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Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, chúng tôi thought it would be fitting to compile of list of holiday cheer spreading Mac OS X applications. Some of the apps we came across will definitely make you chuckle, while others offer a very nice, subtle addition to your Desktop for the month of December. With rising energy costs why not save some money and throw some lights up on your desktop as apposed to all over your house? Certainly at least one of these applications will quench your thirst for holiday spirit on your Macintosh!
Update 12/3/2007: Try looking at the updated Christmas and Holiday Mac OS X apps to deck your Mac out this holiday season!
1. MacLampsX (developer’s site) (screenshot)
MacLampsX has long been a personal favorite of mine, and since its conception it has only improved. With 2.0 around the corner which is going to offer universal binary and multiple desktop support, now is a better time than ever to try out this wonderful application from the Arctic Mac. Version 1.1.1 is PowerPC only but runs perfectly on a MacBook Pro, taking as little as 2.0% of the cpu. Running MacLampsX isn’t going to raise your power bill, so hurry up and get those lights up!
2. Christmas Lights – Dashboard (developer’s site) (screenshot)
If having lights up full time is holiday spirit overload, give this nifty little dashboard widget a chance. Every time you have a craving for some blinking light action, just hit F12 and you’re in business. This well developed widget offers multiple light patterns, different colors and is very easy on the cpu. You won’t blow a fuse running this widget and it won’t annoy the neighbors, which makes Christmas Lights for the Dashboard a worthwhile download.
3. Snow for Mac OS X (developer’s site) (screenshot)
Snow for Mac OS X is yet another classic holiday application which has its roots in a program called “xsnow” for *nx/X11. Have no fear, theres no unix-bearded junkies included in the .sit, just snow, polar bears and Santa bringing Holiday Spirit to your desktop in a clever and well implemented way. Sadly this application has obviously been naughty and not nice, as it is still only PowerPC. But of course, Rosetta handles it just fine, and it runs quite well on a MacBook Pro.
4. Frosted Screensaver (developer’s site) (screenshot)
Frosted, The Screensaver offers a very well put together holiday scene during those times you aren’t using your Mac. But be warned, while your away from your Mac, baking cookies, or whatever you do, mute the volume! This writer was nearly shaken from his sleigh when a bizarre computerized voice rambled nonsense about “frosted snow” over my speakers. It definitely gave me a laugh and for that very reason I felt it absolutely had to be a part of this list. Check it out!
5. Snow Globe (developer’s site) (screenshot)
6. X-MasTree – Don’t forget a Christmas tree for your desktop! See our post here
7. Mac OS X Holiday and Christmas app fun – the top three Mac holiday apps
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In the past, we’ve shown you how to use Emoji characters on your Mac without installing any type of software. However, in OS X Mavericks, Emoji is accessed a little differently. Don’t worry, it’s actually much easier and more convenient than before. So, here is how you to access and use Emoji in Mac OS X Mavericks.
2. Press the following keys on your keyboard altogether: Control + Command + Spacebar. You should now see small window pop-up containing Emoji characters.
Much like on a mobile device, you can switch between people, nature, objects, places, symbols, and more; plus you can access your recently used and favorite Emoji characters.
While some may think this is a kind of useful feature, others are sure to find it very handy – especially since you can also insert letterlike symbols, technical symbols and bullets/stars from the same window.
Image Credit: Mark McLaughlin
Charnita has been a Freelance Writer & Professional Blogger since 2008. As an early adopter she loves trying out new apps and services. As a Windows, Mac, Linux and iOS user, she has a great love for bleeding edge technology. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.
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It’s a fact of life that computers slow down. Sometimes it’s due to wear and tear but it can also be something as simple as your hard-drive filling up with files that are no longer needed. Or essential operating system files that are accidentally deleted.
When this happens, it’s time to consider reinstalling the operating system. It is a monumental pain in the neck as it is not a short process, but in the case of macOS, it is an easy process. You need an Internet connection though so don’t think about doing this on the bus or anything.
Table of Contents
This is something I have been meaning to do for a while but Procrastination is my friend. But today, for the purposes of this article, I have decided to get it done.Step One – Backup All Essential Files
This is always the first step before reinstalling an operating system. To delete all unneeded files then backup the rest either on cloud storage, a USB stick, or a removable hard drive.
Remember to also backup your iTunes library, your iMovie database, and your Photos database. These can be dragged onto portable storage and then dragged back onto the computer again later when this process is over.
If you use Time Machine, then this backup process is very easy.Step Two – Turn Off FileVault Step Three – Have You Encrypted The Start-Up Disk?
