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Macintosh Tips

Enable Audio CD's on your Mac Adding Hardware to your Mac
Starting up from your System CD Rebuild the Desktop
FileMakers Pro Recovery Feature Calculator Tip
Apple CD Audio Shortcuts Setting the CD Play List
Play music CD's on your Mac Prevent CD ROM Windows from Opening
Close windows quickly Random Desktop Pictures
Not Enough Memory Error code: 108 "Out of Memory"
Changing the "Default" browser Improve your browsers performance
Improve your Mac's performance Custom Welcome Message
A Problem-Free Mac Saving Data when your system freezes
Manually eject a disk Free up RAM
Scale Not Genie

Create a PDF File

Eliminating Unwanted Software Updates Take a picture of your screen
Make an Alias Increase the Memory Allocation

 

Use the Information below at your own risk.  See "Terms of Use"

Enable Audio CD's on your Mac

Make sure that you have the "Foreign File Access" and "Audio CD Access" extensions loaded in your extensions folder.  They must also be enabled under Extension Manager for audio CD's to run.

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Starting up from your System CD

When you put in the System Installer CD before you turn it on, it should boot off of the CD automatically. If it won't then try some "Key" combinations to force it to. Holding down the "C" key while your computer starts will tell the computer to start from the CD ROM. You can also use "Command"> "Option"> "Shift"> "Delete" to bypass your hard drive.

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Adding Hardware to your Mac

If you are planning to add a new internal SCSI (Small Computer System Interface) device to your Mac, ensure that it has a unique SCSI ID for each device. For most devises, the ID is set using buttons or knobs. Jumpers are used to set SCSI ID's to internal devices. Most manufactures include jumpers with the drive. Be aware that all Apple and most third party hard drives are set to SCSI ID "0". Your Mac itself is set to SCSI ID "7".  If you have an internal CD ROM, it is set to SCSI ID "3".  Here are the jumper assignments for the 7 SCSI IDs:

ID 0 = no jumpers
ID 1 = jumper the first pair of pins
ID 2 = jumper the second pair
ID 3 = jumper the first and second pair
ID 4 = jumper the third pair
ID 5 = jumper the first and third pair
ID 6 = jumper the second and third pair

Warning:  Never plug or unplug SCSI devices with the power on.

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Rebuild the Desktop

Rebuilding your desktop re-links documents to their correct applications and rewrites the desktop file. The usual way to do this is to restart your Mac and hold down the "Option" and "Command" keys. Here is a shortcut: Close all applications and then press "Option">"Command">"Escape". A resulting window will pop up asking if you want to force the Finder to quit. Hold down "Command" and "Option" again and click "Force Quit". Now you will be ask if you want to rebuild the desktop. Click "OK". Be sure that you have some room available on your hard drive prior to starting the rebuilding process.  A good guideline is 5% or more of space available.
NOTE: Rebuilding the Desktop file erases all comments you have typed in the "Get Info" windows of files on your disk.

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FileMakers Pro Recovery Feature

Files can get damaged for many reasons. If this happens, you can use FileMaker Pro's Recovery feature. Before you begin, be sure you have enough space on your hard drive for the recovered file. To repair a file, close the damaged file. From the File menu, choose "Recover". Inside the Open Damaged File box, select the damaged file and click "Open". FileMaker Pro will add "Recovered" to the file name or allow you to rename the file. Click "Save". A status message will inform you about the recovery process. Upon completion, you will see how many bytes were salvaged, and records or values skipped. Click "OK".
NOTE:  Files may not be recoverable using this feature. Be sure to properly backup your work. 

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Calculator Tip

If you have a large compilation of numbers that your working with in your word processor and would like to add them up quickly, try this:  From "Edit" in your menu bar, copy the list of numbers. Open up your calculator located under the APPLE in the upper left corner of your menu bar. Paste the list of numbers into your calculator. Click the equal (=) sign.

