If you have a lot of icons at the top of your menu bar and it has become confusing for you, check out this very cool app called Bartender. Currently in beta (but working quite well), Bartender hides menulet icons in it’s own submenu. I’ve put the menulets I rarely use into this Barender drop down making my desktop more tidy. Really nifty. Plus it’s 50% off right now while it’s in beta.
You don’t need this software to remove menulets. If you hold the COMMAND key while dragging a menulet you can reposition it amongst the others or drag it off the bar and “poof” it will remove it from the bar.
If you’ve been looking for a way to playback videos from YouTube, Vimeo, etc to your AppleTV from your MacBook/Mac Pro then you need to download two extensions for Safari.
First you will need “Click to Plugin”. This turns off instant loading of Flash,WMV,PDF,and any other kind of video/audio plugin you can think of. You will want to immediately go to the preferences and enable certain ones to always pass through (like Google Maps for instance).
Second, you will need “Media Center” to easily control playback to the AppleTV. This extension adds a toolbar icon that you can add by going to (Safari) View/Customize Toolbar… You will see a new icon to drag down that reads “Airplay” in the shape of a square. Too bad it’s not the familiar Airplay icon we’re used to, but no matter. It works!
Then when you go to a YouTube page that movie will be loaded via HTML5. Pressing the “F” key will play it fullscreen. A floating menu gives you the option to stream it to Airplay, download the file, change the source and more options. It’s really fantastic.
Everyone asks the question, “do I need it?” No, is the answer. But if you get the chance to use it for five minutes or so you probably won’t be able to live without one. It’s truly a new experience to surf the web with your fingers. If you think the iPhone reacts well to your touch you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how responsive the iPad is.
It is not a replacement for a MacBook. I find the device is best used while a TV show is on in the background and you want to look up something on IMDb, or you want to Facebook a friend, or you want to add a movie to your Netflix queue, or you want to check your feeds in your feed reader, or you want to tweet somebody, or you want to play a game, or check the weather, etc. It’s the media, leisure device that will pretty much suck your life away because of how fast it is. With a standard Mac there always seems to be a drag in Safari or the Mail app that gives you just enough pause to realize you’re in the computer “zone”, which gives you just enough time to step away from the computer and be productive with things that actually need to get done, like doing the laundry or doing the dishes…
If you’re like me and you check your e-mail first thing in the morning while still lying in bed in your jam jams, then it’s going to take a lot longer for you to roll out of bed if you’re using an iPad. The responsiveness of the apps makes it hard for you to get distracted from your task. It is truly faster than the MacBook due to its solid state hard drive, and custom built processor that Apple designed specifically for this device.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking (FREE) is worth the price of the iPad alone. If you don’t like to type, then you can use this app to transcribe your voice. It works stupid good as a friend of mine would say.
The Google maps application is incredible to use on a large screen. Its responsiveness to your pinching and the way it zooms in and out is like nothing you’ve seen before. The Street view, which is already a part of the iPhone and the website for Google maps, takes on a completely different feel with the iPad. It really is all about the “feel ” of the device.
Reading books on the device is fine, but the Kindle is actually a better experience because it has no backlighting. Eye fatigue is more likely to occur with the iPad.
The battery life of this device is remarkable. It will play videos that are loaded onto the device for up to 10 hours or longer and it plays music for 140 hours straight.
I purchased the midrange model which has 32 GB of memory so I can load a lot of movies, music and photos onto the device. I think that a 16 GB version would have suited me just fine because I found an application called Air Video that will stream any movie on my Macintosh to my iPad. This application is only three dollars and it works incredibly well provided you have a fast Mac to handle the streaming.
You can even connect a blue tooth keyboard to the iPad and type e-mails this way. You would want to use this for typing up documents and the Pages application. It’s nice to have this option, but I don’t foresee ever using it, but time will tell.
You can also use the iPad as a video picture frame. It’s built right in. Pretty neat. Although, video picture frames are an ecological disaster because of how much energy they collectively use.
Do you need a 3G version of this device? If you already have an iPhone, I don’t think it’s necessary. It will cost you $15 a month for 250 MB or $30 a month for an unlimited plan to have 3G capability on your iPad. Personally, I see the device being used more around your home. I think it’s better to bone up on your broadband service because the device has 802.11N wi-fi built-in which makes it pretty snappy. But if you’re unsure then pay for the 3G model that comes out at the end of April because there is no way to upgrade the WiFi iPad to a 3G model.
So where is it lacking?
- It has no video camera.
- The iTunes application doesn’t have Cover Flow which is odd.
- It has a mono speaker.
- It does not have a universal mailbox, nor can it flag messages.
- If you buy a case for the iPad then you must remove it from that case if you want to plug it into the docking station that you buy from Apple.
