Mac-Related Reviews

paste icon “Paste” for the Mac– Like Copy & Paste on Steroids - You know how to copy and paste: first you copy, then you paste. The idea was revolutionary when Apple introduced it in 1984, but it had one big limitation: namely you could only paste the very last thing you copied. That limitation remains to this day, and it’s a problem, because sometimes you copy something, but get distracted before pasting, and then you copy something else, wiping the first thing off the clipboard. Then you have to go back and copy the first thing again so you can paste it. Imagine you have an email… Continue Reading “Paste” for the Mac– Like Copy & Paste on Steroids
Transcend JetDrive Lite How to Expand Storage on MacBook Pro Retina and MacBook Air - I hear variations of “How can I get more storage space on my MacBook Air?” and “I’m out of room on my MacBook Pro Retina” all the time. Until recently, all we could do was delete stuff from the SSD in order to free up space. Now, however, we can actually add storage space to our machines. There are two ways to do it. Option Number 1: Transcend JetDrive Lite* Many MacBook Airs and all MacBook Pro Retinas come with an SD or SDXC card slot on the side. Here’s what it looks like: The… Continue Reading How to Expand Storage on MacBook Pro Retina and MacBook Air
The Clever Coffee Dripper - I think of The Clever Coffee Dripper* as an essential Mac accessory because it makes the coffee that fuels this here website (and a lot of other stuff that keeps me up all night.) The beauty of The Clever Coffee Dripper is the water doesn’t just run though the cone and into your cup. Instead, it stays in the Dripper, steeping as it were, until you set it down on top of a cup, which activates a valve, releasing the brewed coffee. The longer it steeps, the stronger the coffee, and you will quickly figure… Continue Reading The Clever Coffee Dripper
How to Get Rid of Ads in Safari, Chrome, and Firefox on the Mac - Here’s how you remove ads and adware from web pages with a simple plug-in. This speeds up your web browsing because you’re downloading less material. There are roughly a billion active websites, and whichever ones you go to, I am positive that you aren’t going there for the ads. You’d never do that. No one likes ads. Ads distract from the information we are looking for when we visit websites in the first place. Worse than that, they slow things down, because they have to load (that is, they have to come to your Mac… Continue Reading How to Get Rid of Ads in Safari, Chrome, and Firefox on the Mac
Schedule Outgoing Emails on Your Mac with SendLater - Update: SendLater is now part of MailButler, a subscription service, currently 6.50 Euros per month when you pay for a year at a time. Another way to send an email at a scheduled time: Mail Act-On, which is a USD $30 one-time payment. Let’s say you send a lot of emails after business hours, because that’s when you have time to do it, but you don’t want the recipients knowing you’re working so late. Or, maybe you want your emails to be at the top of your recipients’ mailboxes the next business morning rather than… Continue Reading Schedule Outgoing Emails on Your Mac with SendLater
Mac OS Yosemite: Should You Install It? - Readers of this blog are likely aware of Apple’s new Mac OS “Yosemite” (aka Mac OS 10.10). They’re also likely aware that it’s a free upgrade, and that all you have to do is click a button to start the installation. The question is, should you install Yosemite? Should you click that button? In my opinion, the answer is “not just yet.” Yes, there are some nifty new features (I like the improvements to dictation, the way you can mark up an email attachment, and being able to make a phone call from my Mac),… Continue Reading Mac OS Yosemite: Should You Install It?
