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Mac OS x panther timesaving techniques for dummies


Mac OS X
Panther
Timesaving
Techniques
®



FOR

DUMmIES



by Larry Ullman and Marc Liyanage




Mac OS X

Panther
Timesaving
Techniques
®



FOR

DUMmIES



by Larry Ullman and Marc Liyanage



Mac OS® X Panther™ Timesaving Techniques For Dummies®
Published by
Wiley Publishing, Inc.
111 River Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
Copyright © 2004 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
Published by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
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About the Authors

Larry Ullman is the Director of Digital Media Technologies at DMC Insights, Inc., a firm
specializing in information technology. He is the author of four other computer books. In
addition to writing, Larry develops dynamic Web applications, conducts training semi­
nars, and is an Extension Instructor for the University of California at Berkeley. He’s been
working with Apple computers for more than 20 years, starting with the Apple IIe back in
the dark (or monochrome) ages.
When he’s not tinkering on his Mac, he spends his time reading, working on his fixerupper of a house, and, given the time, napping in front of the fireplace. Larry currently
lives outside of Washington, D.C., with his wife of eight years, Jessica.
Marc Liyanage is a senior software engineer at futureLAB AG, a research and development
company focusing on emerging Internet, telecommunications, and wireless technologies.
He’s been using and programming Macintosh computers professionally for 15 years for
desktop publishing, video and TV screen design, and software development. He’s been
a UNIX user and software engineer for the past eight years in the Internet/ISP industry,
doing commercial Web application work and large-scale ISP systems design and imple­
mentation using open source software packages. He has also taught classes on XML and
trained junior software engineers.
He’s been a Mac OS X user and developer since the first beta versions, and he’s very
excited about the Panther OS because it brings together the elegance of the Macintosh
with the power of UNIX. In his spare time, he runs the developer-oriented Mac OS X Web
site www.entropy.ch, writes Cocoa software, and tinkers with his Mac.
His spare-time interests include graphic design, typography, and digital photography.
He enjoys watching and reading science fiction movies and books. Marc lives in Zurich,
Switzerland.

Dedication

We dedicate this book to the good people at Apple. Thanks for designing wicked hard­
ware, putting out the best operating system we’ve ever used (that’d be Panther), giving
away some top-notch software, and for demonstrating that there’s nothing wrong with a
computer that’s cool, feature-rich, secure, and stable.
Marc would like to also dedicate this book to his mother, Martina.



Authors’ Acknowledgments

Our thanks to Wiley and to Carole McClendon at Waterside.

As always, thanks to Jess for her support and willingness to listen to me complain.

A special shout-out to David S. just for being a swell guy.

Thanks to my excellent co-author, Marc, both for his much-needed assistance with this

book as well as for the copious amount of work and support he has done for the Mac OS X

platform over the years.

Last but not least, my sincerest gratitude goes out to you, the reader.

—Larry Ullman
First and foremost, big thanks to Larry Ullman for inviting me to join him on this book
project and for being a great guy to work with. I enjoyed every minute and learned a lot
on the way.
Thanks to my friends at futureLAB for making this the best work place in the world!
Finally, thanks to my brother Andy for being a great friend.
—Marc Liyanage


Publisher’s Acknowledgments
We’re proud of this book; please send us your comments through our online regis­
tration form located at www.dummies.com/register/.
Some of the people who helped bring this book to market include the following:

Acquisitions, Editorial, and Media Development

Production

Project Editor: Linda Morris

Project Coordinator: Courtney MacIntyre

Acquisitions Editor: Bob Woerner

Layout and Graphics: Beth Brooks, Joyce Haughey,
Stephanie D. Jumper, Michael Kruzil, Kristin McMullan,
Lynsey Osborn, Heather Ryan, Melanee Wolven

Senior Copy Editor: Teresa Artman
Technical Editor: Ilene Hoffman
Editorial Manager: Leah Cameron
Media Development Supervisor: Richard Graves

Proofreaders: Laura L. Bowman, Carl Pierce
Indexer: Tom Dinse

Editorial Assistant: Amanda Foxworth
Cartoons: Rich Tennant (www.the5thwave.com)

Publishing and Editorial for Technology Dummies
Richard Swadley, Vice President and Executive Group Publisher
Andy Cummings, Vice President and Publisher
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Publishing for Consumer Dummies
Diane Graves Steele, Vice President and Publisher
Joyce Pepple, Acquisitions Director

Composition Services
Gerry Fahey, Vice President of Production Services
Debbie Stailey, Director of Composition Services


