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General Hardware FAQ's
- What is a SmartBoard?
- How do I burn a CD on my Mac laptop?
- What ports are included with my Mac
- How do I connect my laptop to a projector?
- How do I take a still picture with my iSight camera?
1. What is a
An interactive whiteboard, like those made by
SmartBoard, is a touch-screen projection surface. Your computer
plugs into a projector and into the SmartBoard. Once the software
is installed, the whole projection area becomes an interactive
touch-screen interface for your computer. You'll be surprised
at how engaging it can be, especially for applications with
a strong visual component, like Inspiration or PowerPoint.
For more information on what it is and what it does, and for
a summary of research on classroom use, visit Smart
Technologies' website, or stop by the Lounge.
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2. How do I burn a CD on my Mac laptop?
It is possible to transfer("burn") files
to a CD using your laptop's built-in CD-R/CD-RW drive. This
is a good way to back up your files. Before you can backup
your files by burning them to CD, you will first need to purchase
some blank media. You can use either CD-Rs or CD-RWs. CD-Rs
can only be written to once, while CD-RWs will allow you to
reuse the media. Once you have your blank media on your computer,
there are several ways to burn a CD using the built-in CD burning
features of Mac OS X.
Using the Finder:
- Insert a blank CD or DVD disc into the optical drive of
Type a name for the disc in the dialog that appears (if CDs & DVDs
preferences are set to "Ask what to do"), or under
the CD icon if no dialog appears, then click OK.
- Drag files and
folders to the open disc window and arrange the files exactly
as you want them. The names of files, folders,
and the disc can't be changed after the CD is burned.
File > Burn Disc.
- Select the burn speed and click Burn.
Using Burn Folders:
With a burn folder, you can create a compilation of files to
burn to CD even if you don't have a blank CD at the moment.
The burn folder will create aliases (shortcuts) to the files.
When you are finished burning your CD, you can delete the
burn folder and only the aliases will be deleted, not the
To create a new burn folder (which will have the .fpbf extension
in the Finder):
- Choose File > New Burn Folder.
- Give the folder a name,
and add the items you want to include on your CD or DVD
(for example, images, documents, folders,
- Double-click the folder to open it
in a Finder window, then click Burn to begin creating a
- Insert a blank or rewriteable disc into your
computer and follow the onscreen instructions.
You can also use the disc burning features of applications
such as iPhoto and iTunes to create CDs.
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What ports are included with my Mac laptop?
The image below shows you what ports are available
on your laptop if you purchased an iBook. To see what ports
are available on your PowerBook laptop, visit this
The FireWire port is used to connect your iSight
camera to your laptop (as well as camcorders and some external
drives). USB 2.0 is used to connect printers, digital cameras,
a mouse, and other peripherals that use the USB connector.
The Video Out port is used to connect your laptop to an external
display or projector using the VGA adapter. The 10/100 BaseT
Ethernet connector is used to connect your computer to a
Local Area Network (LAN) using a network cable.
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4. How do I connect my laptop to a
It's easy to connect your iBook or PowerBook
laptop to an external display or projector with the VGA
one end of the VGA adapter to the output port on your laptop
(this port is next to the headphone connector on the iBooks),
then connect the other end to the appropriate connector on
the projector or external display. This cable
was included with your laptop.
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5. How do I take a still picture with
my iSight camera?
The iSight camera included in your bundle can
be used to take still pictures which you can include in your
projects. One idea is to use the still pictures to create a seating
chart using Inspiration.
To create a still picture
using the iSight camera:
- With your iSight camera connected, open iChat (it may open
automatically when you connect your camera).
- Click on the
green video camera icon at the top of your Bonjour
- This will open a window showing the image from
your iSight. You can press the Command key and drag the
image in the video window to the desktop or into another
application such as Inspiration. Another way to create a
still picture is by going to the Edit menu and choosing Copy
(the keyboard shortcut for copy is
+ C), switching to another application such as Inspiration,
and choosing Paste (the keyboard shortcut for paste is
Apple + V).
way to take a snapshot is by opening the video window
and choosing Video > Take Snapshot (Shortcut:
Command + Option + S). The snapshot will be saved to your
desktop as a TIFF file. You can then drag this image file into
applications such as Inspiration.
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