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ATPM 16.07
July 2010




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The iPad Goes to School

That’s an amazing story, one that will be repeated everywhere as this device goes mainstream. I’m headed back to Thailand in October, and I’ve already loaded all my pictures from my nine previous trips onto the device. My Thai friends will be even more impressed with this device than they were with my iPhone and iPod touch. I see Apple just hit the official 2 millionth iPad sold. Imagine seeing these things product “placed” in movies and TV shows.

That will blow the lid off the sale figures! I was hesitant to be an early adopter, but I think things will be just fine.

—Grover Watson

• • •

I, too, have used my iPad in my third-grade classroom. The kids love it. They are so enamored of it that some of the students made paper drawings of an iPad with several pages for the different screens. They take them out at recess and play with them like the real thing.

—Robin N.

• • •

OK, this is the silver bullet we have all dreamed about and waited for since the very first episode of Star Trek…. Our school has ordered 40 to be used with one group of students and two teachers (as an experiment). However, this is going to be tough. We have to ensure that the students don’t abuse them, but we don’t want to shut everything down. We have got to figure out how to set them up for our students and maximize the possibilities without making it a glorified netbook. Any suggestions?

—Randy Farmer

Thanks to everyone who has responded so far. It seems that your experiences with the iPad have mirrored mine.

Randy, I am asking similar questions about the iPad in the classroom. I would love to try a project like yours at my school. I plan to spend some time looking for solutions to these questions.

I think I have seen something in the App Store that would allow setting up something similar to user accounts. That might be a partial solution if I can find it again. I’ll keep you posted.

—Sylvester Roque

To iPad or Not to iPad?

I got my very first Apple Bluetooth Keyboard yesterday. After a few minutes, I was able to mate it to my iPad. Too cool! I’m getting the bug to travel badly now!

—Grover Watson

Opening DiskDoubler Archives

Regarding Mark Tennent’s Stuffed, Compacted and Doubled MacMuser column for ATPM 16.06, where he cites his difficulty in opening DiskDoubler archives, a recent upgrade to The Unarchiver brought compatibility with all but the oldest DD compression formats. With some luck, he may be able to retrieve those QuarkXPress files after all.

—Daniel Gotilla

Data Rescue II

Version 3 of this application was a lifesaver! Recovered all the data I wanted (about 30 GB) off a failed external drive! 5/5 from me!


Merriam-Webster Spell-Jam

Thank you, Linus Ly! Your review of this game was both thorough and concise. I found it to be extremely helpful.


Axio Swift Backpack

Five years later…thanks for the excellent review.


Coping With Mac OS X’s Font Rendering

I have this problem with OS X (including the new iPad). All of the text just looks really fuzzy to me in comparison to my Windows XP computer. I believe it is not anti-aliasing per se, but the sub-pixel anti-aliasing that is used by OS X and also Windows when ClearType is on. When you turn ClearType off in Windows, I believe that you still have anti-aliasing on fonts; it is just the normal anti-aliasing, not sub-pixel anti-aliasing.

Sub-pixel anti-aliasing involves using the colours of the sub-pixels to trick the eyes into thinking corners are smooth. I am red-green colourblind, so maybe that has something to do with it, but the trick doesn’t work for me. I just see fuzziness (on OS X) or some kind of 3D effect (ClearType on Windows).

So basically, I have no choice but to use old Windows as I literally cannot stand reading the text in OS X.


• • •

I have a MacBook Pro 15″ with 1680×1050 resolution. The font rendering is OK except for the terminal, for which I couldn’t find an easy-to-read fixed-width font. When the font size is increased, all the fixed-width fonts become too bold.

Now that I plugged in an external 24″ display with 1920×1200 resolution, the terminal fonts are OK but everything else looks just downright horrible. It’s too fuzzy for this larger screen.

Of course, Windows does not have any issues in either case. ClearType font smoothing can be adjusted to whatever level you like. I’m seriously considering switching back to Windows because of this.


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