Thursday, 18 December 2008

Huddy featured in this month's Macworld magazine cd

Hi,

Just saw this month's Macworld mag, and huddy's featured on the included disc; excellent.

Cheers Macworld,

Kev.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

simple sync now at version 1.2

Hi,

I've updated simple sync to include support for Mac OSX 10.4 (Tiger). 

Cheers,

Kev.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

blue faced monkey




Hi,

Just a bit of fun this, to help decision making ...

Cheers,

Kev.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Simple sync now at version 1.1


Hi,

Just updated simple sync to version 1.1 (just added an activity indicator, so you know it's working).

Kev.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

new program – simple sync


Hi

I've been working on backup systems for a while now (mostly applescripts performing duplicate functions), which led me to start playing around with 'rsync'. Although there are a number of cloning apps out there, and the very good ARrsync program, I felt they were all to feature rich and complex. All I needed to do was to pict a source folder, and a destination folder, and have the first cloned to the latter. I thought being able to chose to have the program delete files from the backup when deleted form the source might be useful, as would an auto run feature; so both are included.

It's simple, useful, but like all scripts you have to be careful, as thre's no going back when a file's been deleted or overwritten. Although it's been well tested I'd say use at your own risk.

Hope you find it useful,

Kev.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

huddy 1.3


Hi,

Just made a few changes to huddy (smaller footprint, keyboard controls for the colour labels and file ratings). I think that's it now, I don't reckon I'll be making any more changes.

Cheers,

Kev.


Monday, 6 October 2008

New version – huddy 1.2


Hi,

I recently saw a posting on Macscripter about applying file ratings (like the star ratings in iTunes), and thought that this would be an excellent feature to add to huddy. So, I did ...

Cheers,

Kev.


Friday, 19 September 2008

Hiyama – video preview number 2

Hi,

We recently posted a new preview of 'Hiyama', our new graphic novel on YouTube. Like the last one (see below) it was made on a Macbook (Garageband and iMovie).

Cheers,

Kev.

video

New program – 'huddy'


Hi,

Just knocked up a little Applescript program for making it easier to access the icon zoom function in Finder icon view, and for applying colour labels too. Great for browsing folders of pictures, etc. Pop it in the Finder window toolbar for quick and easy access. It's very simple, andcould do with a little polish, but it's quite handy.

Cheers,

Kev.

Monday, 15 September 2008

The end of the road ...

Hi,

It's with mixed feelings that I announce the end of the road for 'the mac guy'. I'm afraid that family responsibilities and running Tabella Publishing are taking up an increasing amount of my time, and I'm finding it harder to stay up to date with all things 'mac'. To all my clients I'd like to say a big thank-you, and I can still be contacted for help and/or advice if you find yourself stuck.

Although I won't be taking on any new tech support work, my addiction to Filemaker and Applescript remains as strong as ever, and I'm happy to accept new challenges in these areas.

If anyone's interested in taking on the mantle of 'mac guy' I'd be happy to discuss transferring the business, and I've also put my domain – www.themacguy.co.uk – up for auction.

Cheers,

Kev.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Hiyama promo video

Hi,

Just thought I'd post this promo video I made for our other company Tabella Publishing. The whole thing was made on a Macbook; using the keyboard to play the music in Garageband, and stills added to iMovie. 



Great fun.

Kev.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

RapidWeaver

Hi,

Just had to make a mention of how easy it is to build a website using RapidWeaver. I've just spent a couple of days doing the website for my other company (www.tabella.co.uk). I've used Dreamweaver, GoLive, and iWeb in the past, but I have to say that RapidWeaver beats them all hands down. In terms of cost, ease of use, the variety of themes and usefulness of the plugins (particularly PayLoom and Collage by Yourhead Software) RapidWeaver really is excellent.

