 Apple Fans Since 1982

Apple Bytes 4/2008

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A month of learning…

This has been a brain stretching month. All busy months include a lot of learning. Separating the wheat from the chaff is the issue. So many new things are coming to light and that makes it very enjoyable.

Learning about Leopard seems to be consuming a lot of time lately. But then there are many new things that we really need to be aware of.

Numerous articles can be found in magazines like MacWorld, MacLife, and MacTech. MacTech is more for the in-depth programmer than the casual users. Sometime even I find an interesting article that I can understand. Tidbits, by Adam Engst and group <http://tidbits.com> is an eternal favorite and recommended for all. Old friend Stan Klein's nightly update is definitely required reading for any Mac User.

This month's pet peeve about Leopard pertains to the changes in the printing procedures. To me they are very unfriendly. The printing evolution seems to vary with different programs and appears not be standardized. I feel like I must be doing something wrong.

That's about it for now…

 

The Joys of Quick Look
by Claire J Rottenberg
CJRTOOLS ebooks

One of the great new features of Leopard, Quick Look, can change the way you view documents, images and video files. Before discovering the joys of Quick Look, I was constantly wasting time launching different programs to view files. Now, I just hit the Space Bar and have instant access to the content of most files. In this article, I'll discuss the ways you can save time with Quick Look and how to enjoy this new Leopard treasure.

Viewing Text and PDF Files

Select a text or PDF file, press the Space Bar and the Quick Look window will open, displaying the first page of the document. Click a button on the bottom of the window and suddenly your document can be read in full-screen. Even multipage documents can be read – just move your mouse along the scroll bar on the side of the document to move through the pages. In less time than it might take to open a document in MS Word or Adobe Reader, you can read several pages of the document. Think of all the time you'll save if you need to read many documents.

Viewing Images

Images, too, can be viewed in full-screen mode with Quick Look. You can even view an entire folder of images as a beautiful full-screen slideshow. And, as you view the images, you can easily add them to iPhoto with just a click of a button. You no longer need to wait for that slow image editing program of yours to open when you want to find a particular image. Do a search with Spotlight, select all the images in the search results window and press the Space Bar to open up the Quick Look window. Click a button and icons of all of the images will appear in the Quick Look window or move through the images by pressing the arrow keys on your keyboard. Nothing could be easier for browsing through image files.

Viewing Video Files

Videos can be played directly in a Quick Look window and you no longer need QuickTime to view full- screen videos. Select a video, press the Space Bar, click the full-screen button, and sit back and enjoy your favorite video. It's the quickest and easiest way to view videos. And, for even more control, the Quick Look window includes a slider that you can use to move to your favorite sequence in a video.

Using Quick Look in Time Machine

By now you might be impressed with Quick Look, but wait, this treasure has another great feature. Take a trip with Time Machine, Leopard's automatic backup program, and you'll find Quick Look also works in that environment. Select any file from any date, press the Space Bar and preview the file with Quick Look before deciding if it's the file you need. With Time Machine and Quick Look, you'll never restore the wrong file. Restoring files can't get better or easier than this.

If you haven't tried Quick Look, select a document, image, or video, press the Space Bar and discover the joys of this little treasure in Leopard.

Claire J Rottenberg is the author of Easy Guides to Mac OS X software (Safari, Mail, System Preferences, TextEdit) and Course Books on iPhoto '08, iTunes and Mac OS X 10.4. More information on her books is available on the CJRTOOLS ebooks website (http://homepage.mac.com/cjrtools/ebooks). [website is no longer working ~mario]

 

iPhone redux
By Bob Shayler

Now that I have used my iPhone for several months, its personality has become better understood and its performance highly predictable. Gone is my nerd fascination with yet another Stevie wonder device. Also gone is any hope that the AT&T network can compete with Verizon. For those who want the punch line up front, I love the iPhone and hate the network. Stevie hit a homerun with the iPhone! I'm keeping it with a smile on my face.

iPhone, why do I love thee? Let me review a few reasons.

