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


Taking Great Screenshots in Mac OS X

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.

Winged Chariot

Ok, so last week I left you with a teaser about chronos and kairos, the two faces of time. Well, I should know better: I would be very severe with a student who proposed a five hundred word essay on "time" ("Sure that’s big enough for five hundred words, Sparky?"). The topic has turned into a writhing kudzu and just escaping with my life will be the best I deserve. This week chronos, then; next week, or some week, kairos. If I find the time.

Shopping for Macs at Thrift Stores

If you're like me and don't feel the need to have the latest-and-greatest Mac equipment, the best thing you can do for your Mac and your wallet is shop at thrift stores. It's a crap shoot, but on a good day you may walk out with more than you expected. There are a variety of stores to select from, including the Salvation Army, The Goodwill, American Thrift Centers, and my personal favorite: The Red, White and Blue thrift store. These stores are all located in and around Pittsburgh. Of course, the stores in your location may vary.

District Spotlight: Farmington Municipal Schools

We'll occasionally reference school districts in our articles to illustrate concepts or identify how technology can be implemented, and it will be helpful if some general information about the districts is available. We’ll call these articles ‘Spotlights’.

Why Would Ordinary People Want to Program?

Last week's article was supposed to have been labeled a "Prelude"; hence this one is the real introduction, but first a short note about the responses I received from the first article.

How to Write Tech Stuff Really Good

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.

Be active.

This is passive: In case of emergency, the red button should be pressed.
This is active: In case of emergency, hit the red button.

Passive is good only when you don't want to hold anyone responsible: There was a red button pressed this morning.

Active puts the responsibility squarely on someone: Jane hit the red button this morning.

Introduction to the OS X Terminal Application

The Terminal is an application from Apple used to gain access to the power that is “under the hood” of the operating system. Historically, there have been two ways to access the operating system; a Graphical User Interface (GUI) shell, or a command-line shell. The Mac OS graphical interface allows us to do our daily computing tasks in a manner that is familiar to us – if we want to throw an item away, we drag it to the trash. What is really happening “under the hood” is that the kernel is given a command to remove a file system object – a file or folder – from a directory.

Me, Myself, and I

Hi. Shea here. I am going to risk a rather prosaic opening (but to what will be, after all, an enterprise of prose, so at least there is an odd appropriateness to it). Matt Cone has invited me—he bought me lunch to clinch it!—to write an occasional column for Macinstruct. Needless to say I was flattered and, flattery going a long way with me, here I sit—at my Mac, of course—about to introduce myself, explain myself, perhaps even proleptically defend myself.

Finding Mac Freeware and Shareware: A Beginner's Guide

Why would anyone need low-cost software? I’m sure that some people, after switching from the PC, realize that they need some software to put on their shiny new Mac and their pockets are now empty. Or how about students, who, after spending their last bit of pocket change on some yummy ramen noodles, don’t exactly have a few hundred dollars left for a graphic-editing application. Then you have people like me.

Why Use Technology in Education?

If you're a regular visitor to this website, you may not need to read any supporting arguments for the use of technology in your educational system. However, it is beneficial to begin any discussion with a solid foundation in the topic to be presented.

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