WebTV Alertbox -- After Mark Anbinder's article about the WebTV in TidBITS-367, Keith Instone <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote to suggest that we check out an article about the WebTV. Written by Jakob Nielsen (a SunSoft Distinguished Engineer) for his Alertbox column, the article looks in detail at the usability factors of the WebTV, and it's definitely worth reading if you're considering one. I also encourage you to take a look at Jakob's other Alertbox columns - I was especially intrigued by his 01-Mar-97 column about the need for speed on the Web, which comes to the conclusion that speed (meaning minimal graphics and multimedia effects) must be the overriding design criterion for Web pages, something we've long said here at TidBITS. [ACE]
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).
- An Internet for the TV Generation (24 Feb 97)