Posts tagged ‘mac’
By Chad Upton | Editor
Unless you’ve specifically bought the full size Mac keyboard, you’re missing dedicated page up and page down keys.
But, you’re not missing out on the functionality; here are the shortcuts: (more…)
By Chad Upton | Editor
One of the most annoying Mac OS traits is the inconsistent behavior of the maximize (aka “zoom”) button.
Some native apps, such as iCal, Mail, iPhoto, behave as you might expect and completely fill the screen when the maximize button is clicked. But, many other applications do not fill the screen, instead they the button maximizes the height of the window, but not the width.
But, there is another trick that maximizes some other applications, such as Chrome. Holding down shift while clicking the green maximize button, will maximize the window to fill the screen.
By Chad Upton | Editor
I use both Mac and Windows computers and I appreciate some attributes of each. For example, I really like the home and end keys on Windows keyboards. These guys make it a breeze to select a single line of text or jump to the end of the line to keep writing after an edit.
Because Apple market share is at an all time high, I’m sure a lot of people are going to notice the absence of these keys when they switch. Unless you’ve got the full-size apple keyboard, the “home” and “end” keys are absent on your desktop or macbook keyboard. But, if you hold down the fn (or control) key, you can use the left and right arrow keys as home and end keys respectively. Hold shift while doing this to select the characters between cursor positions.
Speaking of the Mac keyboard, the delete key is equivalent to the backspace key on a Windows computer — it deletes characters to the left of the cursor. But, you can make Mac’s delete key function like the Windows delete key if you hold the fn key while pressing it — deleting characters to the right. Another favorite keyboard shortcut on Mac OS is fn + F11 which will temporarily hide your windows to expose your desktop, allowing you to easily select files without going to the finder or minimizing all of your windows. Then press fn+F11 to bring all your windows back to their original positions.
By the way, you can plug a Windows USB keyboard into a Mac, although not all of the task keys function the way they do on a PC.
By Chad Upton | Editor
Books were once a luxury.
That changed with the printing press, making duplication of books faster and cheaper, which made books more accessible to common people. Eventually, public libraries made books available to everyone in a community.
If you browse the Kindle forums on Amazon.com, you may notice that eBook snobs refer to normal books as DTBs (Dead Tree Books). While eBooks are a status symbol now, they may eventually be the way common people access books, making paper books a luxury once again, reserved for expensive hardcovers and collector editions.
For some people, the only books they have ever read were the ones they had to read in school. This year, many high schools and colleges are using iPads and Kindles to distribute reading materials. It’s not because they’re fancy, it’s actually quite practical.
Although the initial cost of the device is high, the cost to create and distribute electronic books is almost negligible. The cost of a Kindle ($139) is about the price of two or three large college textbooks. At that rate, the device could pay for itself in the first semester.
Because it is much cheaper, faster and easier to download books, eBooks may eventually replace paper books as the primary way we read. Like I said, the reading devices are expensive, but even if people don’t want to buy a dedicated device, chances are good they already own one that is compatible. Amazon has already made software that allows Kindle books to be downloaded and read on Windows and Mac computers, iPads and iPods, along with all of the major smartphone platforms (iPhone, Blackberry and Android).
The future of books may be eBooks. In the meantime, it’s hard to know how popular paper books are, unless you know this secret.
When a book is printed for the first time, the publisher doesn’t know how well it will sell. They print a limited number of books to minimize the risk of their investment. If the book sells well, they can always print more.
Most publishers list the number of the printing in an ambiguous format on the publishers copyright page near the front of the book. They put the numbers 1 through 10 on their own line near the bottom of the copyright page. Sometimes, they’re in left to right order from 1 to 10. Other times, the numbers alternate from left side to right side, with 10 in the center.
The lowest number you can see on this line is the printing that the book is from. When a book goes into its second printing, the number 1 is removed. On the third printing, the number 2 is removed and so on.
You can see that the numbers alternate from left to right. They sometimes do that so the remaining numbers stay centered without adjusting the printing of the remaining numbers. If you see them in a book and they are not alternated, the remaining numbers will be off to one side instead of being centered (they don’t normally adjust the type to re-center it).
Sometimes, printings are confused with editions. A book may go through many printings and still be considering the “First Edition.” Generally, the edition doesn’t change unless the content in the book or the publisher changes.
