TextExpander from Noob to Ninja!

Filed under: Mac Tips, Software, Videos | Tags: , , |

One of the best presentations at MILOfest was Brett Burney’s guide to using TextExpander like a BOSS!

Here is part one covering the basics:

Viewing tip: bump up the youtube video resolution to see what Brett is typing!

Part 2 is UP! (Even with an i7 and seeing 8 cores light up, processing video takes so looooooong!)

Part 3: “From Milan to Minsk” is UP at long last:

Dragon Express Review

Filed under: Software | Tags: , , |

Dragon Express top

Nuance, the manufacturers of Naturally Speaking (PC) and Dragon Dictate (Mac) have come out with a new voice recognition program for Apple: Dragon Express. Dragon Express is available through the Apple App Store for an initial price of $50.

Just 50 bucks for a voice-recognition package? Where do I sign up!

That’s what I thought anyway. Then I looked at the reviews.

Dragon Exprss App Store reviews

While there are some glowing reviews praising Dragon Express for its recognition, there are many more saying that the program crashes repeatedly and is completely unusable. According to Nuance, the problems are related to another program installed on users’ systems: Cam Twist. Nuance has a link to an updated version of CamTwist that is supposed to solve the problem and a walk-through on how to uninstall CamTwist (as a final option).

Fortunately, I did not have the CamTwist installed, so crossing my fingers, I went ahead and purchased Dragon Express… The download took some time as the program is over a gigabyte in size. However, the installation went smoothly. Starting the program, I again held my breath. Read the rest of this entry »

Circus Ponies NoteBook for iPad Announces Dropbox Sync

Filed under: Software | Tags: |

NoteBook 3.0 for MacI just got news in my inbox that CircusPonies Notebook (my favorite information organizer) now comes with Drobox integration, letting you sync your Notebooks to your iPad. I use Notebook as a master case document in my disability practice and it helps me keeps all the parts of my cases organized. Here are some early comments about Dopbox syncing in the CircusPonies forums.

CircusPonies Notebook for iPad is available in the iOS App Store for $29 (ouch!) . The original desktop version is also available for $59 at the Mac App Store. However, if you only plan on using Notebook on only one device, you can buy it for $49 at CircusPonies site.

Final Cut X is an AWESOME iMovie Pro

Filed under: Software | Tags: |

thumbs up

Quick note: I’m giving Final Cut X a try. I downloaded it and edited some videos from last year’s Cherry Creek Arts Festival. These were some of the earliest things I shot. There are a lot of mistakes here. However, it was a lot of fun.

I have  a copy of Final Cut Express that I frankly never use. It’s still too complicated and you still have to build things from scratch. So, I’m loving the ease of use and built in titles and transitions in Final Cut X.

The very best feature is the automatic syncing of separate audio and video clips: Just select two clips in the library and then click Clip –> Synchronize Clips. This gives you a new clip to drag into your timeline.

You can then select Clip –> Break Apart Clip Items to separately see the audio and video so you can duck the audio from the camera mic. Sweet!

Yes, I get why professional editors are upset with Final Cut X. However, for amateurs like myself who really want an iMovie Pro, it’s amazing! Or, put another way: people who have no business making videos and whose videos are bad even by YouTube standard, think Final Cut X is a home run!

Final Cut X – Lamers Love It!

What more could Apple ask for?  Read the rest of this entry »

Pocket Casts: Better Podcast App

Filed under: Software | Tags: , |

I’m a big fan of podcasts: This American Life, Radiolab, several shows from TWiT. It’s great to listen to my favorite shows in the car or while exercising. However, I hate syncing to get new shows. When I am running to get out the door, I either leave without fresh episodes or I end out dancing in front of the computer shouting, “faster!”

I have tried using the built in option to get new podcasts from iTunes on the phone, but it is a number of extra clicks, and it isn’t automatic. Since seeing a recommendation for Pocket Casts, I decided to give it a try. While the interface is a bit busy, it completely untethers your iPhone from your computer.

Read the rest of this entry »

Otter Pope

Filed under: Software | Tags: , |

Otterpop non pope

With a no-show in my schedule, I decided to learn a bit more about Acorn. I’m using version 2.3.1 purchased from a prior MacHeist. Acorn is currently up to version 3.

