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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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Apple Improves CD Drive

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Beginning this month, Apple is shipping Macs with an improved internal CD ROM drive, the AppleCD 300i Plus. The new unit offers a tray-loading feature similar to that found in home CD audio decks, eliminating the need for CD caddies. Over the next several weeks, all Quadra models with internal CD ROM drives will be modified to include the new drives. Future models will include the new drives as well.

Meanwhile, existing dealer and warehouse stock of the older units, containing the original caddy-loading AppleCD 300i, are likely to see price reductions aimed at clearing the way for the new models, so buyers who don't mind using the CD caddies are likely to find good deals. Model numbers for existing computers ending in "/A" include the old drive; the same part number with a "/B" instead indicates the new drive is installed. (This won't be true of new models.)

Tray-loading CD ROM drives have only recently become common in the personal computer industry, though such mechanisms have been the norm in the audio field since CD players became popular in the mid 1980s. The earlier tray mechanisms took up too much vertical space in drives designed for the tight spaces available in computer cases. Car CD players generally have a simple slide-in mechanism with neither a tray nor a caddy, and I hope to see these units in future CD ROM drives.

 

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