I’ve long been anti-dashboard. I find that the widgets consume more RAM that is reasonable and can bog down systems not loaded up with memory and running on older hardware. Thankfully, I use a top-of-the-line 17” MacBook Pro with 6GB of RAM so don’t have to worry about processor speed or memory constraints. But I’ve never really used Dashboard.
Sure, Leopard was released in October, 2007, and I’ve been using it ever since. I even knew about Web Clippings, one of the myriad new features in the operating system. But until now I haven’t used them. We have several dozen security cameras throughout our retail stores, warehouses, and offices, and it’s often helpful for me to see the video stream from several of these cameras. While the web interface we have is perfectly functional, it is clunky, and I grew tired of navigating through many web pages any time I wanted to see what a camera is seeing.
The solution was web clippings, and now I have quite a few on my dashboard. I have local and regional Doppler radar, several security cameras (which I can see from home while connected to our virtual private network, or VPN), and quite a few other clippings. A quick press of F12 gives immediate access to all of this information, which would’ve taken over a minute to see before.
If you have not yet used this feature of MacOS X Leopard and Safari 3, check it out. All you need to do is click on the web clippings button in Safari’s toolbar, and then drag a box on a web page to make the clipping. Dashboard will open, and you can place the new widget wherever you’d like.