- You currently can’t print from the device (this will be fixed by Fall when the 4.0 OS comes out)
That’s a pretty small list. If you’re thinking you should wait for the next version then you’re really cheating yourself. The iPad is here now. I recommend getting one and not looking back. You can always upgrade to the next version. I know I will.
This is a terrific post about apps for your brand new iPad.
If you’ve ever had your MacBook stolen you’ll be very interested in the software. It’s called Undercover. Think of it as a LoJack system for your MacBook. Should your computer get stolen you’ll be able to track it. The software, which is only $50, will send you photos every eight minutes of whomever is using . It will also emulate a fake kernel panic indicating the computer needs to be taken in for service. All this happens by simply logging into the Undercover website and flagging the computer as stolen. It will even triangulate the location of the MacBook using the skyhook wireless technology which is similar to what is in the iPhone.
So now there’s no reason you can’t leave your MacBook running at Starbucks and go use the restroom for 20 minutes. Of course recovering your computer would be quite a drag.
Now that 10.6.3 is out I advise everyone to update to this… it’s pretty rock solid.
Apple released Snow Leopard last Friday and it’s only a $29 upgrade but do you need it? I have to admit that as of now it’s not a “must have” upgrade if your main computing needs are email, web surfing, Microsoft Wurd, address book and iCal. There’s no wow factor to this upgrade. Also, G5 users are left behind.
It has refinements under the hood like OpenCL, Grand Central and it’s now a 64bitoperating system. For instance the Finder has finally been rewritten, but there are no mention worthy features. It’s the same old finder. Oh, right, it now has 512×512 icons. Ha ha.
There are nice things like hard drives now reflecting their real size, iCal has a floating inspector like it used to have in Tiger, your machine will wake and shutdown faster, iChat has 640×480 video chats, there is Microsoft Exchange support (does anyone care about this?) and other little things you begin to notice as you use it more like opening the scanner from the Printer queue and a more informative Airport menu.
Bottom line… $29 is pretty inexpensive for this release (service pack) and I recommend installing it. Here is a list of all compatible software so make sure your software is compatible before upgrading.
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.
The new OS X 10.5 is coming out October 26th for $129. Should you upgrade? Absolutely! Should you do it the day it comes out. That depends…
DISCLAIMER: ANYTIME A NEW OPERATING SYSTEM COMES OUT YOU SHOULD BE VERY CERTAIN THAT ALL 3RD PARTY SOFTWARE IS UPDATED BEFORE PROCEEDING WITH THE UPDATE. Also, never do a simple upgrade as this will more than likely cause problems down the road. I ONLY archive and install.
If all you do on your machine are the following: use apple mail, use safari,
print some documents, ichat people and surf, surf, surf, then there shouldn’t be any issues.
There are over 300 new features in Leopard. Here are some of the coolest ones.
Things I’m looking forward to:
new Apple Mail – can make “to dos” from emails that sync to iPhone.
new Safari – supposed to be faster and is finally catching up with Firefox.
new iCal – cleaner interface
new syncing – can sync dock prefs, and user prefs between machines
better windows support – crossover works great in this version. allowing you to run Windows Apps without even needing Windows
new iChat – better video, more features, ability to share screen with other users and go over documents, etc.
coverflow throughout the system – just like iTunes version of Cover Flow but now embedded in the finder.
time machine – whiz-bang backup utility with killer graphics to retrieve missing files. (see photo below)
What if I use Now Contact/Up-to-Date? Well, it “should” work as there’s nothing saying it won’t. Again, if you rely on this software wait a bit. They have an update coming out in January that was due six months ago so don’t hold your breath… you can always make the jump to Apple Address Book and iCal.
Still using that old cute colored iMac? Well, Leopard won’t install on it or any other G4 processor below 867MHZ. Time to donate it or sell it on craigslist. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I really doubt it will run that well on a G4 1GHZ and lower.
You’ll need 512 RAM minimum, but make sure you have 1GB to run it well.
It loves a new INTEL mac so it can run natively at 64bit. Tiger (10.4) is a 32bit OS and this is a 64bit. What’s that mean? Remember the Super Nintendo? Well, think of this as the Nintendo 64! Woo hoo!
This means “less spinning rainbows” when accessing network volumes and the ability to do more multi-tasking operations in the background. So it’s faster meaning it crashes faster. (total joke)
However, if you have a computer that CAN NOT afford to be down because, woops, your DV deck, MBox audio device or some other scanner doesn’t work with Leopard, then you should wait.
I always suggest waiting for the maintenance release. This will be 10.5.1 that will be out about 3 to 4 weeks after Leopard ships.
If you have any questions about your systems lemme know as I’ll be thoroughly testing the software and will know all the ins and outs the following week it is released.