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Apple CD Audio Shortcuts

Did you know that you can use the keyboard to control many of the players functions? Here's how:
  • Pressing the Tab key allows you to enter text in the highlighted field.  Press Tab again to move to the next field.
  • Use the Up and Down arrow keys to adjust volume.
  • The Space Bar stops and starts the player.
  • Use the Right and Left arrow keys to move between tracks.
  • Command-Left Arrow rewinds the player.
  • Command-Right Arrow fast-forwards the player.

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Setting the CD Play List

With the Apple CD Audio Player, you are not stuck listening to the whole CD.  You can program the player to play only the songs you want to play, rearrange the songs or repeat your favorite songs. 

If you are running system 7.5 or later, the AppleCD Audio Player is included with the operating system. Here's how you can create an index of titles for your CD, then add any songs you want, in any order to the play list. The Mac will remember your settings each time you insert that CD.  

1. Insert an audio CD into the CD-ROM drive.

2. Click the tiny triangle to expand the Audio Player's control panel

3. If the songs aren't already named, click the NORMAL button.

4. Click the words "Audio CD" and type the name of the CD.

5. Click the first track name, and begin typing the song titles (press Return after each title to move down to the next blank).

6. After you have entered all the song titles, click the "PROG" button.  Now you can drag any title on the left side of the display to any slot on the right side.

You can also can drag titles up or down on the right side play list to rearrange the play order. You can even drag the same song twice or to leave songs out of the play list altogether.

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Play music CD's on your Mac

Use your CD ROM to play music while you surf the Web, work on your project or play a game.  To be able to play music with a CD, you must have the program "AppleCD Audio Player". This comes with System 7.5 and higher. Run this program and you will see a graphical representation of a CD deck. Insert your music CD into the CD ROM, then click the "Play" button. Adjust the volume using the slide bar.

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 Prevent CD ROM Windows from Opening

When you insert a disk into your CD ROM, a window showing all of the programs icons when you insert them. This may slow your computer down considerably if the programs are large. It may also seem like an eternity for the program to load. To keep the window from opening, hold down the "Option" key while inserting the CD. You need to keep holding the "Option" key until the CD icon appears.
NOTE: The same trick works for other types of removable disks such as your floppy or zip drives.

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Close all windows quickly

If you have a lot of windows open on your screen, it can take some time to close them all. A fast way to close them all is to use "Option" -click on the foremost window so every open window automatically closes  immediately.

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Random Desktop Pictures

Change your desktop pictures automatically.  Here's how:
  • Find the folder titled "Sample Desktop Pictures" inside of your Apple Extras Folder.
  • Open up the Desktop control panel and click "Remove Picture".
  • Drag the Sample Desktop Pictures folder and drop it in the screen area of the Desktop Pictures control panel.
  • Close the control panel after it randomly selects a picture.

NOTE: Every time you start your computer you will have a different picture.

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Not Enough Memory

If your Mac tells you on startup that "There is not enough memory to load all of your extensions," and you know you have plenty of RAM, dump the "Apple Menu Options Prefs" file found in the Preferences folder of your System Folder. Restart your computer and you will start fresh.

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Error code: 108 "Out of Memory"

If you get this error when printing, it's because you have multiple copies of the same font installed on your Mac and that font is used in the document you are  trying to print. 

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 Changing the "Default" browser

Do you want to change the default browser on your Mac?  Here's how:  Go to the Control Panels (under the Apple menu) and select "Internet." With the Internet control panel open, click on the "Web" tab in the middle of the window. At the bottom of the window find an item called "Default Web Browser."  In the popup menu next to it, select your preferred browser. If it is not listed, click on "Select" then find your browser of choice. NOTE: The default browser is used any time you double-click on a file that points to a web page.

