Downloads: 89
Posts: 86
Smile Score: +72
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University professor at a Midwest Science and Engineering Institution. I teach first year chemistry to over 1000 students per year! Outside of work, I enjoy skating, skiing, snowboarding, and the general outdoors. My hobbies include cooking, photography, and gardening. Right now, I am really in to hydroponics and have a number of different systems growing all manner of things from flowers to ghost peppers.

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pcharles reviewed on 11 Jan 2014
I'm sure I've reviewed this before, but could not see it. I have been really happy with this application since I started using it a few years ago and have appreciated several of the improvements the developer has made, such as easier sharing to other applications, and to cloud services like Evernote.

I have tried (and purchased) a number of other screen capture applications over the years, such as Little Snapper and Snagit. While each has things that attracted me, I keep coming back to Voila. I also use screen recording programs like Screenflow and Camtasia for my job as a chemistry instructor.

One of the things I really like is the interface, mostly because I have little need for some of the more crazy customizations available in Snagit. It is reasonably attractive to look at and is well laid out for what I do. One of the things that seems to be missing, however, and is present in Snagit, is the ability to save tool settings as a default.

You can set the helper app to load in the background when you log in, but for some reason, it does not always load when I log in. One difference between Snagit and Voila is that Snagit seems to load as a menu and screen widget that are tied together completely, while Voila seems to be a separate application and menu item. Not sure which is best, but I can quite Voila and the menu item remains, while quitting snagit removes everything. This is one of the reasons I've stuck with Voila. I also prefer the layout of the menu, but that is trivial really.
[Version 3.6]

2 Replies


pcharles replied on 06 Feb 2014
It appears to be one large file called Voila Library that is in fact a special folder you can open with "Show Package Contents." Inside that folder are two other folders called "Database" and "Images." The images folder contains image files that can be opened by Voila, although it appears that Acorn will open it as well. If you manually delete a file, Voila shows it as corrupt in the browser.

pcharles replied on 06 Feb 2014
Where did I say single file? I did not, I said single file that is actually a folder. This is standard Apple protocol, just like iphoto and aperture, and many others. Each image is a separate file. Snagit does essentially the same thing.

pcharles reviewed on 08 Sep 2013
This is my go-to ripper/converter for just about everything I do. I like that it can be configured to perform multiple rips/conversion tasks and left. I moved to this from RipIt and use it in conjunction with Turbo 264HD

Most of the time I create a DVD images for backup and then use Turbo 264HD to make the Apple TV files because although DVDRipper is very easy to use, I have a hardware encoder for Turbo 264HD, which allows me to plow through batch conversions.

The only thing I wish it handled are Blueray Disks, which seem to require a special program called Make MKV, after which I can feed in to Turbo.

If you are just getting in to ripping, I think this is the one to go with right now.
[Version 4.1]

pcharles rated on 12 Jun 2013
[Version 1.4.1]


pcharles reviewed on 09 Aug 2012
I feel like a total curmudgeon for giving a low rating, but after purchasing Busycal and living with it for a a couple of months I have given up and gone back to Calendar now that Mountain Lion has come along.

For the longest time I would try Busycal and immediately delete it because it did not support basic bidirectional CalDAV that iCal did. Our university recently switched to Google, and I got a bundle code, so I thought cool and gave it another try, but alas I am going back to Calendar again.

Busycal is a very pretty looking calendar, and I love all the cute things you can do with it like pictures of people, but it just seems to struggle with some of the baseline server communications I take for granted with iCal and now with Calendar. It does not communicate well with CalDAV systems and I have been experiencing a number of issues with its Google Syncing. For example, I send invitations out from Busycal and it seems hit and miss whether they make it. Same thing when they come in. It could be a configuration issue, but for the company to claim that Busycal is superior to Calendar, it has to have baseline operations that exceed Calendar, and it does not. I really get the feeling that Busycal wants to be a standalone home/homeoffice calendar that is separate from a work network, particularly as it seems to have its own "server" functions.

The fluffy weather clouds and lightening bolts are cute though, and I like how you can make some calendars fade in to the background as "holiday" calendars!

The other problem is perhaps a battle that all products competing with an Apple product have in that it does not play nice while Calendar is still installed, and I am reluctant to uninstall Calendar. They both read each others databases, but Busycal duplicates my iCal Google calendars as local calendars instead of just linking directly and I could not figure out how to stop it.

Busy cal definitely handles the display of Google calendars in a more attractive fashion than Calendar, which uses delegations forced by Google, but maybe what it does to display them is causing my problems with the missed invitations.

