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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

 

 

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Go, Go, Boingo Gadget Hotspot Application!

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The folks at Boingo Wireless play their own game of Katamari Damacy, rolling up hundreds of disparate Wi-Fi hotspot networks and tens of thousands of hotspots around the world into one flat-priced footprint. They have now enhanced support for Mac users with a lightweight application - GoBoingo - that's designed to make it easier to connect to hotspots that are part of their network.

Before the GoBoingo client was released officially, you could sign up for a Boingo account and at most hotspots in the company's network enter your credentials manually. I have subscribed to Boingo most recently since January 2008, and have used dozens of hotspots in that more tedious method. (Typically, you have to look for a partner link on the main gateway page for a hotspot, select Boingo, and then enter your user name and password.)

GoBoingo has no user interface as such. Once installed, it runs in the background, and alerts you when a Boingo partner network is in the vicinity. You then enter your login details - if you haven't connected before - and you're informed about cost if your plan requires a payment.

Boingo has two recurring unlimited service options: $22 per month for about 60,000 hotspots in the United States, or $39 per month for about 100,000 hotspots worldwide. The company requires no contract. With a Boingo account, you can also purchase 24-hour passes to the network for $8, and have it billed to whatever credit card is associated with your Boingo account.

Readers with long memories will recall that Boingo had a slightly more complicated Macintosh client a few years ago (see "Boingo for Macintosh Launches," 2005-01-10). That software apparently continued to work through Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, but didn't function under 10.5 Leopard.

 

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