People love sound bars for a lot of good reasons: they eliminate most of the wiring and setup hassles associated with traditional 5.1-channel home theaters, they don't take up a lot of space, they are less expensive than subwoofer/satellite packages, and since most sound bars are self-powered, you don't need to buy an AV receiver. A skinny sound bar positioned under a sleek display is certainly a more appealing solution than a 5.1 or even stereo pair of speakers. There's just one problem: sound bars can't fill a room with sound nearly as well as separate speakers can.… Read more
AT&T today announced new international roaming plans that will go into effect tomorrow. The Europe and Rest of World options will join the Canada and Mexico plans that the carrier announced last June.
For each region, customers can choose one of three packages that delivers a set amount of minutes for a flat monthly rate. Of course, going over your allotment will result in hefty overage fees and exact coverage will vary by country. Also, keep in mind you'll need a quad-band handset that supports the 900 and 1800 GSM networks that are used outside the United … Read more
CoreStorage is Apple's volume manager that provides an interface between the OS and physical volumes on the drive. It was introduced in OS X Lion for its full-disk encryption options with FileVault 2, but in addition allows for volume spanning, where multiple drives in the system can be combined into one logical volume for the OS to use.
The CoreStorage volume-spanning feature not only increases a single volume's storage beyond the capacity of a single drive, it also prioritizes storage to the primary drive in its logical volume. This means that if you use an SSD as the … Read more
iPhone troubles? Let me guess: an update won't install properly. Or an app keeps crashing on you. Or you can't get your Bluetooth connection to work.
Problems like these often drive frazzled users to the Apple Genius Bar, which, of course, requires a reservation via the Apple Web site. Before you can make one, however, Apple now suggests this:
It's true: Apple wants you to try the iPhone equivalent of Ctrl-Alt-Delete before you make a special trip to the Apple Store and, well, watch while a Genius resets the phone for you.
Although this may come across … Read more
Emoticons have become some of the most commonly used symbols when communicating using computers and cell phones. Starting with combinations of text characters, smilies evolved into emoticons with the development of Unicode fonts that include complementary images for common smilies. For instance, applications like iMessage and iChat in OS X will make use of emoticons, automatically substituting an image of a smiling face from an emoticon font if you enter the ":)" text for a standard smile.
If there are other emoticons you often use, then you can use the system preferences to set up your own global text … Read more
Like most operating systems, OS X supports multiple languages, with full character sets and fonts for practically every language. In addition, there is full localization for a number of these languages, so you can have the system display menus and other system features in the language of your choice.
To do this, open the Language & Text system preferences, and in the Language tab drag the language you would prefer to the top of the list. After a restart, your system and applications will use that language, if they include localization support for it. Be aware of that qualifier because … Read more
Apple has unleashed a ton of new iOS devices this holiday season: no fewer than four new products, covering an entire range of sizes and uses. iPhone 5, fifth-gen iPod Touch, fourth-gen iPad with Retina Display, and, of course, the iPad Mini: these join other devices still sold by Apple including the fourth-gen iPod Touch, iPad 2, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S.
Confusing, right? For the purposes of this article (and your sanity), I'm limiting the buying-guide analysis to the non-phone iOS gadgets: the iPods and iPads. It used to be that there was a huge gap between the 3.5-inch Touch and the 9.7-inch iPad. Now there's a spectrum: 4 inches, 7.9 inches, and 9.7 inches.
So, let's look at each one, starting with the newest.… Read more
Apple's Quick Look feature in OS X is a convenient way to preview the contents of a document before opening it fully in an application. To invoke Quick Look, simply select a file in the Finder and press the spacebar, and you will see a window appear that shows a view of the contents of the file, or for unsupported file types will show the file's icon along with some information about it.
Quick Look uses small plug-ins that provide it with a lightweight interpretation of a specific file format, so it can display some detail about the … Read more
When you run a script or command in the OS X terminal, it can be useful to have some indication for when it is completed, especially if the script is a lengthy process you might not wish to monitor at all times. Unfortunately when a script or command finishes running, the Terminal will drop you to the command line again, without any notice to you. However, if needed, you can set up the system to run commands so it does offer some notification.
System alerts The first option is to have the terminal invoke the system alert after the command … Read more
In order to mount a shared network folder in OS X, in general you first open a Finder window, where you will see a list of systems that are broadcasting network services, and upon clicking them you can provide authentication information to connect and mount their available shares.
When you mount a shared folder in this manner, the system uses a global mount point (within the hidden /Volumes directory at the root of the boot drive) to access the shared folder. This mount point can be seen by selecting Go to Folder from the Finder's Go menu and then … Read more