Andy's Un-Official Unsolicited Mac Advice Thread

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  • RogersDARogersDA Unknown...and happy. Posts: 3,502Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 9, 2010
    DavidTO wrote: »
    I would run Disk Warrior on your boot drive.
    Sorry for the late response - that looks good! So far no other issues have occurred - but i will do this anyway. Never can be too safe.

    Also - do any of ya'll play Blu-ray disks on your Macs? I know Steve J. has no plans for supporting this format, but is there some --simple-- solution by a third-party? I have Toast, Handbrake, and VLC - but I would hate to have to rip these disks to actually play their respective contents.
  • DoctorItDoctorIt vrooom! Posts: 11,940Administrators moderator
    edited November 9, 2010
    Our local Apple Shop put out a Groupon over the weekend, so I took the opportunity to pick up a Magic Trackpad to use with my iMac. Love it! Glad I never wasted money on a stupid Magic Mouse. Everything is just a few swipes away, to which my wrist says "thanks!"
    Erik
    moderator of: The Flea Market [ guidelines ]

  • cmasoncmason Old dog, new tricks Raleigh, NCPosts: 2,506Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 9, 2010
    DoctorIt wrote: »
    Our local Apple Shop put out a Groupon over the weekend, so I took the opportunity to pick up a Magic Trackpad to use with my iMac. Love it! Glad I never wasted money on a stupid Magic Mouse. Everything is just a few swipes away, to which my wrist says "thanks!"

    wow I am shocked: 1) a Groupon that was actually useful, and 2) a coupon of any sort from Apple
  • TrafalgardTrafalgard Beginner grinner Posts: 8Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited November 9, 2010
    I have switched a few years ago and will never go back. The one app that I would absolutely recommend is quicksilver. it's a launcher that becomes totally integrated in the OS once you use it. The one bad thing is that when I use someone else MAC, I have difficulty launching things since they don't have Quicksilver. It's that useful! For example, if you want to start Pages, you Launch Quicksilver by clicker on option/tab (configurable) and start to type P ... A ... G ... and in the Quicksilver window, the program pages appears and a hit on Return will launch pages. That's simple enough and one might say that it's easier to click on the icon in your menu bar. But think of the many applications one might have. Find it here: http://www.blacktree.com/

    Also, get used to use spotlight. It's genius and can find anything on your computer in seconds. Kind of like google desktop but it's integrated in the OS.

    For those scientists out there, PAPERS is another amazing app. That's all for today.
  • DavidTODavidTO Mod Emeritus Thousand Oaks, CAPosts: 19,160Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited November 9, 2010
    I used to love Quicksilver, but they stopped supporting it and it's just too buggy for me. Before QS I had purchased a license for LaunchBar, so after getting frustrated with QS, I just went back to LB. It offers the same awesomeness, but without the bugginess.
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  • colourboxcolourbox Major grins Posts: 2,095Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 9, 2010
    Trafalgard wrote: »
    For example, if you want to start Pages, you Launch Quicksilver by clicker on option/tab (configurable) and start to type P ... A ... G ... and in the Quicksilver window, the program pages appears and a hit on Return will launch pages.

    I just use Spotlight for that. I hit (my customized Spotlight shortcut) then type P H and it already displays and highlights Photoshop or L I G gets me Lightroom already.

    If I was to use Quicksilver or LaunchBar, it would be for all the other time-savers they offer, but not primarily to launch apps by keyboard. The apps are great and I have used both. Just not right now.
  • cmasoncmason Old dog, new tricks Raleigh, NCPosts: 2,506Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 10, 2010
    colourbox wrote: »
    I just use Spotlight for that. I hit (my customized Spotlight shortcut) then type P H and it already displays and highlights Photoshop or L I G gets me Lightroom already.
    .

