Growing an audience
I tried using the Twitter tools - (TweetDeck and Twitter Ads) to grow my twitter audience but they are rotten for my use case. I am quite sad really at how little innovation there has been here in the last decade. So what to do?
In setting up this small site I used an old twitter acount @ez0ne which has been around for ages but I havent used. It dates back to this site being used for social media training. @ez0ne doesnt have as many followers as my main twitter which has thousands but I would like to grow it separately with a tone of voice around technologies I am interested in. So, as an experiment, I thought it would be fun to try to use a tool for improving engagement and increasing followers. I needed some specific features:-
- Scheduled tweets
- Thread support
- Compliance with Twitter Terms of Service
- Small focused independent company
There are today perhaps far too many twitter automation tools, and in the last decade many good ones have been absorbed by bigger companies and lost. I settled on Hypefury, who provide meet my requirements with a tool aimed at helping you save time with tweet-creation, increase your engagement rate with smart automation, and help you make more money. Their byline is "The tool to grow & monetize your Twitter audience." Sounds good. They are a small bootstrapped company, with a good social media presence and warm blog style and tone of voice. I like the look of their online reputation so that was initially good enough to give them a try, and now I am a paid user.
TL:DR — After an initial free trial period of 14 days, Hypefury plans start at USD19 per month for up to three twitter accounts and a total of 12 connected social accounts (Instagram, Facebook Pages and OnlyFans although dear readers you and me both are not ready for me to have an OnlyFans account 😀). There is no free plan. The premium product gives you analytics and LinkedIn support - I'd like those but not enough to justify the extra cost at this point. I have signed up for the standard plan and you can find out why in the main part of this article.
I have relied upon Apples wireless routers since the very first Airport Base Station was released twenty years ago. I still feel that they can continue to play a decent part in my home/office network. The Airport Time Capsule ought to be ideal for cross platform file sharing between Ubuntu Linux 21.04 and macOS Big Sur on an Intel Mac Pro and an Apple Mac Mini (M1, 202 with Apple silicon. Lets find out if it can be made to work instead of buying a new expensive network connected drive. I ought to be able to do it, after all, I've been working on cross platform network products since the first one, 'TOPS for Mac' which connected Macs to each other and to DOS based PC's and Unix based Sun workstations in the 80's
Apple AirPort Time Capsule surprise 2019 firmware update
Apple's Airport Time Capsule with 802.11ac was discontinued in 2018 but unusually a Firmware Update was released for it at the end of May 2019, keeping it pretty well up to date. Firmware update 7.9.1 was a security update addressing some obscure but nevertheless important issues. You can read the details over at About the security content of AirPort Base Station Firmware Update 7.9.1. Now, a firmware update for an obscure Apple product with a security issue is hardly big news, but to me it was a very welcome update as it meant that someone at Apple thought it was important enough to do and that it was still a supported device.
AirPort Time Capsule's cost £90 (2TB) or £140 (3TB) second hand from CeX
Apple's Airport Time Capsule with 802.11ac was expensive to buy new, at £249 (2TB) or £349 (3TB) (because it was decently specified with either a 2TB or 3TB hard drive installed. This was useful originally for over the network Time Machine backups. Nowadays all my Macs have an external Time Machine drive so this is effectively surplus. New in box Airport Time Capsules are around but expensive. You can find second hand Apple AirPort Time Capsule's at Computer Exchange (highly recommended, avoids ebay nonsense) for around £90 (2TB) and £140 (3TB)
TL:DR Apple's A1470 Airport Time Capsule with 802.11ac was great when it was launched and is still great now, provided you have a Mac or an iOS device with Airport Utility which is required to configure and manage it. Shared Hard Drive access over the network is fast and convenient for home/office networking use for macOS based computers which use AFP sharing protocols. Some limitations in security mean that although it is usable with Linux, SMB 1.0/CIFS should not be enabled on Windows based computers.
Adobe Creative Cloud is barely available as Universal applications for Apple silicon based Macs like the Mac mini (M1, 2020), MacBook Pro (13-inch, M1, 2020) and the MacBook Air (M1, 2020)
Yet it costs £708 annually for a single license subscription for a business
Taking advantage the performance of Apple silicon based Macs with macOS Big Sur should be a no-brainer for Adobe Systems. How is it that almost a year after the public press announcement of Apple silicon, only Photoshop and Lightroom are Universal applications (meaning that the apps support both Apple silicon and Intel processors, and uses Apple silicon by default)?
Simply saying that many existing apps can run on M1 devices using Apple's Rosetta 2 technology isn't good enough for professionals who rely on these tools as part of their workflow. So with that in mind, I have decided to try to replace all the Adobe Creative Cloud tools with fully fledged Universal applications which are built to take advantage of Apple silicon. I am no expert in all these tools and I'm not reviewing these apps from that point of view and there are loads of feature based reviews out there already. My needs are straightfoward. I need functionality from graphics tools occasionally for example to clean up an image or edit a scalable vector graphic file. I need effective tools that are designed and built for the latest Apple silicon technology. I really dont need a full Adobe Creative Cloud subscription anyway. So if you, like me, have a new Apple silicon based Mac, you might like this list of software that shows its developers are up to date with Apples technology not falling behind.
TL:DR—I did it! I have been so surprised by the depth and strength in the alternatives I have found. They are all really really good! With Apple silicon support they are blazingly fast and full featured and the come with an extra feature - they don't have the subscription model and lethargic pace of development of Adobe. I am in the trial period for several of them at the moment but I believe I can spend between zero and £150 on Apple silicon apps for macOS Big Sur with no need for an expensive Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.
I've downloaded each app, confirmed it is a Universal app running in Apple silicon (I dont have Rosetta 2 installed on my Mac Mini (M1, 2020). Once loaded I have opened a very large PSD file and exported it to PNG format. Ive completed simple operations in each app like resizing the view to get a feel for application snappiness. I've looked at the apps license, and the support and documentation and the community behind it. I've rejected many potential contenders which do not have a Universal application currently available. Thats the whole point of this article.
Just take me to the links
An easy security improvement for a Joomla based CMS.
Since Joomla 3.2
Two factor authentication/two-step verification (2FA) provides extra protection against bad people logging in to your account even if they were able to get hold of your password. You can enable it easily in Joomla, which has supported it since release 3.2.0.
2FA secures your site login with a secondary secret code that changes every 30 seconds. You can use a mobile device, a computer or a USB key to generate the code.
Joomla has a page which explains two-factor authentication for Joomla clearly. All you need to do, is enable two factor authentication in Joomla, then visit the User Profile of your Joomla account and turn it on for your account. It is self service for each other user.
- Either download and install Authy (on macOS, Windows, iOS, Android or Linux, or all of them, it syncs your security keys and codes).
- Or buy a Yubikey USB security key.
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