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

 

 

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Avoid Long Hierarchical Menus

If you right-click (or Control-click) on some item, such as a file in the Finder, and one of the sub-menus has many options (Open With is a frequent culprit), it may take several seconds to open, even on a fast machine, which is annoying if you did not actually want that sub-menu.

The trick is to not pull the cursor through the menu, but in a curve around it, so the cursor does not touch any menu items until lower on the list where you wanted to go.

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Eolake Stobblehouse

 
 

Macintosh Color Display

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This new 14" color monitor is only an incremental improvement over the previous one (i.e., it performs exactly the same task), but Apple paid a lot more attention to detail, making for a nicer monitor at a lower price. You get the same 13" of usable area on the Trinitron CRT (cathode ray tube), and the size is the same at 640 x 480 (resolution is 70 dpi instead of 69 dpi), but the new CRT offers higher brightness, high contrast, and uniform color. The monitor is 50% brighter than the previous model and supposedly uses 32% less power, a move I wholeheartedly endorse. Now if only the new desktop units could emulate the PowerBooks' sleep mode.

Front-mounted controls and a tilt & swivel base make the monitor easier to use, and it complies with the strict Swedish guidelines for very-low frequency (VLF) and extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic and electric emissions. Whether or not those emissions are specifically harmful (no one has conclusively proven that either way, as far as I've heard), I can't imagine that they're good for you. The monitor weighs a bit less, so it will be easier to lift, a major bonus to techie types who frequently have to move them. Finally, and I'm not sure how important this is, the monitor features automatic degaussing at startup. Probably akin to a stiff cup of espresso to start the day.

 

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