TagApps I Love

Apps I Love – MacTracker and iFixit

There are two tools I often use when troubleshooting and repairing computers. The first solves a problem of determining exactly what Mac computer you have in front of you. The second is the best resource on the web for repair instructions and parts for Macs, game consoles and other home electronics.

The first is MacTracker. This beautiful application runs on the Mac, or iPad or iPhone. It immediately grants you access to the entire history of Apple devices. Need to know exactly which iMac, Powerbook or iPhone you’re looking at?

Mactracker

Search by year, model, name, anything you like. I’ve been using it this week to search the specific models of G4 Powerbooks I have in the stack in front of me. The reason I need to know exactly which one I have is so I can go into the second thing I’ve been loving.

iFixit is a site that has detailed tear downs on most modern Apple hardware. The walk throughs show exactly how to get into these devices to replace and repair components. They’ve also expanded to gaming consoles, other smart phones and auto parts.

iFixit-One-Color

While some of the work is done by the site’s core staff, the entire site is a wiki-like platform where any person can write their own repair guides and are peer-reviewed first then reviewed by the staff. Because anyone can contribute, refine or correct mistakes or clarify steps the walk throughs are almost always perfectly accurate.

The documentation I’ve used from iFixit is often times better than anything the manufacturer has available, and in Apple’s case, there is nothing so this site is vital to Apple repair work.

While you’re there, grab a copy of the Self-Repair Manifesto.

Apps I Love – CloudScrob

Ever since iTunes learned how to sync music over wifi, my scrobbles have suffered. While I can now sync music without having to plug into the computer, there was no way to sync my played music back to Last.fm.
Save your Scrobbles.

I’ve tried a couple things but they didn’t work very well and wouldn’t pick up the plays correctly. Then I found CloudScrob.

The application is very simple to use. All you need to do is enter your username and password for Last.fm. Then open the app, it will find your recent plays and send them to the site.

There is nothing else to it. You don’t need to jailbreak your phone. You can notify Twitter when you scrobble your songs and it even works with iCloud and iTunes Match. When you’re offline it will store the scrobbles for later and send them when you’re connected again.

CloudScrob is available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch for $.99.

Windows Apps I Love: Greenshot

I have become a fan of Prefs.org which got me thinking about apps I love and how I choose to use them. Being a geek, when I get a new application one of the first things I do is go into the settings or preferences and see what I can tweak. I talked about Greenshot before in an earlier Things I Love post.

I work in IT Support and user’s kept requesting Snag-It, a commercial screen capture application. I wanted to find a free alternative since most people don’t need the advanced features Snag-It provides. Greenshot fit the bill perfectly. ((I think Lifehacker ran a small article about it and I liked it more than the alternatives I found.))

Greenshot is a free, powerful screen capture application for Windows. It allows capture of a region, full screen or single window.

I speak English but the application is available in a hand full of languages. I register the hotkeys to make screen grabs easier. It is also vital to launch Greenshot at startup so it’s available when I need it.

I prefer to Show flashlight so I know a screenshot has been taken. I usually keep my computer muted or if I am listening to music, I don’t want the camera sound to play.

I hide the mouse pointer so it doesn’t mess up my screenshots. I don’t need the delay when I grab the screen so I don’t use the interactive window capture mode.

After the capture, I like to keep all my screenshots in a single folder sorted by date and copy it to the clipboard so I can drop it into an email or a document. Since I do a lot of documentation write ups and walk-throughs this saves me a step.

Since I never know when I might want the screenshot again, I like keeping them organized by date and time so I can go back and look for them.

I store each image in a Screenshot folder and as I mentioned they’re named based on date with a trailing number since the hours, minutes and seconds made the file names too long.

I have a personal preference for png. The application also supports gif, jpg and bmp. I ignore the jpeg quality setting because I have no need for it.

I never print our my screenshots so I’ve left all the printer default checked. Something about 72dpi images printed out makes me cringe.