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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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New TidBITS Sponsor Releases Versatile MPEG Camera

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Hitachi joins TidBITS this week as a sponsor to publicize the release of the MPEG Cam, a new camera for Macintosh users, which debuts at Macworld Expo (Booth 1530). The MPEG Cam - aimed primarily at digital professionals - comes with a 260 MB PC Card that stores 20 minutes of digital video (at 30 frames-per-second) in full-motion MPEG format, 3,000 still-image JPEG images, 1,000 still-image JPEGs with 10 seconds of audio, or 4 hours of digital audio. Video resolution is 352 by 240 pixels; JPEGs are 704 by 480.

<http://www.mpegcam.net/>

The camera has a small "media navigation" screen that enables file management tasks like moving files into different folders, playing them back, or deleting them. The camera comes with a battery charger plus two batteries (each should last for 40 minutes and has a 100-minute recharge time). Files can be transferred to any PowerPC-based Macintosh (with System 7.5 or later and 10 MB of free RAM) by way of the SCSI port or - for some PowerBook users - via a Type III PC Card. Fully loaded with a battery and PC card, the camera weighs 19 ounces.

Rob Burr, webmaster for the Hitachi MPEG Camera Network, described the camera as "the multimedia webmaster's secret weapon. I used the MPEG Cam recently to capture 1,024 images and a number of VRML movies for a Web site about the island of Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The cost of traditional film, developing, and Photo CD scans would have exceeded $4,000 on this job."

<http://www.provo.net/>

Although the $2,400 suggested retail price puts the MPEG Cam out of reach of general consumers, those who work with photographs or movies for a living, and especially those who work for news-related Web sites, may find it a must. I'm pleased that Hitachi released a Mac version of the camera and welcome them as a sponsor.

 

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