Renaming files in Apple Photos

Once upon a time file names could only be a certain length. Was 7 characters for he name and 3 or the extension? 8 characters for the name? I can’t recall but somewhere along the way this limitation was lifted and we can name a file something useful. But I never developed the discipline to take advantage of this and have some old files with names like 4777959349_o.jpg . In my OCD moments this bugs me and I might take a few minutes (or a few days) and rename offending files.

I rarely see file names in iPhoto (I refuse to call it Apple Photos), just the Title I enter when adding photo. But my buddy George Kopp pointed out I can change the file name to the Title when exporting images for backup. This short screencast (4 min) shows this feature.

Jing go the strings of my heart

Did you ever show someone how to do something online and then show them over and over and over again? Sure you have. A couple of years ago I started using screencast apps (like ScreenFlow) to record brief “how-to’s” that I could put online rather than do the same demo again and again.

ScreenFlow and Camtasia and similar products enable you to record your demo once, and then let folks watch it when –and as often– as they want. These apps are very good… and maybe too good. (I tend to go on and on)

Lately I’ve been using Jing, which is made by the same people that make Camtasia. The difference is Jing is free and it limits your screencast to 5 minutes. Which I consider a feature, not a limitation. It forces you to focus, to be concise. If you need more than 5 minutes, you’re probably rambling and wordy.

I’ve done a few screencasts showing our reporters how to put stories online using our new WordPress websites. Recorded on the MacBook and uploaded to ($15/year). I then just send the links to our folks and they can watch the short videos (without downloading files). Works on Mac and PC.

Grokking new iMovie

My first brush with the new iMovie was bumpy. I’m looking forward to taking another run at it, after watching the first of a two-part tutorial from from ScreenCasts Online.

ScreenCastsOnline is a weekly video podcast of computer based video tutorials. The video tutorials cover many different topics from week to week but predominantly cover mac related subjects. The video tutorials are in the form of "screencasts" which are basically videos of screen captures demonstrating a particular application or service, with a spoken commentary explaining what is happening on screen.

Don McAllister’s easy-to-follow demo/tour was just what I needed. I’ll still use iMovie HD (the previous version) for a lot of stuff, but when I need to throw something together quickly…

I can’t recommend ScreenCastsOnline highly enough. It’s a free podcasts but I recommend the Extra! membership ($50 a year).

Apple Numbers: Making spreadsheets fun

Apple recently released upgrades to their iLife suite (iMovie, iTunes, Garage Band, etc). They also released a new version of iWork (the Apple answer to MS Office). I don’t use iWork apps much but I like Keynote (think PowerPoint but fun and easy).

The new release of iWork includes –for the first time– a spreadsheet program called Numbers. I rarely use a spreadsheet and know almost nothing about Excel. But after watching a demo of Numbers (I subscribe to Don McAllister’s ScreenCastsOnline), I’m eager to take it for a spin.

I’ve read that Numbers wouldn’t meet the needs of heavy-duty business users and is more geared for the individual (me!). Looks like it has been optimized for presentations.

I only mention this because it illustrates –again– how Mac can make something as dry as spreadsheets… fun. And easy. Once I get it installed and play with it a bit, I’ll try to come up with a few examples.