archive-com.com » COM » T » TIDBITS.COM

Total: 405

Choose link from "Titles, links and description words view":

Or switch to "Titles and links view".
  • TidBITS Chapter 6 of “Take Control of Slack Basics” Available
    join in Finally Glenn explains how you can pin important messages make channel wide announcements leave a channel and archive a channel that s no longer needed Want to play with some of these capabilities Try them out in our public SlackBITS group which has over 150 members and has hosted some interesting discussions of Slack the Mac iOS and Apple TV and Josh Centers is fielding questions about the fourth generation Apple TV there now that his Take Control of Apple TV Second Edition 2 is out I ve made sure that the channel creation capabilities are open to all users now so feel free to go nuts you can t break anything Instructions on how to join are in Chapter 1 Introducing Slack 3 Also available to everyone is Chapter 2 Get Started with Slack If you re just getting started with Take Control of Slack Basics note that Chapter 3 and the rest are limited to TidBITS members so if you re not currently one we hope that early access is incentive to join 4 Those generous folks receive other benefits too like a full text version of our RSS feed but what s most important is that TidBITS members are the reason you re reading TidBITS today we wouldn t still be publishing without their support If you re already a TidBITS member log in to the TidBITS site using the email address from which you joined to read and comment on these chapters Chapter 1 Introducing Slack 5 Chapter 2 Get Started with Slack 6 Chapter 3 Master the Interface 7 Chapter 4 Post Basic Messages 8 Chapter 5 Go Beyond Basic Messages 9 Chapter 6 Work with Channels 10 The full ebook of Take Control of Slack Basics will be available for purchase by

    Original URL path: http://tidbits.com/article/16407?print_version=1 (2016-04-24)
    Open archived version from archive


  • TidBITS Acer H277HU USB-C Display Is an Affordable MacBook Companion
    two are such different sizes that it s not a big win I prefer the third option shutting the MacBook and using just the display which offers more than enough space for side by side working windows or the use of interface heavy apps like Final Cut Pro TweetDeck a multi column Twitter client that works best on larger screens is great on this display with room for up to nine columns image link 6 Apple s Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2 complete my setup see Apple s New Magic Peripherals Offer Modest Change 7 25 November 2015 image link 8 To be clear the Acer H277HU is not a Retina display By comparison Apple s 27 inch Retina iMacs boast an astonishing resolution of 5120 by 2880 pixels exactly four times the H277HU s 2560 by 1440 resolution Even the 21 5 inch Retina iMacs offer a resolution of 4096 by 2304 pixels However Acer s display beats non Retina 21 5 inch iMacs that provide only 1920 by 1080 pixel resolution and it s a little better than the MacBook s own 2304 by 1440 resolution The H277HU s sub Retina design could be a deal breaker for some Indeed after heavy use of Retina grade Macs and iOS devices my eyes rebelled a bit with this monitor but I got used to it quickly The 499 99 price is right too This means for those who have already invested in a premium priced MacBook that an external display can be added to the mix at a reasonable cost The H277HU s image quality won t win any awards The screen isn t super bright and lacks vibrancy Colors seem accurate apart from whites that are subtly tan Not being a graphics guy I didn t mind this and have happily used the display as my main work screen for weeks with no eyestrain or other issues It offers a suite of fairly sophisticated color controls for those with high sensitivity But some of these like blue light warmth and super sharpness just seemed to make things worse image link 9 Overall Acer s display largely works as advertised Connecting it to the MacBook via the sole USB C port in the back was plug and play most of the time A couple of times the MacBook desktop wouldn t come up on the large screen until I futzed a bit The USB C cord bundled with the display seemed to work best even though any USB C cable should be fine in theory For those listening to music the H277HU has built in speakers but they aren t very powerful and can t be controlled using the Mac s on screen audio controls or with the Magic Keyboard s audio buttons The speakers are on the back which is necessary for achieving those razor thin bezels but that makes the sound muddier than with front facing speakers There is no audio jack for connecting external speakers

    Original URL path: http://tidbits.com/article/16412?print_version=1 (2016-04-24)
    Open archived version from archive

