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

 

 

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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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ShadowWriter networks 'em all

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Gizmo Technologies has upgraded their ShadowWriter software, which allows people to share "personal" direct-connect printers among computers on a network. Whereas ShadowWriter 1.1 supported only four Apple printers, the new version 2.0 supports all Apple personal printers and literally hundreds of third-party printers of all shapes and sizes. The AppleTalk-compatible software works well on Apple's LocalTalk network, PhoneNet and similar networks, and on EtherTalk ethernet networks. It should also work on other forms of AppleTalk networks, such as TokenTalk token ring networks, but most token ring users don't share inexpensive printers.

Attending Cornell University's back-to-school computer fair this fall to recruit for our local Mac user group reminded me that sharing printers can be a great way for students on a budget (or anyone for whom money is tight) to save some money, or possibly to afford a better printer through pooling funds. The ShadowWriter package, which retails for $109, is a good way to share an inexpensive personal printers, rather than having to purchase a more-expensive printer with built-in networking.

Although ShadowWriter (which runs on the computer that is physically connected to the printer) does have an effect on the performance of the host computer, it's not dramatic. This is primarily because, as with most of these low-end printers, the computer spends most of its time waiting anyway.

ShadowWriter 2.0 supports the following printers, and Gizmo Technology invites interested users to contact them for a full list of other supported printers.

    * ImageWriter I, II, LQ       * HP DeskWriters, PaintWriters
    * StyleWriter                 * Label Printers
    * Personal LaserWriter LS     * Plotters
    * Personal LaserWriter SC     * IBM-PC compatible printers
    * LaserWriter IISC            * and more
Gizmo Technologies
P.O. Box 14177
Fremont, CA 94539
510/623-7899
510/623-7922 (fax)
GIZMOTECH@applelink.apple.com

 

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