April 25, 2013, 8:00 am
In the fall, I reviewed the Logitech Ultrathin Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad. A few weeks ago, Belkin contacted ProfHacker and asked if we would consider reviewing their Ultimate Keyboard Case. I’ve been putting this keyboard through the paces for three weeks now (disclosure: Belkin provided me with a pre-production model for review). Available in May, this bluetooth keyboard case will retail at $99 ($129 for the white version).
Out of the box, set up was very easy. The iPad snapped into the protective case, and the bluetooth pairing was intuitive (though instructions are provided). One of the features I find most attractive about the Belkin keyboard case is the fact that it protects the back of the iPad. The Logitech case, if you will recall, left the iPad aluminum backing naked and vulnerable to dings, scratches, and other catastrophes. Not so with the Belkin. The iPad fits nicely…
February 19, 2013, 11:00 am
If you’ve been reading ProfHacker for a while, you probably know that one of our primary goals is to talk about those things in academia that people simply don’t talk about. If you’re here–so the logic goes–you must already understand <insert topic of choice here, like which are the prestigious journals in your field>, and so we won’t bother to teach you these things. But these things are important; it turns out that knowing the hidden information of the university is a really powerful way to make yourself more effective in your career.
It also turns out that in some ways academia is very much like the keyboard you’re probably sitting in front of right now. Sure, it’s got those familiar 36 alphanumeric keys. But like academia, the keyboard has hidden information that will make you more effective in your career: keyboard shortcuts.
Keyboard shortcuts can be a great way to get…
November 29, 2012, 3:00 pm
It can be hard on occasion to remember that we live in a time when everything is amazing. Computers are, of course, one of the most amazing inventions of the last one hundred years, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t drive you crazy as well.
Perhaps one of the most amazing / crazy-inducing parts of using a computer is copy / paste: ”Wait, you mean I don’t have to retype this entire paragraph that I would like to cite in my article? I can just select some of the text and drop it in? OMG!!!” Copy and paste really does feel magical…until you see how that new piece of text will so often screw up the formatting of the document, email, or blog post you’ve been writing: “WAIT. No, why is the text formatted like that? Why is it in a different font and in bullets that don’t line up with mine! GAH!!! I’ll just retype the whole thing!”
Fortunately, there’s a simple and quick cure…
September 13, 2012, 8:00 am
One of the fundamental design features of the Windows operating system is to provide multiple ways of accomplishing an action. Thus, many actions can be triggered from menu commands, icons or buttons, or by keyboard shortcuts. Users can thus choose the interface options they are most comfortable with. Because there are many paths to the same action built into the operating system, there are a lot of shortcuts or alternative ways of doing a task that many users might not be aware of.
I’ve been using Windows machines ever since my MS-DOS computer gave up the ghost back in the day. I’m not a Windows expert, but I consider myself to be pretty familiar with the operating system. If I don’t know how to do something, I can generally figure it out. But there’s still lots of shortcuts that I don’t know.
I was delighted to discover Shift-Right-Click a few weeks ago. On a Windows machine,…
June 27, 2011, 8:00 am
Last month I covered an easy way to create keyboard shortcuts for anything. Using the built-in tools of Mac OS X or AutoHotkey in Windows, you can customize keystrokes for any program to help you get your work done faster. Of course, many of us do our work in browsers these days. You can use shortcuts to control the browser itself—using Ctrl-T / Cmd-T to open a new tab, for example—but that will almost never help you control the specifics of a site.
May 17, 2011, 11:00 am
If you’re a faculty member or a student, there’s probably a good chance that the object you touch more than anything else in your life is a keyboard. After all, the keyboard is instrumental for how we do portions of our research, teaching, and service. To cut down on the number of hours you spend with your keyboard, you might use text expansion tools to cut down on repetitive typing. But another option would be to learn to use the keyboard shortcuts so that you have to spend less time reaching for the mouse. While the time savings aren’t tremendous, they do add up.
I generally try to learn the basic keyboard commands for the software that I use most often in my work. Unfortunately, however, not every command in a given application will have a keyboard shortcut. For a long time, I just assumed that this was how the world worked, but I recently decided to ask the all-knowing Google if…