The first question is, what do you want from your hi-fi? Do you want to play LPs, CDs, or an occasional movie? Next, where will you put the speakers, and how large or small do they need to be? I'm writing this blog post for folks trying to put together the best-sounding hi-fi they can on a fixed budget. That's why I won't be covering wireless systems, because dollar for dollar, the better wired speakers always sound better than wireless models.
Smartphones and tablets are often used for quick access to address book content and calculators, but there are times when you might find yourself looking up a phone number or running a quick calculation on your Mac and need to take the results with you to another location in the room. Instead of writing it down on a notepad, if you will be in view of your Mac from a different location then you can use some quick features in the Contacts and Calculator applications to be able to see the results from a distance.
Both the Calculator and Contacts … Read more
One of the major differences in how applications are handled between Windows and OS X are how the system presents them to you in the user interface. With Windows, each program will generally load in a single window that contains the program's menus and other details, and then be managed in that window. If you open the program again then often the system will launch a second instance of this program that runs along side the first, so each can be quit and managed independently.
On the other hand, in OS X applications are not isolated to a similar … Read more
Lately Java has been getting a bit of bad press, thanks to several consecutive security holes that have been exploited by malware developers. One notable occurrence was the Flashback malware threat that affected a number of OS X users, which (though due in part to Apple's negligence about Java upkeep) was rooted in the Java runtime. More recently, Java 7 has seen a new zero-day vulnerability that has been circulating in exploit kits.
In response to these threats, many in the tech community have recommended that people uninstall Java altogether. However, this can be impractical for some, as many … Read more
Separate user accounts in OS X allow the system to sequester data, settings, and other details for individual users. To identify user account, there are of course the long and short usernames for it, but in addition OS X includes an account picture that while not functional is aesthetically useful at the login window, in Mail and chat messages, among other aspects of the system.
The generic account picture in OS X is a gray silhouette on a darker gray background, that can be seen by enabling the Guest user account in the system, but other accounts are randomly assigned … Read more
One of the features that OS X supports is the creation of URL links in the Finder, which much like aliases for files and folders provide a means of loading a particular Web page or other Web resource. Browser bookmarks and favorites are perhaps a more thorough and convenient way to manage your frequently accessed URLs, but the ability to access links via the Finder is still an option that might be useful to some.
To create a URL link, simply select the URL (or the favicon next to the URL) in the address field for your Web browser and … Read more
When browsing the Web you may find text or images to be too small for you, and you may wish to increase their size or otherwise adjust the browser so you can properly see the content.
Though each browser has its own options for making text and images more legible, there are a few approaches in Safari that are a bit uncommon and not only help you zoom in and adjust what you are seeing, but also allow you to manage tabs and other content you are viewing.
Systemwide zoom The first option for zooming in Safari is to use … Read more
Gatekeeper is a new security measure introduced in OS X Mountain Lion that allows the system to prevent the execution of code that does not meet certain criteria, such as possessing a valid digital signature from Apple's developer community. When setting up GateKeeper in the Security system preferences, you can set it so that only approved applications from the Mac App Store are allowed to run, additionally allow programs from approved developers to run, or you can set no restrictions and allow everything to run.
When the restrictions are set, you can still run unapproved programs by right-clicking them … Read more
Apple's built-in Help services in OS X are convenient ways to get basic information on how to use the operating system's various programs and services. To access these services you simply need to go to the Help menu, where you can search for Help topics in the menu or access the Help Center.
The menu's search function will provide a list of Help topics and available menu commands for the foremost application, but if you open a topic or choose the Help Center then a floating window will appear displaying said Help Center. If you keep the … Read more
If you have a MacBook system that you regularly use at a desk such as in an office work space, then you may have a number of peripheral storage devices set up to manage backups and work-specific data, whether attached directly to the system or through a Thunderbolt, FireWire, or USB docking device. These can be convenient when you need them, but quite the opposite when you're packing up to depart.
The main reason for this is OS X's requirement that you manually unmount each drive that's attached to the system by either dragging it to the … Read more