How to Make a Good Password - — How to Make a Good Password — UPDATE: even though your passwords aren’t stored as plain text at places like LinkedIn and Target it isn’t terribly hard to figure out what those passwords are should there be a data breach. This video shows you how password cracking gets done. You’ve no doubt been hearing a lot about the recent “hacking” exploits, the ones that obtained pictures of various female celebrities in compromising positions. At first glance this looks like a new level of hacking, a major break-in and invasion of privacy, but it turns… Continue Reading How to Make a Good Password
World Cup Brazil 2014 2014 World Cup Soccer Calendar for Mac, iPhone, and iPad - UPDATE: here’s a link to the 2018 knockout stage World Cup calendar, for your Mac, iPhone or iPad (in ics format). The World Cup is fast approaching. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the World Cup schedule on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad? Or maybe all three? Turns out it’s just a couple of clicks away. This website ( has just what you need: an iCal calendar subscription with every game, for every group, and the Round of 16 too. The great thing about it being a subscription is it will be updated as the… Continue Reading 2014 World Cup Soccer Calendar for Mac, iPhone, and iPad
How to boost the maximum sound volume on a Mac - — How to boost the maximum sound volume on a Mac — Here’s how you boost the maximum sound volume beyond what your Mac thinks “full blast” is– because sometimes “full blast” isn’t loud enough. You don’t need an amplifier or external speakers to do it. All you need is a remarkable piece of software called Boom 2. How much louder will it get? Well, think of it this way: with Boom 2, your Mac’s volume goes to 11. UPDATE August 2018: Boom 3D supplies surround sound for $16.99. However, if you use the coupon… Continue Reading How to boost the maximum sound volume on a Mac
Mountain Lion Hints and Tips - I’ve had Apple’s $19.99 Mountain Lion installed here on an iMac (2.7 GHz Intel Core i5) for about two weeks, enough time to find a few niceties and doodads that you might be interested in. Here goes. Address Book has been renamed “Contacts” (matching the iPhone and iPad apps) and it has some improvements. First, the no-one-understands-this-feature red bookmark is gone. Replacing it: a useful three-column view showing the Groups list, the current contacts list, and the current contract. Second, Contacts handles drag-and-drop of vCards better than Address Book did. You can click on a… Continue Reading Mountain Lion Hints and Tips
OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Advice and Info - Apple released Mountain Lion today, also known as OS X 10.8. This comes less than a month after the MobileMe-to-iCloud transition deadline, which means less than a month after a whole lot of people converted to OS X 10.7 (Lion). My advice, based on over 21 years of full-time Mac consulting, is wait. Mountain Lion looks like a real improvement to Lion, with new apps and new refinements, but who knows for sure that the things you need to do can still be done with 10.8? Will Quicken work? How about Microsoft Office, and Adobe’s… Continue Reading OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Advice and Info
Office 2011: Don’t Bother - Executive Summary: we waited three years for THIS?! Don’t bother buying it, unless you absolutely have to. And, keep in mind that in some ways it’s not even as good as the previous version. Microsoft’s Office, like McDonald’s hamburger, is very popular without being very good. Thanks to clever bundling arrangements on the PC side, Microsoft’s Word, PowerPoint and Excel have become a workplace standard. Until recently, Mac users who wanted to view documents created by PC users were essentially forced to purchase a copy of Microsoft Office for the Mac, even if they really… Continue Reading Office 2011: Don’t Bother
Save Time and Trouble with - You know that feeling you get when you suddenly discover that there’s a much easier way to do things? That’s the feeling I got when I “discovered”, because Tripit makes one of my more tedious tasks go away. Which task is that? The one where I type flight information into my calendar so I have it when I need it. Anyone who’s done it knows the routine: you make your travel plans online (typity-type, clickety-click), then you get to type even more into the calendar, trying very hard to be careful, but take it… Continue Reading Save Time and Trouble with
Review: Apple’s magical Magic Mouse - There it is: Apple’s Magic Mouse (held by someone else’s nicely manicured hand). I have one (a Magic Mouse, not a nicely manicured hand) and so far, so good. I’ve used it for a week and I’m happy. It’s super-precise, it’s wireless (yay), and there aren’t any parts to get gummy and quit working. Plus it slides very well on the desk. Setting up the Magic Mouse is easy, except for getting it out of the box. Generally speaking, unboxing an Apple product is a delight, something you want to share with a friend (putting… Continue Reading Review: Apple’s magical Magic Mouse
Snow Leopard: I say “Wait.” - Wish I could say “Go get it, install it, you’ll be very happy” but I can’t. I installed Snow Leopard on my MacBook yesterday, had a few problems, and went back to 10.5.8. My advice: wait until Apple has a 10.6.1 update before installing Snow Leopard. That’s what I’m going to do. There are plenty of nice additions and refinements in Snow Leopard but it’s the things that didn’t work that wrecked the deal for me. Here’s what I found in an hour of having Snow Leopard installed: Printing was very, very slow. The machine… Continue Reading Snow Leopard: I say “Wait.”