Contents at a Glance

Introduction

1


Part I: Starting, Stopping, and
Running Your Mac Faster

7


Technique 1: Installing Panther without
the Hassle

9


Technique 16: Managing Information
Effectively

130


Technique 17: Working with Files

141


Technique 18: Finding Files in the Finder

151


Technique 19: Slimming Down Your

Hard Drive

160


Part IV: Improving Application
Performance

165


Technique 2: Starting Up with Speed

19


Technique 3: Running Panther Faster

25


Technique 4: When Good Applications

Go Bad

32


Technique 20: Managing Applications

167


Technique 5: Logging Out and
Shutting Down

36


Technique 21: Launching
Applications Fast

175


Part II: Optimizing Your Interface

43


Technique 6: Working with Displays

45


Technique 22: Switching, Hiding, and
Quitting Applications

183


Technique 7: Speedy Keyboard Navigation

53


Technique 23: Opening Files Faster

188


Technique 8: Essential Keyboard Shortcuts

63


Technique 24: Saving and Printing Files

195


Technique 9: A Faster Finder

69


Technique 25: Cut, Copy, Paste

202


Technique 10: Customizing Windows

for Your Convenience

Technique 26: Managing Fonts

207


79


Technique 27: Getting to Know Services

214


Technique 11: Establishing an
Efficient Dock

90


Technique 12: Saving Steps with
Contextual Menus

Part V: Cranking Up Your

Internet Activities

219


96


Technique 28: Surfing with Safari

221


Technique 29: Surfing with Other
Browsers

232


Technique 30: Managing Bookmarks

Better

238


Technique 31: Speedy Searches

with Google

245


Technique 32: Searching the Internet

with Other Tools

252


Technique 33: Mastering Mail

259


Technique 13: Easily Managing
Windows with Exposé

Part III: Handling Files (And
Other Stuff) Quickly

103


111


Technique 14: Organizing Your

Home Directory

113


Technique 15: Managing Aliases,
Favorites, and Icons

122



Technique 34: Stopping Spam in
Its Tracks

271

Technique 35: Innovative iChat

278

Part VI: Optimizing Your Network

287

Technique 36: Getting Your Mac Online

289

Technique 37: The Wonderful World
of Wireless Networking

296

Part VIII: Security and Maintenance

379

Technique 48: Better Backups with
rsync and .Mac

381

Technique 49: Battling Viruses

389

Technique 50: Keeping Your Software
Up-to-Date

394

Technique 51: Securing Files

399

Technique 52: Proper Password Policy

405

Technique 38: Sharing the Wealth
with Rendezvous

303

Technique 53: Useful Utilities

410

Technique 39: Share the Love: Sharing
Files, Printers, and More

309

Part IX: The Scary Or Fun Stuff

415

Technique 40: Network Security

316

Technique 54: Controlling Cellphones
with Bluetooth

417

Technique 41: Your Guide to .Mac:
$100 Well Spent

321

Technique 55: The Terminal,
the Finder, and You

428

Technique 56: Managing and Finding
Files Fast

438

Technique 57: Piping and Redirecting
Output with the Terminal

444

Part VII: Fast and Furious
Multimedia

329

Technique 42: iTunes: Rockin’ in the
(Partially) Free World

331

Technique 43: Working with iPhoto

342

Technique 58: Viewing and Editing
Text Files

451

Technique 44: Staying on Schedule
with iCal

349

Technique 59: Customizing Your Terminal

456

Technique 45: Snapping Screenshots Fast

357

Technique 60: AppleScript and You

464

Technique 46: Working with CDs
and DVDs

363

Technique 61: Entertaining Yourself
with Screen Savers

469

Technique 47: Getting More Than Music
out of Your iPod

369

Index

475


Table of Contents

Introduction
Saving Time with This Book

Foolish Assumptions

How This Book Is Organized

Part I: Starting, Stopping, and Running
Your Mac Faster
Part II: Optimizing Your Interface
Part III: Handling Files (And Other Stuff)
Quickly
Part IV: Improving Application Performance
Part V: Cranking Up Your Internet Activities
Part VI: Optimizing Your Network
Part VII: Fast and Furious Multimedia
Part VIII: Security and Maintenance
Part IX: The Scary Or Fun Stuff
Conventions Used in This Book

Icons Used in This Book

Comments and Questions


1
1
2
2
2

2
3
3
3
3

3

3
3
3
4
4


Part I: Starting, Stopping, and
Running Your Mac Faster

7


Technique 1: Installing Panther
without the Hassle


9

What Panther Can Do for You

Choosing an Installation Method

Managing Your Disk Drives

Formatting a volume

Partitioning a disk drive

Installing Panther

Working with Setup Assistant

Transferring Files Flawlessly


9
11
11

12

13

14
17

18


Technique 2: Starting Up with Speed
Faster Startups: Never Shut Down

Booting into a Different Mac OS

Speeding Up Login

Starting Applications Automatically


19
19
21
21
23

Technique 3: Running Panther Faster

25


Optimizing Your System with Shareware
Disabling Unnecessary Features
Longer Battery Life
Improving Performance through Hardware

