Ask the Mac.AppStorm Editor #3

It’s time for another “Ask the Editor” post today. A big thank you to everyone who sent in their questions – it’s great to have the chance to help you out with your Mac-related queries and quibbles.

Some of the topics covered this week include gaming on the Mac, jumping to the beginning or end of a line, sharing photos with remote family, and setting up your Time Capsule. Read on to find out what my responses are (and how you can submit your own questions for the next article!)

I am a gamer/designer, so I really need a good graphics card. However, i have a MacBook. Can you buy an external graphics card for this machine?

– RJ Davidson

Unfortunately, this isn’t possible. The MacBook has an in-built graphics card, and there’s no way to expand this externally. A few products have been designed for this in the past, but never really materialised – particularly not for the Mac.

For your design work, a good idea might be to max out the RAM in your MacBook, and even consider getting an SSD to replace the standard hard drive. These would both give you a major performance boost.

Is there a way to sync iPhotos on my Mac to an iPad without using iTunes? I want to be able to share photos with my family who live in another city and have only the iPad.

– Siv

Absolutely. The beauty of the Web 2.0 world we live in means that there are plenty of ways to share photos across the airwaves – whether they’re in another city, or another part of the world!

An easy way to do this is using iPhoto itself. If you have a MobileMe subscription, there are plenty of fancy options available that allow your family to subscribe to a particular gallery.

If not, you could easily export images to a Flickr album, or export a video slideshow and upload it to a social sharing site such as YouTube. All of these would look and work great on their remote iPad!

I’ve been looking for a program to port my Windows Games to my Mac. What programs are out there that can do a better job than Wine?

– James Crawford

Although the Mac has long held the image of not really being a reputable gaming platform, the tide is slowly starting to change. There are a couple of options that I’d recommend.

First would be Crossover Games. This is a fairly lightweight system that lets you run Windows games on your Mac. It isn’t the most powerful system ever – and only certain games are likely to work – but it’s a solid option and recommended by many Mac users.

Another choice would be the recently released Steam for Mac. This is a more powerful platform that supports plenty of really impressive games, and might be worth exploring further. If you’ve bought compatible games through Steam on Windows, you can also download the Mac version free of charge in most cases!

How do i set up Time Capsule without using it as a wireless network? I just want to use it to backup my iMac?

– Wildwolf

This is a really straight-forward process. Time Capsule comes with a piece of software called “Airport Utility”, that helps you configure how the device works.

You’ll want to connect to the Time Capsule via Gigabit Ethernet for a relatively speedy backup – particularly if you’re backing up for the first time. Open up Airport Utility, and hit “Manual Setup” after it identifies your Time Capsule device.

Time Capsule Setup

Time Capsule Setup

From this panel, select “Wireless”, and change the “Wireless Mode” to “Off”. This will disable the Wi-Fi part of your Time Capsule, and turn it into a simple wired backup device. You can either plug it directly into your iMac, or into another router to have it available on your existing network.

If you’re thinking about turning off the wireless capability though, I’d recommend opting for a straight-forward external hard drive to use as a backup device. It would be far cheaper!

I use a MacBook Pro, and wondered how I can quickly jump to the start or end of a line? (similar to Home / End in Windows)

– Adam Goldschmidt

Despite the smaller size of the MacBook keyboard, it’s still a pretty powerful piece of kit! This is a simple shortcut, and if anything, is easier to do than reaching over for the clunky Home and End keys.

To jump to the end of a line, just hit Cmd + Right Arrow

To jump to the beginning of a line, hit Cmd + Left Arrow

Hopefully that’ll save you any more frustration! Another useful shortcut to remember takes you to the top or bottom of a particular document/webpage.

To jump to the top of a document, it’s Cmd + Up Arrow

Or to jump to the bottom of a document, it’s Cmd + Down Arrow

Didn’t See Your Question?

If you asked a question but didn’t have it answered today, don’t worry! I’ll do my best to get to it in a future week. I love a challenge, so feel free to ask some weird and wonderful questions…

If you’d like to submit your query, you can do so here:

Thanks for reading, and let me know if you agree or disagree with anything I mentioned today!