Making Cmd-K = Search in Safari

April 9, 2008

Maybe I’m one of the few die-hard Firefox users on OS X (it doesn’t seem likely), but whenever I use Safari, it always drives me nuts that Cmd-K doesn’t go to Search.

Safari Cmd K Search

Click for full-sized example

Fortunately, it’s easy to fix.

Go to System Preferences, Keyboard & Mouse, Keyboard Shortcuts, and press the little “+” sign in the lower left to add a new shortcut. Select as the Application, enter “Google Search…” as the Menu Title, and press Cmd-K in the Keyboard Shortcut field.

Click “add” and you’re all done.

(From 5ThirtyOne via Lifehacker)

How to back up your Mac – Remote Backup

April 2, 2008

Easy and Secure Mac Backups

Remote Backup

If you’ve followed along this far, you know we mentioned previously why you need several styles of backup, you’re rocking a solid clone backup, and you’ve got Time Machine covering multiple versions of at least your most important files.

That should be enough, right?


What could possibly happen to your Mac that could also affect the backups sitting next to it (or even in the same office or home)? Wait — let’s not cite potential specifics and jinx anybody; surely you’ve thought of some ugly possibilities.

That’s why we need the remote backup.
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How to back up your Mac – Time Machine

April 2, 2008

Easy and Secure Mac Backups

Time Machine

As I mentioned previously, Time Machine isn’t enough — you need a good clone backup first. But once you have that, Time Machine provides a safety net, as well as giving you the ability to go back and recover older versions of your files.
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How to back up your Mac – Clone Backup

April 2, 2008

Easy and Secure Mac Backups

Clone Backups

As I mentioned previously, a good clone backup is your FIRST line of defense — in case of disaster, it’s simple and flexible, and gets you back in business FAST.
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How to backup your Mac – Easily and Securely

April 2, 2008

Easy and Secure Mac Backups
I used to be a “real men don’t back up, they learn data recovery” kind of guy. After a few trips through the canyon though, data recovery begins to lose it’s appeal.

Over time I’ve gotten a lot more religious about backups, and have came up with four rules that have to be followed before I feel like my stuff is actually secure:

  • Backups have to be automatic
  • Recovery needs to be simple
  • Some stuff needs to be recoverable from older backups
  • Important stuff needs to be backed up off-site

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In Defense of Coffee

March 8, 2008

In this day and age, it seems like everything that you enjoy comes complete with a Greek chorus of whiners telling you why you should avoid it.

Coffee is no different. Despite Starbucks opening new stores every 60 yards on any paved road, every wanna-be-self-helper tells you why you should give up caffeine, give up coffee, etc.

That’s what makes it particularly refreshing to see Lifehack have a go at what’s right with coffee.

Their list of coffee’s benefits includes:

  1. Better health through antioxidants
  2. Improved alertness
  3. Resilience to shifting schedules
  4. Improved socialization

Not bad for the devil’s drink.


HDTV – How To Connect Multiple Devices

January 4, 2006

video inputsIf you read the article on Basic HDTV Cabling, you may have noticed that I didn’t answer part of the original question there — namely, “how do you hook up multiple program sources (cable boxes, DVD players, etc.) to the same HDTV?”

To have multiple sources, you’re going to need to have a way of switching between them. Fortunately, for most HDTV sets, there are multiple sources of inputs, and you can switch between them via the TV’s own remote.
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Basic HDTV Cabling – How To

January 4, 2006

RCA JackEverybody’s probably had the experience of hooking up an antenna or cable coax to a TV, and a lot of people are familiar with the old “yellow-red-white” RCA jack hookups for VCRs and DVD players.

But the first time you start wiring up an HDTV can be a little daunting.

A friend of mine who got a 42″ Plasma for Christmas just e-mailed me and asked me about cabling:

“I have been using my regular video cables to watch my TV (only with Directv, no DVD). Last night I bought component cables and tried to hook the DVD up with my Directv. One problem, no audio. Could you give me a brief explanation of the order in which they should be connected and what cables I need to use?”

Since this is a fairly common place to get stuck, I thought this might be a good opportunity to do a basic introduction to HDTV cabling.
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How-To Fix MCE 2005 Restricted Content Problem

November 8, 2005

I’ve had a problem since shortly after re-installing my MCE 2005 system (complete with update rollup 2). Although everything was working fine at first, a few days later I wanted to view a DivX clip from Windows, outside of MCE.

I installed a DivX codec (in fact, I installed FFDShow, since it included several codecs I wanted and it has a fairly low processor overhead in the configuration I needed; I was careful to insure that it wasn’t installed for any of the MS formats), and attempted to launch Windows Media Player.

Since this was the first time I’d run it on this system, it led me through all of the initial configuration questions and then came back and said “Media Player 9 is not installed correctly” (I have no idea why it wasn’t v. 10), and asked me if I wanted to download a fresh copy and install it.
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Brewing Coffee by the Numbers

October 13, 2005

coffee spoons
One common mistake in brewing coffee is to not use enough ground coffee. This is no real surprise, as often coffee brewers and even coffee packaging itself has incorrect or misleading advice.

When we brew coffee, we want to extract roughly the “first two-thirds” of the flavor of the bean — that’s where all of the “good flavor” is. The “last third” is where all of the bitterness and nasty flavors lie, and we’d prefer to just leave that right in the grounds, instead of in our cup.

Unfortunately, when you “underdose” the amount of coffee, you “overextract” and end up with a nasty, bitter cup of coffee. Some people mistake this bitterness for “overly strong” coffee, and dose even less to try to get rid of it — making a weaker but even more bitter brew.

The standard measure is to use 10.6 grams (.38 ounces) of coffee per 6 oz. (177 cc) of water. While weighing our coffee on a gram scale would probably be a great idea (since bean density varies with variety, roast and humidity), most of us aren’t going to bother.

Fortunately, using a rough approximation of 2 tablespoons per 6 oz. of water is “close enough”.

Remember that coffee makers vary on what they consider a cup (usually between 4.5 oz and 6 oz — never 8 oz), so be sure how much water you’re really brewing with in your 8 or 10 cup coffee maker (you only have to measure it once).

Some handy approximations — 1 cup is about right for most “8 cup” brewers, and 1 1/4 cups is likewise for most “10 cup” brewers.

If you want to get more exact, or the math is bogging you down, you can always use this handy Brewing Ratio Chart from Black Bear Coffee.

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