Monthly Archives: April 2011

App of the Week/Games4Mac: TouchFly

First, I apologize out right for not having an “App of the Week” up yesterday. Things got crazy. Second, I want to wish all my readers a happy Easter. If you don’t celebrate Easter, enjoy some fine weather and hopefully some time off.

This week’s app, I decided to go with the Easter/spring time/rabbit theme with the game “Touch Fly”. I guess you can also call this a “Games4Mac” post as well. This game is a side-scroller where you play a rabbit racing a bunch of turtles. The catch is that you and the turtles are flying; you have a jetpack, but I have no clue how the turtles fly, (but just go with it). As you fly along, you gain points by collecting carrots, candy, and shooting turtles with carrot themed weaponry (no blood, it’s family friendly). Your goal is basically to see how far you can get and how many point you can collect.

There are 2 versions of the game: Touch Fly, and Touch Fly Free. Touch Fly is 99¢ in the Mac App Store and Touch Fly Free is…well free. This game is pretty fun, even for a guy like me. And it definitely is a game the family can play; my pastor’s 6 year old daughter really played and loved the game (and my comments about the floating candy).

If you have any suggestions, feel free to email me, leave a comment, or whatever. Check out my Youtube channel from the Youtube link at the top of the page and feel free to subscribe.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful Easter weekend.

App of the Week: Flock (in memoriam)

The Flock browser was a small browser built around the same engine as Firefox. What differentiated it was its social support for many social networks great a small, RSS feeds, and blogging. Between 2010 and 2011, it made the jump to the Chromium engine (Google Chrome) and became even more powerful and faster than previous version, though it lacked as vast the social support of the previous version of Flock. Flock was eventually brought up by Zynga, the same company that makes FarmVille, and today they announced the discontinuation of support for the Flock browser in its entirety. Flock may still have community support, but the official team is going to help Zynga in its social game projects.

For all of its innovation, acclaim, and facilities, it apparently hasn’t lasted. Perhaps it could no longer compete with other browsers, such as the new RockMelt. Maybe it couldn’t keep up with other mainstream innovations. Who knows? When searching for alternative browsers, I came upon Flock and used it for a long time. Though it has not been my browser of choice for a good while, due to slow update cycles and other reasons, it has still held a special place in my heart. It served me well as a strong link into social browsing, connection, blogging, and alternative browsers.

More details can be found at flock.com.

R.I.P. Flock: April 11, 2005-April 26, 2011

Games4Mac: Halo CE

I finally got another video done. This next iteration in the Games4Mac series is the classic Halo CE (demo). Why play a demo for a game? Well you can buy the original still if you want, but the key reason is getting to play a classic FPS (first person shooter) for free (legally) and getting a great online multiplayer experience. Can’t beat that can you?

More videos will be coming soon, you can see the current one below. It seems like the site is growing. Whether or not this is because people like this or I’m somehow part of a content farm without my knowledge is still a mystery. If you like what I do and your not a bot, feel free to send me an email at easyosx@live.com, check out my youtube page at youtube.com/EasyOSX, and/or leave a comment. If you do all three you either really like me or your a creeper.

Thanks!

UPDATE: Because Halo CE Demo is a PowerPC app, there is no way for it to run on Mac OSX Lion because Lion doesn’t support Power PC apps.

Safari 5.0.5 and Security Updates:

Today Apple released security updates for Safari, updating the version number to 5.0.5 and a general security update for the Mac. Safari is updated to prevent fraudulent security certificates from being used to mislead you Mac to malicious sites. The security update helps to prevent a hacker from stealing personal info from your system. Be sure to backup your system before updating, and stay secure.

We’re Losing Power Captain! What to do when you Macbook’s Battery is Low

Almost day to day, I have to type something up, whether it’s notes, papers, ideas, etc. This week, I was doing such when I realized my battery was in the red. I couldn’t put the laptop to sleep in the middle of class, much less turn it off. I started doing what I knew I could do to save power, which got me thinking if other people did as well.

If you Macbook (or any laptop for that matter) starts getting low on power (& you obviously can’t use your charging cable for whatever reason), here are 5 things you can do to lower its power consumption. These tips are not exclusive to Macbooks, but will revolve around such.

1. Look in the Background: If you’ve got something big running in the background, this can really eat up you battery. Large downloads, video and picture rendering, updating, and scans usually eat up a lot of memory. Plus they heat up you computer, causing the fan to kick in (and no one likes a noisy fan). All of these things eat up your battery, so cancel anything that isn’t necessary to your work at the moment.

2. Dim the lights! Your screen is usually one of the largest power drains, especially for those with larger screens. By dimming the backlight, it can really slow the power consumption. Likewise, if your Macbook has the backlit keyboard, turn it off (or at least dim it if you’re in a darkened room); it may not eat as much as the screen, but it certainly doesn’t help. Especially since a bright screen/keyboard can turn up the heat, this can also kick the fan into high gear, thus draining the battery.

3. Cut the fan: Considering the previous 2 statements on heat, this should be no surprise. If your Mac’s not overheating, and your Mac isn’t doing any strenuous work, cutting the fan speed will lower power consumption. While we’re on the subject of heating, keyboard covers can keep heat insulated a bit, so removing them can help lower the fans job just a little bit. By default, Mac’s usually run the fan automatically, but some people run manual fan control apps, like smcFanControl.

4. Unplug unnecessary hardware: Peripheral devices (flash drives, external hard drives, speakers, headphones, etc.) tend to use power, and the more you have the more stress it put on your battery. If you can unplug any of them, go ahead. It won’t hurt, unless your presentation comes from a flash drive.

5. Turn off the Internet? Well if you’re not using it, don’t bother with it. Whether or not you’re connected to the local connection, you Mac is still open to receiving it. This is especially true of WiFi, which your Airport will keep looking for whether or not you can connect to any. So if you don’t need the web, turn off your AirPort by control-clicking the icon in your menu bar, and select turn off. Also, go ahead an unplug the Ethernet (this also counts as unplugging peripherals).

5. Start turning off unnecessary apps: When giving a presentation, does iTunes really need to be running? How if you just finished running it, can you turn it off? Don’t have Twitter running if you don’t have Internet. Pretty simple stuff. Start by having major applications turn off, and only turn off background apps (anti-viruses, Dropbox, etc) if you absolutely have to. Just stick to the minimum as needed for low power situations. Here’s another good place to start: If it connects to the Web, plays media, or is a game, it is a program that will drain power the fastest.

Those are 5 easy tips for saving power on your Macbook. Got any tips yourself? Feel free to comment or email me at easysox@live.com and I might update this to include your tip. be sure to subscribe and let me know if you have any other suggestions for any other topics.

Thanks for reading.

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