How to Create a Desktop Slideshow
Matt Cone March 8, 2007
If you’re like us, you love browsing and collecting nice desktop pictures. There are literally thousands of websites that provide free desktop pictures. Anybody can download one of these works of art and set it as their desktop. And, if you have a digital camera and use iPhoto, you can set one of your own photos as your desktop picture. The problem is that you only have one desktop, and having one desktop means you can only display one desktop picture at a time.
Software Piracy: Black Beard & Captain Kidd!
Joe Wilkins March 7, 2007
In keeping with a recent article about piracy in the Runtime Revolution Newsletter, I’ve chosen to reprint an article I wrote in 2000 for the original Macinstruct website. It is still quite relevant and on target. Last week’s Code Mojo article presented me with significant issues - more than I had originally thought - but I will be back next week reviewing some of the scripting that was done in the Coloring Book application.
How to Write Your First AppleScript
Matt Cone March 7, 2007
Apple describes AppleScript as “an English-like language used to write script files that automate the actions of the computer and the applications that run on it.” I’d add that AppleScript is the easiest scripting language to learn, because it’s so similar to English and it’s very easy to understand. Script Editor - The Scripting Application To write AppleScripts, you need Script Editor, an application included with Mac OS X (located in /Applications/AppleScript/).
How to Use Comic Life in the Classroom
Charles Thacker March 7, 2007
There’s a long history of comics in the classroom, and the list of references at the end of this article is a great starting point for learning about this concept. While there’s still resistance to this medium being used in education - whether by staff or students - there is also a growing movement to use every valuable tool available. Comics have some great uses in the classroom and in a variety of curricula.
Mac Backup Basics
Ric Getter March 5, 2007
It was years ago, but I still remember it. It started out as one of those odd little crashes. A completely empty dialog box appears and then everything freezes. Okay. It happens. The keyboard is frozen as well, so I reach down and cycle the power button on the CPU. The friendly thrum of the startup chime comes from the speakers and a few moments later, the flashing question mark of the mystery disk icon appears at the center of the otherwise empty screen.
TextWrangler: The Best Free Text Editor
Matt Cone March 1, 2007
I don’t care what Justin Long and John Hodgman say in the Get a Mac commercials. The best thing about Macs is all of the quality freeware and shareware software. Sure, Mac users often take this software for granted, but if you really use PCs - and I mean really use them, not just play around with them at BestBuy - you’ll quickly find yourself missing the third-party Mac applications.
How to Use RSS
Matt Cone February 28, 2007
Just as the internet revolutionized communications in the early ’90s, RSS is fundamentally changing the way we receive information. Years ago, before RSS came into its own, we visited websites that published news, posted links, and provided information. We bookmarked our favorite websites and checked them frequently, because there wasn’t any other way to tell when they were updated. No longer. Thanks to RSS - which stands for Really Simple Syndication - we can receive everything from news and blogs to podcasts and iPhoto pictures without even opening our web browser.
Rolling a Revolution Application
Joe Wilkins February 27, 2007
We left off last week with having pretty much completed a completely new Revolution stack, named the “San Diego Activities and Coloring Book.” There were still a number of issues and more than a few scripting challenges to be resolved. I had assumed, somewhat naively, that the balance of the scripts would not be a great deal different than their HyperCard counterparts. As I dug in to completing them, I found that was not exactly to be the case.
How to Make Mac Icons
Wayne Linder February 26, 2007
A few weeks ago, Matt Cone showed us how Macinstruct’s beautiful icons, courtesy of the talented Gary Gehiere, came to be. In that article, you were shown the beginning stages of icon design – how the meaning of an idea is distilled down to a few carefully placed pixels. The end result, of course, is seen here - on Macinstruct - in the icons scattered throughout the website. But what about the development stage?
AirPort Card Alternatives: Surfing Wirelessly (On the Cheap)
Eric Buczynski February 23, 2007
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!