3 super-easy ways to convert currency with your Mac

By

Your Mac's calculator has some tricks up its sleeve. Photo: Rob LeFebvre
Your Mac's calculator has some tricks up its sleeve. Photo: Rob LeFebvre

As the world gets smaller and smaller thanks to the global marketplace called the internet, you may sometimes need to know exactly how much your dollar will get you in the wider world. Is that £15 widget really worth it? You’ll only know if you convert it to some form of currency that you understand better.

Your Mac has at least three ways to do this sort of calculation: with a Dashboard widget, the built-in Calculator app, and even with Spotlight. Here’s how to convert currencies into something that makes more sense, right from your handy Mac computer.

Backpack business: How two globetrotting designers do it

By

UX designers Holly Kennedy and James Turner run their business from the road as they travel the world. Here, the couple stand in the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah during an American leg of their travels. Photo courtesy of Kennedy and Turner
Designers Holly Kennedy and James Turner run their business from the road, visiting places like Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats. Photo courtesy Kennedy and Turner

The lengthy list of logistics involved in starting any business eventually lands on what to do about equipment and office space.

James Turner and Holly Kennedy run their user experience design consultancy out of a single backpack each as they trek from country to country like nomadic college students with a free summer.

Kennedy says you won’t find the couple “wearing bandannas or growing dreadlocks” but they are happy living life on their own terms — with an unconventional commute and ever-changing scenery. Cult of Mac caught up with the ex-Londoners, both 26, in northern Thailand, where they were working around spotty Wi-Fi and a client 13 time zones away.

Future iPhones will warn you when you’re going to be late

By

Photo: CC Wikipedia
Photo: CC Wikipedia

Apple has been steadily working to improve its Apple Maps service since its disastrous debut a couple of years ago, and a new patent application published Thursday further cements that.

According to the application, filed in March last year, future iOS devices may scour through your data to warn you of traffic congestion on routes you are predicted to be likely to travel.

These journeys could be learned by your iPhone or Apple Watch by way of a smart artificial intelligence “machine-learning engine,” based on the frequency of previous destinations (say, regular appointments), location of events in a user’s calendar, location of events which users hold electronic tickets for, and addresses gathered by analyzing messages in the form of texts or emails.

These road-trippers logged more than 10,000 miles and captured it all on Super 8

By

Screenshot courtesy Element.ly
Screenshot courtesy Element.ly

Instead of just another HD video project clogging up his Mac, filmmaker Mike Ruocco set out to capture his cross-country road trip with something just a bit more retro: a 45-year-old Canon Auto Zoom 814 with a broken light meter and two cans of Super 8 film.

Ruocco, his wife, her sister and their dog Riley traveled across 20 states, spent time at nine national parks and then spent a week in the Adirondack Mountains, filming it all along the way.

What results is a video so warm and nostalgic that we just had to share. Check out this amazing blast of Americana below.

The Cult of Mac Guide to Traveling Light

Everything for a couple weeks away, including transport.
Everything for a couple weeks away, including transport. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Travel can be a chance to practice minimalism, or an opportunity to drive yourself nuts. What am I talking about? Luggage. You can pare down your essentials to fit in a carry-on – even if you’re away for a month – or you can throw in every item of clothing and every charger you have. The second approach will result in a broken back, and you’ll still find that you left something essential at home.

Over the years, I’ve perfected my packing technique so that I only take the bare minimum. And when I say “perfected,” I mean “struggled with.” But it works for me, and the principles can be applied even if you’re the kind of person who hires a boy to carry your trunks for you when you take a cruise on the Titanic.

So here’s the Cult of Mac Guide to Traveling Light, a roundup of strategies, product recommendations and other tips to make your next trip a breeze.