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Nik Friedman Tebockhorst
Smile Score: +16
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Last Visit: 68 days ago
Member Since: 16 Aug 2008
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Nik Friedman Tebockhorst's Posts
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NoteBurner M4V Converter Plus
on 17 Nov 2013
There are plenty of easier to use, cheaper and more feature-rich utilities to convert movies. Where this program distinguishes itself is in its ability to convert DRM-protected movies bought from the iTunes store. Once you buy a movie, this can convert it into something you can play on non-Apple devices.
You just have to decide whether $50 is worthwhile to play your iTunes purchases anywhere.
Note that the company making this program re-sells it under half a dozen different brand names -- all the exact same application. So buy the one with the name you like best, I guess.
on 21 Nov 2010
Interarchy 10 is absurdly fast with it's proprietary iFTP protocol connections, and a top contender with its other protocols. It boasts a simple, intuitive UI (not as overwrought as the competitions'), great sychronization/backup support, and the unique implementation of "Net Disks." (Not quite servers-on-the-desktop, but not quite synchronization folders) Then it has some entirely unique power user features like server-side plugins (so you can, say, reboot Apache from your iFTP connection) and file converters, which let you dynamically compress/encode/encrypt files when they transfer.
It has suffered some reliability issues, however, and the documentation (which is being improved) is sometimestoo limited. None of these issues seem to affect basic usage, and file transfers are totally solid. But it would get a full 5 stars if these rough edges were sanded off.
on 16 Aug 2008
It works fine with the iPhone 2.1 firmware. Just made two ring tones.
Easy to use, just drag & drop. I only wish it could handle other sound formats and just convert to AAC in the middle. Instead I have to use iTunes or Quicktime Pro to do the conversion.
on 07 Jul 2008
(All the comments in my previous review of version 5.1 still apply unless noted here.)
TrueCrypt 6 is a nice improvement over 5.
Hidden volumes are now supported, and therefore plausible deniability. There are also major speed improvements, which I did not confirm, but I was able to play back video from the secure mount without trouble.
It turns out that HFS+ volumes are possible (and were in 5.1 as well), but you have to re-format an existing FAT32 secure disk. These disks won't be cross-platform, of course, but they'll perform much better.
The Mac (and Linux) version still lacks a traveler/portable mode as well as boot disk encryption.
With the addition of hidden volumes and its excellent security algorithms, TrueCrypt is indisputably the top encryption tool on the Mac.
on 15 Aug 2008
Dom21: Bruce is specifically talking about TC's deniable filesystem implementation, which in the previous version had some holes. TC 6 is supposed to patch those holes, so we'll have to wait and see if they were successful.
Regardless, it's DFS implementation is good enough for most situations in which you're required to turn over a password. (Perhaps by a TSA customs agent) Unless someone does a cryptographic analysis, it's invisible to even a wary observer.
on 08 May 2008
Jungle Disk is a phenomenal online backup solution. Amazon S3 is the cheapest online storage you can get, and JD makes it quick and simple to back up your files to S3. All transmissions are encrypted, so you don't have to worry about Amazon employees getting at your stuff.
As a basic synced remote disk program, you can do better, but you'll pay more for storage. It does not have the simplicity of .Mac's iDisk.
Of course, if you're already backing up with it, there's no reason to worry about storing a few extra files on S3.
The JD Plus service is also very nice if you're backing up large files that change frequently since it permits block-level backups. (I'm looking at you, Entourage database!)
on 15 Apr 2008
9.0.1, I am happy to report, fixes all the critical bugs in the 9.0 release. It's rock solid, now, just like it always used to be. This update also adds some minor, but very helpful, features.
Interarchy remains the Big Dog of file transfer clients. While there are many more applications that handle the same tasks, some of which are, perhaps, prettier (Transmit), simpler and easier to learn (Fetch), or are free (Cyberduck), no program has the power and depth of Interarchy.
Version 9 has greatly cleaned up and simplified the interface. The new sidebar, better tab management, and the path bar at the bottom of the window are great improvements and make it much easier to browse around a large directory tree.
The ability to browse the Finder in a tab gives it the ability to have a dual-pane-like view, while still maintaining the simplicity of a single window most of the time. You can also copy & paste from the Finder to Interarchy, which is very handy, but unfortunately doesn't work in the other direction. (Although drag & drop does) You can also copy & paste within Interarchy, even to transfer files to other servers.
The SSH connection type is truly awesome. Directory listings with lots of files pop up instantly. Mirror and backup syncs (one of Interarchy's major strengths) are far faster since it can crawl directories incredibly quickly to find differences. Whereas I'd avoid mirroring certain complex sites since it took so long to find changes and run the mirror, I now find it entirely painless.
There's also some very nice additional spit and polish including some menu rejiggering to make it a bit more standard, some new preferences, interface clean-ups, etc.
