ApplePi-Baker has become well known amongst Raspberry Pi users, with a Mac running macOS, to backup and restore SD-cards. Users do not just use ApplePi-Baker for this purpose anymore – I have seen users use it for backup and restore of pretty much anything not Raspberry Pi related.
Late 2013, I created ApplePi-Baker for my own use – I just got tired of looking up the proper command-line statements.
This way, ApplePi-Baker became my personal frontend for command-line tools like “dd“, “diskutil“, “mount” etc.
Over time, the use of command-line tools came with some problems; thanks Apple for changing command-line tool output with every new version of macOS. Besides that, having to enter your “sudo” password each time was a pain as well, and came with the occasional problems for a small group of users, so that had to go as well.
About 2 years ago I decided to rebuild ApplePi-Baker from scratch, no longer using any of the command-line tools. This came with quite a few challenges, especially since Apple increased security for macOS, not allowing me to do certain things straight from my program (see also SMJobBless: Elevated Privileges in Lazarus Pascal). I’m not even mentioning the drama when it comes to supporting the different compression formats, signing applications, and 64-bit requirements.
Almost 2 years later, I proudly present ApplePi-Baker v2. – special thanks to Jeff and Mark for testing!
Waking up devices that are network connected, can be done with the so called “Wake On LAN” feature provided by certain devices (like for example a NAS, FileServer, or even a PC). A while back I created a simple application for this – miniWOL – keeping in mind that the user may not be too familiar with all the configuration details (see: previous miniWOL versions).
I wanted just a simple menu in the System Tray (Windows: next to the clock, usually the lower-right corner of your screen) or Menubar (MacOS X – top of your screen, Linux often at the bottom of your screen). Well, after a bit of searching I could not find anything suitable or to my liking and I decided to just write something myself.
The old miniWOL been good so far, and plenty folks seem to have a good use for it privately and professionally. However, Apple had to change a few things (moving to 64 bit, using Cocoa instead of Carbon, and the need to sign applications – unfortunately Microsoft will probably follow soon) so while revamping the Mac version, I revamped the Windows version as well, and added a 64-bit Linux version as well (by request).
Rename My TV Series, a tool to rename tv series episodes, has been around for a while now, and it’s time for an update (the “old one” can still be found here). So I proudly present: Rename My TV Series 2.
Two of the main reasons for this new version are the needed update of the user interface and support for the new API of TheTVDB.com. But there is more; macOS users wanted a 64 bit version to avoid the 32 bit complaining and having the application signed was on the wishlist for them as well. Support for SSL (since theTVDB.com API requires this), the use of notifications and the support for a dark theme, the merging of 2 episodes, caching results, are a few of other desired or needed items.
I’m still striving to do as much cross-platform development as possible, so macOS, Windows and Linux users can use my tools, which means that this new version will be available for all these 3 platforms.
When running Windows on your Mac through BootCamp, you might be searching for the CD/DVD Eject button every now and then, and back in the day (2009) I wrote a little application for that for my own use: BootCamp CD Eject.
This application works with all Windows version as of Windows XP – and you can use this without BootCamp as well.
This little application lives in the Windows Systray and allows you to eject a CD/DVD from a menu or through a key combination. There is also a key combination to quickly put your Windows in standby.
I’m posting the application (free!) since I recently ran into some users that actually had a use for it even 7 years after developing it.
I had not used the good old Wake On LAN option in a while, until my brother-in-law (Jean-Pierre) was looking for something like that to wake up his NAS.
Most of the Wake On LAN applications I found for him were just too extensive, too complicated, or not free. I wanted just a simple menu in the System Tray (Windows: next to the clock, lower-left corner of your screen) or Menu-bar (MacOS X – top of your screen). Well, after quite a bit of searching I could not find anything suitable or to my liking and I decided to just write something myself.
Timing couldn’t be better, since I just wanted to implemented Wake On LAN in another application – ConnectMeNow (for MacOS X).
Reusing the code, making it suitable for Windows and MacOS X, and wrapping it in a small application was done relatively quickly.
This application has been tested under MacOS X 10.11 (El Capitan) and Windows 10 and it’s FREE.
After many iterations of Boblight Config Maker, I’ve decided to finally release v2 … keep in mind that I have the feeling it’s not quite finished yet, so it’s released as a beta, by request of many v1 users.
V2 has been rebuild complete from scratch, and (in my opinion) is not been quite perfect yet, but some will see benefit in this version as it adds a lot of new features.
Since building and maintaining this application is simply taking way too much time, this will, unfortunately, most likely be the last version as well. As with many free or open source projects, this project is taking just too much time, and unfortunately, I do have to make a living as well.
