John-Michael Battaglia
Downloads: 809
Posts: 142
Smile Score: +63
About Me
I am a MacUpdate Desktop user
Gender: Male
Age: 60+
Film/Video Producer
Marketing Communications Specialist, concentrating in high-tech & entertainment.
Former Peace Corps Volunteer

Available for free-lance work on special projects on a remote, telecommunications basis only. See portfolio website for more information, writing samples, video samples, testimonials

Also see eBook and personal website: (expected release date: mid-April 2014.)

For even more background information, an online interview reflecting on my days as a copywriter in the heyday era of video games at the original Atari is also available at Link is:

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Member Since: 07 May 2012
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John-Michael Battaglia's Posts
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Bowlerboy_jmb commented on 04 Apr 2014
This app, like its companions in this category, namely, What's Keeping Me?, or Sloth, or Lock-unmatic, may NOT succeed in finding out why a stubborn external Firewire volume will not eject.

I don't' suppose that this is any fault of these applications, but due to some mysteries in the Mac OS that neither of them have figured out yet.

So, don't expect a miracle. You may still have to Force Eject a volume to get it off your desktop. Hopefully, no harm occurs.
[Version 3.0.0]

Bowlerboy_jmb commented on 25 Mar 2014
The glowing review which appjunky "believes" was written by the developer occurred four years ago! Such "beliefs" may or may not be true. One should not cast aspersions that affects the business and pocketbook without solid evidence. Not only is it rude and unfair, it borders on being an illegal tort if not also libelous. The only defense to an accusation of libel against appjunky is truth. Got any? If not, shut up.

I am more curious why there're no other ratings or reviews. Has no one tried this app since?
[Version 2.5]


Bowlerboy_jmb reviewed on 25 Mar 2014
In general, I like Drive Genius, and I keep it in my arsenal of utilities which I use to maintain my Macs. But there is no aura of "genius" level quality enveloping this application. The name if pure hype.

For example, just the other day, when I had a few of my external LaCie Firewire drives hooked up to my Mac, Drive Genius' monitoring tool, called Drive Pulse, alerted me with a window that one of the partitions on one of the external volumes needed "repair." Fine. That's a good thing to be told about.

So, I clicked on the button to that alert to launch Drive Genius, and I navigated through DG's nicely animated tabs to the appropriate Repair panel. I then ran Rebuild and Repair twice, but neither attempt by Drive Genius succeeded in repairing my volume. According to Drive Genius, my volume was beyond repair.

Never one to take any individual hard drive utility as capable of providing a definitive answer like that, I launched Disk Warrior and instructed it to rebuild the volume. Disk Warrior had absolutely no problem no problem rectifying all the problems which Drive Genius was too smart enough to recognize but too stupid to fix.

So, if you want to improve your own Mac IQ, learn these lessons:
(1) No single Mac hard drive utility is so smart that it can solve all of the problems a hard drive might have.
(2) No single Mac hard drive utility has a such a set of features that it can be considered complete.
(3) All of the Mac hard drive utilities approach the problems of drive corruption, director corruption, and other flaws affecting your hard drive differently, thus some are better than others in fixing the problems, depending on their algorithms and approach.
(4) If you are serious about maintaining your hard drives and their integrity, you must have a wide range of utilities at your immediate disposal, and you must be willing to go through all of them when you encounter a problem that one cannot solve, because one of the others might.

For what it may worth, my favorite utilities over the years are (in no particular order of preference or priority):

* Disk Warrior
* TechTool Pro
* Checkmate
* Drive Genius
* Cocktail
* Disk Utility
* iDeFrag

There are some other, newer utilities that I've obtained in bundles, but I cannot say anything about them yet, because I have not yet been stumped by any problem that could not be handled by one of the regular stalwarts, listed above.

