#7 - Remove Power Power Hogging Widgets

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Dashboard is great. Tons of cool widgets that let you do almost anything.

But having all these widgets does affect your computer.dashboardlogo.jpg

Each widget needs a bit of memory to run. Some more then others.

Certain widgets need so much space they will slow down your computer. The ones that keep updating to show new info are probably the worst.

Don't feel like you can't have these widgets. I use them, they're great.

But if you want to give your computer a little boost just open dashboard and remove the widgets you don't need/use. Doing this will help take some strain off your computer.dashboard-big.jpg

If you don't use dashboard, why not disable it? This too will save you some energy.

The easiest way to disable dashboard is with Onyx. It's under: Parameters ---> Expose and Dashboard.

If you don't want to download Onyx you can turn it off with Terminal... it's more technical but you can do it.

This guide will tell you how to do it: http://www.macworld.com/article/46236/2005/08/disabledashboard.html

Good Luck!

#6 - Remove Unused Languages and Translations

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Did you know that you can run Leopard in tons of different languages? And not only leopard, most of your applications probably have a few language translations.

All this language support takes up space though. And more then a few megabytes. Getting rid of the language files you don't need could easily scrape 5gb off your hard drive.

So how do you choose the ones you want and get rid of the ones you need?

It can be done with a program called "Monolingual". It let's you choose the language files you want to use and get rid of the ones you don't.

Start by opening it up.

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In the languages section check all the languages you aren't going to use and uncheck the ones you will.

Next simply click remove and your done!

You'll be amazed at how much space this saves.

#5 - Remove Unnecessary Code From Your Applications

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Removing unnecessary code saves disk space and speeds up your computer.

Most applications are made to run on Intel and PPC computers. This means there programmed to run for 2 different configurations. But nobody has both, they either have one or the other.

So why keep configurations for something you don't have?

Well now you don't need to. Programs like Xslimmer remove the unnecessary code, leaving you with only what you need.

This makes the application run faster and also saves you disk space.

Unfortunately removing unnecessary code is the one thing that you need to pay a bit of money for.

Xslimmer is not free. It costs 12.95.

I'd say it's worth it because it does more then just remove unused code. It will also get rid of language packs you don't use (another thing to save space).

You can learn more about Xslimmer here.

#4 - Update Your Software

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Keeping your software up to date is a great way to make sure things are running their fastest.

Developers are continually updating their software. They fix code errors and optimize the current code. This makes the software run faster, less likely to crash and so on.

Just make a point of setting your software to check for updates or do it yourself.

Some applications don't have anything that let's you check for updates though. In this case you can go to the site where you downloaded it and check that you have the newest version.

But let's face it. Do you really want to do this with ALL your applications? I don't think so.

Luckily I know a good solution.

Download the AppUpdate widget. It's a widget that checks that all your software is up to date. It makes all this much easier and quicker.

Read more about AppUpdate here.

#3 - Removed "Other" Unused Preferences

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System Preferences does not only help modify programs that came with your computer, it also works with programs you've installed.

If an application has it's own spot in system preferences it most likely runs on startup and is using up power.

It is a good idea to keep an eye on what you have installed. Check the "Other" section for things you don't use very much.

Whatever you don't use, get rid of. These types of Apps usually come with Uninstallers that will do the job. Run the Uninstaller to remove the program.

Now in the unfortunate event where the Uninstaller is lost you can do 1 of 3 things:

  1. Download the program again and see if it comes with an Uninstaller.
  2. Invest a bit of money in a program like AppZapper. It allows you to properly remove any plugins, programs or special settings you have on your computer.
  3. Leave it alone.

This may not sound like much, but doing this can really lessen the load on your computer.


#2 - Turn Off Services You Don't Use

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Mac is prepared to fit all possible needs. It has settings to help people with problems hearing and seeing, settings to share internet, settings to share files.

This is all great, but not everyone needs it and it slows your computer down.

To see what's turned on open your system preferences.

What we will be checking is:

  • Universal Access
  • Speech Recognition
  • Bluetooth
  • Internet Sharing

Universal Access is for people who have impaired vision and/or hearing. So naturally if your hearing and sight is fine, you don't need it. To turn it off open system preferences and click "Universal Access". Just quickly go through and check it's all set to off.

