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Other Tools and Utilities

Tiger includes a number of other tools and toys that you might be interested in using. These aren't covered in detail because of the nature of the tools; if you've used a computer, you'll be familiar enough with these applications that you'll be right at home.

  • Address Book (Dashboard)— The Address Book dashboard widget gives you instant access to stored contacts without opening the Address Book application.

  • Calculator (path: /Applications/Calculator and Dashboard)— The calculator application has simple and scientific modes, a paper-tape display, and numerous conversion features, including a currency converter that updates exchange rates via the Internet. The Dashboard variant provides only simple calculations.

  • Calendar (Dashboard)— The Calendar widget acts as a simple desktop calendar, displaying the current day and date, or an overview of any month of the year.

  • Chess (path: /Applications/Chess)— The 3D Chess application is an intellectually stimulating gaming experience on your Mac. When your Windows friends are playing Solitaire, show them a real game. Although based on GNUChess, Apple provides a beautiful 3D interface to the classic Unix game.

  • Dictionary (path: /Application/Dictionary and Dashboard)— Tiger includes the entire Oxford American Dictionary and Thesaurus. The Dictionary application can be used to instantly look up words of your choice. You can even set parental controls for Dictionary (see the Accounts system preference panel) to prevent user accounts from looking up “dirty” words.


    Dictionary is integrated into contextual menus such that you can highlight and Control-click a word virtually anywhere in Tiger and choose Look Up in Dictionary. By default, this will launch the Dictionary application and display the results for the work.

    To create an even better integration, open Dictionary and use the application preference to choose Open Dictionary Panel. When selected, looking up a work will open only a small floating panel, as shown in Figure 2.59, without requiring the Dictionary application to open. For the ultimate trick, hold down Control-Command-D and Tiger will instantly look up any word over which you hold your cursor, in almost any application.

    Figure 2.59. Dictionary integrates cleanly into almost all Tiger applications.

  • DigitalColor Meter (path: /Applications/Utilities/DigitalColor Meter)— The DigitalColor Meter utility allows you to sample onscreen colors and display their representation in a variety of color spaces, including HTML-ready hex RGB.

  • DVD Player (path: /Applications/DVD Player)— The Tiger DVD player has been updated with new image controls and finally (after five years!) has the capability to playback video in the Dock icon on Quartz Extreme-enabled machines.

  • Flight Tracker (Dashboard)— Use the Flight Tracker widget to check the status of any flight and view the plane's current location on a map (if the data is available).

  • Grapher (path: /Applications/Utilities/Grapher)— New to Tiger is a 2D/3D graphing calculator. Grapher is an extremely full-featured application with numeric differentiation and integration capabilities built-in.

  • iTunes (Dashboard)— A simple widget for controlling the iTunes application. Why you wouldn't just use iTunes itself (it must to be running in order to use this tool) is beyond me…but it looks cool.

  • Migration Assistant (path: /Applications/Utilities/Migration Assistant)— Although its unlikely you'll be using this on anything but a fresh Tiger install, the Migration Assistant can be used to copy user accounts and applications from an existing computer running in Target Disk mode to a Tiger machine.

  • Phone Book (Dashboard)— The Phone Book widget is a virtual Yellow Pages. Look up businesses by name or choose a business type to display everything nearby that matches (based on your Address Book “Me” location).

  • Stickies (path: /Applications/Stickies and Dashboard)— The classic Stickies application allows you to jot down brief notes and attach them to your screen.

  • Stocks (Dashboard)— Use the Stocks widget to view stock and overall market activity, including historical graphs.

  • TextEdit (path: /Applications/TextEdit)— TextEdit is a styled text editor capable of opening, editing, and saving RTF, HTML, and Word documents. TextEdit can save HTML and XHTML compliant documents—complete with embedded style sheets. Best of all, if you can use a basic word processor, you can use TextEdit.

  • Tile Game (Dashboard)— The classic tile puzzle game returns in Tiger To use your own picture, select and start dragging an image file in the Finder, invoke Dashboard using the keyboard, then drop the image file onto an active copy of the Tile Game.

  • Translation (Dashboard)— As if by magic, this dashboard widget translates text between different languages as it is entered!

  • Unit Converter (Dashboard)— Provides instant conversion between units of measure and currency (similar to the features found in the Calculator application).

  • Weather (Dashboard)— The Weather widget displays current weather conditions and extended forecasts for any location in an attractive graphic format.

  • World Clock (Dashboard)— Add as many world clocks to your Dashboard as you'd like. Each instance of the World Clock can be set to display the time in any time zone of your choice.



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