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Windows users have had the luxury of using an application like GoodSync for years, giving them the ability to sync or backup important folders both over a local network or even remotely.

Siber Systems has finally developed a Mac version of GoodSync and, though it’s not as feature-rich as its Windows counterpart, it still does an admirable job of ensuring that your folders and files are safely copied and archived.

The bonus is that it can do this between various directories, be they two computers (Windows or Mac) or a computer with an external storage device, FTP, WebDav or another server. Plus, GoodSync doesn’t need to be installed on any of the computers you’re tapping into. Let’s take a look at how it works.

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SpiderOak is an online backup, syncing and sharing service similar to Dropbox or SugarSync. It is powerful, versatile and free to use for up to two gigabytes of storage.

Today we’ll look at how to setup SpiderOak on your Mac, how to use its main features and how I think it stacks up to some of the other services out there.

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Squeeze for Mac is a delightfully simple way to regain hard drive space on your computer. You don’t need to be a tech genius or even understand file compression to use it – everything is remarkably simple.

As long as you have the ability to click and drag, and like the idea of gaining a few gigabytes of storage, Squeeze may well for you. Let’s take a look at how it works.

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You don’t have to be a movie buff to appreciate a good foreign film, but unless you know the language, you will need to watch with subtitles. Adding them to your movies, TV shows and video files can be fairly easy, and you have a few options to do so.

The file format of the video usually doesn’t matter when it comes to adding subtitles, but naturally, playback is another story depending on how and where you want to watch it. If you’ve got a film that doesn’t have any subtitles at all, you can usually find them at websites like MovieSubtitles.org and AllSubs.org or by simply checking through a search engine. Subtitle file formats are typically found in .srt, .sub, .ssa, .ass and MicroDVD, and all of them should work with the options that I’ll outline here.

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What a great service YouTube is. It’s all too easy to lose sight of how revolutionary it was when it first launched. It broke all kinds of rules and expectations of how we watch video, and how we relate to its distribution. It opened up broadcasting, allowing anybody at all with a video recording device to easily and quickly make their videos available to anybody, anywhere.

YouTube also did something curious to how we consume news: just about any story that hits the headlines is likely to have an accompanying video on YouTube. Remember when Michael Jackson died? It didn’t take long for recordings of the ambulance leaving his home to start popping up on YouTube. For many of us, YouTube’s become a frontline news service – along with Twitter.

Unfortunately, YouTube is far from perfect. From the small-minded, snarky comments, right through to the frustrating use of Flash. Nowadays I rarely visit YouTube at all, and when I do, it’s just to get a URL for a video, or to jump from that page to a different service.

Our site is well-known for its long lists of tips and app recommendations. This article is different: I’m going to recommend just three ways to make YouTube better.

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Imagine your files and folders sitting in a Finder window. It’s simple, and there’s no clutter. The only information you have about them is the name underneath. Of course we both know that there’s more to learn about each file. Much more!

Picture that all the “metadata” for a file or folder is engraved on it – unique – just like our finger prints. You’d need a magnifying glass to see it all. Let me introduce you to your magnifying glass: the “Get Info” Pane.

In this article I’ll introduce you to it, take you through a tour, and give some helpful hints along the way.

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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.

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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.

This review will take a deeper look at Alfred, developed by “The Alfred Team”, and share a few competing launchers for you to consider.

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As more online web apps such as Flickr, Delicious, and Gmail adopt the filing system of tags over a folder structure, tagging is growing more and more popular as a way to keep hoards of digital files organized.

Tags, from Gravity Applications makes tagging files universally across your Mac a breeze. This review will look into how Tags can help you keep track of your files, and why you should be tagging.

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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.

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