2021, Allison Sheridan
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[0:00] Music.

[0:13] And this is show number 947. Last week you may have noticed one or two different failures in the podcast.

Hindenburg Hiccups

[0:20] One of two different failures in the podcast.
Shortly after I first published the show, Jill from the Northwoods alerted me to the fact that there were no chapter marks.
I rushed back upstairs and I verified what she said. I checked my original M4A export using Rogue Amoeba's Fission software and determined there were definitely no chapter marks.
That was an important diagnostic step because it eliminated Auphonic as a possible suspect in the stripping out of the chapters because that happens after that M4A export.

[0:49] My first test in Hindenburg was to export it again without changing anything.
I opened the file in Fission, and now my carefully handcrafted chapter marks were there.
I had no idea what had caused it, but with no further testing, I re-ran the Auphonic process.
The last thing Auphonic does is securely FTP the file to Libsyn, where the audio files live out the rest of their natural days, waiting for you to download them to listen. This step failed, as I expected, because it was trying to push the same file name again to the same place. That meant a step over to the dreaded Libsyn interface to manually replace the file. Since I'd done Battle with Libsyn just a few weeks ago, I was able to find version 4 of the interface, because version 5 is stupid, and I found it more quickly this time, and I remembered how to replace the file. Great, it was fixed, at least for any podcatchers which hadn't too quickly downloaded the file. Then, listener and friend in real life, Lynn, posted in our Slack that the show simply stopped right after security bits.
No outro by me, and no outro music. It's very funny to me that Lynn was literally the only person who pointed this out to me. Does that mean that all of the rest of you never listen to the outro? Anyway, the only sad part was in that particular episode I made a bunch of jokes in the ending, but you didn't get to hear them if you got the chaptered version of the show.

[2:11] Now, I didn't fix that truncation problem because I couldn't reproduce it. I went back to Hindenburg and I exported again, and it had gone back to exporting the full-length show, but without the chapter marks. I figured truncated with chapter marks was better than no chapter marks at all.
After many tests, I gave in and sent a desperate plea to the Hindenburg support email.
Took a bit of going back and forth, but they eventually figured out that it was a bug in the latest build, and Previd explained that they'd fixed it in a new build.
Basically, was files greater than 128 megabytes would not get their chapter marks applied.
Well, I've done some testing, and in theory, you should get a full show this week, including the outro, and you should get chapter marks.
Fingers crossed, everyone.

Stitcher is Closing Down

[2:54] If you're listening to this podcast using Stitcher, you're going to need to find a new podcatcher. This week, Stitcher announced that they're shutting down their service as of August 29th of this year. I don't want you to be left adrift without the no-silicast and chitchat across the pond, so be sure to find the shows in your new podcatcher of choice. If you're on the iPhone, a fan favorite is the app Overcast by Marco Arment.

Correction about Regenerative Braking

[3:17] Last week I talked about the Chevy EV Bolt that Steve and I rented on our recent trip to Houston.
Alert reader and known scientist Bruce, also known as UseTheData, let me know that I'd made a technical error in my explanation of regenerative braking on electric vehicles. He did it privately and politely as is his style. I said I checked the manual to see if the Bolt had regenerative braking, but Bruce explained to me that all EVs have regenerative braking, which I don't think I realized that. What I should have said was that I was checking to see if the Bolt had the one-pedal drive method of using regenerative braking. Now I'd like to say I definitely didn't know all EVs had regenerative braking, but back in the dusty cobwebs of my memory I'm pretty sure Bruce has corrected me on this before. Hopefully by writing it down I'll really cement that memory. Now it, took me a little bit to understand the differences between one pedal driving and regenerative braking. I'm going to try to explain it, but I'm going to oversimplify this for the sake of brevity and clarity. So if you super really understand this, cut me some slack, okay?
In an internal combustion engine, or ICE vehicle, when the brake pedal is applied, the car slows using the friction of the brake pads against metal discs or drums.
This generates heat, which is wasted energy.

[4:33] Now we know that all electric vehicles have regenerative braking.
Regenerative braking means putting energy back into the battery by allowing the electric motors to slow the vehicle.
This puts energy back into the batteries rather than wasting that energy to heat.
There are two different ways for regenerative braking to be applied in an electric vehicle.
Some, but not all, EVs have a feature called one-pedal driving.
One-pedal driving allows the driver to use just the accelerator pedal alone to accelerate and decelerate.
When the driver eases off of the accelerator, regenerative braking is engaged.
In emergency brakings where a rapid stop is required at higher speeds, the driver can use the brake pedal to engage the friction brakes.

