Tag Archives: MacBook Pro

Power Tip #1: Forward Delete on a Mac

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As of now I will post from time to time short articles with interesting hints on various topics. These articles will be to short to call them tutorials and that’s why I introduced today the Power Tip series.

Today’s power tip is about the forward delete key combination on a Mac computer. As I switched from Windows to Mac missing the Del key I thought this could be a good hint for people in the same.

To delete backwards you use the Backspace key on Windows and Mac the same way.

To delete forward you have the Del key on Windows PCs. On a Mac you won’t find such a key. The solution is to use the fn key together with Backspace.

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By the way, I tested it with Sun VirtualBox where I run Windows for testing purposes and it worked fine as well. Just hit fn+ctrl+alt+Backspace to get the process list, to log out or to lock the screen.

Apple unveiled new Snow Leopard at WWDC today

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Today at the WWDC Apple presented the all new Mac OS X known as Snow Leopard. A lot of improvements have been done but most of them only under the hood. Yes! More power and more speed.

The release date is planned for September (before Windows 7) and an upgrade will cost only $29. Considering Apple’s upgrade policy in the past will this be a steal.


So here is what you should know about the new Mac OS X:

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1. Exposé reloaded

Exposé will be integrated in the Dock. Clicking and holding an application icon in the Dock will unshuffle all it’s windows. Stacks will be scrollable and finally navigation through folders inside a Stack will be possible (man, I was really waiting for that one).


2. Performance

Most of the code base has been rewritten to increase performance system-wide. PDFs are opened 1,5 times faster than before and JPEGs are loaded even twice as fast. Opening Mail will take only 50% of time. I can almost hear it roaring.


3. Full 64-bit and Multi-Core

The gained performance could be a direct result of the full 64-bit integration. All native Mac applications have been rewritten for 64-bit support.


4. Safari 4

The fast browser will get even faster. The Javascript engine has been improved by 50%. And  Safari 4 passes the Acid3 browser test (as the current beta does).


5. TimeMachine

Same goes for TimeMachine. There will be a performance jump up to 50%.


6. Smaller footprint

Snow Leopard will be more lean than the current version. The installation will save 6 GB of the hard disk. Nowadays disk space is really cheap (I can remember my first PC with a 170 MB hard disk) but it’s great for MacBooks where you cannot just add and add more hard drives.


7. More reliable disk eject

One of the situation I really hate about my Mac is when some application just stalls and you cannot eject the DVD or even worse if you cannot eject an USB drive. Snow Leopard will be able to show you the problematic application so you can shut it down completely.


Can’t wait to see my MacBook Pro with the new Snow Leopard in action.


Sharing iPhoto Library among several users on a Mac

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When I started iPhoto for the first time and imported the latest shots from my camera I was amazed how simple it was to split automatically photos into events, place them on a map and improve the quality by few simple clicks. And the best part of course: Face detection.

Immediately I knew, that’s the right software for my photos. Back then when I was using a PC, I just copied the files from my cam into folders with the event name. Edited versions I placed somewhere else. Search for specific photos became soon a nightmare. And I’m not talking about a few hundret images. By now I collected over 10.000 photos. With iPhoto it started to make fun again to organize, enhance and geo tag my photos.

As I’m not the only user of my MacBook it became soon necessary that my wife could access the iPhoto Library from her account as well. Normally the iPhoto Library is placed in your user folder:

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/Users/yourname/Pictures/iPhoto Library/

Other users won’t have access to this folder unless you change the permissions (I didn’t try it).

So here is what we are going to do: We move the library to a shared space and tell iPhoto to use the new library instead of the the old one:

  1. Quit iPhoto
  2. Make a backup !! (use TimeMachine or just copy the library to an external disk)
  3. Create a new folder “Shared” in the users folder ( /Users )
  4. Move the the Pictures folder from your account to /Users/Shared (your should have a folder structure like /Users/Shared/Pictures/iPhoto Library)
  5. Open the folder info window for the folder Shared (select it and press cmd+alt+i)
  6. In the Sharing & Permissions section add all users that need to access the library and give them “Read & Write” privileges
  7. Now click on the gear icon (gear-icon) below and select “Apply to enclosed items” (this will basically apply the new privileges for all files and folders under the Shared folder)

Now that we have moved the library to Switzerland and set all permissions correctly we are ready to feed iPhoto with the new information. Follow these steps for every user which will use the library:

  1. Hold down the “alt” key (on older Macs it’s the Option key) and open iPhoto. Do not release the key before iPhoto isn’t asking you about choosing a library
  2. Click Choose Library
  3. Locate the folder where you moved the library before
  4. Optional: Start having fun ;-)

All users should now be able to see the same content (photos, events, tags, geo information, albums, …) in iPhoto. Changes by any user will be visible for the others as well. Just make sure not to run iPhoto in the same time from different accounts.

Swipe to navigate in Firefox on a MacBook

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Being used to the 3-finger-swipe functionality to navigate within Safari and other Apple applications I wanted Firefox to behave the same way. Safari is really a great browser but not used by many users. To test my websites in terms of design and functionality I use Firefox and IE as well.

Unfortunately the Trackpad gestures are not working with these browsers. After some research in Google I finally came across a great piece of software:

MultiClutch

MultiClutch brings you the MultiTouch gestures to any application and lets you control the action behind every gesture. It embeds within the System Preferences Panel and is really simple to use.

Here is an example configuration for Firefox to use Swipe for back and forward history navigation:

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My First MacBook Pro

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A few weeks ago I bought my very first Apple MacBook Pro. I wonder why I didn’t switch already years ago. I’m using PCs since almost 15 years so far, so it was a hard decision for me to switch to a completely different system. After all it wasn’t that bad. I have to admit that I always thought on a Mac I couldn’t use a lot of my favorite software I was used to. I was amazed finding out that most of the software was available on Mac too. And if it wasn’t there was always another program that was doing exactly the same. In most cases even better.

Back then when I was using Windows laptops I couldn’t get used to the trackpads. I always connected a mouse. One of my first concerns about the new MacBook was that I would need to use a mouse too. But the difference between normal laptops and the MacBook is huge. I am falling for the nice Multi-Touch Trackpad. Everything is so simple and you don’t need a mouse at all.

Another great things about Mac OS X are the stability, speed, fun factor, …