When using your Macintosh the foremost window may periodically lose focus, which can be frustrating when you are typing or otherwise providing input to a window. This usually happens because another window is demanding your attention via an alert or dialogue box.… Read more
Made of particleboard and ABS plastic, the Lack rack comes in a variety of painted colors (and "birch effect"); it's 21.3 inches wide and deep, and 17.75 inches high. Ikea doesn't present the Lack as audio furniture; it's a side table, but audiophiles all over the world have used it to support their prized possessions. Build quality is surprisingly sturdy.
Granted, the Lack won't handle macho 100-pound high-end amplifiers, but it'll be just right for a CD player stacked on top of a cool running receiver or integrated amplifier. Or get … Read more
The iPhone Camera Roll can cause increased backup and restore times in iTunes if not properly managed. It's easy to mismanage the Camera Roll if you--like me--use it store media for showing later to friends or family. Apple did not intend the Roll to be used this way, however, and recommends that users use the Photo app, instead, for storing media you plan on showing off later.
Over the years Apple has used several display connections with their laptop computers. Older Mac models had full-size VGA and DVI ports, which easily connected to external monitors through standard display cables. In recent years, Apple has conserved space in laptops by using a variety of smaller connections that require adaptors in order to use external displays.… Read more
Mac OS X has an option to keep hard drives spinning for quick file access, or to save power and reduce noise by spinning them down when they're not in use. This can be convenient, but is rather limiting for users who would like to customize when their disks should spin down.… Read more
I have always been intrigued by tools that have provided similar functions as the Dock to other operating systems: in the classic Mac OS, there was the control strip, and I even appreciated the "quick launch" feature in Windows XP. I have enjoyed seeing new features and refinements added to the OS X Dock over the years; and in Snow Leopard, Apple has added a few new features that may be useful to some people, but which can easily be overlooked if you use the Dock in the same way as you did with Leopard.… Read more
If you've got burnt thighs from an old MacBook Pro or you notice that your computer is always overheating and crashing from using CPU-intensive apps (like playing PC games in a virtual Windows environment), you might want to check out smcFanControl. This free, GPL-licensed utility has a single purpose: letting you increase the minimum speed of built-in fans, so your Intel computer will run cooler.
smcFanControl lets you monitor the current temperature (in Celsius or Fahrenheit), assign different minimum speeds for each fan using sliders, and even apply different settings when your power source changes (for example, going back … Read more
With Snow Leopard, Apple changed the "International" preference pane organization, and also altered the input menu icon so that depending on the options in the menu, it removes the country flag. This is a subtle change, but I personally liked having my country's flag in the upper-right corner of my computer.… Read more
Apple's OSX Snow Leopard update offers several noteworthy enhancements, and plenty of behind-the-scenes tweaks--but has anything in the operating system changed in regard to energy efficiency?
We took a 17-inch MacBook Pro and ran it though our standard energy use tests, first under OSX 10.5.6 (a.k.a. Leopard) and then after we installed Snow Leopard, which brought us up to OSX 10.6. Our test system, already Energy Star-compliant, had a 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, and we had the discrete Nvidia GeForce 9600 graphics turned on.
The differences were minor, but we were … Read more
Periodically, readers will need to access files off old computers that they have kept stashed away for years (I still have my PowerBook 150, and will probably never get rid of it). If you are one of these people and have protected your old Mac with OS 9's password protection, there may be a chance you have forgotten your log-in password and cannot access your system. As with OS X, in order to get around the password protection in OS 9 you will need a boot CD, in this case preferably one that's loads the classic Mac OS.… Read more