[5:15] If a car doesn't have one pedal driving, or the driver has chosen not to use it, the vehicle is slowed by the application of the brake pedal, just like an ICE vehicle.
This will engage regenerative braking, but will also blend in friction braking as required.
This is less efficient than using only regenerative braking.
Now Bruce and I have gone back and forth a little bit on this exact point, and we're not exactly sure how much of the friction braking is being applied when regenerative braking is being used through the brake pedal.
It may depend on which vehicle we're talking about, we're really not sure.
But what I just said, I know is true for the EV Bolt because it says so in the user manual.
Now, I always thought that one-pedal driving was synonymous with regenerative braking, so I do want to thank Bruce for correcting me.
Bruce sent along a link to an article that goes into a lot more depth on the subject.
To give you an idea of how deep it goes, it starts by explaining how an AC induction motor slash generator works, and then it builds on that knowledge to explain how regenerative braking works.
I really appreciate Bruce for giving me this new understanding, and I hope I got most of it correct this time.

CCATP #772 — Dr. Jason Briner on Studying the Greenland Polar Ice Sheet

[6:26] I am on a roll with scientists on Chitchat Across the Pond. This week, my guest is Professor Jason Briner from the University of Buffalo.
Dr. Briner joins us to tell us tales of adventure as he and his team go to Greenland to study the polar ice sheet.
I never thought of geology as like a sexy, exciting field of science, but after learning about Dr. Briner's work and the incredible importance of that work to climate science, my view of geology has been pretty much turned upside down. Dr. Briner is serious and funny and engaging and fascinating and I really enjoyed talking to him on the show. I'm super glad Steve and I got to know Dr. Briner on our trip to Antarctica where he was one of the very brilliant scientists lecturing on the university alumni trip.
Steve listened to this interview and he said he might even like it more than the one with Andrea.
I mean, Andrea's got the whole, you know, Nobel Prize and all that, but Dr. Briner was really, really, really interesting, and it's a great, great show.
You can find videos and photos from Dr. Briner's very recent research trip to Greenland in, the link in the show notes, and it might be kind of fun to follow along with the images while listening to him describe the work that they do.
I'm telling you, it is an exciting adventure. I was on the edge of my seat by the end of the interview.
Anyway, of course, you could find Chit Chat Across the Pond number 772 with Dr. Jason brainer in your podcatcher of choice.

Tiny Tip - Use Numbers to Print Multipage PNGs

[7:50] Music.

[7:59] Music means it's time for a little tiny tip here. Not a little tiny tip, just a tiny tip. That was redundant.
Anyway, recently I told you about a terrific screenshot and annotation tool called Shotter.

[8:09] One of the really nifty features of Shotter is that you can take scrolling screenshots.
This allows you to capture a long piece of content, like a long web page.
Recently I was working on my tutorial on ScreenCastsOnline about RetroBatch, and I needed a scrolling screenshot.
Batch, you can see all possible node types, but some of them are only fully functional if you have RetroBatch Pro. It's great to have these specialty nodes available because you can see how they work, and if you really need one of them, you can decide to purchase the upgrade.
Anyway, as I was teaching the tutorial, I wanted to have a cheat sheet at my fingertips so that when I got to each node, I'd know whether to point out if it was a Pro-only node. Sam, the developer of RetroBatch, has a listing on his website of which tools are Pro only, but I wanted them in the order they are in the menus. It was trivial to open up all of the little chevrons to reveal all of the nodes. I took a scrolling screenshot with Shotter which even auto-scrolls for you. Using the RetroBatch website as my guide, I annotated each of the Pro nodes in Shotter by drawing a box around them.
Next I wanted to print out this cheat sheet so I'd have it at my fingertips while recording and not have to scroll up and down this screenshot and clutter up my computer screen when I've got all this video work going, I wanted a piece of paper on my desk, or several pieces of paper as it turns out. I opened the PNG I'd created in Preview and I selected Print.

[9:30] In the Preview, I could see that it was going to print the PNG file on one page. This was a long list, so that one-page printout would have been completely unreadable. I messed around with the print settings because I was sure there had to be a way to tell it to print across multiple pages, but for the life of me, I couldn't find a way to do it.

[9:48] Here's the tiny tip. Numbers, of all things, can split a PNG across multiple pages.
Here's how you do it.
Open up Numbers and create a new document. Select the empty table by clicking the little circular thingy in the upper left and hit Delete.
That's going to get rid of the table.
Now, paste your long PNG onto the page.
Slide it all the way over to the left edge. It's going to be wee tiny on screen and fit on that one page.
If you choose to print at this stage, it would all be on one page, which is obviously not what we want. Grab the right edge of the giant long screenshot and embiggen it until you can easily read it on screen.
Now choose print and you'll see in print setup how the screenshot will be spread across multiple, pages. You may have to go back out of print setup and shrink or enlarge the screenshot until it spreads across your desired number of pages and you know is as big as you want and not too big.
It's sort of a little bit of a back and forth, but it works.

[10:44] Now I wish I'd recorded the forum link where I found this unlikely solution, but unfortunately I didn't so I can't give credit to whoever figured this out.