I keep my hard drives partitions into several volumes, each one set up under a different OS, ranging all the way back from Mavericks on a Mac Pro to Panther on a PowerMac G4 mirrored door work station, which still works quite well, thank you very much. In addition to having a wide range of hard disk utilities on various partitions, I also backup my working volumes religiously.
I use SuperDuper to clone to external Firewire volumes, which allows me to startup from those volumes, whenever I want to test out something I am not comfortable about installing on the internal hard drive of my original working volume.

I also back up remotely using CrashPlan.

If you don't back up your volumes, then you are just a fool who hasn't yet discovered that fact about yourself. It only takes one hard drive crash without a backup to give you a side on the whack of the head that you will never forget. Avoid the whack!
[Version 3.2.3]

Bowlerboy_jmb commented on 20 Mar 2014

Yes, I'm with you in realizing that the field is vast and daunting, which is why I suggested that there is a book project awaiting some enterprising expert who wants to fill that aching need.

No, I did not intend to lump the "Chinese converter pack" of converters at the end of my quick, incomplete market survey of available products together with the names of other long-established applications in any other way but to say, Here are a lot of movie / video applications, all of which, in various ways and to various degrees, perform some conversion functions. What we need is a guide to sort them all out and tell us what each does, does not do, etc. No quality implications were made or intended. While Microsoft Word or Excel would not qualify to be included in such a list, all of them there, and many others which claim to be able to convert one video into another, or to edit one type of video file but export it in another, thus qualifying in my little mind as being a "converter," would qualify for the list and should be written about in such a comprehensive guide.

Yes, I agree with you that the Top 10 List is so narrow and so restrictive that its very presence "smells" of functioning more as an advertising vehicle for the included products, rather than an objective analysis of the marketplace that an organization like Consumer Reports would have produced. Maybe you think I was a bit too subtle in my attempt to praise only the fact that the Top Ten List produces a useful guide and that I implied through literary reference to a famous Shakespearean play that something about the whole list smelled fishy. But, as I said, I don't have direct evidence that those companies which appear on that list actually paid an advertising fee to be included in a limited set of reviews that they themselves ultimately controlled through their influence on the publishers of the website. But I was merely trying to avoid a libel suit. I think sharp readers need not even read between the lines to perceive what I was aiming at.

You do have some astute readers visiting this site, don't you? Or are my complaints elsewhere that almost no one here knows how to write a useful review falling on completely deaf ears? Possibly they can't write, because they can't read either.

In any case, your echoing of the same sentiment in your other words can only help those remedial readers get the point, if it escaped them at all in the first place, which I doubt. I don't write to be obtuse or to obfuscate the meaning of what I am saying. I use big words occasionally because they are best words at the time. Online dictionaries are available for translation. Thanks for your reinforcement of the points I made. We differ only in styles of expression, not in substance.
[Version 5.2]

Bowlerboy_jmb commented on 19 Mar 2014
With the plethora of video converters out there, is there anyone with the suitable expertise in the fields of video formatting AND software design / productivity who can separate the wheat from the chaff? I would like to see a thorough review comparing what each of the video converters do, what they don't do, why we need them, which is best for the money, and which is not worth sneezing on.

How much overlap and redundancy is there between these products? Do I need "all" of them to cover the gaps of any one of them? Or, is there one Swiss Army Knife of video converters that will do just about everything well. And, what it doesn't do, or do well, tell us about that, too.

That would be a very useful review. Additionally, or alternatively, links to professional articles on reliable websites that help people like sort out the distinctions would also be valuable.

To put this request in other terms: What does MPEG2 Works do (or do better or differently) in regards to taking in the format of one type of video file and putting some other kind of video file that can play on the same input device or across a range of other devices.

I'm talking about applications like IFFmpeg, ffmpegX, Handbrake, QuickTime, Cinematize Pro, iMovie, Final Cut Pro, Flash Video Converter, Moavi, Miro, Ondesoft, Leawo, Wondershare, and the other brand spinoffs of the same engine marketing under different names in the recent Chinese converter invasion.

