Mac Tips

I love upping my computer skills from Snazzy Labs. Don’t worry about using the terminal commands. If I can do it, you can.

Click here to get the commands he uses.

Mac Tips


With the hope of speeding my this ever so slow Mac Mini, last week I attended a Macintosh Maintenance class at a nearby high school. While some of the tips covered I already knew like:

  • You shouldn’t keep a laptop plugged in all the time. It’s best for the battery if you allow it to drain, some say to 15% other recommend 30%.
  • You should use a surge protector so that if your electricity fluctuates and harms your computer.
  • You should accept software updates, which can be done automatically.
  • You should back up your files either with an external hard drives, a cloud service, or flash drives.


I also learned a few new ideas, such as:

  • Don’t save (many) documents on your desktop as this slows down your computer significantly.  It’s better to create an alias (by highlighting the original icon and press Command+L or choose File and then Make Alias) of a file on the desktop and keep the actual file in the documents or other place.
  • Empty your trash bin daily.
  • If you set your time cursor to blink, that can be an indicator of whether your computer’s working fine or not. So if you’re on your computer and the colon separating the hour and minutes isn’t blinking, then there’s a problem.
  • Keep your computer on on Friday night into Saturday morning because this is when Apple puts out updates, which patch security holes and improve your computer’s performance.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that overall, I had a good week. I got some writing done, but not as much as I’d like. I did write an email to a family connection asking for some feedback on this play I’m working on entitled Dora McDonald: On Trial. It’s about the wife of the Clark Street Gambling King, Mike McDonald. Dora had a long affair with her neighbor Webster Guerin and poor Webster winds up dead. Who did it? Will the murderer get off scot-free?

I loved the Japanese classic, Samurai Rebellion and liked the biopic of Freddie Mercury Bohemian Rhapsody. I admit the more I watch old movies the more I prefer them. I didn’t bother watching the Oscars, which tend to drag. Instead I watched Victoria and the end of Bohemian Rhapsody.

I went to the dentist and was stunned that my exam and cleaning ran me $300! I hadn’t been there in a year. (Shame on me, I know.) I remember the visit costing about $120. I feel like my price was upped because I hadn’t been for a while. I really like my dentist and if I was gainfully employed, I’d have gone when I should have.

I had a one-on-one meeting with my new boss. These are a month event and we had a good talk. She’s lovely and fun to work with. What a difference that makes!

Saturday I went to a free play reading at the Newberry Library. The script of Back of the Yards was a tad outdated, but the acting was solid.

I’m reading a book called Partisan Journalism. I’m beginning chapter three. The book describes the relationship between reporting, editorializing and our political parties going back to the 18th century. While it’s a bit academic, it’s a significant work. You can probably get it from the library.

Lastly, I’d say in an effort to see less of that rainbow beach ball whenever I use my computer, I went to a fairly good session on Mac Maintenance. I’ll share some tips with you soon. My laptop does run faster, I have to tweak my desktop.

I hope you’ve had a good weekend and that your week’s starting off well.



This week I’ve been trying to complete a remote installation of a software program on to a server in the Illinois from China. It’s for my digital library class. While I’m above average with computers, I’d never had to use my Terminal box on my Mac to put in codes and change code.

The Terminal looks like this:

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 21.45.01

We had to install Greenstone, an open source digital library software, program on to our servers at the university. I knew doing something like this from China would be hard. It was painful to sit through the online lesson as a lot of people had problems. The class ran an hour overtime. I figured, I’d just watch and try on my own. I wound up having to leave the class when it was 40 minutes over time. (I wish they’d stopped, realised they needed to find a new way to convey the information and find another means and time to do it.)

It took three tries, but now it works.

Knock on wood.

I won’t call myself a Linux expert after one project, but I’m pretty satisfied with my new skill.
I’m glad I had a Mac, because to do this on a PC, I’d have to have downloaded a program called puTTY and its website says you need to get government approval to use it in China.

Nah, that wouldn’t happen.

Have you overcome any challenges recently? Or learned anything new?