I help friends and family with their Macs all the time. Many things I show them result in them saying “I didn’t know that!” Many of these things seem like common sense to me. Here’s a list of many of these “I didn’t know that” items.
1. You don’t have to use the Apple mouse that might have come with your computer. You can use many third party mice as long as the package indicates it is compatible with a Mac. In fact, many of these mice work without having to install the included drivers. In cases like that, the drivers might add more functionality to the mouse, but you might find that the mouse works for your needs.
2. Here’s some more software you don’t need to install. If you just bought a digital camera or video camera and you plan on using iPhoto and/or iMovie you don’t need to install the software that came with your camera. The cameras should “just work.” The software on the included CD is usually iPhoto-like or iMovie-like applications that will just take up space on your hard drive.
3. While we are on the topic of drivers. If you have an older printer, the odds are in your favor that you won’t need to install those drivers on your new Mac. They are probably built into the operating system.
4. You don’t have to keep every application that is in your Applications folder. You can delete those programs that you don’t need. (What is Zinio, by the way?)
5. When you delete those programs, make sure you empty the trash. I have said this before, but it is worth repeating. Items are not totally deleted until you empty the trash. Until you do, the items in the trash will be taking up valuable disk space. This goes for the trash in iPhoto, too.
6. When you enter a website into your browser you may not need to enter www. It depends on the site and the browser. Some browsers will accept an address like mymac.com. Some browser will even accept “mymac.”
7. Newer iPods may not sync with older firewire cables with dock connectors, but they will still charge your new iPod. I use my old wall charger with a firewire cable to charge my 30GB iPod all of the time.
8. Clicking your mouse with the control key (ctrl) pressed is the same as right-clicking on a two button mouse.
9. If you leave Front Row while an audio file is still playing it will continue to play through iTunes. This is great for those times you need to leave Front Row to use an application, but you don’t want to stop the audio and restart it in iTunes.
10. You can check the status of your Apple Store order from the store’s homepage. However, you cannot check the status of iPhoto orders from here. For those orders you have to use this site: https://mercury.apple.com/WebObjects/OrderStatus.
Look for more “I didn’t know that” items in future Macspirations. Leave your “I didn’t know that” items below.