A great way to reconfigure your menubar clock is to install iStat Menus. This is a free preference pane that gives you quick access to a handy calendar and other os features like the ability to view upload/download speed menulet, hard drive menulet, and a processor graph. My favorite feature is the quick instant calendar and being able to reformat the menubar clock just how I like it.
Is your computer going through it’s own recession? Is it having a hard time paying memory bills? Is the hard drive getting ready to foreclose on itself? Then maybe it needs some computer stimulus package from MacFAQulty. Don’t let your machine lose it’s way during our nation’s downcline.
According to a poll I read (can’t seem to find the link) our digital devices are our most treasured possessions to us during these trying times. When they spaz out we find ourselves acting like headless chickens.
Don’t wait for Obama to come to the rescue. If you find yourself not able to afford much right now then please, please, please back up your data. So break out your diagnostic tools and maintain all your digital hand cuffs. How long can you go without updating your FaceBook status should your Mac get ill? Ahhhhh!!!!
Apple’s Mobileme service offers a great way to sync your files between computers. Paying $99 a year gives you 20GB of offsite space to sync your iDisk. I’ve been using this part of their service for a few years now and have found that it works great for very small files like text documents, however; once you start filling it up with larger files the rate of failure rises. Failure being a constant message of “last sync failed”.
This is so completely annoying. If anyone should get this right it’s Apple. Also, while I’m on my virtual soap box, if you think Time Machine backs up your iDisk think again. If you want the iDisk backed up you have to use Chronosync or some other backup solution. Annnnndddd, file dates are wiped out with iDisk. Wanna track when you created a file on your idisk? Forget it. The workaround is to date your files. Thanks Apple!
For these reasons I’ve abandoned Mobileme’s iDisk and have switched to Dropbox.
Dropbox is a free service currently in beta but it is working great for me and other users. If the fact that it’s a beta scares you mind that Gmail is still in beta. Gmail! So don’t go griping if you lose all your Gmail mail someday. Back that stuff up.
Dropbox gives out 2GB of free space. If you go over this amount they charge for more room. The software works SO well with the Mac OS. I have a “writings” folder setup and anytime I change a file inside that folder it seamlessly updates it to my other computer. And it’s really quick. iDisk takes F-O-R-E-V-E-R and their’s no Rosetta stone to decipher any error messages you get.
Notice the large check mark next to the “Photos” folder indicating the folder is up to date. GROWL is also installed along with Dropbox to notify when files have changed. Growl is a preference pane that runs in the background constantly monitoring programs on your computer. It’s main feature is beautifully displaying notifications.
You can also share a a specific folder with another dropbox user. I’m currently sharing a folder with my writing partner. Anytime she changes a file in that folder it’s instantly changes in mine. Plus I can limit what folders she has access. Workarounds like adding a “checked out” folder help solve the problem of both working on the same file at the same time.
Dropbox also keeps older versions allowing you to restore something you might have accidentally erased. All in all I’m loving this program. I wish the iDisk worked this well. It should, it really should.
Have you noticed Time Machine giving you erroneous error messages? That it failed to backup, but it actually hasn’t? Well, this is not you. It’s a bug that is yet to be fixed as of this writing 10.5.6. If you get it simply go to the time machine icon next to the clock.
Then choose to “Back Up Now”. It should put everything in sync. In fact, make sure your Time Machine is working buy choosing “open time machine preferences…” You’ll then get a dialogue telling you when the last successful backup occurred.
Mine says it backed up Yesterday. (I’ve got it on a daily schedule instead of hourly). If you want to change the interval download Time Machine Editor to make adjustments. It’s FAH-FAH-FAH-FREE!
Using DNS numbers from your cable/dsl provider might be slowing you down. Try using the OpenDNS ip addresses for faster resolves. Plus, OpenDNS has free parental control features via their Web site. You have to know how to modify your router but it’s worth it. It’s sped things up on my old trusty 12″ PowerBook G4 which I will NEVER give up! It’s the best damn portable Apple has ever made. Oh, yeah! (I drank some coffee today).
Every year or so Apple pushes out a new version of iLife which includes iPhoto, iMovie, iWeb, iDVD, and Garageband. Simply put It’s a worthwhile upgrade. All the programs are better except iDVD because it hasn’t been updated at all. Apple will probably kill it from the next release claiming people don’t make DVDs anymore. Kinda like they killed FireWire on MacBooks. Jerks.
iMovie is way better but still doesn’t have a timeline. Come on, Apple!
iPhoto now has face recognition and it works, but you gotta train it.
IWeb now allows you to upload directly to your own domain making it way easier to make edits to your site.
Garageband has great tutorials from mainstream artists.
Hey, it’s $80 and well worth it.
Check out their iLife site for more info.
I personally don’t use iPhoto much or iMovie at all. I prefer Aperture and Final Cut Pro but they co$$$$t money and take more time to learn. Are you single like me? Ha ha.
RSS FEED ICON
When you get stuck in a long line and have a few minutes to read your favorite Web sites, bringing out your iPhone is the perfect solution. Safari can read your sites but jeez it can be SLOOOW if the site is not optimized for the iPhone.
A better, faster way to read your sites in one fell swoop is to subscribe to the RSS news feed of the page. I use NewsGator’s service. Google has a similar service which is great as well, but I like having separate applications to handle these services.
Here’s the process for using NewsGator’s free feed service.
Create a user account on the NewsGator Web site. Then find some RSS feeds to add to your account. There are loads of sample feeds to choose from (New York Times, CNN, Washington Post, etc.) You can create different folders for entertainment, tech, news, etc.
If you can’t find your favorite site click on the RSS ICON. It appears in the URL field of Firefox or Safari. Clicking it will show you a link that reads “feed://” instead of “http://”. This feed can be manually entered into your NewsGator account if you can’t find your favorite sites. For instance… sometimes I’ll do a search on craigslist for a computer item. If I save the feed of that page and post it to my newsgator account it will show me when it’s updated with out me having to manually monitor the page. Nice!
Once you get your favorite feeds setup on the NewsGator page you have the option to download the “NetNewsWire” application for your Mac. It’s not absolutely necessary to use the desktop app as you can use the newsgator Web site instead. However, I love this program! Give it a whirl.
NETNEWSWIRE IPHONE SETUP
You will need NetNewsWire from the appstore. Great news… it’s FREE!
Once downloaded you must type in your user name and password. When you open the app it will download every news story, stripping out the ads and pretty much bring down only the text and a few pictures. It’s lean and mean for the iPhone and therefore quicker and more efficient than using Safari. Plus all read items get synced across both platforms. Once you start using it you won’t know how you got along without it.