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

 

 

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Springy Dock Tricks

If you drag a file and hover over Dock icons, various useful things happen which are similar to Finder springing. If it's a window, the window un-minimizes from the Dock. If it's a stack, the corresponding folder in the Finder opens. If it's the Finder, it brings the Finder to the foreground and opens a window if one doesn't exist already. But the coolest (and most hidden) springing trick is if you hover over an application and press the Space bar, the application comes to the foreground. This is great for things like grabbing a file from somewhere to drop into a Mail composition window that's otherwise hidden. Grab the file you want, hover over the Mail icon, press the Space bar, and Mail comes to the front for you to drop the file into the compose window. Be sure that Spring-Loaded Folders and Windows is enabled in the Finder Preferences window.

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Gasseé Says Apple Played Chicken with MobileMe Launch

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Former Apple product guru Jean-Louis Gasseé pins the responsibility tail on the MobileMe donkey in a long blog post in which he describes the machismo that leads to playing chicken with launches. Gasseé writes, "No one had enough brains and guts to risk humiliation, to raise a hand and say: Chief, we're not ready here, let's stop everything. As a result, MobileMe badly crashed on launch."

He goes on to explain why sync is hard, and why it's easy - despite Apple's many years in providing a kind of semi-working sync that I had many problems with - to underestimate the complexities of live reconciliation and coordination. Gasseé believes that Apple didn't eat other people's dog food: they didn't learn why BlackBerry is called Crackberry, and how Research in Motion (RIM) developed a reliable system that's used so broadly. RIM spent a decade tuning the system to where it's at today.

Gasseé was a critical figure at Apple in the late 1980s, and he had a heavy influence on the firm's product development. Through the 1990s, he ran Be, which developed an operating system that had many admirers (although few users) and some influence on Apple.

 

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