Then there's all the usual Interarchy goodness: File converters for automatic encoding/encryption/compression of files on upload; support for nearly every file server protocol; Net Disks and mirrors for easy synchronization between your Mac and a server; contextual menus and droplets for easy on-the-fly file transfers; and an excellent AppleScript dictionary.
Interarchy is definitely not for everybody. I highly recommend testing it and its competition before buying it. But if you need some of these unique features, or if you want hassle free and automatic synchronization, mirroring and backup, there's nothing better.
on 03 Mar 2008
This is one of the top encryption tools on Windows, and it's great to see it on the Mac. It offers highly secure encryption for file volumes (disk images) and filesystems (not including the boot drive/partition). In my testing it was stable and performed fairly well. (Equivalent to most other FUSE-based filesystems)
Unfortunately, the Mac version falls flat in many ways compared to the Windows (and Linux, in some cases) versions of TrueCrypt. These limitations limit the usefulness of TC, especially compared to other options on the Mac. Specifically:
Hidden volumes are not supported, and therefore there is no standard of plausible deniability. The fact that there is encrypted information and the quantity of it is obvious to an adversary.
There is no "traveler" mode, so you cannot keep encrypted volumes on a portable disk without installing MacFUSE and TrueCrypt on each system you need to access it from.
There is no encryption of the boot drive. However, external drives can be fully encrypted.
It only supports the FAT32 filesystem. Native HFS+ is not supported. So you have to deal with .ds_store files, etc.
It relies upon MacFUSE, which is something of a moving target as it's under active development. This also creates a potential security weak point that the TC authors would not necessarily be in a position to correct.
Given all of this, Disk Utility's encrypted disk images are, in many ways, superior to TrueCrypt. TC is more difficult to use (it's distinctly un-Mac-like) and less widely supported on the Mac.
While the encryption is stronger (512 bit encryption vs. 256 bit in Disk Utility), neither can be readily compromised through brute force. There is also some security in TC being an open-source project. Apple's implementation of secure disk images has not had nearly the review that TC's has.
The one real advantage of TC is that its encrypted disks are cross platform. Or, more accurately, the Mac version of TrueCrypt can access Windows' TrueCrypt volumes.
on 24 Mar 2008
The presence of encrypted data is fairly obvious, and the fact that TrueCrypt is installed is a good sign that there's something to look for there. The bonus with the PC version is that you can hide an additional encrypted partition within an existing encrypted partition. This doesn't hide the fact that there's SOME encrypted data, but is does hide which data, specifically, is encrypted.
on 11 Jan 2008
The new SSH-based transfer protocol is amazingly fast. It does some sort of magic compression, so pulling files down is speedy as all get out, and comparing directories for mirroring transfers is lickety split.
Unfortunately, yes, it's got a lot of bugs that, strangely, weren't present in the recent beta releases.
I'm holding off on a review until 9.1 comes out and fixes these bugs.
on 08 Jan 2008
QuicKeys is the most powerful macro package available for the Mac. It makes it easy to handle simple automation, and without much trouble you can create highly automated workflows that trigger off just about anything. You can activate a macro based on keyboard shortcuts, which application is in the front or background, disks mounting, custom keys on your hardware devices (yup, it can support darn near any USB device, regardless of whether you have drivers specifically for it), and many other triggers.
There are other utilities and methods to automate under OS X, such as UI scripting, Automator, and less expensive automation programs (Proxy, iKey, Keyboard Maestro). This makes the high cost of QuicKeys a bit hard to swallow, but if you need to automate to the nth degree, there's nothing better.
It's also worthwhile to note that while QuicKeys X3 has been around since '04, the point updates have added fairly major new features, and all at no cost to purchasers.
Default Folder X
on 13 Dec 2007
A very nice update, overall, but with some small caveats. The new interface, while visually pleasing, now fades in and out as your open/save dialog moves. This makes DF seem even more tacked-on than the previous version. The animation, as well, can be distracting. This is, however, a small gripe, as the new interface is easier to use and far more functional and in many ways easier to use.
The integration of spotlight is positively FANTASTIC when searching for the right graphic or text file from among hundreds in a folder. For those of us who rely heavily on smart folders (now that Spotlight works quickly and reliably in MacOS X 10.5), the addition of Finder labels and spotlight comments into both open and save dialogs is positively indispensable.
Lastly, the DF icon in the dock (or menu bar) is a fitting replacement (well, almost) for the old hierarchical folder icons in the dock. One click brings you your favorite folders and their contents, which can also be enjoyed in your open/save dialogs.
While this may seem spendy for a one-trick-utility, consider that upgrades are always reasonably priced at ~$15, and the open/save dialog is probably your second most used interface on your Mac. (Or third if you use LaunchBar/QuickSilver/etc.) If you do a lot of work with a lot of different files, you won't regret this purchase.
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