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A sneaky way to monitor other lab computers (Mac OS X 10.3+)

  • If you're responsible for several computers in your lab and you'd like to occasionally monitor computer usage, you can use the Terminal application to show all the programs running on a computer. However, if you'd like a little extra information, you can actually take screen shots of a computerís desktop. While we suggest you use this feature judiciously, it is very easy to do, assuming you have ssh (Secure Shell) access to the other computers.
  • To monitor other computers:
    • 1.Launch the Terminal utility.
    • 2.Enter ssh username@ipaddress, replacing the italicized entries with the appropriate information.
    • 3.Enter your administrator name and password to gain access to the computer.
    • 4.Enter screencapture -x ~/sneaky.pdf.
  • This command tells the host computer to copy the current screen and save it as a PDF file named sneaky in the userís directory. If the userís computer is sleeping, the screen shot will capture a blank image.
  • T copy the file to your user directory:
    • 1.Enter the following, again replacing the italicized values appropriately:
      scp ~/sneaky.pdf yourusername@youripaddress:
    • 2.Press the [return] key.
    • To remove the screen shot from the userís computer:
      • 1.Enter rm sneaky.pdf while youíre still in the ssh session.

Capture your screen from the keyboard in Tiger (Tiger)

  • Many applications let you do sophisticated screen captures. However, you can do the basic captures using keyboard shortcuts in Tiger. Press [command][shift]3 to capture the whole screen. Press [command][shift]4 and draw a rectangle on the screen to capture a specific area. After pressing [command][shift]4, press the [spacebar] and move the cursor over a specific screen element. When the correct object is highlighted, click on it to capture it.
  • If you want to cancel the effect of pressing the [spacebar], press the [spacebar] again. To stop the screen capture process completely, press the [esc] key.
  • Files are saved on the desktop. To save the screen capture in the Clipboard, hold down the [control] key in addition to [command][shift]3 or [command][shift]4. To view the graphics on the Clipboard, choose Finder | Go | Applications | Preview and choose File | New From Clipboard. The Grab application offers additional options for capturing your screen, but the previous shortcuts work at any time.

Remove files from this folder and youíll be sorry (Mac OS X 10.4+)

  • Apple warns you to stay away from the SyncService folder (in the userís Library/Application Support folder)óif you know whatís good for you. ďRemoving or modifying anything in itóor in subfolders within itómay cause unexpected issues,Ē Apple states on one of its Support pages. What can happen? Noted behavior includes things like contacts in Address Book or appointments in iCal being duplicated as well as data loss in either application. It gets worse: If you use iSync and .Mac Sync to synchronize files with other computers, the affects can spread to those computers as well. So leave that folder alone!

Bring a Mac back from the dead

  • Like many users, you may leave your Power Mac Dual G4 on indefinitely. However, an event such as a thunderstorm may shut it off for you. When you try to start it back up, you may notice that the button lights up when you press it, but then goes dim and nothing happens. A power outage can cause this sort of behavior.
  • Perform the following steps to reset your Mac:
    • 1.Unplug the power cable and all USB/FireWire drives and connections aside from the keyboard and mouse.
    • 2.Hold down the power button for 3 seconds to fully discharge any power on the logic board.
    • 3.Plug the power cable back in.
    • 4.Remove the lithium battery from the CPU.
    • 5.Reboot your computer.
  • The next time you shut down (without nature's help), you can put the battery back in.

Any easy way to track unsaved changes (Mac OS X 10.3 or later)

  • If youíre unsure whether youíve made unsaved changes to an open document in Mac OS X, just glance up at the red Close button in the document window. If thereís a black dot in the middle of the button, you have unsaved changes. Once you save the file, the dot will disappear until you make further changes.

Update multiple computers with a single download (Mac OS X 10.3 or later)

  • The Software Update utility is a great tool for keeping your computer up to date. When you need to install updates on multiple computers, however, downloading updates is time consumingóto say the least. Want in on a little secret? You only need to download the updates once.
    When Software Update downloads files, it saves them in the /Library/Receipts folder on the computerís boot volume. Simply download the updates to one computer and then copy the packages to a network share or burn them to a CD-ROM. Once you have an offline archive of your software updates, you can update multiple computers.

5 steps that can protect your system files from data corruption and loss

  • It's certainly true that Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger features advanced technologies, such as file system journaling, that help reduce the potential for data loss, but nothing is perfect. As reliable as computers are, the human element is still required to safeguard data from corruption and loss.
  • To protect all your hard work, we'll:
    • Point out common causes for data corruption and loss.
    • Outline five best practices for safeguarding your data.
    • Recommend additional reading material.
    • Read More About This Tip Click Here > Macintosh Tips

Best practices for uninstalling applications

  • One sure way to free up space on your Mac is to uninstall unused applications. Unlike regular files, however, you can't always just drag application folders to the trash--at least not without creating more trouble than inadequate hard drive space.
  • To properly uninstall applications, you need to:
    • Be aware of how the software was installed.
    • Read the documentation that's included with most software.
    • Follow the proper protocol for uninstalling software as outlined by the manufacturer.
    • Read More About This Tip Click Here > Macintosh Tips

Create your own musical shopping cart in iTunes (Mac OS X 10.3 and later)

  • If youíre like most people, you donít purchase complete albums from the iTunes Music Store. Instead, you browse through the digital racks, sampling new tracks and the releases from your favorite artists. You can then easily purchase the selections as you go along.
  • But what if you want to delay your purchases for laterómaybe consider if you really like the song or need it for one of your projects. Just create a playlist to store your selections. To do so, choose File | New Playlist and name it something like iTunes Shopping. Then, as you browse the iTunes Music Store and locate a song or video you like, just drag it from the main iTunes Music Store window onto the playlist. You can then go back to the playlist, your new shopping cart, anytime you like and figure out which songs or videos you want to purchase.

The secret to happiness (yours and your Macís)

  • Mac OS X is one of the most stable operating systems on the market, but there are still situations that can cause your computer to act erratically. The key to preventing these problems from occurring in the first place is maintaining good computer maintenance habits.
  • To keep your Mac happy, we'll show you how to:
    • Protect your hardware and its contents by performing regular maintenance tasks.
    • Locate vital utility software to simplify several maintenance tasks.
    • Find the additional information you may need to be better informed.

