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

 

 

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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

 
 

Netware, But Not From Novell

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There are two ways to look at netware, that increasingly huge body of software that is primarily available electronically and is paid for informally. (I include shareware, freeware, beerware, and so on in the netware category.) From the point of view of software producers, netware increasingly competes with the more trivial end of software products. This includes, for example, text editors and image viewers as opposed to, say, PageMaker or AutoCAD. Also, more and more commercial products are refined versions of popular netware; examples include StuffIt Deluxe from Aladdin Systems and White Knight (formerly Red Ryder) from Freesoft.

But for users, netware is an often frustrating, occasionally delightful grab-bag that can be extremely elusive for those without access to mainstream networks. Since you are reading TidBITS, an electronically distributed publication, there is a good chance you have at least indirect access to a major network. But even so, netware remains a frustrating experience. With so much out there and so little time, it becomes fairly difficult to track down an application that will actually be useful or entertaining and not crash the third time you use it. The next article is the first in a series intended to steer you towards the best netware and away from the mediocre.

If you have a favorite netware package that you feel deserves some recognition email me about it. Please include information on how to get it via either the Internet or America Online. Some brief comments on why you think it is great would also be helpful.

 

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