Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and what a better way to celebrate than to read “My Mac” to your loved one. Okay, maybe that’s pushing it a little bit, but I’m sure you’ll find a heartwarming way to enjoy the holiday-and still squeeze in time to read your favorite e-zine!
I would also like to thank people for their suggestions for the column. Not only are you providing lots of material on items I would never think of, but you are helping your fellow Mac user’a most noble gesture!
Speaking of which, I received some information regarding Rebuilding Your Desktop (RYD) which happens to be the very first helpful hint. First, if your “caps lock” is on, RYD will not work (thanks to Sheri for that tip! It originally appeared in “My Mac” #19 on the email page). Second, there is a nifty little freeware program called TechTool , which will RYD for you, as reviewed in an earlier issue of My Mac. (TechTool version 1.1.2 is available at the My Mac Software Library (http://www.mymac.com/software) in the software section, under ‘Utilities’, ready for you to download!) Please note: with System 7.5.x, leave the Macintosh Easy Open Control Panel ON and the other extensions and control panels OFF when you decide to rebuild your desktop. Otherwise, your desktop may rebuild twice. Not a problem, but unnecessarily time consuming. (Thanks to “My Mac” editor, Russ Walkowich, for that information!)
Download TechTool 1.1.2
HH #6: Purchasing equipment. No, I won’t get into what system is best for what jobs. That’s something you should research for yourself and make your own decisions as to what’s best for you. I will say, however, don’t trust salespeople. They will push for whatever will make them the biggest profit and/or whatever they are getting “rebates” on from the manufacturers. After all, they’re just trying to make a living. I have also discovered that Mac users usually know more than the salesperson. This is especially true in department stores. The best use of salespeople is to find out what the store specials are and what kind of deal they can give you.
A better way to find out different system and peripheral idiosyncrasies is to talk with the tech who works on your system (as long as he’s an independent, rather than a store tech). Or, utilize a user’s group. Either one of these sources will love to give you the benefit of their expertise and there is no worry about profits guiding the advice. Needless to say, the better the tech, the more you find out and the better purchase decisions you will make.
And that brings us to HH #7 …
HH #7: User Groups are a wonderful thing-if you use the resource. Being a New Englander, I would have highly recommend the Boston Computer Society, but I have just found out that they have closed their doors for good. Not only did they provide seminars for members through all their satellite groups all over the country, they published a number of informative magazines, strictly for members. So please check your own local areas for a user group near you.
There are user groups all over the country. Open the phone book, ask around, or visit a bulletin board at your local Mac dealer. As an added plus, most user groups have affiliations with area dealerships to work out member discounts on equipment.
Remember the key to computer skills is education and user groups are an excellent educational resource.
Now, on to:
The Open Forum
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Barbara Bell (firstname.lastname@example.org)