Manage your SOHO network with a few simple best practices

  • Small business can quickly become a tough business when technology starts working against instead of for you. By following a few best practices, however, you can stay in control.
  • To help you mange your network appliances more effectively, we'll:
    • Discuss methods for documenting the configuration of your devices.
    • Describe the difference between soft resets and hard resets.
    • Show you how to set up a management workstation.
    • Present several techniques to prevent intruders from browsing your LAN.

Tip: Make collaboration easier by sharing your Address Book (Mac OS X 10.4 or later)

  • If you collaborate with a number of people on projects, or perhaps have a close-knit group of friends with whom you want to share address book entries, thereís no need to send them vCards. Just add the entries directly to their Address Book. Hereís how to start:
    • 1. Launch the Address Book application.
    • 2. Choose Address Book | Preferences.
    • 3. Click on the Sharing tab.
    • 4. Select the Share Your Address Book check box.
    • 5. Click the Plus button.
    • 6. Locate the address entry for the person you wish to share the Address Book with.
    • 7. Select the Allow Editing check box if you want to give the other .Mac user the ability to alter your entries.
    • 8. Click the Send Invite button.
  • You can invite as many .Mac users as you wish to share your Address Book.
  • The .Mac member will then receive the following message addressed from you:
    • I would like to invite you to share my Address Book.
      Click here to automatically subscribe now.
    • When he clicks on the link, it automatically launches his Address Book and sets it up to share your Address Book. He can also open the Address Book utility and choose File | Subscribe To Address Book and enter your .Mac mail address in the dialog box that appears. Address Books to which youíre subscribed to then appear as an entry in the Group list.

Tip: Create secure storage images with Disk Utility (Mac OS X 10.2 or later)

  • If youíre looking for a safe, secure way to protect sensitive data on your Mac, thereís no easier way than to create an encrypted image using Disk Utility. Since disk images are the default distribution tool for Mac files, secure disk images are a natural progression to securely transfer or protect files.
  • To create an encrypted disk image:
    • 1. Launch the Disk Utility application (located at /Applications/Utilities folder).
    • 2. Click the New Image icon on the Disk Utility toolbar.
    • 3. Enter a name for the disk image in the Save As text field.
    • 4. Choose an appropriate size for the disk image from the Size pop-up menu.
    • 5. Select the AES-128 (recommended) option from the Encryption pop-up menu.
    • 6. Choose the Read/Write Disk Image from the Format pop-up menu.
    • 7. Click the Create button to complete the image.
  • At this point, the Disk Utility application begins creating the disk image. Once created, youíll then need to enter a password in the Password text box of the Authenticate dialog box. Assuming the passwords match, the image then mounts on the desktop, ready for you to begin adding files.
    image.
  • Now, when you load the image (by simply double-clicking on the icon), youíll be requested to enter the password. Assuming you enter the password correctly, the disk image loads as a volume in the Finder.

Tip: Help Safari remember more with a quick Terminal trick (Mac OS X 10.2 or later)

  • Ever notice that the Safari browser stores a limited number of sites that youíve visited within the last week? Thatís fine if youíre in the habit of creating bookmarks for virtually every site you visit, but we often rely on the History function of the browser to locate recently-visited sites. After a little investigation, we discovered that it is possible to change the number of sites included in the History list. All it requires is a little work within the Terminal application.
  • To change the number of sites remembered in the browser:
    • 1. Quit the Safari browser, if open.
    • 2. Launch the Terminal application.
    • 3. Enter defaults write com.apple.Safari WebKitHistoryItemLimit 9999 into the utility and press the [return] key. This sets Safari to remember 9,999 items instead of the default 100.
    • 4. Enter defaults write com.apple.Safari
  •  WebKitHistoryAgeInDaysLimit 30 and press the [return] key. This sets the browser to remember and display up to a month of history.
  • Itís important to remember that the more sites you set Safari to display in the History, the slower the browser reacts. Therefore, you should carefully consider the number of items and the number of days you realistically want to display in the History file and adjust the commands accordingly.

Tip: Help Safari remember more with a quick Terminal trick (Mac OS X 10.2 or later)

  • Ever notice that the Safari browser stores a limited number of sites that youíve visited within the last week? Thatís fine if youíre in the habit of creating bookmarks for virtually every site you visit, but we often rely on the History function of the browser to locate recently-visited sites. After a little investigation, we discovered that it is possible to change the number of sites included in the History list. All it requires is a little work within the Terminal application.
  • To change the number of sites remembered in the browser:
    • 1. Quit the Safari browser if open.
    • 2. Launch the Terminal application.
    • 3. Enter defaults write com.apple.Safari WebKitHistoryItemLimit 9999 into the utility and press the [return] key. This will set Safari to remember 9,999 items instead of the default 100.
    • 4. Enter defaults write com.apple.Safari WebKitHistoryAgeInDaysLimit 30 and press the [return] key. This sets the browser to remember and display up to a month of history.
  • Itís important to remember that the more sites you set Safari to display in the History, the slower the browser reacts. Therefore, you should carefully consider the number of items and the number of days you realistically want to display in the History file and adjust the commands above accordingly.

Tip: Create secure storage images with Disk Utility (Mac OS X 10.2 or later)

  • If youíre looking for a safe, secure way to protect sensitive data on your Mac, thereís no easier way than to create an encrypted image using Disk Utility. Since disk images are the default distribution tool for Mac files, secure disk images are a natural progression to securely transfer or protect files.
  • To create an encrypted disk image:
    • 1. Launch the Disk Utility application (located at /Applications/Utilities folder).
    • 2. Click the New Image icon on the Disk Utility toolbar.
    • 3. Enter a name for the disk image in the Save As text field.
    • 4. Choose an appropriate size for the disk image from the Size pop-up menu.
    • 5. Select the AES-128 (recommended) option from the Encryption pop-up menu.
    • 6. Choose the Read/Write Disk Image from the Format pop-up menu.
    • 7. Click the Create button to complete the image.
  • At this point, the Disk Utility application begins creating the disk image. Once created, youíll then need to enter a password in the Password text box of the Authenticate dialog box. Assuming the passwords match, the image then mounts on the desktop, ready for you to load files to.
  • Now, when you load the image (by simply double-clicking on the icon), youíll be requested to enter the password. Assuming you enter the password correctly, the disk image loads as a volume in the Finder.

