I’m serious. Last night I got a splinter in my finger that would not come out. My Mac rescued me.
It’s a long, convoluted road, but there’s sunshine and a happy ending. Oh, and something about maps, directions, Google, and AddressBook.
This splinter was of the worst possible kind. Whatever it was, it stuck itself right into the end of my naughty finger. The one my high school algebra teacher always used when pointing, and lifting her bra strap back up.
We always laughed. Behind our notebooks, of course.
This particular splinter was bad because it really hurt and I couldn’t find it to pull it out. I didn’t know if it was a wood splinter, a glass splinter, or what. But I could feel it and it hurt.
Try as I might I could not even see the splinter, let alone find it, which meant it may have lodged itself into the skin, or was just so small I wouldn’t even be able to pull it out with my fingers.
Tweezers and magnifying glass to the rescue. Except even the magnifying glass wouldn’t magnify the end of the finger sufficient to see the splinter. It still hurt.
What’s this have to do with Macs? After another failed attempt to find the splinter, I walked into my home office and noticed the iSight camera sitting on top of my Apple Cinema Display. You’re following me, right? No, you’re ahead of me.
This was so easy, I didn’t understand why it didn’t dawn on me earlier. Blonde, I guess.
I flipped on iMovie stretched the camera image as far as it would go (large on a 23” display), clicked on iSight as the video source and stuck my finger tip right in front of the iSight camera.
There it was. Almost full screen. My finger. And a little silver dot right where the pain was at the end of the finger. Tweezers. Steady hand. Watch screen, not hand. Adjust. Adjust. Squeeze. Squeeze again. PULL!!
It’s out. My 69-cent tweezers did the job. Of course, there was a little help from the $4,000 PowerMac and Cinema Display and iSight camera. Still…
Hmmm. That got me to thinking. What other cool medical tricks could one perform using a Mac and an iSight camera?
I turned on all the lights in the room and stuck my nose right up against the iSight camera (to the point where focus ends). Cool. But it’s hard to pull nose hair or tweak eyebrow hair while looking into the camera.
How about teeth? This time I hit ‘record’ on iMovie and smiled big for the camera. What I ended up with was a wonderful QuickTime movie of my mouth and teeth.
My mother would be proud.
That got me to thinking, “What other very useful and inexpensive tricks could my Mac do for me?” Since I wasn’t answering that question with answers that are marketable, I kept looking.
What I found was the latest update to Google Maps Plugin. First, it works. It’s free. It’s actually useful.
Click Here for the latest update. Install it according to the simple instructions (drag and drop).
What you end up with is an add-on to AddressBook that’s just plain cool beans. Right click on an address and you’ll get a Google map of directions from your place to the address you clicked on.
There’s other options, too, but that was already better than using a PowerMac, iSight camera, and Cinema Display to remove splinters.
Oh, regarding the medical use of your mac, your mileage may vary, not responsible for accidents, void where prohibited, always check with your physician before use.