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

 

 

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Mac OS X Services in Snow Leopard

Mac OS X Services let one application supply its powers to another; for example, a Grab service helps TextEdit paste a screenshot into a document. Most users either don't know that Services exist, because they're in an obscure hierarchical menu (ApplicationName > Services), or they mostly don't use them because there are so many of them.

Snow Leopard makes it easier for the uninitiated to utilize this feature; only services appropriate to the current context appear. And in addition to the hierarchical menu, services are discoverable as custom contextual menu items - Control-click in a TextEdit document to access the Grab service, for instance.

In addition, the revamped Keyboard preference pane lets you manage services for the first time ever. You can enable and disable them, and even change their keyboard shortcuts.

Submitted by
Doug McLean

 
 

The Official AT&T WorldNet Web Discovery Guide

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My latest book, The Official AT&T WorldNet Web Discovery Guide (Osborne/McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0-07-882336-6, $24.99), is now available. I finished the book a while back, but a printing error and the UPS strike conspired to keep it off the shelves for several weeks. Although the title implies that the book is only of use to those using AT&T WorldNet and the CD does contain software for use with AT&T WorldNet (for both Mac and Windows, with a free month for readers of the book), the book is in fact a general introductory Internet book aimed at novice to intermediate users. It's very different from my Internet Starter Kit books, which attempt a comprehensive look at the Internet and Internet software. Instead, this new book assumes people will primarily use a Web browser and explains how to work with the necessary tools on the Internet, including search engines, Web catalogs, business and individual directories, and so on.

<http://www.tidbits.com/adam/book-frame.html>

In my view, the most interesting part of the book is the final section, which contains eight chapters about how to integrate the Internet into daily life. In my view, computers in general and the Internet in specific are overly isolated from our real lives. Just as we've allowed technologies like the telephone and the automobile into our lives in a wide variety of ways, so too must we integrate computers and the Internet they make accessible into the rest of what we do. Anyway, aside from being an example of that belief, those chapters are also rather autobiographical, so no snickering if you meet me at a Macworld Expo and I launch into one of the stories I tell in the book. We all have a limited number of anecdotes, and many of mine are now public.

You can look for the book at your favorite bookstore, and if they don't carry it yet, I encourage you to ask for it. There are also numerous Web-based bookstores that carry it, and we've joined the Amazon Associates program, which means that if you order a book by following a link from our Web site (also listed below), we receive a small additional payment from Amazon. Consider it another way to help support TidBITS.

<http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ ISBN=0078823366/ tidbitselectro00A/>

If you're wondering what I've been up to since finishing this book (other than answering hundreds of email messages about clone licensing), watch this space for some major announcements surrounding TidBITS and another book (entirely about Eudora, one of my favorite programs).

 

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