Create a Test Volume to Diagnose Your Mac with APFS

[10:52] As you probably know, my 14-inch MacBook Pro has been plagued by battery life well below the advertised numbers pretty much since the day I got it in late 2020.
Apple continued to work with me to try to figure out the root cause, and we've yet to figure out how to fix it.
In the process, though, Apple Engineering added a very interesting tool from my tool belt for diagnosing problems.
One of the first things that's always suggested when having issues on your Mac, or I imagine this would be true on a PC as well, is to create a clean user account and see if the problem persists.
This is a good diagnostic step because it ensures that none of your preference files that have been created for your main user account will be present in the clean account.
It's a good idea to create a clean user account when nothing is wrong, so you have it ready for testing when something inevitably goes belly up.

[11:40] While the Clean User Account is a great first step, it doesn't eliminate all of the variables.
All of the software you have installed is still available with this Clean User Account.
Additionally, if you said yes to the request on whether to install particular apps for all users, they might even launch by default.
For example, I evidently agreed to have all users be able to run iStatMenus because it comes up automatically when I log into my Clean User Account.
In any case, clean is a matter of interpretation.

[12:10] Another diagnostic step is to boot into safe mode. Apple support article about safe mode explains that it can help you determine whether an issue is caused by software that loads as your Mac starts up.
Safe mode doesn't run login items, it avoids system extensions not required by Mac OS, and it doesn't install any fonts not installed by Mac OS.
I've always been fascinated by the fact that fonts can bork an operating system, but that's a discussion for another day.

[12:37] While Safe Mode can eliminate software factors, it's virtually impossible to actually use your system in Safe Mode.
The graphics are weird and you don't have access to the things you need in order to work with your Mac.
If you can't use it, it's kind of hard to run a test to see if many kinds of problems have gone away.
Safe Mode does do a basic check of your startup disk and delete some system caches, so that might actually fix the problem you've been having.
I have to point out that it clears out those pesky font caches too.
However, it's never fixed a problem for me.
So a clean user account might help you diagnostically and booting into safe mode might actually fix the problem.
But sometimes, as in the case with my battery drain issues, you might need to do a clean install.
And I mean the squeaky clean install I do where you install every app from scratch, what a lot of us like to call a nuke and pave.
But obviously, that's a terribly annoying step, and if it doesn't solve the problem, you've wasted a huge amount of time.
When I got my Mac back from Apple just last August after replacing the battery, they had helpfully erased my drive.
I reinstalled everything from scratch, and the battery drain problem came with it.
And here's where Apple Engineering gave me what I think is a brilliant diagnostic idea.

[13:50] If you have a disk formatted as APFS, you can create separate volumes on that single disk.
Now these volumes act like separate drives, but they're all on the same physical drive.
Unlike the old concept of creating partitions, you don't have to decide ahead of time how big to make them. APS Volumes automatically resize as required. Creating a new volume is super easy.
Open Disk Utility, which is inside the Utilities folder inside your Applications folder.
In the toolbar, there's a plus button that says Volume. After selecting to add a new volume, you'll be prompted to name the volume and set the format to APFS. The pop-up will remind you that, APFS volumes share storage space within the container. Simply hit the add button and voila, you have a new volume. Now, Apple Engineering had me create this new test volume, and then they had me install macOS Ventura onto that volume. Now, it never even occurred to me before you could do this. It's a super brilliant way to do a clean install on your Mac without disrupting all your real working installation that has all your apps and settings. So, I can do essentially a clean install without doing a clean install.
Now, inside System Settings, General, you'll find Startup Disk at the bottom. In this setting, you tell your Mac to boot from the test volume. When you're done playing in the test volume, open Startup Disk again and switch to your real volume. Isn't that an awesome idea?

[15:16] Oh, you might be wondering, Did this cool trick help Apple diagnose my battery problems?
I'll give you a recap up to date, but the short version is, we still have no idea what's causing my MacBook Pro's battery to drain. Everyone at Apple agrees it is not working as designed, so Apple hasn't given up, but the hardware people are convinced it's not that, and we can't prove it's the software either. For three solid months, I've been meeting with Margo from Apple on a near weekly basis as we run every test Apple Engineering asks us to run. We've become quite close. I mean, I know she has a 20-something son who's adorable. Her air conditioning went out last week during a heat wave. She's barbecuing ribs this week for the Fourth of July. Invite me to come over and sleep on the couch. I mean, that's how close we've become because we talk all the time.

[16:05] Well, after Apple Engineering had me create the test volume, they had me run two battery tests where my Mac wasn't connected to any peripherals and the lid was closed and asleep for a full night. In the first test, I was logged into iCloud, and in the second, I was logged out of iCloud.
On the test account on the new volume, while logged into iCloud, the battery lost 15% overnight, just like it did when logged into my real account with all of my data and apps installed.
This is definitely not expected behavior. The results suggest that nothing I've done in adding third-party apps can be the root cause of the problem. Now, we also thought maybe this proved it was hardware until I ran the second test. I logged out of iCloud and overnight while logged into the clean volume, my MacBook Pro lost no battery charge at all.
So that means it's got to be iCloud, right? Well, maybe. You may recall that I bought an M2 MacBook Air recently. I was doing so many experiments for Apple that I couldn't really use my MacBook Pro. The MacBook Air has been indispensable for me and made me a lot more patient in dealing with Apple. Also, I love this machine.
It occurred to me there was a third experiment I could run that could help verify whether it was iCloud chewing up my battery. I created a clean test volume on the MacBook Air.

[17:24] Air, installed Venture on it, logged into iCloud and put the machine to sleep overnight.
And drumroll please, it did not lose any battery charge in 12 hours.
So that means it's not the hardware, and it's not the third party software, and it's not iCloud, unless I'm on my MacBook Pro.
So yeah, now I did another experiment just recently with the MacBook Air and it lost 5% while logged into iCloud. So, I don't know.
We just don't know. It is incredibly frustrating and Margot and I are just at the end of our ropes.
We don't know what to do and they haven't given up, but the latest thing that they said was that they think I should do a full clean install, as though that's any different than doing a clean install on a volume.
I don't think it is. If anybody knows whether there's some technical reason why a clean install on a single volume is different than a clean install of a separate volume.
It doesn't seem like it would be.

[18:25] Well, anyway, while I haven't figured out why my $4,000 laptop gets half the battery life that Apple says I should expect, I found another cool use of the test volume idea.
You can safely run a beta operating system using a separate APFS volume.
Volumes don't talk to each other in any way, so it's like having an external disk on which you run the betas.
I'm happily running the macOS Sonoma developer beta on my M2 MacBook Air in its own little volume.
I'm having fun with no risks. When the beta is over, I can simply delete the volume and upgrade my real volume to macOS Sonoma.
The bottom line is that creating a test volume on a Mac using APFS is a great way to diagnose problems without doing a clean install.
It's also a great way to test new operating system versions.
In theory, it should have given us a strong indicator my battery problems, but I wasn't that lucky.

Canon EOS M50 Camera - by Steven Goetz

[19:21] All right, let's switch gears and hear a review from the famous or infamous Stephen Getz.
Allison likes to start with the problem to be solved. I was looking for a smaller, lighter camera for my trip to Walt Disney World in the summer. The camera I placed was a Canon EOS 80D.

[19:38] It has a 24.2 megapixels APS-C size sensor and uses an EF mount. As far as image quality, features and price, it fit my needs well. It's one big drawback? It's size and weight.
It's a full-size DSLR big boy camera, it weighs 730 grams. So I started to consider the alternatives. Mirrorless was the way to go for smaller body, and it's also the future as far as big boy cameras go with most major manufacturers announcing they weren't spending R&D money on new DSLR cameras. Sony, Canon, Olympus, and Fuji all make great options.
I know Allison has enjoyed her Olympus cameras, and I have read a lot of great things about the Fuji cameras.
I have collected 3 or 4 Canon EF lenses, so it made sense to stay in the Canon family.
Currently, Canon has two lines of mirrorless cameras, the M series cameras and the R series cameras.
The M series was Canon's first stab at mirrorless cameras with APS-C sized sensors.
They are mostly aimed at amateurs and vloggers. They are significantly cheaper than even the entry-level R-series cameras, and have been around for a few years longer, and have had very little innovations in that time.
I chose Canon EOS M50 to replace my big boy camera. It has the same sensor as my 80D, with more pixels dedicated to autofocus, so its images are 24.1 megapixels.
It also boasts the Digic 8 processor.

[21:07] My old camera had the Digic 6.

[21:10] This should improve image quality by reducing noise and enable better autofocus features.
The M50 weighs 387 grams, and it has a significantly smaller body.
It has an amazing autofocus system with eye detection that covers 88% of the frame.
Its viewfinder is OLED with 2.4 million pixels, and it performs really well with little lag.
There are a couple negatives. Its small size and weight means it's got a smaller battery.
It's rated for only 235 shots on a full battery.
My 80D was rated for 960 shots, so a second battery is a must.
The smaller size also left less room for knobs and external controls.
It's only got one rotary control for controlling shutter speed or aperture depending on the mode.
This means when using it in full manual mode, the one dial controls both adjustments via a toggle.
This could be a big problem for anyone who uses manual mode a lot.
I mostly shoot in aperture priority, so this wasn't a large concern for me.
The M50 has the EF mount.
I purchased an inexpensive adapter, which will allow me to use my old EF lenses with with this new camera.
I've been very happy with this new camera in expected smaller size and mix of more modern features and great image quality will help me make great photos while on my vacation.
You can purchase a new EOS M50 Mark II for $599.

[22:34] Thanks for listening to my review of the Canon EOS M50. You can find me on Mastodon at oversteer at
Thanks for that great review, Stephen. I put links in Stephen's article to the Canon EOS M50 on DP review so people can learn more about it.
And you might be thinking, but Allison, don't you realize that DP review is being shut down by Amazon?
Why did you link to that?
Well, the good news is that this week we learned that Gear Patrol had purchased DP review from Amazon.
So this wonderful resource to learn all about cameras is going to be sticking around.

