The truth is that all computers are vulnerable to viruses. However, some are much more likely to be infected than others. The real difference is the operating system running on the computer. Windows is definitely at the top of the list for being vulnerable, and it's because of a couple of different reasons.
1. Windows has a very large market share compared to its competitors.
2. Windows computers start up with many services that actively listen for connections from other Windows based computers.
3. Most accounts in Windows XP and older computers were defaulted to the type "Administrator" which could openly access and modify system files.
If someone were writing a virus, it would only make sense that it be done for the most widespread and most vulnerable system available. Macs on the other hand are built on a form of Unix. Unix is a very stable and secure system for the following reasons:
1. Macs do not start up with services that actively listen for connections from other computers. In fact, most Macs, until recently, came out of the box with the firewall disabled.
2. Modification of any system file on the Macs requires an admin password, regardless of the user's account type. This has been a practice of Unix for many years.
3. Viruses written for Windows computers can't infect Macs because they are completely different operating systems.
I have been working as an Apple Certified Macintosh Technician for about five years now, and I have never seen a Mac come into the shop with a virus. There have been two cases of some false alarms using a program called Growl that places popups on the desktop saying the computer is infected. But it was easily removed by uninstalling Growl by moving it to the trashcan. Subsequent virus scans showed no viruses installed. There was a big scare around a year ago about a virus for the Mac but I've never seen it myself. Besides, what does that say about Macs when the slight possibility of a virus makes for worldwide headline news? Apple patched the exploit and anyone running Software Update regularly had no worries of getting a virus on their Mac. I would never go as far to say Macs CAN’T be infected, but I would say that the chance of getting a virus when compared to any Windows computer is significantly lower. Nothing can compare to the secure feeling of owning a Mac. See for yourself next time you’re in the market for a new computer.
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Workplace distractions are for the most part unavoidable, our email is open, our phones (office and cell) are never more than 3 inches away and all this in an effort to get stuff done.
In reading the latest newsletter from Dancing Elephants a recent statistic demonstrated just how bad work place distractions can be, as Laura tells us that "it takes 4.5 hours of unfocused work to equal the output of just one hour of focused work." That's crazy, who wouldn't rather have a 10 hour productive work week, as opposed to a 45-hour week where you get the same amount of stuff done?
Some work distractions we just have to learn to live with, but here are some tips from Laura and from Liberty of how to increase productivity.
- Shut it down: An by "it" we mean the various methods of communication you have open on your computer. Take an hour or two with your email inbox closed, chances are most of the emails didn't need an immediate response. Sign out of skype, and set your cellphone out of eyesight to avoid the urge to pick it up and start texting and replying to everyone.
- We agree with Laura about the Pomodoro technique, there is an app for your Mac, iPhone or iPad that helps you monitor your time. You spend 25 focusing on one task, then you get a short break then start another 25 minute session. We've tried it and found that we're so focused sometime we skip the break and keep working!
- And another great tip from Laura about those working in cubicles: Waive the red flag - If you work in an office or even a cube and can't get away from it, get a red flag and hang it on your door whenever you need to do focused work. Tell everyone in your office that for the 25 minutes the flag is hanging that you don't want to be disturbed for anything, not even a "quick question". There isn't much that can't wait 25 minutes to be handled and many people in your office will even follow your lead and get their own red flag.
Are you a business owner that's concerned about your employees' productivity? There are solutions for any device that can help you manage how your employees spend their time, but you'll have to contact us to find out more about it.
Do you have tips for staying focused at work? Leave them below in the comments. And start enjoying those 10-hour work weeks!
VMware today announced the October 27th launch of VMware Fusion 3, a significant update to the company's virtualization solution that allows Mac users to run Windows applications right alongside OS X applications. The new version reportedly brings over 50 new features and improvements, including Snow Leopard optimization and full Windows 7 compatibility.
Key highlights include:
- Optimized for Snow Leopard. Built from the ground up for the Mac, VMware Fusion 3 leverages Mac OS X Snow Leopard's advanced architecture with a new 64-bit core engine and native support for the 64-bit kernel, delivering even better Windows on Mac performance.
- Ultimate Windows 7 Experience. VMware Fusion 3 will be the first to enable the full Windows 7 experience, side-by-side with your Mac, complete with Windows Aero and Flip 3D.
- Switching Made Easy. VMware Fusion 3 will make it easy for users to bring their entire PC to their Mac in a few easy steps - wirelessly or with a simple Ethernet cable - allowing customers to protect investments in existing Windows software, and to keep using the programs they still need.
- Best-in-Class 3D Graphics. Support for OpenGL 2.1 and DirectX 9.0c Shader Model 3 will enable users to run their favorite 3D Windows games and applications - all without rebooting.
VMware Fusion 3 is now available for pre-order at a suggested price of $79.99, with upgrading pricing of $39.99 available to current VMware Fusion users.
Preview is the default image editor for your Mac. Even though it's shipped along with your Mac for free, but it's surprisingly useful for Mac users, especially for those who have upgraded to Mac OS X Leopard.
