Bumpr 1.1.6 review: Quickly open web links with the browser of your choice

Plenty of people use their Macs with just one web browser and a single email client. But many people use different web browsers to be able to easily access multiple accounts, such as Gmail or other services, for work or for personal use. Designers need to test websites on multiple browsers. And some people use different browsers for specific uses; you may have one browser for everyday web use, and another for secure browsing.

With macOS, you can set a default web browser (you do this in macOS’s system preferences under General) or email client (do this in Mail’s preferences), and these settings determine which apps open when you click links. But when you want to open a link in another app, you generally have to copy that link, switch to the other app, then paste it. This works for URLs, but if you click a link to email someone, it won’t work at all.

Bumpr ($8 through April 15, then $15; App Store link), from Scott Ostler and designer Khoi Vinh, helps you deal with these multiple apps.

Read the rest of the article on Macworld.

Why I Won’t Use Apple Notes

Apple’s Notes app is quite useful. You can store notes on your Macs and iOS devices, and they sync via iCloud. You can view attachments, and you can even lock individual notes, in the latest versions of Apple’s operating systems.

But I won’t use the app.

Apple made a stupid design decision: they don’t allow users to choose a default font and size in the OS X version of the app. In iOS, the Notes app inherits the overall font settings you choose; if you choose to increase the size of the system font, then the font in Notes gets bigger. But on OS X, there is no such system font size setting. So all notes start out in a tiny (to me) font.

You can change the font size of individual notes; go to Format > Font > Show Fonts, and then choose a size from the font picker. Yes, it’s that “simple.” Rather than have a default font size, Apple assumes that everyone uses a tiny font. Yet another example of disdain through simplification.

Notes tiny font

(Actual size. The font may be big enough for some users, but not for me. Also, I’d like to use a fixed-width font. But I don’t want to change the font every time I create a new note.)

There’s also another annoyance: links in notes show up in yellow – the same color as the app’s icon – which doesn’t contrast very well against a white background. Again, users should have a choice, or Apple’s designers should learn the basics of contrast in working with fonts.

Note with links

Update: I was reminded that Command-+ increases the size of a note text, but only if you have selected that text.

My 10 Essential Mac Utilities

Whenever I set up a new Mac, I install a number of utilities that make me more productive, that save me time, or that protect my data. I bought a new MacBook recently, and, as with every Mac, I installed some essential utilities. I’ve been using some of these apps for many years; others are recent additions to my roster of essential software. Here’s a look at my 10 essential Mac utilities.

Read the rest of the article on Macworld.

Sponsor: Many Tricks Software

I’d like to thank Many Tricks Software for sponsoring Kirkville this month. Many Tricks makes nifty utilities, including Moom, which makes that little green button at the top-left of your windows a lot more useful.

Moom

Check out Moom, as well as Many Tricks’ other apps, Butler, Desktop Curtain, Keymo, Leech, Name Mangler, Time Sink, Usher and Witch. You’ll find lots of ways to make working on your Mac much easier.

DiskWarrior 5 Review: The Essential Tool for Maintaining and Repairing Disk Problems

I’ve said it countless times: it’s not a question of if you will lose data, but when. Media, such as hard drives, eventually fails. Or you can make the kind of mistake that results in deleted folders or erased disks. And files can simply get corrupted. There are two things you need to do to ensure you don’t lose data: back up your files regularly, and use software to diagnose and correct problems before they become serious.

Since 1998, Alsoft’s DiskWarrior has been the go-to tool for fixing disk corruption on Macs. It’s been eight years since the last update to DiskWarrior. At the time, I reviewed DiskWarrior 4 and gave it the highest rating, five mice. It has saved my data, and fixed hard drive issues, many times over the years.

DiskWarrior does one thing, and does it well: it optimizes and repairs disk directories, which contain the information that tells your Mac where files are stored on the disks attached to it. If directories become corrupted, you can lose files. While your data may still be on a disk, the Mac is no longer capable of finding it. DiskWarrior works both as preventive medicine–to fix errors before they become serious–and to correct more serious errors and help recover files when things get really bad.

Read the rest of my review on Macworld.

5 Must-Have Mac Utilities to Boost Your Productivity

Mac utilities boost productivityWhenever I set up a new Mac, I have a routine. I start by following the usual setup steps in the OS X welcome screens, or installer, and then I download a set of essential utilities that I simply can’t work without. There are five of them; some of them I’ve used for years, and some I’ve only discovered recently, but these five must-have Mac utilities make my work much faster, smoother and more productive.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.