Starting Line – My Mac Magazine #51, July ’99


What a wonderful summer this is turning out to be. My back porch is finally finished so I can sit out there enjoying the weather without frying in the sun, the flowers and rose bushes are growing like crazy, the cats are fat and happy, the kids are tall and strong… what more could anyone ask?

Before jumping into Helpful Hints, I’m going to spend a little time following up on a couple of items readers wrote in about.

Dawn ( pointed out that when I spoke of backing up my iMac hard drive (using Retrospect), I neglected to say that I could specify for backup either certain files or the entire hard drive. I chose the entire hard drive which resulted in my using 9 SuperDisks (I have the Imation SuperDisk as my external drive.) She’s absolutely right. I chose to back up my entire hard drive for convenience. Should anything happen to my hard drive, everything is in one place, making restoration a bit easier (in theory, anyway!). However, to reduce the number of SuperDisks, I could back only those items that are not already on CD or some other medium.

By doing so, I’ll reduce the number of SuperDisks needed and lessen the time it takes for backup. Thanx, Dawn, for the info! 😉

I did a MicroFrontier ColorIt! review in April and Doug ( added a couple a very important facts. I’ll excerpt directly from his email:

“MicroFrontier’s companion application, Enhance, is really very similar (to ColorIt!) in most respects, but it does support layers. (Note: For those of you who did not read the review, ColorIt! is an excellent image editing software program. It’s only real failure is its lack of layers support. And, depending on your needs, that may not really be such a problem.) It has other enhancements and costs more. Think of ColorIt! as Enhance Lite and Enhance as PhotoShop Lite. They are each worth the money–just pick your level of need. I own all three and use ColorIt! 90% of the time because it is easier and does what I need. The other point is that ColorIt and Enhance are both rock solid stable. I have never had a problem with either. The last major upgrade of Enhance was a bit buggy until a fix-it release, but it didn’t crash.”

There is absolutely nothing I can add to Doug’s comments. Thanx for the info, Doug! 😉

I’ve been writing on and off on my experiences with my nifty little iMac (although not as nifty as Pete Miner’s!) and Robert ( wrote regarding my AOL crashes. (To quickly recap, about the only time my iMac crashes is when I’m using AOL 4.0 or using FastFax after using AOL.) Robert wrote “I have found Fax SW on the Mac to be a great source of crashes and system extension conflicts. I have a separate set of startup extensions on my Centris 650 for JUST using the fax software. I plan on doing the same to my iMac when I upgrade Conflict Catcher to version 8 (from version 3 which is on the C650 right now.)”

Yet another example of users helping users. Robert, thanx for writing in! 😉

Helpful Hints

Hiding Your Files — Okay, you’re at work, typing something extremely confidential on your Mac. Let’s face it, at work, privacy is at a premium and yet, you’re supposed to keep that darn file hidden from prying eyes. What to do? Well, as soon as someone comes into your cube/office/area, click the Option key while the mouse is in the Finder area of your screen. Presto chango! No more document!

The longer version of doing this is going up to your upper right-hand corner of the screen, where the name of the active program is showing, and choosing the Hide option when you click and hold on the name. (This is the Applications menu.)

Using the Option key shortcut, you can still reopen the file where you closed it in the Applications menu. Just remember, this just hides the file; it does not save or quit the application.

What version is my application? — Ok, you need to know what version of a certain application is. You can’t find the CD or floppies; or maybe you downloaded directly from the website you bought it from. There’s two ways to get this information. First, if the application is open, go under the colorful Apple in the upper left-hand corner of the screen, click and hold, and you’ll see a About… option. Activate this option and you’ll get your information.

But say you don’t want to open the application. Simply click once on the application icon, hit Command-I (or go under File, Get Info) and an information box pops up. This, too,will tell you what version the application is.

Stacking documents — Documents (in any program) stack themselves in the order in which they are opened. If you are going to be working on multiple documents during a particular time period, there’s a way to order them for your viewing pleasure. Holding the shift key, click once on the documents in the order you want to view them. Then, hit Command-O (or go under File, Open), and they will appear in the order in which you shift/clicked! This is why I love the Mac!!!! E-A-S-Y!!!!!!

Interesting Reading
June MacWorld column, ‘The Desktop Critic’ by David Pogue. He discusses the “sloppiness of today’s high-tech numberology.” And, after reading his column, I can only agree. He talks about modems, list prices, market share, memory requirements, megahertz, and version numbers. Very interesting and eye opening. It’s worth your time to stand at the magazine rack for 10 minutes at your local bookseller and read this column (always on the last page of the journal!).

Internet Site of the Month: I found a great site of short stories for all you horror fans, Pulp Fiction Head. Here’s the URL: Enjoy!!!

Don’t forget — have a Happy Fourth of July!!!!

Barbara Bell

Websites mentioned:

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