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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


No More Peanuts

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The computer industry is by its nature wasteful of natural resources. A computer may last for a number of years, but have you ever heard of recycling a dead computer? Some companies are trying to reduce waste, most notably Hewlett-Packard, which isn't too surprising considering that David Packard's daughter, Julie, is a prominent environmentalist. HP announced a toner cartridge recycling program a few months ago that recycles cartridges from people who would otherwise throw their cartridges away. PC WEEK has run articles on what Apple does to recycle paper and other goods used in general office life, and cited amazing figures - Apple recycled over 365 tons of paper, 600 pounds of aluminum, and 4.6 tons of glass from last October to this April.

More recently, though, MacConnection has started to do its part and in a way many of us will see. The company has stopped using styrofoam peanuts as packaging material, moving instead to better sized boxes and newsprint, which can be recycled. (Ever wonder what the half-life of a styrofoam peanut is? I figure the cockroaches will be living in them after the human race has gone by the wayside.)

The only use we found for peanuts was to stuff them into a large beanbag we got from an old housemate. With use, the peanuts gradually crunch down and make room for new ones as new packages arrive. It works well, although the Poof was a bit full after we ordered a keyboard from MacWarehouse that came in box the size of a 19" television, chock full of pink peanuts. In any event, hats off to MacConnection for taking a stand on the issue. They even included the book "50 Simple Things You Can Do To Save The Earth" in the bag of software we bought at Macworld. Admittedly, it was a big bag and we bought small software so there was lots of room, but we were surprised and pleased to find the book.

Another way to preserve natural resources is to avoid using them. That was one of the motivations behind the distribution methods we use for TidBITS. Short of a small amount of electricity that would probably be used anyway and the occasional disk, the only resource TidBITS uses is time, and we don't think of the time as wasted. The other advantage is that costs are low, something which Delta Tao Software found with its Polly MacBeep. Like shareware programs, you only get a disk. No fancy packaging, no shrink-wrap, no printed manual. Delta Tao was able to sell Polly MacBeep for $10 (even numbered prices are pleasantly refreshing), which is less than many shareware fees, although Delta Tao does get its money up front and thus probably makes more.

Information from:
Adam C. Engst -- TidBITS Editor

Related articles:
PC WEEK -- 16-Jul-90, Vol. 7 #28, pg. 117
PC WEEK -- 30-Jul-90, Vol. 7 #30, pg. 117


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