Ten Times the Fun!


Ten Times the Fun!
Mac Tip#75/09-Oct-2002

I just have to do this. I’ve thought about this Tip and I just can’t restrain myself.

In Catch a Jaguar, Mac Tip#70/04-Sept-2002, I mentioned Apple’s new OS X, called Jaguar. Now I need to say that every day I use Jaguar I just want to say to all my clients: “Get this software!” I’m having so much fun with it that I want everyone to share the fun and share it with me.

Here are some reasons why:

  • Apple’s free calendar / scheduling software, iCal, allows you to enter events into several different calendars.

    I have one for my business appointments, one for family events, one for courses I run which anyone can attend and one for New Zealand holidays (which I downloaded free from Apple).

    Each has its own colour code and can be displayed or hidden with an easy click. These calendars download to both my Handspring Visor (was Handspring.com — updated by request 28 July 2004) and my iPod with Apple’s free iSync software.

    I can publish any calendars I choose, either for others to download into iCal or for anyone to view on a webpage.

    Publishing takes one click and entering a username and password (I don’t use Apple’s commercial .mac service, but instead a free service called iCal Exchange).

  • Apple’s free iChat software allows you to chat real-time with other iChat users.

    A Buddy List shows which of your contacts is available at any given time and even has a small photo if they’ve used one in their Address Book.

    I’ve chatted with colleagues from around the world and could imagine using this with my clients to help them with computer (especially Internet) problems.

  • Apple’s free Address Book integrates with iChat and iCal (and other software) to keep all your addresses in one place and make them readily accessible when you need them. You can add a photo if you have one and can customise the information you keep.

  • Apple’s free iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie allow you to deal with MP3 music files (make these from your own CDs by clicking one button), import and catalog photos (just plug in your digital camera) and make movies (plug in your digital movie camera).

    iTunes can synchronise with your iPod music player so you can carry hours of music (or spoken word) with you (and the iPod can back up your files).

  • New settings in the System Preferences allow you to set your desktop picture to a folder of pictures and then have it change at regular intervals (my picture changes every hour).

    Set your screensaver to a folder of your own pictures and you’ll see them as a slideshow on screen if you let the screensaver activate. My kittens feature this week on my Macintosh.

  • Various accessibility features return to the Mac after a long absence. Enlarge everything on your screen, control your Mac by speaking to it, do away with the mouse — there are a great many options here.

  • Free or inexpensive third party software adds all kinds of fun things. WeatherPop] for US$8, for instance, allows you to keep track of the weather in your city and others right from the menu bar, with 5-day forecasts, wind speed, temperatures and more.

    And although I’m not big on games the free Lines requires you to line up coloured balls in a line of 5 and is surprisingly more-ish.

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