Workshop Notes

Free Mac Apps - Part


In this workshop we will start to explore some of the free software available to Macintosh users. Automator is included with every Mac. Handbrake and VLC are examples of some of the excellent open-source apps that are not only as good as or better than some commercial apps, but are cross-platform.

Introduction to Automator by Phil Davis

Automator is an OS X application that can simplify many of the repetitive tasks you do with your computer. Create and print a family directory with the contacts in your Address Book. Find and add images from your favorite websites to iPhoto. Print your documents to your iPad. Instantly rename dozens of files in the Finder. Even perform scheduled backups of important information. There’s no limit to what you can do, and Automator can do in seconds and minutes what could take you hours to do by hand.

During the workshop we will create several simple Automator scripts to get you started using this powerful, but simple tool that comes on all Macs.

Using Handbrake by Bob Adams

Handbrake is an application that rips DVD video from the disc to your hard drive. Handbrake can process most common multimedia files and any DVD or Bluray source that are not copy protected. HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder.

Using VLC by Bob Adams

VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player that plays most multimedia files as well as DVD, Audio CD, VCD, and various streaming protocols. VLC is a simple, fast, and powerful media player. Plays everything: Files, Discs, Webcams, Devices and Streams. Plays most codecs with no codec packs needed: MPEG–2, DivX, H.264, MKV, WebM, WMV, MP3…