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

 

 

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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

 
 

Fake Steve Jobs Finally Unmasked

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On the Internet, it's said, no one knows you're a dog. But this ability to adopt an alternate identity can lead to a firestorm of speculation followed by backlash when popular personalities turn out to be carefully constructed characters, as happened with the lonelygirl15 hoax on YouTube.

Closer to home, we in the Macintosh world have long been amused by a clever writer making no bones about the fictional nature of his work, a blog titled "The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs" but more commonly known by its domain: "Fake Steve Jobs," sometimes shortened to FSJ. The hunt for the real person behind the fake Steve Jobs has been on for some time, with numerous Macintosh personalities being proposed for the position, including our ever-hilarious friend Andy Ihnatko, Wired's Leander Kahney, Take Control author Scott Knaster, and even yours truly. I was flattered, but my only fictional alter ego is the hard-boiled detective Ace MacKenzie.

At long last, Fake Steve has been revealed. Brad Stone of the New York Times followed the crumbs and stumbled on Daniel Lyons, a senior editor at Forbes, who admitted to his alter ego without any hesitation, according to Stone. He wondered only why no one had ferreted him out earlier.

Lyons managed to maintain his secret for over a year, and his blog has become extremely popular among Apple watchers during that time, thanks to a combination of snarky commentary and that omnipresent question of just who the writer really was. While few people know how Steve Jobs talks in private, Lyons's ability to uncork Jobs's id into a stream of consciousness that seemed vaguely credible made it a must-read.

Fake Steve's popularity has even risen to the point where Da Capo Press will in October publish a satirical novel by Lyons entitled "Options: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs, a Parody." When alerted to the identity of his evil twin via instant message, the real Steve Jobs told the New York Times that he had no interest in reading the book, although both he and Bill Gates have acknowledged reading the blog.

The real question is, will "The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs" remain a must-read now that Fake Steve has been unmasked? Or will readers jump ship for the Fake Steve Ballmer or the Fake Bill Gates?

 

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