Sync Apple Address Book with your Gmail Contacts

Apple Address Book preference pane to sync with Gmail

Apple Address Book preference pane enabled to sync with Gmail contacts

I store all of my contacts in Apple Address Book. Some social media sites offer to scan your Gmail address book to see which of your contacts are available to connect with. If your contacts are in Address Book, these services aren’t able to scan your contacts.

Did you know that you can sync your Apple Address Book contacts with your Google Gmail account (or Exchange, or Yahoo mail)? I didn’t until today. From Address Book, select Preferences > General. Check out those slick little checkboxes at the bottom of the preferences pane.

Just need a simple, one time CSV export from Apple Address Book? Try Address Book to CSV Exporter from Antonio Lore’. This handy tool exports your Apple Address Book to a CSV file, ready for import into Gmail or similar. You can customize the output a bit by ticking which fields to include in the export. This option is hidden in a little + (plus sign) button next to the Export button.

Mac OSX Application Switcher Shortcut Key Tips

Mac OSX Application Switcher shortcut keyHere’s a brief tutorial on how to quickly swap between applications on your Mac.

If you’re like me, the Command + Tab keys are worn on your keyboard from swapping apps. Pressing that key combo calls up the icons for all of the running apps across your screen.  Holding down Command and repeatedly pressing the Tab key will rotate through and highlight your open apps.  Releasing the keys will switch to the highlighted app.

Holding the Command key and pressing Esc will take you out of the switcher and return you to the app you were in originally.

Want more?  Okay.  Command + Tab and hold the Command key.  Now you can use your mouse to hover directly over the app you want to switch to and release.  Alternatively, the left and right arrow keys will cycle though the apps as well.  One annoyance I’ve noticed is that the arrow keys no longer wrap from the last app to the first and vice versa.  Eh.

Still here?  Want to quickly quit an app without switching to it?  Command + Tab, hold down Command. Highlight the app you want to quit.  Still holding Command, press “Q”.  Goodnight little app.  If you’re still holding Command, you can quit a bunch of apps in succession with “Q” without switching to any of them.  Slick.

Mac owners beware, all Nvidia 84 and 86s graphics cards are bad… or are they?

Are Nvidia GeForce 84 and 86 chips prone to heat exhaustion?We’re upgrading our laptops here at DWC.  In fact, we were about to sign the papers when we heard about this story in The Inquirer. (Thanks @inneralien)  In a nutshell, the article claims that all Nvidia 8400 and 8600 series chips are bad, mobile and desktop.  In our case, that affects the new MacBook Pros we have been lustily coveting.  Laptops, since they tend to cycle more frequently, are apparently more susceptible to the heat related issue.

In a related article, Ars Technica downplays The Inquirer’s take on Nvidia’s publicly admitted issue, stating that only certain configurations will have potential issues, and of those, only notebooks are affected.  From At:

Two weeks ago, NVIDIA filed a report (PDF) with the SEC stating that it would take a $150 million to $200 million one-time charge to cover “anticipated customer warranty, repair, return, replacement and other consequential costs and expenses arising from a weak die/packaging Continue reading

How to determine the right time to buy a new Mac.

Being an outspoken Apple fiend, plenty of people ask me when they should upgrade, and to which model.  The ones who are most concerned are usually the switchers.  The poor folks are used to buying an $800 PC only to have it bricked within a year, full of spyware and OS patches.  Take it from someone who grew up on PC’s. For a well designed machine that will last over twice as long, is a treat to use, and lets you get your work done instead of fighting you, $2000 is a bargain.

I usually end up upgrading my Mac to a new model every 18 to 24 months.  As new media designers, we work our machines pretty hard here doing graphic design, video editing/compositing, and audio/music recording, so your mileage may vary.

When should you make the jump?  Check the Buyer’s Guide at Macrumors.  I use it all the time to anticipate the release of new Apple hardware and to aid in buying decisions.  Also, if the date is close to Macworld Expo or the World Wide Developer’s Conference, wait until after the conference, just in case they announce new product.  Finally, the Apple Store special deals section can get you a screaming deal on Macs that are functionally every bit as good as they were new.  Oh, and for all Macs, I recommend AppleCare.

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