Tip: Force Mac OS X to re-index a volume for better Spotlight searches (Mac OS X 10.4 or later)

  • If you discover that Spotlight isnít displaying items that you feel should be showing up, the index that the utility uses to perform searches may have permission levels set wrong or the index may be corrupted. Fortunately, you donít have to reinstall Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4) in order to correct these problems.
  • To fix the permission levels:
    • 1. Launch Disk Utility (located at (/Applications/Utilities/).
    • 2. Choose the volume from the list on the left side of the utility.
    • 3. Click the Repair Disk Permissions button and allow the program to make corrections to your drive. When completed, the message box displays the changes it made to the volume.
    • 4. Close the utility.
  • If repairing the permissions doesnít work, you should then consider rebuilding the index. Instead, all you have to do is:
    • 1. Choose Apple | System Preferences.
    • 2. Select the Spotlight pane.
    • 3. Choose the Privacy tab.
    • 4. Click the Plus button PLUS and select the volume you wish to re-index. This adds the volume to the Privacy list. Close the System Preferences and wait about thirty minutes.
    • 5. Repeat the process of opening the Spotlight preference and delete the volume from the Privacy list by selecting it and clicking the Minus button MINUS.
    • 6. Close the System Preference and allow the utility to rebuild the index.
  • Itís best that you keep the computer plugged in and running for the next few hours while the index is rebuilt in the background. To check the status of the re-index, just perform a Spotlight search. If it isnít finished re-indexing, Spotlight will display the status instead of the list of found items.

Tip: Help Safari remember more with a quick Terminal trick (Mac OS X 10.2 or later)

  • Ever notice that the Safari browser stores a limited number of sites that youíve visited within the last week? Thatís fine if youíre in the habit of creating bookmarks for virtually every site you visit, but we often rely on the History function of the browser to locate recently-visited sites. After a little investigation, we discovered that it is possible to change the number of sites included in the History list. All it requires is a little work within the Terminal application.
  • To change the number of sites remembered in the browser:
    • 1. Quit the Safari browser if open.
    • 2. Launch the Terminal application.
    • 3. Enter defaults write com.apple.Safari WebKitHistoryItemLimit 9999 into the utility and press the [return] key. This will set Safari to remember 9,999 items instead of the default 100.
    • 4. Enter defaults write com.apple.Safari WebKitHistoryAgeInDaysLimit 30 and press the [return] key. This sets the browser to remember and display up to a month of history.
      Itís important to remember that the more sites you set Safari to display in the History, the slower the browser reacts. Therefore, you should carefully consider the number of items and the number of days you realistically want to display in the History file and adjust the commands above accordingly.

Tip: Create secure storage images with Disk Utility (Mac OS X 10.2 or later)

  • If youíre looking for a safe, secure way to protect sensitive data on your Mac, thereís no easier way than to create an encrypted image using Disk Utility. Since disk images are the default distribution tool for Mac files, secure disk images are a natural progression to securely transfer or protect files.
  • To create an encrypted disk image:
    • 1. Launch the Disk Utility application (located at /Applications/Utilities folder).
    • 2. Click the New Image icon on the Disk Utility toolbar.
    • 3. Enter a name for the disk image in the Save As text field.
    • 4. Choose an appropriate size for the disk image from the Size pop-up menu.
    • 5. Select the AES-128 (recommended) option from the Encryption pop-up menu.
    • 6. Choose the Read/Write Disk Image from the Format pop-up menu.
    • 7. Click the Create button to complete the image.
  • At this point, the Disk Utility application begins creating the disk image. Once created, youíll then need to enter a password in the Password text box of the Authenticate dialog box. Assuming the passwords match, the image then mounts on the desktop, ready for you to load files to.
  • Now, when you load the image (by simply double-clicking on the icon), youíll be requested to enter the password. Assuming you enter the password correctly, the disk image loads as a volume in the Finder.

Tip: Force Mac OS X to re-index a volume for better Spotlight searches (Mac OS X 10.4 or later)

  • If you discover that Spotlight isnít displaying items that you feel should be showing up, the index that the utility uses to perform searches may have permission levels set wrong or the index may be corrupted. Fortunately, you donít have to reinstall Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4) in order to correct theses problems.
  • To fix the permission levels:
    • 1. Launch Disk Utility (located at (/Applications/Utilities/).
    • 2. Choose the volume from the list on the left side of the utility.
    • 3. Click the Repair Disk Permissions button and allow the program to make corrections to your drive. When completed, the message box displays the changes it made to the volume.
    • 4. Close the utility.
  • If repairing the permissions doesnít work, you should then consider rebuilding the index. Instead, all you have to do is:
    • 1. Choose Apple | System Preferences.
    • 2. Select the Spotlight pane.
    • 3. Choose the Privacy tab.
    • 4. Click the Plus button PLUS and select the volume you wish to re-index. This adds the volume to the Privacy list.
    • 5. Close the System Preferences and wait about thirty minutes.
    • 6. Repeat the process of opening the Spotlight preference and delete the volume from the Privacy list by selecting it and clicking the Minus button MINUS.
    • 7. Close the System Preference and allow the utility to rebuild the index.
  • Itís best that you keep the computer plugged in and running for the next few hours while the index is rebuilt in the background. To check the status of the re-index, just perform a Spotlight search. If it isnít finished re-indexing, Spotlight will display the status instead of the list of found items.

