When your nosey coworkers enjoy peeking on other people’s desktops when they are gone, or you simply don’t want your kids to accidentally erase your soon-to-be-complete Pulitzer story while you were in the kitchen, your mac has the quick and simple solution, one that few people know exists: the screen lock
Enabling screen locking is pretty easy, although hidden where you leaste expected it. Here’s how it’s done:
You’ll need to open up Keychain Access, a utility app that comes preinstalled on your Mac and can be found inside the /Applications/Utilities/ folder. Once there, you’ll open up the Preferences menu (press ⌘, or as the submenu of Keychain Access menu). In the General tab, make sure the checkbox ‘Show Status in Menu Bar’ is checked. A tiny lock icon will appear in the menu, somewhere on the right. Clicking on it will reveal the long awaited option: Lock Screen.
PS. Make sure you know your mac password before clicking on it, because only those who know it will be able to unlock the computer.
It’s a common symptom among new Mac users to be really ecstatic about their new MacBook, praise the speed and functionality, then after a month or so start seeing some flaws; much like in any relationship, where your passionate blind love from the first weeks starts to fade, giving way to more realistic assessments.
Some hard-core Linux geeks will probably miss their configuration files, kernel hacking and source code install. Windows users might miss their favorite software(Picasa, Winamp or Total Commander). I didn’t miss my Windows machine one bit, partly because I got used to other essential Mac software, partly because I use my Windows software from within Windows virtual machines, and mostly because I realized the Mac offers me all the productivity tools I ever wished for, out of the box or for free.
This article lists several essential but frequently forgotten configuration tips that make the most of your Mac. A future article will cover some vitally important FREE (or really inexpensive) Mac OSX software for your daily chores.
Faithful readers might have already read these tips here, on HackTheDay, but I do hope they’ll learn a few new things as well.
Quick question: what is the One and only most essential tool for any productivity fan?
You guessed it – the calendar.
There are many reasons why you’d want to use Google Calendar for your time management: first of all, it’s free; second, it’s online(you can access it from everywhere). Third, it has SMS alerts, which is probably the single feature I use most. The one major downside of Google Calendar has is… being an online tool; a less than perfect user interface, less than instantaneous responsiveness. Luckily, this all is in the past as of today:
Google announced CalDAV support for Google Calendar in Apple’s iCal(version 3.x – on Mac OS X v10.5+ ). In layman’s terms, this means seamless bidirectional synchronization of calendar events. No more awkward emails, no more missed meetings(actually.. this isn’t such a good news, as we all know it – meetings are productivity killers).
Here’s a step by step walkthrough in setting up Google Calendar synchronization:
1. First, you download on your OSX 10.5 mac the setup tool, called Calaboration. It’s in zip format, so you’ll want to unarchive it. Go ahead and run it, entering your Google login credentials, then click Sign In.
If you don’t want to fumble around just to learn the current date, you can display it in Leopard’s Menu Bar, right by the clock, to always have under your eyes.
What I did was to follow TUAW’s tutorial, but here’s a quick summary, just in case you’re in a hurry:
1. in System Preferences, International, Formats submenu. Select Customize date, then chose the format you want, and COPY it (select all, Cmd+C).
2. Press Ok, then from the same window, Customize for the Times part. Move the cursor before the time format, press Cmd+V(Paste). Press OK.
Remember I promised I’d show you how to do your basic computer stuff from within Quicksilver? Well, it took me a while but I finally pulled myself together and wrote this tutorial – a beginner’s guide on doing all kinds of nice and useful stuff with Quicksilver.
Ever since I bought my sweet white Mac Book, it’s existence has been threatened by a minor yet annoying little thing: the startup sound.
While the startup chime doesn’t bother me a bit, it drives my girlfriend mad, and her threats of throwing the damn thing away have been getting more and more frequent. As any Mac Book user out there knows, there’s no way to change the chime sound or disable it from within the system. Even plugging earphones before booting up fails, and if you don’t want to hear the annoying chime each morning, you’d have to carefully(or automatically) switch off the sound before shutting the computer off.
But all these worries are now gone, as today was my lucky day – randomly browsing macosxhints made me discover the little free application that’s bound to save my laptop’s life.
StartupSound.prefPane 1.1-BETA comes form Arcana Research Japan, is free and available at this link (direct download link here). Being a beta version makes it possibly unstable, but so far it worked out great on my Intel Mac Book.