Archive for the ‘Software’ Category

Paprika for iPad, Windows and Mac – Easy to catalog recipes, shopping list and now a big discount

Since we’re in the full swing of the holiday season, it’s appropriate to bring up another stellar iOS app that has both Windows and Mac equivalents. Paprika is a recipe box app that I bought a few years ago. In fact, I think I picked up a copy within a day or two of it’s initial release. For some strange reason, recipe apps were all but nonexistent for the iPad, which just struck me as odd since the iPad is a perfect cooking companion.

Paprika stepped in with the ability to create a recipe database. It was basically just a shell to give you a place to store ingredients and instructions. On the surface it seemed far to simple, but in reality it was incredibly flexible and powerful.

We now jump ahead a couple of years and not only has the app grown more powerful, there are now versions that run on most platforms. And like Notebooks, Paprika looks and runs the same across different platforms so you don’t have to deal with oddities just because you switched to a different device.

The big features of Paprika are the fact that you can import recipes from multiple sources, you can copy recipes directly from websites wherein Paprika will understand the different sections and set up the recipe correctly, you can set up recipes on your desktop machine and sync them to your device (and vice versa) and you can set up shopping lists using both ingredients needed for the recipes you have planned using the meal planner as well as adding your own items that have nothing to do with cooking such as shampoo. This means you can now put together a shopping list on any computer or device and then have that list with you when you’re actually in the store. I’ve had a couple of different shopping list apps (Shopper being one of the best) and following a list saves a whole lot of time and money at the store.

You could also have someone fill out a shopping list for you on their copy of Paprika and send it over to you so there is no guesswork about which items you need to pick up.

Anyway, I’ve had Paprika by my side for a few years now and like I said, there is now a Windows and Mac version. Better still, all versions are on sale. There is a 50% discount across the board. The iPad app is only $2.99 while the desktop versions are a mere $9.99 each. Further, the desktop versions allow you to install on 3 separate machines which is a great deal. Ironically, I paid $9.99 when Paprika first came out for the iPad.

Paprika is the type of app you can use on a regular basis. You can now plan out meals and put together shopping lists with ease. It works great with the iPad Mini which is what I take to the store with me. Even if you only do a little bit of cooking, Paprika is an app I highly recommend you have by your side.

Paprika Recipe Manager on sale for a 50% discount

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AllMyNotes Organizer Long Term Review

Back in November I grabbed a copy of AllMyNotes Organizer for a super low price with the intent it would be a decent app to have along side OneNote. Turns out I’m using AllMyNotes everyday for storing lots of frequently used text and code snippets.

I’ve been writing all my case notes in AllMyNotes because it’s lightweight and it always saves them. While I keep a huge amount of research notes in OneNote, there are several things I repeatedly use and send. I have boiled those down to a couple of entries in Organizer and jump right to them since they sit as separate notes.

I have a template assigned to PhraseExpress which I fill out a dozen times a day. It’s very easy to do that inside AllMyNotes and then copy and paste all the pieces together. It’s also very easy to grab my piece of code (Exchange Powershell Command) change the parameters and run it. It’s in reach and the whole process is working extremely well for me.

AllMyNotes doesn’t actually compete with OneNote, but it makes a very nice complement to it. OneNote is my repository, it holds everything I need. It’s like my encyclopedia. It has all my links, screenshots, scripts, code and notes. But, for pushing that information out in the quickest form possible, I use AllMyNotes. I can still use screenshots, formatting, links, but it holds the everyday information I need. I find it to be incredibly helpful for getting my work done.

I’m incredibly pleased with this purchase, far more so than I was expecting. It really does organize your notes so you can put text together and get it out the door as quickly as possible. It looks like a version 3 is on the horizon and I’m very excited to see how it develops beyond that.

AllMyNotes Organizer – The INDIA71 71% Discount Coupon Code still works. You can get AllMyNotes for $9.86

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Getting my feet wet with Sony Movie Studio 12

I don’t normally do much work with video, but as of late I’ve really had a want to learn. I don’t see myself running around with a video camera trying to make movies or some sort of documentary, but there are plenty of reasons that editing video would be a handy thing to know.

So with that in mind I set about my task. I wrote about Sony Movie Studio 11 and 12 and some significant price drops on Amazon. I took the opportunity to strike and actually bought both 11 and 12. Since I have two machines and the copies are tied to the computer I thought a copy of each would be worthwhile. In fact, with the price drops I got both copies for less than 12 was going for a couple weeks ago.

But moving on. Since I don’t know much about video I created a little project for myself. I’ve had a great time playing Dirt 2 so I took many of my “lesser moments” and spliced them together into a nice little compilation video. There were some wickedly funny moments as I lost control of the car on numerous occasions. Not all of them were my fault mind you! There were plenty of times where I was just driving along trying to make a good run and got caught up in disaster.

This was a simple project, just compile some clips together and see how it goes. I’m not using anything like effects or envelopes or the more fancy features. That will come later. For right now, I just want to get used to the interface and understand how the timeline works.

To be honest, it was far easier than I thought. So many of the Amazon review made Movie Studio out to be a beast of a program with a vertical learning curve. Many considered it far too advanced and complicated. I took the simple approach and found it very easy to work with. It worked exactly like I expected it to. You select items in the time line then either move, delete or trim them. Setting markers was just a click of the keyboard and lining up the files was just as easy. I found the help file to be very good and it answer the questions I had. It showed how to add your own audio tracks, separate from the game and record through a microphone/headset.

I felt comfortable within couple of minutes and was able to add additional audio clips and text like it was nothing. I didn’t get hung up on a single task and spent several hours adding and trimming clips. By the time I edited my 3rd file it was second nature.

So far, I’m really impressed with Sony Movie Studio. I find editing video to be very easy. It’s to select, delete and move files. I also found adding text was very simple. I even dropped in my own audio clips on a second track with ease.

I’m sure the more advanced functions take a bit of getting used to, but my first effort was flawless. I put my 20 minute clip together and rendered it out as 2 separate files. Pretty sweet. I’m pretty satisfied with my purchase and the meager amount I spent. In fact, I’m really looking forward to capturing some more game clips and compiling them together.

Here’s a screenshot of what I ended up with as I was editing.

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I have the main video track with it’s corresponding audio track. Above that is the Text track where you can put text overlays on the screen. At the bottom is an external sound file. This will play “over” the main audio. It won’t mute it out, they play together. It’s the same concept as layers in Paint Shop. Each one gets combined to make the overall effect.

I really like how Movie Studio works so far. And this is Movie Studio 12, the 64 bit version.

If you want to see the final project, check out the video below. This is Part 1.

 


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