Belkin iPhone Mount with MagSafe for Continuity Camera

[23:11] A few months ago, Sandy Foster gave us a review of the Anker Magnetic Phone Grip.
This device sticks to a mag safe phone and gives you a little ring to slip your finger through to hold the phone securely in your hand. Think like a pop socket but with a ring instead of a post sticking up. Sandy bought the lilac one because, come on, purple, why not?
I was intrigued by this and I bought one for myself and after just a couple of days of use, I found that I truly missed it if I forgot to stick it on in the morning after charging my phone. My phone simply doesn't feel secure in my hand without it now. I've been using it ever since Sandy recommended it. Now let's switch gears for a moment and I'll come back to why I mentioned the Anker PhoneGrip.

[23:51] Steve and I often record the live shows while visiting our daughter Lindsay and her family.
We're constantly trying to optimize our setup so that the visual and audio experience is as good as possible for the live viewers and the normal podcast listeners.
As you can imagine, we drag along a fair bit of equipment to pull this off.
We've both got laptops and microphones and mic interfaces and cables and dongles galore.
We used to carry along our Logitech C920 cameras on travel, but the cameras in the the more recent MacBook Pros are pretty decent, so we took them off the packing list.

[24:23] A decent video was fine for a while, but when Continuity Camera came out, that feature that lets you use the fantastic camera in your iPhone as your video source, well that sounded like something we'd like to use.
When I first tested out Continuity Camera, I found it to be kind of unreliable, even while wired via lightning. Like it would show up or not show up, just I couldn't figure out how to control it.
In my more recent tests, it seems to be much more predictable.
In order to use Continuity Camera, you need to have some sort of mount to hold up the phone at a good height to capture your beautiful face.
On our most recent trip to see the kids, Steve and I both used GOBI tripod stands to hold up our iPhones.
The cameras worked really well and we were able to place the cameras where we wanted, them. But it was one more thing on the overly crowded desk space and one more piece of gear and rather large gear that we had to carry along.
Also, Gobi tripods have almost infinitely flexible legs that can allow you to wrap them around tree limbs or on an uneven rock surface when hiking.
That flexibility is a disadvantage when you just want something to stand flat on a desk, like you want it to just be horizontal.
A lot of faffing about to try to get the phones horizontally level for recording.

[25:36] And most people use a mount to attach their phones to their displays.
If you search for Continuity Camera Mount on Amazon, you'll find a plethora of options to choose from. The ones most people like have a simple lip to hang over a laptop display and have a magnet on the other side for the MagSafe connector to hold the phone with the high resolution back camera facing you. If you don't have a MagSafe iPhone, there are options that let you just kind of rest the phone in a little tray behind the screen.
Screen. I was perusing these many options on Amazon when I noticed the iPhone mount with MagSafe for Mac notebooks by Belkin for $30. By the way, it's also available directly from Belkin. Anyway, $30 is about double the cost of most of the other MagSafe mounts, but this one serves a double purpose.

[26:21] The Belkin MagSafe mount sticks to the back of your phone as expected. It has a little shelf thing that pops out of the circle to let the mount rest on the top of your laptop screen so it's good so the good camera would be facing you. It's made of that nice rubberized material that's really soft to the touch. Additionally, it has a ring that rotates out just like Sandy's Anker phone grip. With this one device, I get a continuity camera mount and a phone grip all in one device. Now, let's kind of go back and forth on which one of these is better. I still like the Anker device. So to help you decide which one you might like, let me do a like a little trade study here. The ring you slip your finger into on the anchor is a nice smooth surface so it feels really nice. The Belkin is a bit sharper edged, not uncomfortable really, but it doesn't make you think, oh that's smooth.

[27:13] I carry my phone on the top of my laptop when I move rooms in my house and I noticed that the anchor feels like the metal would scratch the surface of the laptop. So I have to flip the phone over so my rubber case I use is touching the laptop. On the Belkin, the rubber sticks up higher than the ring so the metal never hits anything. I've noticed that the little metal piece that says anchor on that one is getting scratched up so I know it's been hitting things.

[27:39] I have long fingernails, but it's still a little bit of a challenge to get my nail under the ring on the anchor to flip it out. I asked Steve to try doing it and he simply could not do it. But he solved the problem pretty easily. He pulled it off, flipped the ring out and then popped it back on. That's another way to do it.
The Belkin ring, though, flips out from the edge of the circle, so you can much more easily pry it up than on the Anker.
I've mentioned the nice soft rubber on the Belkin. I gotta tell you, with the black one, it's a lint magnet. I suppose the white one might be a lint magnet too, but I bet you wouldn't see it on the white one. Anyway, I find myself rubbing it to remove lint pretty Now, the anchor is a small, flatter plastic ring, and it always looks pretty in all its lilac glory.
The Anker weighs one ounce even while the Belkin weighs 1.3 ounces.
It's still not much, but it's 30% heavier than the Anker.
They're the same diameter and about the same thickness.

