Fine tuning Yosemite

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.

  1. To reduce the transparency added with Yosemite there is an option by going to System Preferences -> Accessibility -> Display and selecting “Reduce transparency”.
  2. 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”.
  3. 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”.
  4. 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.


OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 preview at WWDC

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.

Upgrading an iPhoto Library

In the process of moving photos that were originally on an older Mac onto my current Mac with Mavericks and iPhoto 9.5.1. When I first opened the library there weren’t any images showing. To help in this situations Apple has a Library Upgrader available. The upgrader is for iPhoto libraries that you want to use from iPhoto ’08 (version 7) or earlier. iPhoto will still go through the upgrading process when you open the library after that. This worked for a couple different libraries when I used the upgrader.

To open a library other than the default one, use the option key when starting iPhoto. There is also a shareware program called iPhoto Library Manager that is useful when you are working with multiple libraries.

Update 17/04/2014: Unfortunately I found the upgrader doesn’t work in all cases and the pictures still don’t appear in iPhoto. iPhoto Library Manager can help in these cases by using the “Extract Photos” menu item. This will search for the pictures in the library and put them in a folder on your hard drive.

Desktop image: bokeh effect

One of the things I enjoy doing is creating desktop images/wallpapers for my computer and mobile devices: providing some variety. I found a good tutorial for the Mac image editor Acorn to create some nice desktop images. The tutorial makes use of something called the bokeh effect. The tutorial can be found in the Acorn help section.

Below is one of the desktop images that I created.

Bokeh desktop image 1024x768

Bokeh desktop image 1920x1080

Bento and iOS 7

Unfortunately after today Filemaker will be no longer offering the easy to use database program Bento. If you use the Mac program and the iOS app one ends up with problems syncing after upgrading to iOS 7. The fix is to setup syncing as a new device.  Check the Bento forums, i.e. this thread for info.

Bento continues to work at the moment and hopefully Mavericks won’t cause any serious issues. That is what I find so problematic about Filemaker quitting development at this time, it is right at the same time as major operating system updates. If you want to check for other programs available, Bento users have posted a list of some of the options available.

Photography Assignment Generator apps for photography ideas

Noel Chenier, photographer and instructor, has created apps that are worth checking out providing photography ideas and information. They also allow you to get information on various techniques and types of photography. Along with each type there are several photos and tips to go along with them. You can choose a particular category or have the app randomly select one. He has created apps for use with DSLR cameras as well as one that is designed for those taking pictures with an iPhone.

Below is a link to the free version of the Photography Assignment Generator app.

iTunes Link

Closing The Macfoto Life

For all future posts I will return to blogging topics discussed at The Macfoto Life to Dave’s Journey. The existing posts will remain for now.

Update 08/10/2011: The reason I posted this is to make it easier to manage my blogs.

Update 11/12/2012: I reserve the right to restart this blog.

Mobile Bible apps and free NIV available with YouVersion

One of the things I like to use my iPod Touch for is reading the Bible. There are many apps to choose from with different features. The ones that I use are BibleReader and Accordance. Both of these are offline reading apps. BibleReader is available on a variety of mobile devices and has some excellent features, particularly the navigation to allow quick access to any verse. BibleReader 5 added significant enhancements to give it further capabilities for Bible study. The Accordance iOS app is fairly new and allows access to modules from the Mac program and its powerful search capabilities.

BibleReader iTunes link

Accordance iTunes link

One of the other Bible apps is the YouVersion Bible app allows for both online and offline reading. Right now until March 1, along with Biblica, they are offering the NIV translation free for offline reading on iOS and Android devices.

Youversion iTunes link

Photography apps on my iPod Touch

Following are some of the photography apps that are available for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

dSLR Toolkit for Dummies

iTunes Link

The dSLR Toolkit is an app that provides plenty of reference material and tools for you to make the most of your digital SLR. Some of the things it includes are:

  • information on how to take better pictures
  • settings to use for a variety of photography subjects
  • glossary related to digital photography
  • a place to take notes when you are taking pictures
  • a level for your tripod

Photo Tome

iTunes Link

If you like the section in the dSLR Toolkit section providing information on settings for different photography subjects then you’ll like Photo Tome. This app goes into more detail for the settings covering a wide range of topics from “Aquariums” to “Zoos”. For each subject it provides suggested camera settings, a description of the topic, along with a sample photo. It also provides some tips. A place for your own notes is also provided.


iTunes Link

With Impression you can easily add a watermark to your pictures. Simply select a photo from the photos on your iPhone and add text to it. Additional features are available with an in-app purchase.

Bill Atkinson Photocard Lite

iTunes Link

Photocard and Photocard Lite are apps that allow you to send an ecard that looks like a postcard. On the front of the card one selects a photo from one of the provided photos or one that is on your iPhone. On the back one selects one of the pictorial stamps, enter the name and address of the person you are emailing it to and your message. Photocard Lite is free with a limited number of supplied pictures and stamps. The full app provides more supplied pictures and also has an option to have your postcards printed and mailed.

Adobe Photoshop Express

iTunes Link

One of my favourite apps is Photoshop Express, it is a simple Photoshop program from Adobe for the iPhone. It has functions allowing you to make image adjustments, apply effects and add borders to your pictures. After making changes you can save the pictures or share it with your friends by email or social networks.

Color Splash

iTunes Link

ColorSplash is another image manipulation app that has one function and that is to emphasize one area through colour, while leaving the rest grey. When you open a picture in the app the picture will be grey. Using your fingers bring out the areas you want in colour. It is possible to switch back and forth between colouring and turning areas into grey and zooming and moving until you have the picture looking like you want.