Many people switching from Windows PCs to the Mac worry that they must leave the Windows world—and the files they’ve created in it—completely behind. And for those who need to run application not found on the Mac or who just can't bear doing without a favorite Windows-only game or two, this is a legitimate concern. Thankfully, you can have the best of both worlds as today’s Macs can run Windows natively using Apple’s Boot Camp technology. This technology creates a separate partition on your Intel Mac’s hard drive where you can then install a copy of Microsoft Windows. In order to use Boot Camp, you must restart your Mac from this partition. When you do, Windows runs almost exactly as it would on a PC.
Most email providers let you choose between two ways to get your messages. You can have a POP (Post Office Protocol) account that downloads all your messages to your Mac, iPhone or iPad. Or, you can have an IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) account that leaves some or all of your messages up on the mail server so you can access them from any device. For example, with a POP account, if you check email on your iPhone, the messages downloaded there will only be there; when you get back to your Mac, you won’t see them in your inbox. With IMAP, they’ll be on all your devices.
If you’ve been using a POP account, but have grown frustrated with inaccessible messages, you can usually convert your account to IMAP. Most hosting companies and providers offer both options. However, making this conversion requires that you take precautions so you don’t lose any messages. Here’s how to make the switch safely:
The world can be a tedious place. Some of that tedium, such as long lines at the market and unyielding traffic jams, is unavoidable. But there are waits that you needn’t suffer, particularly when working with your Mac. Take adding multiple recipients to a single email message, for example. Of course you can add each recipient, one address at a time. But doing so is about as interesting (and necessary) as watching paint dry. With the power of address groups at your disposal you can quickly add many recipients to your message in one go. Here are answers to frequently asked questions:
Q: I don't see a groups feature in Mail. Where can I find it?
It’s surprising the number of seasoned Mac users who serve as the unpaid tech support person for their family and friends’ Macs. These stalwart individuals often need some intimate details about the computer’s hardware and software—details provided by the System Information (Lion) and System Profiler (Snow Leopard and earlier) applications. Automator can make working with these applications quite a bit easier.
Our goal is to create an Automator application that, when run from a USB flash drive, will generate a text file that includes specific details about the computer you’re working with—its connected USB devices and installed applications, for example. Further, the application will allow you to choose which details you want in the report—every bit of information that can be generated by System Information (or System Profiler) or just some of those details. Finally, it will allow you to save the report on the flash drive, using a file name of your choosing. It sounds like a lot of work, but it requires just two actions. Here’s how to create it.
OS X’s Quick Look lets you view a file’s contents by selecting it in the Finder and then pressing the spacebar. There’s no need to wait for the file to open in an application—it appears immediately, so you can look up a number or date, or simply see if this is the file you want. Read text files, RTF files, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint documents. Sneak a peek at Pages, Numbers and Keynote files. Play videos, in many formats, and even listen to music files. But as handy as all that is, Quick Look can do even more:
1. View multiple files with Quick Look
If you've selected a file in the Finder and viewed it with Quick Look, it’s easy to check out other files in the same folder too. Just press the arrow keys. If you’re in List View or Column view, press the up- or down-arrow keys to view other files. If you’re in Icon View, you can move up and down, but you may need to use the right- and left-arrow keys to see items in other columns. Using this technique, you can leaf through a whole folder of files by selecting the first one, pressing the spacebar, and then using the arrow keys to see the others.
We've all been there. First you start following a couple people on Twitter. What's the harm in following a couple more? Next thing you know, tweets are flying by faster than you can say "hashtag," and now you're backed into a #corner. It's natural to go on an unfollowing spree in cases like this. Why not? Those friends who use Twitter like a chat room probably won't notice, and if they do, you could just blame a Twitter fail whale. But the truth is, you don't have to. Instead, turn to plentiful apps, options, and tools to gracefully manage Twitter and keep tabs on as many accounts as you want.
Create lists for special interests
A key distinction on Twitter is that you can choose to either follow an account, add it to a list, or both. Following someone is the typical behavior—it means his or her updates will appear in your main Twitter timeline. Alternatively, you can create a list, add accounts to it, but not actually follow those accounts. Tweets from those accounts don't appear in your timeline, but if you're using the right Twitter app, your lists and the tweets therein are just a couple clicks or taps away.
[Editor's note: We rejoin Dan Moren on the final day of his iPad experiment, in which he vowed to use nothing but his tablet to do his job for three days.]
After a day or two of using the iPad, my brain seemed to have rewired itself. It’s not that the iPad is better or worse than the Mac; it’s just that different things are hard to do on each device.
The thing I found the hardest to get used to on the iPad was the lack of windows. On the Mac, I think nothing of arranging a Web browser and a text editor, or two text-editor windows, side by side and then referring to one while typing in the other. On the iPad, that’s impossible, as I found on the morning of day three when I tried to start composing this story from my notes.