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new mac user... maintenance?

by heck / July 24, 2008 9:52 AM PDT

I've been a PC guy for years, but my school program requires me to have a Mac. With my PC, I'm regularly running programs like Disk Defragmenter, Ccleaner, Spyware Doctor or AdAware. I use Firefox to browse and I update programs when available. I've heard that Macs do not have the problems PC's get with the spyware, viruses, and constant updates. Are there any programs or tasks that should be run for maintenance or security? Is it still a good idea to use Firefox?

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Welcome to the club
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 24, 2008 10:12 AM PDT

You heard correctly, Mac's do not have the same problem with virus's (currently zero) or malware/adware.

If you really feel the need for AV software, ClamXAV is a good free piece of software that will find WIndows virus's and help stop you from sending them to your less fortunate friends.

No need for a Defragmenter but there are a couple of programs you may want to take a look at.

Yasu for maintenance, Pacifist for extracting files form installer packages, Flip4Mac for viewing WMV files in QuickTime and Little Snitch for seeing, and granting permission to, those programs that feel the urge to phone home.

Firefox is a good browser, give Safari a chance too. It's a decent, standards following, browser.

I'm sure there will be lots of other suggestions right behind these.

Good luck at school


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by heck / July 25, 2008 2:55 AM PDT
In reply to: Welcome to the club

Cool, thanks for the help.

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New user
by birdy176 / September 9, 2008 5:16 PM PDT
In reply to: Welcome to the club


My iMac OS X, Leopard, just loped in, modem too but not installed yet. After 20 years of "marriage" to Windows, quite a change. Is the iPhoto as good - and easy - for editing and cataloging as Google's Picasa? Can it be imported? It would be the only "legacy" applet I'd want on the new machine.

I heard something about "Bootcamp" but haven't found it yet.

Contrary to what I read, my 20 inch display is great, but then I am comparing my photos to the output of a Sony CRT.

Hope to hear more from you on this and other subjects.

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by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / September 9, 2008 9:58 PM PDT
In reply to: New user

I have not used Picasa but have used iPhoto for quite a few years not.
It is easy to use and can handle thousands of photo's.
As to the import thing. If you can find export your pictures, from wherever they are, to your Mac, then iPhoto can import them.

BootCamp allows you to run Windows on your Mac. See if you can avoid doing that. You can do everything in OS X that you have been doing in Windows.

On another note.
If you create a new thread with any software questions you have, in the Mac OS Software forum, Here it will keep the clutter down on this thread

Welcome to the light


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iPhoto vs. Picasa
by birdy176 / September 10, 2008 8:25 AM PDT
In reply to: iPhoto

P: I really appreciate your response. The Mac-world is a new concept after living on the "dark side" for many years. I understand the Google people are sitting around their kitchen or folding tables, working on a Mac Picasa system. Would that iPhoto is similarly user-friendly...

Now if I could make the cursor arrow larger without stuff on the screen ending up in the next county (I reduced the res. to 1280...), I'd be a happy user. Don't know how to get a hold of the Apple genius who's willing to answer my questions for the next 85 days, according to the warranty. This forum, however, is a wonderful place to have to get help.



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1-800-MY APPLE
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / September 10, 2008 9:52 AM PDT
In reply to: iPhoto vs. Picasa

if you live in the US.


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make the cursor arrow larger
by vmars956 / September 24, 2008 12:10 PM PDT
In reply to: iPhoto vs. Picasa

Now if I could make the cursor arrow larger:
I'm a new MacBookPro user, only PCs since 1983.
But on PCs behalf, its easy to configure almost anything. And lots of hooks into the operating system.
Yes, please, how do I reconfig cursor size, color and tail ?
Thanks in advance!

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Making the cursor larger
by vmars956 / September 27, 2008 4:12 AM PDT

I got no response on this, so I went to BestBuy, and they showed me how to do it:
Click on the UniversalAccess icon in system preferences. On next menue, click on TrackPad.
In there is a slider to change size of cursor.

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Make everything larger!!!
by joeyslaptop / September 27, 2008 4:40 AM PDT

If you have trouble seeing the arrow or reading small print, you can hold down [CTRL] and roll the scroller on your mouse to blow up the whole screen.

[CTRL] and two-finger scroll or
[CTRL] and mouse scroll

scroll up to zoom in, and scroll down to zoom out.

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"Command-key and TwoFinger upward" works for me
by vmars956 / September 27, 2008 9:34 AM PDT

I have a macBookPro
and for me its the "Command-key and TwoFinger upward"

"Control-key and TwoFinger upward" doesn't do it.

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Get the AppleCare disc
by joeyslaptop / August 1, 2008 8:41 PM PDT

On my laptop I have Symantic Antivirus that I got free from my university (it pays to be a student LOL), but it has rarely found anything. I can think of maybe a PC virus or two that had no real effect on my computer. Honestly, I've gotten by for a really long time by leaving my computer on at night sometimes so OS X can do its scheduled maintenance.

My brother's AppleCare has a good disc utility program that checks all the hardware and defragments the hard disk.

Also, I would suggest a battery backup system. It can drastically cut down on disk fragmenting and other performance issues due to power dips and spikes and stuff. I did a before and after experiment and found that the battery backup actually did my tower some good.

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On of the reasons that
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / August 1, 2008 11:37 PM PDT
In reply to: Get the AppleCare disc

your Symantec Antivirus has not found anything is because there are no virus's out there that attack OS X.
Unless your university specifically require you to have that resource hog installed on your Mac, I would get rid of it. It does nothing for you.
However, if you are running Windows on your Mac, then having AV software on that side makes sense.