25

27

29

30


Technique 4: When Good Applications

Go Bad

32


Slaying Stalled Apps with the Dock
Gaining Better Performance through

Activity Monitoring

32

33


Technique 5: Logging Out and Shutting Down 36

Logging Out
Securing Your System with a Screen Saver
Fast User Switching
Making the Quick Exit

36

39

40

41


Part II: Optimizing Your Interface

43


Technique 6: Working with Displays
Managing Your Display Resolution
Adjusting the Colors
Handling Fonts
Using Multiple Displays

Technique 7: Speedy Keyboard Navigation
Keyboard Characters
Moving Around in a Finder Window
Navigating in any view mode
Navigating in icon view
Navigating in list view
Navigating in column view
Navigating the Desktop
Getting Places

Technique 8: Essential Keyboard Shortcuts
The Most Essential of the Essential

Keyboard Shortcuts
Application Shortcuts
Function Keys
Programming Your Own Keyboard Shortcuts

45

45

47

49

50


53

53

54

54

55

56

57

58

59


63

63

65

67

67



x

Mac OS X Panther Timesaving Techniques For Dummies

Technique 9: A Faster Finder
Finder Preferences
General
Labels
Sidebar
Advanced
Show View Options

Menus
Using Your Input Device

Freeware and Shareware

TinkerTool
wClock
Menu tools


69
69

70

70

71

72
73


74
76
76


77


77
78

Technique 10: Customizing Windows
for Your Convenience

79

Understanding the Different View Modes
Icon view

List view

Column view

Customizing Windows
Toolbar
Sidebar
Scroll bars

Using Actions

Moving Windows Around


79
80

81
83
84

84

86
87

87
88


Technique 11: Establishing an
Efficient Dock
Customizing the Dock
Organizing the Dock
Keyboard and Mouse Shortcuts for the Dock
Shareware for the Dock

Technique 12: Saving Steps with
Contextual Menus
Grasping the Basics of Contextual Menus

Using CMs with Third-Party Applications

AppleScript, Contextual Menus, and You

Folder Actions

Big Cat


90

90
92
92
95

96
96
98
99

100

101

Technique 13: Easily Managing
Windows with Exposé

103


Introducing Exposé
How to Get the Most out of Exposé
Dragging and dropping with Exposé
Using Exposé without the mouse

103

106

107

109


Part III: Handling Files (And

Other Stuff) Quickly

111


Technique 14: Organizing Your

Home Directory

113


Your Stuff, Your Home Directory, and You
Checking Out Your Library
A Cluttered Desktop Is a Sign of a Cluttered

Mind
Revisiting Our Friend, the Dock

Technique 15: Managing Aliases,
Favorites, and Icons

113

116

118

120


122


Also Known As: Working with Aliases
These are a few of my Favorites things
If you can, icon

122

125

126


Technique 16: Managing Information
Effectively

130


Getting to Know the Address Book
Customizing the Template
Creating Your Own vCard
Creating and Using Groups
Using the New Group From Selection tool
Creating a group manually
Duplicating an existing group
Other Cool Address Book Tricks
Organizing and Prioritizing Information
Storing random bits of data as Stickies
Prioritizing with to-do lists
Getting organized with outlining applications

Technique 17: Working with Files
Understanding a File’s Properties
The General panel
The Name & Extension panel

130

131

133

135

135

136

137

137

139

139

140

140


141

141

142

143



Table of Contents

The Open With panel
The Preview panel
The Ownership & Permissions panel
The Comments panel
Solving Common File Problems
Deleting locked files
Ejecting stuck disk images
Finding the original for an alias
Sharing files with another OS

145

145

146

147

148

148

148

149

149


Launching with the Dock
Other Ways to Launch Applications
Favorites and aliases
Recent Items
Launching with Shareware Tools
Using LaunchBar

178

180

180

180

181

182


Technique 22: Switching, Hiding,
and Quitting Applications

183

183

183

185

185

187

187


188


Finder Window Searches
Using the Find Window
Incorporating Better Search Techniques

151

153

157


Technique 19: Slimming Down Your

Hard Drive

Switching among Open Applications
Switching apps with Panther
Switching apps with shareware
Hiding Applications
Quitting Applications
Logging Out and Shutting Down