Cheers,

Kev.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

New company – Tabella Publishing

Hi,

Because of the interest we've had in our new publishing venture, we decided to set up a new, dedicated company to take care of that side of things. Tabella Publishing is now up and running: www.tabella.co.uk. We're keen to hear from anyone with an interest in graphics and/or art (traditional or digital) with a view to getting their work/ideas into print. We've still got a lot of work to do with the website, but we've made a start.





Cheers,

Kev.

Monday, 12 May 2008

cast off calculator available for download

Hi,

Cast off calculator (demo version) is available for download (just click the post title/link). I've gotta make a few changes to the website for hosting the full version, but I'll get to that in few days. The full version costs £10, and you can pay via Paypal on my website (once payment has been received I'll send a download link for the full version).



Please send any feedback/bug reports/queries/etc., to info@themacguy.co.uk.

Cheers,

Kev.

Friday, 25 April 2008

2.8 gig imac power supply failure

Hi,

Well, despite being only 4 months old, the power supply died on my new imac. I'd left the machine on all day while I was at work, and when I tried to wake it up later, it wouldn't. Powered it down, then up again using the power button, and it seemed OK, but really, really sloooooooow. Disc utility found no problems, tried rebooting again, but this time it got as far as the grey apple logo, and the spinning wheel, and just powered off again.

As it's only 4 months old, I phoned Apple and they agreed to have it repaired ... but only after I'd tried erasing my hard drive and reinstalling the OS. I'm particularly annoyed about that as the cause of the problem hadn't even been ascertained by that stage! However, the chap said that Apple wouldn't sanction a repair until I'd formatted the drive and tried a reinstall (needless to say, that failed, and Apple said OK to the repair). As the fault turned out to be the power supply, I really do feel that this 'policy' is incredibly cavalier and disrespectful of people's data. OK, I've got a backup (Time Machine, but I'll get to that in a minute), but I meet a lot of people who don't – they trust the myth Apple has created about the reliability of its products.

Anyway, I got the imac back after a week or so, reinstalled the OS, and set about transferring my data back from my Time Machine backup. This is where things took a rather odd turn. First off, one of the accounts on the backup (luckily it was my wife's and there wasn't much on there) was unavailable for recovery – the transfer assistant sat for about 4 hours calculating the size of the files (my 180gig was accounted for in less than an hour). Anyway, I had to cancel recovery of my wife's account and go ahead with everything else.

Once 'everything' was transferred and the OS updated, I started investigating the machine. First thing I noticed was that I had to re-enter lots of license details again (no worries, but puzzling, nonetheless). The next unexpected thing I found was that the 'new' imac didn't seem to recognize my Time Machine backup. It could see it, of course, but treated is as a new hard drive, yet to be set up. Basically, in order to use it as a Time Machine backup, I had to reformat it, then start again (losing the Time Machine 'history' of the past few months!).

So, the moral of the tale:
1. Make a backup (Time Machine if you have to, but at lease a clone of your mac).
2. If the Apple guy tells you he can't sanction a repair until you've erased all your data, lie to him/her. Protect your data at all costs.
3. When recovering from a Time Machine backup, keep your fingers crossed!

Cheers,

Kev.

Monday, 21 April 2008

New programme – cast off calculator


Hi,

I've you're already employed in publishing then you'll know what a cast off is. For those who don't, then, a cast off is a calculation, based on the number of words and pictures in each chapter, for working out how many pages a book/magazine should have. 'cast off calculator' is a Filemaker runtime programme for doing just that.

'cast off calculator' will be available very soon (price to be confirmed).

Cheers,

Kev.

New widgets

Hi,

I recently noticed that my Macscripter.net rss widget was not working under Leopard. There's a new version (1.1) available via the downloads page of my website. (I redid the Filemaker today one, too).

Cheers,

Kev.

Animals on the loose – available now



Hi,

Marilyn Allis' book, Animals on the Loose is finally available for order from all the usual places (Amazon, Waterstones, WHSmith, etc.). Alternatively, you can buy the book directly from us (www.themacguy.co.uk).

Cheers,

Kev.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Coming soon! Animals on the Loose – A guide to painting animals

Our first book will soon be available. Animals on the Loose (ISBN 978-0955808807) is a step-by-step guide to painting animals in a loose, impressionistic style. Easy to follow projects, illustrated with dynamic images, guide and inspire the reader to creating their own vivid and exciting works of art.

Marilyn Allis, a professional artist working in mixed media, is the author of a previous book on painting people, and has produced a training DVD. Her work can be viewed at her studio at Mill Lane Gallery, Wimborne, and also at galleries throughout Dorset, Wiltshire and Surrey. She has had a number of articles published in Paint magazine, and was also published in the International Artists UK section.

See some of Marilyn's work on her website: http://www.marilyn.allis.btinternet.co.uk/index.htm

You can view sample pages and purchase Animals on the Loose from our website (www.themacguy.co.uk) via Paypal. The book is also available from Amazon and all good bookshops.

We've already got a number of other titles in the pipeline, but are keen to hear from artists/authors interesting in getting their work published.

Cheers,

Kev.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Triumph Bonneville – 3 months in ...

Hi,

So, I've been planing to do a report on the Triumph for a little while. First off, I have to say that I still love the bike. I ride it nearly every day, and have done all through the winter (in rain, sleet, high winds, the lot – though not in snow). Mostly I just commute to and from work on it (about 10 mile round trip, more if I take the longer route – which I usually do). At the weekend, weather and time permitting, I take off for a longer ride, and I have done a long motorway trip (nearly 500 miles over a weekend). All in, I've done over 2000 miles in just over 3 months.

So, what's it like? Well, in no particular order:

Owning one of these (a black 2005 Bonneville SE) is brilliant just for the attention it gets. I've had lots of people coming up to me saying, "I've see your bike around from time to time, and I just wanted to say 'nice bike mate'". Sometimes, when waiting at traffic lights, people lean out of their car windows to say something complimentary, and I've also had a couple of people ask how old it is, thinking that it's a restored Meriden model! Basically, people are always checking it out, and everyone thinks it looks fab.

So, day to day? Well, It starts on the button every day, despite how cold it's been in the night, though it always needs full choke to get going. There's no adjustment on it, it's all or nothing. This does mean that the bike's revving pretty fast on cold startup! Once you're moving, though, and after about a half a mile, it's ok to knock off the choke. Regular basic maintenance is fairly straightforward, though a centre stand would make lubing and adjusting the chain less of a hassle. I use a car jack under the frame, on the right side to just lift the rear wheel enough for it to turn freely. Cleaning is a bit of a pain, there's just so much chrome and so many nooks an crannies to keep clean. I tend to take it to the local power wash and give it a bit of a light hose down, especially as the roads here are usually very wet and muddy and salty, and covered in crap!

I have to say that I'm a bit disappointed with the tank range. This becomes especially annoying on a long trip. Usually, I get in the region of 120 miles before going onto reserve. On a long, motorway, 70mph plus run, this drops to 110 to reserve, so you have to plan your petrol (gas) station stops. To fill from empty takes about £12 (about 12 litres), so fuel economy isn't too bad.

Handling has stayed pretty good, as long as you keep an eye on tyre pressures. I seem to be losing about 2-3psi over the course of a fortnight, and you really notice the deterioration in handling that brings with it. I don't know why the tyre pressures drop like that, and no-one else has given me a good explanation, but there you go. I bought a digital pressure meter, and a foot pump and check the tyres every weekend. The front tyre was ok when I bought the bike, and it's getting close to needing replacement now, probably in a couple of months when its 8000 mile service is due. The rear tyre was new at time of purchase, and it's still absolutely fine now. Can't remember what the tyres are (standard Triumph recommendations as per the manual).

I haven't had to adjust the chain yet, but I have lubed it regularly (every hundred miles or so).

