Joy Livingwell
Downloads: 10
Posts: 19
Smile Score: +17
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Gender: Female
Mac owner since 1987.

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Joy-Livingwell reviewed on 16 Feb 2014
RedScreen shifts your screen color to preserve night vision, and to decrease blue light to help you sleep.

Plusses: easy to use, can dim your screen WAY down, slider lets you adjust the screen color from normal to red only, includes a grayscale setting so you can still see red items on-screen, and you can switch dimming on and off without quitting the program.

Minus: RedScreen decreases screen contrast even when screen dimming is supposedly turned off. The only way to restore full screen contrast is to quit the program. Which is why I have mostly stopped using it, and switched to a combination of f.lux (for color shift) and Shady (for dimming) instead.
[Version 2.0.1]


Joy-Livingwell reviewed on 16 Feb 2014
Nifty little app that automatically color-shifts your computer screen for nighttime use. It's easy to turn f.lux on and off without quitting the program. It's both stable and polite. Since f.lux doesn't DIM the screen, I use it combination with the screen dimmer Shady. When dimming is off, your screen looks normal.

Features I hope the developer will add: a setting for white LED bulbs; ability to change the color temperature to red to preserve your night vision; and an integrated dimmer (so I can use one program instead of two).
[Version 23.0]


Joy-Livingwell reviewed on 16 Feb 2014
Excellent little app, and I tested a bunch of them before picking this as the best. Stable, easy to use, can dim your screen WAY down, and doesn't affect the screen brighteness or color at the brightest setting. Plus you can just switch it off to watch a movie, and keep your settings. I use it in combination with f.lux, which color-shifts the screen but doesn't dim it.
[Version 23.0]

1 Reply


Joy-Livingwell replied on 16 Feb 2014
Oops, I thought I was on the Shady page; this was my review for Shady. I have contacted support and am trying to get this removed. (And why isn't there an easy and obvious way to do that, at least within the first 5 minutes of posting? Hello, MacUpdate!)

Joy-Livingwell reviewed on 25 Sep 2012
I have been testing NovaMind for the last several weeks, on a variety of projects.

On the plus side, it is gorgeous, easy to use, fairly intuitive, and packed with features. One of my favorites allows you to switch between mind map and outline views, or look at both simultaneously. (I find this particularly useful when I am planning something like a book.) You can select items in the outline view, Copy, and Paste them into an RTF document, which will give you the correct indent hierarchy, though it doesn't number the items. You can also export the outline to TEXT and Word.

On the minus side, NovaMind 5.3 is slow, buggy, and prone to crash, at least under OS 10.6.

One of the bugs causes file sizes to bloat, such that a few minor changes can take a file from around 100 K to around 600 K. The bigger the file, the more likely the program is to become unresponsive. Toggles to expand and collapse the mind map stop working, or work intermittently. Keyboard commands to add new child and sibling nodes likewise work intermittently or stop working altogether. Typing slows way down. At some point, it usually crashes.

I am also surprised by some of the features NovaMind doesn't have. For instance, you would think that a program that intrinsically produces a lovely outline of your mind map, and can auto-number your nodes, could EXPORT the numbering, but I couldn't figure out how to do it.

I fell in love with this program when I started testing it, and fully intended to buy it. Unfortunately, its bugginess, slowdowns, and frequent crashes are deal-breakers for me.

This is a beautiful program with great potential. I hope the developers will manage to fix these problems, because I'd really LIKE to use this product.
[Version 5.3.4]


Joy-Livingwell reviewed on 28 Dec 2008
One of THE most useful programs for the Mac. I switched from TypeIt4Me about a month ago, and now use Typinator all day, every day.

Typinator is fantastic for:

+ Correcting commonly misspelled words (such as "teh" for "the")

+ Shortening common words, phrases, and names that you type a lot

+ Typing email signatures and tag lines, phone numbers, addresses, HTML snippets, etc.

+ Simplifying long or difficult-to-spell words, phrases, and names.

Favorite features:

+ User-editable spelling correction in 3 languages.

+ Multiple expansion lists. If expansions cause problems in some programs (such as curly quotes in email apps), set up a second list with alternates.

+ Allows you to position the cursor anywhere in the expansion. Handy for typing the name at the beginning of a letter, or content in a block of HTML or computer code.

+ Expands on typing ANY non-alphanumeric character, including a few that TypeIt4Me ignores (including ellipses and em [long] dashes).

+ Free of expansion glitches that plagued TypeIt4Me (which were why I switched).

+ Can import TypeIt4Me shortcuts.

+ Friendly and responsive developer.

A TypeIt4Me user since 1995, I do miss a few features. Typinator has no shortcut for adding new expansions directly from the clipboard. There is no plural S setting, so you must add plurals individually. Expansions cannot delete the preceding character or expansion trigger (useful for typing the date into file names in the Finder.)

Having tried TypeIt4Me and SpellCatcher, I recommend Typinator.

