Entries in Mac (12)

Wednesday
Oct062010

Change Mac Volume Without The Chirps

When you use the keys on an Apple Keyboard to adjust a Mac's sound volume, by default, you'll hear chirps. These chirps can sometimes be a little louder than you'd like. Say, when you're turning the volume down in a quiet office or adjusting the volume when your Mac is connected to powered speakers. Here are two ways to prevent your Mac from chirping.

Change volume silently.
You can temporarily mute the chirps to change the volume silently by holding down the Shift key as you press the volume keys.

Turn Off the Chirps.
You can turn-off the chirps altogether in System Preferences. Select System Preferences from the Apple menu, and then click the "Sound" icon (in the second row). Next, click to uncheck the checkbox for the setting, "Play feedback when the volume is changed".

Tuesday
Aug312010

Jam with Magic GarageBand on your Mac

Jam with your Mac using Magic GarageBand. Rock, Jazz, Country and other genres are available to help unleash the musician within you - whole songs laid-out by GarageBand to get your creative juices flowing.

On your Mac, launch GarageBand. (GarageBand comes with every Mac.) In the project window, click Magic GarageBand.

Choose a music genre.
Next, choose the genre of music you're in the mood to groove with. There are nine to choose from: Blues, Rock, Jazz, Country, Reggae, Funk, Latin, Roots Rock and Slow Blues.

Set the Stage.
Click the Audition button (or the Choose button). The stage will load and you'll see a virtual band, ready to play. You can connect an instrument to you Mac, or click "No Instrument". You can play along - "unplugged" - with a guitar or other instrument or sing along, instead.

Mix it up.
You can change the mix of instruments in two ways. Click on an instrument and then choose an alternate instrument (displayed just below the stage). Or, click on an empty part of the stage and then click the "Shuffle Instruments" button to randomly change all the instruments. Click the play button to hear the new mix.

If you'd like to edit the mix even more, you can click the "Open in GarageBand" button to open the song in Track View so that you can change, rearrange and add to the song anyway you'd like.

Wednesday
Aug252010

Navigate Mac Menus Without a Mouse

One thing that makes the Mac so easy to use is the mouse. You can use it to move and open files and folders and navigate menus. Still, when you're in the middle of composing an email, report or story, moving your hand from the keyboard to move the mouse can be enough to break your train of thought. Certainly, it causes a pause as you reach for the mouse, do what you need to do with it, and move your hand back to the keyboard again.

Fortunately, if its a menu item you need to choose, Mac OS X gives you a way to navigate menus without your hands having to leave the keyboard.

Press Function-Control-F2. (On older keyboards, press Control-F2.) You'll see the Apple logo in the top left corner of the screen highlight. Press Return to show the Apple menu.

Press the left and right arrow keys to show another menu. Use the up and down arrow keys to navigate up and down the items in a menu.

When you get to the menu item you want, press Return. It works as if you had clicked the menu item with a mouse.

By the way, you can use the keyboard to select text, too, without using the mouse. Check out this article: Move the Cursor and Make Selection in a Document Without Using a Mouse.

Sunday
Aug222010

How to Lock Your Mac Using Screen Saver

If your Mac is in an open area or you just want to make sure curious eyes don't have easy access to your computer, you can use the built-in Mac OS X Screen Saver with password protection to secure your Mac.

First, pick a Screen Saver
Open System Preferences (in the Apple menu) and then click the Desktop & Screen Saver icon in the top row.

Click on the Screen Saver tab to show its settings. You'll see a list of screen savers in the left column. Pick one.

 

 

 

Next, choose a Hot Corner.
While still in Screen Saver settings, click the button, "Hot Corners..." Hot Corners lets you set an action that will be performed when the mouse pointer is moved into a corner of the Mac screen. For one of the four corners , select "Start Screen Saver" from the pop-up menu and then click OK. In the screenshot below, the top-right corner will start the screen saver.

Finally, require a password.
Before you perform this step, make sure you know your password.

Click the "Show All" button (in the top left corner of the settings window) to show all System Preferences. Then, click the Security icon in the top row.

In the General tab of Security settings, click to check the setting, "Require password immediately after sleep or screen saver begins." In place of "immediately" you can specify a different duration. (Note: the duration setting is available in Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard and later.)

Lock Your Mac
Now, when you move the mouse pointer into the corner you had set, the screen saver will activate. To gain access to your Mac, move the mouse. A login window will open, requiring a password. Enter your password to dismiss the screen saver and gain access to your Mac.

Saturday
Aug142010

Mac Address Book Tip: Display a Phone Number Fullscreen

You'll find this Address Book tip useful if your phone or fax machine is across the room, or if you just want to be able to see a phone number more clearly.

One your Mac, launch Address Book and then find someone you'd like to call. Make sure you're not in Edit mode. Then, click on the label for a phone number (for example, "home"). A menu pop-up. Select "Large Type".

The phone number will display, filling the entire screen.