The place to learn about your Mac. Tips and tutorials for novices and experts.


I See By My Outfit

"Clothes," they say, "make the man." But that is just the start of what they say. The more you think about clothes, the more fascinating the subject becomes. And before I go any further, I would like to acknowledge and recommend a good book on the subject, Alison Lurie’s The Language of Clothes (which is probably out of print, alas, so you will have to scrounge for it). Lurie builds an extended metaphor around the idea that clothes are actually a language, which is an idea that we can, I think, readily agree with: what you wear "speaks volumes" about you.

How to be a Fabulous Technical Writer

This article was originally submitted to coach tutorial contest contestants. We liked it so much that we've left it online -- hopefully it will help other writers.

Everything you need to know in order be a great technical writer can be summed up in a recent conversation between an adult and my eight-year-old son, Tristan:

Tristan: How do you put a hippopotamus in the refrigerator?
Guest: I don't know.
Tristan: Open the door and stuff it in.
Guest: Ah.

Tristan: How do you put a giraffe in the refrigerator?
Guest: Ah hah! Open the door and stuff it in.

AirPort Card Alternatives: Surfing Wirelessly (On the Cheap)

When I won the eBay auction for my PowerMac G4, I was thrilled to discover that my "new" Mac came with an AirPort card. For those who don't know, an AirPort card allows you to wirelessly connect to the Internet and other networks. Since my PC downstairs was already connected to the Internet through an ISP, all I had to do to get wireless Internet access was purchase a wireless router for the downstairs computer, and I was on my way! The new PowerMac G4 settled in upstairs and surfed the web wirelessly.

District Spotlight: Jordan School District

Jordan School District (JSD) is the largest school district in the state of Utah. JSD currently serves over 80,000 students in 10 cities and other unincorporated areas. If you were to look at a map of the Salt Lake Valley and divide it into thirds going north to south, JSD would cover the southern third of the valley from the Wasatch Mountains on the east to the Oquirrh Mountains on the west. You can find further general information about JSD at our website,

Creating a New Cross-Platform Application in Revolution

When I first started thinking about this Chapter, I lost focus and started thinking about knowing all there is to know about Revolution. That was naive, and pretty stupid of me. I had exposed myself to a little bit of the vastness of Revolution and started thinking in grander terms than my original conception, which was to provide the old HyperCard crowd a really good excuse to shift their long-standing HC devotion to Revolution by demonstrating that Revolution can be a fairly simple extension to their HyperCard addiction. That group, on a worldwide basis, was - and is - huge.

Hired Gun

Were I to sidle up and whisper “grammar teacher” in your shell-like ear, I bet I know what your gut reaction (beyond screaming “PERVERT!”) would be. Grammar teacher. Not just pursed lips but a pursed face and probably a pursed soul. Stunted aspirations and reptilian mien and metabolism. Gleeful tormentor of schoolchildren. I know these things as well as the rest of you because I was once one of those schoolchildren. And now, yes, I am a grammar teacher. Worse, I revel in diagramming, the old Reed/Kellogg system that has been around since the turn of the century.

How to Clean Your Mac (On the Cheap)

I'll admit it: I'm not a neat freak. And the fact that my gear is in an attic where dust likes to accumulate doesn't help the situation. The dust accumulates in the strangest of places, and one of those places is near my computers. So every now and then I'll open up the Mac and do a little bit of cleaning here and there. I don't stop there, however. Other surfaces and peripherals also get the cleaning treatment. There are a few right and wrong ways to doing this, which I'll explain in this article.

Unified Communications in Education

One Box to rule them all,
One Box to find them,
One Box to bring them all
and in the network bind them.

Converting HyperCard Stacks to Standalone Apps Using Revolution

First of all, I want to say that my recent voyages into the land of Revolution have started taking their toll on me. Something that I, simplistically, had thought I was "up to" as a challenge in teaching has started to become far more. I'm not giving up; I just need to set the record straight: I'm a beginner, just like many of you who are reading my offerings, and my tenet "the best way to learn is by teaching" still remains in place. I just want everyone to know that I'm no expert on Revolution. I'm stumbling through exactly as I initially said I would be.

An Absolute Beginner's Guide to the Terminal

Sitting discreetly in Utilities folder (nestled nearly unnoticed amid your applications) is one of the most powerful tools ever created for the Mac. It is simple and elegant, yet can be intimidating (if not terrifying) and has the power to cure some of your computer’s most puzzling ills. It also possesses the fearsome ability to wreak unimaginable havoc on your system. We are talking, of course, about the Terminal, that magnificent gateway to the hidden underpinnings of the Mac OS.

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