160


Technique 23: Opening Files Faster

Technique 18: Finding Files in the Finder

Avoiding Unnecessary Installations
Weeding Your Hard Drive: Manually Deleting

Files
Pruning your Home directory
Thinning out no-longer-required applications
Cleaning out your System and Library folders
Cleaning other volumes
Diet Tools: Third-Party Applications
Hands-Off: What Not to Trash

Part IV: Improving Application

Performance
Technique 20: Managing Applications
Installing Applications
Tracking Installed Applications
Moving Installed Applications
Organizing the Applications folder
Uninstalling Applications

Technique 21: Launching
Applications Fast
Auto-launching with the Accounts Panel
Launching with the Finder

151


160

161

162

162

163

163

163

164


165

167

167

169

171

172

173


175

175

177


xi

Opening Files with the Finder
Opening Files with Specific Applications
Using the Window navigational bar
to open files
Using the Dock to open files
Using Favorites to open files
Opening files with a contextual menu
Using LaunchBar
Opening Files within an Application
Recalling Recent Items
Recalling files from the Apple menu
Recalling files from application menus
Setting the Default Application for Files

188

189

189

189

190

190

191

191

192

192

192

193


Technique 24: Saving and Printing Files

195


Saving Files
Marc’s cool trick for navigating in Save

dialogs
Overwriting existing files
Printing
Customizing print settings
Previewing your documents
Desktop printing
Creating PDFs

195

198

198

198

199

199

200

200



xii

Mac OS X Panther Timesaving Techniques For Dummies


Technique 25: Cut, Copy, Paste
Copying and Pasting with the Keyboard
and Mouse
Understanding the Clipboard
Copy and Paste Tips and Tricks
Clipboard shareware options
Copying items within the Finder
Using the Find Clipboard

Technique 26: Managing Fonts
Fonts Support in Panther
Installing Fonts
Viewing Fonts
Character Palette
Font panel
Font Book
Managing Fonts

Technique 27: Getting to Know Services
What Are Services?
Grasping the Best Services Techniques
Adding On Services

Part V: Cranking Up Your
Internet Activities

202
202
205
205
205
206
206

207
207
208
209
209
210
212
213

214
214
216
218

219

Explorer bar
Other features
Netscape, Mozilla, and Camino
Commercial Web Browsers

234
235
235
236

Technique 30: Managing Bookmarks
Better

238

Managing Bookmarks in Safari
Bookmarking a page
Using the Bookmarks window
Using the Bookmarks menu
Working with the Bookmarks Bar
Setting bookmark preferences in Safari
Accessing Safari Bookmarks
Sharing Bookmarks across Browsers
Bookmark Tips and Tricks

238
240
240
241
241
242
243
243
244

Technique 31: Speedy Searches
with Google

245

Doing Basic Google Searches
Doing Advanced Google Searches
Doing Specialized Google Searches
Searching Google with Safari
Google Tips and Tricks
Google, the dictionary
Google, the mathematician
Google, the unit converter
Google, the linguist
Google, the investor
Google, the cartographer
Google, the (fill in the blank)

245
246
247
248
249
249
249
250
250
251
251
251

Technique 28: Surfing with Safari

221

Navigation Shortcuts
Standard Shortcuts
Other Shortcuts
Setting Preferences
Setting General preferences
Working with tabbed browsing
Blocking pop-up windows
Saving Time with AutoFill Forms
Managing Usernames and Passwords
Marking Pages with SnapBack
Customizing Safari

221
222
223
224
224
225
227
228
229
229
231

Technique 32: Searching the Internet
with Other Tools
Searching Swiftly with Sherlock
Searching with Watson
Other Search Tools
CleverKeys
iSeek
Huevos

252
255
257
257
258
258

232

Technique 33: Mastering Mail

259

Technique 29: Surfing with Other
Browsers
Internet Explorer
Keyboard shortcuts
Favorites

232
233
233

Keyboard Shortcuts
Navigation shortcuts
Other shortcuts

252

259
260
260


Table of Contents
Customizing Mail’s Appearance and Behavior
General preferences
Composing
Customizing the Mail toolbar
Customizing the messages window
Organizing Your Mailboxes
Performing Searches
Creating and Using Signatures
The Best Mail Tips and Tricks
Using the Dock icon
Sending attachments

Technique 34: Stopping Spam
in Its Tracks
Fighting Spam with the Junk Mail Button
Creating and Using Rules
Stopping Spam before It Gets to You
Bouncing spam
Other spam tools

Technique 35: Innovative iChat
Keyboard and Mouse Shortcuts
Customizing iChat
Transferring Files with iChat
Using the Videoconference
Creating URLs
Chatting with Multiple People at Once
Other Instant Messenger Tools

