The Forums at www.macworld.com are a good place to find all kinds of tricks for your vintage Mac or current iMac, G3, G4.
Do you have a tip you'd like to share?
Also, for those with older Macs and Mac clones, good information can be found at www.lowendmac.com
OS 9/OS X FINDER SHORTCUTS
Source: Mac HOME HOT TIPS (09/03/2003)
The Finder is chock full of shortcuts. Hold down the option key as you double-click a folder. This automatically closes the previous folder window as the new one opens. For a quick cleanup, hold down the option key as you close a window. This action automatically closes all open windows. You can also hold down the command key and click on the title of any window. This brings up a hierarchical location listing, allowing you to quickly select any higher-level folder.
DESKTOP ORGANIZATION MADE SIMPLE
Source: Mac HOME HOT TIPS (08/20/2003)
You can keep your desktop neat and tidy by tailoring your viewing options. Click once on your desktop background to ensure all files are deselected. Now select View>Show View Options (OS X) or View>View Options (OS 9). A window with desktop viewing options will appear. Choose "Keep arranged by" and then select Kind from the associated pop-up menu. This tells the Finder to sort all items on the desktop according to their classification -- folders are kept with folders, Word files are kept with Word files, and so on. The icons will flow from top to bottom, right beneath your hard disk. You can maximize screen real estate by reducing the icon size, too. Click OK, and your desktop will organize itself!
LOOKING FOR PREVIEW
Q: How do I open a screenshot that was taken with the command-shift-4 key combo in OS 9.0.4 now I have OS X 10.1? I have not been able to find an application to open these files!
A: You can open those images with OS X's Preview. You can find it within the applications folder, at Macintosh HD>Applications>Preview. Just drag the file onto the application icon to open it.
MIND THE FINDER
Source: Mac HOME HOT TIPS (08/13/2003)
One of the most noticeable differences between OS 9 and OS X is the way folders are opened. In OS 9, double-clicking a folder opens a new window that displays the contents of that folder. In OS X, double-clicking a folder displays the contents of that folder within the same window, eliminating the previous contents. This can take some adjustment for new users. There are several workarounds, however. You can hold down the command key when double-clicking a folder to force a new window to open. Those of your who genuinely prefer OS 9's folder behaviour can make a more permanent change: Select Finder>Preferences, check the option to "Always open folders in a new window," and close the window. Things will now be back to normal.
POWER OFF, POWER UP!
Q: I have an iMac 400 DV SE. Every time I have an intermittent interruption in power, my iMac turns on -- even when it has been off for hours! Do you have any solutions to this problem?
A: It appears that your iMac has been set to automatically restart in the event of a power failure. You can change this setting in the Energy Saver Control Panel in OS 9 or the Energy Saver System Preference in OS X. In OS 9, choose Control Panels>Energy Saver from the Apple Menu. Click Show Details, and then click the tab for Advanced Settings. Under "Other Options," you'll see an option to "Restart automatically after a power failure." Make sure this option is not checked. In OS X, choose System Preferences from the Apple Menu and click Energy Saver. Click Show Details, and then click the tab for Options. Under "Other Options," you'll see an option to "Restart automatically after a power failure." Make sure this option is not checked.
SAVE YOUR PAPER!
Source: Mac HOME HOT TIPS (07/09/2003)
Printing documents for proofing can waste a lot of ink and paper. Thankfully, both OS 9 and OS X allow you to print multiple pages to a single sheet. Select Print from the File menu. Once the print window appears, you'll see a pop-up menu in the top left. Select Layout from this menu and a new set of options will appear. You can then select the number of pages per sheet (up to 16), the direction of the layout and a suitable page border. It's a good idea to keep your document font size in mind when selecting the number of pages per sheet -- the smaller the text, and the smaller the page, the less likely you'll be able to read the output. Once you've made your choices, click Print.
STICKING IT TO THE DESKTOP
Source: Mac HOME HOT TIPS (06/25/2003)
Q: How do you get Stickies to stay on the desktop? I hate having to call them up every day. On OS 9, they appeared on the desktop each time I booted up.