My kids want to sell OtterPops over the summer to make some extra money, and I was commenting about this on Facebook when I mistakenly wrote “Otter Pope.” And I thought to myself.

Man, someone has got to make an Otter Pope!

So, with an hour, google image search, Hat Booth, more google image search and Acorn, I got to … not-the-otter-pope.

But, it was fun and I learned more about Acorn, removing the alpha channel and working with layers with all the élan that going to law school prepares one to do image editing. Next time, I’ll probably head over to quickmeme.

Acorn is available directly from Flying Meat and also on the App Store.

Mac Tip: Automate Tasks With Hazel

Filed under: Mac Tips, Software | Tags: |

This Mac tip falls in to the category of automating mac chores.

Hazel, a USD $21.00 program from Noodlesoft is a housekeeping app for your Mac. You set Hazel to watch certain folders and then take action on the files in them based on rules that you set.

  • You can set Hazel to clean off your desktop by moving files into another folder.
  • Or, move only those file that you have not touched in a set period of time.
  • Or, move the mp3 files into a “Music” folder, the html files into a “Web” folder, and the doc files into “Read Later” folder.
  • Or, change a file label color to red on files that have not been acted on in 3 weeks.

I use Hazel with my paperless system. My Fujitsu ScanSnap software places all scans into a temporary holding folder. I then optimize and save the scans into the correct client file. However, I prefer to keep a copy of the original scan for a set time just in case. Keeping track of the ages of files manually would be extremely tedious. Hazel makes this very easy.

Hazel installs itself as a preference pane:

Opening Hazel presents a simple interface showing the folders being watched. By selecting a folder, Hazel shows you the rules being applied to the folder.

Double click a rule to edit it or click the plus button to create a new rule. Here is how I set up the “Delete Old Scans” rule.

Hazel watches my “Temp-Scans” folder and any files with a creation date older than 15 weeks from today are moved to the trash.

There are lots of other common tasks you can set Hazel to perform such as emptying the trash, filing away documents, and automatically processing files. Check out LifeHacker’s article on Hazel for examples.

Evernote Tip: Export To Stay Under Folder Limit

Filed under: Cloud, Software | Tags: , |

Evernote is an amazing tool for lawyers. With folders, tags and the ability to search within documents, it makes it amazingly easy to find any document in any case either at your desktop, from your phone, or on a tablet.

UPDATE: since I drafted this post, Evernote increased the maximum folder limit to 250 folders. Thanks to Brooks Duncan and DocumentSnap for the heads up!

The biggest problem with Evernote is the 250 folder limit. Unless you are just starting out as a lawyer, your law firm probably has more than 250 files. There are several ways to deal with this limitation including  using TAGS as case names. However this really turns the program on its head and means you cannot use several of the nice features of notebooks in Evernote such as sharing.

Since you can select whether a notebook is synchronized or not, you  would think you could simply turn off synchronization. Unfortunately, you can’t do that! Evernote lets you select whether a folder is online (synchronized) or offline only when you create the folder. Read the rest of this entry »

Going VOIP

Filed under: Software | Tags: , , , |

Meeting in Progress

It is about 45 days after moving my law office. The physical move was the easy part. All the furniture was transferred in a morning. Even moving all the furniture from one one side of the office to the other (flipping the office 180 degrees) took only an evening’s hard work.

Mail, on the other hand, took about 21 days to begin forwarding.

You may recall my prior post concerning porting my telephone number. Well, 45 days later and still no luck. Quite early on I decided I never wanted to deal with this problem again. I never again wanted to deal with the antiquated systems set up by the telephone companies for moving a telephone number.

The question became: how am I going to run my business without a phone?

Read the rest of this entry »

MILOfest 2010 Amin Rahmani on Daylite

Filed under: Conferences, Software | Tags: , |

World's Favorite Sport
Amin is a mac lawyer’s best friend.

In case you don’t know, MarketCircle, the company Amin works for, are the developers of Daylite and Billings – two native Apple project management and billing software solutions for both the Mac and iPhone. For many Mac using lawyers, Amin is the face of MarketCircle: active on the Macs in Law Office’s listserve and the MarketCircle representative at the last two MILOfest conferences (which MarketCircle has sponsored).

Amin talked to Planet10tech at MILOfest 2010 to share recent developments with Daylite and what we can expect from the iPad version of Daylite (coming soon!).

CC image credit: vramak