Apps Archive

1

How to Get Front Row Back in OS X Lion

If you’re like me and you have a lot of videos on your MacBook (or just regular Mac), then you like having ways to easily play them. Apple designed a program specifically for this purpose called “Front Row.” If you’ve never heard of it, maybe you’ve heard of some of it’s alternatives like Windows Media Direct. All it is is a fullscreen platform that allows you to play videos, music, and podcasts and look through pictures all in one place.

Now for some reason, Apple decided to remove this application from the more recent Mac OSs like Lion. Luckily for us, the good folks at Mac-Hatter Consulting designed a piece of software that copies over certain files from one of the older versions of Mac OS and “unlocks” the Front Row application in OS X. All you need to do is visit THIS LINK, scroll down, and download the file entitled “FrontRowEnablerForLion.pkg.” The program will take care of the rest, but please note that a full restart will be required for the changes to take effect.

The basic layout for Apple’s Front Row application. Just think of it as a central hub for all things media-related on your Mac.

 

This is a really easy fix/process and a great way to get back a great Apple application. Hopefully, Apple will bring this app back permanently in future OSs and not force users to download “enabler packages” like this one.

Now go watch some movies. Or listen to some music. Your call! =u)

1

Caffeine: the most helpful tool a college student can download

Now this right here is a REALLY cool app for your Mac. If you’re a super busy person, like me, and you like saving laptop battery life (or screen life in the case of a desktop), then this is the app for you.

Caffeine places a small coffee cup icon on the upper-right tool bar of your screen. When the cup is empty, that means that the app is turned off. But with the click of a mouse, the cup fills with coffee, and now your screen will not dim or go into a screensaver!

If you have your screen set to save battery life and automatically dim itself, this is very helpful. Now, when you’re working on some big assignment or project that requires you to stop moving the mouse or using the keyboard and read an article or document, you can keep your screen from dimming. I especially use this when I’m editing a film in iMovie or swatting between programs like Safari and Microsoft Word.

Check it out here.

What a terrific app. Super helpful and easy to use.

 

11

Miss your old point-and-click PC games? Play ’em on your Mac with ScummVM!

When I was much younger, my dad always bought me all sorts of really fun point-and-click adventure games. Most of them were made by a company called Humongous Entertainment. Some of their most famous series were Putt Putt, Pajama Sam, Freddi Fish, and my personal favorite, Spy Fox. I still have all of my old CD-ROMs, but the only problem is that they don’t play on my MacBook with OS X Lion. The “Classic Environment” (which allowed users to run old Mac applications and software) is no longer supported on new Apple products, however after months of searching, I’ve finally found a program that will allow you to play your old adventure games on modern day Macs. It’s called ScummVM.

Now I know what you’re thinking. “That’s a dirty name for an application!” But no, Scumm actually stands for Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion, a scripting language originally developed by LucasArts for creating graphics adventures (The Secret of Monkey Island is a prime example). The VM means Virtual Machine, and this free app basically converts the data files from these old games into modern day Mac-compatible files, allowing you to play them when you want.

The only catch is that you need the files. If you have the CDs, you’re set, but if you don’t, you’ll have to find the files for the games you want some other way. I’m not a fan of torrenting files in any way, nor do I wish to promote it (mainly because it’s often times dangerous for your computer and illegal), but I know their are many people out there who would just try to find the files that way. However you obtain the files, you have to copy certain ones onto your computer. There’s a full list of compatible games and the corresponding files need to play each game available here.

Although Humongous Entertainment was purchased by Atari, you can still play all your old HE games thanks to ScummVM!

After downloading the program from the home site, all you have to do is go to “Add Game” and then select the folder where you put the game’s files. ScummVM takes care of the rest, and in no time you’ll be having flashbacks to a simpler time when your biggest concern was stopping The Poodle Menace from destroying the ozone layer with her hair spray (Spy Fox 3: Operation Ozone reference).

One other really cool thing about ScummVM is that it saves the games you’ve imported into the program on a list, so you don’t have to keep searching for data files whenever you want to boot up a game. This is a great resource to have if you’re looking to play your old games, and it’s also a great way to get rid of your old CD-ROMs (just copy the files and toss the disk)!