Subwoofers are used in most home theater systems, but subs can also radically improve the sound of stereo systems -- and not just the ones with small speakers. Subs can provide a foundation to the sound that few speakers can muster on their own. So adding a sub is not just about adding more and deeper bass; rather, a properly integrated subwoofer can improve the overall sound of the system.
One of the most important aspects of a handset's overall user experience is which carrier it's operating on.
Now that T-Mobile is offering the device, the iPhone 5 is finally available on all four major U.S. carriers. (Regional networks like U.S. Cellular, Cricket Wireless, and C Spire sell the handset as well.)
Each of these four networks -- AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile -- have different plans, prices, and bundles. In addition, T-Mobile's iPhone in particular comes with a number of differences compared to the others. However, with all the little nuanced phone … Read more
The Spotlight feature in OS X is a convenient tool for locating your files, contacts, e-mails, and other information by searching through an index of file content and metadata in addition to file names. While this feature's primary use is for locating user data and resources you may use, such as Applications and system preferences, it can also be used to find practically any file on the system.
Spotlight's index of your hard drive includes information on practically every file on the drive, but since it is geared toward relevant search results, by default Spotlight does not include … Read more
Having multiple windows cluttering your screen can be inconvenient. While the Mission Control feature in OS X can be used to preview windows and switch between them, and isolate windows to specific desktops, even with this you may find your work space a bit cluttered with browser windows, Word and Pages documents, various utilities, and Finder windows.
Unfortunately, switching between multiple windows by clicking with the mouse can result in them overlapping in ways that are frustrating to deal with. While keeping things simple by continually closing windows is one approach, you can also use some OS X features to … Read more
If you are a longtime Mac user who simply could not bring yourself to throw away your old systems, then you may still have an old Apple Desktop Bus (ADB) keyboard such as the Apple Extended Keyboard II lying around. Despite being an older style, many of these keyboards were quite well-made and if only they had USB connectors instead of their ADB connections they could be put to good use on modern systems. It turns out, this is quite doable.
Recently tech hobbyist Scott Vanderlind found that by adding a small USB controller to the keyboard, he could tap … Read more
One of the things that separates high-end audio from mass market gear is that it's built to last and perform at a high level for decades. I bought a 20-year-old, mint condition Audio Research SP-6C tube preamplifier 10 years ago. It looked great and sounded wonderful, but a few years later I sold it to my cousin, who was just starting to get into high-end audio.
Late last year, I bought a 30-year-old Krell KSA 50 stereo amplifier from one of my old customers. He loved the amp and listened to it all the time, but he needed money … Read more
Sometimes you may wish to get the full path of an item in the Finder, and while there are several ways to access file paths, not all will allow you to extract them as text to paste into documents you may be composing.
For example, if you select a file in the Finder and press Command-C to copy it, the behavior when pasting it will be different, depending on the program being used. In some cases the program will only paste the file name, but in others it may try to embed the file's contents or its icon where … Read more
Sometimes it's convenient to work with a document in more than one program at once. For example, if you initially open an image in Preview to quickly crop or resize it, you might decide you want to touch it up in Photoshop instead.
One approach for doing this is to switch to the Finder, right-click the document, and then use the Open With contextual menu to open the document in the program of interest, but there are a few other approaches you can take to quickly open the current document in one application in another without having to use … Read more
While the need to locate a specific line in a text file may not be a very useful feature in regular prose text, for managing structured code such as scripts and XML files that are common in OS X, being able to identify a specific line or two may be quite useful.
If you have attempted shell scripting in OS X, you may find that when your scripts run into errors you will be given a brief description of the problem that includes the line where the problem occurred. While the use of BBEdit, TextWrangler, and other powerful text editors … Read more
When you receive a notification in Apple's Notification Center for Mountain Lion, the system will use the built-in "Basso" sound. If you do not want this sound to play whenever you receive a notification, then you have a couple of options.
The first is to disable the sound completely, which can be done on a per-application basis in the Notifications system preferences. Simply select an application and then uncheck the "Play sound when receiving notifications" option, which should silence it.
Unfortunately this is a relatively limited option and one that requires you to change it … Read more