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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Tech Tips

Follow Friday for Sept. 9

by Ken Newquist / September 20, 2009

Two days late (and a tweet or two short), here are my Follow Friday picks:

  • @make Notes about awesome DIY projects you could be doing if only you had time. And skill. And tools. #followfriday
  • @easdnewsflash Easton Area School District on Twitter. #followfriday
  • @ChattyDM Because he never stops talking & yet still has plenty of good things to say. #followfriday

FollowFriday: Star Wars: Saga Edition

by Ken Newquist / August 21, 2009

A whole host of people involved in Star Wars: Saga Edition in one form or another have joined Twitter over the last few weeks. It's great to see -- D&D 4th Edition and Pathfinder have sizable fan bases on Twitter, but until recently Star Wars has been lagging. Hopefully with these new additions we'll see a nice uptick in Saga Edition-related tweets. If nothing else I'd love to see in-game tweets from these folks -- we've had a blast tweeting our campaign adventures, and it's be cool to read about what others are doing.

Four Essential Apps for Windows Netbooks

by Ken Newquist / August 6, 2009

My family recently got an Asus netbook, which has plunged me once again into the world of Windows XP. Fortunately I came prepared -- while I spend most of my day on a Mac, I occasionally dual boot into XP on my MacBook Pro, and I've accumulated a number of must-have utilities for thriving in Windows.

Launchy: A fast application launcher that allows you to quickly find and run applications on your computer. It's roughly equivelent of Quicksilver on the Mac, though Quicksilver offers more advanced capabilities.

Cute PDF: A free PDF creator for Windows; "print" your document to the Cute PDF printer and it spits out a finished PDF. It's something I do instinctively on the Mac; it's nice to have that functionality in Windows as well.

Bonjour for Windows: Apple's Bonjour software lets you quickly find shared printers on a network. I use this to print to my Airport Express-connected HP LaserJet printer. The alternative is trying to use the Windows network printing utility, and that way lies madness.

Twitter Follow Friday: 3/13/09

by Ken Newquist / March 13, 2009

#FollowFriday is a new meme that's popped up over the last few weeks on Twitter. The idea is that people identify folks they enjoy following and tweet about them using the #FollowFriday hashtag. It's a cool idea, though personally I wish that people would spend a few more characters explaining why they follow them.

I decided to join the meme this week, and thought I'd crosspost my #FollowFriday tweets on Nuketown.

Five Cool Apps You Didn't Know Your Mac Had

by Ken Newquist / February 17, 2009

One of the things I enjoy about my Mac is stumbling across different applications (or uses for applications) that I never knew it had. Some of these are legacies of earlier versions of the OS, introduced before being supplanted by some later software, while others are simply obscure, lurking in the corners of your Applications folder until the time you need them.

Here are five such apps that you might never have known you had, but which can be exceedingly useful in your day-to-day work.

Installing Ubuntu Linux on a G3 iMac

by Ken Newquist / May 23, 2007

I love it when a geeky plan comes together. A few weeks ago I heard a story on the Geek Acres podcast about a grade school teacher who installed Ubuntu Linux on a bunch of iMacs that had been donated to his school. I have a lime-green G3 iMac at home that's been running Mac OS X 10.3 … but is just crying out for experimentation.

Restoring a Deleted Adobe Distiller Printer in OS X

by Ken Newquist / January 14, 2004

If there's one thing I don't like about Mac OS X, it's that it's all too easy to delete a printer. I've done it a few times when I thought I was deleting a print job. At the very least, I'd like to see some sort of "Are you sure you want to delete this printer?" query. Better yet, lock it down and require admin intervention to delete it.

Now normally, this isn't a problem. If you delete a printer, you can just plug it back in again, and OS X will re-discover it. But Adobe's "Acrobat Distiller" is a virtual printer, not a real one. And if you delete it, Mac OS X can't automatically "re-discover" it because technically, the printer doesn't exist. If you are unlucky enough to delete Distiller, as I did, getting it to re-appear is more than a little bit difficult.

The Mighty Mac Mouse Myth

by Ken Newquist / November 1, 2002

As a Mac user, I get a fair amount of flack from PC folks. Some of it was about the toilet-seat design of the original colorful iBooks (hey, I agree – those things looked awful). Some of it was aimed at processor speed (I admit it – PCs have faster processors, although gap isn’t nearly as great as PC folks might like you to believe). But the single greatest source of scorn has been the Mac mouse.

The term “double click” is synonymous with the Mac – after all, Apple’s the one who took the mouse mainstream. Yet although Apple pioneered consumer use of the mouse, it’s been the PC side that’s seen a true explosion in mice utility. Three button and four button mice, scroll mice, inverted mice – you name it, you’ll find it … on the PC side.