I do plan to change the oil soon, even though it's not due yet. I feel that because of the fairly short mileages I do daily, then it wouldn''t hurt to change more frequently than recommended in the manual. The oil filter cost £10, which is reasonable, but the oil was a bit of a shock: 4 litres of fully synthetic - £40! Anyway, the oil should last 5-6000 miles between replacements, but I think I'll try to do it every 2-3000.

I haven't had much trouble with the parts on the bike. One night, though, all the indicators failed, along with the brake light. Changing the fuse when I got home didn't fix the problem, so I checked the indicators looking for spent bulbs. I found that the plastic bulb holder in the rear right indicator had completely disintegrated! The bulb was fine, but all the reflective plastic bits fell out when I took the lens off! £32 for a fiddly, tricky replacement! On the subject of plastic bits, the indicator stalks are really cheap and nasty, it has to be said. I think I'll try to get some replacements.

I did have to replace the front right indicator too, as I dropped the bike one evening. Doing about 5 miles an hour, I just touched the brakes and the bike went over on the right. The only damage was a bent handlebar, scratched brake lever, and broken indicator stalk. I still don't know what happened – it might have been oil or diesel on the road, or a patch of ice, don't know. I haven't replaced the handlebar yet, as it's only slightly bent, and I've got used to it now.

As well as the indicator stalks being pretty nasty cheap plastic, as is the brake light shell, I think Triumph cut some corners on the quality of the chrome work. There are a few rust spots on the wheel rims, on the headlamp shell, on the oil pipe in front of and between the cylinders is pretty rusty now, and the mudguard stays, engine mounting bolts ... Basically, if you're going to get one of these, you have to keep it clean and polished, and ideally in a dry garage. Mine stays outside all the time, unfortunately, as I don't have a garage, and I just can't keep on top of the (necessary) cleaning regime. Bear it in mind – if you don't look after it, it'll start to look tatty fairly soon.

Although the bike is fantastic solo, adding a pillion – even a light one - does have an impact on the performance. Whereas it's normally pretty bright and nippy, with a pillion it does get a little sluggish. Handling isn't affected, though, and it's pretty comfortable for the pillion (I hear), but you will need a grab rail as pillions tend to slide about on the back.

What else ... Oh, I did have to get a new speedo cable (£20 fitted).

So, what's on the wish list? Well, I do plan to get a grab rail (Renntech, not Triumph - have you seen the price of genuine Triumph accessories!?). I would like to get a new set of indicators. Apart for a service in a couple of thousand miles, and a new front tyre, that's it, I think. I have thought that I'd like the noisier pipes too, though that's not really on the wish list. It would be nice if the Bonnie sounded a bit more like the originals. The price is a little (quite a lot, actually) off putting.

Anyway, that's all I can think of for the moment. Drop me a line if you've got any questions/points to make.

All the best,

Kev.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

New widget available – theBookseller.com rss reader

Hi,

The Bookseller magazine is the source of news and information for the book trade. Now you can keep up to date with the latest news on the magazine's site with this handy rss reader widget. You can download it via the downloads page on my web site (http://www.themacguy.co.uk).

Cheers,

Kev.

Friday, 18 January 2008

iTunes 7.6 problems accessing the iTunes store

Hi,

Many people have had problems accessing the iTunes store after the recent 7.6 update. In my case iTunes just hung trying to connect to the store, then produced an error (-4 I think) and suggested I have a look at my network settings. Anyway, I thought I'd try getting into the store using iTunes 7.5 on my work mac. To my surprise, it said that my payment details had been modified outside of the iTunes store, and I would have to confirm them! So, I logged in to my Apple account using the link provided in the iTunes message, checked and confirmed my payment details (had to re-enter my security code!), and all was fine. (I got in to the store). I then ran software update and got iTunes 7.6 on my work mac, and am still able to get in to the iTunes store.

Not sure what's going on here, but at least I'm able to get into the iTunes store now. So, if you've got the same problem, try logging in on a different mac with an older version of iTunes and updating your info

Hope that helps.

Cheers,

Kev.