Digital photography is a blessing and a curse. OK, it's more of a blessing than curse. Freed from the cost of purchasing and developing film, digital photographers can take multiple shots of the same scene in an attempt to capture the perfect shot. Unless you dutifully manage your photo library and cull the extra shots from each photo shoot, your library quickly becomes difficult to navigate and your hard drive cluttered. PhotoSweeper for Mac identifies duplicate and similar photos and lets you dump the ones you don't need in the trash. The app costs $9.99 in the … Read more
Computer malware authors exploit weaknesses in software. Developers combat computer crooks by patching their programs to block malware attacks. That's why we're encouraged to keep our software up-to-date. Every now and then, a software update fails, leaving our systems a little less secure.
I got a first-hand look at the problem the other day when the Apple Software Update program balked at installing iTunes version 11.0.3 on my Windows 7 PC. The installer reported "insufficient privileges" and suggested I log on as an administrator or contact my system administrator. Of course, I was logged … Read more
Apple's Preview program is the default PDF viewer in OS X, and has a number of options for annotating and otherwise managing PDF files. One of its features is support for Quartz filters, which can be applied to PDFs and image files to convert them, for example into sepia, black-and-white, or gray scale. A Quartz filter can be used to reduce the PDF's file size, but while it's effective at doing so, you may find images in the resulting PDF too grainy to use.
These compression routines are done by adjusting the embedded image quality of the … Read more
A cluttered computer desktop can be distracting and have a negative impact on productivity. You can take the time to close all the windows or maybe even use a program in full-screen mode, but that's not always practical or feasible. An alternative solution is dimming everything on your desktop, except for the window that you're working in. Le Dimmer, a small Windows program, can help you focus on the active window by creating a distraction-free environment. Here's how:
Though OS X offers great multitasking features, having multiple windows open in multiple applications can sometimes hinder concentration. If you don't want to put the application you're mainly working with in full-screen mode, there are other options.
For example, you can minimize windows to the OS X Dock, but this has its limitations, including filling the Dock so it expands across your screen. Additionally, it requires you to click and expand the window from the Dock to preview its contents, which results in the documents being reordered in the Dock when you minimize it again.
If you're … Read more
OS X is localized to a number of languages, and with a few settings changes, you can set the OS interface -- as well as many programs -- to display in a different language. This is handy for multilingual types, but if you have inadvertently changed it to a language you do not understand, you might find it quite difficult to revert.
Fortunately, while the languages change, the layout still stays essentially the same. To switch back to your preferred language, you will need to follow these steps:
First go to the system preferences by opening the Apple menu and … Read more
Since its move to online purchasing and distribution of its operating system software, Apple has no longer included gray recovery DVDs with its Mac systems. Instead, if you wish to reinstall OS X you simply reboot to the OS X Recovery HD and use the tools there to format your hard drive (should you choose to), then run the installer to download OS X from Apple's servers.
While convenient for those with fast broadband connections, sometimes you may find yourself in a location without fast Internet and would benefit from having a way to reinstall OS X from scratch. … Read more
My friend and old boss Ben Patterson answered a reader question on his blog about the various ways in which one can right-click on a Mac trackpad. I read the post and was surprised that my preferred method of right-clicking was not covered. Although my method is a derivative of one of the four Ben outlined in his post, I still count it as a separate and distinct manner of right-clicking. Without further ado, let us discuss the five ways in which you can perform a right-click on a Mac trackpad.
1. Click with thumb while making contact with two … Read more
Power line networking basically turns a building's existing electrical wiring -- the wires that carry electricity to different outlets in the house -- into network cables, meaning they also carry data signals for a computer network. And this means virtually all households, in the U.S at least, are "wired for" power line networking. It doesn't replace a regular network, so you'll still need a router, but it's a good way to extend … Read more
While the Mac platform has not been noted for catering to hard-core gamers, there are still many popular gaming titles and gaming accessories available for the Mac OS. If you own a Mac and have a few games you would like to try, then you might also be interested in getting a gaming controller or two up and running with your system. While the Mac's keyboard and mouse ought to be enough for most purposes, having a dedicated gaming controller can give you the feel of playing with a gaming console.
Of the game controllers available for home computers, … Read more