James Cull
  • Computer Skills
    How To Run Windows Software on OS XCrossover retina
    One of the major advantages that Macs have is that thanks to their Intel architecture and some clever coding from the boffins at Apple (and other companies), they can run applications designed for both OS X and Windows. Before you start jumping for joy, let me mention that you can't simply download a Windows program, install it onto your Mac then fire it up — there's a few technical issues to iron out first! In this tutorial, therefore, I will cover a couple of different (and easy) methods you can use to get your favourite Windows programs running on OS X. Before we start, though, it's worth mentioning that not all Windows programs run seamlessly. You've got to be prepared to accept a few bugs here and there and, especially in the case of games, a possible compromise in graphics performance. If you're still interested, then read on to find out how.Read More…
  • Photo & Video
    The Super Beginner's Guide to Apple's ApertureAperture icon retina
    When it comes to editing photographs on OS X, I'm sure you'll agree with me in saying that Mac users are quite spoiled for choice. Not only do we have iPhoto, an excellent (and completely free) photo editor, but there's also the Adobe Suite offering Lightroom and Photoshop. In this tutorial, we're going to be focusing on Aperture, Apple's own photo editor designed towards the more professional user. Or is it? Yes, it's priced towards the professional end of the market. Amateurs will certainly not want to spend $80 on some software simply to touch up their holiday snaps. On the other hand, Aperture doesn't have to be complicated, and even absolute beginners can use it with ease.Read More…
  • Computer Skills
    How to Use LyX on OS XLyx icon retina
    As a former student, I was (and to some extent, am still) a big fan of TeX -- a wonderful and versatile typesetting system first developed by Donald Knuth in the 1970s and still in widespread use today across the academic and scientific fields. The problem with TeX, though, is that it comes with a fairly steep learning curve -- you can't just start writing a document straight away in it and you need to learn the basics before you can start. That's where LyX comes in. It's a document processor that uses TeX to render your documents, meaning you get pretty much the same results as if you'd written the document in pure TeX code, but it comes with a more user-friendly interface and apart from some advanced formatting (which is beyond the scope of this tutorial), you don't have to learn a single line of TeX code. In this tutorial, I'm going to cover LyX in some detail and show you how you can use it to easily create simple yet professional-looking documents.Read More…
  • Computer Skills
    Switching To Mac: Waving Goodbye To Your Windows AppsSwitch retina
    Anyone who has switched from Windows to Mac will know that it is quite a lengthy, drawn-out process. Sure, there are loads of tools and utilities out there to help you transfer your data and settings across, but when you're making a radical switch between two completely different operating systems, it is bound to take a while. In a couple of past tutorials, I have focused on how to switch from Windows to Mac (i.e. migrating your files and settings) and even how to choose your first Mac but there is one area that I haven't yet covered, and that's applications. Around ten or so years ago, Macs had the same status as Linux systems: they were specialist computers with not much in the way of consumer software. Now, that situation is completely different, and you'll find the choice of software available for OS X refreshing and extensive. In this tutorial, I'm going to show you how to replace those Windows applications, you've been used to for so long, with their shiny Mac equivalents.Read More…
  • Computer Skills
    How to Write a Novel on Your MacNovel icon retina
    Whether you're looking to make millions from your publication or just wanting to improve your creative writing skills, writing a novel can be an arduous task on almost every machine. From planning it out to getting the manuscript looking just right, there are a lot of different stages involved in the writing process and with the sheer minefield of applications out there designed for writers, most people are faced with one questions: which one(s) do I pick?Well luckily, we've done the hard work for you so you don't have to! Read on to discover our step-by-step tutorial on how to get a novel written on your Mac, from start to finish.Read More…
  • Computer Skills
    How to Create Awesome Charts in PagesCharts pages retina
    In one of my previous tutorials, I gave you an introduction to Pages on OS X -- showing you how to create your first document, add some text and images and how to get it exactly how you wanted it to look. However, one thing I didn't cover is how to create charts in Pages for your data, as I think that it's worth going into a bit more detail here in a separate tutorial (i.e. this one!). Data manipulation using iWork is fairly similar to Microsoft Office (for more advanced stuff, I prefer using Excel but for plotting charts and the like, Numbers and Pages is my programme of choice) and although there are a few little annoyances, it's fairly easy to get your data into a beautiful and professional-looking chart. Let's find out how.Read More…
  • Computer Skills
    Getting Started With Keynote on OS XKeynote icon retina
