A Laptop Protector for Your Laptop & Two Tips

| Computing with Bifocals

Today I have another new design from LapWorks, Inc. to review for you, plus a couple of new tips to share that have proven most helpful to me in the past couple of weeks, and that I hope may be of use to you as well.

First the review

Both in this column and in the classes I teach, I frequently preach the need to elevate your notebook computer using a desktop stand.? Doing so not only allows you to adjust your screen to a more comfortable eye level, taking strain off your neck and shoulders, it reduces the heat in your machine which will increase the life of your computer.? This latest offering from LapWorks, The Laptop Desk Futura, functions as both a desktop stand and as a perfectly flat laptop support.

Product:
Laptop Desk Futura?
Description:
Weighs 16 1⁄4 ounces, made of high-impact ABS plastic. 21 inches long when opened out, folds in half to 11 x 10 3⁄4 inches x 1⁄2 inch,? Color - gun-metal gray.
Manufacturer:
LapWorks
7955 Layton Street
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
909 948-1828
Web Site:
http://www.laptopdesk.net/
Price:
US$29.95
Availability:
http://laptopdesk.net/laptopdesk_futura.html
Warranty: One Year

I know a dozen people who have been using Laptop Desk products for over a year, and they have nothing but praise for the quality and workmanship of the products.? For that reason it is easy for me to recommend their new product after using it for only a short time.?



Laptop Desk? Futura in Mobile Position
Laptop Desk? Futura in Stationary Position

The benefits of this model while in the stationary position are very similar to those of previous models.? Your computer is elevated to a height that is most comfortable to your personal use.? There are 5 settings.? Your computer is held securely by strong gripping rubber pads that keep it stationary.? Added to this model are 16 ventilation slots (12 large ones, and four smaller slots) that allow air to flow out of your computer, thus reducing heat build up.

While previous models have folded flat and provided a solid surface upon which to create a? work space, none has provided a completely flat surface as does this one.? The 21 inch span gives a good work space, but does not provide space to use a mouse.? It is not designed for that kind of use.?

The 16 ventilation holes allow the heat from your computer to escape, helping to prevent your legs from getting hot.? There are rubber grips on both sides so that it grips the computer and your clothes to hold everything in place.? The light weight (161⁄4 ounces) and the compact size (folds to 1⁄2 inch thickness) makes it easy to carry with you.

LapWorks plan to offer the Futura in "bright, modern, hand painted colors" within the next few months.? In summary, this is another quality offering from a reliable provider.

Tip Number 1 - When You Canit Move Documents

I got a message from my Mac last week.? A little window popped up, informing me that my hard drive was full.? When that happens you have to do something about it or your Mac will stop playing nice with you.? You can throw away stuff, store things somewhere other than your hard drive, or increase the size of your hard drive.?

In my case I have an extra external hard drive that I can use for overflow, so I started addressing my problem by seeing what I needed to move.? One of the first things I decided to move was a large folder of material that I use when I teach classes.? To my surprise I was not allowed to move everything.? I was told that I did not have sufficient permission to move the documents.? Do you ever talk back to your computer?? I said "excuse me?? I created these documents!? What do you mean I donit have permission!!"? My Mac wasnit at all impressed so I had to solve the problem by giving myself permission.?

The problem is that I needed to do it for about 50 items.? Fortunately, there is a way to do this for all 50 at once, and it is quick and easy.

To identify the problem I clicked on the primary folder once and then selected "Get Info".


Get Info Window

Once I had the "Get Info" window open I was able to check the permissions section and identify my problem.? The Ownership of the contents was assigned to the operating system, not to me.



Ownership Assigned to System
Ownership Assigned to User

To fix the problem I simply changed the ownership from "system" to me.? Making the change for the master folder changed it for all the contents and I was able to move everything and get on with my task.? I donit know why some of the documents could be moved and some could not, but since I was able to solve it, I didnit take the time to try and figure it out.

Tip Number 2 - Previewing Fonts

I was making a flyer recently and my friend Jim, who is a font freak, passed this tip on to me when I was fussing about how much trouble it was to see how text looked in different font sets.? You can preview as many font sets as you wish at the same time with this simple tip.

Start by opening Font Book.? You will find it in your Applications folder.? A quick way to access it is to open Spotlight and type in "font".? Font Book should appear as the first item on the list.? Click on it to access it.

When Font Book opens click on "All Fonts".? Depending on how many you have and how fast your computer is, it may take is a few moments to open.

When you see the list, select all the ones you want to view by holding down the Apple key while you click on each one.? Your choices will be highlighted.

Click on any one of the highlighted names and hold down the "Control" key.? A small menu will open.? Choose "Preview Fonts."? A window for each font set will open, allowing you to view and compare the alphabet for each set.


Selecting Font Sets For Preview

Within each font set window you have the option to look at each version of that font set.? At the top of the font set window is a menu.? Select it and you can quickly look at the various versions available for that set by moving your mouse to your choice and? releasing.? The set pictured in the window will change to reflect your choice.


Selecting The Font Set Version

Now for the most fun of all.? The directions for doing this font stuff are hidden somewhere in the deep hollows of the Apple Web site on a 9 page .pdf document.? That means you may actually have the opportunity to casually show your nearest and dearest (who always assume they know more than you do) how to do something for once.? Enjoy.

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