Part VI: Optimizing Your Network
Technique 36: Getting Your Mac Online
Defining a Location
Using a Modem
Networking Tips and Tricks
Switching locations on the fly
Ordering connections
Dialing with a calling card
Using FireWire over IP

260

261

261

262

263

265

267

268

269

269

270


271

271

273

275

275

276


278

278

280

282

283

285

285

286


287

289

289

292

294

294

295

295

295


Technique 37: The Wonderful World

of Wireless Networking

296


What to Look for in a Wireless Network
Creating an AirPort Network

296

298


Understanding Encryption
Finding Networks

Technique 38: Sharing the Wealth

with Rendezvous
Why You Should Use Rendezvous
Setting Up Rendezvous
Using Rendezvous with Software
Using Rendezvous with iChat
Using Rendezvous with iTunes
Using Rendezvous with Hardware

Technique 39: Share the Love: Sharing
Files, Printers, and More

xiii

299

300


303

303

303

304

305

306

308


309


Safe Sharing
Sharing a Web Page
What’s in a Name (Or URL)?
Fun with File Sharing
Personal File Sharing
Print Sharing
Sharing Your Internet Connection

309

310

311

312

312

313

314


Technique 40: Network Security

316


Keeping Your Mac Secure
Using a Firewall
Software firewalls
Hardware firewalls
Checking for Security Problems

316

317

317

319

319


Technique 41: Your Guide to .Mac:

$100 Well Spent

321


Top Ten Reasons to Use .Mac
I Like My iDisk: Storing Stuff Online
Making your iDisk secure
Using another .Mac member’s iDisk
Working with Your .Mac Web Page
Using iSync with .Mac

321

322

324

325

326

326


Part VII: Fast and Furious

Multimedia
Technique 42: iTunes: Rockin’ in

the (Partially) Free World
Setting Up iTunes
Tweaking Your Preferences

329

331

331

333



xiv

Mac OS X Panther Timesaving Techniques For Dummies


Making the iTunes Window Look the Way
You Want
Managing Your Music
Editing song information
Searching for tracks
Creating playlists
Adding album covers
Blowing Your Paycheck at the iTunes
Music Store

Technique 43: Working with iPhoto
Best iPhoto Practices
Preferences
Creating a new Photo Album quickly
Editing images with ease
Working with Your Digital Library
Importing images
Managing your images more efficiently
Storing your images to save space and time
Creating an Online Photo Album

336
338
338
338
339
339
340

342
342
342
343
344
345
345
345
346
347

Technique 44: Staying on Schedule
with iCal

349

Creating Calendars and Events
iCal’s Main Keyboard Shortcuts
Best iCal Practices
Subscribing and Publishing
Where to find subscriptions
Publishing your Calendar with .Mac
Publish your Calendar without .Mac
iCal Tips and Tricks
iCal and Mail
AppleScript
Exploring Alternatives to iCal

349
351
352
352
353
353
354
354
354
355
356

Technique 45: Snapping Screenshots Fast
Taking Screenshots with Screen Capture
Taking Screenshots with Grab
Using Snapz Pro X
More Screenshot Utilities

357
357
359
360
362

Technique 46: Working with CDs
and DVDs

363

Setting Your System Preferences
Burning CDs
Making CDs in the Finder
Making an audio CD in iTunes
Making picture CDs in iPhoto
Making data CDs in Disk Utility
Making Labels and Covers
Managing a Disc Collection

363
365
365
366
366
367
367
368

Technique 47: Getting More Than
Music out of Your iPod
Using the iPod for Data Storage and Transfer
Secure, Encrypted Storage on the iPod
Backing Up Your Data to an iPod
Using .Mac and Backup
Using Carbon Copy Cloner
Emergency Rescue iPod
Synchronizing with iSync
Keeping Notes on Your iPod
Using Notes on older iPods
OmniOutliner
Driving directions
Housekeeping on the iPod
Useful Hardware You Might Consider

Part VIII: Security
and Maintenance
Technique 48: Better Backups
with rsync and .Mac
Smart Backups
rsync: Using the Command Line to Back Up
rsync syntax options
Backing up Home to an external hard drive
Backup for .Mac Users
Getting started with Backup
Deciding what to back up
Finalizing the backup
Other Backup Options

369
369
370
371
372
373
374
374
375
375
375
376
376
377

379
381
381
382
383
383
385
385
386
387
388


Table of Contents

Technique 49: Battling Viruses
What You Should Know about Viruses
Things You Can Do to Limit Viruses
Using Virex
Other Antivirus Software

Technique 50: Keeping Your Software

Up-to-Date
Using Software Update
Updating Other Applications
Staying Informed about Updates

