads for work. It’s that their work imposes different solutions, in the form of dedicated software, company‐issued computers, multitasking requirements (e.g. ability to monitor more than three applications simultaneously on a bigger screen), etc.

Although the “why I can or can’t use the iPad as my only computer” topic has been covered ad nauseam, and although Riccardo’s post focused on the portability and lightness aspect as a draw for iOS, the above quote is what struck me.

While I love the change of pace of working on my iPad when I can, it simply isn’t possibly when things are flying fast and furious at the office. And that has nothing to do with me not being familiar enough with iOS or iOS automation to bend the iPad to my will so I can react quickly. Instead, it has everything to do with the design decisions of the iPad concerning windowing and multi-tasking, as well as the limits of automation on iOS1.

I can’t instantly jump between apps on the iPad as quickly as I can on the Mac, or keep more than a couple windows on screen at once (three, if you count slide over). iOS automation isn’t to where it is on macOS yet, either. For example, with Keyboard Maestro on macOS, I can apply a brute force filter to entries in our firm’s case management system, using Keyboard Maestro’s ability to click on specified images. With the iPad, I have to do this clicking manually. The iPad method takes several seconds longer, and, for me, those seconds count.

For my type of work, the iPad is good when I know what I need to get done, and can control my work environment. When I have to be reactive, though, I need a system with windowed apps, and more advanced multi-tasking and automation (i.e., macOS).

I’m glad Ricardo framed this as “some” iPad users missing the point. I think most of the people in my online circle seem to understand that what works for them doesn’t work for everyone. I certainly understand that my way of doing things is specific to me, and that the iPad is a much better platform for some of you.

(But don’t get me started on the ergonomic and future health issues of working solely on an iPad or laptop.)

  1. This post isn’t meant as a suggestion that there’s something inherently wrong with those design decisions, or that Apple should change them – just that they hold me back in some situations.

Blogging on a Mac Instead of My iPad →

Jeff Perry from Rocket Panda:

It also has an incredible editing system to show you where you can improve on your writing and grammar. It reminds me a lot of the Hemingway web-app, showing where you write in passive voice, or when you are using words that have preferred alternatives. So instead of saying something is “very large” it could show you something like “enormous” or “gigantic” making for it to be a much more pleasing thing to read.

Jeff’s post inspired me to try out Marked 2’s writing and grammar tools, which I had forgotten. In fact, I used Marked 2 to see some suggestions for improving the post you’re reading right now. To use Marked with MarsEdit, select the “MarsEdit Preview” menu item from within Marked.

In general, my blogging workflow on the Mac is a bit more basic than Jeff’s workflow. I use Ulysses on iOS, but not on the Mac. Instead I write and publish directly from MarsEdit when on the Mac. I, too, use the MarsEdit extension Quick Post extension in my browser.

One reason I don’t use Ulysses on the Mac is because I like MarEdit’s preview function, which uses your site’s CSS to show you what a post will look once published. I also favor MarsEdit’s ability to browse and grab links to posts located on my server. Once you publish a post, you can’t retrieve it or interact with it from within Ulysses.

Both Ulysses and MarEdit are great tools. It comes down to which features are important to you.