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Mac OS X Text Selection Shortcuts

March 6, 2009 | Filed Under Switch to Mac | No Comments

Posted by Charlie V. cvogl

Did you know you have multiple ways of selecting text in Mac OS X? Here are some great time-saving tips to help you highlight text faster!

1. To select text one word at a time, double click on your starting word, and then begin dragging your mouse, words will be highlighted in their entirety, instead of one character at a time.

2. To select text on paragraph at a time, triple click on your starting paragraph, and then begin dragging your mouse, paragraphs will be highlighted in their entirety.

3. Double click on any word in OS X to highlight the entire word.

4. Triple click on any word within a paragraph, and OS X will highlight the entire paragraph.

5. Another method that beats dragging your mouse across text to highlight is to hold down the Shift key, click where you want to start highlighting text, then click where you want to stop highlighting text (while shift is still held down). Voila, your text is highlighted right where you wanted without trying to hold down the mouse button and scroll at the same time.

I hope these tips save you time and frustration when selecting text in OS X!


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Are you RAM enough?

January 27, 2009 | Filed Under Switch to Mac | No Comments

Posted by Charlie V. cvogl

While computers these days can do some amazing things, they are requiring more and more resources to do them. One resource that cannot be overlooked is RAM (Random-Access Memory). When you ask your computer to perform multiple tasks at once, and are working with large file sizes, RAM instantly becomes your best friend. 

“Well how do I know how much RAM is enough?” This is an excellent question, and it varies by what type of user you might be. Here are a few examples…

Light user - “My computer is my email, internet and word processor machine. Nothing else.”

Medium (Regular) user - “I have digital photos, videos and music on my computer and whatever else my kids have thrown on there!”

Heavy user - “Having 4+ applications open at a time is normal for me. I am in front of the computer most the day.”

Pro user - “From desktop publishing, operating virtual machines and the Adobe Creative Suite, everything I do on my computer is a benchmark test!”

Have you figured out where you stand? Most users will find themselves hovering between a couple of categories, but these give you a good generalization for determining your appropriate RAM quantities. Light users, 1GB of RAM is your new minimum. Operating systems and word processors can take up more power than you think, and you also want to make your machine last as long as you can. Medium and heavy users should up this amount to 2GB. Digital media (photos, videos, music) are both hard drive and RAM hogs. Heavy and Pro users, look at joining the 3GB+ club. I even managed to max out 3GB last night when running a virtual Windows machine, synching my iDisk, working in Photoshop and listening to music! One of the unique things about RAM is, if it’s available, your computer will use it (Unlike hard drive space, that will stay vacant until its needed). I recently updated a machine from 1GB to 4GB of RAM, and now it never uses under a minimum of 1.2GB (Think of it as someone moving into a big new house. Even though it’s much larger than their old one, they’ll still find a way to fill it!). One thing is for sure, everyone should overestimate their computer usage when buying, and opt for that RAM upgrade!


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Part 3:There’s No Wrong Way to Backup!

December 19, 2008 | Filed Under Switch to Mac | No Comments

Posted by Charlie V.cvogl

Attention PCLive Bloggers! After my two part series on the importance of backing up your system, I wanted to let you know about an exciting new product offering that we created just for you, Online Backup!

OnlineBackup Online Backup provides easy, automatic, and secure data backup. You simply install it, choose what to backup and forget it. Never again worry about accidental deletion, hard drive failures, lost data from computer theft, or data corruption from virus and spyware threats. 

Features of Online Backup include…

· Easy, automatic, and secure data backup

· Mac OS X (10.5⬆), Windows  XP, and Vista compatible

· 50GB storage capacity - 500,000 word documents, 14,000 photos, 12,000 songs

· Multiple PC use - install Online Backup on an unlimited number of computers

· 24/7 support; phone, chat, and e-mail support is included 
  at no extra cost

To learn more about Online Backup or to sign up for the best in data protection, call us today at 1-877-725-4839!

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One Computer = Multiple Mac’s

November 17, 2008 | Filed Under Switch to Mac | No Comments

Posted by Charlie V. cvogl

If you’re like me, when you work at your computer you like to have everything set a certain way. You like windows to open in a certain view, Safari bookmarks to be in place, mail accounts to be synced and your favorite applications placed neatly in the dock. If you’re the only one to use your Mac, you’ll know all of these items above won’t change unless you alter them, but what if multiple people use the same Mac? Does everything have to be mixed together in one convoluted mess? Absolutely not!

Just like in earlier Windows versions many of you are used to, you can enable multiple users on your Mac. In System Preferences, under the System heading, select Accounts. A new windows will open allowing to add and delete user accounts as you please (note: only Administrative users can add/delete accounts). Once you have your desired accounts setup, your Mac automatically creates a User folder for each person to store all of their unique data. I also encourage you to activate Fast User Switching to quickly jump between accounts on the computer. In the Accounts window in System Preferences, select Login Options, and enable Fast User Switching. The current users name will appear on the top right of the toolbar, and when you click on it, you’ll get a list of every user on the Mac. Simply click the desired user and enter their password to go straight to the new account.

