Just for Fun: Transparent Laptop

Although not many people have, you’ve probably seen pictures of laptops that appear to be transparent. I thought it was a cool idea, so I tried it myself. It turned out to be a lot harder than it looks – my final product isn’t even much to brag about. Although it can be hard, it is a fun thing to do, and fun to send to friends for a laugh and a “how did you do that?”.


Here’s what you will need to make your own transparent laptop picture:

  • Digital Camera
  • Tripod

The Mac Pak Application Bundle

macpak.pngRemember the MacHeist bundle? It included 10 great apps and cost around $50. On May 1st, the MacHeist bundle could be overshadowed by The Mac Pak. The Mac Pak is another software bundle that has been put together by Mark Howson, the man who began MacAppaDay. Mark says that the bundle will be released on the first of May, and the price will begin at $30 for ten games and applications. Then, each day the price will rise, so you will want to buy quickly if you are interested. I found some facts on the MacPak twitter that sounded very enticing to me:

How To: Create Custom Icons for your Mac

photoshop iconHave you ever wanted a custom icon for a hard drive or folder? I have, and I found out that it is easy to do, even if you can’t make an icon from scratch. For example, I got tired of seeing the default white removable drive icon whenever I plugged in my CompactFlash reader. I decided to make a custom CompactFlash icon to use instead.

Note: Their may be simpler, even easier ways to do this but this is how I do it. Comments welcome.

Step One: Making the Icon

SketchFighter 4000 Alpha: When Doodles Come to Life

You’ve probably seen games like Tetris and Quinn before, however you probably have never seen a game like SketchFighter 4000 Alpha from Ambrosia. The whole game was inspired by the doodles on your 6th grade math homework. From dialog boxes to actual gameplay, SketchFighter is consistent with a “sketchy” design. The game itself is a 2D shooter, and is played with a triangular spaceship that can fire pellets, missiles, and other weapons (think Asteroids with more enemies and an actual map).


Boot Camp 1.2: Aero and Aqua in Perfect Harmony

Boot CampAn update to Apple’s Boot Camp software was issued today to OS X users. Boot Camp is a free partitioner and set of drivers that allows Mac users to run Windows as well as OS X on the same drive. Boot Camp was introduced early last year and is going to be a feature in Apple’s upcoming OS X 10.5 release, Leopard. Boot Camp 1.2 includes many fixes and features, making Windows on the Mac a bit easier.

How to Make Your Own iPod Dock

When I bought my fifth generation iPod, I wanted to get a dock, but I didn’t really want to spend $40 for a dock that didn’t even match my black iPod. So I made my own dock. It took a couple hours and cost about $10. Unfortunately I didn’t take pictures during the process, but I have a few photos of the finished product to help you make your own.

Heres what you will need:

  • A tin or other box that has a lid and is easily cut
  • Xacto knife or similar
  • iPod Dock Connector (comes with recent iPods)

The Mac Terminal II: Simple File Operations

TerminalIn the last Terminal Tutorial, I went over the two commands cd and ls, which just allow you to view your files. In this segment of Terminal Tutorials, I will show you how to do some operations with your files. This article will cover 4 commands, allowing you to copy, move and delete files and directories.

Creating Directories

Creating directories is very easy with the command mkdir. The syntax for this command is mkdir <path of new directory>. For example, if I wanted to create a directory called new inside of the beta directory, I would enter

VNC: Remote Desktop for Free

Remote DesktopHave you ever been at school, work, or a friend’s house, and needed to get on your home computer? If so, you may want to set up a Remote Desktop system. Remote Desktop systems let you control your computer from other computers, giving you access to all your files and applications. You may even want to control computers on your home LAN. Apple’s Remote Desktop starts at $300, but there is a free and easy alternative.

Monolingual: Reclaim your Hard Drive Space

Did you know that Mac OS X and many applications hold data for many languages that you probably don’t speak and don’t need? Well, they do, but there is a solution, Monolingual. Monolingual is a small app that strips language files from your system and applications. The first time I ran Monolingual, I think I saved around 300 megabytes of space. And since every time I update an app, more localizations are added, I periodically run Monolingual to save more space and make them run a lot smoother. New Mac users may not be as concerned with disk space, but this is a great way to save disk space if you are running an old Mac like me.

The Mac Terminal: An Introduction

This article is a piece in a series of upcoming articles.
Mac OS X isn’t just known for it’s fancy GUI. It’s known for it’s powerful underlying core OS, UNIX, and the Terminal is the way that you can access the UNIX base. For you new switchers, the Terminal is equivalent to the Command Prompt in Windows, or the Command Line/Shell/Terminal in Linux. Many Mac users never even open Terminal, however these users are missing out on some of the most powerful features.

To open Terminal, navigate to your Applications folder, open Utilities, and double click on Terminal. You will be greeted with a message similar to this:

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