Windows 8 apps are meant to be run from the Windows 8 Start screen and in full-screen mode. You can snap them to the side of the Start screen, but they're still limited to the Start screen. If you're simultaneously using desktop programs and apps, you'll have to toggle between your desktop and Start screen to use them. This inefficient back and forth can be alleviated with the use of a program called ModernMix. ModernMix, just released by StarDock as a public beta, aims to give Windows 8 users the flexibility to run Windows 8 apps right … Read more
This post is really just an excuse to tell you again about Skip Tunes, an app I covered last year and have used pretty much every day since. If you are a Mac user and a frequent user of iTunes, Spotify, or Rdio, you need this app. It places a small icon in your menu bar, providing quick and easy access track information and play controls.
I finally got around to updating Skip Tunes this week (unbeknownst to me, the update was released months ago) and discovered that the play/pause and fast forward buttons disappeared from the menu bar. … Read more
One of the newer features in OS X is the Launchpad interface, which offers an iOS-like approach to application management in which programs are organized in a full-screen grid. While this interface should show the applications you have installed, sometimes you may find it missing a few that you need.
Unfortunately Apple does not offer any options for configuring Launchpad to add programs. If you hold the Option key when Launchpad is open, then, as with iOS, the programs will wiggle and allow you to collect them into folders or delete those you purchased from the Mac App Store; however, … Read more
Without regular use, you'll find that sooner or later you will need to run your printer through a cleaning routine to get rid of smears, stripes, or other artifacts that can sometimes greatly affect the quality of your print jobs. Most printers contain some sort of head-cleaning routine that can help you do this, and while invoking these options can often be done via onboard printer controls, the ability to do so in OS X has been somewhat diminished.
While in the past some printer manufacturers issued drivers and utilities that contained controls for running cleaning routines, many now … Read more
The Preview application in OS X has an excellent option for capturing handwritten signatures and inserting them into PDF documents. This is great for signing forms, letters, and other items that require a signature. The process for doing so simply involves capturing a written signature with a Web cam, after which you can append them to any PDF document open in Preview.
Signatures that you associate with Preview in this manner are stored in an encrypted form, which is great for security but also means that Preview is the only program that can access them. Even though an inserted signature … Read more
Regardless of whether you purchase it new, refurbished, or used, your Mac is likely a sizable investment that you might wish to keep running for as long as possible, not only because of the cost factor but also because of the time and effort it would take to migrate your data and workflow to a new system (even though Apple has made the latter quite easy if you have proper backups).
There are many ways your Mac can get damaged, become outdated, or otherwise experience greater wear and tear from use that can shorten its lifespan. In most cases these … Read more
Commercial MP3s and other digital music files provide a wealth of information about the songs in addition to the audio-playback itself. This metadata makes it easy to display the track name, artist, album, and other facts about the songs in your playback device or program.
When you use an application such as the free Audacity audio-editing utility to convert music from LPs, cassettes, or another analog source, the only metadata accompanying the tracks is whatever information you provide when you create the digital file. There's the rub.
In July 2011 I described how to use Audacity to convert LPs and audio cassettes to digital. … Read more
Editors' note: This post is part of an ongoing series. For the other parts, check out the related stories.
Wi-Fi and Internet are two very different things.
With the popularity of wireless networking, the term Wi-Fi is often synonymous with access to the Internet. In fact, our seasoned editor Scott Stein compared how fast the new iPhone 5's 4G LTE Internet speed was with his "home Wi-Fi," which is a skewed comparison at best. To be fair, most of us use "Wi-Fi" as a shortcut to mean our home broadband Internet connection, and Scott just … Read more
Legal forms, letters, and other documents are progressively migrating to digital media; however, the need for applying a signature to them is often still a requirement. While you can print these forms out, sign them and then fax, scan, or e-mail them after signing, another option is to apply a digitally saved version of your signature.
While one approach to doing this is to scan a document containing your signature and then crop it out and paste it in-line with your form, this requires that you keep the image of your signature readily available, and unless you have used transparencies, … Read more
Some of the applications in Microsoft's Office 2013 suite launch with a start screen by default. On the left side of the start screen is a list of recent documents and on the right side, a list of templates. It's a useful feature, but if you prefer, you can bypass the start screen and go right to the edit screens of those Office programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint). Here's how:
From within the main edit screen, go to File > Options or use the keyboard shortcut, ALT+F, T. Under the General Options tab, go to Startup options … Read more