    +1 I also switched to Spotlight: out of the box its just cmd+spacebar. then Lig enter gets Lightroom everytime
  • grahamgraham Canon-mugger Posts: 17Registered Users Big grins
    edited December 7, 2010
    Need advice
    No idea where to post this Q, so I'll here. Trying to figure out whether I have to upgrade my power mac tower, and if so, to what? Currently CS3 and LR 2, which run fine, but with CS5 and LR3 is there any way to run on this configuration which has served me so well over the past 5 years!:

    Machine Name: Power Mac G5
    Machine Model: PowerMac11,2
    CPU Type: PowerPC G5 (1.1)
    Number Of CPUs: 2
    CPU Speed: 2 GHz
    L2 Cache (per CPU): 1 MB
    Memory: 6.5 GB
    Bus Speed: 1 GHz
    Boot ROM Version: 5.2.7f1

    I think I have to upgrade to an intel based chip to run CS5 and LR2? Am I right? If so, will an Imac I7 with 4gb ram do it, or do I need more horses? Or should I go for another tower and add ram/memory as the budget allows? My limit ( actually my wife's limit is $2,500) right now
    There is no light in hell. Enjoy it while you can.
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  • colourboxcolourbox Major grins Posts: 2,095Registered Users Major grins
    edited December 8, 2010
    cmason wrote: »
    +1 I also switched to Spotlight: out of the box its just cmd+spacebar. then Lig enter gets Lightroom everytime

    I actually changed the shortcut because cmd+spacebar conflicts with zooming in Photoshop. But now I can open Spotlight with one key.
    graham wrote: »
    I think I have to upgrade to an intel based chip to run CS5 and LR2? Am I right? If so, will an Imac I7 with 4gb ram do it, or do I need more horses? Or should I go for another tower and add ram/memory as the budget allows? My limit ( actually my wife's limit is $2,500) right now

    An iMac i7 is more than good enough. For some benchmarks the i7 is faster than a Mac Pro, in other words you can't get a faster CPU on a Mac today than an i7. 4GB RAM is OK, but 8GB and up would be much better. You can just get the extra RAM wherever it's cheaper than Apple, like macsales.com.
  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed Posts: 3,403Registered Users Major grins
    edited December 9, 2010
    graham wrote: »

    I think I have to upgrade to an intel based chip to run CS5 and LR2? Am I right? If so, will an Imac I7 with 4gb ram do it, or do I need more horses? Or should I go for another tower and add ram/memory as the budget allows? My limit ( actually my wife's limit is $2,500) right now

    From Adobes' page: Here
    tom wise
  • W.W. WebsterW.W. Webster Happily mirrorfree New ZealandPosts: 3,204Registered Users Major grins
    edited December 13, 2010
    I have two 1.5TB drives in my MacPro (one for my complete operational system, one for Time Machine) but will need to upgrade them soon to add additional capacity. I'm restricted to 32 bit operation on my machine, and believe this may limit the maximum disk capacity that OSX can address (perhaps to 2GB).

    Can anyone confirm the maximum disk size I can upgrade to?
  • CatOneCatOne A man, sans canal or plan Posts: 957Registered Users Major grins
    edited December 20, 2010
    I have two 1.5TB drives in my MacPro (one for my complete operational system, one for Time Machine) but will need to upgrade them soon to add additional capacity. I'm restricted to 32 bit operation on my machine, and believe this may limit the maximum disk capacity that OSX can address (perhaps to 2GB).

    Can anyone confirm the maximum disk size I can upgrade to?

    I don't understand the question. How are you restricted to 32 bit operation on your machine? Every Intel Mac save the very first MacBook Pros that shipped in January 2006 can run 64 bit applications.

