Fences 2.0 doesn't mess with what worked in the first version, which we loved when we looked at it three years ago. You get the same easy functionality of creating shaded areas (aka fences) on your desktop for organizing your files and folders. It lets you create rules, as you could with the old Fences Pro version, which automatically direct certain types of files to particular fences. Fences 2.0 introduces two new and useful features -- Folder Portals and Desktop Pages -- but before we get to them, let's quickly go over how the app works.… Read more
Desktop Groups does for Macs what Fences does for PCs. It lets you create tiles (aka groups) on your desktop that keep an otherwise scattered group of files and folders neat and tidy.
You'll find two versions of Desktop Groups in the Mac App Store. The free Desktop Groups Lite lets you create up to five groups; the full version ($5.99) lets you create as many groups as you desire and provides additional viewing options (such as a list in addition to the default thumbnail view).
To get started, launch the app for the first time, click the … Read more
Many smart or connected devices come with wired-only connections (Ethernet), like your TV, game console, DVD player, TiVo, or other streaming-media device. Unless your Internet modem or wireless router happens to be at the same location as those devices, connecting them to your wireless network can be a challenge.
Possible solutions include, power-line adapters, dedicated wireless adapters for each device, or installing Ethernet jacks. Unfortunately, those options can get expensive and each has its unique drawbacks. Another option is using a wireless bridge. A wireless bridge connects two wired networks together over Wi-Fi. The wireless bridge acts as a client, … Read more
Steam defines itself as "the ultimate entertainment platform." Its software, available for PC, Mac, and mobile devices, allows people to "play, connect, [and] create." Its gaming library has more than 2,000 titles and it has approximately 40 million users. If you're one of those 40 million, you know what a pain it can be to wait for a game to update or for a new one to download -- it's not the speediest process.
Here's how to make the wait time a little less painful:
Open the Steam settings page. This can … Read more
Most programs you run on your computer are pretty smart when it comes to making sure you can see what's going on. If, for whatever reason, a program tries to open off of your desktop, it will usually catch itself and reset its position. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case -- sometimes you end up with an inaccessible window running off in space. Perhaps you sometimes have a second (or third) monitor hooked up to your computer that isn't there at the moment, or some bug occurred when the program was setting its position. If the program … Read more
While the default and most supported file-sharing protocol in OS X is AFP (Apple Filing Protocol), Apple does include support for sharing files with Windows machines using the SMB (server message block) protocol. With OS X being a Unix-based system, Apple initially included the popular open-source Samba suite as the means for doing this, but because of licensing violations had to replace it with its own SMB implementation.
Regardless of the specifics of the SMB implementation, the methods by which you can connect to Windows machines should be the same throughout the various versions of OS X:Use Bonjour services … Read more
Whether you use them in your everyday work flow, or dust them off on occasion, flash drives are perhaps one of the handiest, most underrated gadgets out there. Despite the cloud storage trend, many of us still rely on these doodads when we need to transfer data in a pinch.
And thanks to the InterWebs, there's a seemingly endless variety of unique flash drives to match your equally special personality.
But, what's better than forking over $20 to $30 on a low-capacity, overpriced flash drive? Making your own on the cheap. After sifting through the Web for DIYs, … Read more
While large storage capacities from e-mail providers make the need to manage storage less of an issue these days, there are times when people may still run into storage limits or need to clear out thousands of messages that are cluttering their inboxes. This may be especially true if one's storage plan changes to a smaller level, as is the case with Apple's basic iCloud storage plan for people who transitioned from MobileMe.
If you need to clear out e-mail messages to free up space in your inbox, you can do so manually by first clicking on the … Read more
When you select a song in your iTunes library, a small drop-down menu appears that gives you access to the song, its album, and the artist in Apple's iTunes music store. For some this may help them complete albums and find music, but for others the direct commercial links may not be welcome and they might wish to remove the store links from their library.
To remove the menu you just need to open the Terminal application and run the following command:
defaults write com.apple.iTunes hide-ping-dropdown -bool TRUE
While doing this will remove the menu and its … Read more
iCloud is the latest iteration of Apple's cloud-based services, and while it can be accessed from any Web browser, it requires at least OS X 10.7 to integrate into the Mac OS. Unfortunately this means that if you are on an older Mac system running Snow Leopard that you either don't want to or can't upgrade, then Apple no longer supports accessing its iCloud services.
Recently MacFixIt reader Brandon wrote in wondering about the options for people with these setups:I just purchased an iPhone and am trying to sync my Mac devices, but have run … Read more