I began playing Dungeons & Dragons in grade school, and I used Apple computers almost as long. I started writing up adventures on my Apple II and printing them on an dot matrix printer, took a brief sojourn into the world of Windows PCs during and after college, and then returned to the Mac with the release of Mac OS X.
My work MacBook Pro needed to go back to the mothership for repairs, so I’m working with a loaner Mac for the next week or two. It’s a minor inconvenience, but it does remind me what my essential apps for the Mac. Here’s the big list of apps I installed on the loaner this week … Read more
I recently did a full restore of my my Mac from Time Machine, Apple’s built-in backup utility for OS 10.5 (Leopard). I had to undertake this radical step because Boot Camp refused to create a Windows partition, complaining about “unmovable files” that could only be eradicated by reformatting the drive and reinstalling Leopard. Overall, I … Read more
I spend a lot of time on the Mac — at work, at home, when I’m dreaming. These are the hacks that I use almost every day to get the most out of my computers.
Zoom in on anything
For a zoomed in view of anything on your computer, hold the CTRL key and then brush upwards on your trackpad with two fingers. To zoom out, hold the CTRL key and brush downwards with two fingers.
Get Google Talk working with iChat
There is no Google Talk client for the Mac, but you can access its instant messaging capabilities by setting up Jabber in iChat. This will not support voice chat, but it works just fine for text. Learn how to set up Jabber via this Google help page.
Fast launch applicatons from the dock
Sometimes you want to quickly browse your full list of applications without delving into the Finder and clicking on the “Applicatons” folder (or following a shortcut from the Desktop).
A hack I learned by visiting the Apple Store was to drop a shortcut to my Applications folder. Under 10.4 Tiger, you could then right-click on the folder and see a full list of all your apps. Then select the one you want, and it launches.
One of the reasons I bought my MacBook Pro was to get back to digitizing some home video and experimenting with video podcasts for Nuketown. Unfortunately, Apple’s iMovie ’08 video editing app isn’t cooperating. Every time I hook up my Canon ZR70 up to the MacBook Pro and try to import audio via iMovie ’08 … Read more
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 … Read more
I love my Macs, but I know they can be a little frustrating for the uninitiated, particularly those who come to the platform from Windows with absolutely no experience on the Mac. My goal with this blog entry is to help ease the transition a bit by addressing some of the frustrations that I’ve seen … Read more
Last weekend my wife and I were out computer shopping. Her for a new Dell laptop, me to dream of the laptop I might be able to buy around about 2007. We traveled to the King of Prussia Mall in southeast Pennsylvania, where Dell allegedly had a store, and to keep me quiet during Sue’s … Read more
It’s no great secret around here that I’m a Mac fan, but I’ve got to say that Apple’s design for the new iMac has left me cold. As with the previous iMacs, it’s an all in one design. This time around though, that design takes the form of a flat-screen monitor that’s been bulked up … Read more
It’s official. I’ve switched to the Mac. Long-time readers will know that I bought an Apple laptop – an iBook – a few years ago, but I’ve continued to use a Windows desktop machine at home. That machine was getting more than a little long in the tooth though, and it was time for a … Read more