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10 Awesome Alfred Actions to Speed Up Your Day

10 Awesome Alfred Actions to Speed Up Your Day
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    Alfred

    is more than an application launcher for your Mac, though I bet that’s what most Alfred users do most often—I’m certainly no exception. A quick command-space, type what I’m looking for, tap enter, done. But there is so, so much more that you can do. In fact I learn more things to do the more I use it. But to get you started here are my top 10 tips and Alfred actions…

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    1. Powerpack Alfred App – Powerpack. Yes, the free version of Alfred is great, more than half of my favorite things to do with it are core to the free version. The thing is that some of the most useful shortcuts come with the Powerpack.
    2. System commands. Need to quickly lock your machine to step away? How about empty the trash without your hands moving to the mouse? Oh yes, all of these and more are right at your fingertips with Alfred. You can even change the default commands so if “emptytrash” is too pedestrian you could use “eradicate”. If “shutdown” doesn’t work, maybe “abort”. They are your commands…do as you wish.
    3. File searches. Sure Spotlight is great and doing a search in a Finder window when you’re in a Finder window is convenient, but what if you aren’t? Start with “find” and Alfred will search through all your files or use “in” and Alfred will search within your files instead. Found what you’re looking for? Email it, open it, go to it, even delete it. Pretty much just control it.
    4. Searching the web. Sure it’s simple, but just start your Google (or other engine) search with a couple taps and your fingers barely have to leave the keyboard. Oh, and it’s not just Google, it’s Bing, Yahoo!, Amazon, eBay, IMDb, even your Gmail and Google Docs, and even more.
    5. Calculator. Quick what’s (3+4)/2*8+10? Yeah, with Alfred you start with the “=” (enable the advanced calculator in the preferences) type it in and the result is there to copy (38 is the answer).
    6. Spelling. Look up definitions or find the right spellings in a few seconds.
    7. Clipboard (PP only). This is my fav of all the Powerpack add-ons, built in clipboard history. And with Alfred 1.2 you can now append to the current clipboard item and then paste that. You can even save snippets of things (like in TextExpander) that you wind up using often.
    8. Address Book (PP). Look up people in your by just typing their name. Then copy info to the clipboard or email them. Right there.
    9. Email (PP). Speaking of email, you can start emails right from Alfred too. Oh and with the myriad different file actions you can do, emailing a document to someone is never more than a few taps away.
    10. 1Password (PP). This is another new feature in Alfred 1.2 for Powerpack users. If you use 1Password start with 1p then start typing the service you’ve saved a password for…select, enter, and your browser opens and logs you in.

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      You can download Alfred either through the Mac App Store or directly through the website (which is the course I’d recommend actually) and while the features included for free are, well, awesome, the real fun comes with spending a little coin, £15 (about $25 US/CAD) gets you the Powerpack, which ramps up Alfred to a whole new level of awesome.

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      Frankly, even pulling together this top 10 list I found another half dozen Alfred actions I want to try. Like opening the last files a particular app opened or navigating through the file system or launching URLs or controlling iTunes. Alfred is one of those apps that is awesome for the moment you start using it—and then it just keeps getting better from there.

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      (Photo credit: Man in Bowler Hat by Wonderlane via Flickr)

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      Last Updated on December 18, 2020

      Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

      Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?
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      Technology has taken a vantage leap in providing solutions for man. Before now, technology used to appear complex and would require a great deal of expertise to handle solutions available. Today, we have technology applicable in the simplest human activities as smart products with intelligent algorithms powering them as they make error-free judgments and provide intelligent and analytic solutions.

      Does technology have all the answers?

      This article from Credit Suisse, tells us that technology does not have all the answers because it has been found to exhibit “similar biases,” as humans. No one can discredit the impact of technology, but it is not totally free of human input and this is the reason we experience these biases in many areas we have technology holding foot.

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      Creating technological solutions transparently

      This article suggests that the process of creating technological solutions be made transparent and subject to contribution from many people who would end up as users of the product – male, female, young, old, learned, unlearned and all other preferences as we have them. It also underscores the importance of having women on product development teams. This approach is not sure to eliminate all forms of bias, but it is a good way to start in order to appraise the full benefits of technology.

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      Technology as the connecting tool

      Technology so far has been a major connecting tool amongst us humans. It is used and appreciated by all regardless of race, language and sex. In order to keep it less subjective to these arguments about human biases. I believe we should gather opinions on products and solutions before making them available to the public. This could be done by gathering input from intended target users and receiving feedback across the stages of production.

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      “Recognizing the problem is a start…success will depend on inclusive technologies that meet this vast untapped market.” This cannot be more apt especially at a time when we look up to technology for solutions. We should not muzzle our progress with technology by battling algorithm bias. The first way to avoid this battle is by reading this article here.

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