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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.

312 Articles
694 Comments
Three Ways To Tweak Hidden Settings In OS X

-HIDDEN

Three Ways To Tweak Hidden Settings In OS X

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.

03-12-2012
Three Ways To Tweak Hidden Settings In OS X
Practice Piano Scores The Fun Way With Synthesia And Your Keyboard

Mac Windows

Practice Piano Scores The Fun Way With Synthesia And Your Keyboard

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.

26-11-2012
Practice Piano Scores The Fun Way With Synthesia And Your Keyboard
How To Sync Multiple Google Calendars To Windows 8

Windows

How To Sync Multiple Google Calendars To Windows 8

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.

19-11-2012
How To Sync Multiple Google Calendars To Windows 8
3 Ways To Manage Display Settings In Mac OS X Mountain Lion

Mac

3 Ways To Manage Display Settings In Mac OS X Mountain Lion

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.

19-11-2012
3 Ways To Manage Display Settings In Mac OS X Mountain Lion
5 Great Tips For Recording Audio With Any Smartphone Or Tablet

Android iPhone and iPad

5 Great Tips For Recording Audio With Any Smartphone Or Tablet

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.

12-11-2012
5 Great Tips For Recording Audio With Any Smartphone Or Tablet
3 Classic SEGA Games Available For The iPad & iPhone [MUO Gaming]

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3 Classic SEGA Games Available For The iPad & iPhone [MUO Gaming]

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.

12-11-2012
3 Classic SEGA Games Available For The iPad & iPhone [MUO Gaming]
Use CloudApp Across Operating Systems With These Five Clients

Windows Linux

Use CloudApp Across Operating Systems With These Five Clients

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.

05-11-2012
Use CloudApp Across Operating Systems With These Five Clients
Why Your MacBook Air Has No Optical Drive & 4 Reasons Why This Isn’t a Problem

Mac

Why Your MacBook Air Has No Optical Drive & 4 Reasons Why This Isn’t a Problem

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.

29-10-2012
Why Your MacBook Air Has No Optical Drive & 4 Reasons Why This Isn’t a Problem
Flutter Lets You Control Your Media Using Your Webcam

Mac Windows

Flutter Lets You Control Your Media Using Your Webcam

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.

22-10-2012
Flutter Lets You Control Your Media Using Your Webcam
How To Post To Facebook & Twitter From The Notification Center In Mountain Lion

Mac

How To Post To Facebook & Twitter From The Notification Center In Mountain Lion

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.

22-10-2012
How To Post To Facebook & Twitter From The Notification Center In Mountain Lion
5 Tips For Making The Most Out Of The Notes App [iOS]

Mac

5 Tips For Making The Most Out Of The Notes App [iOS]

In any application round-up – mobile or otherwise – about work, education or GTD, you’ll see the most advanced conglomeration of note-taking applications. Often, the applications already present on the operating system are ignored. Likely, this is because these applications generally don’t amount to much. However, on Apple products, they do. The iOS Notes app is a remarkable, capable, and easy to use application

15-10-2012
5 Tips For Making The Most Out Of The Notes App [iOS]
Top Tips To Keep Mac OS X Tidy

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Top Tips To Keep Mac OS X Tidy

One argument in favor of using Mac OS X is that it doesn’t require a whole lot of maintenance to keep it purring contently on your desk. That being said, it is inevitable that a certain amount of mess accumulates when you use your computer. Some few redundant files littering your Desktop add to the soon unsurmountable stack of waste hiding your important files. A spring cleaning might be in order.

15-10-2012
Top Tips To Keep Mac OS X Tidy
Tweak The Mac OS X Finder And Find Files Even Faster!

Mac

Tweak The Mac OS X Finder And Find Files Even Faster!

A major part of our time is spent on the web, but for a lot of people the computer file system makes for a close second. Finder, Apple’s file browser, provides a very slick way to do this by default, and you’ll be able to clock good time even if you don’t know all the finer points of the application. Getting to know those fine points, however, can provide an additional (and always much welcome) boost to your productivity and overall file-handling speeds.

08-10-2012
Tweak The Mac OS X Finder And Find Files Even Faster!
5 Interesting Ways to Create Your Own Forum Without Having to Run a Website

Internet

5 Interesting Ways to Create Your Own Forum Without Having to Run a Website

If you’re looking for a private, or more specialized discussion board—you can always create your own forum. One possible approach would be to pay for server space, and install the necessary forum software yourself. However, in some situations it’s possible to avoid these costs entirely, and cut down on maintenance by creating a forum without first purchasing server space. We’ll show you how.

