October 31, 2010

Brief Mac tips for parents of tots

Here’s a little something to cleanse the palette from all the Flash/HTML5/etc. bits.

The other day designer Khoi Vinh remarked on his young daughter’s iPhone fascination, lamenting the lack of a toddler mode that could do things like override the home button. Like many parents I know, I’m in just the same boat, as our two toddlers abscond with & modify my phone and iPad.  I can’t offer a lot of tips, though I heartily recommend the fun little audio app Bebot.  15-mo.-old Henry now drags me the tablet demanding “Bebop, bebop!”

On the Mac, however, I’ve found a very winning combo: Alfred (a Quicksilver-style launcher utility) plus AlphaBaby, a shape, letter, and sound generator–both free. I feel like a missile defense system, where milliseconds of reaction time make all the difference between success & disaster. The Alfred/AlphaBaby combo means that I can simply hit Opt-Space, then type “A” to select AlphaBaby and launch it. Unngh, in your faces, little dudes! :-)

Hope that’s of use to someone. Any other advice and suggestions are welcome.

Posted by John Nack at 7:13 AM on October 31, 2010
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