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Which iPad Manual Rules The Roost?

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This story first appeared in Cult of Mac Magazine.

In Apple’s drive toward simplicity, one of the things which fell into the category of “things we can do without” were physical paper manuals.

While the Cupertino company does offer a 140-page online User Guide — which provides a passable intro to using your iPad (and currently has the advantage of being one of the few iOS 7.1 guides around) — Apple’s refusal to create manuals has fostered a cottage industry with rival products.

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When Your Mac Slows Down, Give It A Tune Up [MacRx]

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Tune up your Macintosh and do a bit of spring cleaning

This article first appeared in Cult of Mac magazine.

Macs are solid machines, but just like their owners they have a tendency to get lethargic as they age. Launching and switching programs takes longer, simple tasks become arduous, and the dreaded beach ball of doom appears more often. The Operating System just starts to feel crufty, and can get worse over time. I see these issues in my IT consulting business regularly.

You may be asking, why does this happen? There are many reasons, but some are more common than others. Sometimes your hard disk (or SSD) gets too full and interferes with normal computer operations. Crashes or misbehaving programs can corrupt the disk directory or application cache files. Remnants from old software may still be running behind the scenes, or you don’t have enough RAM to deal with your OS and workflow.

OK, so is there some sort of tune up or spring cleaning you can do that sorts it out? Your tech always tells you to just reboot the computer, but there’s got to be more than that. The good news: yes, there are some things you can do. And, perhaps, adopt some more efficient computing practices for yourself along the way.

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Pimp Your Lock Screen With “FancyLock” [Video Review]

After turning your device on and off throughout the day it can be easy to get tired of your lock screen. While normal wallpapers can offer you a basic lock screen experience, the app FancyLock can offer so much more. Create your own personalized lock screens in seconds, thanks to tons of cool themes.

Take a look at FancyLock and find out what you think.

This is a Cult Of Mac video review of the iOS application FancyLock brought to you by Joshua Smith of “TechBytes W/Jsmith.”

Fix Your iOS 7 Wallpaper Woes With The App “Wallpaper Fix” [Video Review]

While the iOS 7 software update has brought along a total design revamp, with it has also come irritating wallpaper settings. Not being able to scale your photo to the sizes you’d like and more have been just some of the newly associated issues. The new application Wallpaper Fix claims to be the perfect fix for all of your wallpaper problems. Is Wallpaper Fix the app that will help you get your wallpapers the way you want?

Take a look at Wallpaper Fix and find out what you think.

This is a Cult Of Mac video review of the iOS application Wallpaper Fix brought to you by Joshua Smith of “TechBytes W/Jsmith.”

How To Get All Of Your Photos Into Flickr And Forget Everpix Forever [How To]

Flickr can become the central home for all your photos.

Flickr can become the central home for all your photos.

Intro

After the recent Everpix shutdown, I moved all my photos to Flickr. If you read my roundup of Everpix alternatives, you’ll know that Flickr wasn’t my first choice, but it turns out that neither is it my only choice. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Everpix was great because it just sucked in all your photos, whether you kept them in iPhoto, on your iPhone, in a weird beardo folder structure on your Mac, or even if you took all of your photos using Instagram. It was far from perfect, but it was the best. And then it went away.

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Why Apple Will Enter the Home Automation Market

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For years, home automation has been the exclusive province of the very rich or extremely technical.

Companies you’ve probably never heard of, such as AMX, Control4, Crestron, Elan, HomeLogic, Colorado vNet, Vantage and Zenpanion have provided the platforms and many of the fundamental products, while integrators took care of the installation and service for many people.

Or, very dedicated and technical DIY enthusiasts have cobbled together their own ingenious solutions.

Recently, the major phone carriers have gotten into the act, and rumors suggest Google, Apple, Microsoft and other consumer electronics companies are working on home automation.

The reason everybody’s jumping is that home automation is in the process of making a transition from “hardly anybody” to “pretty much everybody.” So everybody wants a piece of what will definitely be a massive new industry.

In five years, the majority of homes in the United States are likely to have significant home automation happening in their homes — voice-controlled thermostats, Bluetooth-unlocking door locks, lights on self-learning timers, automated pet feeders, doorbells that ring your phone rather than a bell in the house and much more.

The reason? Kickstarter, mostly.

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Slick Task Management With Mailbox, Drafts, Gmail And (Maybe) IFTTT [How To]

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Cult of Mac reader James Broccoli asks:

My answer was “Sure!”

. And if you don’t like this post, make sure to address all your complaints to Mr. Broccoli.

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Use Automator, ImageMagick And Shell Scripting To Easily Splice iPhone Screenshots And Other Pictures [How To]

Use Automator, ImageMagick And Shell Scripting To Easily Splice iPhone Screenshots And Other Pictures [How To]

This is what happens if you run the workflow on all the pictures in this post.

Today’s how-to will show you how to install the command-line picture-manipulation tool ImageMagick, and how to build an Automator system service using shell scripting. The Service will take any number of pictures and make one long photo that contains them all. It’s as if you laid them out in a row on a table, only without a table, and with a computer.

Amazingly, it’s all pretty easy.

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Sync Your Lightroom Across All Your Macs With Dropbox [How To]

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Lightroom and Dropbox, sitting in a tree…

I have gotten more mail asking about how I keep my Lightroom mostly in my Dropbox than pretty much anything else recently, after I mentioned it in a recent article. So here goes: an in-depth look at how I have things set up.

It’s not just for Lightroom/Dropbox nerds either: Using this method, you can keep pretty much anything in Dropbox and sync it between computers, even if the folders involved absolutely have to stay in a certain place on your hard drive, like your ~/Library folder.

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How To Make Lightroom And iPhoto Libraries Both Exist Together On Your iPad [Feature]

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The ones that can be deleted were created on the iPad. The others come via iTunes.

The state of iOS photo management is a mess. In typical Apple fashion, the built-in tools work fine, but if you try to add anything else to the mix things get messy, fast. And in “anything else,” I even include iPhoto on the Mac. If you want to have be able to see all your photos on your iPad, regardless of what gear was used to take them, you’re out of luck.

If you shoot with both an iPhone and a regular camera, things get even worse. Sure, you can suck it up and use Aperture or iPhoto, but Lightroom is (for me anyway) way better.

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