The inevitable finally happened a couple of weeks ago. Everything has an expiration date written on it – from humans over animals to the stuff we make. That certainly goes for computers. We (should) all know that and back up our data on a regular basis – preferably daily and even more often. But sometimes a break-down will come so unexpected and hit you so fast, you’ll be gasping for air and you’ll realise you weren’t all that well prepared after all.
Apple fills up their iMacs with far too little memory to be useful, so the first thing you want to do when you buy a new machine is think about installing additional memory. Apple’s memory isn’t cheap and iMacs – apart from the iMac Pro – can easily be upgraded after having purchased one with the standard 8GB installed. The question is how much you need to buy, given that even third-party RAM like that of Crucial isn’t for free. It all depends on what you plan out to do with your new iMac.
Forklift is a FTP client but not a simplistic one. I pitted its functionality against that of Transmit, one of the other well-known FTP clients for Macs. It turns out ForkLift 3 is a lot closer to Path Finder – a Finder replacement app – than it is to Transmit. You could say ForkLift is a slimmed down Path Finder combined with a speedier Transmit.
A control surface is designed to let you navigate and control an image/video editing application efficiently. Loupedeck+ is a Finnish design. It’s a keyboard lookalike with dials and knobs and it integrates with Adobe Lightroom, Capture One (currently in beta) and Skylum Aurora HDR 2018 through a software driver annex control panel.
As tradition wants it, Corel released its update of Painter sometime in August. The new update brings new brushes, a refreshed interface and some other new features, like a colour wheel that you can move to anywhere on your canvas.
ScreenFlow 8 is a paid upgrade and it’s a big upgrade. Telestream has made ScreenFlow a more professional video editing tool with a detachable timeline and track thumbnails. It’s faster and has time-saving templates and styles that resemble Photoshop more than it does a NLE. And it comes with a subscription-based royalty-free stock media library that has video clips, backgrounds and audio tracks.
Powertraveller has released its new line of solar panel chargers, the Falcon series. There are three panels in this series: Falcon 7, Falcon 21 and Falcon 40. Of these, only the Falcon 7 lacks some features, such as the ability to charge multiple devices at once. The company sent me its Falcon 21 panel for this review.
Roxio once again has upgraded their optical media burning app for the Mac, Toast, and added some nifty and useful features in version 17. Obsolete, I hear you say? Not in a million years, at least not when you’re using M-Discs to record your valuable data. Toast 17 is a 64-bit app and it heavily focuses on what still is a booming market: video.
iZotope’s VocalSynth is a plug-in that helps you improve vocal productions, but you can just as well use it to get Dr. Who’s Daleks sound a bit more human. Of course, you can also use it to create a signature sound like Cher’s and in tandem with the Neutron plug-in’s Visual Mixer, you can create sounds that are truly unique.
A light meter is an essential tool for serious photographers and filmmakers. The most useful ones not only measure the level of light and translate it into an f-stop, exposure time or ISO value, but also tell you colour characteristics. They will also measure the bursts of light emitted by a strobe or a speed-light. Light meter apps that integrate with a hardware add-on for your iOS or Android device are potentially as accurate as the most expensive light meters and just as flexible and feature-complete. In this category, about a year ago, the Lumu Power was released and it did not disappoint. Now, only a month or so ago, Illuminati Instruments released its Illuminati Light Meter and that one is a real winner.