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Record Online Meetings in Pear Note

While Pear Note is primarily geared toward recording notes in the physical world, it's possible to use it to record things in the virtual world as well. For instance, you can use it to record and take notes on Skype calls. To do this:

  1. Download Soundflower and install it (along with the Soundflowerbed app that comes with it).
  2. Download LineIn and install it.
  3. Start Soundflowerbed, and select Built-in Output (or whatever output you'd like to listen to the conversation on).
  4. Start LineIn, and select your microphone (e.g. Built-in Mic) as the input and Soundflower (2ch) as the output, then press Pass Thru.
  5. Open Pear Note Preferences, select Recording, and select Soundflower (2ch) as the audio device.
  6. Open Skype Preferences, select Audio, and select Soundflower (2ch) as the audio output and your microphone (e.g. Built-in Mic) as the audio input.
  7. Hit record in Pear Note and make your Skype call.

This will allow you to conduct your Skype call while Pear Note records both your audio and the other participant's.

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Cut Rate Borland

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I've been getting all sorts of offers in the mail from Borland. Borland isn't well known in the Mac market, but it is a big player in the PC market and its spreadsheet, Quattro Pro, may be the best one for the PC despite Lotus 1-2-3 and Microsoft's Excel. Anyway, Borland wants to sell Quattro Pro 2.0 to me for $99 and has offered its powerful database, Paradox, to me for the same price. I have two problems that prevent me from taking Borland up on this kind offer. Problem #1: I don't much use a PC even though I do consult on them and have been known to check stuff out in SoftPC. Problem #2: I hardly ever use either spreadsheets or databases, and I'm unlikely to buy a PC spreadsheet and database to use under SoftPC when Full Impact and HyperCard serve me perfectly well. As I said, I'm not big on spreadsheets and databases.

Borland dropped its prices on these products only to owners of competing products, but I get the impression if your friend's father once used a pirated copy of Lotus 1-2-3, Borland would still sell you Quattro Pro for $99. It's all a marketing scheme, of course. (I'm beginning to suspect that all the world is a marketing scheme and not a stage, as William Shakespeare thought. Does that make me cynical?) Well a public word to Borland. It's working. I feel guilty for not buying Quattro Pro each time I read one of your offers. It's just that I really don't need the program. Now a Ronco slicer-dicer, that I could use. :-)

Seriously, Quattro Pro has gained a lot of market share from Lotus 1-2-3. It helps that Quattro Pro is probably a better program, but the low price is what's done the trick. I'm writing this, not because I want you to run out and buy Quattro Pro or a Ronco slicer-dicer, but because I heartily approve of lower prices for quality products. I would like to look back on this article in a year or two and see this marketing gimmick as the end of the $795 business programs. Sure, it may be slightly worse in the PC world, but have any of you priced a copy of Macintosh Quark XPress recently? $530 mail order! Sure, it's a good program, maybe the best, but that's a lot of money. So I say more power to Borland, and may it someday put out a decent Macintosh program.

 

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