Quicksilver, one of the oldest “launchers” for Mac OS X, has reached one of its biggest milestones — the 1.0 release — a few months ago. We’ve already reviewed v1.1, and now we’re rolling out a series of how-to articles to get the most of this powerful app.
Quicksilver’s flexibility may be daunting at first. You’ve got to get your hands dirty to really see what it’s capable of. But fear not, we’ve got you covered! Last week we taught you some basic concepts. For a few weeks, we’ll have a weekly in-depth coverage of some of the most commonly-used plugins. Read on to get the most of managing your contacts and sending emails.
This software is really powerful and is relatively easy to use, yet you might miss its full potential if you don’t spend enough time with it. Let me make a few things easier for you and guide you through the steps from a complete beginner to becoming a Quicksilver master in just a few articles. This week, we’ll cover the basics that help you understand how the app works and how you can perform basic tasks on files and folders.
I have long been a strong supporter of cloud storage, highlighting the many different ways to use Dropbox, for example. Combine that with iCloud automatically backing up most of our digital purchases and the documents we create in tons of popular apps now, and cloud syncing suddenly just works. We can just sit back and forget about all the complexity — that is, until we need to restore something.
That’s still usually not too much of a problem, since iCloud has all of our purchased music, apps, and movies ready for redownload. But it’ll come as a shock, however, to realize that iTunes does not fully meet this expectation at the moment. Audiobooks purchased through iTunes allow a one-time download at the point of purchase, but you can’t then download to other devices or even the same device once erased. You can re-synchronize them from your PC or Mac library back to your device, but it is the cloud functionality that is not behaving as expected here.
We thought it best to give you a general advisory about this, and to briefly show you how to prevent the loss of your important digital media purchases with a short backup tutorial.
We’ve all accidentally deleted an important file — or forgotten to save a file after typing up a whole page worth of changes. The latter problem is fixed with Autosave in most modern Mac apps, and the former is usually fixable if you have a Time Machine backup setup or if the deleted file was in Dropbox (where you can undelete files or roll back changes to them for up to 30 days for free, from their site).
But what if you manage to delete a file that wasn’t backed up? Or — even worse — what if you wipe your whole backup disk without meaning to? You’re going to need a disk recovery tool, one that can undelete files. I just had this happen to my personal backup disk, and after recovering from my initial panic, took Disk Drill for a spin to see how much it could get back. This time, I wasn’t just testing an app for a review: I honestly needed the app to work.
The good news: it worked, most of the way. Here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly of disk recovery, and how to get the most of your data back if you ever find yourself in a similar situation.
A few weeks ago, LaunchBar 5.5 update brought — among other interesting things — a new feature called Snippets, which actually is a complete overhaul of its previous “Text Clippings” feature. As the devs advertised Snippets as “a serious text expansion tool”, I was curious to see how this compares to one of the references in text substitution on the Mac: TextExpander.
So, for one week, I did a little experiment: I closed TextExpander and acted as if it was never installed on my Mac, and chose to use only LaunchBar instead. Read on to find out how all of this turned out.
Typographic artwork is very popular at the moment with all sorts images being created, from maps to movie posters. They look really cool but don’t you just wish that you could do it yourself using any picture you want?
Wordify brings creating these types of graphics to your Mac in a very simple to use app that will convert any image you want into a typographic piece of art. It gives you beautiful results, and actually looks great doing so.
If there’s one thing that consistently impresses me about my iPhones, iPads and Android devices, it’s how fast they are. My iPhone 5 in particular whizzes through web content, churning out video like butter on cellular or WiFi networks with ease. My 2008 iMac and 2012 15″ Retina MacBook Pro are both slower than I’d like when it comes to Internet use, sometimes slower than the iPhone at this point. And I’ve been looking for ways to speed them up.
Going Flash-less seemed to be the easiest answer. I’ve wanted to get Flash under control on my Macs for a while, to the point where I avoided installing it for months on the MacBook Pro. I find it just bogs up the whole system. That being said, Flash can be a necessary evil for many of us. So I’ve set out to find the best Flash alternatives for your Mac, and I’m happy to share some of the results with you now. (more…)
Writing my contribution to the Apps We Use Feature after several others makes it interesting see how many applications we have in common. Like several of the other writers I’m a recent convert to the Mac, having started using a MacBook less than two years ago.
I now use my MacBook as my main computer; however, I’ve not made the complete switch and still spend as much time within Windows during my normal day as I do my MacBook. In addition to writing here, I have a day job as an IT manager and also do consulting, mostly in networks and web development. I tend to use apps I can use in both environments, or at ones that are compatible with similar Windows programs. Here are a few apps that I turn to every day to work and organize my work.