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.


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.

How to Use .Mac

  August 1, 2007

If you’re new to Macs, or if you’re not all that savvy with tech stuff (like creating websites and backing up important information with an online service), you should look into Apple’s .Mac service. It’s a $100 per year service that unlocks a number of cool features built into your Mac. In fact, some of the features are so cool that even seasoned Mac users spring for it. Here are just a few of the features that come with .

Mailplane: Better Gmail for Your Mac

  July 30, 2007

When we discussed Google applications a couple weeks ago, we mentioned several applications that allowed you to check your Gmail account from your Mac’s Desktop. But these are only good insofar as you can see that you have new email messages waiting to be read. To actually read the email messages, you still have to open up a web browser and long into Gmail. We’ve also discussed how to use Gmail with Apple’s Mail, which works great if you only use your Gmail account on your Mac.

A Greenhorn's Guide to the Mac Web

  July 27, 2007

Google and RSS feeds have fundamentally rewired the Internet in recent years. Instead of visiting our favorite websites on a daily basis, we search for content and sift through it in our RSS readers. But if you’re looking for the most up-to-date content from sources you trust, there’s still no better way to get it than visiting the actual websites. Which websites should you visit? That’s a good question. Until now, we’ve resisted the temptation to provide a links section on Macinstruct.

Use Your iPod as a Portable Hard Drive

  July 26, 2007

If you own a Mac (or any computer for that matter), chances are you’ll eventually have to transfer files to another computer. And you’ll probably want to back up your irreplaceable files and data, too. For these relatively trivial tasks, we recommend that you use your iPod. After all, your music, movies, and pictures probably take up less than half of your iPod’s hard drive space. You can use some of the free space as a storage device!

How to Find Files on Your Mac

  July 24, 2007

If you’re like us, you’ve got a lot of stuff on your Mac. Files, folders, and applications are lying all over the place. Most of that stuff is easy to find - applications reside in the Applications folder, and most of your files are in your Documents folder. But what about the stuff you can’t find? It’s hidden away somewhere, and you have no idea where to look for it. Track down the files and folders that got away with our handy tips for searching your Mac.

Using Quicksilver's Clipboard

  July 23, 2007

One of Quicksilver’s many handy features is the Clipboard module. When activated, it can keep track of the items that you have cut and copied, and let you see what is currently on the clipboard- what will appear when you paste. It can store rich formatted text and images just like the regular clipboard. First, check to see if the Clipboard module is installed. Open Quicksilver’s Plug-ins menu from the Preferences menu, the dock menu, or by typing the keyboard shortcut ⌘-Shift-’ when Quicksilver is open.

Back to School Apps for Your Mac

  July 20, 2007

It’s that time of the year again. Time to think about breaking out the books, looking sharp for all the attractive members of the opposite sex, making new friends, and hopefully learning something. We’re talking about school, of course. Let us tell you: There’s never been a better time to take your Mac into an educational environment. Free and low-cost programs can help you turn your Mac into the ultimate learning device, and prevent it from becoming another glorified MySpace machine!

Create a Web Development Environment With MAMP

  July 18, 2007

Those of us who have websites know that we need a development environment to work on new features, make changes, and just experiment. If you’re creating static HTML pages, you don’t need much - you can create the pages on your Mac and preview them locally in your web browser or a with WYSIWYG application like iWeb. However, things are a bit more complicated if you’re working with web applications that use PHP and MySQL.



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