For reasons of security, you should have encrypted your startup disk from the very beginning. The slight downside to this is that if you forget the encryption password, you can never unlock it ever again and can never reinstall macOS.
Trust me, I am speaking from very bitter past experience here.
Assuming you know your password, restart the computer and at the same time, hold down the CMD + R keys. This will then show you the padlock screen above (which I had to photograph since I can’t do screenshots at this stage).
Enter your password and the screen will then change to show you this. Again, I had to take a photo with my iPhone so apologies for the not-so-perfect quality.
If you don’t know your password then you are seriously out of luck as not even Apple will unlock it for you.Step Four – Erase The Contents Of The Hard Drive
As you can see from the menu above, there is an option called “Disk Utility”. Choose that and then select the disk where the operating system is installed on. In my case, there is only one disk but if you are dual-booting, you will have more than one.
the desired name of the newly formatted drive as well as the file format type (APFS). I would recommend leaving them as they are.
Erasing takes literally seconds (in my experience anyway). When it is done, the “Used” part of the disk should be minuscule (in my case, 20KB). At this point, everything on your computer is gone.
Close the Disk Utility window and you’ll be bounced back to the Utilities screen.Step Five – Choose Your Preferred Reinstalling Option
Now there are actually two options in the Utilities window you can choose from.
The first is the Time Machine backup. If you are in the habit of regularly backing up with Time Machine, and one day, you accidentally delete a whole bunch of system files, you could just roll the computer back to a Time Machine backup from, say, the day before. This would be the equivalent of doing a System Restore on a Windows PC.
But I don’t use Time Machine (I manually backup). So for me and others like me, the only other option is to choose the “Reinstall macOS” you.Step Six – Pretend To Read The User Agreement
You will now be asked to read the user agreement. Do what Apple will never know.
Now choose a disk to install the operating system on. In my case, there is only one disk. Choose it and continue.
The re-installation process will now begin.
The computer will restart several times during the process and can take up to an hour or more to finish. The nice thing is that it does everything by itself from now on so you can go off and do something else in the meantime. You’re not stuck staring at the screen watching your life slip away.Step Seven – Set Everything Back Up Again
Once the system has been reinstalled, you will have to begin the tedious process of putting things back to the way they were. This will include :
Switching on the Firewall.
Switching on FileVault.
Re-encrypting the startup disk.
Reinstalling your apps.
Bringing essential files back onto the computer from your backups.
Adding a screen lock PIN code.
Essentially you have to go through System Preferences and check each thing one by one. The computer is now back to factory settings so any tweaks and customizations you previously made will be gone.
The WWDC in June is usually the first place new Apple hardware, software, and devices are shown. Sometimes they’re released at that point, and sometimes not until later in the fall, but it’s always a good measure of what Apple is planning. This week’s WWDC was no different and did not disappoint. Today we’ll discuss the changes to OS X Yosemite.OS X Yosemite
Looks are everything, or at least that is usually what Apple’s motto seems to be. They always have beautiful interfaces and strive to have it be the first thing people notice. Each version seems to be even more so. For OS X Yosemite, Apple is streamlining toolbars and making windows translucent so that what you notice is your wallpaper and your project. They’ve changed to a fresh new typeface as well, a sans serif style.
The Notification Center now includes a Today feature making it look just like iOS, as it includes your Calendar, Reminders, Weather, etc. And Spotlight now has function similar to Siri. You can now look up information such as movies, Wikipedia, news, etc. Your results are also interactive.
In Mail, you can now send larger attachments, up to 5GB. Large attachments are automatically uploaded to iCloud. If your recipient is also using Mail, they’ll be able to download normally. If they don’t, they’ll receive a link to download it. Markup is now included as well. You can add shapes and text and annotation by drawing on a multi-touch trackpad. You can also fill out forms and PDFs.
No longer are iMessages just text. Now you can record a quick audio clip and send it along with your text message or instead of your text message. You can also name the conversations that you’re having to make it easier to refer back to later. Additionally, you’ll be able to add more people to the conversation without having to start a new message or can leave the conversation when you’re done with it.
iCloud will now be built right into the Finder. It will work like just another folder, allowing you to drag and drop files and folders there. Offline changes will sync up when you connect again to the Web. You can easily keep things organized with tags. iCloud Drive can be accessed on all your devices. And now to share files, you can share not just between iOS devices, but between two Macs or between Mac and iOS.
And that brings up the biggest, most exciting change. Mac and iOS will now be connected more so than they have been in the past. When a Mac running OS X Yosemite is near a device running iOS 8, they’ll recognize each other and work together.
