Tips for a tidier Mac

Posted in Uncategorized on January 2, 2011 by theexecreview

Spring may be in the air, but if you’ve spent a long winter packing your Mac with applications, files, and folders, there’s a good chance it could use a stern cleaning. These tips will help you do just that.

Tackle cable and peripheral clutter

If you haven’t taken a peek at the back of your iMac or Mac Pro lately, now’s the time. Trace the many cables you find back there and see where they lead. You may discover USB cables connected to nothing whatsoever or to a spare photo printer that you haven’t used all year or to that hard drive that contains nothing more than a copy of your files from the OS 9 days. While you’re in rummaging mode, check any power strips to see if they’re connected to power supplies that aren’t serving a useful purpose. And before you leave the scene of the crime, untangle the cables you find and make sure you haven’t created a conga-line of power strips—one connected to the other—which may be a fire hazard.
Really take out the trash

Just about every Mac user is aware that the items tossed into the Trash remain there until you choose Empty Trash from the Finder menu (or click and hold on the Dock’s Trash icon and select Empty Trash from the menu that appears). Fewer, however, know that some applications maintain a trash of their own that, left unemptied, can also add unwanted bloat to a Mac. iPhoto is the first place to look. When you delete pictures and movies, they go into iPhoto’s Trash—located in iPhoto’s sidebar—where they remain until you Control (right) click on Trash and choose Empty Trash.

Mail has a Trash too, though, by default, Mail is configured to dispose of messages after a month. You can get rid of them sooner by opening Mail’s preferences, selecting the Accounts tab, selecting an account, clicking on the Mailbox Behaviors tab, and choosing a different option in the Trash area of the window. Your choices are Never, One Day Old, One Week Old, One Month Old, and Quitting Mail. To delete all trashed message immediately, Control (right) click on the Trash icon in Mail’s sidebar and select Erase Deleted Items.
Deal with duplicate data

If you’ve been using the same Mac and account for awhile, it’s likely that you have duplicate items cluttering up your computer. Fortunately some applications have built-in tools for dealing with those duplicates.

Address book duplicates
Clean out a cluttered Address Book by dealing with all the duplicate entries you’ve got for contacts.

For example, open Address Book and choose Card -> Look for Duplicates. Address Book will do exactly that and eventually produce a sheet that details the number of duplicate cards and duplicated entries. Click Merge and the information from cards deemed duplicates will be merged into a single card.

You can also identify duplicates in iTunes. Launch iTunes, hold down the Option key, and choose File -> Show Exact Duplicates. iTunes will create a list of tracks that have the same track title, artist, and album. You’re welcome to identify those you don’t need and toss them out.
Archive old messages

If you’re an e-mail packrat, you probably have years of old messages that you’ll never read again. You can honor your inner packrat by holding on to these communications while, at the same time, trimming down your Inbox. One way to do that is to create a new mailbox by clicking on the Plus (+) icon in the bottom left corner of the Mail window, dragging your old messages to the resulting mailbox, and then Control (right) clicking on that mailbox and choosing Archive Mailbox from the contextual menu. A sheet will appear, asking where you’d like to store your archive. Once you’ve successfully created the archive you can safely delete the messages from Mail.
Clear the decks

Many Mac users believe the Desktop is the perfect place to store files. After all, it puts the files you use most often front and center. The problem is that the Finder treats any folder or file on the Desktop as a window. That window designation is benign if you don’t have many items on the Desktop, but clutter it with files and folders and the Finder will slow significantly. If you’ve noticed that the Finder has become pokey and you have a lot of items on the Desktop, there’s your answer—too much clutter. It’s time to pick up your junk and put it in its proper place. Speaking of which….
Organize your stuff

Apple provides a simple and intuitive file structure for storing your stuff—your user folder and folders within it for documents, downloads, movies, music, and pictures. If you’re constantly dashing to Spotlight to find your files, your Mac’s probably not as organized as it could be. To make finding files easier, you don’t have to spend time coming up with your own elaborate filing scheme, first just try placing items in the folders designed for them.

Thanks to MacWorld for the article.

Amazon Says Many iPad Owners Also Have Kindle Hardware

Posted in Uncategorized on December 28, 2010 by theexecreview

So here’s an interesting fun fact: It appears that many tablet owners also have an Amazon Kindle, which the e-tailer announced was their best-selling product of all time earlier this week.