  • The 12-inch MacBook: A Different Mac for a Particular User
    Some will buy a MacBook for casual pursuits that do not involve heavy keyboard use I am looking at you Mom and Dad But others like myself put a lot of miles on our keyboards That brings me to what may be the MacBook s most controversial feature its revamped keyboard which feels markedly different from those on older Apple notebooks The keys have a larger surface area but less vertical throw due partly to the laptop s thinness They have a harder harsher feel This bugged me at first and as I write this I have not completely adapted but I am getting there I m seeing decent accuracy after an initial period of clumsiness Interestingly I m most at home on the keyboard when taking notes during interviews which involves super fast typing in a hyper concentrated state In other words when I forget about the hardware and just let my fingers fly the keyboard performs splendidly I m also starting to like the keyboard s extra firm clicking due to a redesigned key switch mechanism butterfly instead of scissor Little is more personal than someone s preferred keyboard and the MacBook keyboard could be a deal breaker for some I think I m fine with it though And since the MacBook is a near ideal device for writers of all kinds I suggest having an open mind about its keyboard But I also strongly encourage you to try one in person before buying Modest Multimedia I was surprised to see Apple s advanced Final Cut Pro X installed on demo MacBooks in Apple retail stores I shouldn t have been Though the underpowered MacBook is not a video editor s dream it does run Final Cut reasonably well I tossed a couple of my modest work related video projects at it and felt little frustration I got my projects done with minimal delay and I have more Final Cut work queued up for the week remaining in my MacBook press loan term I do chafe a bit at certain limitations The MacBook does not have much on board storage for media files and my standard strategy of hooking up external solid state storage via a Thunderbolt port doesn t work here So if video editing is your bread and butter the MacBook shouldn t be your primary Mac But those with lighter video editing needs via iMovie or something fancier shouldn t have major issues apart from using USB based external storage via an Apple adapter MacBook Gear Speaking of which some who buy MacBooks may want to spend a bit extra on accessories to make their use of the laptop a bit more practical and pleasurable None of the following are must haves for all MacBook users but you will know if you need one or more of these Apple s own audiovisual adapters including the USB C Digital AV Multiport Adapter and the USB C VGA Multiport Adapter are necessary if you want to use an external monitor or projector via HDMI or VGA While you re doing that you can power the MacBook via a USB C port in either adapter and use the standard USB port also built into both for whatever you wish My test monitor has a DVI port but I was able to get the MacBook working with it by adding a DVI to HDMI adapter to the mix Apple also offers a USB C to USB Adapter for plugging in a wireless mouse transmitter external drive or the like but you can t charge the MacBook while using the adapter If you need a standard USB port for charging some other device Twelve South s PlugBug attaches to an Apple laptop charger including the new one for the MacBook and supplies a USB port as well as its own prongs for plugging into the wall Alas it s only for charging there s no data transfer link to the MacBook Note also that the PlugBug is not an exact fit for the new USB C charger but it works just fine A MacBook customized version is surely coming Twelve South has two PlugBug models including a 35 U S model and a 50 World version with an assortment of international plugs A spare charger can come in handy and you don t have to use Apple s 49 charger because USB C is an open standard unlike Apple s MagSafe For instance you can use the Chromebook Pixel s 60 charger if the Apple one is out of stock and there will be cheaper ones Apple in a support document says third party USB C power adapters will charge the MacBook if they adhere to the USB Power Delivery specification As an experiment I attached an iPad charger to the PlugBug and tried to charge the MacBook that way While this arrangement charges an iPad just fine it doesn t seem to supply enough power to charge the MacBook Finally a bag case or sleeve may be a good idea because I suspect that shiny non glowing Apple logo on the lid will scratch easily I have always been partial to gear from WaterField Designs and the company has a line of products designed for the MacBook Wrap Up The MacBook is a beautiful machine that I would never buy partly because its USB C port is too restrictive and also because I can get far better performance for the money with other portable Macs These are hardly concerns for the people Apple wants to woo with its new laptop They include folks like my parents who want a notebook that looks lovely isn t overly complicated and is thin and light enough to take everywhere It s also great for Web app users video and ebook addicts tablet for work recanters hardcore keyboarders and casual video editors The MacBook may feel exotic now but its newfangled technology is undoubtedly headed for other Apple laptop models in the coming