You will now be able to answer your iPhone calls on your Mac. You’ll get a notification of your calls right on your Mac screen when the phone is ringing. It will show you the caller’s name, number, and profile picture. You can answer it speaking and listening through your Mac or decline it with the same options as your iPhone. You will also be able to make calls from your Mac.
While Pages has been doing this for awhile, several of the native apps will allow you to “handoff” from Mac to iOS and vice versa. You can be writing an email, working on a document, entering a Calendar note, or browsing in Safari. You can leave you Mac and pick up your iPad or iPhone to continue without missing a beat.
You don’t have to worry about not having WiFi for your laptop. Your Mac can use the personal hotspot of your iPhone, as long as they are within a certain range of each other. You don’t need to do any setup for this. Your iPhone will appear in the WiFi menu on your Mac. If your Mac isn’t using it, it disconnects to save battery life.
You can also now use the beta version of OS X Yosemite. Hurry, though, as only the first one million users will be allowed to use the beta. If you download and use it, let us know what you think.
Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site’s sponsored review program.
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2012 was the year that the Linux desktop diversified.
Two years ago, users could choose between two or three desktop environments. But by the end of the first quarter of 2012, they had at least eight choices, with more on the way.
Similarly, the year started with LibreOffice as the main office suite. But halfway through the year, LibreOffice was joined by Apache OpenOffice as well as Calligra Suite.
Just as importantly, 2012 saw several events which, although they had little influence during the calendar year, are apt to influence the Linux desktop in 2013 and beyond.
Here is my list of the major Linux desktop announcements, releases and initiatives of 2012.
In the first months of 2012, GNOME users were struggling with the question of whether to accept GNOME 3 or to switch to alternatives such as Xfce. The situation changed overnight with the first general releases of Linux Mint’s Cinnamon and Mate.
As you probably know, both Cinnamon and Mate offer a GNOME 2 experience: Cinnamon by adding extensions to GNOME 3, Mint by forking and updating GNOME 2. Both gave many users what they wanted and proved that at least some developers were listening. Better yet, the two alternatives gave users an even broader choice, with reviewers carefully weighing the pros and cons of both.
Within six months, other distributions started shipping with Cinnamon or Mate. More recently, both desktops have continued giving the tradition of giving users what they wanted, such as a GNOME 2 file manager. While neither seems likely to be a major source of innovation, together they have firmly established Linux Mint as a leading distribution.
At a time when Unity and GNOME 3 are attempting to develop single interfaces for everything from workstations and laptops to tablets and phones, KDE is pursuing a policy of developing different interfaces for each form factor. 2012 saw two releases of KDE’s tablet interface, Plasma Active, which stands out among the alternatives for its task-oriented organization and ease of use.
Plasma Active can be installed on a variety of tablets and is currently being modified for Google’s Nexus 7 tablet.
At the same time, KDE is planning its own Vivaldi tablet (formerly known as Spark). Although delayed by manufacturing problems, this effort marks the first time that a major community project has started a commercial venture. It could very well change how the community and corporations interact, and at the very least, create new roles such as product manager in free software. Others, such as Mozilla and GNOME, are contemplating similar ventures, but the odds are that Vivaldi will be first to be released.
Admittedly, in 2012, both Plasma Active and Vivaldi were more objects of curiosity than of widespread adoption. Potentially, however, their influence on the Linux desktop, both technically and socially could be enormous in the next couple of years.
Haiku is the free software implementation of BeOS. A dozen years ago, BeOS failed as a commercial operating system, but it retains a cult following among long-time users of free software.
While Haiku failed to reach general release in 2012, it did release its fourth alpha, a very stable release that shows its potential. Notable features include a rationalized file hierarchy and a filesystem that allows users to add whatever attributes they choose.
Long-time Haiku contributor Ryan Leavengood describes Haiku as a mixture of the aesthetics of OS X with the licensing and development philosophy of Linux. According to Leavengood, the fabled general release should come within a year.
Speaking of cults of nostalgia, I remember when Enlightenment was the cool desktop to use and knowing hackers were wearing T-shirts proclaiming, “I’m on E.”
A dozen years and at least one major code re-write later, Enlightenment has finally released another general release. Once described as a window manager and now as a desktop shell, Enlightenment retains most of the features that once made it so popular, including speed and a high degree of customization and configurability.
Some aspects of Enlightenment, such as choosing which modules to load, may be more than new users care to worry about. However, distributions like Bodhi Linux and Elive offer acceptable default settings.
A decade ago, Mandrake was one of the leading distributions. Today — several name changes and rounds of financial trouble later — the commercial distribution now known as Mandriva has gone into a serious decline.
