Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.

 

 

Pick an apple! 
 
Avoid Simple Typos

If, like me, you find yourself typing 2911 in place of 2011 entirely too often, you can have Mac OS X (either Lion or Snow Leopard) fix such typos for you automatically. Just open the Language & Text pane of System Preferences, click the Text button at the top, and then add a text substitution by clicking the + button underneath the list. It won't work everywhere (for that you'll want a utility like Smile's TextExpander), but it should work in applications like Pages and TextEdit, and in Save dialog boxes.

Submitted by
John W Baxter

 
 

TweetMyMac Offers Remote Control by Twitter

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TweetMyMac is possibly one of the most bizarre, but then instantly obvious, ideas that I've seen in a while. The software uses Twitter as a messaging mechanism that enables you to control your Mac remotely.

The folks at Twitter have long made available access to the system via an API (application programming interface) used by developers outside the company to create Web, mobile, and desktop applications. TweetMyMac is software that runs under Mac OS X and receives messages from a Twitter account you set up specifically as a control channel.

The concept is simple. Direct messages in Twitter are received only by the party to whom the messages are addressed. Thus, if you set up an account for a Mac you want to control, you have a direct conduit to it. Your Mac's account must then be set to follow one or more Twitter accounts from which you want to send commands; only accounts being followed may send the Mac direct messages to be executed as remote commands.

The set of commands is small but interesting. You can remotely restart, logout, sleep, or shut down a Mac; launch and quit applications; retrieve its IP address (perhaps useful in case of theft if TweetMyMac remains active); pull a picture from the built-in camera or grab a screenshot (hmm, also useful for a stolen Mac) which is sent back to you via Twitter; and lock the screen (errr...same comment); among other commands. Perhaps most useful is the capability (disabled by default, due to its power) to execute Unix shell commands.

The software, by TheMacBox, is free, although donations are encouraged.

 

New for iOS 8: TextExpander 3 with custom keyboard.
Set up short abbreviations which expand to larger bits of text,
such as "Tx" for "TextExpander". With the new custom keyboard,
you can expand abbreviations in any app, including Safari and
Mail. <http://smle.us/tetouch3-tb>
 

Comments about TweetMyMac Offers Remote Control by Twitter
(Comments are closed.)

Oh my, this could be insanely cool.
Yep, I was right, it is INSANELY cool. I can launch and quit apps, I can control the volume, take pictures with the iSight, empty the trash, queue up a torrent, and even execute a shell command.

And as a bonus, the picture used for your profile is a snapshot of the desktop.