The images above are from one of my favorite books, The Book of Awesome. As you can see, this book has been extremely successful — it’s in its 12th printing! Frankly, it is an awesome book and I’m not just saying that because I’m trying to be funny or because I’m in the book — the sales speak for themselves, it is a great book.
By Chad Upton | Editor
Microsoft and Apple are mortal enemies, at least, that’s what their TV commercials will have you believe.
They’ve always been competitors, originally trying to dominate our preference in computers, and now music players and mobile phones. Apple has a strong lead in music player and mobile phone segments, but Microsoft has a big lead as the dominant operating system. That said, Apple has become much more competitive in that space, especially in the past few years.
Their competition is most visible during commercial breaks, when they take jabs at each others potential flaws. Forget on court trash talk, when you’ve got as much money as these guys, you can trash talk in the form of multi-year, multi-million dollar ad campaigns — it’s so much more fun.
You see, Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Microsoft founder Bill Gates have a long history as friends. In the early days, they used to take their girlfriends on double dates with each other. They didn’t see a lot of each other after Bill moved to Washington State, but they’ve remained friends.
In fact, when Steve Jobs came back to Apple in 1996, the company needed help. To be a serious player, Apple also needed competitive office software.
Mac fans and developers were shocked on August 6th, 1997 when Bill Gates appeared via teleconference during Steve Job’s presentation at Macworld.
Steve and Bill announced that Microsoft would invest $150 million in Apple. Today, it sounds crazy, and at the time it sounded pretty crazy too. Jobs was booed when he announced the partnership and Bill was booed when he appeared on screen. But, it actually made a lot of sense for both companies. Steve said it best, “We have to let go of a few notions here. We have to let go of the notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft needs to lose.” (more…)
There is no shortage of McDonald’s secrets. In a previous post, I talked about the secret markings on McDonald’s cups that indicate proper ice and soda levels.
Now, I want to talk about the Big Mac. It was invented by Jim Delligatti, one of the earliest McDonald’s franchisees. It was so popular at his restaurants, McDonald’s made it a national menu item in 1967. (more…)
Most CD/DVD drives in computers have a secret eject button. It allows you to open the CD drive when a disc gets stuck and cannot be ejected normally. It’s also helpful if you need to remove a disc and you don’t want (or have time) to power up the computer — the force eject works without power.
You’ll need a thin sturdy object to operate the manual eject, a straightened paperclip works well. In rare cases, the hole will be slightly smaller than a paperclip and a sewing needle will be required.
Look for a round hole on the face of the CD drive that is just large enough to feed a paperclip through. The following photos show the manual eject hole on a desktop and laptop CD drive.
Once you have found the hole, push a straightened paperclip through the hole and when you feel it stop, push a little harder and it should push open the motorized drive tray (desktop) or release the drive lock (laptop).
If you’ve got a Mac, most new models have a slot load drive (there is no tray that the disc sits on, similar to most car CD players). Some of these drives are particularly bad at ejecting CDs with uneven edges (if yours does this then you’ll know what I’m talking about) and there is a paperclip method for these drives too. There is an Apple support document for this issue; you’ll have to click here to view it since I can’t use their material.
Maybe you’ve seen that hole and wondered what it was for, maybe not. Frankly, it doesn’t matter, because you know now and that’s what we do here.
Written By: Chad Upton
When your laptop is new, you can run on battery power for hours! But, as the battery gets older it doesn’t hold a charge like it used to. Ideally, you would just buy a new battery, but laptop batteries are expensive. From the manufacturer, they range from $80 to $150. Aftermarket batteries are often 50% – 70% of the manufacturer’s price. I’d recommend searching eBay or Amazon for new aftermarket batteries.
If you buy a new battery, keep your old one. I used to travel almost every week for work and I always had a second laptop battery with me. At times, the second battery was old, and only ran for 45 minutes, but that was a lifesaver on an airplane when you’re trying to finish some work (or watch the end of a movie you brought).
I usually buy the aftermarket batteries and never have problems with them. I did have a problem with an aftermarket power supply cord once; it died after three months. But, even with that $13 loss, buying aftermarket laptop accessories has saved me a lot of money over the years.
If you travel a lot, a second power cord is paramount. You should have one that you always leave in your computer bag, that way it’s impossible to leave behind when you travel. Have you ever tried to find a computer power cord at a retail store? If you are lucky enough to find one, it’s going to cost at least $60. If you can’t find one, and you need one for work — it’s a disaster. (more…)