2012 saw another effort to regroup and continue development in the form of OpenMandriva. This foundation of stakeholders includes both Mandriva SA and ROSA Lab. It’s a mixed community-corporation effort centered in Russia that is doing its own modifications on the KDE desktop.
Mageia, an earlier community-based fork that has enjoyed a degree of popularity in the last year or two, appears to be boycotting OpenMandriva. All the same, the foundation could play a major role in helping this once-popular branch of the Linux desktop to survive — and maybe even prosper.
The MySQL database was once part of the standard Linux server applications — the M in the so-called LAMP solution (Linux, Apache, Mysql, Perl/Python/PHP).
However, after MySQL’s sale to Sun Microsystems, Oracle acquired it with Sun’s other assets. Many, including MySQL’s founder Michael (Monty) Widenius, distrusted Oracle’s commitment to keep the open source database alive as a rival to its own proprietary products. In fact, Widenius make every effort to prevent Oracle’s acquisition of MySQL.
Widenius failed. But he went on to encourage the development of MariaDB, a fork of the MySQL code, as an alternative. These efforts reached a new level with the announcement of the MariaDB Foundation.
Days later, the announcement was followed by Wikipedia’s announcement that it intended to move from MySQL to MariaDB. Given the widespread distrust of Oracle in the Linux community, that announcement is almost certain to be the first of many.
2012 was generally not a year for major innovations in applications. An exception was Calligra Suite, a fork of the old KOffice.
Like LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice, Calligra Suite is a collection of office applications whose default format is Open Document Format. Unlike LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice, Calligra has a modern-looking, modular design. Its graphical applications are particularly mature, especially its raster editor Krita, which recently announced its own foundation, and Flow, which is perhaps the best free software alternative to Visio.
Six months ago at the annual GUADEC conference, GNOME began a process of self-examination to determine policies and directions. The first result of this process was GNOME’s announcement that, rather than continuing to support fallback mode, it will support a group of core extensions in order to provide a GNOME 2-like interface for those who need or want it.
After two years of discontent over GNOME 3, this single announcement alone is unlikely to win back users immediately. All the same, many — including me — take it as a sign that GNOME is finally considering user feedback and may be back on track. By the end of 2013, I suspect that this announcement will be considered a turning point in GNOME’s fortune, especially since Matthias Clasen tells me that the release team is now in charge of giving direction to the project as a whole.
Further hints of a change in GNOME came while I was preparing this story. GNOME announced a new campaign to add security and privacy features. Inspired by a talk at GUADEC by Jacob Appelbaum, the GNOME project plans to add such features such as disk encryption and application integration with privacy settings and anonymous browsing tool Tor.
So far, GNOME is using the announcement primarily for fundraising, and details are lacking. However, with the growing concern over privacy and security, I suspect that this campaign will help to restore to GNOME’s reputation and will be copied by other desktop environments. It’s simply an idea that’s overdue for implementation.
These are only the major stories that shaped — or promise to shape — the Linux desktop. Another dozen or two stories could easily be added. They include the first release of Apache OpenOffice, which created an instant rivalry with LibreOffice, and the second effort to launch the cloud-oriented Chromebook laptops.
In other cases, stories are notable because of their apparent failure. Two of the most prominent failures were Ubuntu’s experiments with the Head-Up Display (HUD), an attempt to replace traditional menus with a typing completion tool, and the inclusion of results from Amazon in desktop searches.
Both received considerable attention because of their novelty but were generally judged to be innovations in which few users had any long-term interest. Neither is likely to disappear, but neither are the HUD or Amazon search results likely to become popular or to influence other desktop environments.
Innovation and improvement are thriving on the Linux desktop, with a healthy combination of preserving what exists and of exploring new possibilities. I expect more of the same next year, with many of the initiatives begun in 2012 coming into first maturity.
There’s no shortcut to a healthy diet. Eating balanced meals, tons of fruits and veggies, scant fatty red meats, and no processed junk food requires time and planning. Americans find regimens with strict rules (no carbs! high fat! eat all the apples!) and big weight-loss promises far more alluring. Forty-five million of us will try such a scheme each year, and many will go to extremes. These drastic plans aren’t just useless—most people gain back the pounds—but they also can damage our vital systems. We analyzed how five of today’s popular food trends throw the body out of whack.
Chowing primarily on produce leaves muscles to wither.