Do the job right yourself, and you've got a book in the making, which you can publish as an eBook with a place like Packt Publishing. Hell, they deluge me almost every day with the latest high tech tome about picayune stuff that I wouldn't dare stuff into the head of Cray computer designer. Surely, they will welcome a volume that demystifies the digital video format jungle in such a way that regular consumers (will you stand up in the back, please?) can grok it and benefit from your insights.

If not that guy, then the six of us of wonder about such things will appreciate such illumination.
[Version 5.1.1]

2 Replies


Bowlerboy_jmb replied on 19 Mar 2014
@ David-R.-Purnell
Thanks for the link. I've visited the Top 10 site before, in regards to financial software, and, in general, they have the right approach when it comes to approaching their subject matter in the sense that they realize that only a table or grid that directly compare features and functions and formats between the competing products is a valuable way to go. In fact, charting things out like is something I've always done when I've compared apples to apples, for it is essential to do so when checking a category of software like format converters.

However, notice how narrow that 10 best set is. This particular program is not included on the list; neither are many of the others I cited. Perhaps a case can be made that what this MPEG2 Works programs and the other programs I cited don't compete as directly as the ones which were evaluated at that web site. Then again, maybe there is something else going behind the scenes that we can't know about why those particular products were reviewed and made the list, but some of the long-term notables that I know about, did not. I dare not cast aspersions that something stinks in Denmark unless I have evidence, but my nose tells me that, however useful that particular list might be, it is neither as comprehensive nor as reliable as the kind of education and more exhaustive analysis that I had in mind.

Good start, though. For those who made the list. Not so good for those who did not get included, for reasons unknown to us. I will eventually get around to reading the individual reviews, but I will do so in order to gain some objective knowledge about the topic, not necessarily to be swayed that the products there are better than the products who did not make the "Top 10" list.

Bowlerboy_jmb replied on 20 Mar 2014
Precisely! The game there looks rigged, i.e., fishy ratings, akin to something's rotten in Denmark (Hamlet).

@Jess, if you can, you should move my response to you into this thread, where I intended it to go.
Bowlerboy_jmb commented on 05 Mar 2014
It was only last night—or should I say about 2 AM, since I'm on steroids that give me insomnia, along with a boost of energy that keeps me up for 2-3 days at a shot, before I crash—I upgraded to version 3 of The Print Shop, and I played around with their Circular Text tool that allows you to spin text into a circle or a spiral. Now only is that both cool and mind-boggling, but if you grab the handles of the object box which contains the circular text you just created, you can watch the text spin around and settle wherever you stop dragging the handle.

I not only created a logo for my website project, but, with the aid of SnapZ Pro, I video captured the animation and saved it as a QuickTime movie. At the same time, however, I was wondering what neat utility might exist to allow me to create a GIF of that video.

Here it is, apparently. While I would always prefer to have a chance to try out software, even in a slightly crippled, time-limited, production-run limited, or feature-busted format, so that I can see what it does. The Apple Store does not allow this, which is one of its biggest flaws, since it exists only as a master catalog where it stores, downloads, and collect money off the top of programs developed by people who would rather give 30% of their revenue than market their stuff on their own. Whatever!

But, when I visit the developer's site for this software, I see excellent, well-illustrated tutorials at least showing me what the application does. For me, if a developer is smart enough to take the time to do a good job of showing me how to use their product, then I will give them the benefit of the doubt and try out their product. On the other hand, if a developer shows me nothing, makes no promotional video to illustrate the features and benefits of their software, they had two chances of convincing me to spend money on them: slim and none. As far as I am concerned, all software ought to have video demonstrations and documentation associated with the product. Videos to sell the software, supplemented by videos to teach me --by showing me-- how to use it. As the cartoon said: There ought to be a law! Not to do so, is a sign of ignorance on the part of the developer.

Anyway I hope I like this product. Stay tuned for a further report.
[Version 2.3.4]


Bowlerboy_jmb reviewed on 02 Mar 2014
Anyone (like me) who has an Olympus digital voice recorder knows what a pain in the butt can be to deal with the propriety .DSS format in which the older Olympus devices stored their files—especially since Olympus's updates could not keep pace with the evolution of the Mac OS X's more rapid development schedule.

