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Mac OS X has been rewritten from the ground up, and Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard New Features highlights all of the most important and user-relevant aspects of this release. Experienced instructor and lifelong Mac user Garrick Chow introduces current Mac users to the improvements in the latest OS. While not a complete overhaul of the operating system, this update does address a fair number of internal systems and external user features. Garrick explores all of these updates, including enhancements to the Finder and the Dock and a completely revamped QuickTime player. He shows the wealth of improvements to built-in applications like Safari, Preview, iChat, and Mail, and explains the updated 64-bit support within Snow Leopard.
If you are an iChat user who saves the transcripts of your chats, a new feature you can take advantage of is iChat's ability to automatically show you past conversations. Go to iChat Preferences > Messages and check Save chat transcripts and by default, all your chat transcripts are saved to your iChat's folder in your Documents folder found in your Home folder. