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Posted on August 25, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Heavy PNG (or JPG/GIF, by the way) files? Get a free and simple Mac tool: ImageOptim!

I use/love/hate/hack WordPress for some websites I run/admin/work for.

Media uploading though – image, namely, has become an issue since every time you upload an image (PNG to be accurate) huge files are being stored along with their smaller thumbnails.

The catch is that WP ( > 3.x) generates thumbnails from uploaded PNGs that are far from optimized and so take a lot of (precious) storage space – and result in being slower when downloaded with mobile devices.
I know that we live in the gigabytes-hosting-giveaway era, but it’s still an issue to me!

At first, I tried with Photoshop, getting PNGs as small as I could but then moved on to a simpler solution.

free image resize optimization mac toolMeet ImageOptim!

ImageOptim is a free and really simple to use image optimizer that works well to quickly reduce the file size of PNG, JPEG, and GIF image files.
The interface couldn’t get any easier: you just drag and drop images into the app and they’ll be optimized, whether it’s one picture or some hundreds (just in my case) it works the same.

The app works by finding the most suitable compression parameters for the image file type, and then it further reduces file size by removing unnecessary color profiles, EXIF data, and comments from the image itself.

Check it out! Optimization works well and it’s a lot faster than opening something like Photoshop.

You can even optimize ImageOptim itself by adjusting the amount of CPU gear it can use (so that CPU usage is correctly shared along with all other applications running): this is great on my i5 MBP – all 4 cores are devoted to get the job done really quickly.

Try now and find out how much you can optimize/reduce/save your image file – i found PNGs are on average 25% smaller when ImageOptim-treated!

ImageOptim requires Tiger and up, and is available in English, French, German, Italian, Dutch and Polish.

Download ImageOptim here!

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Posted on November 8, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Get 5 Mac really useful apps ($154 value) for free: 4 days remaining!

The bundle that came for free

MacHeist did it again!
Usually their app bundles typically deliver a dozen Mac applications at a significant discount.
The latest bundle is even more affordable: it delivers you 6 Mac applications ($154 value) for Free!

  • ShoveBox ($25) – easily capture important bits of information
  • WriteRoom ($25) – a distraction free writing environment
  • Twitterific ($15) – popular Twitter client
  • TinyGrab ($14) – quickly share screenshots
  • Hordes of Orcs ($25) – tower defense game
  • Mariner Write* ($50) – fast, streamlined word processor
  • * Mariner Write requires 500,000 total bundle participants to be “unlocked”.

    My favorites?

    writeroom macI love WriteRoom (in fact I’m writing this very post with WR now) for its simplicity and ingenuity: it’s really “distraction-free” writing – with some pluses.
    You get a Matrix-like editing screen that’s really good if you need to concentrate only on writing – and you ought to!

    twitterrific mac freeSince I’m an avid Twitter user, Twitterrific is a valuable tool!
    Just like WriteRoom, you get a full-featured Twitter window that requires very little system resources, stays quietly in the background, allows you to perform all Twitter operations.
    (regular price for this jewel is $ 14.95 – for free is a steal!)

    I’m intrigued by ShoveBox and still have to fully exploit its features.
    I love the idea of being able to stack up all tiny data (URLs, products, single news, snippets of code) that I get into all day.
    Hope Shovebox does it in a neat way as it promises: more on this will follow!

    Click there to download this free bundle offer from MacHeist but hurry up, offer end November 12th 2009!

    (Each application offered represents full licenses.)

    Remember that free is the perfect number!

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    Posted on March 27, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Wget – a must for all Mac-geeks!

    Let’s face it, when it comes to quick-and-dirty missions, there’s no better place than Terminal.
    Provided you know how to use it, what to use and which parameter to feed in, you can do almost anything…

    Take wget for example, that incidentally is not part of the standard stuff that Mac OS X comes with.

    You can bypass almost any browser problems, you just give it a feasible URL and, boom there you are.
    It’s by far the best way to get files, updates, SVNs or stuff like that.
    It’s also the best way to hack your way through embedded flash videos so popular these days.

    Syntax at the lowest level goes like this:

    wget [URL]

    You can specify a horde of options in between, output dir, HTTP auth options and so on.
    My favorite is -b which runs the process into background-land and gives me command line back.