[28:35] Both the Anker and the Belkin also allow you to set your phone up at an angle, which is nice for watching a video or even reading something when your hands are busy.
I find this feature on both of them that I use it all the time.
Since both are circular, you can rotate them to, I should say the mount is circular, you can rotate them to watch something in either portrait or landscape mode.
I have a slight preference for the Belkin because it can hold the phone up at a higher angle.
Now the Anker is half the cost at $16 versus $30 for the Belkin, but if you need or want a mount for continuity camera, you get two devices in one.

[29:11] But the Anker one comes in lilac and the Belkin site they only have boring black available.
They claimed the white one was an option, but it only said notify me when available.
Luckily, Sandy pointed out to me that if you buy through Amazon, you can get it in white and it's only $26.
I just bought myself the white one and I'll give Steve the black Belkin.
I should mention that not only does the anchor come in lilac, it also comes in boring black if you like, white, or lovely baby blue.
Whichever one you choose, if you're just looking for a way to securely hold your iPhone, I think you'll be happy.

Support the Show

[29:47] This week, Stephen Ewell joins the ranks of patrons of the Podfeed podcast.
You may remember me mentioning Stephen.
He works for the CTA Foundation, which is a national foundation affiliated with the folks who bring us CES.
The foundation works to improve the lives of seniors and people with disabilities.
When I go to CES, you'll notice I often have interviews with people making cool assistive, tech. That's because Stephen helps me find these gems amongst the vast number of booths at CES.
The fact that Steven has committed his own hard-earned money to help support the work we do here warms my heart.
If you'd like to warm my heart too, go to slash patreon and pledge your support.

Tiny Mac Tips Part 7

[30:27] Music.

[30:35] Wait more tiny tips? Yes, this is another episode of, in fact, it's part 7 of Tiny Mac Tips.
This is an ongoing series I started in order to teach Jill from the Northwoods how to go from an adequate Mac user to a proficient one.
In case you missed the earlier installments, I've included links to the first six installments in the blog post for this so you can get to all of them from 1 through 6, and this is is bringing us part seven.

[31:02] Have you ever needed to look behind a computer or entertainment console to see the connectors to get the part number of a device? Of course you have. If you're like me, your solution is to hold your phone back there and try to take a photo when you can't see where you're pointing it and it hardly ever helps at all.
But there's a much cooler and more effective way to use your iPhone to help solve this problem.

[31:23] With recent versions of macOS and iOS, you can now AirPlay from your iPhone to your Mac.
Now, I never thought there was any reason to do this until I found out about this tip.
On iOS, by the way, they don't call it AirPlay, it's called screen mirroring, because Apple just so dearly loved to have multiple names for the exact same thing.
On the iPhone, open up Control Center and tap on Screen Mirroring.
From that menu, you should be able to choose your Mac.
Instantly, your Mac's display will be taken over with a mirror of whatever your iPhone's screen is showing.
Now, I'm thinking about this and it's probably most useful if you have a laptop because if you need to look on, say, a stereo cabinet or something like that, it'd be a little hard to drag your iMac with you.
But anyway, let's assume that whatever you're needing to look at is close to the Mac that you're using.
So we've engaged screen mirroring, but Control Center is still up.
Within Control Center, you can tap the camera icon to jump right into the camera.
Your phone's camera sees will be displayed right on your Mac screen.
If you don't see the camera app icon inside Control Center, you can access it normally or you can add it to Control Center if you think you'd like to use it often.
Open System Settings, select Control Center, and then scroll down to More Controls.
When you find Camera, simply tap the green plus button to add it to Control Center.
Note that you can rearrange the controls you see in Control Center using the little hamburger menus on the right.

[32:49] Whether you use this little trick to see behind your desk or not, having quick access to the camera inside Control Center can be handy.
I'm glad I'm doing this in front of a live audience. It appears that if you're using an Intel-based Mac, you may not see it in screen mirroring from your iPhone.
You may only see, say, your Apple TVs. And you do have to be on the same iCloud account and same Wi-Fi network, but it does appear you might need to be on an Apple Silicon Mac to be able to use this little trick.
Hey, another justification to upgrade, right?
Now, this next tip is definitely for those who are new to the Mac platform.
More than a decade ago, Apple gave us automatic versioning of our files in their native apps.
As you make changes to documents using, say, Pages or Keynote or TextEdit, these changes are being recorded in separate versions of the file.
If you want to get back to a previous version, go to the File menu, pull down to Revert To, and then choose Browse All Versions.
Your entire screen will change, and you'll see your document floating in space.
If you're familiar with the Time Machine interface, this will look very familiar.
On the left side, you'll see the current version of your document, and on the right you'll see a stack of older versions going back in time.
You can tap on the tops of the older versions, or use the arrow keys on the right to navigate back in time.
If you have a lot of versions, you can actually see the date appear on the right as you go back in time.

