Report August 2014: The Great Brain Experiment, Sharing with Windows

The August SEAL meeting was held on Friday the 8th of August 2014. Here’s a summary of the main topics we discussed:

The Great Brain Experiment

DavidK showed us this interesting iOS app from UCL and the Wellcome Trust which allows you to contribute to a scientific experiment by playing a range of simple games. The games test your memory, your impulsivity, your attention and decision making. The app includes information so you can learn about the neuroscience of everyday life. The Great Brain Experiment is free on the app store.

Sharing Files with Windows Users

Robert then gave us some tips on sharing files with Windows users in a variety of different scenarios, such as sending them for viewing or collaborative editing.

When sharing files that don’t need to be edited, Robert pointed out that any Mac program that prints can save its output as a PDF. PDF files can be viewed on almost any computer and retain the formatting and fonts of the original document.

For collaborative editing where a document is being passed back and forth with multiple people making comments and changes, Robert recommended trying a cloud based application such as Apple’s iWork for iCloud (which works on both Mac and PC) or Google Docs.

One of the potential area of confustion for Windows users are the additional metadata files that the Mac puts on PC formatted external drives (such as USB sticks) and in zip archives created on the Mac. This means PC users will see strange looking files such as .DS_Store among the files they expect. Robert suggested two utilities which can be used to remove these files:

  • When copying files onto a PC formatted external drive, Clean Up by PixelChimp can be used to delete the files. To do so, just by drop the drive icon onto the Clean Up application’s icon.
  • For zip archives, the free YemuZip by Yellow Mug has an option to create PC friendly archives which don’t include the metadata files. YemuZip is available free from the Yellow Mug web site. If you like the program and want to support the developer it is also sold on the Mac App Store.


In the news section we discussed: