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

 

 

Pick an apple! 
 
Open Files with Finder's App Switcher

Say you're in the Finder looking at a file and you want to open it with an application that's already running but which doesn't own that particular document. How? Switch to that app and choose File > Open? Too many steps. Choose Open With from the file's contextual menu? Takes too long, and the app might not be listed. Drag the file to the Dock and drop it onto the app's icon? The icon might be hard to find; worse, you might miss.

In Leopard there's a new solution: use the Command-Tab switcher. Yes, the Command-Tab switcher accepts drag-and-drop! The gesture required is a bit tricky. Start dragging the file in the Finder: move the file, but don't let up on the mouse button. With your other hand, press Command-Tab to summon the switcher, and don't let up on the Command key. Drag the file onto the application's icon in the switcher and let go of the mouse. (Now you can let go of the Command key too.) Extra tip: If you switch to the app beforehand, its icon in the Command-Tab switcher will be easy to find; it will be first (or second).

Visit Take Control of Customizing Leopard

 
 

Modem Speed

Send Article to a Friend

Let's face it, you buy these modems for their speed. You want screamingly fast data transfers that leaves wisps of smoke coming out of your serial ports and burnt rubber on your phone lines. The good news is that you'll get that speed, and you can now download QuickTime movies without fear of tying up your phone line for a fortnight. The bad news is that you won't get that speed everywhere, and you'll start nagging other people to upgrade to faster modems.

The great fallacy of modems is that you need two to tango, and if the partners, say me and Ginger Rodgers, don't dance at the same speed, then the you'll see a pretty lame tango because Ginger can't dance with me the way she could with Fred Astaire.

Telecommunications takes this to the extreme, so your snazzy new v.everything modem will step down to the highest common speed it and a remote modem share. So you must think about the modems you connect with, and find out if they support the same protocols as the modem you want to buy. I say "protocols" specifically, because modem companies bat around the term "speed" in misleading ways, so you may see a "9,600 baud" modem that is really a 2,400 bps (bits per second) modem that also includes v.42bis compression protocols, thus increasing the theoretical throughput to 9,600 bps. (Although baud does not equal bps the two terms are often used interchangeably in the industry.) So make sure your modems share protocols, and the best one to share is v.32bis, which equals 14,400 bps. Next in line is v.32, which equals 9,600 bps. You can usually count on those sort of modems also supporting the compression protocols of v.42bis and MNP 5, and if something supports MNP 5, it will usually, if not always, support MNP 1 through 4 too, but you should almost never worry about those. Just take that v.32 or v.32bis number and compare it with all the modems you connect to on a regular basis. If it matches, good. If not, 2,400 is a nice even number that you'll get used to seeing after CONNECT.

One caveat to this. The commonly-used US Robotics line of modems uses a proprietary standard called HST, which is not v.anything. Thus, two HST modems achieve high speeds talking to each other, but a different v.32 modem must step down to the highest common speed of 2,400 bps. US Robotics also has a Dual Standard modem, which supports v.32bis as well as HST, and that one works fine with v.32bis modems from other companies.

 

Fujitsu ScanSnap Scanners — Get on the path to paperless bliss!
Convert double-sided documents to PDF with the one-button ScanSnap.
Scan documents, business cards, and receipts, and eliminate
paper piles from your desk. Visit us at: <http://www.ez.com/sstb>