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John Bowdler

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Everything posted by John Bowdler

  1. John Bowdler

    Generating blb files

    Hi folks I use a program called Texpad to copy-edit academic papers in LaTex. A critical part of such documents is the References section (or Bibliography), which authors sometimes send as a .bib file. However, Texpad is unable to convert the .bib file into the necessary .blb file. If any of you guys know how I can generate .blb files on a Mac I’d greatly appreciate your help. Ta! — iMac; OS 10.8.5
  2. John Bowdler

    Internal or external?

    I need to upgrade my mid-2007 iMac. Should I get, say, the one terabit iMac and a 2TB external drive for backup – or a 3TB iMac? Which is better, internal or external? (I already have an (ageing) 1TB time capsule). Ta!
  3. John Bowdler

    Using multiple desktops

    I’d appreciate advice on using multiple desktops. I’m an editor, so my iMac tends to look like this: Desktop 1 – MS Word (I have to use this as Word is the default program in the editing community) Desktop 2 – Stickies (To Do lists; daily activities) – TextEdit (writing text, especially emails which I then cut and paste into Mail; tallying the work done on the project of the moment) – Pages (landscape view, two columns. I use this to create a Style Sheet – a list of words and styles required for the project I’m working on) – Dictionary (easy to three-finger swipe from desktop 1 to use this: using MS Word’s dictionary is a pain) I arrange these in a way that allows me to use them fairly efficiently. Desktop 3 – Mail, Address Book Desktop 4 – Safari Desktop 5 – Preview Desktop 6 – Excel Sometimes I open up a full screen, which means the program creates its own desktop. Of course, if I log off all these screens disappear and I have to start all over again. It’s a mess, but my strategy is to use different programs for different activities as it’s easy to switch between programs using command–tab. I also try to use native Apple programs as they should work better. I’d welcome suggestions from the sages of the Maccast community on how I can work the system more effectively. For example, is it possible to freeze desktops (my understanding is that it isn’t)? Finally, I haven’t upgraded to Mountain Lion as I’m worried my ageing iMac may go belly up. I am going to get a new iMac, although my finances are a bit dodgy. ): Thanks in advance for your help, folks. John iMac mid-2007, 10.7.5, magic trackpad
  4. John Bowdler

    Internal or external?

  5. John Bowdler

    Internal or external?

    Great response, John. Does this imply internal storage, external – or both! I was thinking of getting a smaller internal drive and then building up a series of external drives, buying a new one every year or so. So, when the oldest one dies I’ve newer ones to take over. Does this sound a good way to go?
  6. John Bowdler

    Thanks for the show! (About time!)

    I agree. I remembering listening to my first Maccast about the same time, while going for a pleasant country walk on a hot summer's day. Admittedly, it might be the 'hot summer's day' bit that makes the occasion particularly memorable, since they're as common round here as hen's teeth, but I do remember thinking 'Wow, this is great!' - and I haven't missed a Maccast since.
  7. John Bowdler

    Best bluetooth headset?

    What's the best bluetooth headset to use with an iMac for phone calls? Cheers John
  8. John Bowdler

    Mountain Lion

    Nope! I still get glitches in Lion.
  9. John Bowdler

    Happy Birthday, Adam!

    Thirded. Happy birthday, Adam.
  10. Thanks for the comprehensive reply. Seems more complicated than it should be. The Line2 software is for North America only; I'm in the UK. I think I'll just stick to the landline. Cheers John
  11. Hi I've got an iMac, a broadband connection, Wi-Fi and a fourth-gen iPod Touch. Is it possible to make and take calls at home, using the wi-fi connection (or Bluetooth)? I'm not talking about making VOIP calls! Cheers John
  12. John Bowdler

    WWDC MacCast

    I've had an iMac since mid-2007 and am desperately waiting for the next generation to come out. So I was, I think legitimately, disappointed.
  13. John Bowdler