I do not know how difficult it is for the company to have Busycal and Calendar use the same database and bidirectionally sync with my university server based calendar, but without it I am going to struggle

I think the final straw was the lack of notifications in Busycal. Calendars are mission critical items and the upgrade to support notifications is still not available despite the developer releases having been around for some time. I'm hoping some of these basic problems will be fixed along with support for 10.8's technologies in the next release, and I can give the application another try.

I got mine in a bundle, but as others have pointed out it is expensive for something that adds little more than bling to Calendar, and takes away some server-level functionality.
[Version 1.6.4]

pcharles rated on 26 Jun 2012
[Version 1.2]


pcharles reviewed on 08 May 2012
Mozy was my first cloud backup solution, but I have just abandoned it for Backblaze due to their switch from the unlimited plan. Even though I am not backing up a huge amount (200-300 GB of mostly photos and some movies) the new plan would more than double my current cost. Backblaze, however, will let me do this for $4 per month with a two year subscription.

Mozy offers a few more features, file "sharing" access, and a mobile app, but I have never used any of those features. I just want an inexpensive, fast, and reliable backup solution. If you have less than 125GB to backup then Mozy is still an excellent choice, but not if you have a lot more.

I've also found the Mozy application/prefpane to be a little slower at uploading than Backblaze, and a little more buggy. It tends to stop backing up a little more often than Backblaze, which on my network (3MBit/s) chomped through about 30GBytes per day!
[Version 2.6.0]


pcharles reviewed on 08 May 2012
I tested Backblaze in February and was so impressed that I have now paid for a two year subscription as a replacement for Mozy. Mozy is still a great service, but if you have a lot of data to back up (anything over 125GB) it starts to get a lot more expensive now they have moved away from the unlimited plans. Backblaze offers less file access features than Mozy and some other systems, but IMHO those file access features are gimmicks. What really matters in a backup system is the ability to backup your important stuff quickly, securely, and at a reasonable price.

Backblaze offers all those features. I was able to backup over 160GB of data on a 3Mbit connection at a rate of almost 31 Gigabytes per day. So it was done very quickly, all for $4 per month.

The software is also mind numbingly easy to install and configure because it basically configures itself, but there is also plenty of control over which things to exclude from the backup.

An important feature for me is that it will handle the backup of any external drives that are directly connected to the computer. I store all my media on an external media drive, and wanted to make sure it was backed up.

The web site is fairly basic, there is no mobile app, and no sharing, but IMHO that is good. Backblaze is a backup, and I believe it should stay that way. There are plenty of dedicated photo sharing sites out there already, not to mention Dropbox and iCloud's photo sharing.

Overall highly recommended.


pcharles reviewed on 30 Dec 2011
I really cannot remember how long I have used this application, it goes way back in to the "old" OS, back when life was simple and Apple was always one announcement away from Doom. . . . Or, so the analysts would have us believe. Its interesting how this application has become such a part of my Mac experience that when I use a machine without it, I get confused and think it is broken.
[Version 4.4.7]

pcharles commented on 30 Dec 2011
Every time a new version comes out I look to see if it manages the MacUpdate purchased applications and serials, but so far I come away disappointed. . . . . Unless I have missed it.
[Version 5.0.12]


pcharles reviewed on 05 Sep 2011
At one time this was one of my favorite Applications for searching eBay, but I have since found that Auction Hunter provides a slightly better experience. both Applications are at the mercy of eBays ever changing mindset, so you never really know whether it will work when you need it or not.
[Version 2.1.5]

pcharles had trouble on 21 Apr 2009
Before placing a bad review I thought I'd describe my problem.

I registered this application as a possible "lighter" alternative to photoshop elements for simple editing and layer work. The problem is that the program on my Dual Core 2.3GHz G5 is incapable of pasting a photo on to a layer and then resize it to fill the work area. Photoshop Elements has the Place function, which this lacks, and can do this task in under a minute of work. Acorn goes in to spinning beach ball mode and never comes out.

I really like the looks of this application and registered it based on a few simple tasks, but if it cannot handle a few layers I will need to post another review.
[Version 1.5.2]

pcharles had trouble on 25 Mar 2009
Seems to have lots of functionality, but is completely lacking in any useful instructions. It would be nice to have a desktop calculator to handle simultaneous and quadratic equations, but I cannot figure out how to use the functions.

The conversions and constants are great, but whout knowing how to use the "advanced" features I cannot see how this is any more use than Apples FREE calculator.
[Version 3.4]

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