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Headshot of MakeUseOf Writer, Simon Slangen

Simon Slangen

/ Joined 10 June, 2008

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+.

461 Articles
877 Comments
Ditch Qwerty & Type Faster With Workman

Linux Mac

Ditch Qwerty & Type Faster With Workman

Before personal computers were invented, even before they made their appearance in science-fiction literature, the Qwerty keyboard layout was designed for use on typewriters. While the design considerations were solid, Qwerty wasn’t created for efficiency. We don’t use typewriters anymore (well, most of us don’t). And yet most of you will still be using Qwerty, the most popular keyboard layout in the world. It’s time for change; for a keyboard layout that’s fit for modern keyboards and modern computing. It’s time for the Workman Layout.

Simon Slangen August 20, 2013 20-08-2013
Ditch Qwerty & Type Faster With Workman
Access FTP Servers Using Your Native File Browser

Linux Mac

Access FTP Servers Using Your Native File Browser

While there are a huge number of good FTP clients out there, sometimes you can get by without installing any third-party software at all. An FTP client like those mentioned above makes sense if you’re an avid user, but you can avoid cluttering your system with another piece of software if you only need FTP access every now and then. Specialised FTP clients are stronger and more versatile, but the standard file browser on each of the three main operating systems can connect to FTP servers as well!

Simon Slangen August 19, 2013 19-08-2013
Access FTP Servers Using Your Native File Browser
Transmit: Perhaps The Best FTP Client For Mac OS X

Mac

Transmit: Perhaps The Best FTP Client For Mac OS X

FTP is the most common method of transferring files from one device to another over a network. If you host your own website, you simply can’t get around without a decent FTP client. FTP is not only for developers. It’s one of the easiest ways to communicate between two computers on a local network as well. You can even mount the entire volume of a remote computer and use it almost as if it were plugged in yours. There are a number of good FTP clients available for Mac OS X, but Transmit might just be top dog.

Simon Slangen August 16, 2013 16-08-2013
Transmit: Perhaps The Best FTP Client For Mac OS X
Run A Local PHP Web Server on Mac OS X With Zend Server

Mac

Run A Local PHP Web Server on Mac OS X With Zend Server

Hosting your own PHP server has two main advantages. First of all you can host it locally so you don’t need to bother with transferring your files and only need to refresh the page in your browser to see the latest changes. Second, you can keep your product-to-be private until it’s ready to be released to the world wide web. This way you can present a finished (or at least beta) product to your users from day one. Zend Server is a PHP server for Mac that allows you to develop locally with minimum hassle.

Simon Slangen August 14, 2013 14-08-2013
Run A Local PHP Web Server on Mac OS X With Zend Server
Slid.es: Create Easy And Beautiful Presentations In Two Dimensions

Internet

Slid.es: Create Easy And Beautiful Presentations In Two Dimensions

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.

Simon Slangen August 5, 2013 05-08-2013
Slid.es: Create Easy And Beautiful Presentations In Two Dimensions
How To Manage Your Ebook Collection For The Amazon Kindle With Calibre

Linux Mac

How To Manage Your Ebook Collection For The Amazon Kindle With Calibre

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.

Simon Slangen August 5, 2013 05-08-2013
How To Manage Your Ebook Collection For The Amazon Kindle With Calibre
Airfoil Adds Extended AirPlay Functionality To Mac and PC

Mac Windows

Airfoil Adds Extended AirPlay Functionality To Mac and PC

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.

Simon Slangen July 29, 2013 29-07-2013
Airfoil Adds Extended AirPlay Functionality To Mac and PC
5 Ways To Make Websites Easier To Read

Internet

5 Ways To Make Websites Easier To Read

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.

Simon Slangen July 29, 2013 29-07-2013
5 Ways To Make Websites Easier To Read
TotalFinder Is The Finder Of The Future

Mac

TotalFinder Is The Finder Of The Future

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.

Simon Slangen July 22, 2013 22-07-2013
TotalFinder Is The Finder Of The Future
Force Your iPhone To Use Landscape & More With iOS Accessibility Options

iPhone and iPad

Force Your iPhone To Use Landscape & More With iOS Accessibility Options

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.

Simon Slangen July 22, 2013 22-07-2013
Force Your iPhone To Use Landscape & More With iOS Accessibility Options
Don’t Wait! Get These Mac OS X Mavericks Features Now

Mac

Don’t Wait! Get These Mac OS X Mavericks Features Now

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!

Simon Slangen July 15, 2013 15-07-2013
Don’t Wait! Get These Mac OS X Mavericks Features Now
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