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How to use an iPod or iPhone for flash card memorization Other Hardware
If you or your kids need to memorize information, but hate carrying around traditional 3x5 flash cards, here's an easy way to create electronic flash cards that can be viewed on your iPhone or iPod. You'll need:
  • Keynote v. 4.0.1
  • iPhoto v. 7.1.1 (354)
  • iTunes v. 7.5 (19)
  • iPhone and/or iPod (video)
NOTE: Other versions of the above applications may work, but you'll have to test them yourself.

Using Keynote, create a slide deck with each slide being an individual word or piece of information you need to memorize. I found the Black theme with the slide size set to 1024x768 worked best, but you should play around and find out what you like.

Once you've created and saved your slide deck, select File » Send to » iPhoto. In the dialog box that opens, make sure that the All radio button is selected next to Slides, and set the Format to PNG. Click the Next button. Enter a name for your new album and click Send. After clicking Send, iPhoto will launch and all of your slides will be exported to iPhoto as a new album and event with the name you chose.

Switch to iPhoto and verify that all of your slides were exported into your new album and event.
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10.5: Sync mobile devices via the Sync menu bar icon Other Hardware
In Tiger, if you added the Sync icon to your menu bar (.Mac System Preferences Panel » Sync tab » Show Status in Menu Bar), it would sync your .Mac account, but not your mobile device. Now in Leopard, the Sync menu bar item syncs mobile devices -- finally!
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Access more Exposť functions from the slim keyboard Other Hardware
I just got a new Mac, and I'm enjoying its super-slim keyboard. While playing around with it, I discovered that pressing modifier keys while using the Exposť key you can produce different results. For example, it's well known that pressing Option and the brightness control (or sound control) keys brings up the appropriate System Preferences pane. Also, Shift and a sound control key will toggle between silent and beep on volume change.

But with the Exposť button you can do the following:
  • F3 = Show All Windows
  • Command-F3 = Show Desktop
  • Control-F3 = Show Application Windows
This tip does not apply to people using custom shortcuts for Exposť (like the default F9), and only works with the super-slim keyboards.
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Enable features on Microsoft keyboard and Logitech mouse Other Hardware
The problem: you have a Microsoft Keyboard (i.e. a keyboard with Microsoft special keys like Home, Browser, Mail, etc.) and a Logitech mouse with many buttons (in my case, a Logitech MX Revolution), and most of the buttons are plain unresponsive in OS X.

I have written a complete tutorial on my blog on how to use ControllerMate and AppleScript to get all these buttons to work. Although the information to do this is scattered throughout the web and you can piece it together (it took me about five hours to get it all set up the first time), I've gathered it up in one spot. It does not go into "for Dummies" detail, but if you have questions, please ask (preferentially directly at the blog entry, but as you like).

[robg adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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Use unlabeled features on the small Apple keyboard Other Hardware
I've discovered that with Apple's small Bluetooth keyboard the fn key can give added functionality -- even though these functions are not shown on the keyboard. For example, fn-Left Arrow is Home, fn-Right Arrow is End, fn-Up Arrow is Page Up, fn-Down Arrow is Page Down, and fn-Delete is Forward Delete.

[robg adds: On the queue site, a commenter points out that the small Bluetooth keyboard is essentially a laptop keyboard, and that all the keys shown on the laptop seem to work on the small keyboard, even if not mapped.]
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Seek in iTunes on the new Apple keyboards Other Hardware
On the new Apple keyboards, you not only can use the keyboard to make iTunes pause, or jump to the next/previous iTunes track, you can also seek forwards and backwards: by holding down F7 (Previous) or F9 (Next), iTunes will seek backward or forward.

[robg adds: This mimics the behavior of those buttons in the iTunes interface.]
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10.5: Create your own iSync plug-ins in 10.5 Other Hardware
I just got my copy of Leopard, and while I must admit that I am half-happy with it, there are a few interesting new features.

Among them a small application named iSync Plug-in Maker, included in the Developer tools (/Developer » Applications » Utilities). The name says it all! It probably does little more than what we did in Tiger by hacking existing plug-ins, but at least it's a clean way.

[robg adds: I took a look at this app, and it's quite polished; it even includes image wells for dropping in photos of the new device to use as icons.]
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10.5: Charge iPods and iPhones while sleeping Other Hardware
I noticed that after installing 10.5, my iPod and iPhone both charge when the computer is asleep. I have tested this on a few machines now, and none of them that had Tiger would do this, including my machine before I installed 10.5.

[robg adds: In some limited testing on my machines, this definitely seems to work -- and is a great reason to upgrade to 10.5, all by itself. I lamented the loss of charge-while-sleeping when the FireWire - USB switch was made, but now, it seems we have it back!]
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10.5: Monitor and disable CPU cores in 10.5 Other Hardware
If you would like to see how well your computer runs with only one CPU core, or possibly save power by turning one or more off when not in use, there is a wonderful utility named CPUPalette located in /Library » Application Support » HWPrefs

It will provide you with CPU usage information, as well as let you disable one or more cores.

Update: As noted in the comments, this app comes from the Developer Tools, which you'll find in the Optional Installs folder on the Leopard DVD. It does not exist, at least on my machine, in 10.4 (there's an app called CHUD that will do it, but this is different).

[robg adds: In playing with this little app, I discovered a semi-hidden settings mode: just click the oblong "options" widget in the top right of the menu bar, and a settings area will appear at the top of the window (click the image for the full-size version). You can control transparency, sample interval and history, switch from an area to a bar chart, and add a background grid. To quit the app (drag it to your dock, sidebar, or toolbar for fast future access), just click the red close button, as there aren't any menus in CPUPalette.]
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How to turn a Bluetooth device into 'digital paper' Other Hardware
I have long dreamed of having "digital paper" that simply appears as a Bluetooth printer that I can print whatever I want to, and have laying around on my desk. Think of it as infinitely reusable paper. Well, that day is here... sort of.

I just got a Parrot Photo Viewer 7", which is a digital photo frame with decent resolution and Bluetooth built in. This hint turns it into digital paper by using a purpose-built Automator workflow and the Print dialog's PDF Services feature. This hint can also be generalized to "print" to any willing Bluetooth device. Things you will need:
  1. Mac OS X 10.4.x (Tiger) or greater
  2. A Bluetooth device to "print" to that supports Object Push and a common image format (e.g. JPG)
  3. The Bluetooth Object Push 1.1 Automator action.
Part I: Install the Bluetooth Object Push 1.1 Automator action
  1. Unzip the bluetooth-object-push.zip file you downloaded
  2. Open the resulting bluetooth-object-push folder, control-click on the BlueActionMove-Installer_1.1 file, and choose the Show Package Contents from the pop-up menu.
  3. In the window that opens, drill down into the Contents folder, then the Resources the folder, then the Actions folder
  4. Drag the BlueActionMove.action file in the Actions folder to some place you can get to it (e.g. your Desktop)
  5. Open Automator (/Applications/Automator)
  6. In Automator, choose the Import Actions... menu item from the File menu and import the action you just extracted
  7. Verify that a Bluetooth item now appears in the Library column of the window in Automator (it will be at the bottom of the list initially)
Note: These steps were necessary for me, as running the BlueActionMove-Installer_1.1 to try to automatically install the action didn't work at all. Your mileage may vary.
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