Month: November 2017

Scrivener 3.0, the more modern, more powerful long-text editor

Scrivener must be the Mac’s best selling text editor for writing anything from blog posts to 800-page novels. I reviewed version 2 some seven years ago, with the app only having been point-updated in those years. Last week, however, Literature & Latte, the developers of Scrivener, decided the time had come to upgrade Scrivener to a brand new version 3. The new Scrivener has a more powerful and capable compiler, looks better than ever and has been improved in a myriad ways. The new styles functionality and more powerful and flexible compiler are perhaps the most obvious modules in terms of improvements and new capabilities. Scrivener has always made an abstraction of output formatting by separating the editing interface from the publishing interface — two entirely different worlds that run over into each other’s territory with word processors like Apple Pages or Microsoft Word. With Scrivener you can write the way you want — in Markdown, plain text, whatever — and then output to different formats by compiling the document for each specific format, be …

iRig Pre HD

IK Multimedia iRig Pre HD is a good and inexpensive mic pre-amp

A microphone pre-amp is meant to amplify your mic’s signal, not to introduce its own noise and artefacts into the recorded results. You need a mic pre because your microphone has a signal that’s too weak to be captured by a recorder. A preamplifier boosts the signal to a standard line level, which all recorders can capture. The IK Multimedia iRig Pre HD is such a pre-amp. It costs around €100, which is really very, very cheap. But is it any good? I tested the iRig Pre HD by comparing its results with those of my trusted Apogee Duet iPad/Mac. For my tests I made voice recordings only, so everything you read here refers to vocal sound, nothing else. But first the hardware. As with all IK Multimedia hardware, the iRig Pre HD is made of one of the strongest types of plastic. As a result it weighs next to nothing, even with the two AA batteries installed. The device itself fits in the palm of your hand and has only two input controls. The …

DeltaWalker 2.3.2 review

I reviewed DeltaWalker 1.0 over a decade ago. Back then, it was the only application on macOS that could find file content differences and differences between folders. Today, it’s not the only app anymore, with BBEdit capable of comparing files and folders and Path Finder 7 doing the same with files and folders. So, why would you still consider DeltaWalker then? For starters, because it supports 3-way comparisons and also because it can find differences between files, regardless of their format or content.

Luminar 2018: Lightroom beware!

Luminar 2018 has new correction filters powered by artificial intelligence, it’s faster than the previous version, it has a dedicated RAW development module and in 2018 Macphun (soon to be renamed to Skylum Software) plans to release a full-blown digital asset management (DAM) platform. Of course, there are also new features, such as the intelligent Sun Rays filter, LUT support and real-time noise removal. About the only thing that remains unchanged — which is a good thing — is the concept of adaptive workspaces that match your style of shooting of the moment. Macphun/Skylum states that Luminar 2018 has been re-built from the ground up for dramatic performance boosts. I don’t know about the adjective “dramatic”, but Luminar 2018 does load faster than its predecessor. The user interface has been updated too and makes it easier yet to find your way around. A great new feature is LUT support. LUTs are relatively new to photographers — they’re used all the time by videographers. Lookup Table (LUT) adjustments can cater for camera/lens combination-based colour corrections, but …

OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual Mini

Performance of the big in a small package: OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual Mini

How efficient is a small, 2.5in mobile disk station with two disks inside? Very efficient, it turns out. Even more so if you can put those two small disks in one of four RAID modes. And if that external station also delivers on speed, you’re sold — or at least, I am. It’s flat, it’s fanless and there are two 2.5in hard disks or SSDs inside. It’s the OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual Mini, which is a mouthful for a small unit that isn’t much bigger than its two internal disks put next to each other. OWC Digital sent me an SSD version with 1TB of space on its SSDs in RAID 1 mode. This small-footprint OWC device offers USB 3.1 Gen 2 performance and can be bus-powered.