Tip: Help Safari remember more with a quick Terminal trick (Mac OS X 10.2 or later)

  • Ever notice that the Safari browser stores a limited number of sites that youíve visited within the last week? Thatís fine if youíre in the habit of creating bookmarks for virtually every site you visit, but we often rely on the History function of the browser to locate recently-visited sites. After a little investigation, we discovered that it is possible to change the number of sites included in the History list. All it requires is a little work within the Terminal application.
  • To change the number of sites remembered in the browser:
    • 1. Quit the Safari browser if open.
    • 2. Launch the Terminal application.
    • 3. Enter defaults write com.apple.Safari WebKitHistoryItemLimit 9999 into the utility and press the [return] key. This will set Safari to remember 9,999 items instead of the default 100.
    • 4. Enter defaults write com.apple.Safari WebKitHistoryAgeInDaysLimit 30 and press the [return] key. This sets the browser to remember and display up to a month of history.
      Itís important to remember that the more sites you set Safari to display in the History, the slower the browser reacts. Therefore, you should carefully consider the number of items and the number of days you realistically want to display in the History file and adjust the commands above accordingly.

Tip: Troubleshooting iLife (Mac OS X 10.x)

  • The iLife applications include iMovie, iPhoto, iDVD, iTunes, and GarageBand. These applications must reside in the default Applications folder located on the startup volume. If you move any of the iLife applications to another directory or volume, youíll experience problems.

Tip: Force Mac OS X to re-index a volume for better Spotlight searches (Mac OS X 10.4 or later)

  • If you discover that Spotlight isnít displaying items that you feel should be showing up, the index that the utility uses to perform searches may have permission levels set wrong or the index may be corrupted. Fortunately, you donít have to reinstall Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4) in order to correct theses problems.
  • To fix the permission levels:
    • 1. Launch Disk Utility (located at (/Applications/Utilities/).
    • 2. Choose the volume from the list on the left side of the utility.
    • 3. Click the Repair Disk Permissions button and allow the program to make corrections to your drive. When completed, the message box displays the changes it made to the volume.
    • 4. Close the utility.
  • If repairing the permissions doesnít work, you should then consider rebuilding the index. Instead, all you have to do is:
    • 1. Choose Apple | System Preferences.
    • 2. Select the Spotlight pane.
    • 3. Choose the Privacy tab.
    • 5. Click the Plus button and select the volume you wish to re-index. This adds the volume to the Privacy list.
    • 6. Close the System Preferences and wait about thirty minutes.
      7. Repeat the process of opening the Spotlight preference and delete the volume from the Privacy list by selecting it and clicking the Minus button.
    • 8. Close the System Preference and allow the utility to rebuild the index.
  • Itís best that you keep the computer plugged in and running for the next few hours while the index is rebuilt in the background. To check the status of the re-index, just perform a Spotlight search. If it isnít finished re-indexing, Spotlight will display the status instead of the list of found items.

Tip: Avoid inadvertent folder changes (Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later)

  • After you complete an important project on your Mac, one of the best practices is to lock all of your work in a folder. That way, no one can go in and make changes, additions, or deletions without having to authenticate his password.
  • To lock a folder:
    • 1. Select the folder in the Finder.
    • 2. Choose File | Get Info.
    • 3. Select the Locked check box.
    • 4. Close the Get Info window.
  • From that point on, whenever you attempt to drag an item out of the folder, or put an item into the folder, Mac OS X informs you that changes canít be made to the folder without the authenticating. This reminds you that the folder is protected before you start making changes to it.

Tip: Positioning your Mac mini

  • The Mac mini is popular because of its combination of small size, low price, and portability. But, along with this comes new practices for handling it. Always place your Mac mini on a hard, flat surface to provide maximum airflow to the computer's vents around the rubber base. Don't put anything on top of your Mac mini or stack Mac minis on top of each other either. If your Mac mini is configured with AirPort or Bluetooth, you could hamper the signal strength since the antennas are located in the top of the computer.

Tip: Choose the right backup power supply

  • The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) recognizes three categories of backup power supplies: off-line, line-interactive, and on-line. During a power source interruption, an off-line BPS disconnects the equipment from the power source, a line-interactive BPS shares the load between the power source and the battery, and an online BPS forces the equipment to operate exclusively on battery power.

Tip: Customize the Dictionary application and widget (Tiger)

  • Tiger's Dictionary application and widget let you find the correct spelling, meaning, or synonym for your word no matter what application you're in. Press [F12] at any time to bring up the Dashboard and the dictionary widget. As you type letters into the widget, all the words beginning with those letters appear--or the first word that starts with those letters. Click on the letter at the left of the widget to switch from a word to the list of words. Click on the Thesaurus option to find words with similar meanings.
  • In the Dictionary application, press [command]-, or select Dictionary | Preferences to select the dictionary order, pronunciation, contextual menu, and default font size. To listen to the definition, highlight the words you want read. Then, choose Dictionary | Services | Speech | Start Speaking Text. Whether you're writing or just doing a crossword puzzle, the dictionary is worth exploring and employing.

Tip: Stop struggling with the power button

  • Some late model PowerMac G4s are notorious for being difficult to power down manually. For example, if your system freezes and you need to press the power button, you may find that the system doesnít respond to your action, in spite of holding down the power button for several seconds. The solution to this problem is to apply pressure to the northwest quadrant of the power button. The actuator switch is located behind this area rather than behind the physical center of the power button.

Tip: Tweak Tiger to make it kid-friendly (Tiger)

  • Select Go | Application | System Preferences | Accounts. Assuming you're an administrator, click the lock to make changes and enter your administrator's password. Click the plus (+) sign above the lock to add a user. To make it easy for a child to sign in, choose a simple username and password that they can remember. For a young child, you could use his/her name for both. Definitely do NOT allow the user to administer this computer, and click Create Account.
  • Turn Off Automatic Login to prevent the child from gaining automatic access to the computer. Select an appropriate picture that the child can recognize (you could use his/her picture if you want). Choose Parental Controls and turn on the parental controls you want for the child. Once the settings are complete, you can make the child's favorite programs available on the dock, configure the Dock to appeal to them, set up backgrounds and screensavers the child likes, and personalize applications where possible. Teach them how to sign in, and you can relax. Your work is safe while the child has a great computer experience.

Tip: Instantly know your permission level (Mac OS X 10.2)

  • When you click on a folder, you can instantly tell whether you have write access to it. Just glance down in the lower-left corner of the Finder window. If you see a pencil icon with a line through it, you know you don't have access to write to the directory.

