Yosemite Beta

Take Control helps you beta test OS X Yosemite with confidence

Good day!

Apple today released the public beta of OS X 10.10 Yosemite!

Simultaneously, we’ve published “Take Control of Beta Testing Yosemite,” by Joe Kissell. You can buy it for a suggested price of $5 from Leanpub. Read on for all the details, or just click the link to get your ebook:

http://tid.bl.it/tco-yosemite-beta-leanpub

The Yosemite beta is exciting stuff, at least for those of us who love poking around in new software to see what has changed. But the rewards of beta testing come with risks and responsibilities, so in “Take Control of Beta Testing Yosemite,” Joe Kissell draws on years of experience with testing every version of OS X since 10.3 Panther to make sure you know what you’re getting into. Follow Joe’s advice and you can be confident that you won’t mess up anything as you switch to and from the beta.

In the 51-page book, Joe teaches you what’s involved with beta testing in general, and he discusses the pros and cons of installing the beta on a startup volume, virtual machine, separate volume, SuperDuper sandbox, or (best of all) a separate Mac. Next up, you’ll run the installer (without letting it delete itself). With installation completed, Joe suggests key post-installation tasks and categories of software you may need to reinstall, plus gives tips on how to look for new features and report any bugs you may find. Perhaps most important, Joe explains how to switch between the beta and your main installation of OS X, how to downgrade from Yosemite if necessary, and how to upgrade to release version when that ships.

You may be thinking, “Really? A book about how to beta test Yosemite?” We won’t pretend that it’s essential, even though there are helpful details you won’t find elsewhere (such as which virtualization program can run Yosemite as a guest OS) and advice that could save you significant headaches (such as the best destination for your installation). And, of course, the lifespan of the book is limited — it’s useful only until Yosemite ships.

So we’re doing something unusual with pricing: we’ve set a suggested price of $5, but you can pay whatever you think it’s worth — whether that’s more or less than the suggested price, or even nothing at all. (That’s why there’s no MUG discount this time. And if you get it for free and later decide it was valuable to you, you can come back and buy a copy.) Paying helps Joe and his wife keep their baby in diapers and gives us concrete feedback that books of this sort are worth doing.

In keeping with the fast and fluid nature of beta testing, we’ve decided to publish this ebook exclusively via Leanpub, which was designed for quick releases. Had we used our traditional method, we wouldn’t have been able to publish the book at the same time as the public beta, and we would need more time to react to new versions (nor would we have been able to do the choose-your-own-price approach). Any updates to the book will be free.

http://tid.bl.it/tco-yosemite-beta-leanpub

Thanks for your support of the Take Control series and our authors!

cheers… -Adam & Tonya Engst, Take Control publishers

TAKE CONTROL copy & paste

“Take Control of Automating Your Mac” makes tasks quick, accurate, and repeatable

What’s the key technological advance of the past 50 years? CPUs are faster and drives hold vastly more data, but arguably the most important conceptual leap is copy and paste. Why? Because it lets you leverage work you’ve already done, in a manner that’s quick, accurate, and repeatable. But you know that, and not only do you already understand the utility of copy and paste, you probably also press Command-C on the keyboard instead of choosing Copy from a menu because the keyboard shortcut is faster.

Congratulations, then, since you’re already automating your Mac in one essential way that makes your work quick, accurate, and repeatable with consistent results. In his newest book, “Take Control of Automating Your Mac,” Joe Kissell embarks on a mission to help you find shortcuts to the things you’re already doing regularly so you can focus on those creative or subjective tasks that only you can do. The book normally costs $15, but the 30% MUG discount drops that to $10.50, and better yet, it comes with coupons worth over $60. Learn more about the book and buy it via the coupon-loaded link below.

http://tid.bl.it/tco-automating-your-mac-mug-discount

It’s important to realize that you don’t need to be a programmer — or even particularly geeky — to automate your Mac. Everyone uses copy and paste, and most of what Joe explains in “Take Control of Automating Your Mac” can be used by anyone, from novice to expert. Nor is specialized software necessary. OS X has oodles of built-in automation features like keyboard shortcuts, configurable gestures, and automatic launching of key apps. But clever Macintosh developers have created brilliant utilities that go far beyond OS X’s features, and Joe explains how to use such stalwarts as Keyboard Maestro and Hazel, plus delves into the included automation capabilities in apps like Microsoft Office and Nisus Writer Pro.

In short, Joe wants to do three things with “Take Control of Automating Your Mac”

* Show you lots of tools and techniques for automating your Mac.
* Offer concrete examples you can use as is or adapt to your needs.
* Inspire you with extensive lists of further possibilities.

To that end, he devotes chapters to the following topics, to show you how to:

* Develop an automator’s mindset
* Use OS X’s built-in automation features
* Take full advantage of input devices to save clicks
* Automate text expansion for faster, more consistent typing
* Control the Finder, with a launcher and by organizing files with Hazel
* Supercharge your clipboard to remember and reformat previous copies
* Write macros in Microsoft Office and Nisus Writer Pro
* Create rules to file email automatically in Apple Mail and Outlook
* Log in to Web sites faster with a password manager
* Automate cloud services with IFTTT and Zapier
* Set up automatic backup and syncing
* Get started with Automator and AppleScript
* Control nearly anything on your Mac with Keyboard Maestro

Put bluntly, we want to help you use your Mac more productively. It pains us when we see someone repeating the same mind-numbing steps over and over, when we know a Keyboard Maestro macro could easily do it all with a single keystroke. To aid in that, we’ve included discounts on eight of the most important apps Joe covers in the book: 20% or 30% off on Keyboard Maestro, LaunchBar, Hazel, Nisus Writer Pro, TextExpander, TextSoap, TypeIt4Me, and Typinator — look for coupons at the back of the ebook.