[34:15] Now, I know a lot of people really like having access to older versions of their documents, and we're delighted with this change.
Many third-party apps now support the native macOS versioning model, and that's great for them.
But I actually never use it. Well, maybe never is too strong of a word.
How about hardly ever, or once in a blue moon?
I do see the value, but I'm old school, I guess. I hit Command S, it's just so ingrained in my muscle memory that I forget that the apps are already automatically saving and keeping those versions.
Now, the advent of versioning came at a cost to Mac users. There is a save menu, but no save as menu.
When I point this out to the diehard versioning fanatics, they patiently explain that there is a duplicate menu, but I don't want to duplicate a file.
I want to save this file under a different name. I want to save as a file.
And I know you can click in the menu bar or in the toolbar and blah, blah, blah.
I don't want to do that. I want Save As.

[35:13] Well, luckily, the magic Option key comes to our rescue. If you open a file in an app that doesn't have a Save As menu under File, simply hold down the Option key and that silly Duplicate menu item disappears and changes into the Save As menu as nature intended.
Now, if you're a keyboard junkie, in most apps, Command-S is still Save, Command-Shift-S is that stupid duplicate thing.
But if you throw in the Option key, so Command-Shift-Option-S, you can Save As without letting your hands ever leave the keyboard. Whether you think versioning is delightful or unnecessary, knowing, that the Option key is there to save the day, or the file, is a handy tip to keep in your tiny MacTips toolbox.

[35:55] While we're singing the praises of our beloved Option key, here's a new use I only discovered recently. It might have been in the MacGeek app, so I'll throw Dave and Pete the credit just in case that's where I heard it. This tip could be illustrated in the Finder, but but it works in lots of places.
In Finder, one of the methods for viewing your files is the list view.
I think most people love list view, but I personally dislike it intensely, and I prefer column view.
The reason I dislike list view is that you have to open and close all of those silly chevrons to dive into folders.
I see people with three or four levels deep of chevrons open and the list gets super long and messy looking.
If they close the top level chevron and then open it up later again, it will bump it back up to those four levels deep.

[36:39] Now let's say you want to see everything that's in a folder, no matter how many nested folders deep it has inside. Here's the tip.
If you hold the option key down when you select the top level chevron, the entire folder structure expands.
Now the slickest part of this is that you can option click again on the chevron for the top level folder and the entire thing folds up and disappears.
You do not have to close each individual folder separately.
Even if you've opened the subfolders manually, you can still use the option click on the chevron to clean the whole mess up for you.
I still prefer column view, but the option key to open and close entire folder structures makes me hate list view just a little bit less.
I mentioned this works in other tools too. I haven't tested everything I use, but I know it works with subfolders in Apple Photos.
If you're not a rabbit organizer like me in photos though, that might not be as big of a help to you as it is to me.
However, if you've started using, say, folders inside Apple Notes, it works there too.
Look around at your apps, and if you see chevrons to expose subfolders, try the magic option key to expand and contract those folders.

[37:48] Now, this next tip is a lot nerdier. You may never need to use this tip, but someday you might, and hopefully you'll remember that you learned it. And remember, this is trying to get to a super proficient Mac user, not just, you know, a regular user. So let's start with the problem this tip solves. It's not the only type of problem it solves, but it's the best example I can think of that normal people might run across. If you create or receive a Pages or Keynote document with embedded images, it's actually really hard to get the full resolution images back out.
There is no way to export images directly from a Pages document.
If you right-click on an image in a Pages or Keynote document, you can copy the image.
If you have a Clipboard Manager, you can insert the images into the Finder.
If you don't run a Clipboard Manager, you could open the Preview app and choose from the menu bar File, New, from Clipboard.
From there, you can save the image.
All that works and is probably the easiest way if you just need say one or two images, it would be quite tedious to rinse and repeat this process if you needed to extract a lot of images from pages or keynote.

[38:55] Now the solution to this is really obscure, but it will give you a valuable tool in your tool belt.
The trick is to convert the document to what is called a package in macOS. A package is simply a file system directory that is normally displayed to the user as a single file. In other words, pages and keynote, those kind of documents, those are actually directories of files, but it's always shown to you as just a single file. But if you convert it to a package, you can see inside the of the directory.

