Starting Line – My Mac Magazine #49, May ’99

Dear Readers:

Spring is here! My tulips and crocuses are pushing their little stems up through the dirt, getting ready to amaze the world with their loveliness. It almost makes winter worthwhile.

Teena in Australia has written in with some fabulous information. Read on; I think you’ll like what she says:

iMac Update is a periodic news communication from Apple Computer sent to customers who requested more information on iMac. If you received a copy of this issue of the publication from someone else and would like to subscribe to iMac Update yourself, you can do so at the following website:

“Did you know that Apple’s Technical Information Library (TIL) contains over 14,000 articles filled with valuable product, technical, and troubleshooting information? It’s true. In fact, Apple product and support personnel add to this rich knowledge base on a daily basis. Just recently, they added an article that could help you if you encounter a problem with your modem while going online with iMac. The article — iMac Modem Troubleshooting — describes some symptoms you may experience (like not hearing a dial tone) and suggests likely causes. To read the article, go to:

“What other articles are available? Take a look at the new or modified articles we’ve added to the TIL in the last 7 days:

“The Tech Info Library is where I’ve found answers to all my iMac questions…re: freezes, bugs, etc., and perhaps it’ll help you. I must admit I also have the problem of the frozen mouse after periods of non-use, the same as wrote about, and just unplugged from one USB port and into another, which solves it. It has only happened twice so I didn’t go to the Tech Library about it, but I’m sure it’ll be mentioned there.

“Found this in the Tech Info Library…not much help, I’m afraid, so we’ll have to suffer with the mouse’s temporary loss of memory of what it’s doing!”

Teena wrote the above messages to Rusty and Anne after reading about their trials and tribulations in a recent Starting Line. Teena, I can’t thank you enough! Some people don’t have the time to look, others don’t know where to begin. Your tenacity and perseverance is admirable–and impressive! Thank you for sharing the information.

Helpful Hints

Avoid all those “Back” buttons in Navigator. It’s easy! Say you want to visit the previous site and don’t want to hit the “Back” button a dozen times. Simply hit the Option key then the “Back” button. It takes you to the first page you visited in the previous site.

The next best thing to rebuilding your desktop is defragmenting. Rebuilding your desktop cleans it up. Defragmenting puts things back together. You see, as you save files, they can get moved all over your hard drive. And, the further away a file is from the application (whether a document or an extension or whatever), the longer it takes to open or work. So, how to defragment? It’s easy but, this is one where you have to buy a software package. Norton Utilities is a great one. There is also one by La Cie named SilverLining. I’m sure there are others. The only one I have used is Norton Utilities and I have found it to be sufficient. [Editor’s note: Alsoft’s DiskExpress and DiskExpress Pro are also excellent defragmenting tools; safe, reliable, and efficient. DiskExpress is unique in that it not only “puts things back together,” it reorganizes them according to usage.]

Ventilation is your friend. Keep the space around your hard drive clear. We’re all aware that our hard drives contain fans which keep its “guts” cool. If you block the flow of air, the fan can’t do its job. That puts you at risk of overheating your system. Not a good thing. So remember–don’t stack up junk around your hard drive. A clean desk is a happy desk!

Browser Status Bars. At the bottom of Netscape and AOL (and I’m sure MS Explorer), there is a nifty little status bar. This status bar lets you know the status of the page you are visiting. Say you just typed in the URL of the site you want to visit. It begins to download. If you look at the status bar (located on the bottom of the browser window), it tells you what percentage of the page is downloaded. It also lets you know when the download is complete. How is this useful? Well, if you’ve been waiting 5 minutes and only 5% of the page is downloaded, you might want to move on. Or, at least go start another pot of coffee and make an omelet!

Site of the Month:

Renie is a fashion illustrator. If you have an interest in fashion, or fashion illustrations, visit her site! It downloads quickly, it’s easy to navigate, and her drawings are great!

Happy Summer!

Barbara Bell

Websites mentioned:

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