A: In order to have your notes appear on your desktop each time you start-up, you'll need to add the application to Login Items. Choose System Preferences from the Apple Menu and click Login Items. Click Add, locate Stickies, and then click Add. Now close System Preferences. Each time you start-up your computer, Stickies will now open automatically.
GREAT STILL PICTURES
Source: Mac HOME HOT TIPS (05/28/2003)
Digital cameras are wonderful toys that provide instant results. Like all consumer cameras, they rely on the flash to brighten subjects with insufficient light. One thing you may not know, though, is that most digital cameras automatically adjust their exposure settings in low-light conditions. This allows you to get great still life shots without lighting the subject unnaturally (and unnecessarily) with a flash. Here's how you can get better pictures. First, turn off the camera's flash. This is usually done with a button at the back of the camera. Now, set the camera on a still surface -- or better yet -- a tripod, and then turn on the camera's timer feature. Aim the camera at your subject and press the shutter button. Now download the picture to your computer and check out the results! (The only caveat to this tip is that you can't take action shots. With the flash turned off, the camera holds its shutter open much longer, making it very sensitive to movement.)
OSX MEAN AND STUBBORN TRASH
I have a couple of folders in the trash that won't empty because I apparently don't have permission for some of the files. I've checked. I do, I do, I do. I couldn't even get rid of this stuff using Terminal. How do I exterminate a really stubborn file that's probably corrupted?
A: Mac OS X assigns a set of permissions for every file on the hard disk. Although it may seem overbearing, it helps ensures the security of files and folders on systems with multiple users, and it prevents novice users from accidentally trashing important system files. Occasionally, a file may be tainted with an incorrect set of permissions. Try to toss out the file, and you are told that you don't have sufficient privileges to do so. The best way to get rid of it is to use a freeware utility such as BatChmod (www.macchampion.com). Launch the application and then choose BatChmod>Force Empty Trash. An alert appears, asking you to confirm that you want to proceed. Click Empty the Trash to continue, and then enter your user password. The troublesome folders are then permanently deleted from your trash.
SHUTTING DOWN SOFTWARE UPDATE
Source: Mac HOME HOT TIPS (05/14/2003)
Q: My wife and I share a flat-panel iMac. She uses it mostly for email and Excel, and unlike me, she has no interest in the inner workings of Mac OS X. One thing that drives her nuts is the periodic appearance of Software Update. She'll be working on a spreadsheet, and then all of sudden, she's interrupted by the application, which demands that she install a bevy of recent updates. Is it possible to turn off Software Update? There doesn't appear to be anyway to do this from within the application.
A: Software Update can be a real nuisance. Its in-your-face attitude has made it many enemies, including my father, my grandmother and my sister. Thankfully, it's easy to turn off the automated software check. Choose System Preferences from the Apple Menu, and click Software Update. Now uncheck the option to "automatically check for updates when you have a network connection," and close System Preferences. Software Update will no longer interrupt your wife's work. You can check for new updates at anytime, though, by going back to the Software Update System Preference and clicking. Check Now.
Source: Macworld Weekly Newsletter 03.25.02 - 04.01.02
By Christopher Breen, Contributing Editor, Macworld
WARNING: Only attempt this with the help of a knowledgeable user
Q. In a recent newsletter tip you mentioned that it's a good idea to keep Mac OS 9 and OS X on separate partitions or volumes. Can you point me to a more comprehensive description of the correct way to perform this separation process? The concept makes perfect sense to me, but I don't want to end up with a non-functional copy of OS X.
A. How about if I just point you to the following paragraphs.
IMPORTANT NOTE: When you partition a drive, you erase every bit of data on that drive. Please, please, please back up your data before you partition your drive!
Before diving headlong into the partitioning process, consider the size of your hard drive. Although you can install OS X on a partition as small as 1.5GB, once you've performed the installation there won't be a heck of a lot of room left for you to add other stuff. For this reason I suggest that you create an OS X partition of at least 5GB (and, honestly, unless you plan to do very little with OS X, a 10GB partition is about as small as I'd go).
