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Springy Dock Tricks

If you drag a file and hover over Dock icons, various useful things happen which are similar to Finder springing. If it's a window, the window un-minimizes from the Dock. If it's a stack, the corresponding folder in the Finder opens. If it's the Finder, it brings the Finder to the foreground and opens a window if one doesn't exist already. But the coolest (and most hidden) springing trick is if you hover over an application and press the Space bar, the application comes to the foreground. This is great for things like grabbing a file from somewhere to drop into a Mail composition window that's otherwise hidden. Grab the file you want, hover over the Mail icon, press the Space bar, and Mail comes to the front for you to drop the file into the compose window. Be sure that Spring-Loaded Folders and Windows is enabled in the Finder Preferences window.

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ExtraBITS for 18 November 2013

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This week, Apple quietly released the iPad mini with Retina display, we find out how long hard drives last, and, in a pair of podcasts, Sharon Zardetto, author of “Take Control of iBooks,” joins host Chuck Joiner on MacVoices and Adam Engst talks about Mavericks with host Gene Steinberg on the Tech Night Owl Live.

Adam Engst Delves into Mavericks on the Tech Night Owl Live -- On the Tech Night Owl Live podcast, Adam Engst joins host Gene Steinberg to work through a number of the problems in OS X 10.9 Mavericks, including issues with large external hard drives and Apple Mail. He also discusses the tenth anniversary of Take Control Books.

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Sharon Zardetto Discusses iBooks on MacVoices -- “Take Control of iBooks” author Sharon Zardetto joined MacVoices host Chuck Joiner to discuss her new book, iBooks for the Mac, and where paper books fit in a digital world.

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Apple Quietly Releases iPad mini with Retina Display -- With little fanfare, Apple began selling the new iPad mini with Retina display on 12 November 2013. Currently, your best bet seems to be to order online and wait 1–10 days for shipping, but Apple is also offering in-store pickup for Wi-Fi models. (One interesting note: while the new iPad mini uses the same A7 processor as the iPhone 5s and iPad Air, it appears to be clocked at 1.27 GHz like the iPhone 5s, instead of the iPad Air’s 1.39 GHz.)

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How Long Do Hard Drives Last? -- Just how long will your hard drive last? Cloud backup service Backblaze, which relies upon consumer-grade hard drives, performed a study of 25,000 hard drives over four years. The good news is that 74 percent of the drives survived four years. The drives had a 5.1 percent annual failure rate in the first 1.5 years, which dropped to 1.4 percent in the next 1.5 years, then spiked to 11.8 percent after that. Backblaze expects that over half the drives will last six years. Regardless, all drives die eventually, so backups are still a must.

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