Technique 51: Securing Files
Making the Most of FileVault
Other Encryption Tools
Disk Utility
StuffIt
Mac GNU Privacy Guard
PGP
SubRosaSoft and CodeTek Studios
Using the Finder’s Secure Empty Trash

Technique 52: Proper Password Policy
Creating a Good Password
Working with Apple’s Keychain Access
Changing Login Passwords

Technique 53: Useful Utilities
Working with TinkerTool
Automating Tasks with cron
Other Useful Utilities

Part IX: The Scary Or Fun Stuff

389

389

390

392

393


394

394

396

397


399

399

401

401

402

402

402

402

403


405

405

406

408


410

410

411

413


415


Technique 54: Controlling Cellphones
with Bluetooth

417


What Is Bluetooth?
Getting Started with Bluetooth
Setting Up Your Connection
Working with Your Address Book
Dialing from within Address Book
Display incoming call alerts
Sending and receiving SMS messages
Dialing Your Phone from a Text Selection

417

418

418

421

421

421

422

423


Synchronizing with iSync
Setting up iSync
Your Cellphone as a Remote Control
Storing Notes and Pictures on a Cellphone

Technique 55: The Terminal,

the Finder, and You
Navigating within the Terminal
Getting around in the Terminal
Tab completion
Viewing directory contents
Navigating among open Terminal windows
Other commands
Terminal Tips and Tricks
Getting help
A command of history, or a history

of commands
Role playing: Executing commands as

another user
Making the Terminal and the Finder

Play Together Nicely
Using the open command
Drag and drop with the Finder
Editing between the Terminal and the Finder

Technique 56: Managing and Finding
Files Fast
Copying, Moving, Renaming, and Deleting Files
Creating and Listing Directories
Using Wildcards
Using the find Command
Using the locate Command

Technique 57: Piping and Redirecting
Output with the Terminal

xv
424

424

425

426


428

428

429

430

431

431

432

432

432

433

434

435

436

436

437


438

438

440

441

441

442


444


Handy Commands to Use with Piping
Combining Commands with Pipes
Redirecting Output

444

446

449


Technique 58: Viewing and Editing

Text Files

451


Viewing Files
cat
more or less
Viewing Parts of Files
Editing Files

451

451

452

453

454



xvi

Mac OS X Panther Timesaving Techniques For Dummies


Technique 59: Customizing Your Terminal
Adjusting Terminal’s Preferences
Creating Terminal Preferences Files
Choosing Your Shell
Customizing Your Shell
Shareware Tools for Working with the Terminal

Technique 60: AppleScript and You
The Easiest Way to Write Scripts
Four Fabulous Reasons to Use AppleScripts
AppleScript Resources

456

456

460

461

462

463


464

464

467

468


Technique 61: Entertaining Yourself

with Screen Savers
Configuring Screen Savers in Panther
Adding to Your Screen Saver Library
Using the Desktop as a Screen Saver

Index

469

469

471

473


475



Introduction


W

e’re fairly smart people, and presumably you’re a really smart
person (you are looking at the right book, after all), but it still
seems like technology has eclipsed our ability to understand it.
Even the magical Mac — the symbol of all things easy in computers — is
overladen with features and gadgets and pretty lights. Make no mistake:
We all like features and gadgets and pretty lights, but how are we supposed
to make sense of it all and just do what we want to do, quickly and easily?

By reading this book, of course!
But if that isn’t enough to convince you (and we can’t imagine why not;
after all, we’ve never lied to you before), take a moment or two to read
through this Introduction. You’ll see where we’re coming from, what this
book offers, and how it’ll make you fall in love with your Mac all over again.

Saving Time with This Book

The Timesaving Techniques For Dummies books focus on high-payoff
techniques that save you time, either on the spot or somewhere down
the road. And these books get to the point in a hurry, with step-by-step
instructions to pace you through the tasks you need to do, without any
of the fluff you don’t want. We’ve identified more than 60 Techniques that
Mac OS X Panther users need to know to make the most of their time. In
addition, each Technique includes lots of figures that make following
along a breeze. Decide for yourself how to use this book: Read it cover to
cover if you like, or skip right to the Technique that interests you the
most.
In Mac OS X Panther Timesaving Techniques For Dummies, you can find
out how to
ߜ Tame time-consuming tasks: Because we demystify the inner workings
of Mac OS X Panther for you, letting you in on more than 60 tips and
tricks along the way, you can spend more time on creating great results
and less time on fiddling with a feature so that it works correctly.


2

Introduction


ߜ Take your skills up a notch: You’re already
familiar with the basics of using Mac OS X. Now
this book takes you to the next level, helping
you become an even savvier Mac user.

ߜ Customize Mac OS X to meet your needs:
Spending some upfront time customizing Mac
OS X so that it works faster, more reliably, and
more like how you work on a daily basis can
save you time (and aggravation) later.

