What to do with an old AppleWorks database

by Dave on March 24, 2009

The decline and fall of AppleWorks has been difficult for many—notably the many educators I’ve worked with over the years. What do with that old data?

Some have been forced to use other products. Some have made the transition to new Apple products. Many are still floundering.

Apple has a mature word processor/page layout program in Pages, a year-old spreadsheet application in Numbers and a marvelous presentation program in Keynote. Many have happily latched on to this iWork software suite. Others haven’t yet discovered it.

But many folks are still trying to figure out what to do with aging AppleWorks databases. Apple spinoff, FileMaker, provided a solution over a year ago in Bento, now in version 2. If you are clinging to old AW data, you owe it to yourself to try Bento.

aw_to_bentoBento marketing says “It’s never been easier to bring your AppleWorks databases and spreadsheets into Bento to see your data in beautiful forms, have iTunes-style searching, integrate with popular Mac apps like Address Book, iCal, and more!”

Check it out and obtain a free trial here. [Note: As always, Mac only.]


Give your presentations a Jolt

by Dave on March 24, 2009

How many times has this happened to you? You are presenting in front of a group, showing slides or a movie clip on your Macintosh. Suddenly, your screen dims.

You quickly run your finger over your track pad and the brightness comes back up. You’ve done this so many times, you react instinctively. But your audience has been distracted for a moment, and the flow of your presentation may have been interrupted.

jolt_icon501Screen dimming is a natural function of your Mac’s Energy Saver preferences. But you certainly don’t want your screen to dim or your Mac to sleep in the middle of your presentation. You can always modify the settings in your System Preferences. But that’s extra steps that are easy to forget–then, forget again when your presentation is over.

Recently, I bumped into a piece of software that will solve this problem. And it looks like a must-have for anyone who makes presentations using a Macintosh and a video projector, or just the Mac’s own screen. It’s Jolt.

Jolt turns on with ONE click on its icon in your menu bar. The color of the icon indicates for how long the timer is set. If this isn’t enough goodness, Jolt also turns off automagically. So, you only have to click once to turn it on, then forget it.

Jolt is not the only application that can make changes to your Energy Saver settings (see Caffeine), but none is as customizable as Jolt.

The software is freely downloadable, and is initially set to eliminate screen dimming and/or sleeping for five minutes. For a lousy $5 you can own the right to customize the application and set additional timings. And half of your $5 goes to charity.

This would make the perfect gift for a fellow presenter. Better yet, this would be a perfect gift for the boss to buy your entire staff.

Do yourself a favor, check it out now. Here’s an article from MacUser (UK), and here’s the link to the developer’s site where you can start giving your presentations a Jolt.