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Mac OS X Hacks by Rael Dornfest, Kevin Hemenway

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Top 10 iPhoto Tips

Yes, at first glance, iPhoto appears deceptively simple. But there’s a Unix-compatible database lurking beneath that beautiful Aqua surface.

At first glance, Apple’s iPhoto (http://www.apple.com/iphoto) appears deceptively simple. You plug in your digital camera, iPhoto grabs all the pictures, and you play with them on your computer screen.

This process is so easy, in fact, that the next thing you know you have hundreds, if not thousands of images annexing real estate on your hard drive. At some point sobriety settles in, and you realize that you need to back up those iPhoto images. Or you may want to move them to another computer or free up space on your hard drive for even more pictures.

So, you open your iPhoto Library folder, which has grown to more than a gig in size, and figure you’ll just grab logical parts of it and burn a few CDs. Problem is, there appears to be nothing logical about the contents of this folder. All you see are numbered directories, which when you open them contain more numbered directories. Suddenly you realize that sorting all this out isn’t going to be so easy.

This scenario is based on the premise that you’ve figured out the best way to shoot your pictures in the first place. You’ve heard some recommendations here and there about how to take good digital images, but you’re still not sure about things such as: Do you always shoot at the highest resolution? How do you take flattering portraits of people outdoors? And how the heck ...

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