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



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Increase Boom Volume Quickly

If you're using Boom to increase the volume on your Mac, you can change the amount to which Boom increases the volume quickly in two ways. Either use the slider available from Boom's menu bar icon, or enable and set hotkeys (Command-Shift-+ and Command-Shift-- by default). Then, when you need that push to 11, more volume is available at the click of the mouse or tap of the keyboard.

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We'd like to thank our sponsors for their support, without which it would be impossible for us to publish TidBITS for free. And of course, we want to thank you, our readers, for doing business with our sponsors when appropriate. As a token of our gratitude, we offered our sponsors the opportunity to tell you more about their companies or offer special deals.

APS -- APS sells computer-related storage devices of all sorts, as well as expansion cards, peripherals, and a wide range of accessories. They've also proven a good source for the $19.95 Handeze gloves that Adam and I both swear by for reducing RSI problems. These gloves are not shown on the APS Web site, but they are available via phone orders.


APS is offering TidBITS readers a $20 discount on a Q2000 external hard disk. The disk is a "high performance Ultra SCSI hard drive," has a 2 GB formatted capacity, and includes digital active termination and IC2E on-demand cooling technology. APS's price for TidBITS readers is $279.95; the part number is 2210-002-500-1. To learn more, visit the APS Web site and click Drives in the left-hand navigation bar. Then, click the Hard Drives link. Drill down into the SCSI-Narrow area, and finally click the APS Q2000 SR2000 link. APS -- 800/443-4199 -- 816/483-1600 -- <>


Small Dog Electronics RAM Special -- Located in Vermont, Small Dog Electronics sells new and refurbished hardware at low prices. At the moment, Small Dog's home page features refurbished UMAX SuperMac machines available, including a full system that comes in under the $1,000 price point that so many PC vendors are trying to meet and which Apple chose to ignore this year. Small Dog is also running its second annual TidBITS year-end RAM sale; the table below shows the pricing. Small Dog Electronics -- 802/496-7171 -- <>

Capacity     SIMM      DIMM      G3
--------     ----      ----     ----
  8 MB        $29       n/a      n/a
 16 MB        $45       $55      n/a
 32 MB        $85       $89      $99
 64 MB        n/a      $189     $269
128 MB        n/a      $499     $499


Cyberian Outpost Discounts -- Cyberian Outpost is a mainstream, online, general vendor of computer hardware and software, and has posted a Web page linking TidBITS readers to product pages offering special discounts from Cyberian Outpost's regular pricing. The listed products range far and wide, and - coincidentally - include two noted in this issue: the PaperPort Strobe for $284.95 ($5 off) and TechWorks' Power3D for $197.95 ($2 off). Other deals include PowerBook 3400c bundles, a RAM Doubler 2/Speed Doubler 8 bundle, the Gravis Firebird joystick, and more. Cyberian Outpost -- 800/856-9800 -- 860/927-2050 -- <>


Soft Material -- Soft Material publishes the $34.95 Pickle's Book, a book/CD-ROM created by Japanese animator Thoru Yamamato and aimed at children ages three through ten (see TidBITS-406 for more information about Pickle's Book). I asked Ted Byfield <> at Soft Material what he liked most about Pickle's Book, and he commented, "My favorite part is the way Yamamoto shows a world as full of pitfalls as delights. That ambivalence, which is unique in multimedia, reminds me of the books that meant most to me when I was a kid: Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat, and Roald Dahl's children's books. These are classics now, but they broke all the presumptive rules about what's proper for children. Pickle's Book is incredibly innocent but full of surprises, and not all of them are sugar and spice and everything nice. Kids respond to that, because it's like the world they know."


Ted also noted, "We came at Soft Material from small backgrounds - working for small presses, running independent film distributors - so we know how crucial our audience is, and not just as a source of money. I encourage people to tell us about what they like or don't like, a project that might find a home with us, retailers who'd appreciate Pickle's Book, or other ideas they have. We want to avoid premiere hype, development secrecy, and bureaucratized/marketized distance that separates producers and consumers. Publishing is fundamentally about exchanging ideas, and that's a two-way street." Soft Material -- 800/699-4144 -- 212/343-2089 -- <>



New for iOS 8: TextExpander 3 with custom keyboard.
Set up short abbreviations which expand to larger bits of text,
such as “Tx” for “TextExpander”. With the new custom keyboard,
you can expand abbreviations in any app, including Safari and
Mail. <>