First, I will guide you to learn the very first and important technique of using Preview application, i.e. opening multiple images at once in one Preview window.
1. Opening Multiple Images at Once
Before you opened many images file with your iPhoto, think first. You will give heavy load to your Mac. It's better for you to open all of those images file with Preview application.
When you're going to open many images at once, don't forget to set your Preview Preferences (Command-Comma) to open all selected images in one window (if not, all images will be opened in separate windows).
And then, don't forget to open all of your images file with Preview by Control-Click on one of the selected images and choose Open With ▸ Preview. I know this won't be difficult for you.
2. Combining Multiple Images
Let's say you have hundreds of beautiful wallpapers (like mine) and you want to combine them to reduce the number of files required to show all of them. Assuming that you want to put sixteen images for every single page, you can do the following steps:
- From Preview sidebar pane, select all images (Command-A)
- Choose File ▸ Print Selected Images (Command-P)
- Change the Layout to display Pages per Sheet: 16
- Click on the PDF buttons on the left hand corner of the pane and choose Open PDF in Preview
Tip: Pay attention to the Layout settings shown on the screenshot above.
Then you will get your images combined, sixteen images per page, like what's shown on image below.
Tip: Don't use the option Images per page from Print Preferences Pane because it will combine your images without padding, i.e. the result won't be this nice.
3. Grab Applications' Icon
So, let's say I like the icon of Yahoo! Messenger. In order to move the icon along with the transparency to Preview pane, these steps will do:
- Select your application (in this case, Yahoo! Messenger)
- Control-Click on the icon and choose copy (or keystrokes Command-C)
- Now change to Preview pane and go to File ▸ New from Clipboard
- You've successfully get the icon!
Tip: Mac OS X Leopard default applications' icons are in larger dimension than other third party application (example as shown on screenshot below)
4a. Batch Rotate Images
To keep it short, let's say that you've loaded many images into your Preview display pane. If you want to rotate all of your images you can do:
- Select all images on sidebar (keystrokes Command-A)
- Choose Tools ▸ Rotate Left/Right and all images will be rotated
- You can also use keystrokes Command-L or Command-R to rotate
Tip: You can select only several images (not all) to be rotated like the way you select files, i.e. using Command modifier key.
4b. Batch Resize Images
When you want to resize several of your images to certain dimension, you can do that easily with Preview application. First thing you need to do is selecting batch of images you want to resize from Preview sidebar pane. And then:
- Choose Tools ▸ Adjust Size
- Set the width, height and resolution for your batch of images then click OK
- Confirm the changes by saving your batch of images: File ▸ Save All (keystrokes Option-Command-S)
5. Powerful Color Adjustment
This is a new cool feature for Mac OS X Leopard Preview application which you will have a pane to easily adjust your images' color attributes, such as Exposure, Brightness, etc. This pane can be activated by clicking on Tools ▸ Adjust Color (keystrokes Option-Command-C).
This is such a handy tool, for example you can do:
- Moving Sepia slider to the rightmost to get nice Sepia tone effect
- Adjusting Saturation slider to leftmost to get Grayscale image
6. Extract Shape from Background
On your Preview application toolbar, you will see a rectangle selection tool, click and hold that button. Then you will likely to see two (new) tools: Extract Shape Tools and Instant Alpha Tools. With combination of these two tools, you can extract a shape from its background, like shown on picture below.
You can see follow the step by step tutorial here: Preview Tutorial - Extract Shape.
7. Copy and Paste Icon/Portion of Image
Now, let's make use of selection tools to move portion of your image. We have three tools to draw selection here: Rectangular Selection, Elliptical Selection and Lasso Selection. You will get used to each of their functions once you try them.
Now let's assume that you've already draw your selection, then you can follow these steps:
- Choose Edit ▸ Copy (keystrokes Command-C)
- Move the focus on other pane (where you want to move your copied portion to) and click on the display pane
- Use Edit ▸ Paste (keystrokes Command-V) and move around the copied image with mouse
- Click anywhere on the display pane to confirm your changes then you're done dragging
If you've mastered the dragging technique, this can be used to Embed Icon into Stack Drawer.
8. Assign Color Profile
You can assign your image to one of the color profile provided inside your Preview application. By selecting the correct profile, you can produce a nice result for your printing. Choose Tools ▸ Assign Profile to assign a pre-defined profile to your image.
Shown below: comparison between Apple RGB (Left) and ProPhoto RGB (Right).
9. Add Annonations
Can you see tiny bar on the right hand corner of your Preview application pane? Option-Command-Click on it, you will see all available tools for your Preview application there. Drag the Annotate tool to your toolbar and play around with it. You will realize that it's really easy to use.
Example of oval and line annotation..
10. Enter Slideshow Mode
Now, I believe you've already known all useful techniques to enhance your images. The last thing you may want to do is presenting those images in front of your colleagues or maybe to your boss. You can use slideshow view for this (keystrokes Shift-Command-F).
Tip: In usual slideshow mode, you will get only one image displayed per slide. To get the result like above, click on the Index Sheet icon.
Are you satisfied with the result?
AWESOME tips for using Preview on the Mac