Speech Recognition let's you tell the computer to preform certain tasks using the mic. I personally never use it because a mouse and keyboard do the job. If you don't want it on click "Speech" in the preferences and turn it off.

Bluetooth can be used to connect things wirelessly that are close by. This could be a mouse, a keyboard or even your cell. If you use anything that requires bluetooth, leave it on. If not you can turn it off. This can be done as always through the system preferences under "Bluetooth".

Internet Sharing is very handy for expanding your wireless network. It let's other people near your computer connect to the internet wirelessly. In some situations this may be very useful, but if your not using it your just slowing down your computer. To turn it off go to the preferences and uncheck it in the sharing section.

So there you have it, four services you can turn off to make your computer run a little bit faster.

#1 - Clean Useless Startup Items

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"10 Ways To Speed Up Your Mac": Clean Useless Startup Items

When you log on to your computer, it has a few programs that it loads as soon as it starts.

The more it has to load, the longer it will take to load. You can cut down the load time by removing some of these startup items.

To do this go to:

System Preferences --> Accounts --> (Click the account you want to clean) --> Login Items

There you can find a list of Applications that launch at the start.

Look through them to see which ones you don't need.

When you find one you want to remove click it to highlight it and click the minus button.

Do this with all the accounts you want. This will make your computer start and run faster!

10 Ways To Speed Up Your Mac!

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Ever been using your computer and noticed it getting a bit slow?

Sometimes it's because your running tons of applications, or you haven't restarted your computer in ages. So you close a few things, reboot it up and problem solved.

Other times it's something else. Well there are things you can do to speed up your mac other then just running less apps.

I have made a list of "10 Ways To Speed Up Your Mac". Most of these ways are free so don't worry about pulling out your wallet. They're also fast so you can do them whenever you have some free time.

Here are "10 Ways To Speed Up Your Mac":

  1. Clean out useless startup items.
  2. Turn off unnecessary services.
  3. Remove "Other" unused preferences.
  4. Update Your Software
  5. Remove unnecessary code from your applications.
  6. Remove unused languages and translations.
  7. Get rid of power hogging widgets.
  8. Check "Activity Monitor".
  9. Clean up your hard drive.
  10. Run Onyx.

Don't worry, that's not all I'm leaving you with. This is a big subject though... to big for one post. I'll post a more detailed explanation for each tip in a separate post (like with the "Top 10 Favorite Mac Applications").

I keep up-dating, you keep checking back!

I'll start posting soon.



Widgets To Keep You Up To Date

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Anyone with tons of applications will know how hard it is to keep things up to date.

Some applications will check for updates when you run them, but others don't. This means to know when updates come out you have to keep checking back to their website.appupdate_20070608165532.jpg

Doing this means you'll always have the latest updates... but it's also a waste of time.

So how can we check ALL our apps for the latest updates... all at once.

Well recently I stumbled across a widget that does this for you.

It's called "App Update". It finds all the latest updates for your apps with a click. App Update does this by checking for the latest version on different sites. These sites keep track of the application releases and let you know if you have the newest releases.widgetupdate_20070608165522.jpg

You can set it to check for you whenever you want and however often you want. You can customize it down to how it looks for each app.

It's a great little widget that makes updating applications quick and easy.

If you like that you will also want to give Widget Update a try. Exact same thing... but for widgets.

Both great little widgets definitely worth taking a look at.

Here are the websites.

App Update: http://retiredblog.gkaindl.com/downloads/app-update/

Widget Update: http://retiredblog.gkaindl.com/downloads/widget-update/

Enjoy!

Adium and aMsn - Instant Messaging For Mac

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If you've used a computer you probably have used instant messaging.

Instant messaging is great for chatting with all your friends online.amsn_logo.jpg

When it comes to clients for instant messaging there are tons for Windows but few for Mac.

The big one many people used is "Windows Live Messenger". On Windows it's great... on Mac, not so much.

If you are used to "Windows Live Messenger" and like it's features then you may want to try aMsn.

The way it is set up is much more similar to Windows Live Messenger. It also has most of the features of Live Messenger like video and audio chat.adium_logo-10-4-06.jpg

Perfect, so what's the downside?

Well aMsn does not perform as well as Adium. There is yet to be a stable release of it to come out. Updates for aMsn are also much less frequent so if you have a problem you need to switch or wait a while.