So, read “Take Control of Automating Your Mac” and get Joe’s expert advice on how to make your repetitive tasks quick, accurate, and repeatable, whether by setting up your Mac to type “quick, accurate, and repeatable” whenever you type “qar” or by creating whatever filing, launching, typing, clicking, sorting, filtering, or other shortcut that will save you from boredom and let you get to the fun stuff faster.

cheers… -Adam & Tonya Engst, Take Control publishers

P.S. Check out some of our other recently released ebooks, all at 30% off:

* Take Control of Your Apple Wi-Fi Network
* Take Control of Podcasting on the Mac
* Take Control of Your Paperless Office
* Take Control of Dropbox

http://tid.bl.it/tco-catalog-mug-discount

Q&A

Question and answerWe will have our usual Q&A‘s at the meeting so bring your questions and bring a friend or coworker who you think could benefit from our meeting. Review software for MacBUS and keep it – for free! We pan to give away books and software packages at meetings and all we ask in return is that you submit a review!

RIP GrowlVoice

One of the most useful and practical apps to come along in the last several years, GrowlVoice, seems to have been axed in the last week, thanks to Google Voice being migrated into Google Hangouts.

Available for purchase for $4.99 through the App Store since at least 2012, GrowlVoice was a formidable little app that allowed Mac users to access calls, texts and voicemail from their Google Voice accounts, right from the Toolbar.

Growlvoice

In a tweet posted last week, GrowlVoice announced that the access required by the app in order to function had been effectively terminated, thanks to Google:

Screen Shot 2014-04-19 at 12.58.50 PM

This is a sad day for Mac users like myself, who’ve come to rely on this fantastic little app to help manage texts and phone calls productively, in a way similar to the Messages app integrated within OS X. We hope someone (or another App) comes along to help rectify this situation soon – perhaps it’s as simple as a change in the JSON parsing, and hopefully not symbolic of a larger issue.

Latest iPhone 6 rumors

This week’s rumor highlight for the iPhone 6 is the announcement that a larger, yet-unseen, size format for the screen, measuring a whopping 5.5 inches – compared to the 4-inch screen that the iPhone 5 currently has. Still, this is nowhere as big as the iPad mini’s nearly 8-inch screen.

iphone_6_sizes

Thanks MacRumors for the visual!

Office for the iPad

Microsoft released Office for the iPad this past week, and a quick survey of some of our members has yielded, no surprise, mixed reviews. First, the complaints: massive app size – 200MB per application is seriously bloated. Can you open documents to view? We haven’t received a consistent answer to this.

It’s worth mentioning this brought back one complaint we’ve heard before, and that’s the move from a license purchase to an annual subscription basis, which we’ve seen many major software companies migrate to.

What’s your experience with Office for the iPad been? Any bugs, or hidden features you’ve encountered? LEt us know!

WSJ reports Apple chatting with Comcast

The WSJ has reported that Apple has been meeting with Comcast, presumably to secure agreements for providing content for an online streaming platform.

This is certainly no surprise to any of us that follow Apple – we’d assume that this has been going on for a while – as this just reinforces our expectations for what Apple needs to accomplish in order to prepare for launching any sort of Apple TV device. read more

Apple selling cheaper iPhone 5c abroad

Bloomberg reports that Apple Inc. Is selling a new, cheaper version of the iPhone 5c with less memory in the U.K., France, Germany, Australia and China.

iPhone 5Cs sold in the US currently start with 16GB of memory; these cheaper models come with only 8GB of memory. The amount of memory dictates the number of apps a user can download and run, as well as the amount of music and photos that can be stored.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-18/apple-introduces-cheaper-iphone-5c-with-less-memory-in-europe.html

iOS8 rumors and speculation

As we’d expect this time of year, rumors are beginning to accumulate with timelines, features and other details we may expect to find with the next release of the iDevice opertaing system from Apple.

On the heels of the latest iOS 7.1 software update, we are seeing numerous reports and leaked screenshots of the next version of iOS, iOS8.

iOS-8-features

Consistent among many rumors, and fueling the logical progression of software updates we’ve seen thus far:

  • Simplified Notification Center
  • Game Center App removed
  • improved CarPlay, without requiring a Lightning cable
  • Automatic deletion of old message in Mail
  • Separation of iTunes Radio into its own app
  • Improvements to Maps
  • Separation and improvements to Siri

MS Office for Mac blog closes; new OS X Office coming?

Two items of note this past week: the Microsoft web site dedicated to the Office Suite of software for the Mac closed down, and a long-overdue update for the package appears imminent.

office-for-mac

The web site blog.officeformac.com posted an announcement this week that new content going forward would be posted on the office.com website; while not necessarily significant, it does suggest reinforcement of the Office suite of software being handled together, and not on a separate timetable, as it had in the past.

Then, this week at the Cebit tradeconvention in Germany, representatives from Microsoft acknowledged development of a new version of Office for the Mac, according to a report from Macworld, summarizing a story from Computerwoche. Reports suggest we should expect to hear more details and a timeline in the next few months from Microsoft.