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Category Archives for Windows Apps

Younity Overview: Stream, Access, & Share All Your Files from your Computer on iOS

My thanks to the folks at Younity for making this video & content possible. Head over to their website for more information.

Younity is a free & easy to setup application that allows you to stream all of your files for easy access across your iOS devices (Android support is in the works). Stream your video/movies, photos, and documents from a Mac or PC & get access on your mobile device anytime & anywhere instantly. Best of all Younity is completely free & unlike other services there are no plans or restrictions. Unlimited storage & streaming of your files while still providing top notch security & convenience. No more having to store gigabytes of files locally on your iOS device when it can all be accessed via Younity.

Video Overview:

Setting Up Younity:

Younity requires an installation on your desktop to act as the server of your files. This can be a Mac running OS X or a Windows based PC. Install the Younity server software here. After the software is installed you’ll need to run through the settings in order to determine your files you’d like streamed via Younity.

The first thing to take note of is the location settings in Younity. This determines the files which will be streamed from your server to your respective devices. This can be your whole drive or specific folders such as photos, music, and movies. Additionally Younity has support for iPhoto/Photos or Lightroom libraries.

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The more files you have the longer the scan process will take. The next tab houses your settings, from here you can tweak certain options such as whether or not the app boots with your computer which I personally recommend that way you never have to worry whether or not Younity is running.

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The next step is to install Younity across your mobile devices in this case my iPhone. After signing in & registering your device you’ll now have access to your files via the simple app interface.

 

Younity Mobile App:

IMG_0528The app will showcase any current playing media alongside four categories music, videos, photos, and files (documents). For the most part the Younity app was able handle every file I threw at it. Be it .jpg, .mp4, .rtf & so on. However there are some restrictions like iTunes DRM based content can’t be played back, though that isn’t the fault of the app itself. The app did a great job of pulling in all the meta data related to files I streamed across. You can now view movies on the go that are hosted via your computer or listen to music from your iTunes library. Certain files like photos for example can be downloaded locally to your Younity app to help save load times. It goes a step further with extra features such as AirPlay support, ability to directly send photos from Younity to apps like Instagram. This is useful for taking those DSLR or other pictures from your desktop & easily uploading them via Instagram without having to manually transfer the photo over.

The app also features a search to make it easy to comb through your folder of files & a filter option to make it easy to find specific files such as ones you’ve downloaded locally, alphabetic order, and so on. The app’s settings allow for further customization & security enhancements such as the ability to set a pin code on the app itself for an extra layer of protection.

These are just some use cases of course. This is a solution that can come in handy be it for professional or personal usage. Another great aspect is the sharing feature. Sharing allows you to share certain files to friends easily & securely. All transfers are encrypted & your data is never viewed by Younity itself as they never store it, it’s all streamed. Shared files have an expiration time as well which help serve as a peace of mind.

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All in all Younity is a great solution to a lot of problems. Be it for saving storage space on your iPhone, having access to your files from anywhere in the world, the convenience of streaming your photo, video, or music library. Take your pick. One thing I want to also emphasize is the speed at which files are streamed while maintaining the quality, whether it was a picture or video. You get access to all your files at your fingertips & never have to worry about manually syncing anything you may need access to again. That’s where it came in handy for me personally. I always run into cases where I’m out & need access to a work document I forgot to sync somewhere or e-mail to myself. Younity eliminated that problem entirely as long as it’s in one of my designated location folders I don’t have to think twice about getting access to it.  Best of all there’s not much at stake, cost of entry is 100% free & there are no limitations as to how many files you can stream over or access. If your looking for a simple to setup but highly effective file streaming solution look no further then Younity.

 

Scrivener Basics: Interface

Scrivener is an amazing all in one writing tool that can be used in a multitude of ways. The great thing about the app is its designed to work the way you work not the other way around. I wanted to put together a series of basic tutorials going over the application in-depth. Starting off with the much requested interface overview, a look at the basics of scrivener & how to navigate around the app.

Scrivener is available for both OS X & Windows, you can try out a fully featured free trial today!

Video:

 

Scrivener can be overwhelming at first the interface is packed with multiple buttons & can be used in all sorts of methods. Navigating it requires getting a grasp of the basic buttons & how to navigate around. From there the rest is up to you. Think of it as canvas to do your writing work be it for a book, e-book, script and so on. Write, organize, revise all in Scriveners powerful interface.

Here’s a further look at what lies in Scriveners interface.

Binder-

Think of the binder as you would a physical one. The digital binder houses all your work for your current project. This means drafts, folders, and other material.

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Work Area-

The center consists of your main work area. Where all your work will lie. This can be adjusted in multiple views depending on your preference. Single, split, outline, or cork board view. This also includes the text tool bar where you can adjust font, text size, alignment, etc.

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Nav Bar-

The main navigation bar houses the main tools you’ll be using. This consists of the of the following (order from left to right)

  1. Binder View Toggle
  2. Collections View Toggle
  3. Add New Document
  4. Move to Trash
  5. Fullscreen Mode
  6. Keyword Panel
  7. Quick Reference Panel
  8. Comment/Annotate Text
  9. Single Page View
  10. Compile/Export
  11. Scrivenings (Document) view
  12. Corkboard View
  13. Outliner View
  14. Synopsis Finder
  15. Search Box
  16. Inspector View Toggle

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Inspector View-

The inspector view allows you toggle a right hand window that gives you access to certain elements of your project. Here you can view comments/annotations or footnotes, document references, keywords, meta-data, and snapshots. These are highly useful tools some of which go into the advance workflows of Scrivener but definitely useful to toggle if you’ll be referencing any of the above tools while you work.

