I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey.

Blocking It

It has been a long overdue feature that has plagued the best of us, there is nothing worse than having to change and email address, phone number or even contract to avoid some pestering idiot. But now Apple have finally realised it is a growing problem that they need to tackle to keep its fan base happy, maybe one of the CEO’s was being pestered to much by a disgruntled employee and so message blocking was available. 
Unfortunately for this to work the person or persons bothering you needs to be in your contacts list. I have found the best way to deal with this is by creating a contact group simply called ‘Blocked’ and dragging those idiots to this group, the only draw back that hopefully Apple will tackle in the future is the fact anyone and everyone is still shown in your ‘All Contacts’ list. To only show certain contacts you can hide groups so that even though they are still there in a ‘Blocked’ group you will not see them in your direct line of sight.
To start, fire up the Messages app on your Mac and look towards your Mac’s toolbar.
From here, click on the Messages button, and from the drop down menu, click on the Preferences button.


From the Preferences window, click on the Accounts tab located towards the top of the menu.
Now look towards the centre of the screen and click on your iMessage username.
Towards the centre of the screen you will now see a button labeled Blocked.
Click into this menu and you will be able to block people from your Address Book from iMessaging you by pressing the “plus” button that’s located towards the bottom of the window.
That’s all there is to it! Now sit back, relax, and enjoy a spam-free iMessage inbox on your Mac.

Alpha In Preview

Preview is the application that opens by default when you double-click on a JPG, PNG or other image file on your Mac. As OS X has matured, Preview has taken on some interesting features that are not immediately obvious but that provide some of the functionality of bigger image editing programs. The ability to identify areas of an image that are of similar tone and colour is one such tool, and can be used to cut parts of a picture out of their background. It works with the alpha channel, which is a part of a digital image that stores information about transparency and the way that existing colours overlap. You do not need Photoshop to work with the alpha channel, you can do it from Preview in just a few easy steps.

Step 1: Open your image. Take an image where you want to cut something out of its background or remove an element from the whole picture, leaving only the background.


Step 2: Choose the tool. Go to the Select button in the Toolbar in Preview and click on it to reveal the additional tools. Select the tool called Instant Alpha.


Step 3: Select the background. Click somewhere in the background and drag the mouse to choose a larger area. The detection works best where the background colour is quite uniform.


Step 4: Redo if necessary. If Preview has included some incorrect areas, click once to undo the selection. Drag the mouse while holding to increase or decrease the sensitivity of the tool.


Step 5: Hit backspace. With the areas selected, hit backspace on your keyboard. The selected content is deleted. With complex backgrounds it’s better to work in stages.


Step 6: Keep removing background. It is rare that one or two selections will clear a whole background so you may need to keep selecting areas and deleting them manually.

Title Bar Icon

When you have a file open, such as an image in Photoshop or pixelmator or even a letter you are writing in pages or Microsoft Word, you may want to see where that file is saved or move it to another folder. In the titlebar of a window, most programs have an icon to the left of the filename (as shown below). These icons actually represent the file. If you click and hold on the icon for a moment, then drag it to a folder, your desktop, wherever, you will actually move that file! Please note that some apps work differently. For instance TextEdit makes an alias to the file instead of moving it or in Preview you will be able to Lock the file, Duplicate or see all Versions.


To locate where the file is, hold Command and click on the filename in the titlebar. As shown below, a menu will pop-up displaying the folder structure of the file’s location. Choose one of the folders to open it in the Finder. In OS Lion you can also Right-Click or Control-Click to get this menu.