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All posts tagged with "Tutorials"

Using one drive to backup Mac and PC

A few people have asked how I use one drive to backup both my Mac (using Time Machine) and my PC (using Windows Backup), so I thought I'd document it in case it's useful to anyone. There might be other guides on how to do this, but here's how I did it - it's fairly easy if you're familiar with partitioning, formatting and generally messing around with drive management. If you're like me and have both a PC and Mac, backing them both up to the same drive can be very convenient (though make sure you do backup elsewhere too, one drive for everything means if that drive dies, you've lost two computers' backups!). There are other backup options than the aforementioned defaults included with the OS, but I find they work well enough for me so I'm happy to use them :) Please also note that this is how I did this, and it is not the only way (or perhaps even the best way - I don't claim to be an expert at these things).

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Reverting to Safari 3 from Safari 4 on Mac OS X 10.5

Did you make the same mistake I did, and update to Safari 4 when it was offered as a Software Update, then found some things didn't work any more, or you just plain don't like Safari 4? If so, here's how to revert back to Safari 3.2.3 on Mac OS X Leopard.

  1. Remove your existing Safari installation. Drag /Applications/Safari.app to the Trash, and rename the ~/Library/Safari folder (where ~ is your home folder, e.g. /Users/your-username) to something else (you're essentially making a backup here). It is important that you empty the Trash after doing this, as I found my 'new' Safari copied itself to my Trash folder.
  2. Rename ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Safari.plist and ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Safari.RSS.plist (if you have it - I didn't, but then I wasn't subscribed to any feeds) to something else (backups again - these files contain your bookmarks and RSS feeds so if you don't want to lose them, don't skip this step)
  3. Edit /System/Library/Frameworks/WebKit.framework/Resources/Info.plist and replace all instances of the number 5530 with 5525. Please note: you may need to modify the file's permissions in order to be able to edit it. This can be done by right-clicking it, selecting Get Info, and modifying the permissions at the bottom - you need to give your username read and write access.
  4. Download Safari 3.2.3 and install it (you will be asked to reboot afterwards)
  5. Hey presto, you have Safari 3 again! Replace the files from step 2 (you may need to remove the new files created by Safari 3). Some people have said this doesn't seem to work for them, and if it doesn't for you or screws up your Safari, you might need to open the files and add your bookmarks back in manually... It seems there might be an inconsistency in the XML but I haven't looked into it in too much detail.

There you go, just thought I would share :P

Instructions for Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4)

Edit: I have been asked for instructions for Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) - unfortunately, I don't have access to that version, but I'm told the instructions do work, except that the following modifications are to be made:

Why I hate your tutorial: Useless Tutorials part 2

Tutorials. Everyone has them (ok, so not everyone. But a lot of people - even I had some... and for far too long, I might add). They bulk out the content of the average site and which makes the site look more important and useful and the site owner feels better about themselves, knowing they're helping people out.

The point of a tutorial is that it should help people out. It should take them through, step by step, instructions on how to perform a particular task which would otherwise be demanding and/or difficult. It should be clear, to the point, and easy to follow.

Let's take Jane Jones, a fictional website owner who loves writing tutorials. She writes them about anything and everything; Photoshop, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, you name it. She copied wrote all the iframe and blur effect tutorials first, dontchaknow. Anyway. Jane Jones comes across a script she likes - it takes text entered in a form and stores it in a database. She hasn't written a tutorial for at least a day now and she really loves this new script she's found, so she decides she'll write a tutorial for it.

She could start by writing about how the form could be extended - adding an extra field, for example. She could also write about how you can jazz up the layout a bit, for those who don't know how to do it. But this is all far too advanced for Jane... She starts with the traditional installation tutorial. "Create a database, see my other tutorial for details," writes Jane. "Then upload all the files. That's it!". Yay, one tutorial done. Second tutorial: "How to add text. To add text, write in the box and then press ok. That's it!". Next one: "How to delete text. To delete text, click the delete button. You're done!"

Let's say I'm using the script Jane has written the tutorial about. What have I learned here? I already know how to add text - it's fairly obvious, and anyone with half a brain would have guessed that you enter text in the box and then click the button. Even the most dim-witted person in the world would be able to guess that clicking 'delete' would, oh, I don't know, delete text?

So I ask you this: as a site owner, why are you writing that tutorial? Because you feel like sharing knowledge? Because you think that explaining the way you did something would help others? Or is it because you want more content? Or even because your hits are low and you want more on your site to keep them entertained?

Does your tutorial point out the obvious? Is it actually teaching anything? Writing a tutorial of the type Jane wrote above will insult the intelligence of your visitors. People will read it and wonder why you bothered writing it.

(And no, before anybody asks, this is not directed at anyone or any tutorial in particular. I see these sorts of tutorials all over the place and they do my head in.)

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