08-10-2012
5 Interesting Ways to Create Your Own Forum Without Having to Run a Website
Manage Attachments In Mac Mail

Mac

Manage Attachments In Mac Mail

Mail, the default email application on Mac OS X, is a surprisingly slick and feature-rich application. I’ve used a lot of different email clients, both in the cloud and on my desktop. No matter what, I tend to keep coming back to using the Mail application for day-to-day email management. Mail provides a lot of help with day-to-day email management. In this article we’ll show you exactly how.

01-10-2012
Manage Attachments In Mac Mail
Edit Videos For Free On Windows With These Handy Tools

Windows

Edit Videos For Free On Windows With These Handy Tools

For almost every big software name, there’s a great free (or even open-source) application alternative. The same is true for video editing software. Yes, we’ve all heard about Adobe Premier Elements, Pinnacle Studio, Avid Media Composer, and Sony Vegas; amazing software, every last one. Below are a few tools, ranging from simple to advanced, offering a large part of video editing functionality without charge.

24-09-2012
Edit Videos For Free On Windows With These Handy Tools
What You Need To Know About Syncing Spotify With An iPod

iPhone and iPad

What You Need To Know About Syncing Spotify With An iPod

For iPod owners, iTunes has long been the most obvious choice of music management and synchronisation software. Despite its bulkiness on Windows computers, iTunes is a highly capable piece of software, and suffices for a large majority of people. With the advent of cloud music, it might be time to reconsider. It feels strange — awkward, almost — to use iTunes solely for syncing with an iPod.

17-09-2012
What You Need To Know About Syncing Spotify With An iPod
How To Try Out Windows 8 On Your MacBook Air

Mac

How To Try Out Windows 8 On Your MacBook Air

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably a user of Mac OS X, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be intrigued. If Windows 8 has captured your interest, why not take it for a test run? While the operating system hasn’t launched, you can download a free preview! In this article, I’ll show you how to install it on a separate partition on your MacBook Air.

10-09-2012
How To Try Out Windows 8 On Your MacBook Air
How to Use an Android Device as a PC Webcam

Android

How to Use an Android Device as a PC Webcam

If you need to make a few Skype calls or want to start a Hangout on Google Plus, but don’t have the necessary equipment at hand, don’t run off to the hardware store just yet! If you have an Android smartphone with camera, you can simply use your phone instead. Given, the framerate will not be on par with a decent store-bought webcam, but it’s more than good enough for a sporadic video chat.

03-09-2012
How to Use an Android Device as a PC Webcam
What’s AirPlay, And How To Use It In Mac OS X Mountain Lion

Mac

What’s AirPlay, And How To Use It In Mac OS X Mountain Lion

Imagine you want to play your favorite album in Spotify. Naturally, you’ll be hooking your computer up to a better sound station. But what if you’re lying in bed, or sitting on the couch? Ideally, you’d just stream the music to your speakers. Streaming your content locally, between devices, is where AirPlay comes in. With Apple’s latest operating system release — Mountain Lion — it’s easier than ever.

27-08-2012
What’s AirPlay, And How To Use It In Mac OS X Mountain Lion
Your Cloud Media Center: How To Stream Videos From Dropbox

Internet

Your Cloud Media Center: How To Stream Videos From Dropbox

You’ll want to watch your videos on your laptop one day, and on your media center the next. A simple solution to this problem can be found with Dropbox, but not the way you’re thinking. Instead of synchronising your videos across multiple computers, you can use Dropbox to stream your video on any internet-enabled computer.

27-08-2012
Your Cloud Media Center: How To Stream Videos From Dropbox
The Top 3 YouTube Apps For The iPhone & iPad

iPhone and iPad

The Top 3 YouTube Apps For The iPhone & iPad

Google and Apple have been butting heads in the competition over the mobile and tablet market for a long time, and now that the temperature keeps on rising, the effects of this face-off have become even more apparent to the common user. With iOS 6, Apple will not only get rid of Google Maps as the default map provider, but also axe the YouTube application that was previously shipped with iOS.

20-08-2012
The Top 3 YouTube Apps For The iPhone & iPad
4 Ways to Copy iTunes Purchases From One Mac to Another [OSX]

Mac

4 Ways to Copy iTunes Purchases From One Mac to Another [OSX]

With music purchased from the iTunes Store, it’s not always clear what you can or cannot do. This is largely due to the maze of DRM restrictions, and iTunes’ design, which is obviously focused on managing your files in the application rather than in Finder. One of the things you can do – and as it turns out, quite easily – is copying your iTunes Store purchases from one Mac’s iTunes to another.

20-08-2012
4 Ways to Copy iTunes Purchases From One Mac to Another [OSX]