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 ūüėČ

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

Scandinavian action – Flying Sweden

I feel that the Mac App Store has brought a flood of really awful games. This makes it even more difficult to find interesting stuff to play. Recently a friend of mine pointed me to the uDevGames indie game contest. On of the winners this year is a game called FlyingSweden. FlyingSweden is a very unconventional space invaders like shooter. You are in control of a flying island representing Sweden. On your island you can build shooting monuments (starting with an ikea canon) and resource houses that bring you money, workers and science point. Naturally you need these resources to build more stuff which will bring you more resources to build more stuff.

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Personal Thought – Don’t upgrade to Lion

English: The icon of Mac OS X Lion

As a developer I had to upgrade to Lion right when it was released so I could test my Software on it. I’m sure there are lots of people who have not upgraded yet and besides all the technical reviews you can get on arstechnicaand other blogs I would like to give you my personal impression on Lion.

My first impression is: Lion is a step backward. And after having used it for weeks now my impression lasts. There are several issues that are really annoying:

Lion will delete your Windows partition. I did not know this and the installer does not warn you. Installing Lion will create a recovery partition and this recovery partition takes it space from the windows partition (if there is any). So your Windows partition will be totally destroyed. If you have Windows installed your really should make a backup or even better: don’t install Lion.

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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.

Side scrolling Action Shooter – VictoryMarch

The App Store is being flooded by very bad games for ridiculous prices. Nonetheless I found a well designed and fun 2.5D side scrolling Action Shooter called Victory March [link updated].

The gameplay is simple: You play a WWII soldier (choose between Soviet or Yankee) and you run from left to right through the war zone shooting at evil Nazi guys. While shooting is quite simple the game combines action with fast paced platform jumping. Since you can’t stop running you have to concentrate on not getting shot, killing Nazis and jumping¬†accurately.

There’s no more to tell, just try it out. It’s fun and free. Unfortunately it is only available from the Mac App Store as the programmer apparently has iPhone roots (an iPhone version is in work according to the developer)

There is a pro version for 99 Cents, too, but I couldn’t figure out what the difference is. I assume it adds more levels but I have not finished the Lite version yet.

Product: VictoryMarch [link updated]
Price: Free
Requirements: Mac OS 10.6.6 (App Store)
Publisher: bootant

Cooler Computing – smcFanSpeed

It’s summer and it’s getting hot. If you use a MacBook you know what this means. It’s 30 degree and you have an aluminum brick on your lap that heats up to over 65 degree (Celsius!) and finally you have to stop working because your palms are melting and glue to your MacBook.

I started using a little tool called smcFanSpeed about a week ago. This allows you to set the minumum fan speed of any MacBook. The idea is to prevent your MacBook from getting hot.

It even allows to set different fan speed profiles and can automatically switch profiles when you switch from power to battery.
smcFanSpeed runs in your menu bar and displays the current fan speed and temperature ‚Äď and it is free.

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