How to make the iWork suite a free download for current Mac owners that don’t own the apps already

For anyone having issues getting the upgrade, or if you’ve never owned the iWork suite, so don’t have the apps to update, you can just download the iWork ’09 trial version
The App Store will then allow you to upgrade to the new versions, for free.

1) Visit
2) Click Download
3) Click External Mirror 1
4) It will just be a DMG file so install like normal
5) I had to wait a few minutes / I also Quit App Store and reopened. After a few minutes it showed I had 3 updates available to Pages, Numbers, Keynote.
6) Updated as normal.

A common issue is an error message “cannot be installed because it’s from an unidentified developer”. To fix this:
System Preferences -> Security -> General -> Allow apps downloaded from “Everywhere”


Build Your Own iPad

Can’t wait for Apple to release the new iPad? Build your own iPad…well, sort of. This is more like an iPaperPad, but it will be one heck of a sweet piece of “gear” until you get your hands on the real thing. The process is pretty easy. Here it is:

1. Go here to print out the front and back of the iPad: Front, Back. Make sure you print in color on a printer capable of borderless printing.
2. Cut along the dotted lines and fold.
3. Put either a pad of paper, or a stack of heavy paper into the middle.
4. Glue everything together.
5. VOILA! You’ll be the envy of the coffee shop.

If you’ve got a large format A3 printer, you can grab a PDF that will print an iPad to full size here: iPad A3 PDF.

Personally I think it looks pretty nice. A great mod would be to use a bound pad of paper and keep the front page loose so you can use the pad underneath it. Then it would serve a useful purpose as well as be some eye candy.


How Wii Tennis Can Get You To Wimbledon

Growing up as a little boy, one of the favorite parts of my year was watching the Wimbledon Tennis Championship. For those of you who don’t know, it is a professional event held in London, England every year. A tournament steeped in deep tradition and history and it never disappoints. It is one of the reasons why I loved playing tennis so much growing up and still enjoy going out to the courts every once in a while now.

I was thrilled when the Wii system came out and it the Wii Sports game, as well as Mario and Sonic Olympics’ both came with tennis and ping pong respectively! Finally, a chance to practice my game in those cold, rainy winter months!

The great thing about the Wii is that you can play it sitting down and barely move the Wii Controller, or you can take the innovative opportunity to play interactively with the system and stand up, move around, and, in the case of Wii Tennis, actually practice your strokes! Wii Tennis could be the next training ground for a Wimbledon or Olympic Champion!

Though the Wii has been around for a while and I’ve had my system for six months or so, I feel a new sense of excitement and anticipation now when I turn on my console with friends and we get pretty intense in our Wii Tennis and Ping Pong competitions!


Changing Default Microsoft Word Template

I’ve had a nagging problem since installing Microsoft Word 2008 for the Mac. For some reason the default template adds an additional 10pt space after each line making it look like double spacing is turned on. I have to change it every time I type a doc, not a big deal. The bigger deal is having to change it EVERY TIME one of my kids or wife wants to type something. I finally sat down to change it today once and for all. Here’s what you need to do to make a change to the default template for Word 2008:

1. Make a backup copy of Normal.dotm (Default Word Document Template) found in /Users/~/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/User Templates/.
2. Open the Normal.dotm.
3. Make whatever changes you’d like to make to set it up the way you’d like to start each new document in Word.
4. Save the template.

That’s it. Keep in mind that whatever changes you make to the template will change the starting point/default template for all future Word documents.  This process should also work for other default templates for Microsoft Office for the Mac applications.


Can’t Transfer Large Files to LaCie External Drive

I picked up a LaCie Little Disk 320GB hard drive to store some files I’d previously had on my iPod Classic.  I have several large data files that are upwards of 8GB.  When I went to transfer one of these over, the transfer failed at about 4GB with the following error message:

“Sorry, the operation could not be completed because an unexpected error occurred (Error code -1309)”
After trying several times, I started looking at what might be wrong with the drive.  Turns out the drive comes formatted from the store as FAT32 which has a file limitation of 4GB.  I assumed that since I bought the drive from the Apple Store (stupid assumption), that it would be formatted for the Mac out of the box.
The fix was simple in case you ever run into this.  In fact, it’s a good practice to reformat any external drives or data storage devices prior to using them just to be safe.  Here are the steps:
  2. Launch Disk Utility, select the external drive you want to reformat in the left hand column.
  3. Go to the Erase tab, set the drop down menu to the file system you want to use (Mac OS Extended…), then click Erase.
  4. Your new external drive will be ready to use.

MobileMe – Pretty Much Available Now, What Do You Need To Know?

MobileMeSo now that the boxed versions of MobileMe are available from Apple, and from other resellers like Amazon, I figured I’d better see what that actually means for .Mac users like myself that haven’t really been paying too much attention.

Fortunately, if you haven’t been following along, you can get up to speed fairly quickly with the Apple .Mac To MobileMe Transition FAQ on Apple’s website. This document should answer most of your upgrade questions if you’re a current user.

Bottom line — if you’re currently a .Mac user, you get the service upgrade without having to do anything. A couple of other decent items to note:

  • Your .Mac subscription will be automatically upgraded to MobileMe at no additional cost.
  • Individual subscription storage doubles from 10GB to 20GB.
  • You may continue to use your current email address to send and receive email just as you do today. If you have any email aliases at, they will also continue to work.
  • All of your existing iDisk files will be available on MobileMe iDisk.

And a couple of things you should be aware of

  • As part of this transition to MobileMe, some features are being discontinued: Web access to bookmarks (bookmark sync between your Macs and/or PCs is still supported), iCards, .Mac slides, and support for Mac OS X 10.3 Panther sync.
  • iPhone users: You will need to update to software version 2.0 or later to enable push mail, push contacts, push calendar, and push bookmarks. This software update will be available when MobileMe launches.

All this and much more at the Apple .Mac To MobileMe Transition FAQ on Apple’s website.


Adium Upgrade fixes ICQ error

I turned on my system a couple of days ago, launched Adium and noticed that my ICQ account wouldn’t connect. ICQ has periodic problems, so I thought the service was just down. Turns out a new version of Adium was required to get ICQ working properly. The strange thing was in Adium, when I clicked Check for Updates, Adium reported back that I was already using the latest version. A manual update to version 1.2.6 was required.

Tip: Don’t trust the automatic program updates. Sometimes there’s no substitute for a manual update.


Quick Tip – Add Applications and Files to Finder Toolbar

Did you know you can easily add applications and files to the finder toolbar for quick easy access?  This functionality basically adds a new dock to any finder window you may have open on you desktop. How can you accomplish this?  It’s quite simple actually, simply drag an application and hover over the finder toolbar for a second or two until the plus icon appears.  Choose your position, and drop.  Very useful! 

Thanks to reader macluvr for the tip!



Quick Tip – Turn off all displays keyboard shortcut

Having no easy way to quickly sleep my displays, I have in the past resorted to setting up a hot corner in the Expose/Spaces preference tab to turn off my displays. This is a good solution, however as a person who chooses to use the keyboard and lives off of shortcuts in all of my favorite programs, this mouse gesture is just not the solution which fits my habits well. Read the rest of this entry »


Quick Tip: Make Safari Open Links in New Tab

If remembering to command click to open a link in a new tab in Safari gets you like it gets me, a browsing session in Safari can quickly end up with many open windows. The latest Safari update exposes a hidden preference which can be modified using a Terminal command to force Safari to open links with a target of “_blank” in a new window.  Simply open terminal and type in the following command.

defaults write TargetedClicksCreateTabs -bool true