Safari 4– free, and great - Lost in Monday’s excitement about the new iPhone was the news that Safari has been upgraded to version 4. I think it’s terrific, and since it’s free you’ll definitely get your money’s worth. I say “go get it.” Click here to read all about it. In a nutshell, Safari 4 loads pages faster than anything and is very nice to use. It will read your old bookmarks, and it will work on your Mac as long as you have 10.4.11 or 10.5.7. (Mom, you’re all set– download away.) Try the “Top Sites” feature, and try… Continue Reading Safari 4– free, and great
iWork ’09 Missing Manual - After months of hard work the iWork ’09 Missing Manual is now available. Here’s a modified version of the cover: Frankly, I think it’s fantastic, and not just because I was involved in it. Josh Clark has written a superb book and you are going to want to read it cover to cover. Click here to read all about it on the publisher’s website (note: they have a “buy two books, get one free” promotion going on if you buy it there– $39.99). Click here to buy it from Amazon*. iWork ’09 includes Pages, Keynote,… Continue Reading iWork ’09 Missing Manual
OmniFocus: To-do list for Mac and iPhone - There are many to-do list programs for the Mac. And there are many to-do list programs for the iPhone. But there aren’t many to-do list programs for the Mac that synchronize with the iPhone, an essential feature if you ask me. Actually, there are two Mac to-do list programs that have synchronizing counterparts on the iPhone: Things (Mac link here, iPhone link here), and OmniFocus (Mac version here, iPhone version here). I use OmniFocus, and that’s what I’ll write about here. OmniFocus follows David Allen’s Getting Things Done approach, where every project (no matter how… Continue Reading OmniFocus: To-do list for Mac and iPhone
iWork 09 report - Apple put out a new version of iWork at Macworld Expo and it’s really terrific. I’ve been working with it fairly intensely as I’m the Technical Reviewer for the iWork ’09 “Missing Manual” book. iWork is a collection of three programs: Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. Pages is a much nicer word processor than Microsoft Word, both easier to use and more capable. It also opens Microsoft Word documents, so goodbye Word, hello Pages. Numbers is Apple’s version of Microsoft Excel, and like Pages, it’s a lot nicer to use than the competition. Keynote is Apple’s… Continue Reading iWork 09 report
Make mine Mint (dot com) - Wow, what a cool website: They call it “the best way to manage your money.” And it’s free. Anyone can sign up for a account. You then enter information about your financial accounts– savings, checking, investments, credit cards. Do that, and at a glance you can see ALL of your financial information in one place. Better than that: you can see every transaction for every account, right there on the site. You can find every transaction that had to do with dining out, or gasoline, or presents for your uncle. Very handy. Download… Continue Reading Make mine Mint (dot com)
10.5.5 update - Hard to recommend the 10.5.5 update just yet. There seem to be some installation issues. Half of the machines at Boyceworld took the installation without incident and are working fine. The other half took forever to restart after the install, then went to a blue screen, then turned themselves off. After restarting a few times all seems normal but everything leading up to that certainly wasn’t pleasant. I think you can live without it, but if you are daring and want to install 10.5.5 at the very least be sure you are completely backed up,… Continue Reading 10.5.5 update
Stuff You Didn’t Know You Had - And now, something completely different! Apple loads new Macs with a lot of software that we all use (iPhoto, Safari, Mail, iTunes, etc.). They also load new Macs with a lot of software that almost no one uses. But if more of us knew about it, more of us would use it. I think. My goal is to put that software to use, one Boyce Blog reader at a time. Today’s program that You Didn’t Know You Had is “Grapher.” It’s probably in your Utilities folder (which is in your Applications folder). The icon looks… Continue Reading Stuff You Didn’t Know You Had
Stuff I Like - Here’s something that I really like: anti-glare film from Power Support. The film is exactly the right size for whatever it is you want to cover– in my case, my iPhone and my MacBook. The glare on my MacBook screen, especially, was a constant irritation– but not any more! Wow, does this stuff work. Took me two tries to get the bubbles out on the iPhone’s film but I did the MacBook right the first time. It even feels good to the tapping/sliding finger on the iPhone. I think it’s a little more slippery than… Continue Reading Stuff I Like

Last updated: July 18, 2016

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Mac-Related Reviews