[39:25] Now I'll illustrate the value of this with our example of trying to extract images from a Pages or Keynote document.
If you right-click on a Pages or Keynote document, at the top of the contextual menu, you'll see Open and Open With.
This is because by default, those applications create just a single file or look like a single file.
But we're gonna convert it to a package file, which will give us direct access to all of the elements embedded within the document.
With the document open, in the File menu of say Pages or Keynote, pull down to Advanced, Change File Type, and change it from Single File to Package.
Now, go back to the Finder and right-click on your document again.
In addition to Open and Open With, you'll now see Open Package Contents.
When you open the package, you'll see a bunch of stuff in there, but one of them is a data folder.
Inside that will be all of the embedded images in the document.
Now, in my experiments, every full-sized image also had a small version.
So you might want to sort or group the images by size so you can see all the big ones next to each other so you can more easily copy them to where you need them. Now I know, that explanation seemed complex and nerdy, but I'm going to say it to you in two bullets.
Number one, change the file type to package.
Number two, right click on the file and open package contents to look inside the data folder.
The concept is nerdy, but the execution is actually trivially easy.

[40:52] Have you ever wanted to get the icon file in full resolution for an application you're using?
Perhaps you need to paste the icon into a presentation or document of some sort, or maybe a web page. If you select the application in the finder and then choose File, Get Info from the menu bar, or you can use Command-I to get the Get Info window, you'll see that info window for the application. In the upper left, you'll see the icon for the the application, it's a little tiny, tiny icon.
Simply select the icon and hit Command C to copy it.
With the icon in your clipboard, you can simply paste it into your document of choice.
Now, if you need to save the file for future use, open preview and select new file from clipboard.

[41:35] You'll notice that the file is actually a series of icons which are used for the different states.
So like hover or selected, you know, the icon looks a little bit different.
Assuming you want just the main icon, Save the file from preview as a PNG, and you'll have just that one.
Now, if you want some extra credit for this tiny tip segment, try right-clicking on an application icon and selecting Show Package Contents.
You'll see, and you'll not only see a Contents folder at the top, but if you drill down in there and select the Resources folder, inside there you'll find a file called appicon.icns.
That's the icon file you just copied from the Get Info window.
Now, you could copy it from there, but don't go changing anything in this directory because you could really bork up your application.
But it's kind of cool to know you can look inside applications, isn't it?

[42:27] All right, have you ever noticed that when you get a new computer or you do a nuke and pave, if you open an mp3 file, it opens in Apple Music? What if you prefer to have mp3 files open in, say, QuickTime Player? We can fix this problem with our friend GetInfo. Select an mp3 file and use Command-I to GetInfo. Now, this window has a lot of sections and only some of them may be unfolded, so it might be hard to see the one we're looking for. Let's exercise our new trick of holding down the Option key while selecting any one of the chevrons. This will fold up all of the sections so it's really easy to see the names without all of that clutter. We can now easily see the section entitled Open With, and we can open just that section with its chevron.

[43:12] You can use the drop-down menu to change the default application from to Note that this will only change the specific file you use to open the Info pane. If you want all MP3 files to always open in QuickTime Player, click the button that says Change All, and when macOS asks you if you're really sure you want to change all similar documents to open with the application, hit the Continue button to make the change. I've been using MP3 files and music versus QuickTime Player as my example, but this works with all of your files. If you don't want TextEdit to open on .txt files, you've who've got another text editor, go ahead into the info, use get info, to change the open width to the application you like.
Now, I highly recommend you spend a little time looking at what else the info pane shows you because it's chock full of good information.
I guess that's why they named it that.

[44:10] How many times a day do you create a file and then decide you don't need to save it?
I'm not sure why this happens so often, but for me, it happens all the time.
If you're a keyboard junkie, you're going to like this tip.
When you use Command-W to close the window, you'll get a pop-up asking you where to save the file and under what name.
Well, we don't want to save it under any name. But by default, the Save button is highlighted, which means if you hit Enter on your keyboard, the file will be saved to the location shown, and we don't want to do that.
It seems very tedious to me to move my hands from the keyboard and drag all the way over to the window to hit the Delete button instead.
However, if you hold down Command Delete, the file will disappear unsaved.
Isn't that delightful? I use that all day long.
Why do I always create files that I don't want to save?
Maybe it's only me, but I love this tip. I hope you enjoyed this segment of Tiny Mac Tips.
I see now why Bart puts of X after his installment numbers. I have no idea how many more of these there will be, but more little tips keep jumping it in my brain all the time and as we get new operating systems, I'm hoping to learn even more cool tiny tips to tell you about for your Mac.

[45:22] All right, that's going to wind us up for this week, Lynn, since you're the only one who listens to the outro. Did you know, Lynn, that you can email me at Allison at anytime you like? If you have a question or a suggestion, Lynn, just send it on over.
Hey, Lynn, did you know you could follow me on Mastodon at podfeet at
And don't forget, everything good starts with
Now, Lynn, you know how to join our Slack community because you're already over at slash slack where you're already talking to me and all of the other lovely no Scylla castaways. In fact, I think that's where you told me that the outro was missing.
Lynn, you could support the show, and I think you'd do that as well, at, slash patreon or with a one-time donation at slash paypal. And Lynn, if you want to join in the fun of the live show, head on over to slash live on Sunday nights at 5 5pm Pacific time.

[46:10] Music.