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Dave Nelson Posts

MacOS Software 2023

I continue to choose 1Password as my password manager because I like the design, I like their openness, and I like the way it works for my family. Our son has his own vault where he can manage his passwords without affecting the family vault.

Adblock Plus

AdBlock Plus for Safari
Even though I have a Pi-Hole setup for my home network, there are times I leave my home network and I want to avoid websites covered in ads no matter where I am.


Acrobat Reader

There are PDF files that display incorrectly and even break when using Preview on the Mac.

Lightroom Classic & Photoshop 2024

For editing photos I use the Adobe Photography plan. I’m not super happy with the current Adobe products and the way they approach photography, but these are the tools I use for now.


Amphetamine Enhancer
Keeps the computer awake when you don’t want it to go to sleep.

I have primarily been using Audacity to convert audio file formats. I built some projects that required WAV files and needed specific settings and all I had was MP3 files.

I have a NAS share that I need to keep mounted to my computers as though it was just another drive. Automounter doesn’t appear to do much, but it does keep the share mounted at all times or give me a reason when it is not.

This is the best text editor, fight me. When I was stuck in the Windows world I used UltraEdit and it was pretty good, but I missed BBEdit every minute of it. Built-in tools like Pretty Print, Grep, Find in Files, and advanced Sorting options with a no-nonsense interface make BBEdit my favorite text editor of all time.

Camo Studio
Advanced camera options like resolution settings, overlays, framing, rotation, and white-balance make Camo Studio the choice for looking better during video calls.

Default Folder X
I can’t imagine using MacOS with Default Folder X. It makes navigating the file system when saving and opening files so much easier. It is always one of the first things I install.

I HATE THE DISCORD APP! The accessibility and usability of Discord is a crime, no one should be using this garbage, ever! But I am stuck using it if I want to communicate with a few of the groups that I am in.

Figma is an amazing design, prototyping, and collaboration tool. I am a bit disappointed that Adobe bought them, but apparently the founders had being bought out as their plan from the start. It is the best design tool available today and you can create an account and start designing for free immediately.

Google Chrome
I wish I didn’t need to use Chrome, Google’s lack of privacy and desire to sell anything they can learn about me to the highest bidder disturbs me. But there are a number of websites that don’t work in Safari. Maybe it’s time to give Brave a try.

It is amazing how much smaller ImageOptim and similar tools can make images from Lightroom and Photoshop. ImageOptim is the free Open Source option.

iStat Menus
Sometimes I really want to know what is happening at a system level on my computer and iState Menus has always been able to tell me the network speeds, RAM usage, CPU usage, and a lot more.

Keyboard Maestro
I was using Alfred, Typinator, automation tools and a lot of bookmarks. Keyboard Maestro has replaced all of them with its easy to create macros and automations. At some point Apple’s Automator may replace it, but for now it works great.

Microsoft Office

  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Word

I think I am always going to need Excel and Word. My son has to use it for school, my wife is most comfortable with it, and the best alternative, Google Docs, is Google. Sadly Microsoft feels less evil to me than Google does at this point.

Manage windows with ease. It is silly that these features aren’t built into MacOS.

Name Mangler 3
Rename thousands of files at a time faster than you can believe and yet another reason to learn Grep.

Obsidian is the best note taking app, cross-platform including mobile apps, able to cross-link notes, and a very healthy collection of plug-ins that greatly expand its abilities. All notes are saved to the file system as standard Markdown files where they are searchable by anything that can search through text files instead of being saved in some proprietary format that may be unsupported one day.

I love retro games and OpenEmu is a solid choice for emulation on a Mac. You will need to use MAME for a handful of games, but most are playable with little configuration in OpenEmu.

Rogue Amoeba

Rogue Amoeba has been making great Mac software for years. I initially bought their Ultimate Podcast Bundle with all of these apps for Ham Radio, but I continue using them to control ALL of the audio on my Mac. They give you and amazing amount of control over the audio coming and going from you Mac with an amazing amount of granular control.

