12 Things for an Apple Fans Weekend: DIY Projects, Games, Prep for Lion, and more
Looking for some geeky stuff to do this weekend with your Apple gear? Here’s a slew of ideas that are sure to keep anyone busy, whether it’s a DIY project, learning from WWDC 2011, getting your Mac ready for Lion, or just gaming away into the wee hours of the morning, boredom be gone!
Make Your Own iPad Book Case – Grab an old book, some glue, and an exacto knife and make a do-it-yourself discreet case to carry your iPad in. The guide is intended for an iPad, but find an appropriately sized book and there’s no reason you can’t do this for an iPhone, iPod, or a MacBook Air too.
Setup a Mac Media Center – Thanks to the free Plex (or XBMC) software, it’s easier than ever to create a media center our of any Mac. Download the software, get the appropriate Mac-to-TV cables, and away you go. If the simple guide is too basic for your needs, you can go all out and setup an advanced Mac Mini media center and torrents box that can remotely download new media from another Mac or even your iPhone.
Turn an Apple TV 2 into a Web Server – Bored with your Apple TV 2 just being a media player? Did you already jailbreak, install XBMC, and turn the ATV2 into a media center? Go a step further and turn the Apple TV2 into a full blown web server, because you can.
Download and Play Team Fortress 2 for Free – TF2 is one of the top rated online games of all time and it’s an absolute classic. Valve has decided to give it away for free, there’s no strings attached, downloading is free, playing online is free, do yourself a favor and get this game. It’s available for both Windows and Mac OS X too, so you can get all your PC friends addicted too.
6 of the Best Games for Mac – These ones aren’t free, but they’re undeniably some of the best games on the Mac platform right now. Star Wars KOTOR, Civ 4, Call of Duty 4, and more.
Get your Mac Ready for Lion
Download Mac OS X 10.6.8 and get your Mac ready for Lion – Mac OS X Lion is due out next month, and 10.6.8 is a prerequisite to download and prepare your Mac for the upgrade. Follow the link for direct download links, otherwise just launch Software Update and you can get the update directly from Apple.
Grab iTunes Gift Cards to get Lion at a Discount – Stock up on discounted iTunes gift cards from local retailers and you’ll be able to get a discount on Lion when it comes out. Confused? Don’t be, it’s simple: iTunes and iBooks gift cards can be redeemed on the Mac App Store, and that means those cheap three packs on sale at places like Target and Walmart can reduce the price of OS X Lion by up to 20% come time to upgrade. You’ll have to check your local papers and snailmail for offers, but they’re almost always out there.
Make sure your Mac meets the OS X Lion System Requirements – Check to make sure your Mac handles Lion. The requirements are fairly lightweight and any Mac bought after 2007 should be compatible, but the first-gen of 32-bit Core Duo processors isn’t making the cut.
Upgrade your Mac Hardware for Lion – If you have the requisite Core 2 Duo or better processor, you can go one step further and prepare your Mac for Lion with some serious system upgrades. Take advantage of the falling prices of RAM and SSD’s and upgrade both of them, an SSD alone will breathe tons of new life into any Mac and is quite possibly the single best bang for your buck.
For the Devs
Watch the WWDC 2011 Session Videos – Make it a weekend of learning and watch over 100 session videos from WWDC taught by Apple engineers. All you need to do is sign up for a free developer account and you can gain access to the videos in both standard and hi-def from iTunes. Some of the videos discuss features unique to iCloud, iOS 5, and OS X Lion, so to fully understand those concepts you would need a paid dev account.
Upgrade to iOS 5 beta 2 – If you’re a paid iOS dev, beta 2 of iOS 5 is out and ready to explore. It’ll install on iPhone 3GS, iPod touch 3rd and 4th gen, and all iPhone 4’s and iPad’s.
Get 6 Free iOS Development Books from Apple – You’ll need the iBooks app on your iOS device to get these, but they’re freely available from the iBookstore.