A quick look at notepad calculators, natural language calculators

They go by a couple of different names, but “notepad calculator” or “natural language calculator” will usually do the trick. These are editor style calculators that understand standard calculations like 2+2, but also “20% of $100.” You can also create and assign variables to perform more complex calculations, similar to a spreadsheet, except without the bulk and bloat of a spreadsheet. The standard example is, rate=$10, hours=40, rate*hours. Other uses include: These types of apps are great for little calculations, but are also great for formulas when you don’t need or want to work with a spreadsheet. Soulver might the first one to come to mind, and was my introduction to this kind of calculator. I used Soulver 2 to emulate several website calculations and drop them into Jira which is more readable than copying and pasting spreadsheet cells, plus formulas isn’t ideal. Along with Soulver there are apps like Numi, AYBO, and PiPad. Soulver has also upgraded to v3, […]

Useful features of 4K Video Downloader+

In addition to using Downie for my YouTube downloads, I also use 4K Video Downloader+ which has a useful subscribe feature I like. I initially got 4K Video Downloader during a sale, which made the upgrade decision to the “+” version easier. However, I don’t believe it is worth the original $65 price tag, as it doesn’t have $65 worth of download power compared to the $25 combination of Downie and Permute. That’s $65 for a lifetime license, which I had before, and look how well that worked out for its predecessor. Lifetime licensees don’t mean what they used to mean. Neither does Perpetual. Like Downie, 4K Video Downloader+ can download audio and video from mainstream sites like YouTube, but 4K struggles when you leave those familiar waters and has a high rate of “unable to resolve links.” My main use case for 4K Downloader is the ability to subscribe to a YouTube channel and automatically download new content as […]

How is that 2013 Mac Pro?

I’ve loaded some apps, I’ve worked on some projects, so how is the 2013 Mac Pro? To jump right in, I have no regrets buying this older model Mac. It’s fast, capable, and runs all the software I want it to. My current software licenses work just fine without having to invest in a ton in upgrades. Yes, it taps out at macOS 12, but that isn’t an issue for me. Nothing I use is OS13 only, at least not yet. That’s pretty much all machine learning stuff or some high end apps that don’t cater to me. The 2013 is handling all the jobs I want from it so in that respect I’m extremely pleased. Yes, Apple Silicon is even better, but I have no complaints with this setup. There are some other nice features of the 2013. It’s whisper quiet even when exporting video files. I can’t tell it’s even on 98% of the time. There are a […]

Getting life back in order with TaskPaper and 2Do. Write down the simple stuff.

I’m not sure when or why, but at some point I let my 2Do list become obsolete. Things got worse when I put TaskPaper away for reasons I don’t have an excuse for. This was the start of my downfall. With a lot of things going on, and a slew of distractions, I’m easily taken off course for the day and the week. Things I plan to do, I forget, or I don’t do them when I should, and other tasks fall behind. While handling a task, I realize I need to take care of a related task over the weekend. The weekend comes, I forget what that task was because I didn’t write it down. I think working on Windows has made my brain soft. In reality, it’s a couple of issues related to the neighbor and his miserable dogs. All those distractions take me off course and I’m not taking care of my business. Simple fix, 2Do and […]

Recording streaming audio with Piezo

There are tools to download audio and video. There are tools for converting between formats. And there are tools for splitting and joining files. So, what’s the correct tool for capturing audio when you can’t download it? While there are several tools to handle the job such as QuickTime and Audacity, if you want the quick click option, Piezo by Rogue Amoeba is the best choice. Piezo is capable of capturing system audio generated from a specific device or application. For example, you can capture audio from Safari and Firefox independently. This avoid system dings and notifications. Or you can capture from another application such as Teams, Discord, or Slack. That last one needs permission from the participants, let’s not overlook that. But, there are plenty of Live streams on YouTube where the music plays in a loop, and the stream has been running for several days. With Piezo, it’s possible to capture that audio so you can listen to […]