Tag Archives: User Inteface

Apple Flashback 2001: We Didn’t Think of That

How to Update Quicktime

As I mentioned way, way back in UNPREDICTABLE #3, the Software Update Control Panel doesn’t update Quicktime! And I still can’t tell you why—but I can guess. Those whacky, wonderful guys and gals in Apple’s Quicktime development group are pretty independent. As far as they’re concerned, they’ve got Apple’s crown jewel, and all the other development groups should just BOW and BE HUMBLE.

For example, a few years ago at MacExpo NYC, Apple demoed the ‘new’ release of Quicktime 4. One of the cool features was the ability to set up Quicktime to tell it HOW FAST your Internet connection was. That way, Quicktime Streaming servers could send you movies appropriate for your speed. (To oversimplify: Slow connection? Small movie. Fast connection? Big movie.) When I saw that, I thought, “Cool. I bet they have it tied to Location Manager!”  Which would make a great deal of sense.

Location Manager – definitely an Overlooked and Underused item, is mostly for laptop users. It’s kind of a SUPER Extension Manager. It’s a way to change ALL KINDS OF SETTINGS with just one command. You can: turn File Sharing on, have a default printer named “Joe”, and use a certain TCP-IP address connected to an Ethernet LAN at WORK. Then, switch to: A default printer “Jane”, turn File Sharing off, and use TCP-IP over your modem, at HOME. Once you have it set up, all you have to do is choose ‘WORK’ or ‘HOME’ and everything snaps into place.

So I asked one of the Quicktime DUDES at the Apple booth about that. He pointed his blond beard skyward, ran his fingers through his pony tail, and said, “Hmm, No..we didn’t think of that. That might be a good idea. Thanks.”

I try to help Apple where I can. Now Quicktime speeds are tied-in to Location Manager. My point, besides shameless self-promotion, is that the Quicktime Team is in their own little world. Why should THEY have to use the Software Update Control Panel? THEY don’t like it. THEY can build their own Software Update into Quicktime. And THEY DID. SO THERE.

via Unpredictable Back Issue #8, February, 2001.

It’s a Power Tool. It’s an Advantage.

In Safari on Macintosh, you can create a folder of bookmarks that open with a single click. What does that mean? Think about it for a second – you have, let’s say, five web pages that you look at all the time, maybe even all day long. Maybe news sites, maybe social media or blogs, maybe “dashboards” of stocks, or equipment you administer, a document control system, or knowledge base, Evernote, webmail, or some combination of the above. Every day or so, you load these sites from Bookmarks or a “Favorites” page of some kind (depending on your browser). Up one menu, down the next, open this panel, click, click, click, click. But wouldn’t it make sense to just launch them all with one button? Let’s do it.

First, Folders Full of Tabs on the Bookmarks Bar

You probably know you can add Bookmarks to Safari on the “Bookmarks bar”. You may even know that you can have a folder full of bookmarks accessible there, which drop down in a menu (indicated in the image above, after “Hot”, by the little disclosure triangle—formerly known as a “twistie”.) But, did you know you can create a special folder (marked above with the little square) that will open all the bookmarks inside when you click it? “Workbench” is my folder full of bookmarks that open with one click!

ONE button, ONE click all my tabs in ONE window.

All my “dashboards” and other web-based Admin tools available in one browser window.

How? Safari Help – it’s “Easy, but not Obvious“.

Apple people, Macs are not perfect. Safari is not perfect. You have to work hard to figure out how to make this happen, and the option has been here for years! (And please, don’t get me started on the CRAZY interface in Safari and how you have Bookmarks and Favorites available in so many places and so many ways that you you can just get lost. Simplify THAT, Jonny Ive! Please!) Anyway…
You need to know how to Edit your Bookmarks in Safari.
Hint: Go to Bookmarks > Edit Bookmarks

  1. Create a new Bookmark folder
  2. Put the Bookmarks that you want to group together in that folder
  3. Put the folder in the Favorites bar
  4. [Control]-[click] the folder name, then choose “Automatically Open in Tabs”

Now, tell me how you do this in Windows and Internet Explorer? I know you can, sort of, with a lot of work. Way more work. Go ahead. Choose your tool.