AppleInsider is reporting that Amazon’s Kindle hardware had a boffo Christmas, with the online retailer claiming the third-generation e-reader is now the best-selling product in the company’s history. The Kindle stole the top spot from the popular book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which is a huge feat for a device costing a lot more.

While the company as usual didn’t disclose any actual sales figures, they did note an interesting statistic about their Kindle owners — it appears many of them also have tablet computers such as Apple’s iPad.

“We’re seeing that many of the people who are buying Kindles also own an LCD tablet,” Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said. “Customers report using their LCD tablets for games, movies, and web browsing and their Kindles for reading sessions.

“They report preferring Kindle for reading because it weighs less, eliminates battery anxiety with its month-long battery, and has the advanced paper-like Pearl e-ink display that reduces eye-strain, doesn’t interfere with sleep patterns at bedtime, and works outside in direct sunlight, an important consideration especially for vacation reading.”

It should be noted that Amazon didn’t specifically mention the iPad by name, although it’s widely acknowledged by this point that Apple’s tablet is the current leader in that market. The iPad, as well as any number of smartphones and tablets based on Google’s Android, already have a perfectly good Amazon Kindle app, which is also available on Mac and Windows.

Amazon also revealed that the 8GB iPod touch was among the best-selling electronics this holiday season. Apple’s Mac mini was the last product ordered from Amazon in time for the company’s Local Express Delivery service — after being ordered at 1:41 pm on Christmas Eve, the computer was delivered to a likely happy customer in Woodinville, Washington the same evening at 8:04 pm.

Thanks to Maclife.com for the report.

XGearlive Shadow Carbon Fibre for MacBook Pro

Posted in Uncategorized on December 24, 2010 by theexecreview

Yet another classic from the range we love at TheExecReview, a carbon fibre case for your precious MacBook Pro.

The case fits snuggly against the bottom and top of your MacBook Pro and holds it extremely tightly so there’s no danger of the case becoming loose. The carbon finish is superb and very different to the myriad of cases currently on the market. Its smooth but the base grips most surfaces to prevent any sort of slippage. There is a removable plastic covering which slots in over your Apple logo on the lid and the case perfectly matches the cases I currently have on my iPad and my iPhone4 which look great when sat together.

Standout Points are:-
* Lightweight Carbon Outer Shell
* Soft Inner Lining To Cradle Your MacBook Pro
* Triple Layer Protection
* Ultra Low Profile Design
* Access to All Your Ports and Power Supply

XGearlive really have cornered the market with some unique and high quality cases for a range of Apple accessories and the Shadow can be found at ExecSpot.com.

LMP Bluetooth Numerical kEYPAD

Posted in Uncategorized on December 24, 2010 by theexecreview

Just got the standard Apple Keyboard? Do you crave a numerical keypad for data input or just the ease of having the numbers in one easy spot?

ExecSpot.com have provided me with the solution for a review, the LMP Bluetooth Numerical Keypad. And it can be used with Mac and MacBook alike! The keypad is made of a strikingly convincing solid plastic construction and the key responsiveness is fantastic.

With page up and down keys and F14 through F17 this keypad is ideal for any Mac user looking to do some intensive typing or numerical work and I must say nicely fills a gap Apple should have filled themselves.

Priced at £39.99 from ExecSpot.com this is an ideal product to complement you mac setup and ease your workload. I know there’s quite a few of you out there struggliung to get this item and ExecSpot.com have a very reasonable £10 international shipping charge.

Pineider iPad Case – Possibly The Most Luxurious iPad Case There Is!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 19, 2010 by theexecreview

I’ve seen quite a few iPad cases in my time, but this Pineider iPad case has to be the most luxurious I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing.

The box is stunning and well presented, and the iPad case comes in an inner sleeve for protection against the box. The leather is gorgeous and of the highest quality that people have come to expect from Pineider.

The case closes with a reassuring tab button and opens to reveal a space for your iPad on the right and several sleeves on the left for your business cards, money and any meetings notes you may have. Your iPad slips easily in and is held very securely with no chance of it slipping out.

Priced at £195 with free delivery at ExecSpot.com may seem a little steep, but this case ensures you stand out above everyone else and is simply the best you can get.

