Screenshot & screencasts on Mac OSX

Back when I worked exclusively on a Windows machine, I loved using Screenpresso for the ease with which it allowed me to do screenshots and screencasts (if you’re still stuck on Windows, go buy it, it’s worth it).

But now that I’m on a Mac, what to do?

So to start with just press SHIFTCMD4 and you can take a screen shot. It’s a native Mac thing.

If you have Dropbox installed go to Preferences | Import and tick the Share screenshots using Dropbox option.

If you want to do screencasts, then fire up QuickTime Player (CMDSPACE | Quicktime ↩) then press CTRLCMDN to start video recording.

That’s how easy it is on a Mac.

Backup because only the paranoid survive

I first heard the quote “only the paranoid survive” about 1999 or 2000. But it’s only recently I’ve heard the full quote. Which is:

Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.

For more Quotes from Andy Grove visit this quote page.

This thinking applies to so many things, but one I often apply it to is backups. Yes the humble yet oft forgotten backup.

Just because everything is working, and going along swimmingly, we become complacent, we forget or put off doing a backup of our files, our photographs etc. This is when we most need to do our backup, so that when a problem arises, we have that backup to go to.

Thus (and this is the question that prompted me writing this) is “what do I use to backup?”.

I use both Dropbox and Backblaze. You may think they both serve the same purpose. They don’t.

I use Dropbox to make files available to myself across all the platforms I use, and I use it to share files and folders with others. In a sense it backs up my data, but that’s not what it’s there for.

To backup my data, workfiles, photos, music and emails I use Backblaze. Backblaze quietly sits in the background and backs up everything. Those files don’t have to be in my Dropbox folder to be backed up. It’s the easiest, cheapest and most effective offsite backup solution you can implement.

If you aren’t paranoid about losing your files, you don’t need to do anything. If you are, and I am, you need to start backing up. You’ve got no excuses. Complain to me and it’ll fall on deaf ears.

Download a file on dropbox using wget on linux

Firstly, get the dropbox share link. It will look like this

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ad2arn440pu77si/test.txt

Then add a “?dl=1” to the end of that url and a “-O filename” so that you end up with something like this:

wget https://www.dropbox.com/s/ad2arn440pu77si/test.txt?dl=1 -O test.txt

Now you can easily get files onto your linux box that aren’t available elsewhere.

Editing Microsoft Office Documents on the iPad

I got asked on the weekend about what do I use on the iPad to edit Microsoft documents.

I’ve been using an iPad (the ‘new iPad’ or the ‘iPad 3’ depending on who you talk to) and have been needing to both create and edit Microsoft Office Word and Excel documents.

I’ve tried using Google Apps but have found that it just wasn’t that easy, and I had to be online, which wasn’t a problem most of the time, but occasionally was quite frustrating if the connection was either slow or non-existent.

So I hunted around for a native app, and ended up with Quick Office HD, which is perhaps the most expensive app I’ve bought. However, it has proven to be very well spent money.

I’ve been able to open existing files, create new ones, save them to a Dropbox folder and either have them available on my workstation or laptop, or email a colleague a link to the file. This has proved to be a great combination (Quick Office HD and Dropbox).

As it so happens, Quick Office has been acquired by Google, so I’m hopeful that sometime in the near future a better option will exist for Google Doc’s.