The 2012 Mac20Q Year

At the beginning of this year I started to put more emphasis upon making videos, rather than the writing. Although it is true to say, that to a certain extent the two will go hand-in-hand. For my blog posts I have been creating videos so that readers will stay on the site for longer, this works out well for the rankings on Google. Having said that, it has been just as well that I have made more videos as Google has been less than kind to the websites. Google keeps on making changes to their search algorithms. So all I have been able to do is to concentrate on making the effort to provide interesting and useful content for the readers of Mac20Q. I hope that you have enjoyed them and have been able to get something from the articles that I have provided for you throughout the year.

Mac20Q  Mac20 Questions

Sorting out the Wizardgold websites

There have been a number of websites that I had worked on primarily to have as sites that could earn money from AdSense and these I have just decided to let them stop working completely. It is far better to spend my time on the websites covering the topics that I am more interested in. Mac20Q is the main site of course and the other one would be the Amazing iPad website. I also decided in 2012 that the Amazing iPad website would morph into This was so that I could have a site that could cover any touchscreen devices. Mostly this would be Apple devices, but if I did decide to get a Nexus 7, for example, then I would be able to justifiably write about it on I’m still not absolutely sure that it was a good decision to leave the domain name behind, as the redirect that I set up, hasn’t been bringing in as much traffic as it getting in from Google on the old domain name. In any case, I’m going to stick with for the long-term.

Working with Motion and Final Cut Pro X

Final Cut Pro X icon

I keep learning more things about these two applications and I love the creativity that I can work into my video projects. Video is quite time-consuming compared to writing, but in a lot of ways it is more rewarding. Obviously I am quite a visual creative person. So it is been nice to see that the income from AdSense on my videos has been growing during the year. I now have over 250 videos on the Wizardgold channel on YouTube and most of them are tutorial type videos. VideoMagical is the website for the tutorials about anything to do with video.

Generally the way that I work on the videos is to create a screencast using the application ScreenFlow. When that part of the job is done, I can then put the basic video into Final Cut Pro X, so that I can fine-tune it and add the intro and outro for the video. I’m finding that the workflow that I have got now, is quite effective and efficient and I’m looking forward to making more videos for my viewers during 2013. If you have any requests for tutorial videos please send an email to

VideoMagical Logo

All of my interests

The writing and the video making are still the main interests and photography also has to be high on the list too. During the year I have also been teaching again in schools, working as an English language assistant. So during the year on the websites that are right for them, there have been articles showing an interest in the educational process. I have been looking at applications that can be used on iOS devices and I’ve also been looking at the ways that iPads and technology in general can be used in the classroom. I think it is great to see that the iPad is becoming the best solution for educational purposes, for both teachers and students. Some schools will be getting cheaper, inferior devices due to financial constraints. It has become apparent that having a one-to-one approach to using the iPad in the classroom is the best way to go. Some schools can’t afford to do this and have to work on the basis of shared iPads. There are other establishments that are worse off financially that are having to go with the bring your own device approach.

My favourite applications in 2012


Dragon dictate logo

The absolutely most excellent and favourite application for 2012 has to be Dragon Dictate. I’m using the application right now to ‘write’ this article. What is so good about it is that I can dictate the words about three times faster than I can type them. Certainly this is excellent news for a writer with a number of websites to write for. I would highly recommend getting the full version of Dragon Dictate , as the experience of using it is so much better than using the Mountain Lion dictation. The dictation in Mountain Lion is still quite useful for short pieces of text, if I haven’t got Dragon Dictate open. Without a doubt, talking to your computer is going to be more common than it is now as the software gets better and better.

Writing applications

I use a free application called Mou that allows me to take the text that I have created using DragonDictate and continue working on it in Markdown format. I do it like this because I like to have a separate application for the editing process which I do manually using the keyboard. This is because Dragon Dictate it doesn’t like it when you combine using the keyboard along with using the voice to create your text. It gets confused.

Another application that I also use for the writing process would be Byword. This application also accepts the markdown syntax and is very useful when I have writing that I want to work on, both on the Mac and also on my iPad. The way that the documents are synchronised over iCloud is extremely useful. Byword has a lovely clean interface and is a very useful application on both of the operating systems.


Marsedit is another vital part of my workflow and it is great to have all of the access to my websites in one place. All of my websites are WordPress and Marsedit is just the job for a busy blogger. It is in this application that I do the drag-and-drop of pictures into the articles. What I would like to see is in the future would be a way to link into some WP plug-ins such as the All in One SEO and then I would hardly have to mess about going into the browser in order to fully set up the articles for the blog.

Video Applications

Final Cut Pro X is so much better to use than the Final Cut Pro Express that I was using. I like the magnetic timeline and the general ease-of-use for putting video clips together to create a finished video for YouTube. I also use Motion 5 as part of the video editing process and it works very well to round trip video elements between Motion and Final Cut Pro X.

ScreenFlow is another application that I use almost daily and I still enjoy using it, despite the latest upgrade being a little bit buggy. There were also a couple of interface changes in ScreenFlow 4 that I didn’t like and I would hope that the developers of the application would at some point in time apply some fixes.

Mac20Q looking forward to 2013

I will be continuing to have the emphasis on the YouTube video creation as that is the one for the best prospects of earning some money. I am going to continue with the tutorial videos and I might do a certain amount of vlogging and possibly try to enter the realm of comedy. I will be keeping all of these other types of videos on a separate channel, so that the David Allen/Wizardgold YouTube channel will always be about Mac and iOS stuff.

I have bought access to an online course for teaching English as a foreign language, which I will be working on during the first part of the year. Obviously I will be using the Mac and iOS as much as possible to assist me in my learning process. I fully expect that my digital lifestyle and way of working will be enhanced by using my favourite computers. Thank you very much Apple for providing me with such excellent tech and access to brilliant software to do all the stuff that I need to do.

The articles will still continue to appear on Mac20Q, on NoStylus and one or two other websites that I write for. I think I would like to aim for two articles a week on both of those websites, while the other websites will be updated a little less frequently. Many of the articles for these websites will be there to support the videos that I make for YouTube.

Onwards and upwards

Wishing all the readers of Mac20Q all the best for 2013. If you have articles that you like to see on the site, please let me know. Please join in the conversation by adding comments to any articles that are posted. Whatever you would like to say whether it is positive or negative it is welcome, it just has to be on topic with regards to the article posted. Happy New Year from David Allen at Mac20Q.