Kids and computers go together like peanut butter and jelly. Or like crayons and white-painted walls… My point is that kids start using computers earlier and earlier, and many of them become very adept and quite precocious at an extremely young age.
There are significant dangers out there: the online world is a new place to be concerned about what your kids are up to, and we’ve all heard too many stories already of youngsters getting into trouble online. Happily, your Mac comes with a few bits of protection built in, and there are some good applications available to help you extend those controls.
I’m going to talk you through three different ways that you can go about putting in place better online safety precautions: via OS X’s built-in Parental Controls, with an external application, and by getting to the heart of how your computer interfaces with the internet, by taking control of your DNS settings.
Alfred is the latest application to add to an ever-expanding set of “quick launch” apps. So is there room for another? Definitely. Alfred has been designed with the casual user in mind and makes finding files and searching the net a whole lot faster and easier.
I’m just getting to the end of my sixteenth year of using email. In this time, I’ve used around twenty different email addresses and have usually operated several accounts at once. Email accumulates incredibly quickly and I, as I’m sure many of you to, have many thousands of email messages on my MacBook.
For years I did what most of us do: stored messages in various well-pruned folders. I then moved to rely on Gmail’s labels and its awesome search capabilities. Eventually I moved on from Gmail to FastMail, started using Mailtags, and took the step of tagging my messages, getting rid of folders, and dumping everything into a single archive. Sadly, Mailtags hasn’t quite made the jump to Snow Leopard yet (and I’ve had problems with the beta), so I’m waiting for a full and final update to be released. Until that happy day, I’ve been pleased to spend the last week experimenting with Rocketbox, and I can see this little app becoming a fixture in my email workflow.
If you are anything like me, you have scraps of paper lying around with dates, times, and names all over the place. Hopefully, you aren’t relying mainly on your head to keep yourself on-time and in the right location. Maybe you are stuck in the world of iCal misery, with syncing problems and duplicating events.
This is where BusyCal from BusyMac proves to be something of a lifesaver. If you are familiar with iCal, the transition to BusyCal shouldn’t be too difficult. Plus, you will enjoy some added bonuses such as powerful synchronization tools and live data built into the Month view.
Why bother? Given that your Mac comes with built-in universal search that makes it a snap to find documents, messages, images, or any other kind of file anywhere, why would you invest in an application like HoudahSpot?
That must be a question that the developer has asked himself time and again. And it has to be the first question any writer asks in starting on a review of the app. Stick with me as I walk you through what HoudahSpot does and how it does it, and I will give an answer to that fundamental question.
We all have reasons for importing our DVDs onto our Mac. Whether it is to preserve the movie if the original DVD gets scratched, or to have the ability to carry your movie collection in a digital format. For the duration of this tutorial I will be using my Ice Age DVD (a great movie by the way!)
This step by step guide will teach you how to use the power of HandBrake to rip your DVD’s so that they show up in iTunes, as well as on your iPod/iPhone device!
Many of us have more than one web browser on our Mac – I have copies of Safari, Firefox, Opera, Camino, Google Chrome and various others. Although I certainly don’t use them all regularly (Safari is my browser of choice), I do open them all occasionally to try out new features and test the appearance of a website.
If you regularly use different browsers, manually opening them and copy-and-pasting links into specific ones can become frustrating. You can only have one “default browser” on OS X, and there’s no easy way to quickly specify which particular one to use at any given time.
Today’s How-To will be introducing an application called Choosy, which helps to make running multiple browsers far more enjoyable.
As a New Year is upon us, it may be a good chance to take stock and give your Mac a spring clean. Although OS X doesn’t accumulate a great deal of clutter in day-to-day operation, there are still a number of actions you can take to free up disk space, speed up operation, and ensure that your data is safe in 2010.
Grab a duster, throw on an apron, and let’s get cleaning…
So you were one of the lucky ones who received (or bought yourself) your first Mac over the holiday period. Congratulations, and welcome to the Mac community! Perhaps, like more and more people, you’ve made the move from that other operating system – you know, the one that’s a little more popular, but also not quite as well-designed, and more prone to security issues.
The one where you’re considered a brave person to go online without the full metal jacket of antivirus, antispam, antimalware, and firewall in place. If so, then chances are that you’ve already started thinking about what you need to do in order to protect your new machine from viruses, trojans, and other kinds of nasties that you may have encountered previously.
Many will tell you not to bother – Macs don’t get viruses, right? It’s true to say that there are fewer such issues with Macs (after all, smaller market-share means less incentive to antisocial types), but it’d be foolish not to take even the most basic precautions in order to keep your data and your personal information safe.
When I made the switch, I immediately went in search of the kinds of protection I was used to having in place before I would bring my computer anywhere near a network connection of any kind. But friends talked me down, reassured me that I didn’t really need the same level of protection for my shiny new MacBook. But they did offer a few little tips, which I will pass on in this article, just to cover the basics…