I'm a writer and computer sciences student from Belgium. You can always do me a favor with a good article idea, book recommendation, or recipe idea. You'll also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
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Simon's Latest Posts
Part of making professional presentations comes from focusing on key points and avoiding overuse of effects. Another part comes from using the right tool for the job. PowerPoint is an amazing piece of software, but it gives you twenty degrees of freedom. Fifteen of those lead to disaster. Slid.es is a free online PowerPoint alternative to make great presentations. Simply beautiful and beautifully simple.
The biggest problem with an eReader like the Amazon’s Kindle is that it requires unreasonable effort to move books between different devices. Before Kindle, I fell in love with Calibre. A bit on the heavy side, but this eBook management suite is incredibly powerful and always easy to use. Whether you’re just installing Calibre for the first time, or it’s already filled with incompatible EPUB files (like mine was), below are some tips to optimise Calibre for use with your Kindle.
AirPlay is Apple’s way of wirelessly streaming audio and video to supported devices on your local network. If you have one of Apple’s more recent Airport base stations, an Apple TV or a Boxee box at home, you should already be able to stream music from your computer to your entertainment system, wirelessly. Apple has made it notably more difficult to use AirPlay with third-party apps like Spotify or Rdio instead of iTunes. For that, you’ll need something like Airfoil.
Reading websites can be bliss, but it isn’t always comfortable. Noisy webpages assail your eyes and after a while, the almighty LCD takes its toll. With bleary eyes, it’s time to call it a day. If you’re hungry to read (as I am), there are ways to get rid (or at least partly circumvent) these impracticalities. Other tips and tools also help to make reading more comfortable. With these in your toolbox, you’re able to make reading about reading again.
Finder, the official Mac OS X file browser, is likely one of the most used applications on your computer. That’s really not surprising. What is surprising, is how outdated the this part of Mac OS X really is. Apple plans to bridge the gap with Mac OS X Mavericks, but you’ll get more bang for your buck by replacing Finder with software like TotalFinder or XtraFinder. Perhaps, in five more years, this is what Finder will look like. You’re welcome to wait, but we definitely won’t.
Apple products are notoriously closed-off to tinkering – you can either jailbreak your device, or you can use it as intended: carefully polished, one app at a time. To accomodate people with special needs; decreased vision, hearing, physical or motor skills; some leeway is given to make Apple devices accessible in a wide variety of usage scenarios. Accessibility settings are built right into the iPhone, just like on Mac OS X. It’s the place to look if you have difficulty using your device with factory settings, but also if you’re just looking for increased flexibility.
Mac OS X Mavericks isn’t anything like the big reboot we’re seeing in iOS 7, but this update brings a lot of long overdue features to the Mac, like tabs in Finder, better multiple monitor support and an iCloud password manager. With that tasty list of upcoming features out of the bag, it sure is annoying having to wait several months for Mavericks to arrive. Luckily, we don’t have to wait and can add the best features from Mac OS X Mavericks to the current OS using third-party software!
SSH is a great way to gain remote access to your computer. When you open the ports on your router (port 22 to be exact) you can not only access your SSH server from within your local network, but from anywhere in the world. However, you don’t want to risk using a weak password for authentication. Luckily, it’s very easy to set up your global SSH server in a very secure manner by using key-based authentication and disabling password authentication on your server altogether.
Just like Windows, prolonged use of a Mac slows down the operating system. When you’ve been hoarding data and applications for over a year, the difference in performance starts to show. It just doesn’t run as smoothly as it once did. A lot of users are hesitant to reinstall their entire operating system. There are plenty of advantages to a fresh install, especially performance-wise, but it’s a much bigger undertaking to start over from scratch. In this article we will run through the process from start to finish.
Most people spend ninety percent of their time on a computer in the web browser. Office and productivity suites might tempt you enough for the occasional trip to the desktop, but even there a shift to the browser is evident with tools like Google Docs. With the capabilities of modern browsers growing ever more, there’s a convergence of web and traditional application technologies. But however evident, I never expected games to make the leap as eloquently as they did.
Paperwork doesn’t have to be a chore, if it can be handled swiftly and efficiently. In the case of signing documents, it usually isn’t. It’s a hopelessly convoluted process, all for getting a single squiggly on a single document. It’s time for document signing to enter the digital age and with electronic signatures, it has.
Although I’ve had the pleasure of using an Apple TV these past few months, I was immediately sold on the Roku 3. You can read more about the product (and whet your appetite) in Danny’s Roku 3 review. For me, it was the combination of on-demand media and easy access to my own extensive media library that made Roku’s case, not to mention an attractive price tag. In fact, I mostly use the Roku 3 as a top-up box for my Plex media center.
Regular television sets are a thing of the past. These days, if you set out to get a new TV, it’ll likely be a smart TV. That TV will be ‘smart’ the same way your smartphone is – it’s connected and it’s extendable. Just like your smartphone, a lot of new televisions tune in to a sizable application ecosystem, adding the imaginings of third-party developers to your television’s standard feature set.
If you’re using Mac OS X, you don’t even need specialised third-party security software to keep your precious data out of nefarious hands. Coupled with a strong user account password, the FileVault option in the System Preferences automatically encrypts your entire disk. However, the strength of your security doesn’t matter if everyone looking over your shoulder can see this sensitive data. This is one of the main reasons why I keep my precious files hidden from sight by using tools like MacHider. It’s security through obscurity.
Despite the effort I put into keeping my Mac tidy, the thing that most helps me to quickly glean information from my computer is its clutter. Open up the lid and everything you could possibly need is there: my inbox, still open. Facebook in the menu bar and the Calendar app in the background. For the iPad at least, this is on possible using a form of structured clutter using dashboard-like apps. There aren’t too many of these for iOS, but we’ve managed to find a few gems nonetheless.