I use this program hundreds of times a day. It's a HUGE time-saver. It will reduce your spelling errors, speed up your typing, and can make your life a lot easier.
[Version 3.3.1]


Joy-Livingwell reviewed on 21 Sep 2008
GREAT little program!

Bean is small, fast, very stable, and it's simple and easy to use.

It also includes some great features. Among my favorites:

+ A slider that zooms the text size (handy when you want to see the monitor from farther away).

+ An RTF format that can be read by virtually any app (including some Classic apps that can't read TextEdit's RTFs).

+ Various toolbar and ruler options, which can be hidden or shown via menus and Preferences.

+ Automated switching between straight and curly quotes (very useful when working with dictation software).

+ Multiple levels of Undo -- a NECESSITY when dictating.

I do most of my typing with MacSpeech Dictate. Bean is my favorite app to use with it. I tested a bunch of word processors for dictation, and Bean had the best combination of speed, low CPU use, low memory use, and features. By creating some global commands for formatting (such as Italicize That, Boldface That, and Underline That), I can do the same tasks Dictate's built-in commands allow in TextEdit, but with a much better interface.

For simple note-taking tasks, Bean is much easier to use than other word processors. Check it out for yourself -- it's fun and it's FREE!
[Version 1.3.3]


Joy-Livingwell reviewed on 24 Apr 2008
The good news:

MacSpeech Dictate is VERY usable dictation software for the Mac. It is fast, accurate, easy to use, and takes under 10 minutes to set up and train. Wow!

Dictate is light-years better than iListen. If you discarded iListen because it wasn't usable, you should upgrade NOW.

The bad news:

Dictate is a far-from-complete early release. It doesn't have all its features yet (no spelling mode, no correction feature).

Dictate is still buggy. Mixing typing and dictation is a sure way to get Dictate confused and cause some really strange behavior. Especially since Undo is buggy, you will want to do FREQUENT saves. (I usually dictate into Note Pad, with frequent saves, and then transfer text to TextEdit or Bean.)

If you haven't used dictation software before, or if you already have a Naturally Speaking on Windows, you may want to hold off buying Dictate until some of the worst bugs get fixed.

It takes under 10 minutes to set up Dictate and start dictating text. Accuracy is excellent. There are some capitalization bugs, which result in occasional Words in the middle of sentences getting capitalized. A few times I've seen a random word gets UPPERCASED.

Dictate allows you to transcribe speech into its own Note Pad window, or directly into applications. (I mostly use the Bean word processor, as it is fast and simple, and can quickly switch text between smart and dumb quotes.)

The Note Pad interface is rather buggy. Typing into it only works if your cursor is at the end; otherwise, letters tend to type backwards, and are directly attached to the previous word. Cutting and pasting cause Dictate to get confused, which will quickly scramble your text.

Dictate is very processor-intensive. You will want to turn off process-hogging applications while you work.

Teaching Dictate your vocabulary and writing style requires feeding the program TEXT or RTF documents, which it analyzes for vocabulary and word use patterns. Then you get to choose which words actually get added to the program's vocabulary. I'm a professional writer with a huge vocabulary, and fed it a huge amount of text, which took over an hour per profile. (I dictate using two different voices to rest my vocal chords.)

Documentation is decent.

Summary: Dictate is fast, accurate, and highly usable despite its quirks. If you have used dictation software before, especially iListen, Dictate is well worth getting. If not, you might want to wait one more rev for additional features and bug fixes.
[Version 1.0.1]


Joy-Livingwell reviewed on 17 Jan 2007
A fantastic program -- I wish I'd known about SpamSieve years ago! Very easy to set up and train -- within 20 minutes I had set up and trained the program to 97% accuracy, and within two days to 99%.I use it with Eudora 6, and it's seamless, with a super-easy intuitive interface. It's also robust -- I get 100 spams per day; a developer friend filters 3,000 per day in Eudora and Mail.

Tip #1: For maximum accuracy, keep the training emails around 65% spam as recommended in the (good) documentation.

Tip #2: Sort the folder where SpamSieve puts spams by spam score. Once you have SpamSieve trained, you can ignore everything except the lowest-scoring items. I train SpamSieve with these (so it continues to improve) and trash the rest without looking at them.
[Version 2.5]

Joy-Livingwell had trouble on 25 Sep 2012
Under OS 10.6, NovaMind 5.3 is slow, buggy, and prone to crash.

One of the bugs causes file sizes to bloat, such that a few minor changes can take a file from around 100 K to around 600 K. Copy the data into another file, and file size goes back down to 100 K. Quit NovaMind, re-open it, make a change to the file, and save it, and file size goes down to around 200 K.

The bigger the file, the more likely the program is to become unresponsive. When that happens,

- Toggles to expand and collapse the mind map stop working, or work intermittently.

- Keyboard commands to add new child and sibling nodes work intermittently or stop working altogether.

- Typing slows way down.

Once these problems start, NovaMind usually ends up crashing within a few minutes.
[Version 5.3.4]

Joy-Livingwell had trouble on 19 Jan 2012
Looks like it's dead. The download link gets an error page.
[Version 5.1.1]

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