  1. It syncs flawlessly with my Macs. I do have to have a .mac account to sync but there are more reasons than an iPhone to have that account. Finally I can keep track of my calendar and contacts wherever I am. And with my human memory failing I can use that.
  2. The interface is not only cool but it works easily just like my Mac. I have yet to encounter any annoying quirks with the iPhone's software interface.
  3. Its sound is awesome, at least compared to my LG 8100 I used with Verizon. When I use the iPhone as an iPod, its internal speakers actually sound great. When I use it as a phone, the only distraction in my ear is the endless background hiss due to the AT&T network.

But as with all loves, there are some irritations. The biggest issue I have is an inconsistency with the touch screen response. Sometimes it is very sensitive to the point that a slight brush will enable an action or link. At other times, especially when initiating a phone call, I need to change fingers and touch the phone number repeatedly to get a response. Also, it is easy when using the two fingered dilation move to accidentally enable some other unintended action. The keyboard is tough to get right, with my fingers needing to touch a little to the right of a letter to get the correct response. Finally, battery life is poor with two days being the maximum in standby mode. If the wonderful WiFi mode is enabled to get around the AT&T network, my battery lasts less than a day.

Some features simply do not work or work poorly. The faux GPS is a bad joke. It can show a precise location if one is next to an AT&T repeater tower or it can be over a mile off. (See MacLife, April 2008, pp 18-19.) The weather button shows the weather for the six days but there is no way to get an hourly display for the current day. The calculator is so basic and inflexible it belongs in a garage sale. The camera interface is very nice but the resolution is so yesterday.

With the advantage of hindsight, would I again give up my LG 8100 phone and the Verizon network? Yes, without a doubt. But the reasons are all in the iPhone, not the AT&T network. I am very curious to see if the upcoming 3G iPhone can show any improvement given the AT&T network.

 

Minutes of the Meeting 3/6/2008

SLMUG meeting was called to order at 7:55PM by Vice President John Mitchell.

How many members subscribe to TidBITS? If you do not, you should. This weekly magazine covers everything MAC. Sign up at http://tidbits.com/ for your free subscription.

Apple's Time Capsule is "shipping". Time Capsule is a piece of hardware which combines AirPort Extreme with an internal hard drive. As Apple advertises, it as "a leap forward for backup".

The multi-touch keypads, introduced on Apple's iPhone, were featured in the newly released MacBooks and MacBook PRO's. Incorporated into new MAC models, the multi-touch keypad will allow use of fingers on track pad to move the cursor rather than using the cursor arrows.

A news release from Apple today, announced a beta Software Developer Kit (SDK) for iPHONES applications. This will allow independent software developers to write programs that could be installed and run on iPhones without modifying the phone's operating system.

David Hill was introduced as a new member. He is a switcher from a PC and Terry gave him excellent advice on Apple support available to him: One-to-one personal training on the use of applications and Apple features, ProCare plan for machine maintenance, and Quick Drop for repairs. Terry also suggested that he might enjoy the SLMUG User group.

Ed's DOM (Dusk of the Month) for March is small because the February disk came out only a couple of weeks ago. Ed discussed Cocktail, Leopard and Tiger Editions and showed us how Coconut will show when and where your MAC was built. Enter the serial number and the application will also check it against stolen property alerts.

Use Eudora with extreme caution – it may delete your library. BACK UP before using. A good piece of general advice is BBB, Backup Before Beta! Little Snitch will tell you which website(s) your machine is connected to and how to control access to protect from unwanted internet guests… Double Click anyone? SmartReporter follows the health of your hard drive.

Stuffit Expander rarely used but is available on this month's DOM. Tinker Tool allows you to change system preferences AND has a reset button.

Earthdesk from last month's DOM was demonstrated.

Meeting adjourned at 9:10 PM.

Kathleen Roth SLMUG Secretary


April 3rd meeting features…
We'll discuss recent Apple happenings and announcements. Let's talk about your issues, likes and dislikes, (if any,) that you might have about Leopard or perhaps any of the programs you use. Does anyone want to talk about Iridium??? As usual Ed will have a new C Dom of the month.

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