PADACS Toccata iPad Keyboard Folio Case

Posted in Uncategorized on December 17, 2010 by theexecreview

Over the past few months I’ve seen quite a few of me2 versions of keyboard folio cases for iPad and I must say I haven’t been impressed with their overall quality or their functionality. Most are of poor construction and their keyboard don’t easily sync up with the iPad and typing can be difficult.

After receiving the PADACS Toccata iPad case for review recently from ExecSpot.com I was pleasantly suprised. At last, a company has got it right. Slim, good looking and hits all the right spots.

Made of high quality synthetic leather which looks just like the real thing and weighing suprisingly little, I have been taking this case everywhere with me and receiving compliments on it’s quality. The keyboard syncs seamlessly with the iPad and with over 45 hours of battery life from just one charge you needn’t worry about bashing out long emails or even essays and dissertations, it also switches itself off when not in use. The iPad screen can be angled at quite a few angles to adjust to your sitting position.

The case shuts with a magnet and the keyboard itself is rubberized silicone, a big no-no for some, but I found it of high quality and really easy to use and good enough to keep a reasonable typing flow. The keyboard also includes a line of F keys, with volume control, music controls and even a home button.

This case is a great solution for those looking to convert their iPad into a ultra portable laptop and can be bought at the very reasonable price of £64.99 at ExecSpot.com with free delivery.

Which Tablet Will Prevail?

Posted in Uncategorized on September 28, 2010 by theexecreview

With the tablet race gathering pace, we’ve decided to do an initial review of the products on the market and due to come on the market.

So Blackberry have announced their rival to the iPad. The PlayBook. Due out in early 2011 in the US with an international release due later in the year. The PlayBook is smaller and lighter than the iPad but does it measure up? It will have a seven inch screen, making it half the size of the iPad, and weight of 0.9 pounds compared to Apples 1.5. A major benefit though will be the inclusion of two cameras, front and back, rumoured to be included on iPad 2.0.

The PlayBook will be able to act as a second larger screen for the Blackberry, a major innovation over the iPhone, through a secure short range wireless link, with no sensitive data being lost when the connection is severed. Outside of wifi, the PlayBook will pick up 3G through your Blackberry. The screens small size coiled be limitation between the one fingered typing of a smartphone compared with the comfortable and easy typing on the iPad 9.7 inch screen. There’s no standalone 3G and by the time of release, they’ll be plenty of other tablets running the brilliant android system.
On the other hand, the PlayBook will run flash, making the internet a much more positive experience than the iPad. With VLC now available on the iPad, you can ta leats now play other formats of your downloaded videos but flash videos on the net are still a big miss. The problem lies in the fact that Apple already have a huge advantage over others looking to get into the tablet market, many business users already bring their own ipads into the business so this is going to be a hard fought battle to break that initial dominance.

With a prediction that 11% of overall shipments of tablet computers will be used by businesses, government agencies or schools by 2014, there is significant growth potential in this market.

The iPad sold 3 million units in 80 days, can the others compete? It’ll be interesting to find out.

The samsung galaxy tab has an estimated price of £200, a 7 inch screen, two cameras and a slot for expandable memory. The galaxy will allow video calling and mobile calls, and with the ability to play flash, it looks a great competitor.

The HP slate/Palm Pad has an estimated price of £350 and is rumoured to run windows 7 or palms webOS mobile OS. Details leaked show a 8.9 inch screen running windows 7. Again, two cameras are available, including one having the ability to record video.

The Nokia Ink Adam has an estimated price of £260 but is unlikely to make a large dent in the market due to Nokia’s shrinking market share across the board. What could be a big benefit though is the 10.1 inch screen pixel QI transflective screen, capable of recognising six separate points of contact. And specifically designed to be easily readable in sunlight. It will also include a 3 megapixel camera with a patented swivel action.

And finally the Toshiba Folio, £329, 10.1 inch display with a 1024×600 resolution and 3G potential. It has a poor 1.3 megapixel front facing camera a runs an adapted Android system but no access to the Android App market. But yet again, this device offers full compatibility with Adobe Flash.

All in all, I only see the PlayBook seriously rivalling the iPad. Apple need to remember their products aren’t infallible. The iPad needs to play flash, needs a camera, and almost certainly needs multitasking which will hopefully come with the new iOS for iPad. A major benefit could easily be included by allowing the user to link their iPhone to their iPad on the move much like the PlayBook.

Thanks
TheExecReview