    The 32-bit restriction is a BIOS (PC) thing. Your Mac can run a 2+ TB drive just fine.
  • W.W. WebsterW.W. Webster Happily mirrorfree New ZealandPosts: 3,204Registered Users Major grins
    edited December 20, 2010
    CatOne wrote: »
    How are you restricted to 32 bit operation on your machine? Every Intel Mac save the very first MacBook Pros that shipped in January 2006 can run 64 bit applications.
    Not on my Mac Pro 1,1 (not a MacBook) for the reason stated here! :nono

    So, to repeat my question, is there a capacity limit for disks on my system? ne_nau.gif
  • colourboxcolourbox Major grins Posts: 2,095Registered Users Major grins
    edited December 20, 2010
    Not on my Mac Pro 1,1 (not a MacBook) for the reason stated here! :nono

    The Mac Pro may limited to the 32-bit kernel, but that's not a barrier to running 64-bit applications. This is a widespread misunderstanding that doesn't really impact the real performance of the machine. Most people have no need to run the kernel in 64-bit. They are still able to run 64-bit applications, fast, and just as importantly, those applications are able to work with more than 4GB RAM individually, unlike on a 32-bit OS. For practical purposes that machine is 64-bit. If you look in Activity Monitor it lists which processes are running as 64-bit and which are not. If the machine didn't support 64-bit then those 64-bit processes would not be able to run.
    So, to repeat my question, is there a capacity limit for disks on my system? ne_nau.gif

    The amount of space that can be addressed on a disk is completely independent of the 32- or 64-bitness of the OS itself. Disk space is more about the firmware capabilities of the disk controller.

    As far as I know, if there is a limit, you aren't going to hit it on any Mac with any disk currently shipping.

    The last I heard of a disk space limit was back in the G3/G4 days when some of those towers did have a 128GB limit. But that was ages ago. I do not believe the Mac Pro is limited in this area. Certainly you should have no problem with the maximum possible capacity today, 4x2TB drives.

    You might see Apple Mac Pro specs listing a lower number, like 4x1TB. Mac specs are based on what hardware was available to officially test with at the time of shipment, and they never revisit it. There have been many times when a Mac has been able to exceed the spec for RAM or disk space because newer, bigger parts continue to work just fine.

    There are also companies who will sell you replacement racks so you can take out your Mac Pro optical drives and stuff even more hard drives in there.
  • W.W. WebsterW.W. Webster Happily mirrorfree New ZealandPosts: 3,204Registered Users Major grins
    edited December 21, 2010
    colourbox wrote: »
    The Mac Pro may limited to the 32-bit kernel, but that's not a barrier to running 64-bit applications.
    I did realise this, I just wasn't careful enough in my wording! I was meaning to refer to running 64 bit applications in 64 bit mode. eek7.gif
    colourbox wrote: »
    The amount of space that can be addressed on a disk is completely independent of the 32- or 64-bitness of the OS itself. Disk space is more about the firmware capabilities of the disk controller. As far as I know, if there is a limit, you aren't going to hit it on any Mac with any disk currently shipping.
    That's what I thought, but I had recalled seeing something somewhere that made me doubt my intuition.
    colourbox wrote: »
    Certainly you should have no problem with the maximum possible capacity today, 4x2TB drives.
    It was actually the newer 3GB drives I had in mind.

    Thanks for your response! thumb.gif
  • aquaticvideographeraquaticvideographer Major grins Posts: 278Registered Users Major grins
    edited December 22, 2010
    I know this is technically a software thing so if this is in the wrong place, if a mod could please move it, that would be great...

    There is an app called "Hidden" that lets you track a stolen Mac. It's normally $20 but it's free through the first of the new year. There are no other costs associated with it (i.e. no subscription). I just installed it and it's pretty slick.

    You can get it here:
    http://hiddenapp.com/

    Check it out for yourself. It's a competitor to Prey (http://preyproject.com/) which I used to use but I decided to try Hidden to check it out.

    Anyway, as a friend of someone who had their entire house (including home office with Macs and PCs) cleaned out by thieves, I thought I would pass this along.
  • DavidTODavidTO Mod Emeritus Thousand Oaks, CAPosts: 19,160Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited December 22, 2010
    I know this is technically a software thing so if this is in the wrong place, if a mod could please move it, that would be great...

