Jane Hart is gathering votes again for her annual “Top tools for learning“. You have until September 21 to contribute, and results will be available on October 1.
Here is my top 10 for this year:
- Microsoft OneNote: still the best note-taking application. Unbeatable in combination with SharePoint or OneDrive, and a tablet pc with a digitizer pen (like the Surface, or recently the new iPad with the stylus). It is fully cross platform with a nice and stable client for OS X! (personal and professional learning)
- Wallabag: a self-hosted “Read Later” web application (or Pocket competitor), that allows you to capture websites via a “bookmarklet”, tag and store them for later. For those who don’t want to give all their data away and don’t mind playing with a webserver, it is a must try. (personal and professional learning)
- WordPress: excellent blogging platform. Recent releases have been focussing on the usability for the writer, and it is setting the standards for usability. I’m looking forward to their update that has the new editor. Administration is a piece of cake, even for non-tech users, with e.g. the auto-update feature. (personal & professional learning)
- Office Lens: a Microsoft mobile app (Windows, iOS, Android) that “scans” about everything with the camera of your phone. I especially like the way it “straightens” pictures of documents, whiteboards, flipcharts…
Invaluable for capturing the notes of a meeting, or “scanning” a document when you don’t have a scanner. (personal and professional learning)
- Fever: this “self-hosted Google Reader” is still my main information hub, gathering hundreds of RSS feeds that would otherwise be impossible to follow. Fever is unfortunately no longer maintained by his author, but it remains very stable. (personal & professional learning)
- Office 365: the “swiss army knife” of productivity tools: enterprise-grade e-mail and calendar, SharePoint sites for collaborating or storing knowledge, and OneDrive that has 1TB of storage and that is a serious competitor for tools like Google Drive and DropBox. The price is very reasonable and once everything is set up for your domain, it “just works”. (personal and professional learning)
- Mindmeister: mindmapping tool with extensive possibilities and a very good iPad app. (personal and professional learning)
- Twitter: if you don’t mind reading an occasional rant or filtering out the corporate BS, the best way to generate your own “information streams” about various subjects. (personal & professional learning)
- Microsoft Teams: gradually replacing Microsoft Lync as a communication tool, and trying to compete with Slack. I’m still discovering all the possibilities, but the integration with SharePoint and OneNote looks very promising (workplace learning).
- Microsoft To Do: Microsoft recently acquired Wunderlist, and Microsoft To Do will hopefully gradually integrate all the nice features of this “GTD” app. It is still a bit rough on the edges, but with a nice iPhone app and a good Windows client, it is keeping me organised throughout the day. (personal and professional learning)
I recently got a Logitech keyboard case for my iPad. The thing works fine, but what was very annoying is that the iOS password autofill is not working when the external keyboard case is connected. It simply does not suggest usernames and passwords for sites where you have saved them in your keychain.
This is probably a security feature, but you can use the following workaround to access your saved usernames and passwords: go to Settings, General, Keyboards and activate the option Shortcuts.
Whenever you visit a logon page now for which you have saved your password, a small bar will appear at the bottom of your screen, with a Passwords button. Tap the button to access your saved passwords.
I needed to convert a virtual machine created on VMware Fusion 9, to make it run on VirtualBox 5. To do that, you need to convert the virtual machine to the Open Virtualisation Format (.OVF).
These are the steps to accomplish this:
- Locate the file of the VMware virtual machine you want to convert
- Right-click and select Show Package Contents
- Copy all these files to a new folder
- Download and install the VMware OVF Tool. This is a command line tool that will do the conversion.
- Open Terminal and execute the following command
ovftool <source image>.vmx <target image>.ovf
The conversion can take quite some time. For me, it took about 3 hours for a 140 GB Windows 8 image
- Once the conversion is finished, open VirtualBox and from the File menu, select Import appliance
After the import, power on the VM, uninstall the VMware Tools and install the VirtualBox Guest additions.
So you have an old iPad (like an iPad 2), and you think it would be a shame to just recycle it?
Why not turn it into a fancy wifi-enabled digital photo frame? This is what you could do:
- Create a dedicated Apple ID for your frame, and configure your iPad to use that specific ID.
- On the computer where you store your pictures, create a new Shared Album, and share it with the Apple ID of your iPad. If you want other family members to be able to add pictures to the iPad, share the album with them too.
- On the iPad, install the LiveFrame app. It is free for testing (you can view the picture slideshow for 5 minutes, then you get adds), 2,29EUR to remove that limitation.
Since the new Notes app on macOS has a sharing function, I am planning to use it much more often. But today I shared a note with someone else, and since then, the Notes app systematically crashed when I opened it, with the message “Notes quit unexpectedly“.
This is how I managed to solve it:
- In System Preferences, navigate to iCloud
- Turn off the Notes synchronisation
- In the Finder menu, click Go while keeping the Option key pressed, and select Library
- Open the Containers folder
- Move the com.apple.Notes folder to the trash
- In System Preferences, iCloud, turn the Notes sync back on
- Start Notes again.