Get Siri-like functionality on your Mac with Speakable Items

I love Siri on my iPhone 4S, and I’m hoping full-fledged Siri support will arrive on the Mac with Mountain Lion. Until then, however, I can still talk to my Mac to get it to take actions, and you can too—thanks to Speakable Items and the Speech pane in System Preferences. This quick screencast will help you get started with barking orders that your Mac will actually listen to.

Show Notes

In the video, I note that once you enable Speakable Items, its microphone icon must remain on-screen at all times. That’s essentially true, but here’s a bonus tip: You can actually minimize the Speech Command microphone icon by double clicking it. Then it sits patiently in your Dock, instead of on your screen. Note that the icon will sit on the right side of your Dock, where minimized document windows and the Trash appear.

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Universal Access tips for everyone

One of OS X’s finest features is also one that most people never use—Universal Access. Designed with those with disabilities in mind, Universal Access offers features that can be helpful to anyone. In this video I point out some of its capabilities that can make working with your Mac easier and more enjoyable.

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Using Keychain Access

You’ve undoubtedly noticed that you’re not routinely nagged for a password when you use your Mac’s email client, nor do you have to enter passwords for many of the networks you use. And the reason is because those passwords are stored by the Mac OS in keychains—protected repositories for this kind of data.

In this video I show you how to use Keychain Access to recover passwords you can no longer recall. In addition, I demonstrate how to repair a corrupt keychain, which can lead to websites not opening as you expect and constant calls for you to enter email passwords.

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