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Mac OS X Services in Snow Leopard

Mac OS X Services let one application supply its powers to another; for example, a Grab service helps TextEdit paste a screenshot into a document. Most users either don't know that Services exist, because they're in an obscure hierarchical menu (ApplicationName > Services), or they mostly don't use them because there are so many of them.

Snow Leopard makes it easier for the uninitiated to utilize this feature; only services appropriate to the current context appear. And in addition to the hierarchical menu, services are discoverable as custom contextual menu items - Control-click in a TextEdit document to access the Grab service, for instance.

In addition, the revamped Keyboard preference pane lets you manage services for the first time ever. You can enable and disable them, and even change their keyboard shortcuts.

Submitted by
Doug McLean

 

 

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Internet Users Win At BackJack

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Until now, no Internet backup services have worked with the Macintosh. With the release of BackJack from Synectics, though, Mac users finally have a way of backing up and restoring files over the Internet. BackJack provides a simple interface for selecting files to back up, then compresses and encrypts (with 128 bit encryption) your files before uploading them. BackJack logs all actions, plus it sends you email after every session. You can automate the software to take advantage of less expensive off-peak rates - pricing is based on the amount of data you back up, when you send it, and how much storage space you use (recovering data is always free). In our testing so far, BackJack was easy to set up and has worked well. You can test it for yourself since the company offers a free 15 day trial period with 2 MB of storage space. Along with the free software from the BackJack Web site, the service requires a 28.8 Kbps or faster Internet connection and supports one or more PowerPC-based Macs (a 68K version of the software is in development).

 

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