Monthly Archives: October 2010

Happy Halloween!

Since Halloween is tomorrow, I figured I’d write a post that contains links to some fun or interesting things that are related to Halloween. I hope you enjoy the following websites, games, and activities!

Halloween History

If are wondering about how Halloween came to be what it is today, the websites below have some great information about the history of Halloween, as well as other things.

History.com – Halloween

History.com – History of Jack-O-Lanterns

History.com – Halloween Around the World

Halloween Graphics

If you are looking for Halloween graphics, such as pumpkins, candy, and other things to decorate your computer’s desktop, your website, or anything else, these websites have a bunch of images that you can use to do so.

HolidayGraphics.com – Halloween

Hersheys.com – Halloween ClipArt

TheHolidaySpot.com – Halloween Wallpapers

Iconator.com – Halloween Buddy Icons and Avatars

Halloween Music and Sounds

Wouldn’t it be pretty cool if you had some fun Halloween music and sound effects to play at a Halloween party or when trick-or-treaters are coming to your house? The websites below allow you to do that, as they contain free Halloween themed music or sound effects.

Free-Loops.com – Halloween Sound Effects

All-About-Halloween.com – Scary Halloween Sounds

TheHolidaySpot.com – Spooky Halloween Music

YouTube.com

Halloween Games and Activities

If you’re looking for some fun Halloween games or activities, perhaps you should check out some of the websites or games below. Please note that the first four links are mainly children’s activities.

BenJerry.com – Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Halloween Activities

Holidays.Kaboose.com – Halloween Games

Holidays.Kaboose.com – Halloween Activities

Coloring-Page.com – Halloween Coloring Pages

Angry Birds – Halloween (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad application. Review here.)

I hope everyone has a happy, fun, and safe Halloween! If you have any other link suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below or use the Contact page to send me an e-mail!

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Back to the Mac

As you may already know, Apple recently hosted it’s “Back to the Mac” event, where Apple announced some new updates to a variety of products and services.

Mac OS X 10.7

One thing that Apple announced was the latest version of the Mac OS, which is version 10.7 and is known as “Lion”. According to Steve Jobs, this update to the Mac OS will integrate Apple’s iOS into their Mac OS. However, this update isn’t expected to be released until next summer.

App Store

If you own an iPod Touch or an iPhone, you are probably already familiar with Apple’s App Store.  However, users can expect to see the App Store on their laptops and desktops in around three months. With the Apple App Store on computers, users will be able to download applications, such as utilities, games, and more without having to visit a website, download the actual file, and then install it.

Once you have downloaded applications from the App Store, you will be able to launch them from a launcher that contains all of your applications, which is similar to the Mac Dashboard. If you own an iPhone or iPod Touch, you may enjoy the similarities between your iPod or iPhone and your computer.

If you would like more information about the latest version of the Mac OS and the App Store, you should check out this article from CrunchGear.

FaceTime

Also announced at the “Back to the Mac” event was the ability to use Apple’s FaceTime service on your computer, in addition to already being able to use it on your iPod Touch or iPhone. You can even chat with users who are using FaceTime from their iPod Touches and iPhones, right from your computer. This feature is actually available for download from the Apple website. However, the FaceTime for Mac version is still in the beta stage.

If you’d like to see a hands on review of FaceTime for the Mac, you should view this article and video by John Biggs from CrunchGear.

New MacBook Air

Apple also announced the newest version of the MacBook Air, which is smaller and lighter than the previous version. The new MacBook air weighs just 2.9 pounds and has a new glass trackpad. The new version of the MacBook Air also has two different screen sizes, which are 13 inches and 11 inches. The new MacBook air can be purchased for $999, which is also cheaper than previous versions of the product.

If you would like more information about or if you would like to pucrhase the new MacBook Air, you should check out the MacBook Air section of Apple’s website.

iLife

Apple also announced the latest version of iLife, which is iLife ’11. While there weren’t any significant additions to Apple’s iLife package, there were some updates, including making the software suite more social with a better FaceBook integration.

Even though users were able to publish their photos and such to FaceBook in the previous version of iLife, there is now improved sharing capabilities, which includes allowing users to tag their family and friends right in iLife, as well as being able to see FaceBook comments and such in the iLife program itself, without having to launch your browser to view them. The new version of iLife also allows users to change their FaceBook profile picture directly from the program.

In addition, iMovie users can now upload videos straight to FaceBook from iMovie, which prevents users from having to open up a browser, log into their FaceBook account, and then upload the videos.