With the special USB cable Olympus gave you, you could still move your .DSS files off of the recorder and onto your Mac, but the Mac could not play .DSS files, nor was there any audio converter software other than NCH's Switch available to convert .DSS into something useful, like .mp3, and even then, Switch could not convert the lower LP mode, or even some of the SP mode files.

Without the DSS Player to convert those .DSS files to .AIFF as the intermediary format, users were essentially stuck with a great piece of hardware but no software to work with it, unless you still kept your PowerPC alive.

Well, it turns out that Olympus actually did update DSS Player to a Mavericks-compatible version 7.5 this past December, although you had to damn lucky to accidentally come across a blog which mentioned it, while also adding that downloading of the upgrade was restricted to dealers and others who access to a private portal. Why Olympus would restrict access is beyond my imagination, unless their marketing department is run by a bunch of punitive monks, because people have been clamoring for such an upgrade and if you went through all of the software upgrades available for downloading for all of current models of digital voice recorders in the entire Olympus line—which I did—you still would not find a link allowing you download the new Mavericks-compatible version of DSS Player.

At least not at the American website.

For some reason though, if you Google correctly for it, you can find it on the Australian website at:

I suggest that MacUpdate grab it up and make it available for current owners of Olympus digital voice recorders to download. This is an upgraded, so only users who had obtained an installation disc of the original application (and upgraded it over the years to at least version 7) will be able to take advantage of the upgrade file. I did. It runs great.

Not that I'm going to get rid of my PowerMac, but it sure is nice to get unstuck. Now I can actually get more use out of my DS-2 recorder!
[Version 7.1]

Bowlerboy_jmb commented on 26 Feb 2014
I am glad (and amused) to hear that VirtualBox will work on Mavericks. What I'd like to know, if people's memories are deep enough, is when would you use it? For what purposes?

In other words, what programs would you run on that you can't do without using it? Other than taking a stroll down memory lane, where's the benefit?

I've still got a couple of Wang PC's in my attic. (I donated one of that set of three to a museum in Texas). So, I have all of the MS-DOS software (and the originally soft floppy discs!) that do with them. But, even though I'm a pack rat, I still don't bother to get them out just to look at green text on a screen anymore.
[Version 4.3.8]

2 Replies


Bowlerboy_jmb replied on 26 Feb 2014
@Mcr ... Thanks for the clarification. You are right about my mis-understanding of the range and scope of VirtualBox

I did not mean to be critical or sarcastic (why would someone even rate a query like that with a frown?). I suppose I did get the impression from you that VirtualBox was sort of retrograde, so, never having used it, I couldn't see much use for it.

Although I have licenses for both Parallels and VMware Fusion, I never really installed those virtual machines either. I have enough to do wandering through the world of Mac software, let alone mess my head up more than necessary by peering through Windows once again or exposing my Mac to viruses and other attacks to which I would rather not subject myself. The attraction to run Windows on my Mac is very low on my radar screen.

At the same time, however, I'm glad such VM software provides Mac users with that option. It's a really clever trick to make one machine believe that it something else that it is. Very heady stuff.

Bowlerboy_jmb replied on 27 Feb 2014

Wow! If I get you right, then you are talking about running a virtual Mac OS X inside of a real Mac OS X machine.

What a cool idea! I don't think that I have ever read of anyone even suggesting something like that. If such a thing works, then one could actually "install" dangerous stuff like Flash inside that virtual Mac OS X machine and have a grand old time while it lasted, testing out iffy software, visiting sites will some real flashing goes on...

