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

 

 

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Type an em-dash on an iPhone

Typography and punctuation geeks rejoice! It's easy to type an em-dash on the iPhone's or iPod touch's virtual keyboard. To do so, tap the .?123 key to switch to the numeric keypad. Then touch and hold on the Hyphen key to reveal a pop-up strip showing an em-dash. Slide to the em-dash and release your finger.

Note that this basic trick works with many other keys on the virtual keyboard.

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A Personal Shopper for HD Video Editing Gear

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When friends and family need to buy a new computer or accessories, they often turn to me for advice. I've learned over the years that they're usually not looking for one of my "history of computing" answers that explains not only how much RAM the computer should have, but how RAM works and why more is better - they just want to know how much to get, and where to get it inexpensively. So, I'll spend a few minutes online and work up a couple of options.

However, my experience extends only so far, and although I've written several editions of a book on video editing ("iMovie HD 6 & iDVD 6 for Mac OS X: Visual QuickStart Guide"), I've not had to deal in the higher realm of editing uncompressed high-definition video.

Fortunately, Mike Curtis lives and breathes HD. His Web site, HD for Indies, is geared toward independent filmmakers who are focused more on getting great footage and creating a movie than on the ins and outs of pushing HD video through a system.

If you're looking to edit your own indie feature or starting a business editing video for others, Mike has taken on the role of personal shopper and put together three recommended Mac-based editing systems. In addition to the computer (all Mac Pro machines, but not necessarily the most powerful ones), Mike's picks include LCDs and video monitors, RAM, graphics cards, HD capture devices, and multiple storage options. The bundles range in price from $9,000 for an entry-level system capable of editing uncompressed HD footage to $23,000 for a well-equipped system.

He's worked out a deal with Silverado Systems (and he gets a cut of the order), but all the information is there, with notes and explanation, if you prefer an alternate vendor.

I've followed Mike's site for a while, and even though I don't shoot HD video, it's always an entertaining and insightful read.

 

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