If you would like more information about the latest version of Apple’s iLife software suite, you should check out this article from TechCrunch.

For more information about any of Apple’s “Back to the Mac” announcements, I would suggest that you check out TechCrunch.com’s “Guide to Apple’s ‘Back to the Mac’ Event”, which is where I obtained a variety of the information posted above, as well as from more specific posts, such as this article from CrunchGear.

Cut the Rope

If you’re looking for a fun game to play on your iPhone or iPod Touch, perhaps you should try playing Cut the Rope, by Chillingo Ltd.

Cut the Rope is a puzzle game where you have to try to get a piece of candy that is suspended from one or more ropes to a little green creature who will then eat it. However, in order to get the maximum number of points, you also have to collect up to three stars which are in the level.

In order to collect the stars, there are a variety of tools that you can use, including air pumps, which will blow the candy in one direction, bubbles, which make the piece of candy float upwards, as well hidden ropes, which can be used to suspend the candy in a different place.

There are also obstacles, such as spikes and spiders that you have to try to avoid, as the spikes will cause your candy to break into pieces if it comes into contact with them and the spider will take the piece of candy, both of which will cause you to fail that particular level.

If you’re interested in trying Cut the Rope, there is a Lite version available, which you can download from the iTunes App Store.

If you would like to purchase the full version of Cut the Rope, you can do so from the iTunes App Store for $0.99.

Disable Conversation View in GMail

If you’re a GMail user, you’re probably familiar with how e-mail messages with the same topic are grouped together in a thread-like “conversation view”, which enables you to quickly see previous e-mails that you have sent and received.

However, if you are just switching to GMail or have been a GMail user for a while, but don’t really like the conversation view, you can now disable it and go back to having messages displayed individually, rather than grouped together.

If you would like to disable “conversation view” in GMail, you can do so by logging into your GMail account and then clicking on the “Settings” button, which is located in the top right corner of the GMail interface.

From there, you should click on the “General” tab, which may be the first tab that is selected when you go to the “Settings” page, and then choose the “Conversation view off” option, which should be the sixth option in the “General” tab.

In order to reenable “conversation view”, you can do so by simply going back to the “Settings” menu and then to the “General” tab. From there, you should choose the “Conversation view on” option.

If you would like more information about the option to disable GMail’s “conversation view”, you should check out this post from the Official GMail Blog.

Apple TV

As you may have already heard, Apple recently released a new version of it’s Apple TV device, which retails for $99 is now 80 percent smaller than the previous version.

The new Apple TV also includes a built in power supply, which may be useful if you’re trying to fit it into tight spaces. Another new feature is that the device does not have a fan, as it stays cool without it, which reduces the amount of noise that it makes. Also, according to Apple, when the new version of the Apple TV is not in use, it uses less power than a night-light.

In addition to the above features, the Apple TV can wirelessly stream content, right to the device, with HD movie rentals and TV shows being streamed right to the Apple TV from the Internet and photos and music being streamed from your computer. This means that you don’t have to go through your iTunes library and sync the content that you would like to watch or listen to.

Like other Apple devices, such as the iPhone 4, iPad, and iPod Touch, the new Apple TV features an Apple A4 processor, which enables content to be streamed to the device without any freezing or stuttering.

The Apple TV also has controls similar to those of a DVD player, with users being able to pause, rewind, and fast-forward through whatever they happen to be watching.

In order to set up the Apple TV, all a user needs to do is plug the device in and connect it to a TV using an HDMI cable, which can be purchased separately. The Apple TV also features an optical audio port, as well as an Ethernet  port, even though the device can connect to the Internet wirelessly.

In addition to watching and renting content, such as movies and TV shows from iTunes, users can also stream and view content from services, such as Netflix, YouTube, MobileMe, and Flickr.

Another feature of the new Apple TV is that it can now be controlled using an iPhone or iPod Touch, provided that the user has downloaded the Remote application from the iTunes App Store. With this feature, users can browse through content, use the iPhone’s or iPod Touch’s keyboard to search for things, as well as play, pause, rewind, and fast-forward content, similar to using a regular remote control.

There is also a new feature, which is coming soon, called “AirPlay”, which enables users to stream content, such as music, TV shows, and movies from their iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad right to their Apple TV, without having to purchase it again.

If you would like more information about the new version of the Apple TV, you should check out the Apple TV page of the Apple website.