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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

1213. Don't use the wrong power supply for your laptop

I was very surprised to find out that power supplies with different voltages did not have different size plugs or colors to prevent this from happening.
So don’t force them and if they are different colors don’t try to use it without checking further.
The safest thing to do is mark your power supply with the device name.
You can also look on the power supply and the plug receptacle for the power markings.  All of the US power supplies are 110-120 volt.  It is the small “OUTPUT” volt number that is important.  Like 9V, 12V 15V or 20V.
If these numbers don’t match between the device and the power supply even if the plug still fits DON’T use it.
Your warranty will probably not cover repairs caused by using the wrong power supply.

Listen to the radio audio.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

1201. Run Windows on a Mac

You don't need to choose either a Windows machine or a Mac--although you cannot (legally, or reasonably) run Mac OS X on a Windows computer, you can easily run Windows on a Mac. You have several choices, but they boil down to two basic concepts: You can either dual-boot your computer, so you choose at the time you start the computer whether you want to run Mac OS X or Windows; or you can run Windows as a virtual machine while you're running Mac OS X. Both techniques have their advantages--I tend to run Windows as a virtual machine, using the excellent Parallels software ( This software allows you to run Windows, and any Windows application, in a window while running your normal Mac software. It allows you to use your favorite Windows applications side-by-side with your Mac applications. In other words, you get the best of both worlds. For both scenarios, you'll need a licensed copy of Windows, but running Windows in a window, as a virtual machine, on OS X Lion on an 11" MacBook Air works perfectly for me. Check out Parallels (or its competitors, VMWare Fusion or VirtualBox) to see how easy it is to run Windows on a Mac.

Listen to the radio audio.

1203. Create Step-by-Step Instructions the Easy Way

If you're called upon to provide technical support for friends and relatives, the simplest solution is to provide screen shots and instructions. There are plenty of ways to create screen shots on the Mac (including the built-in keyboard shortcuts, shown here. But a new product, Clarify, from Blue Mango Learning, makes this process much, much easier. They've combined the concepts of taking screen shots and creating written documentation into a simple-to-use, full-featured documentation-creation tool. The product is currently in beta testing, but is freely available at The product will most likely cost less than $40 once it's shipping, and it's worth the price! Give it a try, if you find yourself creating step-by-step documentation.

Listen to the radio audio.

1217. Returning Scrolling in OS X Lion to Standard Scrolling

Someone thought it would be useful to have scrolling in OS X Lion work differently than on any other operating system (supposedly to match the natural scrolling on the iPhone and iPad), but most folks just find it infuriating. Luckily, the backwards scrolling only needs to infuriate you for a few minutes, as it's easy to switch it back to what you expect.
  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Select the Trackpad option.
  3. On the Scroll & Zoom page, uncheck the Scroll direction: natural option.

If you don't have a trackpad, or your trackpad doesn't support multi-touch, you won't see this option. Instead, in the Mouse settings, turn off the option titled "Move content in the direction of finger movement when scrolling or navigating.

Friday, September 2, 2011

1202. Use BCC to send to groups of email addresses


When you send an email to a group of people you do not want the group to receive replies if one of the recipients decides to "reply to all".

Also, many recipients do not want their email address to be broadcasted to the world.


Blind carbon copy is the answer to your problem. You should put your own email address in the TO field and your mailing list into the BCC field. The BCC list does not appear to the people that receive the email and if they "reply all" only you will get the response.

In some email clients you will need to explicitly turn on the BCC option.
When you put your address in the TO field this will cause at least one address to appear in the email. You want to make this happen because some email systems may classify an email with no TO address as SPAM.

Listen to the radio audio.