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By Garrick Chow | Sunday, April 26, 2015

From Paper to Prezi, Tackle Your Project with Mind Mapping

mind mapping helps organize your thoughts

Whenever you start a new project or pursuit—whether it’s writing a paper, preparing a speech, or making a decision—one of the toughest hurdles is just getting your thoughts organized.

You often have many of the key pieces of information in your head, but you haven’t yet structured them into coherent thoughts. Or you might not yet have identified which pieces are missing.

An increasingly popular technique for organizing and planning a project, and one I’ve been using more and more frequently, is the practice of mind mapping.

I’m going to show you how to organize your ideas with mind mapping — using pen and paper, or software like Prezi.

By Garrick Chow | Friday, January 09, 2015

CES 2015: 'Smart' Thermometers, Keyless Locks, and More

ces 2015 introduces the smart themometer

Although the vast and thronged expo floors of CES 2015 are brimming with a breathtaking array of electronic devices and gadgets, the majority have one thing in common: the ability to communicate with smartphones.

Integration with smartphones is something we consumers have come to expect and even demand from our electronic products. Nearly every pitch you hear at CES, whether it’s for a fitness tracking device, a camera, or a washer and dryer, follows the script of, “This product can do x, y, and z—and of course you can control it from your iOS or Android device.”

And if there’s one thing made obvious by spending a week at CES, it’s that there are a lot of things you can do when you pair your phone with the right device.

By Garrick Chow | Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Export Your Song: How to Share GarageBand Files

learn how to share garageband files with friends and family

We’ve shown you how to record and mix a song in GarageBand to create a unique custom gift for someone you love. Now it’s time to send your song out into the world.

In its current state, your tune can only be played within GarageBand, so you need to export it—or “bounce it down”—to a single audio file that can be played in common audio applications.

Here’s how to share GarageBand files with someone on your holiday list.

By Garrick Chow | Sunday, November 23, 2014

Giving a Song as a Gift? Your Guide to Mixing in GarageBand

mixing in garageband will give your song that polished sound

There’s no more personal and heartfelt gift you can give someone than a song you wrote and recorded just for them.

I’ve shown you how to record a song in GarageBand. The next step is to make your recorded tracks sound good—both by themselves and when they’re all mixed together.

There are some really useful tools for cleaning up your less-than-perfect takes and mixing in GarageBand. Let me know you.

By Garrick Chow | Friday, November 07, 2014

Record a Song in GarageBand — as a Unique Holiday Gift

2014_11_07_RecordSongHero

If you’re looking for a truly unique gift for a special friend or family member this year, you may already have the tools you need to record a song in GarageBand — and give it as a one-of-a-kind present.

Included free with all new Macs, or at just $4.99 to download from the Mac App Store, GarageBand is your key to a truly personal gift that won’t break the bank. In this three-part series, we’ll take a look at how to create a new project in GarageBand, record your tracks, edit them, and share your completed song.

By Garrick Chow | Saturday, September 20, 2014

Musicians: Make a Lyrics Video to Share Your Songs on YouTube

Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 11.33.52 AM

It may surprise you to learn that, after traditional radio stations, the number one place where people go to discover new music today is not iTunes, or Spotify, or Pandora. It’s YouTube.

As a result of hundreds of thousands of music fans uploading videos of their favorite songs in their entirety, YouTube has become the world’s largest jukebox. If you’re an independent musician, posting your music to YouTube has become an important way to share your music and gain new fans.

However, you may not have the financial means or the time to plan, shoot, and edit a full video production for all the songs you want to promote.

An increasingly common solution for musicians who want to get their songs up on YouTube so they can be found by fans is to make a lyrics video, which is simply a video in which the lyrics to the song play along with the music in real time. This is a quick and inexpensive way to post your songs to YouTube while providing a visual that’s more interesting than a static image.

Lyrics videos can be created in nearly any video editing software. Let’s take a look at how to create one in iMovie for the Mac.

By Garrick Chow | Thursday, September 04, 2014

Has Celebrity Photo Hack Got You Paranoid? Get Secure

2014_09_04_PasswordSecure

As you may have heard, earlier this week several celebrities had photos of a personal nature stolen from their computers or mobile devices, which were then shared and distributed online.

The celebrity photo hack story is still unfolding, and while it’s not completely clear how their devices and cloud-based accounts were accessed in each case, we thought this would be a good time to review some basic steps you should be following to make sure your personal files—and your internet privacy—are secure.

By Garrick Chow | Monday, June 23, 2014

Consider the Dingbat

dingbats-hero_image

Most people have dozens if not hundreds of fonts installed on their computers in the form of serif, sans-serif, mono-spaced, and script fonts. But an often overlooked font type is the dingbat font.

On the computer you’re using right now, especially if you have a version of Microsoft Office installed, you probably have at least a handful of dingbat fonts available, such Webdings, Wingdings, or Zapf Dingbats.

Unlike other types of fonts, which are collections of letters, special characters, and punctuation marks, dingbat fonts are collections of unique non-letter ornaments, symbols, or shapes. You’ve most likely checked out the dingbat fonts while trying to format a document, only to quickly dismiss them when you found there were no letters in those fonts.

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