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Welcome to Widget Wednesday (Vol #15)

Inside: Widgets, iStat Pro features, upgrading memory

Well the cards and letters (virtual ones at least) came pouring in since my mention in the last newsletter about Dashboard widgets in general and the iStat Pro widget specifically. I was reading one such email last Wednesday while sitting in a Seattle conference room with a bunch of my fellow Internet entrepreneurs when it hit me–I should declare Wednesdays on Facebook to be “Widget Wednesday”.

Fans of Mac Help For Mom on Facebook saw that that is just what I did. If you haven’t yet “Liked” Mac Help For Mom on Facebook, click the link in the previous sentence to see what you’re missing. Every Wednesday on Facebook we’ll discuss a different Dashboard widget and make suggestions for future featured widgets.

Word of the Week

The word is, not too surprisingly, “widget”.

Widgets are the often cute little tools that live on your Mac’s Dashboard. If you don’t know what the Dashboard is, see “What is the Dashboard and what are its widgets?

They often don’t get much attention because each one doesn’t do very much, just focusing on one thing. But this single-minded focus is what makes widgets so great. They don’t bog down your computer like a bunch of full-grown applications would, and they don’t require you to revisit a slew of websites just to get a few key tidbits of information. And, once installed and configured, they’re all right there on your Dashboard, just a keystroke or mouse move away.

Some widgets just sit there, obediently displaying frequently updated information like the weather, sports scores, stock prices, or what movies are showing nearby. Others let you interact more with them like the calculator, area code lookup, unit converter, and translators.

So let me know what widgets you like and what widgets you’d like to see featured in future Widget Wednesdays. Next week I’ll review weather widgets since Anna and I discussed a few of them on the Mac Help For Mom Facebook page last week. This week’s featured widget is one I mentioned in the previous newsletter, iStat Pro.

Configuring the iStat Pro widget

When I got into the nitty gritty details of your system’s memory and showed how to install the iStat Pro Dashboard widget, I was afraid that I’d put most readers to sleep. I was pleasantly surprised that many of you jumped right in and installed the widget. Bravo!

This led to numerous emails asking how to best use and configure this nifty tool so here’s an article on how to customize the widget to fit your needs.

How to configure the iStat Pro widget

From looking at your memory status in a widget, next we’re going to actually look at your Mac’s physical memory!

Upgrading your memory

Many Mac users can get quite comfortable using their Mac software and yet never consider opening up their computer to make hardware upgrades. There are many parts that should be considered off-limits, but also some parts that can be upgraded in just a few minutes and with a minimal tools. In the video in this article I upgrade the memory in my MacBook Pro in less than four minutes and using just one screwdriver. Not to sound competitive, but I could have done it in under three minutes if I hadn’t been talking at the same time.

How to upgrade memory in your Mac

Mac Help For Mom on Facebook

Do you use Facebook? It’s another way to learn about new Mac Help For Mom videos and interact with other people who like Mac Help For Mom. If you click the “Like” button on the Mac Help For Mom Facebook page then you’ll see the Mac Help For Mom Facebook posts in your Facebook News Feed, be able to comment on them, and join in the discussions.

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