Starting Line
My Mac Magazine #31, Nov. ’97

Dear Readers:

The leaves are turning colors and New England is entering its most beautiful season: Fall. Fall is short-lived here, sometimes as short as a week, but while it’s around, it is breathtaking. People come from all over the world to view the foliage, and with good reason. The colors of the trees, backdropped against mountain and ocean, are worth the trip.

You see houses dressed for the season, with cornstalks, pumpkins, and gourds. Bulky, soft, and warm sweaters are brought out of storage and gloves suddenly become important. Multicolored leaves decorate yards, parks, roads. You see children playing in them on their way to school. The air is crisp and refreshing-exhilarating! Skiers and snowmobilers ready their equipment. Sun worshipers brace themselves for the oncoming darkness. The world moves on and we’re her captured audience, silenced by the wonder.

As much as I enjoy Fall, I hate to see Summer go. With it goes the sunshine and warmth-traded for heating ducts and lots of electric lights. And while I’m writing this, getting nostalgic for the upcoming holiday season, I wonder… What can I cover that will help you? What questions do you have that I haven’t answered?

Helpful Hints

HH#30: Getting More Memory Without Buying It – I’m sure you’re saying to yourself, “That’s a neat trick. I’d love to do it!” It’s very easy, but you must be careful! Why? Because you are removing items from your System Folder (and a few other select places). If you remove the wrong items, you’ll end up with an unusable computer and lots of tech money flying out the window.

Since I never use it, the first thing I always do is remove online help. And, unless you use it (I don’t know of anyone who does) it just takes up space. So, whenever you install software, check its folder for a Help document or folder. Then trash it. The same goes for tutorials. Unless you know you’re going to use it, get rid of it. And if you do use it, trash it after you’ve gone through it. Worst case, you’ll need to reload it again to review what you’ve learned.

The last thing I do when installing software is remove templates. Here is where you need to start paying close attention to what you’re doing. For instance, if it’s a presentation program, you’ll probably want to keep all the templates. However, sometimes you may notice system crashes when using a particular template. Change templates on your presentation and trash the one you were using. Chances are something about that template doesn’t agree with your system.

But what if you’re using ClarisWorks? It comes with all kinds of memo, fax, and letter templates. Now it comes down to personal preference. If you like those things, keep them. If you have your own templates, get rid of them. If you think you’d like some of them, go through all the templates, keep what you like and trash the rest.

Okay, we’ve covered hard drive space pretty well, let’s move onto RAM. We’ll go over some extensions and control panels that you can trash that will free up extra RAM!

  • Like anything with the name Token Ring in the name. If you’re not on a Token Ring network, get rid of it!
  • Easy Access is a control panel that helps persons with disabilities. If you need it, you would know it.
  • LocalTalk Bridge is another control panel that “bridges” Ethernet and LocalTalk networks. If you’re by yourself or not connected to an Ethernet network, trash it!Warning: the following list should be reviewed carefully. For example, TCP/IP is necessary for Open Transport Internet connections, replacing MacTCP in Systems 7.6 and up. Check before you remove anything to make sure that what you are removing isn’t necessary for your system! When in doubt, don’t remove.

    There’s also a whole list of files you can get rid of if you’re a standalone:

  • AppleTalk
  • Open Tpt AppleTalk Library
  • Open Tpt Atalk 68K Library
  • Open Tpt Inet 68K Library
  • Open Tpt Internet Library
  • Open Transport 68K Library
  • Open Transport Library
  • OpenTptAppleTalkLib
  • OpenTptInternetLib
  • OpenTransportLib
  • OpenTpt Modem
  • OpenTpt Remove Access
  • OpenTpt Modem 68K
  • OpenTpt Remote Access 68K
  • OpenTpt Serial Port Arbitrator
  • TCP/IP-Phew!Or how about anything with Apple PlainTalk in the name? If you don’t use the technology, and no one says you have to, out it goes! Another item you may not use: Apple Remote Access; so trash all files that start with the name Remote and include Apple Remote Access Client, Apple Remote Access Personal, and Serial Port Arbitrator. Don’t use infrared on your PowerBook? Remove the IRTalk extension.

    In all honesty, there is a lot more you can remove from your system. It all depends on what functions you use, or don’t use. Talk with other users, techs you know, bulletin boards, etc., etc. A little digging will give you a wealth of information. But be wary: if you aren’t sure, keep it! The last thing you want to do is remove something that’s essential.

    HH#31: Get rid of damaged fonts! – If when running Norton Utilities you find a damaged font, remove it! If you’re trying to write a letter and the font is acting weird or not coming up at all, get rid of it! I found out the hard way that damaged fonts can create havoc in all sorts of strange places on your Mac. You’ll save yourself a lot of aggravation by just getting it off your system. Trust me!

    HH#32: Empty Folders and Organizing Your Files – Sometimes in the rush, a folder is emptied out but never deleted. How do you know what’s empty and can be removed? There’s a couple of different ways to find out. The first is the easiest, although it could slow down your system. Turn on the Calculate Folder Sizes option in the Views control panel and view the window by size. If they’re empty, it will say 0 (zero).

    Another way of locating empty folders is to expand all your folders to see what they do or do not contain. Set the window you’re viewing to an outline view, such as by date. Select the folders you wish to check. Press Command and the right arrow to open the selected folders. This expands all the selected folders and if there is nothing in them, they’re pretty easy to spot.

    If you wish to take it a step further, Command-option-right arrow will expand all folders contained in the selected folders.

    Press Command and the left arrow to collapse all selected folders. Command-option-left arrow will collapse all the selected folders and all the folders in them.

    Before we move on, I just wanted to point out the terrific ad by Power Computing in the November 1997 issue of Macworld. They took the license fiasco and turned it to their favor – too bad Apple can’t do advertising like this. Take a moment while at your favorite bookstore or library to find it. It’s on the inside front cover. You can’t miss it and you’ll love it!

    Internet Site of the Month: My hometown, Lowell, Massachusetts!!!! Go to
    . This brings you to the Conventions and Visitor’s Bureau page – a good start. If you’re into history, you’ll love learning about my hometown. Lowell is the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution! (Okay, okay… not real exciting, but it is a cute little town!)

    Last, and certainly not least, if you have a particular area that’s giving you trouble, email me. I’ll answer you both personally and in the column. I promise I won’t use your name if you don’t want me to!

    Have a terrific Thanksgiving! Adiós!

    Barbara Bell (

    Websites mentioned:

  • Leave a Reply