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!
District Spotlight: Jordan School District
Kelly Dumont February 21, 2007
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.
Creating a New Cross-Platform Application in Revolution
Joe Wilkins February 21, 2007
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.