Tip: Speed up your network connections (Mac OS X 10.x)

  • By default, all network ports are enabled on your system. Furthermore, when your system attempts to make a network connection, it tries the ports in the order listed in the Network Port Configurations section of the Network system preference. You can speed up your network connections by disabling unused ports and prioritizing them. For example, if you arenít using a modem connection, disable itís port and then move the port to the bottom of the ports list.

Tip: Save some space as you install (Mac OS X)

  • As many of you will soon be installing Mac OS X 10.4 (if you haven't already), you should take a couple of extra moments and choose the custom install option instead of the standard install option. Then, deselect anything you don't need on your system--such as Asian fonts and extra print drivers. By simply eliminating these additions to the system install, you can save over 10 MB of valuable space. This is an especially good idea if you're working on an older machine.

Tip: Effectively control access to your internal websites (Mac OS X 10.3 Server)

  • Mac OS X Serverís Web service allows you to set up areas of your website to require authentication. To do so, you first create a realm, which is a folder (and its subfolders) within your websiteís root folder. After you create the realm, you can specify which users and groups can access the realm. Each user and group you add to the realm can have either browse or authoring capabilities, but is required to authenticate before gaining access to the website.

Tip: Easy reminder for Safari keyboard shortcuts (Mac OS X)

  • Virtually every application that runs on Mac OS X has a set of shortcut keys to help you save a little time along the way. Unfortunately, most don't provide a simple way to review these shortcuts. So, you either print out the shortcuts hoping you don't misplace the paper, or you just use the ones you remember. But if you're using Safari and want to bone up on the keyboard shortcuts available, just enter the following into the address field:
    • file:///Applications/Safari.app/Contents/Resources/Shortcuts.html
  • When you do, Safari looks deep into its resource files and displays a page complete with shortcuts. Since you might not remember the address the next time you need to review the keyboard shortcuts, simply bookmark the page while you have it displayed. That way you can't misplace it.

Tip: Easily add external storage to your PCI-based Mac (Mac OS 9.x, Mac OS X 10.x)

  • If youíve used all your available drive bays and you have a PCI-based PowerMac, you can easily add additional storage by installing a Serial ATA host adapter that includes external ports. You can then attach external SATA storage devices to the host adapter. If you want to use ATA drives on this host adapter, you can attach an IDE-to-SATA adapter on the target drive. FirmTek (www.firmtek.com) offers several Serial ATA solutions.

Tip: Manage your AirPort network more effectively (Mac OS X 10.x)

  • Apple provides two utilities beyond the AirPort Admin Utility, which is included with its AirPort Extreme and AirPort Express base stations. One utility, AirPort Client Monitor, helps find an optimal location for your base station. The other utility, AirPort Management Utility, helps you administer multiple base stations. You can download both utilities from www.apple.com/support/airport/.

Tip: Enlarge the cursor to make it easier to find (Mac OS X 10.4 and later)

  • As computer monitors get larger and the resolution tighter, the cursor that you rely on to choose menu options and open files can often seem to disappear. Admit it, you know you've shaken your mouse around the desktop once in a while just to locate the cursor. Fortunately, Apple has provided a better method of locating the cursor and at the same time, improved the accessibility of the operating system. Their solution is to enlarge the cursor.
    To make the cursor larger:
    • 1. Choose Apple | System Preferences and select the Universal Access option.
    • 2. Click on the Mouse & Trackpad tab.
    • 3. Move the Cursor Size slider anywhere between Normal and Large to resize the cursor. As you do so, the cursor grows.

Tip: Use large capacity hard drives on any computer

  • Hard drive capacity is largely limited by the ATA interface integrated into a systemís motherboard. If you need to add hard drives whose capacities exceed those your system can support, you can circumvent the problem by installing the larger hard drive in an external FireWire or USB enclosure. When choosing an enclosure, just make sure that its bridgeboard supports the target hard drive capacity.

Tip: Read Safari pages offline for maximum convenience (Mac OS X 10.4 and later)

  • When you don't have time to read a web page in Safari, but want to make sure the page doesn't change before you find time, simply save it as a web archive. In the Tiger release of Safari, you can now archive pages so the content and formatting remain intact. To do so:
    • 1. Navigate to a page you wish to save for future viewing.
    • 2. Choose File | Save As and choose Web Archive from the pop-up menu.
    • 3. Select Web Archive from the Format pop-up menu.
    • 4. Click the Save button.
  • Now, whenever you want to read the file, just double-click on the file icon to open the archive in Safari (or choose File | Open from within Safari and navigate to the document). Once open, the web archive looks just like the page you saved, complete with active links and formatting. Keep in mind though that in the ever-changing world of the web, some links in an archived page might become inactive over time.

Tip: Use large capacity hard drives on any computer

  • Hard drive capacity is largely limited by the ATA interface integrated into a systemís motherboard. If you need to add hard drives whose capacities exceed those your system can support, you can circumvent the problem by installing the larger hard drive in an external FireWire or USB enclosure. When choosing an enclosure, just make sure that its bridgeboard supports the target hard drive capacity.

Tip: Set up an ad hoc network with Bluetooth (Mac OS X 10.3)

  • While Bluetooth is normally associated with interconnecting mobile devices for file synchronization, you can also use it to create a Personal Area Network (PAN). So, if you need wireless connectivity in the absence of an AirPort network, you can pair two computers for the purpose of exchanging files.

Tip: Getting rid of the Crash Reporter (Mac OS X 10.2 and later)

  • Though Mac OS X is one of the most stable operating systems available, an application will occasionally begin acting badly, causing it to crash. And when this occurs, the crash is followed by the Crash Reporter dialog box. But, let's be honest--have you ever actually submitted a report? If not, you might as well deactivate the feature altogether. After all, you know when a program crashes--you don't need a dialog box to rub it in!
  • To deactivate the Crash Reporter feature:
    • 1. Launch Terminal (located at Applications/Utilities).
    • 2. Enter com.apple.CrashReporter DialogType none and then press the [return] key.
  • That's all there is to it. You'll no longer be bothered by the dialog box. Should you begin to feel guilty about not letting Apple know about your problems, you can always reactivate the feature by entering com.apple.CrashReporter DialogType prompt in the Terminal application.

