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



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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.

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John W Baxter



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Introducing “Take Control Live: Working with Your iPad”

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You know all those iPads that you and 100 million other people have bought? Lots of people want to use an iPad to go beyond browsing Web pages, watching videos, and reading books, to replace a laptop and get real work done. We’ve been helping people do just that for years, with several editions of Joe Kissell’s “Take Control of Working with Your iPad.” But we’ll be honest — the field is exploding, and a new ebook would be out-of-date the week it was released.

So we’re embarking on an experiment to bring you the same meticulously researched, real-world information that you’re accustomed to getting from Joe, but in a different way. Instead of publishing hundreds of pages of text accompanied by static screenshots, we’re going to give you Joe himself, live and in person. Or rather, he’ll be live and in your Web browser, doing show-and-tell with his trusty iPad over the next four months.

That is the premise behind “Take Control Live: Working with Your iPad.” In each of four live online video presentations — the first of which is coming soon, on December 6th! — Joe will convey the same details he would have put in a book, but he’ll supplement them with live demos, answers to your questions, and updates to previously covered topics. I’ll manage the video side, chatting with the audience and feeding questions to Joe, much as we’ve done in our free TidBITS Presents videos, which have been watched by thousands of TidBITS readers. You can read more about what we’ll be covering at the linked page, plus see Joe’s trailer video and purchase your season pass.

Those who buy the season pass can watch upcoming presentations live and ask questions, or tune in any time afterward. There’s no need to take notes, since we’ll update the season pass PDF after each show with concise notes and links to everything that Joe covers. So you’ll end up with not only four hours of video, but also the distilled essence of a Take Control ebook.

We’re approaching this experiment with some trepidation, since Joe, Tonya, and I have been learning new skills en route to what is essentially a public performance. We’re accustomed to putting our effort in up front and publishing a polished product, but with Take Control Live, we’re instead stepping out on a high wire.

So if you’re interested in learning how to get work done on an iPad, please come watch Joe and me juggle iPads on our metaphorical tightrope. We may not be Cirque du Soleil, but I can promise a good show exceeding anything we’d do at a conference costing hundreds of dollars, all in the comfort of your own home or office. For “Take Control Live: Working with Your iPad,” we’re charging $49.99, but through the end of December 6th, 2012, we’re offering the season pass for half price: only $24.99.

As always, if you’re unsatisfied at any time, we’ll happily refund your money, though I won’t promise “no questions asked” because I can never restrain myself from trying to learn more about what we could have done better.

Thank you for your support of Take Control, and we hope to see you in the audience for our first Take Control Live presentation on Thursday, December 6th!

As an aside, I want to assure everyone that we in no way plan to cease publishing the ebooks you’ve come to expect from us. Take Control Live is an exciting chance to try something new, but in the end, we’re word people, and we love nothing more than sculpting text.


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