Foolish Assumptions

Every book is written with certain assumptions about
the reader, and this one is no exception. Don’t be
alarmed: We’re not looking for an advanced degree
in computer science or the ability to recall long lists
of Mac trivia at parties. What we do expect of you
are two things:
ߜ A Macintosh, running Panther (Mac OS X v.3):
Well, to be perfectly frank, if you aren’t running
Panther (but are running another version of Mac
OS X), you’ll still be able to get a lot of things out
of this book; you just won’t be able to do every­
thing this book says you can do. This require­
ment is more of a highly advisable suggestion.

ߜ Basic familiarity with your computer: In some
ways, this is the same kind of For Dummies book
you’ve come to know and love, but it’s not the
kind that shows you how to plug in a printer or
save a document. (It will show you how easy it is
to share a printer on a network and how you can
save documents faster, though.) We promise that
you won’t be overwhelmed by anything in this
book, but keep in mind that you won’t be spoonfed, either.

Having a fast Internet connection will help you get
the most out of this book, and so will a little extra
spending money (but just a little). But neither of
these are required as long as you have a Mac and a
willingness — or a need — to discover how to use
your computer better.

How This Book Is Organized

As devoted Mac users, we’ve amassed a gazillion
pieces of useful knowledge. By sheer luck, it turned
out that these little pieces could be organized into
Techniques, which are chapter-like sections grouped
by application or the general theory being dis­
cussed. These Techniques, it turns out, are sorted
into larger parts, which we’re calling (appropriately
enough) parts (we’re clever that way). We give you
the highlights as to what the parts are all about here,
but remember that you can approach this book how
you want to. Read a part straight through, skip from
Technique to Technique, or just pick out the little
pieces most relevant to the way you work. This book
has a structure, but you can be a free thinker. You
own a Mac, after all!

Part I: Starting, Stopping, and Running
Your Mac Faster
This first part of the book focuses exclusively on
how to get the machine and operating system to
load and run faster — in other words, how to speed
up the process between pushing the power button
and actually doing anything. While we’re at it, we
also discuss some faster aspects of the installation
process and the easiest ways to shut down and log
out. These might be the basics of using your com­
puter, but even here, you find ways to do things
more efficiently.

Part II: Optimizing Your Interface
This part of the book discusses specific topics such
as files, applications, and so forth. This is the gen­
eral guide to doing anything better. The heart of Part
II is navigation techniques, both with the keyboard
and the mouse. You also discover how to customize
the Finder, windows, and the Dock. All in all, the
absolutely most-universal and most-helpful time­
saving techniques are here.


Conventions Used in This Book


3

Part III: Handling Files (And Other Stuff) Quickly

Part VII: Fast and Furious Multimedia

Like a teenager’s closet, your Mac is full of stuff. Who
knows what it all is? Okay, we know, and we think
you should, too. Although your hard drive might not
yet be bursting, there’s always going to be a lot of
junk in there. This third part of the book demon­
strates how to best organize, manage, and find your
(and your computer’s) stuff. You’ll also see how to
save disk space and remove clutter by trashing
unnecessary files.

Apple markets itself as the multimedia machine, and
with good reason: The free software that comes with
the operating system is exceptional. In the multi­
media section of the book, we take a few of these
applications and demonstrate how to more effi­
ciently use them.

Part IV: Improving Application Performance
Included on your computer (see Part III) are
applications — software that does stuff with other
stuff (not to be too technical about it). You won’t
read about any one specific application here but
rather pick up some useful knowledge for using any
application more efficiently.

Part V: Cranking Up Your Internet Activities
As Homer Simpson says, “They have the Internet on
computers now.” Well, the man’s never been more
correct. Accessing e-mail and the World Wide Web
are why many people have computers. Most folks
spend a decent portion of their computing life in this
realm. Part V covers Web browsers, performing
searches, using e-mail, and other timesaving online
techniques. Tips on managing spam and using
Google effectively can save you minutes per day —
minutes you could spend surfing the Internet.

Part VI: Optimizing Your Network
The networking section of the book is Part V’s
counterpart. Although not every user has advanced
networking needs, most could benefit from using
locations, working with an iDisk, and knowing how
to easily connect to other computers when the time
comes.

Part VIII: Security and Maintenance
Okay, so your Mac pretty much takes care of itself.
Still, a little TLC couldn’t hurt. Part VIII (that’s eight
to you and me) offers you all the motherly advice
you can use on viruses, creating backups, keeping
your software up-to-date, and the like. Think of this
as the An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of
cure section of the book.

Part IX: The Scary Or Fun Stuff
Whether you know it or not, your Mac is a powerful
machine capable of some really, really cool things.
The final part of the book strongly emphasizes our
friend, the Terminal, with a nod given to AppleScript.
If you’re looking for something more fun and less
scary, check out the Technique on using your cell­
phone with your Mac as well as the one on screen
savers.

Conventions Used in This Book

This book, as you’ll soon see, has a lot of visual stuff
in it to serve as your roadmap. You know . . . different
fonts and icons, indentations, and a few funny char­
acters. Here’s a Rosetta stone as to what they all
mean:
ߜ Keyboard shortcuts: This book has a healthy
amount of keyboard shortcuts in it. These use
a conjoining plus sign to indicate that two (or
more) keys should be pressed in harmony. So
when you see something like Ô+A (the Select All


4

Introduction

shortcut), you should press and hold Ô, press
A once, and then release both. Something like
Control+click means that you hold down the
Control key while clicking the mouse button
once.

ߜ Menu bar: The menu bar is the thing going
across the entire top of your window. It has all
the, you know, menus.

These icons reemphasize the timesaving point
being made in a certain section. If you don’t
feel like reading through all those pesky words
and get tired of our trite jokes, look for these.
This icon means that you’ve seen this idea
before, you’ll see this idea again, and you
ought to keep it in mind. These are publishing’s version of sticky notes.

ߜ Menu sequences: Sequences of menus are refer­
enced with an arrow. For example, Go➪Recent
Folders means that you should click the Go menu
(on the menu bar) and then choose the Recent
Folders submenu from there.

ߜ Apple menu: The Apple menu, represented by
the Ú symbol, is that blue Apple symbol in the
upper-left corner of your window.

For crying out loud, don’t do anything marked
with this icon! If you don’t believe anything
else that we say, trust us on these warning
icons. Think curiosity and cat here and how
that went. You won’t see many warnings in
this book, but when you do, understand that
you might be about to take an irrevocable step.

ߜ Application menus: When we refer to an applica­
tion menu, we mean the menu that has the title of
the application and appears between the Apple
menu and the File menu. So in the Finder, it’s
called Finder; in Microsoft Word, it’s called Word;
in iTunes, it’s called iTunes.

ߜ Monospace font: Web sites (URLs) and e-mail
addresses are in their own special monospace
font, which looks like www.apple.com. Onscreen
messages and text in the Terminal also look
like this.

ߜ User entry: Stuff you should type appears in

bold, like this: Type How now, brown cow?.


Icons Used in This Book

This book is littered with lots of little tidbits and
notes, set aside by different icons. In due time,
you’ll probably identify the pattern for what each
icon represents, but here’s a quick heads-up.
Tips are just extra ideas that we think you’ll
appreciate. Although not life-altering, tips are
our way of saying, “Hey, you know what else
you could try?”

Comments and Questions

We’d like to think that this book was everything you
wanted or needed, and that you have no more com­
ments, problems, questions, and the like. But writing
can be a cruel mistress (we don’t know what that
means, either, but it sounds bad), and no book is
ever comprehensive. If you have something to say
or ask, here are some places to turn:
ߜ Wiley (www.dummies.com): You can contact
Wiley, the publisher of this book, at its For
Dummies Web site. Feel free to leave all sorts of
feedback, including praise (Woo-hoo!), complaints
(D’oh!), and requests (that’s okay, too).

ߜ Mac OS X Panther Timesaving Techniques For
Dummies, the Web site (www.dmcinsights.com/
mactst): At Larry’s Web site, we’re maintaining a
separate section that focuses solely on this book.
Its contents will vary, but basically you’ll find
news, links to useful Web pages, and extras (as
we create them). Plus, you’ll also find our con­
tact information and the link to the supporting
forum.


Comments and Questions

ߜ Mac OS X Panther Timesaving Techniques For
Dummies, the support forum (www.entropy.ch/
mactst/): Marc has established a forum at his
Web site where you can ask questions about the
book, about us, and about your Mac. Not only
will we reply (probably faster than we’ll get to an
e-mail), but you’ll also hear what other readers
have to say.

ߜ E-mail the authors: If you’d like to contact
us directly, you can e-mail us at mactst@
dmcinsights.com. Although we do respond to

5

every e-mail we receive, there’s no guaranteeing
how quickly that’ll happen. Don’t get us wrong:
We absolutely appreciate the feedback, but there
are only so many hours in the day.

Keep in mind that normally the quickest way to
answer a general Mac question is to search Google.
Also, if you’re having problems with a particular
application, you’ll have the best luck contacting the
manufacturer of that application. But still, if you
drop us a line via one of the above methods, trust
that we’ll do our best to help out.



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