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

 

 

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Open Files with App Switcher

Using the Application Switcher to open files can sometimes be faster than hunting for an Application's window or searching through a jam packed Dock for an Application's icon. First grab your file, press Command-Tab, and then drop the file onto the desired application's icon to open it within that program.

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Interface Enhancements

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Sundial

Sundial looks like a perfect gift for one Mac friend I know. It replaces the desktop pattern with a scenic picture. So? That picture changes with the time of day! Their Web site has small QuickTime movies to show the effect. [I have to admit, of all the suggestions here, Sundial really caught my attention - I'm a sucker for unusual utilities. -Adam] [John Crossley <crossley@gvn.net>]

<http://www.jna.com/sundial.html>

Custom Screensavers

My choice is a $25 FaceSaver screensaver from Ultimate Software. I sent my wife's favorite photo of her and her daughter to Ultimate and she now has a color screen saver which delights her every day. [Frank Manuel <manuel@cs.sfu.ca>]

<http://www.avalon.net/~ultim8/personal.html>

Hubris Software offers a similar services for a similar price with MOSS, or My Own Screen Saver. Hubris Software's Web site offers a clever hint request Web form that allows you to send an anonymous hint to someone else. [ACE]

<http://www.gardencity.net/hubris/moss/>

Michelle Sund <sund@nosc.mil> suggests yet another alternative.

Last year I saw that Price Costco would make a customized screen saver using a dozen photos for about $10. Since I didn't have a scanner at the time, I took some of the best shots from our recent trips to Yellowstone and Yosemite and had Price Costco do the work. I gave the screen saver to my husband last year as a Christmas gift. He loved it! I think that the photo service at Staples (Konica perhaps?) will actually make a screen saver at the time you develop your film. I wonder if they just scan the completed photos, or if perhaps they do it in another way that gives better resolution? So, that's my idea! Something to remind us there is life away from our computers!

Interfacelifts

For those who would like to give a better look to someone's Mac as a gift, I offer the following two suggestions. First, you must try the $20 shareware Kaleidoscope 1.0. It comes with a whole selection of color schemes, plus icons and other visual enhancements. For those who want even more icons, the iconfactory has a great selection of well done, free icons along various themes. [Marc Long <knightwork@aol.com>]

<http://www.novaproj.org/~kobe/interface/ kaleidoscope/>
<http://www.iconfactory.com/>

Seeing the World in Color

How about a color monitor for those of us still slaving away in front of grayscale or monochrome PowerBook? I love my 5300, but couldn't afford a color screen when I bought it. Plugging one into the back would be the next best thing. [Especially since using the Web without color is almost impossible. -Adam]. I'm leaving this message on the screen so my wife will see it! [Doug Hormann <hormann@hevanet.com>]

 

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