Archive for the ‘leopard’ Tag

Surviving Modern Parenthood

Productivity guru Merlin Mann has just become a daddy. And as one might aspect, it has completely changed his life. One particular adaption he mentioned on his blog, 43 Folders, is that he now carries around a notebook to jot down things throughout the day. I’ve gone over the benefits of the notebook secretary, and have even offered tips for those with the high-tech alternatives.

On the subject of children, the new Mac operating system, Leopard, is making its way into homes. One great new feature for parents is parental controls. The controls are incredibly expansive, including the ability to block sets or specific web sites in Safari, stop kids from using certain applications or even setting bed times. Parents with little Mac users should look into the new controls offered in Leopard.

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Apple Not Showing Students the Love

The Mac OS X Leopard announcement wasn’t all good news. The software is up on the Apple Store web site, and apparently Apple Inc. has stopped showing students the love. Whereas all previous OS X updates cost students $79, reduced from the $129 retail price, Leopard’s education discount is now a measly $13–a price tag of $116 for students.

There has been a disturbing trend in the past few years–along the timeline of the company’s rebirth success story–of Apple giving fewer and fewer perks to students. Apple’s summer hardware program, where it gives a free outdated iPod to students who purchase a new computer, still seems to be in place. But software discounts–iLife and iWork ’08 saw price increases as well–and discounts on less expensive hardware–forget about discounted iPods anymore– are over.

Students are an incredibly important demographic for Apple, a company that prides itself on making hardware for artists. What group has incredible ambitions but little money to act on them? College kids. So when your company’s Facebook group has more than 400,000 members, it’s probably a good idea to keep that demographic happy.

iCal Dropbox in New Mac OS X Version

The 10.5 Leopard version of the Mac operating system has been confirmed for release next Friday, Oct. 26. Among its list of 300+ new features is a much improved version of iCal. Aside from the new interface, CalDAV sync support and the correctly predicted iPhone notes syncing is one feature I suggested last month in “A Better To-do List.”

Apple’s feature list details a new option called Event Dropbox. “Share the information you need for a successful meeting,” reads the iCal Leopard feature list. “Simply drag photos, video, or any kind of document into an event. Send email invitations to attendees and your attachments go along for the ride.”

My idea was for iCal to include “the ability to drag files and emails onto a to-do entry and have them linked. I could then easily access any related materials through the to-do entry.”

Apple’s description doesn’t specify whether this applies to to-do entries as well as events, but I think we have a good chance. Finally iCal is on its way to becoming a fully featured project center.

Why Quicksilver for Mac Sucks

Whenever I run across a web site detailing the top applications for Mac, Quicksilver by Blacktree Inc. (or its spiritual predecessor, Objective Development Software’s LaunchBar) always seems to make the list.

These apps are essentially a new way of using your computer. Well, not exactly new, per say. In fact, they use one of the oldest ways of interacting with computers (what’s called the command line), reintroducing it with a dressed up interface.

With a keyboard shortcut like control-spacebar, the user pulls up the Quicksilver window, which looks like a search box, and starts typing, as the app fetches realtime results, similar to Spotlight. You can launch apps and files, add text to a document or do math calculations within the search window. For example, to calculate 2+2, you type “=2+2” in the box.

Mac geeks bill this as the better way to use your computer. But for most people, it’s not.

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How to Setup a Downloads Folder on Any Mac

When Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs at the June Worldwide Developers Conference showed off the key features of the new Mac operating system, OS X Leopard, due on shelves later this year, one addition he focused on was a new folder for downloaded files that sits in the dock, providing easy access to those files.

“One of the biggest reasons our desktops are cluttered is because we download stuff over the Internet through our browsers and through e-mail, and it ends up on our desktop,” said Jobs over a roar of applause from audience members. “We’re redirecting those things to a simple ‘downloads’ folder.”

The idea is even simpler than Jobs seems to suggest. In fact, with less than five minutes of tweaking, it can be replicated right now on any Mac on the market — minus the flashy fan effect.

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Multiple Web Browser Sessions

I’m forced to keep multiple browsers on my system for one reason. It’s not because of rendering — I use Safari 3, and I haven’t yet run into a problem loading a site, even banking web sites. I keep three separate browsers on my system because of cookies.

I have the Safari 3 beta, which I use 90 percent of the time for all of my personal, school and most of my work needs. But I have separate logins for some web sites, like one personal account and one Bigthawt account for Google.

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System-wide “Always On Top”

Sometimes when I’m working on my MacBook, I’d like certain windows to stay on top of all others. Apple has given the ability to a select few apps — there’s an option in the iChat menu to keep the contact list always on top and a preference checkbox for the iTunes mini player.

But sometimes I’d like to have a small TV show window playing through iTunes on top of my other windows. Or for when I have some reference notes in a TextEdit window, it needs to be more readily available.

This could be added as a fourth button on the title bar or as a menu item, as it is in iChat.