Tips and Tricks

From iPhoto to Aperture

From Macworld
As your photography skills and gear advance, you may start running into iPhoto’s limitations. Perhaps you need more image-adjustment tools or want a better way to manage and back up pictures. If iPhoto is feeling cramped, consider switching to Apple’s $299 Aperture 1.5.2 (). Many of its features are similar to iPhoto’s, but it gives you greater control over image quality, photo management, and more. Ready to switch? Here are some strategies.

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52 Ways to Speed Up OS X

From I'm a Fish
After Apple recently announced a delay to OS X 10.5 Leopard I had to delay my iMac upgrade until the Autumn. This led me to thinking about how to speed up Tiger to get the most out of my ageing G5.

Click here to read more "52 Ways to Speed Up OS X"

Breaking Down 52 Ways to Speed Up Your Mac
It looks like I may have to make debunking Mac speed tips a regular feature. I already criticized a list of 11 things, finding a large portion that were really not helping. With a list of 52, I’m going to be doing a lot of typing. Follow me down the extended section for the smackdown.

Use Your iPod as a Startup Drive

From PlayList
In this excerpt from my ebook Take Control of Your iPod: Beyond the Music, I provide detailed instructions for setting up an iPod as a portable disk drive with your Mac.

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How to Auto-Tune YML using iCal


MacOSG has developed an iCal calendar that will automatically launch YML's Internet radio stream and live video 15 minutes before each show. You'll never inadvertently miss another show!

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Tip of the Day: Make Your Own Mosaic

From Macworld

Looking for something to do tonight? Download MacOSaiX - a mosaic maker for Mac OS X and waste, er, spend the evening making your photos into works of art.

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Mac OS X Keyboard Shortcuts

From Apple
Learn about common Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts.

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Transfer from iPod with Senuti

From Mac Creative
If you have ever had the terrible experience of losing your iTunes music library due to a crash or stupidity then Senuti could just come to the rescue. Senuti is a freeware application that allows reverse transfer of both music and video from your ipod back to your Mac.

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50 Fun Things to do with Your iPod

Here are a few dozen things you can do with your iPod besides listen to music.

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From Macworld
If you’re a podcaster looking to move on from the comfort of GarageBand or Audacity without shelling out the cash for a pro-level solution like Apple’s Soundtrack or Digidesign’s Pro Tools, Pleasant Software’s Übercaster 1.0.1 (; $80) might hit the sweet spot between price and capability.

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Spam Fighters

From Macworld
Seven utilities that can help to rid your inbox of junk.

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How to Rip DVDs with Handbrake

From MacInstruct

if you’re a Mac user, you have access to the best program available for getting DVDs to your hard drive, iPod, or Apple TV: Handbrake.

You can download Handbrake from The program works with Mac OS 10.3.9 and later. Once you’ve downloaded and installed the program, you’re ready to start ripping!

Click here to read more "How to Rip DVDs with Handbrake"

Photoshop Sharpening Tips for Designers

From Macworld
Virtually every image you bring into Adobe Photoshop—whether it be a stock image or from a scanner or digital camera—will need at least a little bit of sharpening.

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New Guide: Getting Started in Lightroom

From John Nack
"Getting Started in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom" is available as a free PDF download.

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Clean-up Script for CS3 Mac Betas Available

From John Nack
Adobe has posted a clean-up script for Mac that will remove vestiges of the Photoshop CS3 public beta as well as other pre-release apps. It's important to run this script (and not just throw the app folder into the trash!), and/or to use the application uninstaller, before installing the shipping version of CS3 apps.

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Undo 'Close Tab' Action in Safari

I just noticed you can undo closing a tab. If you hit Command-W too vigorously, just hit Command-Z (or Undo in the Edit menu), and your tab gets reloaded.

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Convert Video for Apple TV

From Macworld

We’ve previously written about how to rip DVDs and convert other files into formats that will play on an iPod and even how to make those videos look best when played through the iPod on a TV. But you can also convert these videos into Apple TV-compatible files that you can enjoy from the comfort of your couch in the best possible quality.