Tip: Understanding NAT implementations (Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server)

  • Network Address Translation (NAT) translates IP addresses between a public and a private network. Nat is typically implemented in three ways. Static NAT maps a single public IP address to a single private IP address. Dynamic NAT maps a single public IP address (from a pool of available IP addresses) to a single private IP address. And lastly, Port Address Translation (PAT) maps a unique IP address-port number combination to a private IP address.

Tip: iPod Shuffle tips to keep the music playing (Mac OS X 10.1 and later)

  • The iPod Shuffle is a surprisingly simple piece of technology. So simple, in fact, that Apple didn't provide much documentation for the device in the package. Here are a couple of tips we picked up after playing with the Shuffle for a while that we think you'll find helpful:
    Unlike their larger cousins, the iPod Shuffle doesn't have a slider switch to lock the buttons on the player. But that doesn't mean you can't lock the buttons--just hold down the Play/Pause button for a few seconds until the amber light blinks a few times to indicate that the buttons are locked.
    To unlock the Shuffle, once again hold down the Play/Pause button until the lights begin to blink. (Turning off the player also unlocks the buttons.)
  • When you pause an iPod Shuffle, a green light blinks for approximately a minute and then stops. That makes it easier to forget that the device is even on, and you can end up discharging the battery quicker. To conserve battery life of the Shuffle, consider turning off the device instead of pausing.
  • Should the iPod Shuffle begin acting erratically, you can reset the device by using the sliding switch in the back of the iPod to turn it off. Leave it off for at least five seconds and then try turning it back on.
  • If you want to quickly return to the very first song in the playlist, just press the Play/Pause button three times.

Tip: Keep your home folder secure (Mac OS X 10.3)

  • The FileVault system preference allows you to encrypt your home folder, so that its contents are accessible only when youíre logged in. When you log in to your account, your home folder is automatically de-encrypted and when you log off, itís automatically re-encrypted. Before you can use FileVault, however, the system administrator must create a master password.

Tip: Quickly browse sites with MyYahoo!'s RSS parser (Mac OS X)

  • If you haven't upgraded to Mac OS X 10.4 (or Tiger), you may not have seen the new RSS feature integrated into Safari. Through the wonders of syndication, the application allows you to subscribe to RSS feeds that display headlines for various other sites. However, before this feature was introduced in Safari, it was available with Yahoo!, and in a somewhat more convenient fashion.
  • When you set up a MyYahoo! account, you're asked to define what news items you'd like to appear on your opening MyYahoo! page. On the Add Content tab you can then either search for content using the Find Content text box, or add content already mined by the folks at Yahoo!.
    But notice in the right side of the Find field that you have the option to Add RSS By URL. When you click this option and add the locator, your MyYahoo! page displays the RSS feeds from that site. Since you can add as many feeds as you like, the MyYahoo! page essentially becomes your one-stop shop for news.

Tip: Host multiple web sites on a single machine (Mac OS X Server 10.3)

  • There are three primary methods for hosting multiple web sites on a single server machine. First, you can install multiple network interface cards, and then assign a unique IP address to each one. Second, you can create additional ports on a single interface card, and then assign a unique IP address to each port. And last, you can associate multiple logical ports with a single IP address.

Tip: Understanding Pantherís groups and workgroups (Mac OS X 10.3 Server)

  • Panther uses two terms that may cause confusion. The first term, group, refers to legacy UNIX groups that can be assigned standard permissions, such as read, write, and execute. A workgroup, on the other hand, refers to a client (user, group, or computer) that has at least one managed preference. For example, only members of the print designersí workgroup may be able to print to a color printer.

Tip: Creating an allowance for downloading songs from the iTunes Music Store (Mac OS X)

  • With the ability to purchase music from the iTunes Music Store with a single click of a button, it can be quite easy to download a lot of music without really realizing the total cost. Luckily, Apple has provided a simple solution--put yourself on an iTunes allowance. To do so:
    • 1. Launch iTunes and select the Music Store from the Source list.
    • 2. Click on the Allowance option in the Choose Store section.
    • 3. Fill out the Set Up An iTunes Allowance form in the iTunes window and then continue through the verification process.

Tip: Using Panther Server as PDC (Mac OS X 10.3 Server)

  • You can configure Panther Server as a legacy Windows Primary Domain Controller (PDC). This allows you to replace an aging Windows NT/2000 server with a modern Mac OS X Server. To enable this functionality, however, you need to first configure your server as an Open Directory Master. Then, use Server Admin to configure the Windows service, choosing Primary Domain Controller from the Role pop-up menu.
Tip: Getting rid of the Crash Reporter (Mac OS X)
  • Though Mac OS X is one of the most stable operating systems available, an application will occasionally begin acting badly, causing it to crash. And when this occurs, the crash is followed by the Crash Reporter dialog box. But, let's be honest--have you ever actually submitted a report? If not, you might as well deactivate the feature altogether. After all, you know when a program crashes--you don't need a dialog box to rub it in!
  • To deactivate the Crash Reporter feature:
    • 1. Launch Terminal (located at Applications/Utilities).
    • 2. Enter com.apple.CrashReporter DialogType none and then press the [return] key.
  • That's all there is to it. You'll no longer be bothered by the dialog box. Should you begin to feel guilty about not letting Apple know about your problems, you can always reactivate the feature by entering com.apple.CrashReporter DialogType prompt in the Terminal application.  

Tip: Assigning multiple IPs to the same interface (Mac OS X 10.3)

  • You can assign multiple IP addresses to the same physical interface. This allows you to address a particular service on your machine using a different IP address or DNS name; ftp.mac.lan or www.mac.lan. To do so, open the Network system preference. Then, select Network Port Configurations from the Show pop-up menu. And finally, select an interface and click the Duplicate button. You can then assign new IP settings to the duplicate interface.