The next option is the one I use. It's called Adium.

Adium is truly a Mac instant messenger. It is very similar to iChat without the Video and Audio chat.

This sucks because you can't use the lovely iSight camera that comes with all (other then the mini and pro) Macs.

On the bright side though, Adium is much more stable, gets more updates, and is the MOST customizable instant messenger client out there for Mac.

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You can change almost everything about it. The colors, the emoticons, the message styles, the window styles, the icons... almost everything.

Their site has plugins, emoticons, sound sets, service icons, status icons, apple scripts, message styles, window styles, dock icons and other things.

You can download hundreds of things to customize Adium and make it however you want.

The only edge aMsn has on Adium is the Video and Audio chat. Although these are really cool features to have I would say, survive without them for now. Adium is currently working on bringing Audio and Video chat to Adium. It shouldn't be long so keep your ears open.

So there you have it, aMsn and Adium. Both great, I'll leave it up to you to decide.

Adiums Website: http://adiumx.com/

aMsn Website: http://www.amsn-project.net/index.php

Enjoy!

PC vs Mac - The Ads... UK Style

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If you are a big mac fan, you've most likely seen the Ads.

Mac vs PC.

If you haven't you can find them on Youtube, they're pretty good.

I was just looking around though and found that there's UK ads that are different from the ones played in the U.S and Canada.

I thought this was kind of cool.

If your interested you can see them here:





Enjoy!

#1 - Quicksilver: Application Quicklauncher

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#1 On my list of "Top 10 Mac Applications" is Quicksilver.

quicksilver_logo.png

Finally we have Quicksilver. I put it as #1 on the list... not necessarily because I ranked everything from best to worst... but this is definitely my favorite.

I call Quicksilver a application quick launcher... but it's soo much more!

I'll try describing it to you but I'll most likely fail so excuse me if that happens. The best way to understand it is download it and try it yourself.

Quicksilver allows you to do tasks like open applications, manipulate files, run scripts send e-mails and more... only using your keyboard.4_quicksilver001.jpg

This application will make everything you do go 10 times faster... literally.

Say you want to open an application... say iTunes.

Now I could go to the application folder and do this but that takes a lot more time then using Quicksilver. I would open it by:

  1. Opening quicksilver using my chosen "trigger" (a combination of keys you press to start Quicksilver. I use Option + Space.)
  2. Type "i" (Quicksilver indexes everything on your computer, typing "i" makes it search for things with/relating to "i")
  3. If you use iTunes all the time, Quicksilver will figure this out and iTunes will be at the top of the list for things to open.
  4. Hit enter and iTunes opens.

This takes all of 2 seconds.

Quicksilver doesn't only let you open apps, you can open bookmarks with it, find and open files and so much more.

Check it out because me explaining it will take up too much space.

Quicksilver Website: http://docs.blacktree.com/quicksilver/what_is_quicksilver

You can download and find out more about it there.

Enjoy!


#2 - AppZapper: Application Removal

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#2 On the list of "Top 10 Mac Applications" is AppZapper.

With a Mac, installing and uninstalling is as easy as moving a package to or from the "Application" folder.

Or is it?

Adding an application is very straight forward. Drag the app to the "Application" Folder. But how about removing applications?

Well, when you move the file and run the app, other program files get moved to different areas in your computer. AppZapper.png

Then down the road you don't want that anymore. So what do you do? Drag the file to the garbage. Fine, but one small problem with this though.

The other files that were installed are left behind.

AppZapper is an application that removes the ENTIRE application, leaving no trace behind.

Now this isn't much for something you have to buy, so it does other things.

AppZapper also makes it easy to install plugins, widgets and preference pane items you may have installed. It's kind of like the ultimate Mac uninstaller.

You only buy it once (for the small price of 12.95$) and you get free updates for life, give it a try at:

AppZapper website: http://www.appzapper.com/

#3 - ClamXav: Anti-Virus Scanner

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#3 On my list of "Top 10 Mac Applications" is ClamXav.

clamxav_new.gif

One of the reasons you bought your Mac was most likely the thought of "No Viruses". And good for you because it's true, Mac hardly has any viruses for it.

But even though there's not many doesn't mean you can't get them.

Your computer has all your pictures, music, videos, documents, files... why take the chance losing that all?