Multiple users can also give you a Login screen when you initially startup the computer, which allows users to select their custom account from the beginning, and not interfere with other users settings and documents.

Parents, one more advantage to multiple users is your ability to administer parental controls to your kid’s accounts. You can set computer use times, block websites, monitor their activity, and even pick which applications they have access to! All of these useful features can be found in the Parental Controls window of System Preferences.


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Anything can be a PDF

November 7, 2008 | Filed Under Switch to Mac | No Comments

Posted by Charlie V. cvogl

Have you ever created a document that you had to send to numerous people? Chances are some of the recipients might not have the application you created your document in, and you also risk the fear of formatting issues between computers, and giving people the ability to alter your content.

There is an easy solution that solves every problem listed, and its easy to do, send a PDF! PDF (stands for Portable Document Format) files can be created in any Mac OS X application that allows you to print. When your document is ready, select File > Print, and then click the PDF ▼ button in the lower left corner. Select Save as PDF, and simply save the file to your desired location. All of your text, pictures, and other data are preserved on the digital page just how you want it, and the file cannot be altered easily by recipients when you send it off!


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Part 2:There’s No Wrong Way to Backup!

November 6, 2008 | Filed Under Switch to Mac | No Comments

Posted by Charlie V. cvogl

In part 2 of this backup blog, I’d like to talk about a fantastic system recovery application called SuperDuper!. SuperDuper! differs from Time Machine in the fact that it creates a fully bootable backup of your system, which is ideal if you have a dreaded hard disk failure and need to completely start over with a SuperDuper! is a breeze. You can choose to have the application take control and backup as often as you’d like, and the bootable image can be moved as one convenient (although sometimes large) file from one storage media to the next.

One convenient feature is the built in smart updater, which recognizes changes that you’ve made to your system since your last backup. SuperDuper! focuses on these changes, and can add them to your backup image without starting all over, which allows backups to happen quickly, and ensure you that all of your latest changes have been saved securely.

In researching both Time Machine and SuperDuper!, I have found that while they are both backup applications, they are even better compliment applications. Time Machine is great because of its instant search-ability, and its integration into the OS, where SuperDuper! shines at being bootable in case of hardware failure, and gives users that one image file containing all of their backup information.

Whatever method you choose, you’re doing a wise thing by backing up. As I said before, any system backup is better than nothing!



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Part 1:There’s No Wrong Way to Backup!

November 3, 2008 | Filed Under Switch to Mac | No Comments

Posted by Charlie V. cvogl

While some methods are more detailed than others, any system backup is better than nothing. Whether it’s occasionally burning family photos and your music library to CD or employing a robust backup program, the peace of mind knowing your files are safe when your hard drive crashes is priceless. Notice I said when your hard drive crashes, not if your hard drive crashes; it will happen to everyone sometime, I’ve already fallen victim! Luckily, there are things we can do. Most take minimal time (only minutes to set up), and then run themselves as often as you want. I’m going to touch base on two of the most popular backup programs for Mac OS X users today, Time Machine and SuperDuper. 

Time Machine comes standard with Mac OS X.5 Leopard, and is by far the most elegant and easy to use backup system I’ve ever come across… once it was set up. You need to be aware of the system requirements before using Time Machine, including an external hard drive (big enough to hold all of your system files), Airport Extreme (if you want to backup wirelessly) and obviously, Leopard.

Once you have all the required items for Time Machine, and have your external backup hard drive mounted on your desktop, simply start the application in System Preferences [System Preferences > Time Machine > Turn switch to ON]. You can set time machine to backup as often as you’d like, and the advantage to this application over other backups is the ability to view archived documents on the fly without mounting any old disk images, and you can even search your backups with Spotlight! All of this data storage can fill up fast, so I recommend buying the largest backup hard drive in your budget (You can find 500GB hard drives for under $150!). You can set Time Machine to not back up certain files and folders if you wish through system preferences, which can save a great deal of time and hard disk space, but when it comes to back up files, the more the merrier! Next time, I’ll discuss a popular ‘clone’ backup system, SuperDuper.


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Quicktips: iCal

October 31, 2008 | Filed Under Switch to Mac | No Comments

Posted by Charlie V. cvogl

If you’re an iCal user, you know that there are three common ways to view your events and to-do items, day view, week view and month view. What if you wanted to switch between these quickly without taking your hands off the keyboard? You can with these useful keyboard shortcuts!

CMD⌘ + 1    Switch to Day view

CMD⌘ + 2    Switch to Week view

CMD⌘ + 3    Switch to Month view

CMD⌘ + R Arrow    Advance to next day, week or month, depending on your current view

CMD⌘ + L Arrow    Move to previous day, week or month, depending  on your current view

CMD⌘ + OPTION + (numberkey 1-7)    Can display multiple multiple days at once, select how many days you want to view at a time, and press that number key

CMD⌘ + N    Create a new event

CMD⌘ + K    Create a new to do



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Which Mac are you?