Gamers gotta game and Steam is the place I go for all of my PC gaming needs. I also have a SteamDeck for handheld and games that don’t have a Mac build.

The Unarchiver
I run into some strange compression formats every now and then and The Unarchiver has been able to open almost all of them.

Topaz Photo AI
Back in the day I used various Topaz plugins for Photoshop, primarily for sharpening. Recently I got Topaz Photo AI to enlarge, de-noise, and sharpen a lot of images. It fails on some images, on most it does a great job, and on other it is breath taking. It has recovered details and rescued images that I would have never thought possible.

VCV Rack 2 Pro
I almost made the mistake of buying a bunch of Eurorack modules and building an amazing synthesizer that I would have never given the time that would hope too, it would have been thousands of dollars for a pretty piece of furniture. Instead I spent $189 and have thousands of modules to choose from. I quickly learned that I am terrible at putting together a good patch, but I do enjoy playing with it. If you are interested in Eurorack go to Steam and get The Signal State.

I use VLC to play all of those obscure video formats like AVIs.


Valve Steam Deck

Steam Deck

I have had my Steam Deck for just over a month now and I am loving it.

I bought the cheapest version and upgraded it with a 1TB SSD, added a 1TB MicroSD card, and put it in a dbrand Project Killswitch case with the Ultimate Teardown skin.

I played 50+ hours of Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered primarily hand-held but also attached to my tv using an Xbox controller. The experience is fantastic.

After 60+ hours into The Long Dark only handheld I am thoroughly in love with the Steam Deck. I primarily play it while sitting back on my recliner with it attached to an Apple laptop power supply. I do play it unplugged sometimes and feel like I get a reasonable amount of battery life out of it, but Spider-Man and The Long Dark burn through the battery in a couple of hours.

I am also using EmuStation to play old arcade games and some PSX games, Parappa the Rappa is my favorite using a Playstation 4 controller so the button mapping is easy.

Here are the other games I am actively playing:

Overall I think the Steam Deck is an amazing gaming platform, I haven’t touched my Xbox or Switch since buying it, but I do expect to go back to the Switch to play the new Legend of Zelda game when that comes out.


Mac FlexRadio Digital Modes Setup

A view of my desktop
This is the how I layout my screen when working digital modes.

This is my setup on a MacBook Pro M1 with Ventura 13.1 for a FlexRadio 6400 for Digital Modes. It is vital that the apps be launched in the order of SmartSDR, MacLoggerDX, WSJT-X, and finally Gridtracker because each one depends on the apps before it to be run.

This allows me to use my FlexRadio remotely and make the FT8/FT4 contacts that I am looking for without duplicates by clicking on station in Gridtracker’s roster with the contact automatically being uploaded to LOTW, QRZ, and eQSL. Then I follow-up by sending QSL cards via MacLoggerDX.


Loopback 2.2.12

Create 2 Devices, DAX RX and DAX TX

Loopback Settings
Loopback Settings

SmartSDR 2.4.01

DAX Stream Settings

  • Check Enable DAX TX Streaming and choose Input Device DAX TX
  • Check Enable DAX RX Streaming and choose Input Device DAX RX
SmartSDR DAX Settings
SmartSDR DAX Settings

MacLoggerDX 6.43

Preferences > Check WSJT-X and DX Lab TCP

MacLoggerDX Station Settings
MacLoggerDX Station Settings
MacLoggerDX Radio Settings
MacLoggerDX Radio Settings

WSJT-X 2.6.0

  • Setting > Rig: DX Lab Suite Commander
  • Network Server:
  • PTT: CAT
WSJT-X Radio Settings
WSJT-X Radio Settings

Gridtracker 1.23.0110

Receive UDP Messages from WSJT-X Port 2237

Gridtracker Settings
Gridtracker Settings

ComputersHam Radio