Note that for now the source will not be made public.
UPDATE: For Windows and MacOS X I have fixed several bugs, a new version (beta 3) is available.
In this day and age we are more network connected than ever before – at home and at work. Some of us have network shares on their computers, want to access company network shares, or have a dedicated file server or NAS (Network Attached Storage) to store our shared information or make our backups.
Unfortunately, at times anyway, it can be rather cumbersome under Mac OS X to connect to those “shares” (also known as the so called mounted “Volumes“). In Finder, a server doesn’t always appear right away, we need to go through a list of shares on a given “server”, get confused if we need SMB, CIFS, FTP, SSH, WebDAV, NFS or AFP, and I’m not even mentioning the need to enter a username and password on protected shares.
Additionally, Wake On Lan is being supported as well.
I do have a NAS and I do have several shares on that device and … I just got freakin’ tired of going through each step over and over again. So, instead of complaining, I started looking for an application that would just that – and didn’t find one to my liking. So I just created one … free for all … enjoy!
For the veterans amongst us, we all know FourCC Changer from fourcc.org, a small utility which allows you to change the video stream Four Character Code that identifies the codec used to compress/store the video stream.
If you’ve used it before, then you will know that it’s a nifty little Windows program that can be used as a last resort when AVI files do not playback. Since FourCC Changer only exists for the Windows platform: here a free version for Windows, Linux (32 and 64bit) and MacOS X (intel).
This application also support batches, offers a backup function and is very fast even for files in network shares.
When I started building my own “AmbiLight” project, based on OpenElec (XBMC) and Boblight, the first problem I ran into is finding a tool to create a Boblight config files for use under MacOS X. Naturally, there are quite a few great tools out there that do a good job, but it’s either a script, web-based or limited to Windows users (Boblight Config Tool), and again … not for MacOS X …
Creating a config file for Boblight can be quite tedious when you have a large amount of LEDs (I had 290 LEDs), when you mix up the orientation of your LEDs (pretty common issue), or when you do not have your LEDs spread out evenly.
So here is my tool, for Windows, MacOS X and Linux, written in Lazarus Pascal – enjoy!
UPDATE: Another minor bug fixed, added test video and Boblight Config Maker can now also be found at Alternativeto.net.
For those of us coming from the Windows platform, that have used the Image Resizer PowerToys for Windows XP (yeah I know: from way back in the day), here a free application for MacOS X users to have that same functionality as well.
Simply right click an image, choose the desired size and your images will be resized automatically without modifying the original file.
I’ve expended the functionality a little bit, by adding the option to convert a Retina image straight to “classic” (50% size reduction) and after resizing the option to automatically attach the resized images to an email, ready to be send to friends and family …
After writing the article on “How to get an Operating System on a SD-Card“, I realized that the existing methods and tools were not to my liking. Of course the existing tools are most certainly not bad and work just fine. I just didn’t like how they worked.
So instead of complaining, I decided to write my own program: The ApplePi-Baker …
This application is for MacOS X only and allows you to prepare an SD-Card for use with Raspberry Pi’s NOOBS, and it allows you to “flash” and IMG file to an SD-Card. ApplePi-Baker can now also be found on AlternativeTo.net and eLinux.org.
Note : This application is also very suitable for creating or restoring an IMG backup of USB drives!
Update : ApplePi-Baker v2 has been released, you can get it here. it offers a lot options, speed and stability than the version mentioned in this article.
Every now and then you’d like to see if the movie of video file that you have is the one with a particular resolution, or the one with subtitles embedded, or not. Specially when you’ve ripped your DVD collection in the past and now you’re doing the same with your Blu-Ray collection.
For this purpose I threw together a simple front-end for FFProbe, a tool from the ffmpeg project, which rather quickly scans a movie file for it’s details.
MovieScanner is completely free, and available for Windows and MacOS X. Under Linux however I ran into some impracticalities … so no Linux version. Sorry.
Keep in mind that it was written for personal use and to try a few things with Lazarus Pascal, so don’t expect any super miracles.
For those of you who use their computer for watching TV-Series, the following problem must sound familiar:
Filenames are inconsistent, odd characters in the filenames, missing titles, weird numbering, etc… Finding the correct names and renaming them all manually can be quite labor intense.
Thats is one of the reasons why I wrote: “Name My TV Series”.
It’s available for free for Windows, Linux, and MacOS X.
The main information source it uses is TheTVDB.com which offers the data for free. The only thing they ask, is that, if you’re up for it, you help in maintaining the database with TV Series information.
Note: Name My TV Series can now also be found on AlternativeTo.net, AddictiveTips.com and the Lazarus Application Gallery …