If your Mac's hard drive isn't terribly roomy, it makes little sense to partition your drive. Instead, you should consider replacing your Mac's hard drive with a higher capacity drive or adding another hard drive -- an extra internal drive if you have a Power Mac G3 or G4 or a FireWire drive if you have a FireWire-equipped Mac.
To partition a drive for OS X and OS 9, insert the OS X Install CD and double click on Install Mac OS X. Click the Restart button in the resulting window and your Mac will restart and boot from the OS X Install CD.
When the installer is up and running, select Open Disk Utility from the Installer menu.
If you have the original OS X 10.0 installer disc you'll see two options: First Aid and Drive Set-up. Click on Drive Setup and select your Mac's hard drive in the "Select disk to initialize" portion of the window. Now, click the Partition tab. From the Partition Scheme pop-up menu select the number of partitions you'd like to create; you can select from one to eight partitions. From the Type pop-up menu select Mac OS Extended. Name your partition. If you don't want partitions of equal size, you can click on each partition and enter the size you desire for the partition in the Size field. You can also resize partitions by dragging the bar between the graphical representation of each partition.
The process is similar if you have a later version of the OS X Install CD. The difference is that once you've selected Open Disk Utility from the Installer menu, the resulting window will sport a number of tabs (Information, First Aid, Erase, Partition, and RAID) rather than the First Aid and Drive Setup options. To partition the Mac's hard drive, select the drive you want to partition from the list of drives at the left side of the window and then click the Partition tab and follow the instructions above.
Once the drive is partitioned, quit Disk Utility and you'll return to the installer. From here you can install OS X on one of the partitions. To install OS 9 on the other partition, boot from the Mac OS 9 Install CD, run the installer, and direct the installer to place a copy of OS 9 on your OS 9 partition.
Another important note: In some cases, Apple shipped OS 9 and OS X on the same install disc (tsk, tsk, tsk), which means that you can't easily install OS 9 and OS X on two partitions. To work around this, run Drive Setup from the Install CD (you'll find it in the Utilities folder on the CD), create your partitions, and perform the system installation twice-once on the OS X partition
and again on the OS 9 partition.
With the installations complete, remove the unnecessary OS stuff from each partition. For example, on the OS 9 partition you don't need the Applications (not "Applications (Mac OS 9)," just "Applications"), Library, and System (not "System Folder," just "System") folders. The mach and mach.sym files can be trashed as well.
On the OS X partition you don't need the Applications (Mac OS 9), Documents, and System Folder.
BUS ERROR MAC OS 9.2
Source: Hot Tips Weekly eMail Week of Feb.11, 2002
In OS 9.2.2, sometimes at startup there appears a message "bus error", a strange cursor and the only alternative is "restart". Help!
A. RESTART with the operating system (OS) installation CD and hold down the letter c until the welcome screen. Run disk first aid to repair the hard disk. Then trash the system preferences and the finder preferences. When you restart hold down the command, option, p, r keys until you hear the startup chime 3 times then let go and hold down the shift key until you get the welcome extensions off screen. Immediately let go and hold down the command, option keys until the desktop asks if you want to rebuild. Click ok and when it is done then restart normally to activate the extensions. Make sure you have enough ram installed and that all your peripherals are updated. Make sure the pram battery doesn't need replacing and that the items connected to the computer are well secured.
Today's Tip: Typing Unusual Characters
Source: Macworld's iTips [Typing Unusual Characters - 12/20]
Every so often, you might find it necessary to type a letter that contains an accent or umlaut. How do you go about it? You have a couple of options. If you word processor includes an option to insert symbols you can generally pick these odd characters from a menu.
Alternatively, you can select Key Caps from the Apple menu and press the Command, Shift, and/or Option keys to reveal where these hidden characters lie. Once you know where a character is, you can type it in Key Caps and then cut it from Key Cap's Text field and into a document.