A MacFixIt reader writes in to ask us how to retrieve his files from an old 400MHz PowerPC Mac tower--a machine that did not include any disc-burning capabilities. He also states that an external CD/DVD burner did not perform well enough to complete backups of the data. Here are some options to try out so you can get your data safely backed up.… Read more
Compatibility with Microsoft's NTFS filesystem is sometimes necessary for people who use either separate PCs or Boot Camp. While Apple offers a driver to read NTFS volumes, by default it will not write to them. To overcome this, there are several third-party NTFS drivers available, but in Snow Leopard you can set Apple's built-in driver to write to NTFS as well.… Read more
One of the great features of Android is that it offers its users choice. Whether you're downloading apps from outside of the Android Market, swapping out the user experience with a new desktop replacement, or simply choosing a different phone-dialing application, you'll appreciate the platform's flexibility.
Though I might consider the standard Android client to be a better-than-average browser, there are alternatives that add features to improve the mobile experience. Just last week, Opera announced its Mini 5 beta Web browser for Android. With it, and the Dolphin Browser, now I have two fantastic apps fighting for my attention.
I should point out that by downloading any Web client for Android, you're not required to remove the preloaded browser. Like on a PC, you are free to have more than one. As I do with Firefox and Chrome on my desktop, I like to use both Dolphin and Mini 5 for various reasons.
One of the big selling points in Mini 5 (hit the link for our First Look video) is that it compresses data on Opera's servers before it's sent off to you, which results in pages that load considerably faster. This is especially handy for people with slower or touchy data connections. I bounce between T-Mobile's 3G and EDGE connection throughout most of my day, so Opera helps make the transition less noticeable.
When you load the browser, you're presented with nine quick bookmarks called Speed Dials. As I typically don't have too many bookmarks, the ability to store nine pages covers my bases. Opera Link lets me sync my bookmarks and Speed Dial pages to and from my desktop, although I've yet to use the browser on my PC. Other features include pinch zooming, tabs, a handy navigation bar, and download manager.
Released last year, Dolphin Browser also gives users a better mobile Web experience than the standard client. With support for multitouch zooming, sharing links through social-networking services, plus fantastic RSS functionality, and a clean interface, I tend to use Dolphin as my preferred browser. … Read more
This week's tip will make you a faster typist on your iPhone. Rapidly select symbols from the iPhone virtual keyboard and return to typing letters in mere seconds.
If you are typing a note, e-mail, etc., you can rapidly add a period, comma, question mark, or other symbol by pressing and holding the 123 key. Then, without lifting your finger, slide it over to the character you need and let go. You'll get that character and find yourself back in letter mode on the virtual keyboard, where you can rapidly type out the rest of that sentence or … Read more
Apple's "Time Machine" backup system can be used in a variety of ways, though people seem to stick to only one method of using the system. Previously, we have covered Time Machine's use in restoring the system to a previous state either to revert back to a prior version of OS X, or to undo an application installation; however, you can also use Time Machine from within programs that support it.… Read more
OS X has a few useful built-in correction and substitution functions that you can use when composing documents in various applications. One of these is the option to check spelling as you type, which has been around for a while, but more recently Apple has introduced system-wide character substitution and word suggestion options. While these options are available to applications, they will only work for those coded to take advantage of them. These include Apple's iWork and iLife programs, as well as TextEdit and Safari, but other third-party programs also support these services.… Read more
Easy access to diacritical marks is often required when typing, especially when composing content in European languages and others that use them. On the Mac, the default method for accessing these marks with the US keyboard layout is to hold the "Option" key, followed by pressing a vowel that represents a specific accent character and then pressing the target letter's key; however, this may take time to get accustomed to. Therefore, for many US users the easiest way to use accents is to open the keyboard viewer pallet, and then press and hold the "Option" key to see available accent marks.… Read more