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Yes, there are
by santuccie / August 2, 2008 4:55 AM PDT
In reply to: On of the reasons that

But they're not not drive-by downloading as far as I know. And there's only a handful of them; even less than for Linux, because Mac OS was PPC until 2006. No one knew the shell. But they all know Intel.

Just for conversation, the Mac was the first machine to get compromised in the latest PWN to OWN contest. Vista was next. I don't know if anyone ever got through the Ubuntu machine, but I'm assuming not.

That said, I agree Norton is overkill. McAfee was originally founded to deal with Mac viruses, but there are just too few to justify heavy software that you have to pay for. Use ClamXAV.

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A virus is a virus
by joeyslaptop / August 2, 2008 5:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Yes, there are

Well, the fact that it has caught files that I was going to turn around and eMail back out to PC people is good enough reason to me to have it. I turn it off for the most part, but run an occasional scan and sometimes have it turned on when I won't be gaming that day. I'm more worried about passing something on to people than I am about it affecting my computer.

On my PC (mostly used by my wife), I never turn it off and it catches stuff nearly every scheduled check. A few years back, my Mac got something that was enough of an annoyance to re-install my OS. I know that Macs aren't immune, but they sure do a lot better than ANY PC that I've encountered or owned.

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by joeyslaptop / August 2, 2008 5:47 AM PDT
In reply to: A virus is a virus

Well, that virus was debatable actually. I was learning shell commands and was starting to learn the Xcode tools. It's more likely that it was related to that.

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Fair enough
by santuccie / August 2, 2008 6:26 AM PDT
In reply to: A virus is a virus

If it works for you, then by all means, use it. And also I'd like to applaud you for being smarter than the average Mac user. A lot of them assume that anything non-Microsoft is inherently magically invincible. At least you've taken some preventative initiative. Kudos!

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Nothing needed, that's the beauty of a Mac
by jigmeg / August 3, 2008 12:43 PM PDT

U don't really need any maintenance tools outside of what comes built into OSX. Unlike a PC, a Mac cares for itself. There is one tool that I have for disk maintenance, Disk Warrior, but it's really questionable if it actually does anything helpful over what OSX does. Just enjoy!

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Disk Warrior
by joeyslaptop / August 3, 2008 1:18 PM PDT

So far, I haven't found a way to defragment with the standard OS X maintenance tools. Disk Warrior does, I believe, have a defragmenter.

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(NT) No need to defragment in OS X
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / August 3, 2008 9:47 PM PDT
In reply to: Disk Warrior
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OSX tools
by heck / August 19, 2008 6:05 AM PDT

So what tools are built into OSX and how do I get to them?

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by heck / August 19, 2008 6:18 AM PDT
In reply to: OSX tools

Are there any important keyboard shortcuts to know for administrative-type use? Like, for example, in Windows, CTRL+ALT+DELETE to bring up the task manager. Is there anything I can't get to from System Preferences or Finder?

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Check the Utilities folder
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / August 19, 2008 10:24 AM PDT
In reply to: P.S.

Console, Terminal, Network Utility, Activity Monitor, Disk Utility, Raid Utility to name a few.


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by heck / August 21, 2008 1:53 PM PDT

thanks again

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by joeyslaptop / August 19, 2008 4:22 PM PDT
In reply to: P.S.

Activity Monitor shows a detailed list of Daemons, apps, and other processes, etc. For a quick CTRL ALT DEL on a Mac, just do APPLE (aka:Command) and ESC.

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When you do that, don't be surprised if nothing happens
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / August 19, 2008 9:53 PM PDT

The full sequence is Command + Option + Escape

This brings up the Force Quit dialog box, which is not the same as the Windows Task Manager.


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Ooops, Apple ESC opens FrontRow!
by joeyslaptop / August 22, 2008 6:08 PM PDT

I guess I forgot about OPTION being needed to make that work too. Thanks for the correction.

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Apple + ESC does nothing on my machine
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / August 22, 2008 10:53 PM PDT

You must have your keys programmed to do certain things.

That key combo is not a default


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Should do it under Leopard.
by joeyslaptop / August 23, 2008 3:57 PM PDT

I didn't do any custom hot keys. I have a PowerBook G4 1.67 Ghz with a 256 MB video card. I am running OS X.5 (Leopard). I'm pretty sure that FrontRow is standard now. The key combo works on both my brother's MacBook Pro and my sister's MacBook. Under OS 10.4, I think FrontRow was only standard on new-model computers.

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I stand corrected
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / August 23, 2008 11:32 PM PDT

Although the help file for Front Row lists that key combo as a method of opening Front Row, it does not activate Front Row on my Intel iMac.

It would appear as though it is supposed to, and does in some cases, but not on mine.

Thanks for the tip, I'll see if I can figure out why it is not happening here.


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Disk Utility is Probably All You'll Need for Your Mac
by chumradio / September 5, 2008 4:34 PM PDT

Inside your Utilities folder, you'll find Disk Utility. Run "Repair Disk Permissions" every few months, or after a crash. In cases where this doesn't fix your problem, boot from your install disk, start up Disk Utility and run "Repair Disk."

If you want some excellent, bootable repair disks, get Disk Warrior, Drive Genius, or TechTool Pro.

But as this is a Mac you've got, you'll rarely run into extreme problems. Just the same, it's a good idea to have (and use for regular maintenance) one of these disk utilities.

Good luck!

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