Silent Way's Mac Tips

There are billions of cool tricks and shortcuts in the Mac Operating System, but most users never find them. These are my Mac Consulting clients' favorite tips, hidden tricks, alerts and more.

Also check out the Mac section of the Silent Way Forum.

Here are a slew of free tips and tricks for all Mac users, and a few for PC folks too...

Face it, your Mac is a mess. If you don't know where to put your files then you can't get work done, backup your data or prevent crashes. Here's how to use aliases to get your documents and applications in order.

Back That Mac Up (that PC too)

It isn't a question of "if" you will lose everything. It's a question of "when." So here's the four lamest excuses I've heard for not backing up, with rebuttals and how to back up cheaply/easily.

Guide to Computer Audio Interfaces (PC or Mac)

Getting better audio quality out of (and into) your computer is pretty easy. A few minutes and/or a few bucks will improve your audio quality immensely! This page has the scoop on quick and easy ways to completely overhaul the sound of your music. Check out the long list of 180+ USB/FireWire interfaces and 20 USB/FireWire PCI cards.

Smarter Scrolling

The scrollbar, arrows and scrollbox are on almost every Mac window. "Smart Scrolling" is an option in the Appearance control panel which changes the way the scrollbar works. This option is a mixed blessing that is easily improved with this trick to make your scrollbar even smarter.

OS X Has Landed. But Are You Ready?

Mac Operating System X (pronounced "Oh Ess Ten") is here, and it's changed the way we Mac. OS X is ready for prime time, but are you ready for it?

Control-Click: Your Secret Weapon

Here's a powerful, largely unknown function that Macs have had for years, since OS 8: the "Contextual Menu". Hold down Control and click on anything.

Mac and PC Accessories Picks (PC or Mac)

I've shopped. I've tested. I've been on hold for days with tech support. I've thrown things out the window and run them over repeatedly with my car... I know! Picks of the best RAM prices, mouse, keyboard, mousepad, monitors, router, etc.

Outlook Express and Entourage Tips

Outlook Express is a very popular email application from Microsoft, for good reason. That good reason is that it is free. duh. Entourage is the commercial version. Here are a bunch of crucial tips for OE and Entourage users to make them run better and to add a bunch of cool functions.

Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) (PC or Mac)

This is a simple tip for all email fans. There are three ways to address an email message: "TO:", "CC:" and "BCC:". Use the right method, and the prudish fates will kiss you with sloppy kisses of fortune. Screw it up and everyone will laugh at you.

Stop Web Ad Banners and America Online Popup Ads (PC or Mac)

How to block thousands of web ad banners, and how to opt-out of those annoying AOL pop-up ads that bug you each time you log on and during online sessions. In a few seconds, the ads will be banished!! Funny how voting for President of the USA is "opt-in," but spam and ads are "opt-out." Hello??

Take the "Fault" out of Default Settings

Mac OS 9 was built to be customized. But the interface works so well already that folks never bother to change Apple's default settings. Here are a bunch of simple changes to make your Mac work better.

The Ultimate Mac Shortcuts Guide

Over 60 major timesavers that are already in your system! Shortcuts for: Startup functions, Finder tricks, application windows, saving files, dealing with freezes, hidden functions, taking screen pictures, and changing keyboard layouts.

Guide to MP3 Streaming Players (PC or Mac)

MP3 streams are live broadcasts that you "tune in to," and don't save to the hard drive. MP3 streaming beats all the net radio formats. Your computer probably came pre-installed with an app that can listen to MP3 streams, but there are better options available. Get one of these for a better experience...

Internet Explorer for the Mac Tips and Hacks:

Here's some great tips for improving Explorer. Make it run faster, get a bigger viewing area in every browser window, etc.

A handy Digital Audio Hard Drive Space Calculator (PC or Mac)

This calculator allows you to enter the running time of digital audio, and it will give you the resultant hard drive storage requirements in many bit/sample rate combinations: 16bit/44.1k, 16bit/48k, 24bit/44.1k, 24bit/48k. Also gives estimates for how many CD-Rs or DVD-Rs it will take to back it all up. (Microsoft Excel required.)

A handy RJ-45 ethernet cable wiring diagram (PC or Mac)

...with Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet pin conguration, color scheme and links to buy raw bulk cable and connectors. Essential to put a cable through a wall. Build your own!

The Links List Maker

A cool shareware application called gURLfriend, which turns an Explorer "Favorites" URL list or a Netscape "Bookmarks" URL list into an HTML page, easily posted on the web. This is how the Silent Way Directory is built. Also, an alternative longer method using QuicKeys, GoLive and Regular Expressions.

How to export an iTunes (or SoundJam) playlist and make it into an HTML table

It's easy to export an iTunes (or SoundJam) playlist, and to make it into a webpage in a real HTML table for use on a website. This example uses Adobe GoLive, but will work with any authoring program.

Stay tuned for more speed tips, tricks, AppleScript apps and QuicKeys automated tricks...

Also see: Silent Way Directory: Macintosh Links

And: Silent Way Mac Systems Consulting