January 23, 2006

Keep Your Hands on the Keyboard

The real key to fluent productivity at your computer is to work towards never taking your hands off the keyboard.

Whether you're writing, or copying, or reading... keeping your hands on the keyboard means reducing mouse-hunting.

A big tip for that is to learn your key combinations in the apps you are working in. Print out a list and tape it to the wall next to your monitor.

Appleology just ran a reminder of some lesser known Control key + Function key combinations that allow access to the menus and the dock using the keyboard. Hold down the Control key and then the following F-key:

  • The F2 key to navigate the menus using the arrow keys beginning at the left side of the menu bar.
  • The F3 key to navigate the dock, using the left and right arrow keys to move between icons and the up and down arrow keys to view the navigate thought the contextual menu.
  • The F4 key to cycle through all of the open windows.
  • The F8 key to navigate through the right side of the menu bar. (Only works with some menu bar icons.)
These can come in very if you make it a habit to use them. Now, for real keyboard productivity, stay tuned for an introduction to Quicksilver--the most productivity/life-changing Mac app I've ever known.

Note: You must have "Full Keyboard Access" enabled in the preferences. If it doesn't work, use Control+F1 to toggle "Full Keyboard Access" to on.
You can find a lengthy list of keyboard shortcuts at:
Apple's list of Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts

January 21, 2006

The Good and Bad of the "Ink and Blood" Exhibit

I see that William Noah's exhibit of bible history texts is still running, now in St. Petersberg, FL. When the exhibit was in Dallas, a church asked me to go with a group as a personal tour guide. I have three main comments regarding the exhibit.

  1. It is a nice, convenient collection of texts including Erasmus' 1516 edition edition and Luther's 1551 edition. It specializes on English versions (Wycliffe, Geneva, KJV, etc.).
  2. It is terribly sensationalistic and manifest destiny-ish. The narrative video they begin the tour with, along with the tour guide rhetoric and the displayed material, all tell the story from the perspective of how God ordained the bible to be translated into English, despite the evil efforts of the world (and the Roman Catholic church). It is as if God's work in the world was finished now that Americans have the bible in our native English [sic].
  3. If your main interest is in seeing a Qumran fragment, don't waste the gas money getting there. It has only just large enough of a thumb-fragment to justify using the sensationalistic "Dead Sea Scroll" buzzword in the exhibit title.
Ferrell Jenkins has a good survey of the exhibit , listing which texts are on display. Similar to him, I have been to manuscript exhibits across the US, Europe, and the Middle East. I've been blessed to see the British Museum texts, the Guttenberg exhibit in Germany, Luther and Erasmus texts around Wittenberg and elsewhere. I studied Erasmus' 1516 and 1519 editions in the Wolfenbüttel library. I have looked at texts in Cairo, Athens, and Jerusalem including the Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit.

Even given my experience with superb exhibits and museums, my advice is still if it comes in your area, go see it, particularly if you have no plans to go to Europe. However, ignore all of their information. Ignore the video and the rhetoric.

January 17, 2006

Adding a Mac to the Windows-based Network in Your Office

Are you one of those Mac-loving professors or ministers working in an office whose network runs on a Windows server? Often, your tech support person is resistant to you having a Mac in your office. Here is a splendid article by a network administrator with tips regarding adding a Mac to a Windows-based network.

It makes a nice complement to the most thorough resource for inter-OS setups, macwindows.com.

In a blog post a year ago, I also shared a couple other similar resources. Apple has a page on Networking, and iFelix has posted several articles on various issues regarding put your Mac on a Windows network. These resources alone should convince your tech support folks that they have nothing to worry about.

Now, which Mac do I want to pine for in 2006 to put in my office?

January 10, 2006

Apple introduces the MacBook

With the arrival of the Macword San Francisco conference, Steve Jobs took the stage to deliver another exciting keynote address. I agree with Presentation Zen, Apple and Jobs really do a superb job at presentations.

The Powerbooks are finished. With the use of the new dual Intel processors, Apple's Powerbook line is replaced by the Macbook Pro. These look superb, and are apparently quite fast. I note that no enhancements to battery life are mentioned. Still, I want one.

I'm most excited about the change to the iMac. They took the recent G5 iMac, the slick one built into the monitor sporting built-in camera and mic and wireless and bluetooth with remote control for media control, and put dual Intel processors in it as well, and it keeps the same price. We've been considering a family computer and this just may be it.

The Mac Mini, while not getting "Intel-icized" also recieved a small update--more memory and optional Superdrive and wireless features.

June promises to be even more exciting. Full-size desktops with the new processors are sure to dazzle. One question about hardware, though... what of the iBook line?

On the software side, as usual, I'll not get into any of the media apps and packages. The new versions of Apple and third party apps are encouraged to be released in Universal Binary form, optimized to run both on old PowerPC chip and on Intel processors. But, Word and other apps we use everyday such as Accordance, are reported to run splendidly using the Rosetta emulation that comes standard on the new Intel-chipped Macs.

A final note that Pages, Apple's Word Processor, has been updated to version 2. My question is, does it fix Right-to-Left Unicode Hebrew? I find no mention, so I'm guessing not. Would love to hear a confirmation.