The iPad's touch interface is so intuitive that my three-year-old son can quickly find his way to his favorites--Lightsaber Duel, DoodleBuddy, and Arcade Hoops Basketball--without any assistance. Yet, neither he nor I are exceptional typists using the iPad's onscreen keyboard, which can make lengthy typing sessions feel laborious. To help speed things along, I present five tips for an improved typing experience on the iPad.
The 2011 Honda CR-Z found itself on the receiving end of much criticism from the automotive press and enthusiasts, ourselves included, when it launched last year. Greenies didn't like the hybrid's merely average fuel economy, and enthusiasts chided its less-than-hard-core performance. A few of these enthusiasts figured they could do better. This is where Mugen, Honda's sometimes-official tuning division comes into the picture with its CR-Z Mugen concept, set to debut in July at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July.
Realizing that you can't please everyone, Mugen instead focuses on the needs and wants of … Read more
Apple has released an update for OS X that addresses font-rendering problems that cropped up for users who had upgraded to OS X 10.6.7. We initially reported on this issue in late March, where a number of people who had upgraded to OS X 10.6.7 were not able to read PDFs that were created in the latest version of the Mac OS. The issue was narrowed to how OS X was managing OpenType PostScript fonts.
If you check Software Update from within OS X 10.6.7 you should be able to apply the update there; … Read more
Keyboards and iPads...good bedfellows? A perfect way to add laptop functionality to your tablet? Or, mere accessory silliness? It's a debate as old as the iPad itself, which means only about a year and a month. Still, for as useful and portable as the iPad is, there are always some--myself included, at times--who bemoan its lack of a real, physical keyboard. At least, I feel that way when all I have is my iPad and I want to get some serious writing done.
While the launch services in OS X use file name extensions to associate files with various applications, generally users do not need to interact with these extensions and the system keeps them hidden by default; however, you can have the extensions shown, either globally or for specific files. If you edit the extension the system should prompt you for confirmation and then change the extension, but sometimes the system may revert the file name back or continually append the old file name to the new one.
Practice isn't just the way to get to Carnegie Hall; it's also the way to become a good typist. KeyBlaze Free Typing Tutor from NCH Software can help you learn touch-typing or practice your skills. It offers basic lessons, drills, and speed tests suitable for typists ranging from absolute beginners to keyboard jockeys. It's easy to use and effective, too.
The KeyBlaze installation wizard offers three optional downloads, which we didn't try but thought sounded useful: FastFox, a typing expander that can create and store keyboard shortcuts; TextTally, a word counter; and Express Scribe, which assists … Read more
A few MacFixIt readers have recently contacted me regarding an issue with not being able to view some PDFs that were made on their OS X systems after upgrading to OS X 10.6.7. This includes viewing the PDF on their Macs, as well as seeing them on other platforms such as Windows, iOS, and Linux.
Usually PDF rendering problems can happen if the system is experiencing font corruption; most of the time this can be tackled with a general maintenance routine to clear caches, coupled with checking and managing fonts with Font Book. In these cases the problems … Read more
Typing used to be the domain of writers and secretaries, but now it's an essential skill for just about everybody. Klavaro Touch Typing Tutor is an easy-to-use program that can help everyone, from beginning hunt-and-peckers to more practiced typists, improve their keyboard skills.
The program's interface is plain and intuitive, with a menu that takes you through an introduction and four different levels of typing instruction. The introduction covers the basic concepts of touch typing, and the lessons include a basic course, wherein you practice typing sequences of two or three keys; adaptability, in which you type sequences … Read more
Can an iPad really take the place of a laptop? For many users, the answer would be: "Not without a real keyboard."
I hear that. Though I'm able to manage some basic touch-typing with the iPad's onscreen keys, my fingers don't fly nearly as nimbly as they do with a real set of QWERTYs.
Apple's iPad Keyboard Dock is one option, but it forces you into a portrait orientation--and costs $69. For something a little more affordable, check out the Azio KB333BM Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard. (As opposed to a wired Bluetooth keyboard, I guess.)
Priced at $49.99, the Azio keyboard offers a full set of perfectly sized, perfectly spaced keys. It's actually quite like a Mac keyboard, and in fact can be paired with a Mac (and an iPhone, and probably anything else that accepts Bluetooth input).
Having spent some time composing notes, e-mails, and other documents, I have this to say about the Azio: it rocks.… Read more
Back in September, beloved gadget seller ThinkGeek announced the TK-421 iPhone Case with Flip-Out Keyboard. At the time, I was jazzed about the idea of trading my iPhone's cramped onscreen keyboard for a roomy set of tactile keys.
Now that I've had the chance to try them out, I'm still jazzed about the idea--just not the execution.
The TK-421 provides a two-piece wraparound plastic casing for your iPhone 4 or 3GS (be sure to order the right version of the case for your model). All the usual cutout holes are there, but the outer shell is so … Read more