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Improve your browsers performance

Allocating more memory to your browser can help with browsers crashing all the time.  Browsers and new web technologies weigh heavy on your memory creating these crashes. Here's how to allocate more memory to your browser:  If you have the program currently running, close out of it. Highlight the application's icon and select "Get Info" from the File menu. In the File menu window, you will see "Suggested Size", "Minimum Size", and "Preferred Size". Set Minimum Size the same as Suggested Size, then increase the preferred amount by approximately 25 percent or more. You will need to experiment with "preferred" setting to optimize the performance, but you should see an improvement immediately.

NOTE:  You can improve any application's performance using this method.

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Improve your Mac's performance

If you would like to speed up your Mac, try these helpful tips:  Switch your monitor to the fewest colors your Mac allows; turn off the "Calculate folder sizes" and "Show disk info in header" options; turn virtual memory off, or set it to the amount of actual RAM plus 1 MB; turn AppleTalk off (only if you're not on a network or connected to a printer that needs it).

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Custom Welcome Message

If you would like to create a welcome message for your Mac, follow the instructions below: Mac use to require a custom start up screen when designing a custom message, but with multiple user mode it's easier than ever. Design a custom welcome message, which will be on the welcome screen when logging on.  Go to the Multiple User control panel. Select the name of the user. Select Options. Under the Login tab is space for a custom greeting. NOTE:  This short message can be more than a greeting. Utilize this space to include instructions for logging on or to provide password hints.

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A Problem-Free Mac

Here are some helpful suggestions to keep your Mac running smooth and problem-free:  Regularly rebuilding your Desktop file keeps critical information clean. Make it  a habit of holding down "Command"-"Option" at least once a week when you start up your Mac. Familiarize yourself with software you are installing to make sure it is installed correctly.  Before you install new software on your computer, always read its "Read Me" or "About file". Don't install more than one piece of new software at a time. Wait a day or two between installs so you can isolate problems if they appear. Keep a record of what you install and when you install it. Unless instructed otherwise, always restart with extensions off when installing new applications. Here's how: Hold down the "shift" key until you can view the message "Welcome to Mac OS". Don't move a program or any of its files (such as a dictionary or other support files) out of the folder in which its installer placed it. If you need access to a file, select the file that's more convenient, press "control" M to create an alias of it, then place the alias anywhere you like. Keep a current backup of your system configuration. A good backup will enable you to restore a previous configuration in case something happens.

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Saving data when your system freezes

As annoying as this situation is, it does happen. There usually is a way to exit the program without rebooting when your system freezes.  You can try pressing the "Option"-"Command"-"Escape" keys at the same time. You will get a prompt asking if you want to exit the program in question. Usually this will work fine. 

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Manually eject a disk

At one time or another we have all had a disk get stuck in the drive.  This can be a very scary situation, but it is really no big deal if you know what to do.  First, I would recommend rebooting your machine. Hopefully it will eject on startup.  If it doesn't, get a paper clip and insert it into the pin-sized hole next to a drive and gently push. When you have to resort to this method, it is common for your Mac to freeze up and cause problems.  Just reboot your machine to get it back to normal.

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Free up RAM

If you're running multiple applications and see a drop in your system memory, but quitting the applications does nothing to change this, then what has happened is your system memory has become fragmented.  This occurs when you have opened up many applications and what happens is your free memory is broken up into little chunks.  To fix this situation, you'll have to quit everything and restart your Mac. This will regroup the RAM and you'll now find that more free memory is now available. 

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Scale Not Genie

Using the "Genie Effect" to open and close items from the Dock is fun -- for the first time or two. But after the novelty wears off, you'll most likely discover that it draws more processing power than it's worth. 

In Mac OS X 10.1 you have a new option called "Scale". It's still cool looking, but it's more efficient CPU-wise. To enable Scale, open the Dock Preferences panel and choose "Minimizing Using Scale Effect". 

Switching to Scale doesn't mean that you can't still impress your friends, however. Hold down the SHIFT key while minimizing to create the slow-motion effect that you've seen performed in Apple demos. 

