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Mac Magic

Avatar_MollyONeilFirst, let's look at some facts. Larry Dignan, in his article, PC Vs. Mac: It's Not Zero Sum, October 5th, 2009 (Zdnet) reported the following: According to research firm NPD Group, 12 percent of computer owning households own a Mac, up from 9 percent a year ago. However, the U.S. is all about mixed hardware environments. Of the 12 percent of households that own a Mac, 85 percent of them also own a Windows PC.

 

In fact, 66 percent of Apple households own three or more computers. In Windows households, only 29 percent own three or more PCs. The big takeaway: Apple households are affluent. They own more of everything—iPods, cameras, TVs and GPS devices.

Where do you fit in the Mac v. Windows free-for-all? Does it even matter? Time to move on...

Desktop
Let's look at the Mac desktop. Below you can see program icons (with cute colors), the dock, hard drive icon and some photos (.jpg). The dock (bottom of screen) makes using programs easy, ou only need to click once on the icons in the dock.

 


Adding/Removing Icons

To delete icons, click on one, hold your mouse button down and drag the icon into Trash located on the Docking Station. To delete more than 1 icon either lasso them (click outside the first icon, hold mouse button down and drag across the others) or you can hold down the Command key as you click on more than one icon.

How about adding icons to the Dock or Desktop? For program icons click on Go, then Applications (below).

 


In the Applications window (below) click on the icon you want to add to the Dock or Desktop. If you are adding to the Dock, just hold and drag the icon to the Dock. If you want to add the icon to the Desktop, click on it, hold down Option on your keyboard and drag to the Desktop.

It may be a insignificant choice, however, I love giving the icons a Color Label. You can use the Context Menu (above) by holding down Control and clicking on the icon or you can click on the icon and then click on File to choose color.


Background
To set your Background and Screen Saver, click on the Apple icon on the top left of your screen, then click on System Preferences (below).


In System Preferences click on Desktop &: Screen Saver


Desktop & Screen Saver
The Desktop & Screen Saver window will pop up (see below). You can choose one of the Apple seemingly but not perfect themes; you can use your own pictures (Pictures Folder) or you can choose one of Apple's Solid Colors. When using a Mac you're the artist, create your Mac world.


A screensaver is a type of computer program initially designed to prevent phosphor burn-in on CRT and plasma computer monitors by blanking the screen or filling it with moving images or patterns when the computer is not in use. Contemporary screensavers are used primarily for entertainment or security. (From Wikipedia)

In my experience Screen Savers are a lot of trouble and I don't use one. If you must see your photos streaming by you as you have your morning coffee, see the window below for choices in setting up a screen saver.

In the picture below you can see the choices for your Screen Saver, length of time for computer to wait before turning on Screen Saver and Options. Clicking on the Test button (be sure to let go of your mouse after clicking Test) will show you what your Screen Saver will look like.


Display Properties

Perhaps your desktop and programs seem to be too big and blurry or small and unreadable, we'll let Display Properties help us out. In the box on the right, the lower the resolution, the larger the fonts. Try all of them to find what's best for you.

After setting your Display resolution you can set your colors if they are out of wack. In the Display Properties box click on Color . Click in the box next to Show profiles for this display only. You do not need to be confused with something that's not available on your machine. Click on a Display Profile and check if your cololr is better, if not, click on another Display Profile. You can choose Calibrate to make tweaks to your color.


Dock

You can change features of the Dock by going to System Preferences, Dock.


In the window below you can see the Dock set to Genie effect.


Closing Programs

A pet peeve of mine is when people close programs by clicking on the red circle with the black X in it (top left corner of widow). This does not close the program, it only closes the window. A client called me because his Mac was frozen. Looking at his dock it was clear that ALL of his programs were open. Once we closed all those programs the Mac worked fine. In older OSX you can tell which programs are open by a black arrow pointing at the icon (in the Dock). In newer OSX there is a small white circle. In the window below it's clear that someone closed the iCalc window and not the program (iCalc is still showing in the Menu Bar)

 

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