Technology changes

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Image: campaignlive

The world changes. People used to crank cars to start them. They used to put washing through wringers to get rid of the water. There were lamp lighters in the street. Times change and life and things change with it. Apple’s iconic white MacBook is now vintage. Given it was plastic that might be the right way to go. There is speculation , though, that Apple will move away from its Macs altogether and go with tablets and phones. Macs have been popular with artists , musicians and advertisers. If Apple then improves the iPad Pro will that be enough? A lot of people use their phones and tablets in preference to a laptop or desktop. They like the portability of their device now. A year ago Apple had problems with its new OS Sierra which ought to have been dealt with by now. It’s just brought out a new phone with a different look at the mobile world. Apple never stops inventing and pushing the boundaries.

Meanwhile Microsoft has been working really hard on the Surface which is a laptop/tablet hybrid. It has had to improve the tablet functionality but it is now an  extremely successful device and the iPad Pro could line itself alongside and drive change through competition. iPads have a strong following and are familiar, reliable devices.

What then will  happen to those who need the serious capabilities of a computer? If you like MacBooks, then something like Linux Mint is an option. Apple Macs are built on Unix and so the change to Linux is quite easy. It’s not as slick as Unix , though, but it is easier to customise and can be made to be very slick. It really depends on what you want to do and the world is appearing to make device changes so that everyone has the device they need and that it’s a good one. Some mainly want to stream and look things up. Some need business applications and software. Some need high end graphics capabilities . Some need developer options and so on. We are all different and we are all in need of a good device which suits us. It’s also why you can’t be and know everything about technology. You have to share and you have to pursue what appeals to you . That is how we are moving the world forward now. Yes, there is competition , but collaboration has become a  far more important driver of future thinking and development.

Cluster and muster web content

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There are all sorts of ways of saving web content for future reference or browsing . We are having to learn to cluster and muster our information. At times we can be overwhelmed. RSS feeds are still popular with some, but others are using things like Flipboard and Evernote. Reading on electronic devices can be hard on the eyes too. Makeuseof has some excellent ideas for gathering and organising content as well as making changes to your device to help avoid eye strain. One of the suggestions is the Pocket for Mac extension to Safari. Since we have Macbooks at school I have linked a more detailed review of this from PC mag.

Mac Lion OS X Trackpad

Next week is the next laptop roll out for the new year 9s. Their macbooks are coming preloaded with Lion. Our others run on Snow Leopard. Lion is more like an iPad and an iPhone so lots of students will easily adjust to the new OS. It also has a file sharing feature called Airdrop so files can be shared across the network. I am looking forward to helping with the roll out but, for us, it is a big commitment since we are a big school and so it means everything has to be just right before we can do the roll out. Our technicians and home group teachers help with the roll out and the students come along with their parents. There is then a facilitator. Someone like me who will help students set up their new Macbook. I did it last year and it was a very heart warming exercise and so completely different from anything else I have done as a teacher. It is a different way of connecting with students and their parents. This video lets you have a quick look at Lion. Its trackpad gestures are slightly different so you need to familiarise yourself with those.The person explaining it does not cover too much too fast so it is quite easy to see how Lion works in principle. I see the iPad similarity as a strength since the iPad interface is easy to manipulate and manage and the nested groups mean you can keep apps under control! The desktop feature which comes with Lion  is common to all Linux operating systems. It can be very helpful if you are working on a number of things at once which you often are in a school. This video is a good starting place for  Lion.

Put your home folder in your dock

If you clear your Mac desktop you need to access your files easily. I am using my home folder. To click onto it from the Finder menu isn’t what I want to do. Click on the Mac HD icon. Click on the Users folder. Move the home folder into the dock. Right click on the home folder icon and click folder and then display it how you want – either as a list or folders. You can then access what you want easily. Ubuntu does put the home folder in the dock as a matter of course. It is surprising Apple doesn’t. Don’t try to shift the home folder from the sidebar of an open window on the Mac. That is just an alias and you can lose it if you try to move it. It can be put back – but still. To shift your home folder you need to go to the users folder!

Top Posts

MacBookThis quarter the posts haven’t changed a lot but they have changed a little. Enough to tell me again that people are looking for things to resolve problems on their computer and then interesting and useful software.

1.Me TV -Ubuntu 10.04 This works just as well on 11.04 and has been the top post forever!
2.Use iPad as second screen m – this has been a hugely popular post too. People are always looking for ways to extend the use of their iPad.
3.Current world disaster and emergency map – again , this was an instant hit and has remained a much visited post. No surprises as to why.
4.Eject CD on MacBook – The day I posted this I had felt very silly for not noticing there was an eject button on the Mac. Well, looks like I am not the only silly one! This became an instant hit. I have also heard you can reboot the Mac and hold down the mouse button or trackpad key to try and eject a CD on a Mac if the eject key on the keyboard doesn’t work. I’d be wary of trying anything else suggested on the Net unless you are quite certain you can do it. Could cost you dearly. Maybe the eject CD thing on a Mac is more of a technical problem than we think and something which Apple needs to take onboard.
5.Microsoft pptPlex for PowerPoint Aagin this post is in the top 5 and still Microsoft ignores the fact we are hugely interested in htis and we could really use it in a classroom.

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