MAC OS X Tricks Tips For Beginners

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Few Handpicked Tips For Mac Beginners

Enhance Your QuickLook With Plugins
This oft-forgotten feature allows you to preview files without ever having to open up an application, and it’s only a space bar click away. A team in Japan has released what appears to be the first external plug-ins for QuickLook, and they really add some awesome functionality to this already useful new tool.

Download Folder.qlgenerator and uncompress it. With the folder uncompressed, you should see a couple of files inside, including a Readme, and the actual Folder.qlgenerator file.
Head over to your root ~/Library and then find the folder entitled QuickLook. Now, simply drop the Folder.qlgenerator and Zip.qlgenerator into that folder.

Try and QuickLook a folder and you should see a new screen that shows the contents of that folder and not just the one large icon that QuickLook displays by default. If it doesn’t happen right away, either give it a minute, or try opening a Terminal window (located in /Applications/Utilities) and typing killall Finder.

You can just invoke QuickLook with a .zip file selected and it will show you a list of the files that are within it too.

Play Any Video Format File On Your Mac
There are 3 very important applications that every Mac user should download. These applications will allow you to play almost every video file on your mac, and make you a happier, more entertained person.
To play any video format on QuickTime you need the following applications.

1) Download Perian-it adds the following codecs:
AVI, FLV (Flash Video), MKV, “MS-MPEG4 v1 & v2, DivX, 3ivX, H.264, FLV1, FSV1, VP6, H263I, VP3, HuffYUV, FFVHuff, MPEG1 & MPEG2 Video, Fraps, Windows Media Audio v1 & v2, Flash ADPCM, Xiph Vorbis (in Matroska), MPEG Layer II Audio [...] AAC, AC3 Audio, H.264, MPEG4, and VBR MP3

2) Download Flip4Mac WMV -
After the download, it will install the components on your computer. It plays all your WMV format files on mac.

3) Download VLC -
This is the “swiss army” knife of video players, and can handle most video formats out there. This is my go-to if my Perian-Flip4Mac-Quicktime system doesn’t work . VLC is free, and can be downloaded from videolan.org

Hopefully these 3 items will get your video files playing.

Clear Finder's "Open With" Menu
Have you ever right-clicked and selected “Open With” on an MP3 to open it with your favorite player only to be bombarded with a list of applications you thought you removed ages ago? Maybe even some you never knew existed? There is also the problem of duplicates.

Everything is stored in a single file located in your preferences folder. Take the following steps to delete this file so the list can get a fresh rebuild
  • Go to your ~/Users/Library/Preferences folder
  • Find “com.apple.LaunchServices.plist” file and trash it (you can back it up if you want)
There you have it. The next time you right-click on an item and select “Open With” in the Finder, only current applications will be listed. Some items may return if the application that controls them adds itself back to the list. You can delete the file again if you are having problems.

Courtesy MacApper

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Clean Up Your Desktop Now For Better Performnce

How many icons counting hard disks, network volumes, and removable mediaare sitting on your Desktop right now? (My answer: 11, though I usually try to keep it closer to 6. Ask me again tomorrow, after I've performed my weekly housekeeping.) I know lots of people who regularly have dozens or even hundreds of icons on their Desktops, who use it as a catchall for downloaded files, work in progress, email enclosures, and everything else that needs a temporary home.

The fact is this may lead to slow up your Mac ,here is how:
  • Mac OS X considers every icon on your Desktop a window, and because every open window uses up a certain amount of RAM, more Desktop icons means greater RAM usage.
  • Exposé shortcuts notwithstanding, putting files and folders on your Desktop makes them harder to find, because they're so easily hidden behind windows. (You can, of course, access the contents of your Desktop folder in a regular Finder window, but some people put items on the Desktop specifically to avoid working with Finder windows.)
  • Your Desktop displays files and folders in icon view, unlike the more efficient list and column views available in other windows. (Yes, I know, you can view the contents of your Desktop folder in a window too, but work with me here...)
  • Tossing lots of files into a single big storage area (wherever it may be) creates more work later on when you try to locate specific files.
  • If you use your Desktop to hold important items that you want to keep "in your face" at all times, you'll lose that effect when the files become too numerous.
A cluttered Desktop slows you down, so take a few minutes once a week to organize most (if not all) the items on your Desktop into other folders.

I know of numerous organizational philosophies, but I have no wish to impose a rigid system on you. Instead, simply consider these suggestions for keeping files off your Desktop:

TIP

If your chief concern is keeping track of a few important files, use the Finder's label feature (select a file and choose a color label from the bottom of the Edit menu) to mark all high-priority files in a given color. Then, use a smart folder to display all files on your disk labeled with that color. Choose File > New Smart Folder, choose Color Label from the first pop-up menu, and click the color you used to label the files. Then click Save and give your smart folder a name. The folder automatically updates itself to display all the files labeled with the selected color, wherever they may be stored on your disk.

TIP
If you store downloaded files on your Desktop, instead make a new folder named Downloads, put that on your Desktop (or somewhere else convenient, such as in your Documents folder), and keep the downloaded files inside it.

To change the location to which Safari downloads files, choose Safari > Preferences, click the General button, and choose a location from the Save Downloaded Files To pop-up menu (choose Other to select any folder on your disk).

TIP

Check your Desktop for files you no longer need, such as software you've already installed, PDFs you downloaded and printed, or outdated text clippings, and delete them.

If you keep files and folders on your Desktop because you find it difficult to work with Finder windows, you may be able to improve your experience considerably by customizing the default Finder window.



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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Maintenance Of Your Mac Hardware: Apple Hardware Test (recommended)

When you purchased your Macintosh, the box should have included a CD or DVD with an application called Apple Hardware Test. Depending on when you bought your computer, this could be an independent disc, or it may be included on the Mac OS X Install Disc. (Look for tiny lettering on the disc that says "To use Apple Hardware Test, hold down the Option key as the computer starts up," or words to that effect.) Find this disc now.


You have in your hands a very special program. Apple Hardware Test can run only when you start up from the CD or DVD it came on; don't bother trying to copy it to your hard disk. This program performs a series of diagnostic tests on your Mac's hardware, including the AirPort card, logic board, hard drive, RAM, modem, and video RAM.
It doesn't repair anything, and it doesn't look for problems such as directory errors that are the province of Disk Utility. But it can identify subtle hardware defects that could later lead to serious problems. Whether your Mac is fresh out of the box or years old, you owe it to yourself to make sure its major components are in good health, and this is the easiest way to do so.

To run Apple Hardware Test, follow these steps:


1.
Insert the disc with Apple Hardware Test on it into your Mac and restart, holding down the Option key until icons appear representing the available startup volumes.

2.Click the Apple Hardware Test icon, and then click the right arrow.

3.After the program loads, select a language and click the right arrow.

4.
On the Hardware Tests tab, click Extended Test.

5.Take a nice hot bath or enjoy a stroll around your neighborhood. This test takes a while!
The screen says, "Estimated time: 10-15 minutes, or longer depending on the amount of memory installed." Take the "or longer" part seriously. On a fairly fast test machine with 2 GB of RAM, the test took almost an hour and 45 minutes.

6.If all is well, the word "Passed" appears next to all the applicable tests in the Test Results area. If not, a failure message appears; if this happens, look in the About the Test and Results area for advice.

7.Click Restart to restart your computer.

I recommend running the test again after installing RAM or any other new hardware inside your computer, or if you begin to have inexplicable problems that ordinary disk utilities do not solve.

written by Avipar\\

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