    Original URL path: http://tidbits.com/article/15628 (2016-04-24)
    Open archived version from archive

  • TidBITS Cheaper Alternatives to Expensive Standing Desks
    feels sturdy and solid with virtually no give Even the keyboard platform is a rock though it is a bit on the cramped and narrow side for those using a full size keyboard with a numeric keypad along with a mouse Apple s Magic Keyboard fits in nicely however alongside a Magic Mouse 2 The Lift35 lacks some features found in its WorkFit T cousin including pre drilled holes for use with specialized expansion kits but Ergotron said these would be of minimal interest to average consumers On the other hand the Lift35 has a few features the WorkFit T lacks like the choice between three optional wooden work surfaces each raising the cost of the desk to 699 and even the option of real bamboo which hikes the price to a whopping 899 Ergotron Alternatives The Lift35 has competition which is to be expected since this kind of standing desk is quite popular I tried a couple of Lift35 alternatives from two Ergotron rivals VariDesk and InMovement Their standing desks work in much the same way but with a number of design variations InMovement s entry the 399 Elevate DeskTop DT2 12 is true to its name in that its upper surface looks a bit like a desk with rounded edges and a couple of wood finish options along with a white option The rest of this rig is shiny curvy metal that looks quite stylish The desk as a whole is lovely in fact image link 13 As with the Lift35 levers on the left and right allow for smooth raising with a counterbalancing mechanism The DT2 s keyboard tray unlike the fixed Lift35 version is a thin slide out variant that flexes a bit too much for my taste However colleagues who used a couple of DT2 test samples extensively said they didn t mind this in the least A movable keyboard tray has one big advantage it can be pushed inward and out of the way if the user wants to use just a single flat work surface that is more appropriate for laptop use VariDesk a prominent maker of standing desks has a dizzying selection of desktop work units with something for everyone in a range of styles and sizes Some have distinct separate display and keyboard platforms Others feature a single all purpose surface The model I tried the 375 ProPlus 30 14 is much like the Lift35 in that it has a small platform for a keyboard and mouse and a bigger one for a screen or all in one computer It has levers on the right and the left for raising and lowering which is smooth and effortless thanks to a counterbalancing mechanism The ProPlus is curvier than the Lift35 with a typing area that is more open and feels much less restrictive The unit is constrained by its 30 by 30 inch 76 by 76 cm footprint however with room for only one display or iMac But other models in the

    Original URL path: http://tidbits.com/article/16401?print_version=1 (2016-04-24)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Ergotron Lets Mac Users Stand and Deliver
    the iMac from moving as much The company doesn t advertise it but sends it out for free upon request contact Ergotron and ask for part number 97 834 085 WorkFit product manager Neil Lien said it adds friction to the tilt on the iMac monitor Unfortunately I couldn t get the thing to work with the Retina iMac apparently due to a subtle change in the Mac s design that may require Ergotron to update the plastic piece Positioning is another potential issue When sitting or standing at this workstation I found the iMac to be a bit too close to my face for comfort This might be fine for others Indeed the screen was about an arm s length away as I worked which is what some recommend but I personally found the huge and bright iMac to be uncomfortably prominent as positioned My point here the fact that this can t be adjusted to account for different tastes is a problem I could tolerate the screen closeness when working on my feet but when I lowered it so I could sit down the iMac also was a bit too high This also is not adjustable There is no way to modify the display and keyboard height independently changing one changes the other since all parts of the station rise and descend in unison The keyboard tray has issues too Width is a minor one you will be fine if you use an Apple Wireless Keyboard with a mouse but you will feel cramped with a wider keyboard that has a numeric keypad Depth is a bigger problem I didn t have adequate mouse maneuvering room and I kept banging my rodent into the raised lip on the far edge of the tray The keyboard tray also sported a superficial imperfection that seemed trivial yet marred its smoothness enough to make mousing over that portion of the surface stress inducing Think of it as a princess and pea problem Switching to Apple s Magic Trackpad would resolve all of my issues with the tray but it s not my favorite input device Don t even think about investing in the WorkFit A unless you have a super sturdy desk or table I initially clamped it onto a smaller typing stand that was not up to the job creating additional wobble On the positive side both its Terminator arm and the computer keyboard combo can be rotated to the left or right if you want to share something onscreen with a colleague or just move the whole workstation out of the way temporarily The WorkFit A is a real conversation starter too Many who run into it will have never seen anything quite like it making you Mr or Ms Popularity at least for a while But you must give careful consideration to whether the WorkFit A design will suit you given the potential problems I ve detailed Again it could be just the ticket for certain iMac users

