Archive for the ‘ Tips and Tricks ’ Category

Determine The Size Multiple Files

Beginners Mac Blog explains how to get the summed size of multiple files in Finder:

Determine The Size Multiple Files.

Is Windows the better OS X – Windows 8

Some time ago I wrote about why Lion is such an awful development.

Today I would like to – very uncommon for a Mac blog – recomment Windows 8 as an alternative.

Probably everyone of you has already been punished by having to use Windows 7 and I fully agree with you that even Lion is much better than the current Windows edition. However Microsoft obviously has learnt from its mistakes and they really have put a lot of effort in the upcoming release to make it something that is very pleasant to use. If you have had a chance to put your hands on one of the new Windows Phone devices you have already seen what Microsoft is up to. (Even though I wonder what took them so long!)

Windows 8 actually does not come with any great new super duper features but what really is enticing is that they have fixed so many of the things that keept a lot of Mac users from switching to Windows. Let me list some of the improvements:

Continue reading

Interesting Reading: How to customize Preferences Panes

I’m a Mac users for over 15 years and I thought I knew all tricks but just today I learnt something very interesting on iphone-my.com. Did you know that you can easily customize what Preferences Panes are visible in the System Preference?

I feel bad copying another blog post so just go to iphone-my.com and read it there:

http://www.iphone-my.com/news/customize-view-system-preferences/

 

PS: new software reviews are in works 😉

Mac OS Goodies – DigitalColor Meter

I recently noticed that there are several (commercial) Apps in the App Store that allow to pick colors from your screen. I find this very surprising because Mac OS has a built-in screen color picker that works perfectly well.

I guess a lot of people don’t know this very useful tool called “DigitalColor Meter”. You find it in Applications/Utilities or just using Spotlight. With DigitalColor Meter you can easily get the color of any pixel on your display. This is quite useful if you want to “borrow” a color from a website or an icon or if you want to copy a color from one Application to another. Continue reading

Ways to save battery – Scroll with keyboard

 

I have a MacBook that was produced before they all got 8 hours of battery life. So for me saving power is still an issue if I want to use it longer than 3 hours. Today I found a very interesting way to save battery:

If you scroll text with your trackpad using the 2-finger gesture for some reason it takes a lot of CPU time.

On my MacBook scrolling a news page in chrome while reading takes up to 30% of my Core 2 Duo. But when I scroll pressing the arrow keys on the keyboard line by line it takes almost zero CPU time. Isn’t that ineresting? Sure, scrolling with the trackpad means smooth scrolling while the keyboard scrolls line by line, anyway I find 30% quite a lot.

So in the future I will use my keyboard more often and since surfing and reading is what I do most of the time this will improve battery life a lot. I’ve only tried this with webpages, but probably this will be the same with pdfs and pictures. I would love to hear your experiences in the comments.

Improve website loading time – PNG Compressor

This is a blog for non-professionals but I’m sure some of you have their own website. You probably know that search engines like google rate websites according to the keywords they contain as well as the number and quality of links that point to it. But there are some other aspects that will positively influence your position on google (some people would take a lot of money for these tips and call it “search engin optimization consulting” 🙂 ):

  • use correct html and css (validate with the w3c validator)
  • don’t use frames and redirections
  • don’t use flash because it can’t be indexed
  • keep your website loading times as low as possible
Actually everthing will raise your website score that your human readers would  find useful, too.
Improving page load times is espacially a matter of image sizes. Always use image files that have exactly the size in which they are displayed (not bigger) and compress jpg files as strong as it still looks good.
If you use png images on your site you should use a png compressor. Just a week ago a new png compressor for Mac was release in the Mac App Store called “PNG Compressor”. It is only $1.99 (current discount offer)  and is very easy to use.
Just drag your images (or your entire website folder) on the App and it will amazingly fast compress all pngs.
You will be surprised that you can still compress them between 20-40%. I especially like the option to automatically replace the original images. So converting a complete website only needs one drag & drop action.
Of course there are other tools for png compression, too, and some are even free. Anyway they are not as easy and clean and some don’t presever the image quality so I won’t mention them here.
Product: PNG Compressor
Price: $1.99 (€1.59) current offer – will probably rise
Requirements: Mac OS 10.6.6 (Mac App Store)
Publisher: Shpakovski

PPC support dropped – XCode 4

IBM PowerPC 750CXe, 533 MHz

Image via Wikipedia

Some weeks ago Apple released XCode 4, the newest version of their development tool. This is a quit normal an unexciting news. But quietly and mostly unnoticed Apple removed PPC (G3, G4, G5 processors) support from their developer tools.

That means the without having a separate machine running an older version of XCode developers can no longer compile their products for use on PowerPC Macs. So probably most developers (especially independent and freeware developers) will drop PPC support with upcoming versions.

To be fair, Apple introduced the Intel processors in 2006 therefore all remaining PPC Macs are at least 5 years old which is very old for a computer. And as you know since the release of Snow Leopard all new Apple Products require Intel anyway.

If you are still a proud owner of a G4 or G5 Mac, it is now time to get a new MacBook or wait some weeks for the rumored new iMacs (via: macrumors.com) and MacBook Airs (via electronista.com).

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