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Mac OS X Services in Snow Leopard

Mac OS X Services let one application supply its powers to another; for example, a Grab service helps TextEdit paste a screenshot into a document. Most users either don't know that Services exist, because they're in an obscure hierarchical menu (ApplicationName > Services), or they mostly don't use them because there are so many of them.

Snow Leopard makes it easier for the uninitiated to utilize this feature; only services appropriate to the current context appear. And in addition to the hierarchical menu, services are discoverable as custom contextual menu items - Control-click in a TextEdit document to access the Grab service, for instance.

In addition, the revamped Keyboard preference pane lets you manage services for the first time ever. You can enable and disable them, and even change their keyboard shortcuts.

Submitted by
Doug McLean



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Understand and Make the News with TidBITS, TUAW, and MacTech

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On 18 April 2012 in New York City, at MacTech Boot Camp, I’ll be participating in a panel discussion with TUAW Editor Michael T. Rose and MacTech Publisher Neil Ticktin, talking about the Apple news ecosystem. We’ve just added this session for registered attendees, scheduled for 6 PM, in which we’re planning to talk about how the media determines what is and is not a story, why some stories wither away while others take on lives of their own, and how readers can evaluate the accuracy and utility of any particular story.

But since this is MacTech Boot Camp, which has a distinct focus on Apple consultants and those using Apple devices in small business situations, we’ll also discuss ways that consultants can work with the media — whether local or national — to increase exposure and bring in more business, with topics ranging from dealing with TV news reporters (they desperately want to film your hands typing) to contributing articles to local newspapers and starting your own newsletter.

I’ll be there the entire day, and I’m sure there will be time to chat about TidBITS, Take Control, and any other more-general topics that might come up between sessions and during lunch. Speaking of which, the primary sessions at MacTech Boot Camp New York include the following — check the event page for details.

  • Building Your Brand: Marketing and Business Concerns
  • Best Practices: Hardware, Software, and Network Deployment
  • The New World of Apple IDs, iTunes, and Mac App Store
  • Troubleshooting Methodologies: Hardware, Software, and Network Problems
  • Business Technologies: Mobility, Virtualization, and Windows
  • An Expert’s Guide to Working with Clients
  • Storage and Protecting Oneself: Backing up, Archiving, and Restoring Data
  • How to Make Remote Consulting Work for You
  • You Can’t Know Everything: Getting the Support You Need

The conference takes place at the Park Central Hotel in New York; registration normally costs $495, but TidBITS readers can save $200 plus get a MacTech subscription. This special $295 price includes a catered lunch and snacks at morning and afternoon breaks, and it also saves you an additional $50 on each MacTech event in 2012, such as the next day’s $295 MacTech InDepth: OS X Server Administration (and MacTech tells me that anyone signed up for just that event is welcome to attend our panel discussion too). Hope to see you in a few weeks!


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