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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

 
 

CD-WORMs

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One frustration with the new forms of optical storage is that they are mutually incompatible. At least up to now, if rumors on Usenet prove to be true. One rumor says that a European company is working on an erasable optical drive which can also read the CD-ROM disks that are becoming a popular method of distributing large amounts of information. This would be a boon to those of us who would like to read the occasional CD-ROM but don't use them enough to justify a stand-along CD-ROM player. Of course you would still have to need the massive storage abilities of an erasable optical to justify the undoubtedly higher price of a hybrid unit, but that's nitpicking.

A more exciting rumor claims that Yamaha is working on a WORM drive that can write to standard CD-ROM platters, which can then be read in normal CD-ROM players. The advantages of this method of creating CD-ROMs are that the CD-ROM format is standardized, unlike the WORM formats, and CD-ROM platters are far less prone to damage or data loss than tape or magnetic media, making the system ideal for large backup sets.

The ability to create a standard CD-ROM incrementally in a WORM drive is extremely interesting, because it's a relatively complex and expensive procedure to master a CD-ROM, although the price per disk is low after the initial mastering costs. The standard method is to create a tape of the information and then transfer that tape to CD-ROM, a process which is typically clumsy. This ease of production might also increase the use of the sound and digitized graphics, both of which are usually space-hungry. So pay attention for these products and let us know if you hear anything more!

Information from:
Philip Machanick -- philip@pescadero.Stanford.EDU
Eric W. Mitchel -- ewm@mdavcr.UUCP
The Road To CD-ROM, Nimbus Information Systems -- 800/782-0778

 

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