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Upgrading Apple TV's Hard Drive

From Macworld

Likely the most common complaint I’ve heard about the Apple TV in its thus-far-short life is that the included hard drive is too small. With movies from the iTunes Store weighing in at around 1.5GB, and hour-long TV shows around 500MB, the Apple TV’s 40GB hard drive—which gives you only 33GB or so of actual storage space—fills up quickly, especially if you also want to store music and photos on it.

As it turns out, and as I mentioned earlier this week in my Hacking Apple TV article, upgrading the Apple TV’s hard drive isn’t all that difficult.

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Top 5 Media Tools for Apple TV Owners

From Informit

As wide as the range of video sources and formats is outside of what the Apple TV supports, there is also a range of tools for capturing, converting, and adding that video to the iTunes library in a format that can be viewed on the Apple TV.

The following sections describe the top five video tools that every Apple TV owner should know about.

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Hacking Apple TV

From Macworld

When Apple first previewed what was then called iTV back in September 2006 and later unveiled Apple TV at January’s Macworld Expo, there were oohs and aahs—and also complaints. The most commonly-heard gripe: the device’s “limited” functionality.

But then something happened: People started receiving their Apple TVs, and some of those people—including myself—started taking them apart. In fact, within days of the first Apple TV being delivered, new sites sprung up focused on hacking the set-top box. It turns out the Apple TV isn’t so “limited” after all—at least not when it comes to the hardware inside.

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Entertaining Backup

From DigMo

Digital photographs have become the most valued files on any home computer yet few people actually take time to back up their images on a regular basis. This tutorial seeks to create not only a valuable back up but also a DVD that will entertain and allow easy cataloging of your photos. This tutorial uses iDVD’s ability to add additional content to DVD disks.

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Setting up an Automated Workflow to Convert Files for Apple TV on OS X

From Vallery.Net

With the arrival of my Apple TV yesterday I needed a solution to get my Xvix/WMV/Divx files converted and imported into iTunes so that I can watch them. I already have Quicktime Pro, which with the recent release added the ability to “Export to Apple TV”. Since I have a lot of files, and no desire to sit around and convert these one at a time, it seemed like a perfect job for automator. I figured someone out there at some point had to have done something similar so I did a bit of google searching and found the required automator actions. Using the actions I found combined with the sample workflow they have already created for you, it is trivial to set-up a workflow that will convert to the Apple TV format and then import the file into your iTunes library. With a slight modification you can set it up a plug-in and attach it to a folder action. Now I have a simple drop folder on my desktop that launches quicktime pro and converts the file to an Apple TV viewable format, imports the file into iTunes, and cleans up after itself.

Here is a simple step-by-step guide to walk you through what I did.

Disable Integrated iSight Cameras


I've been moved to action on this because of a recent NSA security document that states that it is not possible to disable the iSight cameras integrated into Apple computers without also disabling things like USB keyboards and mice. This is simply not true. When a program from OS X (Tiger at least) needs to access the integrated iSight camera, it has to call the QuickTimeUSBVDCDIgitizer.component. This file is located in the /System » Library » QuickTime folder.

Simply deleting this file will prevent any program from being able to access it.

Click here to read more "Disable Integrated iSight Cameras"

How-to: Upgrade the Drive in Your Apple TV

From Engadget

While thousands of people were enjoying their Apple TVs last night, we decided to take ours apart for some pictures and to upgrade the drive. Seriously, 40 GB is smaller than our iPod and we don't like to have to pick and choose what to sync. While there is little doubt that this will void our warranty, isn't it worth it?We decided to double the size of the HDD from 40 GB to 80 GB; we picked up a new 5400 RPM IDE laptop drive and went to town.

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Getting Good Grayscale Out of Photoshop

From Macworld

Ask a group of Photoshop users for the best method to convert a color image to grayscale and you’re likely to get a debate as long-winded as the QuarkXPress vs. Adobe InDesign argument. Heck, many of us can’t even agree on whether it’s grAyscale or grEyscale!

