DIY Free Skype video call recorder for OS X El Capitan


In a previous post I wrote about getting Soundflower to work with El Capitan. Here, I want to outline how you can use it to enable complete Skype video call recording – including both side of the conversation as well as the video. There’s lots of information around about recording the OTHER side of the video chat, but less about both sides. There use to be a Soundflower add-on called Flowerbed that facilitated this but is has now ceased development. There are also an amazing number of apps you can buy – some for $70-$80 that will do it for you too! Let’s do it for free 😀

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Getting Soundflower to work with MAC OS X El Capitan


Not an earth shattering problem. I use soundflower extensively to facilitate screen recordings over Facetime on my iMac. Without it, it is really difficult to record system sounds as well as my external mic.

After updating to OS X El Capitan I found that soundflower simply wasn’t ‘there’ and didn’t/wouldn’t run. A quick google brought me to THIS PAGE – with the instructions working perfectly. Only thing I did differently was delete the old soundflower from the system – and yes, the uninstall soundflower option did still work.

So far so good – no major problems and the software I’ve been using that relies on soundflower is back to normal.

For those interested, there is some background information HERE explaining the problem.

Garmin GPSMAP 60sx SD card fails the iMac Test


This info is for those who might care. The above unit (Garmin GPSMAP 60sx) falls over when the micro SD card has been written to by the system on an iMac OSX. It appears the unit can not cope with the hidden system file NAMES that are left on the unit.

In my case this manifested as intermittent start-up failures; On shut-down – intermittent continuous alarms requiring the batteries to be removed and intermittent freezing…
The solution is to use CLEANEJECT  – This program will erase those files and eject the SD card before the system recreates the hidden folders again. Apparently a known problem for several years.
I would categorise this as a GARMIN PROBLEM – not an OSX problem…

My choice for a GPush alternative – Gmail Push Notification


As noted in the previous post, GPush from Tiverias Apps has become a #ZombieApp and has now ceased to work. Many people (especially on Twitter…) are looking for an alternative, as am I.

I thought I would share my reasons for the choice I have made.

What I want.

Ideally I was after :-

  1. a FREE app/service that would give me FAST alerts. Sound or text was an added extra but not needed.
  2. ALSO – learning from my experience with GPush, I ideally did NOT want to compromise my email security – by either giving out my password OR forwarding my mail.
  3. A full push service where the email itself was pushed in real time so I could read it immediately without going to the web Gmail account would also be a major bonus

This limited my choice – a lot!!
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Lessons learnt from the GPush debacle


What GPush debacle?

For those who are unfamiliar with what I’m writing about, there WAS an iPhone app called GPush that was SOLD – by Tiverias Apps – through the app store from around July 2009. It offered real time push notification of new email to your iPhone account from GMail. The vendors used your (provided) email account details to poll the google servers FREQUENTLY and then sent a push notification WITH an excerpt of the header to your iPhone. Its reliability appeared to fluctuate but when it worked, it worked well.
Unfortunately there were multiple occasions GPush stopped working – and Twitter bore the brunt of the complaints process. Tiverias Apps did NOT have a good reputation for consistent customer service and would seem to go silent/unresponsive for extended periods of time.

On December 25th 2010 (Australian time) the following appeared in my in-box:-

Dear GPush user,

Thank you for your loyal use of GPush. Unfortunately, we have determined that the value added by GPush beyond such products as Google’s own push notification service is not sufficient to merit our continued maintenance of the service. We will therefore be shutting the service down as of December 31, 2010.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Sincerely,
The GPush Team

Is that supposed to mean Merry Christmas??

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Gmail Restored! What now for the future?


Received 2 November:

Hello,
Thanks for your report. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have
experienced. The issue you described should now be resolved. If you
continue to experience difficulties, please respond to this message, and
we’ll investigate further.

Sincerely,

The Google Team

Now I am VERY pleased to get my accounts back – but – why? The accounts were disabled without an explanation and re-enabled – without an explanation. Should this make me happy – or confused – or mad?

Maybe I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth 🙂

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How to move 3000 emails from Windows to Gmail!


Meh!

As you may have read, for reasons known only to Gmail, my original Gmail account was disabled.

Being a sucker for punishment, I still want my Gmail for both its archiving and storage capabilities. Setting up a new account was easy. Figuring out how to move the 3000 odd emails I have in Outlook express was another matter!

Naturally, I am not the first to try this (for which I am TRULY grateful!) and some judicious Googling helped me out. In essence, emails in outlook express (and outlook) are stored in what seems to be a non standard/proprietary format. Or at least one not in common with Mozilla’s Thunderbird and I guess Gmail. Therefore, the files need to be converted FIRST and then uploaded.

The way I did it was detailed here and here. In essence, I download and installed Firebird, Let it import all my outlook express emails (yep it left the originals in place) and then uploaded them to my new Gmail account using Gexodus .

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