This diet is exactly what it sounds like: You eat nothing cooked. Seem doable? Try downing an entire crudité platter, warns Christopher Gardner, a nutritional scientist at Stanford University. Taking in the FDA-recommended 2,000 calories per day would require chomping 60 cups of raw kale, 38 of carrots, or 90 medium-size tomatoes. That much raw roughage is wholly unpalatable, says Gardner. Cooking produce not only makes it tastier, but research shows that heating it also can aid digestion and boost antioxidants, such as phenolic acids. One study found that 25 percent of women and 15 percent of men who ate raw for 3-plus years were too thin; 30 percent of women stopped having monthly periods—a consequence of too little body fat. Also, fresh everything can be risky: Unprocessed dairy can cause a listeria infection; raw eggs can carry salmonella; and uncooked meats invite a host of gnarly bacteria—and deadly cases of diarrhea.
Lard, butter, and oil contribute to clogged blood vessels.
Neurologists developed the ketogenic diet in the 1920s as a therapeutic tool for epileptic children. The idea: Deprive the brain of glucose to change its chemistry and curtail seizures. No one’s sure when or why the plan became a popular tool for zapping body fat, but one theory credits the Atkins diet, which relies on a two-week keto phase. Absent sugar, the body will convert its own blubber stores into ketone bodies—fatty acid byproducts structurally similar to glucose—to use as fuel.
Classic keto requires consuming 90 percent of daily calories as fat, 7 percent as protein, and 3 percent as carbs. Studies suggest that people on such plans experience a 50 percent increase in artery-clogging low-density lipids and triglycerides, effects that can last for a year after stopping the diet. Three-quarters of patients develop GI problems such as reflux and constipation—sometimes severe enough to require an enema. Ketone bodies are also highly acidic, and, in some cases, come with an increased risk of kidney stones.
Elimination diets can easily mis-hit on food allergies.
For one month, dieters on this plan give up added sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, and dairy—chemicals and processed junk too. The program’s devotees claim that these foods mess up our metabolic systems and contribute to immune dysfunction, hormone imbalances, and even diabetes. Cutting them out, practitioners say, hits the reset button, and can pinpoint food sensitivities. To date, there’s little or no evidence to support either claim. And these largely unfounded assertions have big consequences. Our gut microbiomes—the bacteria that help us digest grub and absorb nutrients—rely on a diverse menu and feed largely on the fiber in grains and legumes Whole30 nixes. Messing this up can lead to extreme constipation. Plus, axing dairy cuts Americans’ number-one source of calcium. Worse: Once a dieter starts reintroducing foods, their tummy can get upset as it readjusts. The reaction can falsely ID a food sensitivity, prolonging the ill effects past the 30-day window.
Proponents of the paleolithic diet believe that human digestion evolved from the eating habits of our ancestors, therefore we should consume meat and produce exclusively—and ignore grains, dairy, and legumes. (Sorry, but archaeological findings regularly disprove the existence of such a meal plan.) Modern zealots trumpet it as a cure-all for everything from muffin tops to lethargy and depression. Not exactly. Meat is higher in artery-clogging saturated fat than plant-based protein sources, and cooking flesh over 300°F produces carcinogenic heterocyclic amines. Red meat, specifically, increases your risk of colon cancer by 17 percent for every 3.5 ounces consumed per day; the heme molecule, which helps turn it crimson, promotes growth of N-nitroso-compounds—another carcinogen. Cutting dairy and fiber-rich foods also messes with the microbial colonies that make our guts work. Without the probiotic benefits of yogurts and the prebiotic effects of fibrous foods (beans and whole grains), our tummies struggle to block pathogens, maintain metabolism, and extract calories and nutrients.
The vegan diet
Because the decision to eating plant-based is so often based on ethical (rather than health) concerns, many new vegans don’t fully consider the overall nutrition of the lifestyle shift.
A life free of all animal products can be good for your heart, blood sugar, and waistline. But Coca-Cola, white bread, french fries, Oreos, and Spicy Chili Doritos are vegan. Stanford University nutritionist Christopher Gardner says that many Americans opt for a vegan diet for ethical reasons rather than health concerns, and thus don’t fully consider the overall nutrition of the lifestyle shift. While study after study confirms the bodily benefits of plant-based meals, the research applies only to those who follow a balanced plan to the letter. When done carelessly, cutting out all animal products risks deficiencies in iron, B12, and calcium—nutrients we typically get from meat, seafood, and dairy. Vegans have an increased risk of osteoporosis later in life, and, in the short term, too little B12 can cause weakness and fatigue. If plant eaters take the proper approach, they can get the nutrients they need from produce such as beans, broccoli, and leafy greens—without the need for artificially fortified processed foods such as breakfast cereals and nut milks. But, Gardner says, that rarely happens.
This article was originally published in the Winter 2023 Danger issue of Popular Science.
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