Even if it's a low chance, it's a chance so be cautious. This is why I will recommend ClamXav.

It's a free Virus Scanner that works just as well as the few other virus scanners you can buy.

clamxav.png

You don't need to scan everyday or every week (not that you would want to, ClamXav is quite slow) but every 1 or 2 months would be nice.

This way you can always be sure your stuff is safe and nothing has found it's way on your computer.

Definitely try it out, it's not a big thing to have and it may save you a lot of stress in the future. Here's the website.

ClamXav Website: http://www.clamxav.com/

#4 - Firefox: Better Web Browser

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#4 On the list of "Top 10 Mac Applications" is Firefox.

Today on mac there are 2 main browsers, Safari and Firefox.firefox.jpg

Safari boasts extremely fast load times while Firefox has it's endless amounts of add-ons and plugins. So which to choose?

Well both are great browsers. Before I tried the new Firefox (Firefox3) I would have said Safari. It's fast, blends in with the OS X interface, perfect.

The current stable Firefox (Firefox 2.0.0.14) seems to be a bit slow on mac and also doesn't look too great (in my opinion).

Firefox3 is tottaly different though. They've changed the look to match the rest of the OS, it's faster and works much better. And it's still it Beta.safari_logo.jpg

Safari is great but cannot stand up to the amount of features and add-ons you can get for Firefox.

For the moment feel free to stay with Safari, but when Firefox3 comes out your gonna want to give it a try.

You won't be disappointed.

Firefox Website: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/

Current Firefox3 (Beta 5) Download Site: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all-beta.html

#5 - Onyx: Multifunction Utility

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#5 On the list of "Top 10 Mac Applications" is "Onyx".

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After using your mac for a while it is going to accumulate junk type files, permissions get changed and so on.

This can cause your computer to slow down and so on.

For this reason it is good to have a application to clean out the crap and check that everything is working alright. There are a few applications that do this but my favorite is Onyx.

OnyX-Tiger.png

Why?

Well all these applications do pretty much the same thing... Onyx just does it for free.

You can get a variety of different apps but they cost money and do the EXACT same thing. Why pay?

Onyx also lets you get at some of your Mac's hidden features allowing you to customize things like your Dock, Finder, Dashboard, Login, Safari and other things.

OnyX-Panther.png

Onyx is a great application to have to do regular cleaning and change hidden preferences.

Definitely worth looking at.

The Onyx Website: http://www.titanium.free.fr/pgs/english.html

#6 - The Unarchiver: File Extractor

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#6 On the list of "Top 10 Mac Applications" is "The Unarchiver"

Everyone who's used a computer has surely come across compressed file. Stuff like ".zip" or ".rar". theunarchiver.png

These types of files/folders require the files to be extracted. This means a special program.

My last mac came with "Stuffit Expander" which did all this. I used that and it did the job.

Recently though I got a new mac and it didn't come with this. Instead of just going for the "Stuffit" again I decided to see what else was out there. After some research I found "The Unarchiver".stuffit.jpg

The Unarchiver is a fast and simple file extractor that works better then the one built into Mac OS X.

Why is it better then Stuffit? Cause it's free!!

Every computer needs a file extractor and the Unarchiver is as good as it gets.

Check it out here:

The Unarchiver Website: http://wakaba.c3.cx/s/apps/unarchiver.html

#7 - Xslimmer: Application Slimmer

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#7 On the list of "Top 10 Mac Applications" is Xslimmer.

Xslimmer is a great app that "slims" your applications. It can take your 500mb Applications and shave them down to 200mb.

How?

Applications are full of other stuff you don't really need.XslimmerLogo.png

Language support files are the big one. These are used if you want to use whatever app in a different language.

It's great that you can use iTunes in everything from Chinese to Spanish but nobody does. Most people use only 1, maybe 2 and barely ever 3.

Xslimmer let's you choose the languages you want to keep and deletes the rest. Doing this to all your applications will save you tons of space.

This application is great. It frees space, speeds up your computer and makes your applications load faster.

Unlike most of the other applications which are free, Xslimmer costs 12.95 but's worth every penny.

Check it out.