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All in all Scrivener is an amazing writing tool thats flexible to be used in a variety of situations. There’s a reason it’s favorited by writers, authors, etc. You can write in the app how you please & organize on the go or after the fact. Be it for big or small projects Scrivener has you covered. This is a series of tutorials we’ve ran on Scrivener with plans to examine more features of the app in detail.

Check out our previous content below:

How To: Create & Publish an E-book

Import/Export Content between Scivener & Scapple

How To: Improve your writing workflow

Happy writing!

How To: Recover Lost Data on Windows

Awhile back we featured a tutorial on recovering data on OS X via a tool known as DiskDrill. Not to long ago the makers behind the app Clever Files released a windows equivalent completely free! So I wanted to showcase the app that allows you to easily recover files/lost data on Windows.

Be it accidental deleted data, corrupted partitions, SD-Cards and so on. Disk Drill for windows has you covered & more importantly offers features to help prevent future data loss. Disk Drill also supports all major formats & drive types.

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Video Overview:

 

The steps to recovering data is literally as simple as 2-steps on the windows app.

1- Scan

Select your drive that you’d like to recover data from be it local or external & choose the scan method of choice.

You have the options of deep, quick, and all scan/recovery methods. Personally I recommend running the default all recovery method scan in the case your looking to recover important data that may have been deleted or corrupted.

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2- Recover

After your scan has either completed or its found the data your trying to recover you can then set the data to recover to a set location. You can easily filter through files that are detected by file type, size, and date to make it easy to recover specific files.

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However thats not all that DiskDrill offers. The app features several other extras which are worth noting such as the ability to setup a recovery vault on your drive. This helps prevent file loss in the future by protecting certain files you specify within the app. Preventing accidental deletion and corruption of data. DiskDrill also packs a full data backup solution allowing you take partitions or drives & create .DMG (Disk Images) for you to save your entire drive.

The best thing about the Windows port of the app is its completely free. No hidden fees or costs just simply download & get recovering. Data like images, videos, audio, documents, and so on are priceless so in the event you lose them most will do anything to recover said files. DiskDrill makes that all possible simple & free.

Find out more information & download DiskDrill for Windows today.

How To: Create/Publish an eBook with Scrivener

My thanks to the team over at Literature & Latte for sponsoring this post & series of content on writing. They’re the makers of the essential writing app Scrivener for Windows or OS X. Providing an all in one writing studio that allows you to edit, outline, storyboard, and most importantly write in an efficient system. Use it for scriptwriting, books, essays, and more. A must have for all writers.

Scrivener is no doubt a powerful all in one writing tool. Be it essays, books, or what have you. One thing I specifically have been using it for lately is for outlining, creating, and publishing an eBook. Scrivener makes it all simple & easy while allowing you to fill in all the elements you want in your eBook whether its for personal or professional distribution. Here’s a look at the process.

Video Overview:

Step 1: Creating a new Project

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I recommend starting off under the “Fiction” templates and then selecting “Novel”. This takes care of a lot of the structural formalities you’ll have to worry about when setting up your eBook. Such as chapters, metadata, and cover art.

Step 2: Importing/Creating Content

Now begins the actual creation aspect. Essentially with Scrivener each folder under the originally labeled “Manifest” folder (you can rename it of course) represents a chapter of your eBook. So the folder naming scheme would reflect that of your chapters. This can be tweaked later in the export process as well.

Within each folder you can easily start to create your content. So your actual material text & other media. You can of course deal with things like formatting here if you’d like however keep in mind at the end before exporting there are many options to deal with such issues.

Step 3: Cover Art

Arguably a very important part of your eBook like any book is the cover. The thing that’ll be represented within whatever digital library you publish to. Scrivener designates this section very easily and allows you import/replace the existing image very simply.

Note: 600×800 JPEG/PNG format is the recommended size and format for your cover art

Step 4: Compliation

After you’ve written and imported all your material. It’s time to compile all of it together. Opening the File menu on windows or OS X should reveal a dropdown with “Compile” as one of the options. Selecting this will bring up a window allowing you to select your desired format. In the case of eBooks theres 3 major file types supported by Scrivener that you’ll be interested in.

.ePub (Widely Universal)

.mobi (Amazon Kindle)

.docx (Apple iBooks)

Selecting your compilation format obviously depends on what market your trying to target and publish to. After selecting this you can then enter your advanced options by clicking the “All Options” tab.  This reveals a ton of options to edit before exporting.

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You can use this menu to do general formatting to sections, edit metadata for the eBook, adjust the overall layout and so on. It’s definitely worth combing through all of these and tailoring your eBook before the final process.

Step 5: Export!

The last and final step is selecting your desired export destination and letting Scrivener do the rest. From here you can now preview it in a eBook reader of your choice such as “iBooks” app or even sync it to a device to see how the eBook behaves. This allows you preview everything before publishing it out there to the web and for others to consume.

Here’s a few places you can submit eBooks to:

Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon)

Scribd

Apple iBooks

From there you can now enjoy your published eBook! Scrivener takes this complex process and makes it as simple as 5 steps. Of course your free to populate the content as much as you want and add in all the details your heart desires but at the end of the day Scrivener makes it that much more simpler to outline, create, and ultimately publish an idea to an eBook. Get started with Scrivener today!

Our thanks again to the Literature & Latte team for sponsoring the series of content on Scrivener & other writing posts we’ve done over the last couple of weeks be sure to check out the other posts below!

Best Writing Tools for OS X

How To: Improve your Writing Workflow