    Totally appropriate right here, and thanks for playing! lol3.gif
    Moderator Emeritus
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  • colourboxcolourbox Major grins Posts: 2,095Registered Users Major grins
    edited December 23, 2010
    There is a Mac thief-tracking utility that has been around and established much longer than those two, called Undercover. It costs more, but it does a few more things. I have not used it or the other two mentioned, so I'd be curious if anyone had tried all three and had an opinion.
  • cmasoncmason Old dog, new tricks Raleigh, NCPosts: 2,506Registered Users Major grins
    edited December 23, 2010
    Thanks for that, installing on the Macbook now. What the heck, free ain't bad at all. Check out the TUAW mini-review
  • digismiledigismile Major grins Posts: 955Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 4, 2011
    It was an Apple Christmas ...
    My slide to the dark side all started when my DW gave me an iPad for Christmas (64Gb 3G). I gulped the coolaid and it tasted good ... :D. Anyway, on Boxing Day, I went to the Apple Store (my first time) to look for some iPad goodies.

    I didn't leave with any iPad goodies, but instead, a new 21" iMac for my DW. Although she has a rockin' laptop, the computer that she always seemed to be working on was a 6-7 year old PC that was well past its Best Before date. The display is absolutely beautiful and everything integrates (such as contacts) with her iPhone. It was exactly what she wanted and she just LOVES it.

    I spent a couple of days with her and I have to say, it's a nice ride ... I like the Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, the lack of wire, clean lines, etc.

    She could see how much I seemed to like it, so she told me that I should go out and buy myself a 27" iMac for me (and sell my 6 month old machine). I almost fell over! But I didn't pull the pin (yet). I have an i7-920 processor, 9Gb RAM, 3.5 Tb of disk (internal), plus external HD storage. (I'm not considering a Mac Pro)

    Anyway, not the reason for my post.

    I notice that on my website and Dgrin for that matter, some fonts look quite different to me (I've never used a Mac until now). If you look at the section headings on this site on any of my various PC's, the same font on the iMac looks a lot thicker/heavier to me. I believe the font family for the headings are Helvetica, Arial, or whatever it's called.

    Am I missing a font on the system, or do fonts just look a bit different on a Mac? Do I just need to let my eyes adjust to the "new light"?

    Appreciate your comments,

    Thanks,
  • colourboxcolourbox Major grins Posts: 2,095Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 4, 2011
    digismile wrote: »
    I notice that on my website and Dgrin for that matter, some fonts look quite different to me (I've never used a Mac until now). If you look at the section headings on this site on any of my various PC's, the same font on the iMac looks a lot thicker/heavier to me. I believe the font family for the headings are Helvetica, Arial, or whatever it's called. Am I missing a font on the system, or do fonts just look a bit different on a Mac? Do I just need to let my eyes adjust to the "new light"?

    Chances are the font designs are identical if the names are the same. In fact, if you use the OpenType font standard, you can use the same font file on any platform. What is probably happening is that each operating system uses its own programming for how to render text on screen, because text is stored as vectors and have to be mapped to pixels on the fly. Basic OSs will do a straight mapping, which is technically correct but might not be optimally readable or typographically appealing. Advanced OSs like Windows 7 and Mac OS X will use various strategies like anti-aliasing and subpixel rendering to attempt to display the most readable type. They do this because eyes were used to reading print at 300dpi and up and displays are much coarser so you have to trick your eyes into thinking the display is as sharp as print. There are a million ways to do this and some come down to personal preference. Windows has ClearType while Mac OS X doesn't have a brand name for their but they do something similar, and each gives you options on how exactly you would like your type to appear. It's not hard to choose settings that make the same font look quite different on two machines.

    There have also historically been differences in how font size is calculated between the two platforms. This can also contribute to a perceived difference in heaviness.

