Support Top Level
Apple software and OS Updates
Customer Installable Parts Guide – RAM, drives etc.
Hardware and Software Guide (all third party products covered)
For info about the specifications of individual Mac models
Mac OS X: Changing or resetting an account password
Macs that need an Ethernet Crossover cable
How to transfer data from a PC to a Macintosh
AppleScript Studio – development software based on AppleScript
Key Mac Issues Sites
Regular online Mac e-zine – pre-dates the internet, run by Adam Engst – author of numerous books on various Mac topics
Want to check you’ve got the latest version of Photoshop? Looking for that precious utility that does one thing better than anything else? Shareware junkie? Go here. Again, subscription service helps you get the most from this site but lots of ‘free’ stuff.
All about Powerbooks and other mobile technology. Formerly known as O’Grady.
Mac Mailing Lists
Cross Platform Issues
Third Party developers of mac products
great free font site for macs.
Makers of BBEdit the best HTML/Programmers editor for the Mac
Notes on booting and choosing OS
If the Mac boots under MacOS 9 now, it’ll still dual boot after MacOS
X is installed.
Worth mentioning how to choose the boot OS:
a) In MacOS 9, go to Apple menu/control panel/startup disk and choose
OS then restart.
b) In MacOS X, go to Apple menu/System Preferences/startup disk,
choose and restart
c) You can also choose OS on booting:
Turn on or restart the computer. Immediately press and hold the Option key
More info at http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106178
To startup From Bootable CD-ROM
Hold down the letter c key upon boot (lower-case only).
What to do when MacOS X fails to boot
Booting in single user mode
OS X utility / maintenance
Most know that OS X is built on Unix. It’s pretty well touted by Apple for a start. What most don’t know is that Unix has many automated operations that need to run to keep the whole thing running smoothly. These are usually set to run at around 3am – as most UNIX servers are left on 24/7. Thing is, most Mac users probably switch their laptop / desktop / iMac off when done, which stops the underlying system running these important processes.
Here is a utility from Northern Southworks that runs those processes on demand, plus a host of other useful maintenance scripts to keep your OS X running sweet.
If you notice spinning cursors, application start up failures, unexpected quits etc. try running one or more of the scripts to get your system back to scratch.
The general maintenance ones should also be run about once a week, to clean out the caches and fix any broken permissions.
How to create screen shots
PC web developers and designers sometimes find themselves dealing with Mac user clients and that can be a frustrating experience, particularly if you’re not familar with the Mac platform. A perennial issue I have seen arise is the Freelancer who posts a question like this: “Can someone with a Mac take a look at myclientswebsite.co.uk and tell what they see? Client says it looks blah blah … etc. but it’s fine on my PC in all the usual browsers and I don’t have a Mac.” This issue is often compounded by the Mac user’s lack of expertise not just with PC’s but with their own computer!
Here’s how you can explain to them how to take a screen shot that they can mail to you.
MacOS X – dead easy. Tell them to do the keyboard command “command-shift-3”. That will generate full screen shot in the form of a PDF file on their desktop. It will be named Picture 1 and as you might expect will increment accordingly. This file will have the .pdf file extension already assigned (though depending on their system setup, they might not see the file extension.) If they double click the PDF file, it’ll open for them either into an application called ‘Preview’ or the Acrobat Reader if they have that installed.
If you want to be a little more adventurous, “command-shift-4” will give them a cross-hair selection tool that will enable them to generate a snapshot of just part of their screen.
To grab a single window is just one step further: CMD-SHIFT-4 to get the cross-hair, then press SPACE and the cursor will change to a camera, roll over the desired window, it will highlight, then press the mouse button to create the PDF.
This is a good point to explain that the command key is the one with the apple logo and a cloverleaf symbol on it. The shift key has a an upward pointing arrow and is located immediately above the control key. This might seem like a little too much detail but as I have clients who still don’t know these very basic facts, it’s worth mentioning.
MacOS 9.x.x or lower (AKA as the Classic MacOS).
Things are a bit more complicated. The commands are the same, however the file format will be ‘PICT’ (which will need adding a PC friendly extension of .pct). This is the native graphic file format of the classic MacOS. I believe the PC version of Photoshop can handle this, but I might be wrong. In addition, the location of the generated Picture 1 file is the top level of the hard drive rather than the desktop (though I should boot into MacOS 9 to confirm as I honestly can’t quite remember. But I’m going to finish typing this first.
If you need that mac user client to give you something you can handle, they will need to convert that PICT file into a jpeg. It’ll cut the size down for a start as PICT files tend to be a bit large. If they have Photoshop, they can open the PICT and then ‘save as …’choosing the JPEG format in the ‘popup’ dialog. If they don’t have Photoshop, then I suggest they download Graphic Converter from http://www.lemkesoft.de/en/graphcon.htm. This is a shareware application so it won’t cost them.
In both Mac OS X & 9 if the control key is held down at the same time as the above Key combinations, the image will be stored on the clipboard for pasting into another application document, perfect for putting together website review documents.
Content to add:
- List of Apple dealers and URLs and brief description
- How to get info on a users Mac configuration