Category Archives: Hardware
Ever wanted to connect your PlayStation controller to your Mac? Ever wanted to play games with it? This video will teach you how to do both:
From its beginning, the Macintosh has been a mouse based OS. This is no more apparent today than in iOS and Mac’s gesture controls. That doesn’t mean that I always want to reach for my trackpad when I want to do something other than typing. Fortunately, Mac has a wide array of keyboard shortcuts, which I’m going to try to cover. NOTE: This list is not necessarily comprehensive, though I will try to be. What I basically mean is that I’ll cover the shortcuts for specific, Mac-centric apps (e.g. Finder), a few application agnostic commands, and some that may be general across similar apps (like browsers). Just don’t expect to find every keyboard shortcut under the Apple-logo sun to be in this list. Enough of that, let’s get to the commands. NOTE: Unless otherwise stated, a dash is not part of the keyboard shortcut.
GENERAL: Shortcuts you’ll find across the board.
- Zoom In: Command – (command key, minus symbol)
- Zoom Out: Command + (command key, plus symbol)
- Cut: Command-X
- Copy: Command-C
- Paste: Command-V
- New folder or document: Command-N
- Open file: Command-O
- Save page/file: Command-S
- Save As: Command-Shift-S
- Find folder,word in page: Command-F
- Print: Command-P
- Select All: Command-A
- Undo: Command-Z
- Redo: Command-Shift-Z (on rare occasions, the command is Command-Y
- Quit an app: Command-Q
- Close a window/tab: Command-W
- Hide window: Command-H
- Minimize window: Command-M
- Activate Spotlight: Command-Spacebar
- Quick app switching: Command-Tab
- Bold Text: Command-B
- Italics: Command-I
- Underline: Command-U
- Reload Page: Command-R
- New tab: Command-T
- Back: Command-(Left arrow)
- Forward: Command-(right arrow)
- Reopen closed tab: Command-Shift-T
- Connect to Server: Command-K
- Get info on selected folder: Command-I
- Quick view of folder you’re in: Command-Y
- Open folder: Command-(down button)
- Open enclosing folder: Command-(up arrow)
- Back: Command-[
- Forward: Command-]
- Change Finder view: Command-(the number 1, 2, 3, or 4)
- Make duplicate: Command-L
- Make alias (shortcut): Command-Y
- Delete file: Command-Shift-Delete
- Zoom in/out on a page or folder: Command+ or Command- respectively.
- Zoom in and follow arrow: Option-(two finger scroll up). NOTE: For OSX Lion or higher, this is the same whether or not you have “natural scrolling” enabled.
- Turn your screen to a negative image: Command-Option-Control-8.
- Turn volume up or down without the “pop” sound: Hold Shift while pressing volume up or down key.
- Smaller adjustments to sound and screen brightness: Hold Shift & Option while moving the screen/keyboard brightness, or volume keys. NOTE: This does not work in OSX Lion or higher.
A very good article from the MacFixIt blog on Cnet about what you need to do to prepare for upgrading to Lion and making sure you have the right system requirements. Hint: No PowerPC chips, only Intel
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Hope everyone is having a great start to the new year. I’ve got my second video out now, which happens to be my first hardware tutorial. It’s over the installation of RAM into a Macbook Pro, but you can apply the basic principles to most other laptops and Macbook models.
Again, comment and subscribe, to let me know what else you’d like to see. Thanks!