Here’s the February edition of your friendly Computer Tutor’s month of questions and answers on a wide range of everyday topics and problems. Your comments and rebuttals are always welcome, in our Article Discussion area below (free registration is required).
Q#32: Why doesn’t Spotlight show all the folders or files for a mini-search, activated by clicking on the little icon upper right in my Menu Bar?
A#32: To save space. When you need more items, click on SHOW ALL for each different category.
Q#33: How do I remove unwanted Dashboard widgets from my Desktop?
A#33: Click on the plus sign with a circle around it, lower left, when your Dashboard widgets are active on your screen, then click on an X to close each undesired widget.
Q#34: Is there any reason to keep using expensive HP inks on my printer?
A#34: Yes. They are more reliable and print better than off-brands.
Q#35: How do I make a new Desktop folder in Tiger, OS 10.4?
A#35: Click on a blank spot on your Desktop, then mouse up to File -> New Folder.
Q#36: Why is my photo printing so heavily over-inked?
A#36: Make sure you’re using a good brand of photo paper and the correct paper and ink settings for your printer. These can be buried, so ask for help if necessary.
Q#37: How do I draw a text box in Microsoft Word?
A#37: In your Menu Bar, choose View ->Drawing Palette, then click on the little rectangle icon, and “draw” your box inside the designated Word document. Then click on the A symbol, and type your text within it, using the Formatting Palette. Not difficult once you do it a couple of times.
Q#38: Which mouse is best?
A#38: At your local CompUSA you can often hand-sample many kinds of mice. Wherever you buy your mouse, make sure you can return it if you’re not pleased. Hint: if you’re using OS X and haven’t switched to a two-button scrolling mouse, you should give one a try, to take advantage of features not available with a classic one-button mouse.
Q#39: Which is better, AIM chat from AOL or iChat from Apple?
A#39: They are very similar when using typed text, but iChat is more versatile, with more features, especially for audio and video chats.
Q#40: How many extra rechargeable AA batteries should I have for my digital camera?
A#40: I recommend two full extra sets, always fully charged and ready.
Q#41: Why in Photoshop do I have to go back to each image or text layer to edit them?
A#41: You can Layers -> Flatten the whole picture, but then the individual layers are lost.
Q#42: Why doesn’t the serial number I type in allow me to register my software?
A#42: See if you can exactly copy and paste the set of alphanumeric characters from your incoming email registration confirmation, when it’s available.
Q#43: What should I do when my G3 iMac powers up but nothing else happens?
A#43: Your hard drive is probably dead. Get a new iMac and load it with your archived or backed-up data you made from your old machine. What? You don’t have a full archive? MyMac.com will address this procedure soon.
Q#44: In AOL, how can I find the previous spam, from last week’s Spam Folder?
A#44: You can’t. Those spam messages are gone forever.
Q#45: What’s the best way in Photoshop Elements to darken just part of a photo?
A#45: The Dodge (lighten) and Burn (darken) tools are great for this purpose. MyMac.com will cover these tools in a future tutorial.
Q#46: How do I get JPGs into my iPhoto Library if they are elsewhere on my hard drive?
A#46: You can File -> Import, then navigate to selecting these photos for importing into your iPhoto Library.
Q#47: How do I use Tiger’s Migration Assistant, when my original Mac has only USB, and not FireWire?
A#47: Use a combo external USB/FireWire drive to transfer all your existing files, then use Migration Assistant on the new Mac to transfer them, via FireWire cable and ports. This is easier to do than to explain, so ask for help if you are confused.
Q#48: How do I know how many photos are in each iPhoto album, including the complete Library and iPhoto Trash?
A#48: Choose in your Menu Bar: iPhoto -> Preferences -> General, and check “Show photo count for albums.”
Q#49: I can’t get my Skype account password to connect.
A#49: Click on the small link below, for “forgot password,” and Skype will email you a new password immediately.
Q#50: Safari can’t play movie previews from Rottentomatoes.com. Help!
A#50: Use Firefox browser instead. It works fine.
Q#51: Where do I get Earthlink settings for email?
A#51: <http://www.support.earthlink.net> and look around for a link on email settings.
Q#52: Why does an old Windows hard drive plus FireWire WiebeTech dock mount on my iBook but not on my G5 tower?
A#52: Mount it on the iBook, then use Disk Utility to erase and format the drive as Mac OS Journaled, and it will mount on the G5.
Q#53: What’s the most important feature in headphones?
A#53: 1 = comfort, 2 = sound, 3 = price. MyMac.com will have an article on this topic as soon as we can.
Q#54: What do I do when my DSL service drops the connection?
A#54: Shut down your computer, unplug the DSL modem from your wall electrical power, then start up your computer and plug in the DSL power cable. That should work. Hint: the process is similar with cable modems.
Q#55: Help, Nemo. I can’t find Google Earth on the main google.com home page.
A#55: Do a search for “Google earth” (quotes not needed) and you’ll see the link to download the application. Link is here.
Q#56: Why does downloading and installing Google Earth take so many more clicks in Windows than on a Mac?
A#56: Windows is sometimes more complicated and annoying than it needs to be.
Q#57: Are Dummies books only for morons?
A#57: No. They are very good for most beginner through intermediate readers, as you’ll see at: <https://www.mymac.com/showarticle.php?id=2269>.
Q#58: Do I need to learn Camera Raw? I hear about it often, but it sounds complicated.
A#58: Only if you’re using a digital SLR or comparable very high quality digital camera, and you need full total Photoshop or Aperture control over every image. In general, if you have to ask, you probably don’t need to learn about Raw.
Q#59: How do I get AppleWorks into my new Intel iMac? I miss it!
A#59: Install AppleWorks 6 from the CD or DVD installer from an earlier model of iMac or iBook, and make sure you update it to version 6.2.9 at <http://www.versiontracker.com>.
That’s all for our 28 February questions. To be continued in about a month.