Jordan Merrick
I'm a technology writer and web designer living in the UK. I write for a number of Apple-related sites, including Sparsebundle. I also create web templates available at ThemeForest and offer bespoke web design services at my own site, You can find me on both and Twitter !
  • Computer Skills
    Set Up a Guest Network and Timed Access Control on an AirPort Base StationTac icon 2x
    Apple’s AirPort and Time Capsule base stations have always been easy to use and offer fantastic reliability. Even though they may not necessarily include some more advanced features, they have an impressive feature set that is pretty well hidden. Two such options that I’ll demonstrate in this tutorial are Guest Networks, for keeping your personal network private, and Timed Access Control to manage when your wireless networks are accessible. Read More…
  • Computer Skills
    The Complete Guide to Find My MacFmm icon 2x
    Find My Mac brings the iCloud function of Find My iPhone to Mac OS X, providing a way of locating and performing a number of remote actions on a Mac. It's an essential feature for anyone using a portable Mac on a regular basis, especially those working with confidential data or who have a penchant for forgetfulness. In this tutorial, I'll explain and show you everything there is to know about Find My Mac, from locating it to remotely wiping all of the data it contains. Read More…
  • Computer Skills
    Using a USB Audio Device With a Raspberry PiRpaudio icon 2x
    My previous tutorial on the Raspberry Pi, Using a Raspberry Pi as an AirPlay Receiver, made use of the device’s built-in 3.5mm jack for audio output. This, however, produces sound that is mediocre at best and if you’re wanting to use the Raspberry Pi for any amount of audio listening, it’s going to have to produce a better quality of audio. We’re not going to squeeze much more out of the built-in components so, in this tutorial, I’ll explain how to set up and configure a cheap USB sound card as the Raspberry Pi’s default audio output device, providing a better quality, and volume, audio.Read More…
  • Computer Skills
    Turn a Mac into a Video Surveillance SystemCctv icon 2x
    Whether you want to keep an eye on the kids or keep watch over your property, there are many different types of security cameras and other CCTV equipment available to buy. These range from network-connected security cameras that you can place anywhere in your home, providing simple recording and streaming functionality, to dedicated CCTV systems that provide 24/7 recording and streaming from one or more cameras. Unfortunately, these setups can often be expensive and fairly difficult to configure and use. In this tutorial, I'll show you how to build a budget video surveillance system to protect your home using an old Mac and some ultra-cheap USB webcams. Once finished, it will offers features such as motion detection, time lapse, web streaming and more.Read More…
  • Computer Skills
    Create an Interactive Book With iBooks AuthorIbooks 2x
    For many, ebooks are simply a digital version of a printed book, consisting simply of text and the occasional image. Textbooks and other non-fictional literature rely quite heavily upon diagrams, images and other illustrative elements. Unfortunately, space constraints mean that authors have to be careful just how many of these graphical elements they can physically fit into the book. To help move these types of books into the 21st century, Apple released iBooks Author, a free app that we can use to develop truly interactive books. In this tutorial, I'll show you how to create a fully interactive book that leverages many of the features of iBooks Author, from image galleries to scrolling elements. Read More…
  • Computer Skills
    How to Highlight Colours in Black and White Photos With ApertureColor icon 2x
    Being able to isolate and edit specific colour ranges is one of the great features of Aperture, allowing for some colourful effects within photos. Whether you're wanting to change the colour of a flower or have a coloured element on a black-and-white backdrop, these types of effects can be quickly and easily achieved within Aperture, Apple's professional photo editing and management app. In this tutorial and screencast, I'll show you how to recreate these types of effects with ease so that you can create your own masterpieces in no-time. Read More…
  • Computer Skills
    Using a Raspberry Pi as an AirPlay ReceiverAirplay rpi icon 2x
    The Raspberry Pi is a versatile little computer that provides the perfect sandbox to start creating some fun and interesting projects. One popular project is as an AirPlay receiver, allowing us to stream audio from an iOS device or computer using iTunes to our Raspberry Pi that's connected to a set of speakers. In this tutorial, I'll show you how to set up a Raspberry Pi to be used as an AirPlay receiver so you can stream audio from any iOS device, iTunes or compatible AirPlay software such as AirFoil.Read More…
  • Computer Skills
    Apples and Pears: A Guide to Alternative Apple AccessoriesLogitech icon 2x
    While Apple manufactures some of the best accessories for the Mac, they aren't the only company that does so. In fact, there are many other companies that manufacture some great accessories for your Mac, from keyboards and mice to cables and adapters. Some of these are not only cheaper, they're far more versatile and feature-packed than Apple's offerings. In this guide, I'll show you some alternatives to Apple's own accessories for your Mac, saving you money as well as increasing your productivity using accessories that you may never have considered before.Read More…
  • Computer Skills
    How to Use Automator to Generate Spoken RingtonesRingtones icon 2x
    In a previous tutorial, Give Your Mac a Voice with Text-to-Speech, I showed you how to use the speech function of your Mac. One particular section of that that guide detailed the process of creating a spoken-word ringtone by using the Mac's say command and the Mac app Ringer. In this tutorial, I'll show you how you can automate this process by creating a plug-in for Contacts using Automator. This plug-in will automatically generate a spoken-word ringtone for us to use without needing to endlessly type anything into Terminal.Read More…
  • Computer Skills
    iCloud Guide to Calendars and RemindersIcloudcalremindersicon 2x
    I'll let you in on a little secret: I really like iCloud. It's certainly had its fair share of niggles and gremlins during its time but, overall, iCloud has been a really well-done service. There are two features that I use on a daily basis that have been not only easy to use but pretty much indispensable, Calendars and Reminders. You may not realise it but there's a lot more these two services, within iCloud, can do than simply remind you of a dentist appointment or to pick up some milk on the way home. In this tutorial, I'll show you what iCloud's calendars and reminders can do and how you can collaborate with other users to get the most from iCloud.Read More…
  • Computer Skills
    Your First Raspberry Pi: A Buyer's GuideRpi icon 2x
    If you've taken a look at some of our Raspberry Pi tutorials and have decided you'd like to take the plunge and get involved, knowing exactly what purchase can be somewhat daunting. There are different models and cases to consider, various methods of connectivity and storage options to factor in - not to mention planning what you're going to do with it. It's a lot of work for something that's the size of a deck of cards. In this guide, I explore the wide number of options there are when it comes to selecting the right Raspberry Pi kit so that you're ready to take on any project.Read More…
  • Computer Skills
    How to Set Up IMAP in Apple Mail or Microsoft OutlookOutlookcom icon 2x
    Earlier this year, Microsoft rebranded their Hotmail email service as If you wanted to use their new service within Apple Mail, however, you were limited to using the ancient method of accessing your emails via POP3. This is because only supported the more advanced features, that you've come to expect from an email provider, on mobile devices that supported Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync or Microsoft's own Outlook mail app for Windows. Thankfully, has finally introduced IMAP support so our preferred desktop mail client can be used. As you might guess, it's not as straightforward as you'd expect. In this tutorial, I'll show you how to set up in both Apple Mail and Microsoft Outlook.Read More…