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Articles related to Macworld. Typically links to articles I’ve written for

Get more printer from your printer

This morning, Macworld posted The trick to finding the right printer driver for your Mac, by Ted Landau. I starting reading it, mainly because I find most anything Ted writes to be worth reading. But I didn't think I had a printing problem.

After reading the article, though, I took a look at the print drivers for my laser and inkjet printers (both HP models). I found that, sure enough, both were set to use AirPrint instead of the HP drivers. Using the article's how-to, I switched them to the HP drivers.

So what does that get me? Much greater control over both printers, as seen in these before-and-after shots of the print options available in the Print dialog.

While I don't need access to these options very often, it is quite useful to have them directly accessible from the Print dialog. So if you've got an AirPrint-capable printer, but are printing to it from a Mac, give Ted's article a read and then check out how your Mac is set to print to that printer (or printers).

A look at the first eight years of

I was cleaning out some old images from the site, and found over 150 apparently unused images. Whoops, that's what nine years of bad housekeeping will get you.

One of the leftovers, though, was kind of interesting. At some point in time, I graphed the number of hints published each day on, from launch through 2008—a total of 12,051 hints.

Even if unlabeled, it'd be pretty easy to figure out where the major OS X releases occurred (except for 10.1, not sure what's up with that?). And you can see a general downward trend in hints per day, as the OS became more established (and more locked down) over time.

In any event, I thought it was an interesting chart, and figured I'd toss it into a quick post instead of just sending it to the dustbin.

A look at the Office 365 subscription decision tree

Macworld logoHand in hand with my review of Excel for the iPad, I took a look at the $100 per year subscription plan required to actually use it, and just who might want (or need) to subscribe:

Unless you spent the past week offline, there’s really no way you could have missed the news that Microsoft released iPad versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. There’s also no way you could have missed the uproar over the pricing for the three apps.

But just in case you did miss the pricing uproar, here’s a bit of background on the issue. The apps are free to download and can be used to view Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files (though installing a 400MB app to view a file seems like overkill). However, you can’t use the apps to edit existing files or to create new files without buying a subscription to Office 365, Microsoft’s online Office-everywhere service. And that subscription will cost you (assuming “you” are a typical home user, and not a business or college student) $100 per year. Suddenly those free apps don’t look so free any more.

Read the rest over at Macworld.

Review of Excel for iPad

Macworld logoI spent some time (a lot of time, actually) with Excel for the iPad, and reviewed it for Macworld:

There are any number of spreadsheet apps available for the iPad, but recently the market changed dramatically when Microsoft released the full Office suite for iPad, including a version of Excel. While you can argue that Excel is many years late to the iPad party (and I wouldn’t disagree), the iPad version of Excel is a solid entrant, and instantly changes the landscape for competitive apps.

Read the rest over at Macworld.

Disney does digital right with ‘Frozen’ Blu-ray

Macworld logoI was pretty happy with how Disney handled digital copies on their Frozen Blu-ray:

What with the recent Veronica Mars/UltraViolet debacle, you might think all studios still live in the dark ages, and just don’t get it. Thankfully, as I discovered with my purchase of Frozen—the kids’ “Dad, you gotta buy it!” movie of the month—not all studios opt for such an anti-consumer path.

Frozen is available for purchase via iTunes as well as traditional retailers. At the time I bought, iTunes was asking $20 (with iTunes Extras included), which is the same price BestBuy was asking for the Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy bundle.

Read the rest on TechHive.

How I manage spam on my mobile devices

Macworld logoMe, writing about battling spam on my iOS devices (which lack any sort of built-in spam handling tools):

Spam. Nobody likes it. Everybody hates it. Yet it continues to exist, filling inboxes with unwanted offers for generic drugs, overseas lotteries, health insurance, and who knows what else. The problem can be especially bad if you’ve got a really old email address, and that email address has been listed on various websites over the years—spammers love to harvest emails from websites, making your old, established, and public addresses subject to an amazing bombardment of spam.

Read the rest over at