Tip: iPod Shuffle tips to keep the music playing (Mac OS X)

  • The iPod Shuffle is a surprisingly simple piece of technology. So simple, in fact, that Apple didn't provide much documentation for the device in the package. Here are a couple of tips we picked up after playing with the Shuffle for a while that we think you'll find helpful.
  • Unlike their larger cousins, the iPod Shuffle doesn't have a slider switch to lock the buttons on the player. But that doesn't mean you can't lock the buttons--just hold down the Play/Pause button for a few seconds until the amber light blinks a few times to indicate that the buttons are locked. To unlock the Shuffle, once again hold down the Play/Pause button until the lights begin to blink. (Turning off the player also unlocks the buttons.)
  • When you pause an iPod Shuffle, a green light blinks for approximately a minute and then stops. This makes it easier to forget the device is even on, and you can end up discharging the battery quicker. To conserve battery life of the Shuffle, consider turning off the device instead of pausing.
  • Should the iPod Shuffle begin acting erratically, you can reset the device by using the sliding switch in the back of the iPod to turn it off. Leave it off for at least five seconds and then turn it back on. If you want to quickly return to the very first song in the playlist, just press the Play/Pause button three times.

Tip: Managing setup information on Panther Server (Mac OS X 10.3 Server)

  • After you install Panther Server, the Setup Assistant launches automatically and walks you through configuring your server's initial settings. At the conclusion of this phase, the Setup Assistant displays the Confirm Settings page. On this page, you can choose to save the configuration as a text file, as a configuration file, or as a directory record. Use the text file for documentation purposes and use the configuration file or directory record to enable another target server to set itself up automatically.

Tip: Organizing your Stickies

  • You probably know people who have PostIt notes placed all over their desks in a futile effort to organize their lives. Unfortunately, these people might end up with the same mess if they use the Stickies application. In fact, users of the utility may frequently find their screen taken over by notes. Fortunately, there's a way to use Stickies and still keep an orderly desktop.
  • The best way to maintain order on your desktop when using Stickies is to label each note and then click the collapse box in the upper-right portion of the note. (In pre-Mac OS X versions of the application, you may have to activate the Zoom-box Collapses Window option in the Stickies Preferences window.) After you collapse a note, only the first line is visible. To finish your clean up, you can also move the notes in a row. In addition, you should consider using a color code so you know which notes are the most important.

Tip: Troubleshooting Panther installations (Mac OS X 10.3)

  • When you're installing Panther, you can take advantage of the installation log file to help you diagnose any problems you may encounter. To do so, first boot the target computer from the Panther installation disc. Then, after the Installer application launches, select File | Show Log File. In the Installer Log window that appears, you can choose to view errors only, view errors and progress, or view everything, by selecting the corresponding item from the Show pop-up menu.

Tip: Converting your DVD content back to QuickTime

  • If you've authored a DVD and discarded the original QuickTime movie, you can use DVDxDV to convert the DVD content back to a QuickTime movie.  This allows you to recover your original footage, so that you can distribute it in another QuickTime format or even re-author it at a later time.  For specific details on DVDxDV's capabilities, point our Web browser to www.dvdxdv.com

Tip: Learn to stop making coasters with iDVD

  • Creativity aside, it doesn't do any good to master the iDVD if you can't get the application to burn the DVDs correctly.  With the high cost of blank DVDs, you want to be able to get your presentation on them without ending up with expensive, though nice and shiny, coasters.  The following tips will help you make sure your DVDs burn correctly and that your coaster collection is kept to a minimum.
  • -Make sure that iDVD has completed encoding the assets before you attempt to burn a DVD.  To do so, open the Status pane and make sure it says Done.  If it doesn't wait before you burn the DVD.  Encoding is a very system-intensive process and is best done separately form the burning process.
  • -When you're burning a disk, close all other applications, including any background processes you might be running.
  • -Open the System Preferences > Energy Saver settings and choose DVD Playback from Optimize Energy Settings.  This will keep your computer from sleeping.
  • -Open the System Preferences > Screen Effects, choose the Activation tab, and set the slider to Never.
  • -Deactivate ApppleTalk, File Sharing, and Web Sharing in their respective control panels.
  • -Store all assets on an internal drive.  External drives often have slower response times and increased timeouts.
  • -Use a good CD/DVD cleaner disc to make sure the SuperDrive's lens is free of dust.

Tip: Easily exporting iTunes 3/4 library list (MAC OS X)

  • Although iTunes allows you to export your songs as Text, Unicode Text, or XML, it doesn't allow you to choose which columns get exported.  And, as you can see from the example XML, displaying all of the columns can be a bit too much.  Sure, you can go in and delete the information you don't need, but why bother when there's an easier way.  Simply choose Edit > View Options in iTunes and select the columns you wish to export from the View Options dialog box.  Close the dialog box, choose Edit > Select All to highlight all of the songs in your library, and press [command]C to copy the listing.  Then, simply open a Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel window and paste the listing.  You can then format the columns as you wish.

Tip: Use a neighboring base station to troubleshoot your broadband router and cable modem

  • A cardinal rule for maintaining security on a wireless network is to disable broadcasting the base station's SSID.  However, you can use the fact that people ignore this rule to troubleshoot your own network.  For example, let's say that you've reset both your router and your cable modem, but you continue to experience service problems.  You can determine whether the problem is inside or outside your LAN by simply connecting to a neighboring wireless access pint.  If you have Internet connectivity after you make the connection, the problem exists on your end.  In contrast, if you still can't access the Internet, the problem exists on your ISP's end.

Tip: Locking specific folders in Mac OS X

  • Remembering that Mac OS X is Unix-based, each file and folder has its own permission levels.  To illustrate this, select the folder in the Finder and then choose File > Get Info.  Then, toggle the Ownership & Permissions option open to display the options available for the directory.  If you want to keep yourself from removing the files form the folder, yet keep the ability to copy them to other folders, choose Read Only from the Owner Access pop-up menu.  Then, click the Apply to Enclosed Items button to make each file and folder within that folder Read Only as well.  It will then ask you whether you're sure you want to make the change (and give you an ominous, though incorrect, statement about the change not being undoable).  Once you click the OK button, close the dialog box, and then drag something from the folder onto the desktop.  When you do, the item is automatically copied, leaving the original intact.  Should you want to make changes to the folder, simply repeat the process, but instead change the owner's access to Read & Write.