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Create a PDF File

Many people don't realize that you can create an honest to goodness PDF file from nearly any Mac OS X file. What's the advantage of this? PDF files can be opened by Adobe's Acrobat Reader, which is available for nearly every platform on the planet. You can send PDFs to your Windows, Linux, and even Palm OS friends, and it reads exactly the same as it does on your Mac. They're easy to make once you know how. 

Open a document in your favorite application and then choose PRINT. At the bottom of the Print dialogue box you will see a button that reads PREVIEW. Click it and it will process your document and open the Preview application that's included with Mac OS X. 

You'll notice that when your document is displayed in Preview, it already looks like a PDF file. Now all you have to do is choose FILE, then Save As PDF, and Mac OS X will convert your document into a real live PDF. Now you can send it to anyone, anywhere. 

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Eliminating Unwanted Software Updates

The Software Update feature is great, but you may find that there are updates posted that don't apply to you or that you don't need. Take for example the numerous printer updates recently posted. You don't have to install an update if you don't want to, but to stop the Software Update application from reminding you about a particular update just follow this tip...

When an item appears in the Software Update list that you don't want to install, select it from the list, go to the "Update" menu and select "Make Inactive..." This will remove the item from the list and you won't be alerted to the update the next time Software Update runs.

Also under the "Update" menu of the Software Update application is the option "Show Inactive Updates." It does exactly what it says, so if you later decide that you need one of the updates you can go back and get it

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Take a picture of your screen

Take a picture of your screen (screen shot)
  • To take a picture of your whole screen: Command-Shift-3. You should hear a "click", like a camera shutter. A new file called "Picture 1" will appear on your hard drive. This is the picture of your screen.
  • To take a picture of a selected area: Command-Shift-4. Your cursor will turn into a crosshair. Click and drag over the area you want to take a picture of. When you release the mouse button, you will hear a "click" like a camera shutter going off. A file called "Picture 1" will appear on your hard drive. This is the picture you just took.
  • Viewing/Using your screen shot: the screen shot (Picture 1) is saved in PICT graphic format. You can open it by double clicking on it, which will launch Simpletext and show you the picture. You can print it from there, or if you want to use it in another application (Like Word or Photoshop), you can click on the picture in the Simpletext document screen and choose Copy from the Edit menu. You can then open the other application and choose Edit/Paste.
  • You can take multiple shots- they will be named Picture 1, Picture 2, etc.

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Make an Alias

Make an Alias:an alias is a shortcut that points to a file. It's handy for easy access to commonly used applications or documents.
  • To make an Alias: find the application or document icon you wish to make an alias of. Click once to select it. Then- Option 1:, go to the File menu, choose Make Alias.
    Option 2:hit Command-M or Option 3Hold down the Control key and click on the icon- choose Make Alias from the pop-up menu.
  • Using the Alias:Option 1- put the alias on the desktop, for easy access. Double click it to launch the associated file or application. Option 2- put it into the Apple Menu Items folder in the System folder: it will now be available as a choice under the Apple menu. Option 3- Put it in the Startup items folder in the System folder. it will launch the associated file or application every time you start up your computer.

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Increase the Memory Allocation

Increase the Memory Allocation for an Application 

Note: Perform this ONLY if you are getting "out of memory" or "low memory" error messages:
  • Locate the icon for the application. Click once to select it. Go to File/Get Info or hit Command-I. Depending on which version of the system you are using, the info box that comes up might have a "Show" popup, which will be showing "General Information" as the category. Click on the words "General Information" and choose "Memory" from the pop up. (On older systems, memory allocation is showing in the box without having to choose from a pop up.)
  • There are 3 memory settings: Suggested (which can't be changed), Minimum, and Preferred. Minimum and Preferred can be changed- simply click and drag over the numbers and type in your own. Set the Minimum to at LEAST as high as the Suggested; Set the Preferred about 1,000K higher. (If you are still getting memory messages, go back and add 1,000k at a time until they go away.)

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