Automators 123: HomeKit from Scratch with Myke Hurley

In this episode of Automators, Rosemary and I welcome Myke Hurley back to the show to talk about taking over his new home with HomeKit.

This episode of Automators is sponsored by:

  • Electric: Unbury yourself from IT tasks. Get a free pair of Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones when you schedule a meeting.
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  • Docparser: Extract important data from Word, PDF and image files. Send to Excel, Google Sheets and 100’s of other formats and integrations.

Hoban Cards and Stationery (Sponsor)

We all have things that are important to us … things where we sweat the details. For this week’s sponsor, Hoban Cards and Stationery, that is letterpress printing. Hoban products are classy, tastefully designed letterpress cards and stationery that you can be proud of.

Your calling card represents you. Why not bring some intentionality to your game? This week, MacSparky is sponsored by Hoban Cards, where they use a 1902 letterpress machine to make cards that your colleagues, clients, and customers will never forget. I sure love mine.

Evan and the gang at Hoban Cards are masters at the craft of designing and making letterpress calling cards. They have some beautiful templates to choose from, or you can roll your own.

I love handing out letterpress cards. It is always a conversation starter. Hoban Cards is where I go to buy them, and it is where you should too. Throw out those ugly, conventional, mass-produced, soulless business cards and reach out to Hoban Cards. Best of all, use ‘MacSparky’ to get $10 off any order. Get yours today.

AI As a Feature

It seems clear that in tech circles, 2023 will become the year of AI. Well, artificial intelligence used for creating images and writing texts now been around for several years, and it is this year that it has entered the mainstream.

One of the ways you see this is the increasing inclusion of artificial intelligence as an app feature. The first time I saw this was in Craft. I use Craft for managing my team, and they quickly adopted artificial intelligence as an additional feature in the application. Anywhere in a Craft document, I can hit command, return, and into a prompt and get some auto robot – create a text. I don’t find it particularly useful (yet). Still, it’s clear that in the future, as artificial intelligence gets better, this will be something we expect anywhere we see a cursor.

But it goes beyond writing applications. We are already seeing it in applications that you would not naturally think of as a destination for an artificial intelligence engine. A few weeks ago, Raycast announced they are adding artificial intelligence to their keyboard launcher. It’s a good idea. It allows you to generate AI text anywhere and then paste it somewhere else on your Mac.

As to images, Pixelmator Pro has been taking advantage of artificial intelligence for years. It can do all sorts of interesting tricks to your images, using AI and making it easier for the user to get power features without power knowledge. For me, this is one of the best implementations of AI because I am not an expert with image manipulation applications. The application helps me bridge the gap.

One of my favorite implementation of it has been at This is a web-based service that lets you document processes for your team. They have implemented AI into their engine so you can generate a new employee email or create a list of employee processes using artificial intelligence. Seeing this in action reminded me that artificial intelligence will be everywhere in the not-too-distant future.

My point is, that AI is showing up in apps and services everywhere.

My use of artificial intelligence is more helpful at this point to generate ideas than actual text. As an experiment, I was working on a Newsletter for the MacSparky Labs this morning. I asked it to generate text about the new rumored MacBook Air 15-inch. None of the generated text was usable. It read like a book summary by a clever person who’d only read the dust jacket. But when I asked artificial intelligence to come up with some names for this article, it did a pretty good job (although I didn’t pick any).

Regardless, you should expect more of your favorite apps to adopt some form of artificial intelligence. And when they do, have an open mind about it, and figure out where it can help you and where it falls short. Now that the snowball I started rolling, I’m eager to see how big it gets.

Time Travel with Infinite Macintosh

Thanks to reader Brian for sending this one in. If you remember (or are curious about) using older Macs, you should check out Infinite Macintosh. You click on the site, give it a few minutes to load in, and it’s just like you’re sitting behind old reliable one more time.

They are all fun, but I found the System 6 emulator to be my biggest time suck. I particularly enjoyed the small touches, like how you need to hold down the mouse button on menus, just as the classic Macs required. I’d definitely recommend putting off clicking the above links until you’ve got some free time on your hands.

How I’m Using CleanMyMac

Over the weekend, I loaded CleanMyMac X for my March scan and noticed it’d received an update. Among the improvements was a battery drain alert function that will help you identify battery hogs earlier. It reminded me that I should write about how I like this app.

CleanMyMac does a system scan for me to look for unneeded large files, malware, and other efficiencies to keep my Mac running clean and fast. I manually run it about once a month. But I also use the app for my troubleshooting and maintenance routine. The app can speed up Apple Mail and rebuild your Spotlight index.

And a few years ago, they added malware detection. I’ve never felt wound up enough about malware to install malware software on my Mac, but I can do scans through CleanMyMac, and so long as those continue to return clean, I feel like I’m in good shape.

Over the years, CleanMyMac X has evolved into an excellent toolbox for my Mac. You can get it directly from Ukranian developer MacPaw or as part of a Setapp subscription.

Mac Power Users 682: Full of Surprises

On this Mac Power Users feedback episode, Stephen and I sort through some follow-up before sharing our origin stories and reacting to a surprise or two.

This episode of Mac Power Users is sponsored by:

  • 1Password: Never forget a password again.
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