Tip: Gathering detailed information about objects on your server (Mac OS X 10.3 Server)

  • When you launch Workgroup Manager, you'll see three default tabs: Users, Groups, and Computer Accounts.  However, if you select Workgroup | Preferences, you can display an additional tab, the All Records tab, by selecting the Show All Record Tab and inspector check boxes.  When you do, you can directly edit the value of any selected attribute.  So, rather than rummaging around the multitude of locations looking for configuration information, you can use the Inspector pane to examine virtually any object on your system.

Tip: Resolve connection failures in Classic

  • If you're having difficulty establishing a good connection to the Internet using a PPP dial-up connection or if you're experiencing particularly slow network activity or intermittent disconnects, you should disable TCP header compression.  This problem occurs most often when running Internet applications, such as Outlook Express, in the Mac OS X Classic environment, but it can also happen when using a native OS 9 or OS X operating system.  To disable TCP header compression, open the Network panel in System Preferences.  Next, select the PPP tab.  Now, click PPP Options and deselect the Use TCP Header Compression check box.

Tip: Hiding an application with a click

  • If you use your Mac in a business setting, you may not want to let others know you're loosening up a little by playing a couple of games.  So, what do you do when they walk into your office and find you blasting away at space aliens?  Or maybe you have sensitive data onscreen that you don't want others to see.  Sure, you could select the Application menu and choose the Hide option, but that may take too much time.  Instead, hold down the [option] button and click anywhere outside of the application.  This instantly hides the front-most application and could maybe save you a little embarrassment.

Tip: Who is Darwin? (Max OS X)

  • Darwin is a BSD UNIX environment and is the open source foundation of Mac OS X.  Darwin includes various components and technologies inherited from a number of sources, including BSD 4.4 Lite source code (more specifically, FreeBSD and NetBSD), Carnegie Mellon University's Mach microkernel project, the NEXTSTEP operating system, the OPENSTEP environment, and earlier versions of Mac OS.  All widely used BSD UNIX application programming interfaces and features are provided by Darwin, so if your application is a vanilla BSD UNIX application, in many cases it will compile and run without any major modifications on Darwin.  However, it's important to keep in mind that, although Darwin is the core of Mac OS X, it includes only a subset of all features provided by Mac OS X.  For example, Darwin doesn't provide higher-level technologies, such as Quartz, OpenGL, QuickTime, Cocoa, and Carbon.

Tip: Resolving naming conflicts on your network (Mac OS X 10.x)

  • If you don't see all your zones, workgroups, or SLP scopes when you browse the network, you may be experiencing the effect of duplicate naming.  For example, if you have an AppleTalk Zone named "support" and you also have a Workgroup or Domain named "support," these resources and their corresponding devices will appear only intermittently or perhaps not at all.  To resolve the issue, make sure that each logical division of your network has a unique name.

Tip: Bookmark repetitive searches (with Safari)

  • If you routinely conduct an identical search on the Web, you can often save time by doing the search one time and then bookmarking the results page.  For instance, let's say you're always looking for old albums of Jimmy Buffett on eBay.  Simply enter the singer's name as the criteria in the Web site's search engine and then press the [enter] key.  Then, once the results appear, bookmark the page.
  • Now, whenever you want to perform the search, just choose the bookmark.  If you'd like, you can even set the browser to automatically open this search results page as the home page location when you open your browser.
  • Keep in mind that due to the manner in which some search engines work, you can't always use this technique (although it works 90 percent of the time).  Sites where this won't work normally include a note such as "Don't bookmark this page" somewhere within the search criteria.

Tip: Using Panther to host a Windows domain (Mac OS X 10.3 Server)

  • You can configure Panther Server to host a Windows domain.  The entire process consists of defining your server's role (primary domain controller, domain member server, or standalone server), setting up Windows user accounts, and then joining your Windows workstations to the domain.  Hosting you own Windows domain servers the needs of your Windows clients and just may help you defer your investment in Windows technology, particularly if you're supporting a relatively small number of clients.

Tip: Preview color schemes to test usability (Mac OS X)

  • When you're designing anything that involves color and will be viewed by others it's always a good idea to make sure the color scheme will work for those with vision problems, such as color blindness.  What may look fine to you and your highly-trained eye for color may be almost illegible to those with certain vision problems.
  • To test your work and choice of colors, choose Apple > System Preferences and select the Universal Access pane.  Then, select the Seeing tab and click the Set Display To  Grayscale button.  When you do, the screen will lose all of its vivid color--but you might be able to see any problems that others could have when viewing your designs.  Once you've reviewed your work, just deactivate the option by once again (and counter-intuitively)  clicking the Set Display To Grayscale button and continue on with your design.

Tip: Separating regular users from FTP-only users (Mac OS X 10.3)

  • While configuring regular users and granting them FTP access may be part and parcel of supporting clients on your intranet, it may not be the best approach for sharing files with clients outside your organization.  After all, you most certainly don't want to exhaust your available user licenses, nor do you want to spend the time to set up user accounts for all of your external customers.  You can avoid these problems by considering a tool, such as PureFTPd Manager, which you can download from http://jeanmatthieu.free.fr/pureftdp/download.html.  By implementing the features available in this software, you can readily separate your regular user accounts from your FTP-only user accounts.  As a result, you'll end up with an FTP server that's more manageable and more secure.

Tip: How long have you been running (Mac OS X)

  • Mac OS X is proving to be as stable as any of its UNIX cousins, but do you actually remember how long the system has been up and running?  To find out, simply launch the Terminal application, enter uptime at the prompt, and then press [return].  When you do, you'll get a message similar to this one.
    • 11:38PM up 20 days, 2:12, 1 user, load averages: 1.35, 1.27, 1.25
  • The line tells you the current time of day, how long the system has been running, the number of users logged on to the computer, and the load averages.  The load average simply tells you the number of jobs in the run queue when averages are over one, five, and fifteen minutes.

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