In 2005, I wrote about a conversion method used by fellow blogger, Jim Barthman. Looking back, that method seems almost obscene in its complexity compared to what I’m going to share with you today.

Click here to read more "Getting Good Grayscale Out of Photoshop"

HOWTO: Connect Your Mac Mini to a TV


Sure there's that new gadget that's supposed to debut any second--what is it again? Apple Radio? Banana TV? Something like that--but why fork out three hundred clams[1] when you could attach your Mac Mini directly to your TV and watch your iVideos without any further fuss or muss? Think about it. Full connectivity, full compatibility--Xvid, DivX, whatever format pleases your fancy. Here's a quick how-to.

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An Absolute Beginner's Guide to the Terminal

From MacInstruct

Sitting discreetly in Utilities folder (nestled nearly unnoticed amid your applications) is one of the most powerful tools ever created for the Mac. It is simple and elegant, yet can be intimidating (if not terrifying) and has the power to cure some of your computer’s most puzzling ills.

In OS X on the Mac, the command line lets you speak directly with Unix, the venerable operating system that lies at the core of every post-Classic Macintosh. Some of the more advanced tutorials and columns in Macinstruct will be showing you some tips and tricks for using the command line interface on OS X. Here, we’re just going to show you a few ways to get there and give you a chance to try a few safe (look-but-don’t-touch) commands.

Click here to read more "An Absolute Beginner's Guide to the Terminal"

Picking an HDTV for Your Apple TV

From Macworld

Apple TV hasn’t hit store shelves yet—it only began shipping to customers Tuesday—but the impending arrival of Apple’s set-top box could mean that it’s time for potential Apple TV owners to upgrade their old standard-definition television sets.

Click here to read more "Picking an HDTV for Your Apple TV"

Click here to read more "The Lowdown on HDTV"

Click here to read more "How to Buy a Flat-Screen TV"

Stupid Apple Remote Tricks

From MacInstruct

If you've purchased a Mac recently, you probably have an Apple Remote. This nifty little device allows you to enter Apple's Front Row interface and control your Mac from afar. It's common knowledge that you can use your Apple Remote to play music, watch movies, and flip through pictures. This all comes in very handy, especially when you use your Mac as a full-blown entertainment center.

What you might not know is that you can also use your remote to put your Mac to sleep, present a Keynote presentation, and lock your Mac. We'll show you how!

Click here to read more "Stupid Apple Remote Tricks"

Moving to an Intel Mac: Which Apps do You Upgrade?

From MacApper

Did you buy a new Mac in the past year? Are you planning to buy one soon? When you move from an old PowerPC-based Mac to a new Intel Mac, you’ll probably carry over or reload a lot of your programs. Older PowerPC applications generally run on Intel Macs, but in a “Rosetta” translation mode that’s slower than apps written for Intel. Most Mac programs have been rewritten into “Universal Binaries” that run natively on PowerPC and Intel Macs. How can you tell which apps are PowerPC-only and which are Universal? If you have Tiger, its built-in System Profiler can show you a full list.

Click here to read more "Moving to an Intel Mac: Which Apps do You Upgrade?"

Top 15 Terminal Commands for Hidden Mac OS X Settings

From Mac OS X Tips

There is a huge amount of hidden settings for Mac OS X and its applications that aren't accessible from preferences dialog boxes or the System Preferences. Applications such as Tinkertool and Mac Pilot allow you to access some of these, but the real flexibility is from the Terminal. From here it is possible to edit any preferences file for any application on your Mac.

You'll find the Terminal in the Utilities folder within the Applications folder. To carry out any of the following commands you will need to copy/paste or type in the line of text then hit enter. For the most part, applications will need restarting before changes take place. For most applications you can just quit and open them again, and for the Finder you can use the Force Quit dialog, just log out and log in again or type "killall Finder" into the terminal after the command.

Click here to read more "Top 15 Terminal Commands for Hidden Mac OS X Settings"