Archive for July, 2009

Automator Tutorial: Getting Started with the Mac OS X Automator

Monday, July 27th, 2009

One really nice thing about Mac OS X is the ease with which you can automate tasks. This comes down to AppleScript – an easy-to-learn scripting language for getting apps to do things – and Automator, a drag-and-drop tool for creating a series of automated actions, known as a workflow.

In this beginner Automator tutorial I’ll walk you through the process of creating a simple Automator workflow, from start to finish. The workflow, called “Zip and Send”, will zip up selected file(s) and automatically email the resulting zip archive to an address you specify.

Opening Automator

To run Automator, open your Applications folder in the Finder and double-click the Automator icon. When Automator starts, you can choose a starting point for a new workflow:

(Click image to enlarge)

These options just provide basic templates to get you going. For now, just choose the Custom icon, as shown above, then click Choose. (more…)

Apple’s Favourite iPhone Apps

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

To celebrate the 1st anniversary of the App Store – launched on 11 July last year – the folks at Apple have come up with a list of their top iPhone apps and games. Interesting to see which apps they enjoy using themselves.

I have a few of my own favourite apps to add:

  • Stanza (ebook reader: my most heavily-used app)
  • Galcon Lite (fast-paced space strategy game – still a classic)
  • Tangram Pro (puzzle game)
  • Frotz (interactive fiction engine)
  • TyroTuner (does a great job of helping you tune a guitar through the iPhone’s mic – looks great too)
  • Wolfenstein 3D Classic (A great port of the original considering the limitations of the iPhone’s small touch-screen)
  • BOMRadar (Aussie weather radar app – perfect for seeing where the rain is!)
  • Twinkle (location-aware Twitter client)

What are your favourite App Store apps and games?

Mac Terms Explained: A Glossary of Mac Terminology

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Are you new to the Mac, or thinking of diving into the world of Macs? The following is a list of technical Mac terms that you may find handy. I came across most of these terms myself when I first bought a Mac, so I thought it’d be useful to gather them together into this glossary.

I hope you find it useful! If you’d like to see a term added to the list – or you think one of my definitions needs correcting – please let me know in the comments below. Thanks! 🙂 (more…)