    Original URL path: http://tidbits.com/article/15274 (2016-04-24)
    Open archived version from archive

  • TidBITS The Power of Preview: Annotating Documents and Images
    no longer be selected and manipulated individually In other words make certain that you re done adjusting annotation shapes before you close the file One final tip here You might think that you could use Edit Select All Command A to select all the annotations you ve made and delete them You d be wrong that selects all the previously existing picture content instead However you can Shift click multiple objects to select them simultaneously for moving or deleting all at once Who Was That Masked Loupe For an alternative way to call things out check out the Mask and Loupe shapes both available from View Annotate and the Shapes button menu in the Markup Toolbar Mask is a bit tricky to use because it s sort of a reverse shape the actual shape is a large gray border that deemphasizes what it covers Inside that border is a no fill rectangle that you position over the portion of the image you want to highlight The blue drag handles work as you d expect but to select or move the rectangle you must click outside it not inside like every other shape Play with the mask shape on a throwaway image so you can get a sense of how you might use it image link 10 Loupe inserts an onscreen magnifying glass which is a helpful way to highlight small details but it also distorts the image which can be confusing to the viewer You change the size of the loupe with the blue drag handle and adjust the zoom level with the green drag handle image link 11 The Pen Is Mightier If you d rather draw shapes yourself Preview lets you do that In the Markup Toolbar the third button from the left activates the Sketch tool which doesn t appear to have a menu equivalent Select it and click and drag to draw the desired shape What Preview does next depends on what you drew If Preview thinks you were trying to draw a square for instance it changes your drawing to be a proper square shape Likewise with triangles ovals lines arrows and other shapes it s a loose interpretation Usually if you draw an unidentifiable squiggle Preview will leave the squiggle as is but its behavior isn t always predictable Thankfully if you don t care for Preview s interpretations or if Preview couldn t see that you meant to draw a dialog balloon you have a chance to correct it After drawing a shape look closely at the upper left of the window where a small popover appears with your original and a choice of possible replacement shapes Click the one you want but be aware that you get only one shot since the popover vanishes forever after you choose or if you deselect the shape image link 12 If you happen to have a trackpad equipped with Force Touch note that the Sketch tool is pressure sensitive so you can press more firmly to darken the line as you draw The Sketch tool can be useful in ways you might not expect For instance imagine that you re trying to give someone directions on a trail Bring up the area in satellite view in Google Maps take a screenshot and then use the Sketch tool to draw a freehand line indicating where to go Texting While Annotating Shapes are great but what about when you want to add a description to an annotation or complete a PDF form that lacks interactive form fields For that you can insert text And not surprisingly Preview offers quite a few ways to do so The main way to insert text is to choose Tools Annotate Text Command Control T or click the Text button in the Markup Toolbar Preview inserts a text box with Text as a placeholder You can move and resize this text box just as you would a shape although it can be a little fussy since clicking inside the text box edits the text instead of grabbing the box Try these techniques to make moving it easier First click anywhere else to deselect the text box hover over the deselected text box until you see the hand cursor and then click and without letting up drag Second if the text box is already selected hover over the outlined edge to get the hand cursor and drag To change a text box s typeface point size color style and alignment select the text box and click the Text Style drop down menu in the Markup Toolbar which is the rightmost button You can t style individual words or characters in the text box separately You can also use the Shape Style Border Color and Fill Color menus to further customize the look of the text box just as you can with shapes Border Color lets you add a border to the text box and give it a color Shape Style offers stroke thickness and style choices and Fill Color adds a background color to the text image link 13 For more fun try speech bubbles which you insert by choosing Tools Annotate Speech Bubble or from the Shapes button in the Markup Toolbar They work just like regular shapes with the addition of two green drag handles for controlling the tip and base of the arrow They can be fun for snapshots but we d caution you against using them in professional documents image link 14 In fact although it s not inherently obvious you can actually add text to any of the shapes including lines and arrows For those two the text appears off to one end of the line for the rest the text shows up inside the shape Take Note In The Power of Preview Viewing Images and PDFs 15 13 March 2016 we discussed highlighting text in PDFs and adding notes to your highlights That s all fine and nice but what if you want to leave a comment