Xslimmer Website: http://www.xslimmer.com/

#8 - Perian: Expand Quicktime's Video Support

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#8 On the list of "Top 10 Mac Applications" is Perian.

perian_logo.png

Have you ever tried playing a video file only to have Quicktime tell you that for it to be played you need a special codec or plugin.

I used to have that problem all the time and it made me go mad! Most people will either download tons of things, trying to find the one that they need OR just use a different media player all together.

Well I'm here to tell you there's a much easier third option. Download Perian.

It allows quicktime to play all types of video files it couldn't play before.

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It doesn't make Quicktime as good as say VLC (great media player) but it will make most files work. This also saves you the time of having to say Open With... --> VLC for every video file you want to play.

It you use Quicktime or couldn't before because of lacking the right software, check out Perian.

Perian makes Quicktime just that much better.

Perian Website: http://perian.org/

#9 - Growl: Event Notifier

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#9 On the list of "Top 10 Mac Applications" is Growl.

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When I first heard of this I thought "What's an event notifier". Well it's exactly what it says it is.

Growl is an app that displays notifications for other applications.

Say I receive an e-mail in Mail. Growl will pop up a message telling me. If I'm using Adium (MSN Messenger type app) it notifies me when people log on, when I receive messages and so on.

You may think "I don't need that" but it's actually quite handy. You'd be amazed at how many apps work with it.

Download it and try it out.

Growl Website: http://growl.info/

#10 - Transmission: Best Bittorent Client

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#10 On the list of "Top 10 Mac Applications" is Transmission.

Azureus

Transmission is definitely my favorite of all the bittorent clients. If you want to know the runner up though it would have to be Azureus, so that's what I'll compare it to

Azureus does have a ton of features, way more then Transmission, and that's great... but do you really need them all? Not me! Most people change one thing and leave it at that.

There are other things (like RSS) that Azureus does that Transmission doesn't but I don't need them that much.

I have chosen Transmission over Azureus because it just flat out works better on Mac. That and it also looks MUCH nicer and cleaner then Azureus.

You'll also find it's much more easier to set up then Azureus. You can go into preferences and it has tabs that even a beginner could understand.I've used both. images.jpg

Azureus and it's many features were great for really customizing the client. However on the other hand it was slow and just doesn't look like a mac app. Transmission on the other hand just works. It's small, simple, fast and just gets the job done.

Check out Azureus too, but for something quick to get the job done, Transmission is the way to go.

Transmission Website: http://www.transmissionbt.com/

10 Must Have Mac Applications

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When I first got my mac I wanted to juice it up with all the coolest apps. There are tons of cool apps out there, but they all do different things and not everyone needs ALL of them.

So I've made a list of all the Apps I've ever used and came up with a list of 10 that I think are the most useful. I don't care who you are, these are good to have... and most of them are free! :)

My list of 10 have apps is:

  1. Quicksilver - Quick Launcher (Free)
  2. AppZapper - Application Remover (Shareware)
  3. ClamXav - Anti-Virus software (Free)
  4. Firefox - Web Browser (Free)
  5. Onyx - Multifunction Utility (Free)
  6. The Unarchiver - File Extractor (Free)
  7. Xslimmer - Application Slimmer (Shareware)
  8. Perian - Video Support For QuickTime (Free)
  9. Growl - Notifier (Free)
  10. Transmission - Torrent Downloader (Free)

These Apps are sick! Google them right now! I'll leave it at that. I'll post much more detailed info on all of these next.

Till then, go, find these!


What's This Blog All About?!

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Alright, my first post!

So what's this thing and what's it all about?

This blog is all about my computer of choice, my operating system of choice: Mac!

I love my Mac and obviously so does everyone else, it's popularity has been growing over the years. It's more secure, more user friendly and in my opinion... nicer looking :).

So I love my mac, good for me, you still haven't explained what all this is about!

Well with Mac I have found problem. Finding good help for it, finding good software for it... it's a bit harder then with a PC. I look for hours for the best software, the coolest widgets, the best tips. And no complaining, I enjoy this and learn a lot... but wouldn't it be nice if that was all in one place?

Well if I'm doing all the research why not make it?!

This blog is to take everything and put it in one spot. The best widgets, the best applications, the best tips... and hey why not... The lastest Apple news.

If you like to know about the latest and greatest stuff when it comes to your Mac, bookmark now! It's all I intend to give.

Let's do it! :D