Joe KissellSenior Contributor, Macworld

Joe Kissell is a senior editor of TidBits and the author of numerous ebooks in the Take Control series, including the just-published Take Control of Apple Mail.

Opera 9.26

With its comprehensive set of browsing and other features, Opera 9.26 is an interesting choice for anyone who wants an all-in-one Internet application. But if you don’t need all those extras, you may have a more pleasant Web surfing experience with Safari, Firefox, or another browser.

iCab 4.0.1

You can catch iCab for your Web browsing needs, but the latest version still has a few issues before it becomes your main browser for the Web.

OmniWeb 5.6

OmniWeb 5.6 is a solid, capable browser with a thorough range of features and an uncluttered interface. Although Safari can be extended to include many of OmniWeb’s capabilities, those who prefer a simple, integrated package may well find OmniWeb worth the small investment.

DevonAgent 2.3

If your Internet research needs go beyond the simplistic results you can get with the likes of Google, you’ll find DevonAgent’s unique search tools to be invaluable—when they function properly. However, as a Web browser, DevonAgent is below average in terms of functionality and stability.

Time Machine tips and troubleshooting

Some people will be able to set up and turn on Time Machine with a single click. But you may need to do some manual configuration to get it to work the way you want. You should also be aware of some quirks in Time Machine’s operation, particularly when restoring data.

Is Time Machine all you need?

Although any backup is better than no backup at all, Time Machine may not protect your data to the extent or in the way that you need. A few significant weaknesses offset its impressive strengths.

Excerpt: Picking a hard drive

The inclusion of Time Machine as part of Mac OS X 10.5 shows the importance of good backups for every Mac user. And while backing up and restoring files may be easier than before, you’re still going to need a place to store all that data. In this excerpt from his Take Control of Easy Backups in Leopard ebook, Joe Kissell tells you what to consider when shopping for a backup drive to hold all that Time Machine-saved data.

Fitting your files on a MacBook Air

If you’ve ordered a MacBook Air, you’ve got some storage decisions to make. The 80GB of storage that ships with this thin notebook goes against the trend of higher-capacity hard drives. But not to worry—Joe Kissell has some advice on how to make sure all your vital files and applications fit on your new laptop.

Back up multiple computers with Time Machine

If you have more than one Mac but don’t want to use a separate hard drive to back up each one, Time Machine can help.

Fix Mac slowdowns

Does your Mac seem to be getting slower over time? This probably isn’t your imagination. As you use your computer, a number of factors can gradually lead to poorer performance. Luckily, it’s easy to solve most slowdowns and restore much of your Mac’s original pep.

ScanSnap S510M document scanner

If you want to turn your paper archives into searchable PDFs, it doesn’t get any easier than the Fujitsu ScanSnap S510M. At $495 it’s not cheap—but its bundled software alone is worth far more than the scanner itself.

LifeAgent 2.1

The concept of instant and automatic backups is a good one. But LifeAgent 2.1 needs significant work, especially in the area of file restoration, to contend with the likes of Time Machine.

Easy online backups

You know you should back up your data. But whether it’s the cost, the setup, or the hassle of swapping discs or shuttling around hard drives, most of us find a million excuses not to get the job done. So wouldn’t it be great if you could click on a few buttons and ensure that your data was backed up regularly?

First Look: Google Presentations

Google wants to turn your Web browser into an all-purpose application. The company already offers Web-based e-mail, word processing, spreadsheet, and scheduling applications; now Presentations, an online counterpoint to PowerPoint and Keynote, joins the mix of Google apps. Joe Kissell tells you what to expect from this Web-based presentation program.

Excerpt: Getting your Mac ready for OS X 10.5

Planning on taking the plunge when Leopard arrives on October 26? There are things you can do right now to make the upgrade process run smoother. In this excerpt from his Take Control of Upgrading to Leopard ebook, Joe Kissell runs through the things you can do to clean up your Mac in advance of OS X 10.5's arrival, such as updating third-party software, decluttering your hard disk, and running Disk Utility.