    Fact is, as most *nix commands you get source code and so need to compile it.
    Here’s a tip: Quentin Stafford compiled a wget so you get binaries comfortably running with Leopard.

    Check his page on wget here and download wget Mac OS X-ready binaries from here.

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    Posted on July 2, 2008 at 10:49 am

    Mac OS X 10.5.4 update available

    Not a major update but something significant especially to heavy iCal users: iCal got a bunch of much-awaited fixes.

    More info on this Apple article.

    Update: a friend suggested it’s still available as a (huge) combo update for all previous 10.5 Leopard users (therefore useful when re-installing from 10.5.1 DVDs).
    Click here for the Mac OS X 10.5.4 Combo update.

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    Posted on November 18, 2007 at 12:41 pm

    Run Mac OS X On Your Asus Eee PC

    You may not know about Asus Eee PC: it’s an ultraportable PC (or UMPC), with tiny screen, no hard disk (it’s flash-disk based), a webcam and runs natively a Linux version under a Celeron-class processor or Win XP with some hacks.

    Since when it has beeb first annouced, the Eee PC has raised mixed blessings.
    From my point of view it’s an interesting approach to the portability issue: slimmer, lighter and power-savy.

    asus eee pc mac os xNow Tuaw comes with this pretty suggestion: why not try to run Mac OS X (intel version) on the Asus Eee PC?

    Quoting from Tuaw:

    Naturally, this hack falls into a legally gray area, so you’ll want to proceed with extreme caution. You also have to bear in mind that the build of Mac OS X floating around on BitTorrent isn’t exactly legal either, although the PC-patched copy makes for a “moderately easy install.” Based on the specs on the Asus Eee PC, you’ll probably want to stick with Tiger rather than Leopard.

    With all this hacking and modding, you’ve got to wonder why Apple hasn’t created a more compact version of the MacBook to compete against this beautiful UMPC. Call it the MacBook Nano and it’d sell like hotcakes.

    Full story on Tuaw.

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    Posted on November 16, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    Mac OS X 10.4.11 update

    A huge update actually, some 130 MB including:

  • Safari 3
  • RAW image decoding support for the following cameras: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50, Leica V-Lux 1, Olympus E-400, Olympus EVOLT E410, Olympus EVOLT E510, Canon EOS 40D
  • Improved reliability when running VMWARE’s Fusion
  • Improves syncing between iPhone and Yahoo! address books
  • Allows the use of the special keys on aluminum Apple Keyboards to control Aperture slideshows
  • Improves reliability when mounting external USB hard drives.
  • And much more…

    Check the full list on Apple web site here.

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    Posted on May 16, 2007 at 9:35 am

    The new and revamped MacBook

    The changes were made to all three consumer MacBook models, Cupertino, California-based Apple said in a statement today. Prices for the 1-inch-thick machines start at $1,099.

    Some had speculated that the computers would run off flash-based memory or have brighter, energy-efficient screens, but the new machines have only minor adjustments: the lowest-end one will now come standard with 1 GB of RAM and an 80-GB hard drive, instead of 60 GB. It will run at 2.0 GHz instead if 1.88. The higher-end MacBooks receive similarly small bumps: from 2.0 GHz to 2.16, and each of their hard drives jumps up 40 gigs, to 120 (white) and 160 GB (black). Their Super Drives will also become a little bit faster, from 6x to 8x with dual-layer support.

    Sales of the consumer MacBook and higher-powered MacBook Pro notebooks accounted for 60 percent of Apple’s computer revenue last quarter.

    The European Connection

    Italians who received news of the spring 2007 MacBook update directly from Apple may have also been tipped off as to a change in the 13.3-inch displays used for the systems.

    In its announcement, Apple Italy listed a 250cd/m2 brightness figure for the top 2.16GHz black model. The company has previously refrained from mentioning the display’s specifications in the past, suggesting that the brightness was a selling point for at least the top system.

    Europe as a whole also saw the price of the systems drop despite the change, with each system dipping 70 Euros to 1,049, 1,249, and 1,449 Euros respectively.

