When your Mac runs slow, give it a tuneup

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Mac Tune Up
Tune up your Macintosh and clean out the cruft.

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 than it did when your machine was new. 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 solid-state drive) 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.

Is there some sort of tune-up you can do to sort 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.

Apple Fixes: Paving The Way To A Smoother Work Day [MacRx]

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The workplace can be stressful enough, without adding computer snafus to the mix. As an IT consultant, I hear about a lot of them, usually after disaster has struck.

Here’s how to deal with some of the more common workplace issues – email problems, contacts not syncing, WiFi headaches, deleted files – and keep rolling with your Mac.

Put Your Stickies And Notebooks To Rest With This Seriously Noteworthy Task Manager [Mac Deals]

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topxnotes

Imagine jotting down a quick memo, tossing it into the air and having a little magical fairy swoop by and catch it, stashing it away safely for later reference. TopXNotes is the next best thing! We all know and love our Mac Stickies but imagine them on steroids. That is what you get with TopXNotes, the most comprehensive task manager yet. Let’s face it, Stickies aren’t fail proof and those quickly jotted notes can sometimes be crucial. TopXNotes constantly autosaves your notes and categorizes them to help insure anything worthy of being written down doesn’t accidentally fall through the cracks.

MacBook Pro Helps Turn Nikes into Music [Video]

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Here's how the DJ duo got the shoe flow flowing. Via Createdigitalmusic.com
Here's how the DJ duo got the shoe flow flowing. Via Createdigitalmusic.com

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyFL_ZKgTaQ

Need to put a spring in your step on a fall Friday?

Check out this video by Japanese break beat duo Hifana, it came out awhile back but we think it’s awesome.

The idea? For an ad campaign to showcase the flexibility of Nike Free Run+ shoes in Japan, they DJs use the footwear to make music, contorting and twisting the shoes to get different sounds, then battle it out DJ style

A MacBook Pro is at the heart of the operation that one half of Hifana, Daito Manabe, set up to make some sweet footie music. Nike gives a nod to the Apple power behind the project with a blink-and-you-missed it shot of a pair of MBPs in the beginning of the video.

Made on a Mac: Toy Story 3

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@photo Lee Unkrich
@photo Lee Unkrich

“Toy Story 3” director Lee Unkrich gave something for his seat mate to gawk at as he sat at 36,000 feet editing the latest animated tale of plaything adventures.

With not a second to waste — the release date is June 18, 2010 —  Unkrich worked on a MacBook Pro, with what looks like shortcut color codes for Avid Media Composer.  (Crane as I might, all I ever see are Excel spreadsheets. Need to get upgraded from Economy more often, perhaps.)

Apple products often feature in Pixar movies (perhaps in a nod to history?), the trailer for Toy Story 3 already has a nice bit of iProduct placement.

Review: MacSpeech Dictate Is a Great Tool For Writers

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MacSpeech Dictate is dictation software for the Mac that helps you enhance your productivity by simply dictating rather than typing. It is based on Nuance’s Dragon NaturallySpeaking speech engine, which ensures highly accurate speech recognition capabilities. In fact, the company claims it to be about 95% accurate. Although the lack of a Beta version makes it hard to believe but surprisingly, it’s very true.

Recently, I had a chance to test version 1.5 of this for myself and from my experience, it works really well. It’s not just a simple application, but a full-fledged dictation solution for any Mac user, especially for a writer or a journalist.

Gallery: A Cool Dozen Cult of Mac Fan Workspaces

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Sean Caine

Earlier in the week we asked readers to post pics of their workspaces on our Facebook page for the chance to win a new Magic Mouse — and the response was great. So far, more than 90 of you have taken the time to become fans of Cult of Mac on Facebook, snap a shot and upload your pictures — thank you!

While everyone is waiting with bated breath to find out who’ll win the Magic Mouse (announcement to come tomorrow, Sunday, November 1), we thought readers might like to see a cool dozen of some of the most interesting.

Let us know what you think in comments below and feel free to continue posting your own shots over at the Facebook fan page.

How To: Moving from Aperture to Lightroom

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Our recent preview of Lightroom 3 – Beta has generated a lot of buzz about the future of digital processing. One of the questions that keeps coming up is: how do I migrate from Aperture to Lightroom?

Well, it’s not has hard as you think, as long as you’re willing to invest a bit of time up-front to do it right.
Follow us after the jump, and we’ll have you loving Lightroom in the amount of time it takes to get a pizza delivered.

CoM Must-Have: Strobist Lighting Seminar

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Image: David Hobby, Strobist.com

I am a “Fashionable Photographer”, meaning I own a ridiculously expensive camera, that I barely know how to use, and possess a virtually limitless budget for gear which are little more than fashion accessories to my lifestyle.

Yet despite this I am not the sort of dude that is likely to lay down one hundred and forty bucks on a set of DVD that I could just watch for free on account of a friend loaning them to me.

And yet I did, and I’ll tell you why, after the jump.