    Beep Beep

    No. I'll give it a go!
  14. John Bowdler

    Beep Beep

    My new iPod Touch (OS 5.0.1) beeps whenever i pick it up if the USB cable is connected and various dialogue boxes are displayed on iTunes on my iMac, the most popular being: 'iTunes could not connect this iPhone because an unknown error occurred (OxE80000001).' I've restored the iPod a couple of times. At first it works fine, then the beeping resumes. It's beeping at me now, for no apparent reason and with no dialogue box in iTunes. Is this simply a case of a dodgy cable and I should send it back to Apple, or could there be a software solution? Thanks, John. All beeped out!
  15. John Bowdler

    Reading Mail

    I find the optimal view for reading emails (or anything) is about newspaper-column width – maybe a bit wider. However, when Mail is in fullscreen mode (on a 24" iMac) the only way to get this width is to stretch the left-hand column ridiculously, so that the bit I'm trying to read is squeezed into the right-hand side of the screen. Is there an easier way to present emails in a readable format while at the same time not losing the extra screen real estate which fullscreen mode provides? Ta!
  16. John Bowdler

    Address Book Smart Groups not working on Lion

    I had a similar problem. I have the following smart group in Address Book: Card – has not changed in – 2 – months. It is now empty. I came to the conclusion that Lion simply blatted all my metadata so I'll have to wait two months before the group becomes relevant! Sorry I couldn't help.
  17. John Bowdler

    Podcasts that us MacGeeks listen to

    Maccast BBC Radio 4 Today in Parliament BBC Radio 4 Best of Today The Economist audio edition BBC Radio 4 In Our Time 365 Days of Astronomy Well, you asked …
  18. Lyrical invective from MusicIsTheBest! On the whole, I like Lion - I find it 'business-like'. But, for the first time I find myself in PC world: stuff that used to work just fine no longer works and the new stuff is buggy. The experience of using my Mac is no longer always enjoyable. Apple's change of direction seems clear: if it isn't a portable gizmo Apple are not really interested in it. That's a shame, because I like my iMac and I want to continue doing so.
  19. John Bowdler

    Track pad or mouse? or Both?

    To answer a completely 'nother question … I use a mouse and the keyboard. I've turned Universal Access on so that I can use the numeric keypad. I use the mouse to move the cursor and then jab '5' on the keypad to 'click'. Somehow that seems more comfortable.
  20. The phantom Finder I've got loads of Finder windows 'open' - I just can't see them! … on ANY of my desktops.
  21. I used to use Spaces a lot and really like Mission Control, particularly being able to switch from desktop to desktop quickly by using the arrow keys with the control key held down (though you could do that before). Odd, though, that the desktops re-arrange themselves in Mission Control. So, instead of being arranged 1, 2, 3 … left to right, desktop number 2 is currently on the far right of the Mission Control screen, next to number 4! Also, the desktops lose their number when full screen mode is used; so desktop number 1, which has iTunes in full screen mode, is now called desktop 'iTunes' and I have no idea where it was before. The only way I can find to launch Launchpad, using the keyboard, is control-F3, which selects the dock.
  22. Apparently, there is a new "scareware" virus which is targeted at the Mac, called MACDefender. It tries to scare you into installing fake Mac anti-virus software, saying there are security problems on your Mac. Presumably, this is just another case of 'don't install anything that looks dodgy'? John
  23. John Bowdler

    MACDefender - DEFENceless?

    Great! That's pretty much what I'm doing already. I suppose these types of malware operate on the basis that the weakest link is the user - if you install something you shouldn't install, well then it's your fault.
  24. John Bowdler

    Lionising Lion

    The new OS (Lion) will have a function called 'Versions', which will 'record the evolution of a document as you create it.' This will be dead handy for me! Currently, working in Word, I have to remember to 'Save as' occasionally and then re-name the document (by adding version 1, version 2, etc) so that I don't lose everything if (when) Word crashes. I'm then left with, say, 20 versions of the document, each at a different stage of 'evolution'. It seems like 'Versions' will do precisely this without my having to remember. So, can't wait for Lion! John - not afraid of big cats