With some of the news these days it sure seems like Back to the Future. With reports of flying hoverboards and flying cars what else could be happening? Today we have a blast from the past as Apple subsidiary Filemaker, Inc. now known for its database program of the same name is changing its name to Claris International which reminds many long time Mac users of the former company that made ClarisWorks. AppleInsider provides some more background into the history of Apple/Claris/Filemaker.
One of the benefits that can be appreciated about the world wide web is that it has provided to people is the ability to access information from wherever you are. While often there isn’t a replacement for learning something in person, online learning has its benefits. Sometimes it can be difficult to know where the best place to go. A few of the sites that provide a range of excellent instructional resources are:
- TED: videos of presentations by people on a wide range of topics exploring new ideas. i.e. Teach arts and sciences together
- Khan Academy provides free lessons on math, arts and sciences and includes content from partnered institutions.
- Lynda.com is a subscription based service that provides a wealth including computer, business and photography video based courses and also some documentaries. i.e. Photos for macOS High Sierra Essential Training
- iTunes U on iPad: Made to be used by classrooms there are courses from schools and universities that are available to be accessed free by anyone that has the app. Apple made some changes last year where it moved from a category in iTunes into the iPad app. There is still a section in iTunes for what Apple calls “Collections” while moving the main courses to the iPad app. After the change I looked at the iPad app and found it very well made in terms of organizing the information, ability to download content and adding your own notes. It would be good to see Apple make the app available on the Mac as well. i.e. Designing Interactive Systems WS 17/18” by RWTH Aachen University
A helpful way of organizing photos, in addition to your image catalogue, is to keep a photography journal. I find that it helps for identifying photo events: time and location. This can help for locating pictures elsewhere on the computer and any photographic details that may not be in the image data.
There are various ways of doing this. On a computer general journalling software is available that can be used as a place to enter a photo, comments and information. Another way for those that want a consistent manner of entering information is configure a database program to keep track of the details. The method I use is entering in a database program called Tap Forms, available for the Mac and iOS. In Tap Forms I have a form that provides a space for an image, date and a text entry field for comments. Syncing between devices means you can have the information wherever you are.
Today the Internet Archive, an important resource documenting the world wide web, is celebrating its 20th anniversary. A key feature has been the scanning and archiving of websites over the years. Using the WayBackMachine you can type in a URL and see what the website looked like in the past.
The Internet Archive also provides access to a large number of contributed text and multimedia resources. Below are a couple links to some Apple related resources.
With an individual picture the camera model is shown in Photos if you right click on a picture and select Get Info. There may be times when you want to sort your photos by the camera you took them with. For instance if you want to separate out the pictures taken from an iPhone or iPad from pictures taken from a DSLR.
Using Smart Albums it is possible to have Apple Photos display your photos based on the camera you took them with. If you have RAW images in the program then you can filter those out too.
In Photos select File -> New Smart Album… This will bring up a dialog box to set the options for the album.
- For the album name type in an album name such as the name of your camera
- For the criteria select Camera Model is (your camera model) Photos may not get every one so try includes instead of is
- To display images in RAW format add the following
- Match all conditions
- add a line (press the + button) and specify Filename ends with (add the filename extension for your RAW files)
Last summer a new advanced image editing program for the Mac was released called Affinity Photo. The program was the second graphics program released in the Affinity line after Affinity Designer, an illustration program. More programs for the Mac have been promised including Affinity Publisher, a page layout program.
Affinity Photo uses various “personas” to group different types of functions for image editing, working with RAW images and stitching together panoramas. Image editing allows for many different kinds of non-destructive adjustments. Extensions to allow some of the tools to work in Apple Photos are also available.
On March 15 an announcement was made indicating that Affinity software, including Affinity Photo, will come to Windows. Serif which is the company behind Affinity software previously made graphics software for the consumer market on Windows, but now is focusing on the Affinity software suite.
With the latest update of OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 Apple added the much anticipated Photos app. Photos which Apple developed to work more closely with the Photos app on iOS devices and in the process has meant the ceasing of development of iPhoto and Aperture.
While Apple advertises the iCloud Photo Library to sync photos it still remains possible to sync photos via iTunes for those that don’t wish to upload all of their photos. At the time 10.10.3 was released iTunes was also updated to support Photos. In order to change syncing from iPhoto to the Photos app, one needs to setup and resync the photos.
When opening the Photos for the first time it will ask about using the iCloud Photo Library at which time you can decline. To make any changes later go into the iCloud Preferences pane within Photos.
In iTunes after you have connected your iPhone or iPad select it and then find the tab for Photos in the Settings. Here there is an option with “Copy photos from Photos” and then select which photos you want to transfer. You can transfer all photos or recent months or particular albums. When you apply the changes it will resync your photos.
My personal use of iPhoto at present (and now Photos) is primarily for syncing photos between the Mac and iOS devices. I also use it for the occasional project, such as gift cards. To avoid depending on iPhoto/Photos which hides the pictures in the Finder I import into a regular folder structure and use other software such as GraphicConverter to access the photos. Importing the photos can be done using Image Capture.
Some more tips for using the Photos app:
- Select “Show Sidebar” from the “View” menu, in order to see albums listed.
- Photos doesn’t appear to support Events, however, events in iPhoto are imported into albums.
On the weekend I updated to Yosemite and the process went well. Here are some tips to reduce some of the drastic changes to the user interface and bring back a couple items that are hidden in Safari.
- To reduce the transparency added with Yosemite there is an option by going to System Preferences -> Accessibility -> Display and selecting “Reduce transparency”.
- One of the options that Mac OS X has is to change the blue colour for highlights in menus to grey. I find it especially helpful in Yosemite to minimize the overly bright nature. In the System Preferences -> General ->Appearance and selecting “Graphite”.
- Yosemite brings a new version of Safari and one of the changes made was that URL is reduced to the domain name. To view full URLs go to the Safari Preferences and selecting “Show full website addresses”.
- Safari also takes away the title for the current page. This can be shown by making sure that the tab bar is always shown by selecting from the menu View -> Show Tab Bar.
Update 11/11/2014: MacWorld includes an article with information on why you might want to keep Apple’s new URL behaviour.
This morning Apple previewed the next versions of OS X: named Yosemite and iOS 8. Changes to OS X include a redesign of the user interface. While I think that they finally got things consistent throughout Mavericks and so not what I would say would make it a high priority, it will provide the option of a light or dark look to the UI. One of the major new features is Continuity that will allow one to move from working with one iOS device or Mac to another.
Some features for the camera and photos app will be access to all photos on all devices, via an enhanced iCloud service. One will be able to search photos and new editing controls within the photos app. Third party developers will also be able to extend with their own filters. In addition a Photos app that will be coming to the Mac next year.
The new updates will be available in Fall and look like they will have much to offer.