Lex uses a MacBook Pro, an iPhone 5, an iPad mini, a Kindle 3, a TiVo HD, and a treadmill desk, and loves them all. His latest book, a children's book parody for adults, is called "The Kid in the Crib." Lex lives in New Jersey with his wife and three young kids. More by Lex Friedman
These days, I work on a 13-inch MacBook Air. On workdays, I connect it to a second display—a 17-inch ViewSonic monitor. My laptop serves as the primary screen, with my Dock at the bottom, and windows arranged somewhat haphazardly: Almost all apps live on the right (laptop) display, with extra Safari windows offloaded to the second monitor.
This approach is totally normal to me. But I’ve come to realize that while maybe no man is an island, almost every Mac is: Everyone uses a different desktop setup. And it’s interesting to learn how other folks use their Macs, because it might influence how you do things.
Michael manages PCWorld's hardware product reviews and contributes to TechHive's coverage of home-control systems and sound bars. More by Michael Brown
Believe it or not, there was a time not long ago when surfing the Internet from your back porch required a very, very long ethernet cable. These days Wi-Fi seems to be everywhere, with inkjet printers, digital cameras, TVs, and even refrigerators connecting to home and office networks without the need for cables.
But for all of the gains made in Wi-Fi technology, much confusion remains about wireless networks and the problems that can plague them. To help clear up some of the confusion, we gathered a list of common beliefs about Wi-Fi speed and set about proving or disproving them using the tools available to us here in the Macworld lab.
‘The farther away from the router you are, the worse your signal strength will be.’
Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area. More by Christopher Breen
Mavericks’s Finder tags feature gives you the ability to assign labels and keywords to your files and folders, which is a mighty fine thing if you’re organizationally inclined. However, regardless of how keen you are on the idea of tagging your files, the process requires time and effort, particularly if you intend to tag the nearly countless files already on your Mac.
That doesn’t mean that Finder tags should become Mavericks’s “Mission Control”—a feature that can be helpful, but that few people touch. Rather, tagging requires a measure of will and some tools and techniques to make it as easy as possible. Let’s begin.
It was great while it lasted, but I finally broke up with Gmail. Though I had relied on Google’s popular email service for years, my level of satisfaction had been dropping steadily for a while, and changes in the Mavericks version of Mail (about which I’ve ranted at some length) were the last straw. Now I’m returning to a good old-fashioned IMAP server, and I’m not looking back.
Lots of people are blissfully content with Gmail. If you’re one of them, far be it from me to change your mind. But I want to tell you what I found problematic about Gmail—and exactly what I did about it.
Apple’s new iCloud Keychain aims to solve an irritating problem: even if you've entered usernames and passwords on your Mac, you still have to reenter every single one manually on your iPhone and iPad (as well as any other Macs you use). As of OS X 10.9 Mavericks and iOS 7.0.3, however, iCloud Keychain keeps these account credentials, along with credit card numbers and other personal information (including your account settings for email, contacts, calendars, and social networking services) in sync across your Macs and iOS devices automatically.
Plus, Safari on both platforms now sports new features that integrate with iCloud Keychain, such as a built-in random password generator and an improved autofill capability. (Third-party apps may add support for iCloud Keychain in the future.)
The setup process for iCloud Keychain is suprisingly involved, and has a couple of less-than-obvious steps. However, once you’ve done this for each of your devices, iCloud Keychain syncs invisibly in the background, just like other iCloud data, and normally requires no manual intervention.
Dan writes about OS X, iOS, utilities, cool apps, and troubleshooting. He also covers hardware; mobile, audio, and AV gear; input devices; and accessories. He's been writing about tech since 1994, and he's also published software, worked in IT, and worked as a policy analyst. More by Dan Frakes
Inside your home folder is a Library folder—commonly written in Unix syntax as ~/Library, which means “a folder named Library at the root level of your home folder.” This folder is accessible only to you, and it’s used to store your personal settings, application-support files, and, in some cases, data.
The files and folders in ~/Library are generally meant to be left alone, but if you’ve been using OS X for a while, chances are you’ve delved inside. Perhaps you wanted to tweak something using a tip from Macworld, Mac OS X Hints, or elsewhere on the Web. Or maybe a developer asked you to delete a preference file, or grab a log file, while troubleshooting a program. Whatever the case may have been, up until Lion (OS X 10.7), you simply opened your Home folder to access the Library folder.
Finding just the right page among the billions on the Web requires not only a search engine but also a bit of know-how. Here is a selection of my favorite tips for searching the Web.
1. Search for a phrase
To search for an exact, complete phrase and not just its constituent words, put it in quotation marks. For example, instead of typing at sunrise on my birthday type ”at sunrise on my birthday”. The number of hits will shrink dramatically, as you’ll see only pages that include that exact phrase.