Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Launchbar or Quicksilver

I use Launchbar which is a competitior of Quicksilver.

I haven't tried Quicksilver, but I sure love my Launchbar. As just one example of how I use it, if I want to go online to Wells Fargo Bank, I type Apple-Spacebar and then "well" and Launchbar opens Safari and takes me to the Wells Fargo log-on screen (regardless of what program I am using at the time). But what is really great is that I didn't have to teach it that shortcut. Launchbar learned it on its own.

I gather that Quicksilver is very similar. Quicksilver is free and Launchbar is $20 or $32 for 5 computers in a family.

Why pay money for Launchbar when Quicksilver is free? Well the way I figure it, if someone doesn't help to keep something there, after a while it won't be there. So I am helping to keep Launchbar there. Of course, you could probably donate to Quicksilver, and if you are a fan, I suggest you do that.



Launchbar and Quicksilver compared:

TidBITS Talk on Launchbar vs Quicksilver

Backing up your Macintosh computer

Recently, I ran into a lot of discussion on the subject of testing back-up programs for Macs.

Most of the programs tested didn't copy all the extra data associated with files in OS X (called metadata - creation dates, file types, etc., etc.).

The bottom line was that after a lot of testing by various people, Superduper! came out the best.

(So thanks Charlie for the good info on that.)

If you have an external hard drive, you can use Superduper to make an exact copy of your hard drive and that will allow you to get back up and running quickly if something happens to your computer. (If your external drive is a lot bigger than the hard drive in your computer, you might want to partition your external drive to make one of the partitions the same size as the one in your computer.) Just attach your backup drive to another Mac and restart from the backup.

Recently, a client's hard drive just suddenly up and quit working. Luckily there was a recent back-up made by Retrospect, but it took some time to get everything restored to normal. It would have been faster with Superduper!

So after hours of reading many web pages, for personal use, I am jumping ship to Superduper. (However I still recommend that people keep extra copies of financial files such as Quicken data in case the original gets corrupted (ie messed up) and have a copy at another location in case of fire, theft or computer meltdown such as a power failure just as your computer is backing up--an unpleasant thought I am sure. Also for backing up data from a number of computers on a network, I will still be using Retrospect.)

Lastly, do NOT backup Filemaker data if the files are open. I inadvertently did that one day and all the data disappeared. (Luckily I had a good backup.)

Saving money on color prints

At the last Los Angeles MacFair, I met a gentleman who was displaying a method for printing color pictures inexpensively using large bottles of ink attached to an ink jet printer. The quality was very good and the system worked with a number of Epson printers. He also sells laser cartridges. I would suggest contacting him for suggestions on what printer to get for your needs. (He doesn't sell printers as far as I know, but I'll bet that he can suggest a printer that works with less expensive ink or toner.)

His name is Don Baker and he can be reached at

His web site is