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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).

Visit Take Control of Customizing Leopard

 
 

Site Crossing Offers Inexpensive Web Crossing Hosting

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Over the last year, you've heard me talking about how we're moving all of our Internet services to an Xserve running Web Crossing, which is an integrated suite of Internet servers, all backed up by a high-performance object-oriented database and its own programming language. The amount of custom code necessary for our specific situation has caused the project to take longer than would be ideal, but overall, I've been extremely happy with the functionality Web Crossing has provided.

<http://www.webcrossing.com/>

However, it's been hard to recommend Web Crossing to individuals or small organizations because of the cost and complexity of setting up your own server - after all, this is the same software that runs discussion forums for the likes of Apple, Salon, and the New York Times, so power and flexibility has long trumped a straightforward interface.

Now Web Crossing, Inc. has addressed those concerns with Site Crossing, a new hosted service that provides a simple and integrated interface for managing interactive services like mailing lists, discussion forums, weblogs, polls, a shared calendar, file libraries, slideshows, and live chat. Such complex features can be difficult to add to existing Web sites, particularly in conjunction with a unified user database and access lists (to keep private sections away from the public), making Site Crossing useful as an adjunct to an existing site. Site Crossing also provides full email, FTP, and Web services, making it possible to build an entire Web site around Site Crossing.

<http://www.sitecrossing.com/>

The Basic account costs $8 per month for 3 of the interactive services, 1 GB of storage space, and 10 GB of data transfer per month. The $14 per month Standard account offers 6 interactive services, 2.5 GB of storage space, and 20 GB per month of data transfer. Lastly, the Advanced account will set you back $22 per month for 12 interactive services, 6 GB of storage space, and 30 GB of data transfer per month. If you need even more, full-fledged Web Crossing hosting is available. You can also purchase your own private domain name and have Web Crossing host it for $20 per year. You can try Site Crossing for free for 30 days, so it's easy to see if it will meet your specific needs.

Obviously, there are oodles of companies offering Web hosting plans with a variety of features and at a variety of price points, but I think Site Crossing and its interactive features are worthy of consideration particularly by clubs, schools, and other small groups without a lot of resources or technical experience. Such groups often run into difficulties with the decisions of where to host a Web site that won't disappear with a volunteer, and with the problem of technically sophisticated members leaving. I can think of a few organizations we're involved with that could use such a service.

 

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