Articles by Matt Cone
Matt Cone is a technical writer at Fastly. He has experience creating documentation for organizations like Linode and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Matt’s first book, Master Your Mac, was published by No Starch Press. To get in touch with Matt, visit https://www.mattcone.com.
Block Internet Ads with Safari AdBlock
December 13, 2007
It seems we here at Macinstruct discuss blocking pesky Internet ads at least every couple months. There’s a good reason for our ad-blocking articles: Advertising is more distracting and pervasive than ever before. Flashing banners and animated graphics can prevent you from focusing on what’s really important – the content. Fortunately, there are ways to block the nasties. Several months ago, we talked about how to use Privoxy to block ads.
How to Change Your Mac's Icons
November 30, 2007
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: One of the best things about Macs are the icons. There are dozens of icons that come pre-installed on your Mac, and there are literally thousands more available for free on the Internet. Collectively, these little pieces of artwork put a human face on (let’s be honest here) the inhuman and somewhat foreign machine that is your Mac. Fortunately, you too can install beautiful icons by simply downloading and installing CandyBar ($29) or LiteIcon (free), two applications that allow you to replace your Mac’s default icons with custom icons.
7 Little Leopard Niceties
November 27, 2007
Much has been made of Mac OS X Leopard and its major new features. In fact, if you know anything at all about Apple’s new operating system, you can probably name most of the big changes. Time Machine, Spaces, Stacks, and Cover Flow in the Finder are but a few of the major features. (We even covered these in our Mac OS X Leopard introduction article.) But what about everything else?
How to Get Rid of Favorite Styles in TextEdit
October 5, 2007
We’ve used TextEdit since it was first released for all of our word processing and find it does almost everything we need. Recently, we decided it was time to modify or delete some of the early Favorite Styles we no longer needed or wanted to re-title to something more descriptive. We tried everything from deleting our TextEdit plist file to reinstalling TextEdit but we were still stuck with the same styles we created earlier and wanted to eliminate.
Safeguard Your Files with Online Backups
September 4, 2007
We all know we should back up our files, but who actually does? Well, we do most of the time, and right now we’re using two services to back up our email and critical work files - some PDFs, a book project and a lot of Photoshop PSD files. We have about 2.5 gig worth of “stuff” that needs to be backed up. At the moment, we’re using “Backup” from Apple since we have a .
How to Add Email Accounts to Apple's Mail
August 23, 2007
Every Mac comes with Apple’s very own killer email client. It’s called Mail, and in our opinion, it’s one of the greatest applications ever. Thanks to Mail, you don’t have to check each of your separate email accounts online anymore. Just pop them all into Apple’s Mail and you can read all of your messages in one simple application. But how do you get your email accounts into Mail? Or, if you’re already using Mail, how do you add other email accounts?
How to Automatically Open Applications on a Mac
August 10, 2007
Did you know that you can set applications to automatically start when you turn on your Mac? It’s an extremely useful feature that can save you a couple minutes every day, especially if there are certain applications you use all the time. Here’s how to do it: From the Apple menu, select System Preferences. Select Accounts. Select the Login Items tab. To add applications to the start up list, click the + button and select the application.
How to Publish iCal Calendars to the Web
August 9, 2007
Apple’s iCal is one of the best applications you can use to keep track of events, appointments, meetings, classes, and other everything else scheduling. But when you’re away from your Mac, how are you supposed to find out what you have lined up for the day? If you use iCal’s publish to web feature, you can simply visit your website for the latest and most up-to-date version of your calendar.
Change Your Default Web Browser and Email Client
August 7, 2007
You can come across links to web pages and email addresses in everything from Word files to PDFs these days. When you click the links, your Mac opens the website or email message in your default web browser and email client, which by default is set to Safari and Apple’s Mail. But what if you use Firefox or another web browser? What happens if you use another email client to send and receive email messages?
Mac System Monitoring Apps
August 3, 2007
There are millions of car owners out there who will probably never look under the hood and see their vehicle’s engine. They don’t care whether or not their engine is overheating or their oil pressure’s jacked up or their car battery is about to conk out on them. As long they can drive, they’re good to go. And in the same vein, many Mac users don’t care about their computer’s inner workings.