October 29, 2008 | Filed Under Switch to Mac | No Comments

Posted by Charlie V. cvogl

Today more than ever, Apple has one of the most innovative and diverse line of consumer Macs. While choice is great, in this case, it demands the need for close comparison shopping, and requires that you estimate how you’ll use your Mac in the future. Thinking ahead about your life with your new Mac before buying could be the smartest pre-purchase decision you make!

The first question is hopefully an easy one… “Desktop or notebook?” Do you have the need for a portable computer from time to time? Are you always in the same place when using your computer? Do you usually have a lot of peripherals plugged into your machine (i.e. printers, scanners, barcode readers, Audio equipment, etc.)? Does your job demand a lot of screen real estate (i.e. more than a notebook can deliver)? Do you use a lot of graphic and processor intensive applications? Answers to these questions will hopefully lean you towards one or the other. However, our friends at Apple have made this choice even more difficult with the new super-powered line of aluminum Macbook and Macbook Pro’s. With new NVIDIA graphics chips, and Apple’s release of a 24″ LED display just for notebook users, the ‘desktop experience,’ can easily be produced from a portable machine!

The next question to ask is, “What must my new Mac have?” One word of caution before jumping on a new notebook or any other Mac for that matter, is make sure it will have all of the ports and functionality you’ll want out of the box! One example is Apple’s deletion of the FireWire port on the new 13″ Macbook (FireWire 800 is still available on the Pro models). You may already use FireWire for a fast external HD or plugging in a DV camcorder, so unless you also want to buy all new gadgets, FireWire is a must! Also, the omission of an optical drive in the Macbook Air could be a deal breaker for those who have to burn and read discs often, and don’t want to carry around an external drive (as it would defeat the purpose of being ultra-portable).

I have also found that spending a little more money up front can save you a lot of time and money later. For example, choosing a higher-level processor on your new Mac will not only boost daily performance, but increase the shelf life of the machine. Also don’t underestimate your RAM and hard drive needs. 1GB of RAM is my new minimum, and 120GB of storage is less than some people’s music and picture libraries! Lastly, if there’s a graphics card upgrade available for the Mac you choose, get it! Many people underestimate the importance of their graphics chip, and this hurts both performance and ability. Many times, $150 will give you a desirable graphics boost (although graphics chips can run in the thousands of dollars on Mac Pro models!).

And we cannot forget price. Just for fun, I encourage you to visit the online Apple store and configure a 3.2 GHz Intel Quad-Core Mac Pro with 32GB of RAM, 1.2 TB of super fast 15,000 RPM HD’s, an NVIDIA Quadro FX5600 graphics card powering two 30″ cinema display, two internal SuperDrive’s, and an internal RAID (whew!). Not only would you have the most powerful consumer desktop on the market today (this thing would out-perform many businesses servers!), you would be spending a whopping $25,000+! Instead of showing up for a funeral in an F1 car, shop wisely without overlooking other options. Today’s iMac’s are extremely quick and capable machines, and you’ll be out of the door at least $1K cheaper than a Mac Pro  (and the gorgeous display is included!). As someone who always used to buy Pro model desktops, I learned that if I wanted to upgrade as often as I do (every few years), I was really throwing my money away. With a new 24″ iMac at home, I can still edit movies and music, and still crash airplanes in my X-Plane flight simulator with stunning clarity. There hasn’t been one moment where I wish I had a Pro desktop since my iMac. I’ve learned there’s a reason why Apple puts the word ‘Pro,’ in certain product names, it’s their demographic! 

So have fun shopping for that shiny new Mac. One of my favorite things is opening up my new Mac, as Apple even makes the packaging an elegant experience. Enjoy!


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Screenshots on the iPhone

October 27, 2008 | Filed Under Switch to Mac | No Comments

Posted by Charlie V.

A co-worker filled me in on a very useful tool for all iPhone users who have software update 2.0 or higher. You can capture a screenshot that is saved to your pictures folder at anytime on the iPhone by holding down the power button and then pressing and releasing the center ‘Home’ button. The screen will flash white for a split second, and then return to normal, telling you that the screenshot has been taken, and the picture is saved to your camera library. View any of your screenshots instantly from your iPhone photo library, or import them to your computer on your next sync and view them there.

Why is this useful? I have found this to be a very nice alternative to the copy/paste function that is unfortunately missing on the iPhone. If there is a phone # on a website I want to remember, or an address in Google Maps that I want to save later, I can snap a quick screenshot, and know the information is quickly available to me the next time I need it. Cut and paste would be great, but until then I’ve found this to be the next best thing.

Now you can have fun snapping pictures with both the built-in camera AND the screenshot technique! Enjoy!


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