I see that you did mention running images of Mountain Lion and Mavericks in a vM window, but that totally went over my head, because I had been indoctrinated with the concept that using Parallels and Fusion and Boxer, I guess, was so that people could run (ugh) Windows on their Macs. To be able to run other versions of Mac OS X as a virtual machine on a real Mac computer opens up possibilities I had not considered. Thanks for the push. I'm putting it on the list of stuff to do, once I finish my eBook and website project, which must be my highest priorities right now.
Bowlerboy_jmb commented on 26 Feb 2014
For comparison, interested buyers owe it to themselves to check-out Stuffit Deluxe, or whatever it's called these days. There's a promo somewhere—maybe—offering it for $10.

Stuffit Deluxe was the premier compression application during the "classic" Mac era. It still has some applicability in the modern age, although the march of technology as well as Stuffit's own competitors have left that stalwart utility in the dust). If this app only handles BinHex, then it only handles a fraction of what you may need. Then again, it only charges a fraction of the cost.
[Version 2.0.0]


Bowlerboy_jmb reviewed on 26 Feb 2014
Short comment: if you don't have Mavericks installed yet, buy Total Finder, because you'll love it. But if you do have Mavericks installed, then, if I were you, I'd go with Apple's implementation of essentially the same functionality and take a pass on this third-party utility that would end up being redundant and inject perhaps even a complication into your System that you might be better off without. My long answer below explains why.


Instead of having a lot of individual Finder windows strewn all over your desktop and making it look messier and more disorganized than my kitchen when it's so full of dirty dishes that are begging to be washed, you can bunch up a several tabs inside one, or very few, individual Finder window.

I used it under Mountain Lion, and it worked fine. Now that Mavericks has incorporated the same essential feature, your choice comes down to whether or not you want to install an application crafted by a third party developer that modifies the System in order to accomplish what the current OS already does.

As a general rule, I tend to avoid installing any application that modifies the built-in: that's probably a self-protective attitude that I picked up a lot time ago in System 7 and OS 9 days, when so many "extensions" infiltrated the Apple System that you had to buy an Extension Manager or two and go through time-consuming, mind-boggling elimination procedures to determine which application would not play nice (i.e., be compatible) with certain other applications.

After spending time in purgatory for trying to squeeze ever more productivity of my Macs—like the Mac II si and the PowerTower clone (whose success at selling a better Mac computer over the Internet than Apple sold at third-party retail outlets at the time gave Apple a whack on the side of the side and triggered them into setting up their own Apple Store!)—I also had to create "Extension Sets" that controlled which extensions were allowed to boot up and play together.

Anyway, even though my attitude may be outdated with the coming of the protective memory feature of the Mac OS X, I still tend to avoid installing System-chaning programs if I can avoid it, even to the point of not using them at all. I do make exceptions, as anyone should, depending on the circumstances, so, while I would recommend using Total Finder is you don't have Mavericks, I think that the writing is on the wall for this utility to become obsoleted by Apple's incorporation of its essential functioning in the System that Apple built.

Even if Total Finder will offer some tiny, incremental benefits that Mavericks does not have, as Leoofborg suggests, whether you want to invest in a redundant utility to be able to get longer filenames automatically taken care is a subtlety that ultimately comes down to a matter of taste.

When I heard that Mavericks was incorporating the essential features of Total Finder, I thought maybe its developer hit it big and got bought out by Apple. It looks like Apple is tacking the opposite tack altogether: making TF obsolete by making it redundant. Sorry about that. I guess in the world of high technology, not every small company gets gobbled up by a parent for billions of dollars every week.
[Version 1.5.19]

Bowlerboy_jmb had trouble on 06 Feb 2014

Since you are a veteran user of Voila, please clarify one issue, which, if memory serves me correctly, was brought up much earlier regarding this application, namely, whether or not Voila stores ALL of its captures into discrete files, or into one, potentially huge and unwieldy, ever-swelling file.

In other words, if I create several movies, named video-01, video-02, video-03 ... video-99, am I going to end up with separate, individual, unique files, or am I going to end up with one, all-encompassing file that could eventually exceed the capacity of a DVD on which to archive my projects.

I have gotten a clear answer from the developer that I could rely on, so I want to know the scoop from a user.
[Version 3.7]

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