    Final Cut Studio 2 shipping delayed

    Apple has given signs that its Final Cut Studio 2 video editing tools will slip past their intended May release window.

    Visitors to Apple’s online Apple Store who place new orders are told that both the full version and its two upgrades will ship within 2-3 weeks, putting deliveries into early June. And despite showing an intended release date of May 15th, Amazon as of this writing is currently listing a 1-3 week shipping timeframe for new buyers.

    A loud fix as well…

    Apple vows to fix speaker issue

    Meanwhile, Apple is aware of and intends to fix a problem with the volume of the internal speakers on at least some Macs, including last fall’s Core 2 Duo iMacs.

    Owners of affected systems have complained that the built-in speakers have become too loud since the Mac OS X 10.4.9 update issued earlier in the year. The problem has become chronic and some customers have complained that Apple has taken a dismissive approach until today, denying that the patch was the root of the problem until the company privately admitted this month that its next software update should provide a cure.

    “Not all Apple users enjoy being blown away by their systems nor are they from the generation that believes “loud” is the norm,” said one report. “There has been no explanation as to why Apple took the direction it did in regards to this issue.”

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    Posted on December 8, 2006 at 8:40 pm

    Calling out all Mac Skype users: check your Skype account for free minutes/SMS on Fridays!

    Skype-lovers to-do list:

    – go & check on www.skype.com,
    – log in with your account data (unless you’re already logged in or you use Firefox)
    get some minutes (or SMSs) for FREE!, should be 15 minutes (but check effective call rates!)

    As stated on Skype web site, this will work on Fridays for the full month of December!

    Mac users only 😉

    Update: some users pointed out that this offer may be related to selected countries only.
    UK, France & Italy seem to be working fine…

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    Posted on December 5, 2006 at 6:04 pm

    MacSwitching got a new MacBook Pro… but kept it secret…

    It’s been exactly one year.
    Check here
    On November 9th, 2006 I had the opportunity to trade in my (trusted) old G4 1.67 GHz PowerBook in favour of a brand new MacBook Pro 2.16 GHz, with Core 2 Duo processor, 2 GB RAM and so on…
    Thanks to Enry & Donato for this…

    Why am I writing this only now?
    Because I got very little time to use it, and had even less time to save all my data/software to ensure a smooth transition from one Mac to another.

    I’ll be writing more about this direct experience on Universal Binary, Windows on Mac & so on…

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    Posted on September 13, 2006 at 1:13 pm

    Apple announces new iPods, new iTunes, new contents and much more

    Among all news and new products introduced yesterday, I’d like to highlight iTunes 7 since it features a really nice interface.

    itunes 7iTunes 7

    Complete support for new media and contents (more on this later), some interface redesigns along with a new, blueish icon, and a brand new way of browsing through your albums.

    We often hear complaints from people missing their album collection and the pleasure of browsing through CD covers: no longer should they complain about it!

    iTunes 7 allows Mac and PC users to visually browse like nothing else through their albums with stunning graphics.

    This FrontRow-style interface comes from a previous iTunes 6 plug-in from the guys at Steelskies: CoverFlow, the name of this plug-in has been incorporated into iTunes 7; check SteelSkies for more details on CoverFlow.

    Check full article about new iPod and iTunes on iPodPalace.com

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    Posted on March 20, 2006 at 2:40 pm

    Witch: a powerful task – and document- switcher for Mac OS X

    mac os x task switcher witchI guess you’re all used to do Command-Tab all the time to do task-switching and, if you’re a Windows switcher, you’re still more used to the ALT-Tab keys combination.

    Witch, from Peter Maurer, comes in really handy since it allows you not only to switch from one task to another, but to switch from each and every open document under every program running.

    An easy way to pass from multiple open documents with the simple touch of a switch.

    Witch is Universal Binary and comes for free or a donation via paypal to the author.

    Check here for more info & download: http://www.petermaurer.de/nasi.php?section=witch

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    Posted on February 19, 2006 at 1:07 pm

    OS X 10.4.5 update now available

    Mac OS X 10.4.5 update is now available: it looks like there are some minor enhancements that require major attention and care when updating.

    Read Apple’s note before installing.

    Check here: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=303179-it

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