    Original URL path: http://tidbits.com/article/16379?print_version=1 (2016-04-24)
    Open archived version from archive

  • TidBITS TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 11 April 2016
    quickens the pace of moving layers in Transform mode fixes a crash that occurred when applying effects that add noise such as Noise Vintage Snow and Rain corrects an issue with missing metadata when sharing images to the Photos app fixes a memory leak that occurred when exporting PDFs ensure that PDFs are exported with transparency in El Capitan and rectifies a problem that would cause the canvas to disappear when editing images with a large number of layers 29 99 new from the Mac App Store 6 free update 46 7 MB release notes 7 10 9 5 Read post comments 8 about Pixelmator 3 4 4 1Password 6 2 1 AgileBits has released 1Password 6 2 9 for Mac dubbed The New Tricks Edition with better accuracy when filling in login forms and a simpler import workflow to make it easier to transition from competitor LastPass The update adds support for restoring from iCloud when running the AgileBits Store version of 1Password for the first time improves the accuracy of filling in Credit Card and Identity items speeds up search in 1Password mini fixes a bug that failed to properly limit the list of Logins when filling on certain sites improves how 1Password deals with multiple active Chrome profiles and requires you to give 1Password permission to decrypt Documents After the release of 1Password 6 2 AgileBits followed up with a quick 6 2 1 update to fix a few bugs in the Mac App Store release and add support for Apple s Safari Tech Preview 49 99 new from AgileBits and the Mac App Store 10 with a 25 percent discount for TidBITS members 11 when purchased from AgileBits free update 44 4 MB release notes 12 10 10 Read post comments 13 about 1Password 6 2

    Original URL path: http://tidbits.com/article/16414?print_version=1 (2016-04-24)
    Open archived version from archive

  • TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 11 April 2016
    Alternatives to Expensive Standing Desks The Power of Preview Annotating Documents and Images ExtraBITS for 11 April 2016 x Welcome to TidBITS We make our articles available via RSS and in a weekly curated email newsletter You can also support our work by becoming a member and receive several benefits Close To help us avoid automated posts and misuse of our site please enter the words below Close Gerberding Thanks for your interest in forwarding this article via email Please fill in your email address and that of the recipient below You can also include a short message Close Send to Your email Your name Your message indicates required fields To help us avoid automated attempts to spam recipients please enter the words below Email 11 Apr 2016 Print TidBITS Watchlist Notable Software Updates for 11 April 2016 by TidBITS Staff GarageBand 10 1 1 Apple has released GarageBand 10 1 1 updating compatibility with GarageBand for iOS and Live Loops projects which enable you to create music by triggering instrument loops and DJ style effects in real time using Multi Touch gestures The release also adds support for opening Music Memos projects and using Logic Remote for iPhone and iPad Pro adds over 2600 new Apple Loops and sounds improves reliability when downloading additional content and adds multiple enhancements to Accessibility 4 99 new from the Mac App Store free update 938 MB 10 9 Read post comments about GarageBand 10 1 1 Pixelmator 3 4 4 The Pixelmator Team has released Pixelmator 3 4 4 with improved Intel HD 3000 graphics card support in OS X 10 11 El Capitan The image editing app quickens the pace of moving layers in Transform mode fixes a crash that occurred when applying effects that add noise such as Noise Vintage

    Original URL path: http://tidbits.com/article/16414 (2016-04-24)
    Open archived version from archive