    Over the past couple of tutorials, I've showed you the basics of Pages and Numbers, two incredibly powerful yet highly functional components of Apple's iWork suite. Now it's time to move onto Keynote, Apple's answer to Microsoft's PowerPoint, which I feel is the most under appreciated component of iWork. Throughout my university career, I've used Keynote almost exclusively for all my presentations as I find it so much easier to use than PowerPoint and, in my honest opinion, the results are far better. Remember that film, An Inconvenient Truth, where Al Gore predicted death and destruction across the whole world if we don't change our attitudes to global warming? Yep, his presentation was done entirely on Keynote (though this may have something to do with the fact that the guy did sit on the Apple board at the time) and I feel this really demonstrates what the program is capable of (although he did enlist the help of a graphic design company). Let's delve right into Keynote and see what it's capable of.Read More…
  • Computer Skills
    Getting Started With Numbers on OS XNumbers icon retina
    In a recent tutorial I took an introductory look at Pages, Apple's often neglected word processor and tried to show you that despite its fairly basic interface, it is an incredibly powerful piece of software that allows you to create a multitude of different documents. In this tutorial I'm looking at Numbers -- Apple's answer to Microsoft Excel. I'm a seasoned Excel user, mostly because of my university degree which requires us to manipulate data in Excel and I'll freely admit here: Numbers is certainly nowhere as powerful as Excel when it comes to advanced features. Having said that, though, Numbers does make it easy to create a nice, simple spreadsheet and manipulate some data, and in this tutorial I'm going to show you how to do so!Read More…
  • Computer Skills
    Getting Started With Pages on OS XPages retina
    When it comes to creating a document, I think I'm safe in saying that most people turn to Microsoft Word. And with good reason. As much as I dislike Microsoft (no, I'm not an Apple fanboy – I was a committed Windows user for nearly all my life – I just prefer OS X), I still find myself using one of its products almost every day, whether it be Microsoft Office at university to finish off that important essay or Skype to talk to my friends in faraway lands. But what really gets to me is the fact that iWork, Apple's default office suite, is often seriously neglected, which is a real shame – especially when you consider that for most documents, spreadsheets and presentations, iWork will do as good a job (and in some cases, a better job) than Microsoft Office. Although the last major release was back in 2009 with iWork '09, Apple have still kept the project alive with endless updates and improvements, and for the price (each app costs $19.99 from the App Store) it really can give Microsoft a run for its money. In this tutorial, I'll be introducing you to the Pages interface and walking you through the creation of a simple document. Let's get started.Read More…
  • Computer Skills
    How to Get Through College on a MacCollege400
    When I glance casually around one of the crowded lecture theatres at my university, it often looks like the setting for a Mac convention. That glimmering white apple is adorned on almost every computer I see, from top-of-the-range MacBook Pros to dented and scratched black and white MacBooks that look like they have seen their fair share of usage. Macs have certainly shrugged off their reputation as expensive specialist pieces of kit and become a staple of the students' gadget arsenals, along with the ubiqutious iPhone and iPad. This is certainly a welcoming phenomenon, and it does show how Apple has orientated itself more towards the students and their (slightly) limited budgets. In this tutorial, I'll show you how to survive and get through college with your Mac – from someone who is almost at the end of the university experience (I'm due to take my finals in June). You'll (hopefully) find that a Mac really is an indispensible tool for both your studies and for later life!Read More…
  • Computer Skills
    Getting Started With Grapher, Your Mac's Built-in Graph ToolGrapher 400px
    Grapher is one of those tools on OS X that is sadly abandoned. I'd even go so far as to say that a majority of Mac users either wouldn't know it existed or (without using either Spotlight or Alfred) wouldn't know where to find it. I find this a real shame, as Grapher is actually an extremely powerful little utility that can work wonders for you -- if you know how to use it properly. Anyone who has tried to draw a graph in Excel will know what I mean -- it's a real hassle. This tutorial will teach you how to use Grapher to plot and draw some amazing graphs and show you the fundamentals of using this powerful little tool. You'll soon discover that it isn't just a mundane little tool that's buried away within your utilites folder but rather one of the most powerful and functional bundled apps on OS X!Read More…
  • Computer Skills
    Getting Started With ScrivenerScrivener icon
    Scrivener is one of those extremely useful Mac applications that I feel is really under-appreciated. You can use it for almost any kind of content creation and if you're a writer then it can really speed up your workflow and allow you to work more productively. It has won numerous awards from a number of high-profile sources (including Apple itself) and what's awesome about it is that it not only helps you write, but it also keeps all of your research and notes in one handy app -- so you don't have to go searching around your Mac. In this tutorial, I'll be showing you how to get started with Scrivener by writing your first document, as well as exploring its various features and how you can use it to your advantage. Read on for my full tutorial!Read More…