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
Nowadays, my cellphone performs a more essential role to me as a PDA than a communications device. When I’m heading out, my smartphone manages my appointments (synchronised with Google Calendar), ensures I’ve got access to essential documents (through Google Docs and Dropbox), and gives me access to the Internet as an inexhaustible pool of reference material.
Mac OS X computers are the very model of simplicity and usability.When you plug one in and try to do something, it just works. There’s no need to mess around with anything. Everything is in it’s right place and works just as you would expect it to. Except when it doesn’t just work. Yes, you heard that right. Mac computers come with those little quirks, those small annoyances, just like every other operating systems.
When you don’t want your computer to work as it would out of the box, you can start playing with the system preferences. This allows you to tweak the settings to adapt your computer to your specific way of use—you make it fit in your office habitat. Using the command line, or one of several third-party tools, you can tweak hidden settings in Mac OS X. We’ll go over these below, in growing order of complexity.
One of the harder steps in the creative process of developing an application is right between the idea’s conception and the baby steps of its implementation. Especially with more complex application ideas, it can be useful to work out some of the general details before you take the leap. What form will the application take? What’s it going to look like, and feel like?
Computer-aided learning, although not always a substitute for a music teacher, gives you the feedback you wouldn’t get from a plain old piano book. Moreover, gamification can make practice easier, and a lot more fun by introducing elements usually found in computer games. There are many ways to describe Synthesia, which is a free application available for Mac OS X and Windows computers.
A decent calendar service is indispensable. No matter what alternative I tried using – Windows Live, iCloud – I’ve always turned back to Google Calendar. It’s easy to use, and widely supported. Even most (desktop and mobile) operating systems now provide out-of-the-box support. However, for some unknown reason, synchronising multiple calendars has always been at least a bit tricky to set up. It’s no different for Windows 8.
With Mac OS X Mountain Lion, Apple introduced a number of changes; some small, some big. One of those tiny changes that impacted my workflow most is the disappearance of the menu bar display menu. Before the update, ticking off a checkbox in the Mac OS X display preferences pane would introduce a nifty display icon in the menu bar at the top of your screen. That menu bar icon is now gone.
Your phone is very smart. With Angry Birds, Facebook and mobile office applications, it’s all too easy to forget that some of the features we use most were often available on those very old mobile phones as well. Obviously, that includes calling and texting, but recording audio isn’t a cutting-edge technology either. Nevertheless, recording audio with your smartphone or tablet hasn’t always been a walk in the park.
The iPhone and iPad are wonderful traveling companions. Whether you’re en route, or waiting for a connecting flight, whip out that iOS device and while away the hours reading a digital magazine, or better yet, gaming. Mind you, I’m the last person to consider these devices the go-to place for hardcore gaming, but the app store is filled to bursting with great time wasters and blasts from the past.
Like your computer, your iPad comes packed with a number of day-to-day tools, so you can get engaged almost immediately after unboxing. It goes without saying that most of these apps are also incredibly well made – usually requiring no alternative unless Apple pulls it from iOS like it did with YouTube. Once exception to […]
If I was asked to name my favorite Mac OS X application, CloudApp—or Cloud, for short—would definitely make the shortlist. It’s a nifty menubar utility that makes it incredibly easy to upload and share small files. CloudApp developer team has also published an API for their service, meaning other developers can create third-party CloudApp clients. Below, we’ll be looking at five different CloudApp clients to use the service on most popular operating systems, desktop and mobile.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve got a few hundred books you’d still like to read. With the speed at which new works enter the scene, that number goes up more often than down; and that’s not taking into account the jaw-dropping number of periodicals and Internet articles you’d like to read ‘if you only had the time’. Obviously, as you read more, you tend to grow better at it over time.
The MacBook Air is one of the thinnest and lightest computers available today; thin as your finger, and so light every computer after will feel like you’re hauling a sack of potatoes. In fact, ever since Apple set the trend with its MacBook Air, the ultrabook genre has been gaining ground in the Windows scene. But you don’t get a laptop as thin and light as the MacBook Air without making compromises.
We’re always looking for new ways to control our electronics. Another trend—gestures and movement—can be found by looking at game consoles. Most notably, the Kinect of Microsoft’s XBox. Lacking one of those fancy Kinect cameras, Flutter lets you use your run-of-the-mill webcam to control your computer as if you were featuring in Minority Report.
Similar to its iOS counterpart, the Notification Center (which can be accessed using the right-most icon in your menu bar, or by using a hotkey) is designed to keep track of the multitude of information broadcasted by the assorted applications installed on your computer. Apart from the expected—news about incoming emails, calendar events, and the like—you can also use the Notification Center to interact with Facebook and Twitter.