    If the font names are different, you can't assume they're the same anyway. For example, Arial is a knockoff of Helvetica which came first (1950s?) so they will have subtle differences in design.
  • David_S85David_S85 Spotter of Dgrin Spam and Oddities ChicagolandPosts: 12,427Administrators moderator
    edited January 5, 2011
    I've noticed there's a difference between renderings of several common fonts between Safari and Internet Exploder. I suspect the same fonts that display different in the browsers would look near identical in an upscale desktop publishing system such as InDesign.
    My Smugmug
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" - Wayne Gretzky
  • aquaticvideographeraquaticvideographer Major grins Posts: 278Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 6, 2011
    App Store live
    The Mac App Store seems to be up and running, as a Software Update (10.6.6). I'm checking it out now, it looks pretty slick. You can buy iPhoto from Apple for $14.99. deal.gif:D
  • cmasoncmason Old dog, new tricks Raleigh, NCPosts: 2,506Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 6, 2011
    I am most impressed. Now, this isn't for me, or likely many reading this forum. But, I have recommended Macs for some time, and even though it can be easier than other platforms, in terms of getting, installing and updating software, it is miles behind Windows.

    With windows you click a program and it installs in the right place and you click the new icon and away you go. In Mac, you download something called a dmg. Some of these do an install, most don't. Some simply show you a icon.

    What I have found, consistently, with folks who are not 'computer people' (read most people) is that nearly all of them open a dmg and simply click the program within it to run the app. They have no idea they are supposed to drag it to applications. And they do this over and over again, as if that's how its supposed to work. They have 10-20 apps running from dmg's in their Download folder.

    And forget updating. I get phone calls about every 3 months, asking me what 'Growl' is, and if it will hurt the Mac. This happens Everytime.Growl.Updates.

    The App Store is brilliant: you click the 'buy' button, and it downloads, puts the icon on your dock AND in the Apps folder. Done, that's it, you are ready to go. its even got cool animation. Slick.

    I am going to recommend all my Mac users buy from this, and install from this, almost exclusively, as it will save both them, and me, tons of headache.
  • Moogle PepperMoogle Pepper Big picture in the sky Posts: 2,947Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 7, 2011
    I know I probably posted about this. But now that business has been good I am really thinking about getting the 27 iMac.

    I like the expandability of the mac pro, but, I don't know if I am at the level that would require the beast. So I am looking more into the iMac. It's all in one's that, I am a little wary of. And, it looks like it only has one 800 firewire input which would suck since I have 800 and 400 firewire external hard drives.
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  • David_S85David_S85 Spotter of Dgrin Spam and Oddities ChicagolandPosts: 12,427Administrators moderator
    edited January 9, 2011
    The Mac App Store seems to be up and running, as a Software Update (10.6.6). I'm checking it out now, it looks pretty slick. You can buy iPhoto from Apple for $14.99. deal.gif:D

    Do I need to upgrade to 10.6.5 first? Or can I jump into 10.6.6 from 10.6.4?

    And while I'm asking that, I've not updated anything since September when I got the Pro. Any trick to it? Or do I just upload the GIG+ of updates, shut down and boot back up? Any manual installing to do?
    My Smugmug
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" - Wayne Gretzky
  • W.W. WebsterW.W. Webster Happily mirrorfree New ZealandPosts: 3,204Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 9, 2011
    David_S85 wrote: »
    ... can I jump into 10.6.6 from 10.6.4? ... do I just upload the GIG+ of updates, shut down and boot back up? Any manual installing to do?
    It's a Mac! Run Software Update, sit back, and relax! :D
  • aquaticvideographeraquaticvideographer Major grins Posts: 278Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 9, 2011
    Yup.
    It's a Mac! Run Software Update, sit back, and relax! :D


    Your Mac is smart enough to just download what it needs, and Software Update checks to see if there are any updates that should apply sequentially, after the first batch gets downloaded and applied.thumb.gif
  • David_S85David_S85 Spotter of Dgrin Spam and Oddities ChicagolandPosts: 12,427Administrators moderator
    edited January 9, 2011
    Cool! So no rebooting once updated to take effect?
    My Smugmug
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" - Wayne Gretzky
  • W.W. WebsterW.W. Webster Happily mirrorfree New ZealandPosts: 3,204Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 9, 2011
    David_S85 wrote: »
    Cool! So no rebooting once updated to take effect?
    Before the download begins, you will be advised whether a restart will be needed, in which case you will have the option to defer.
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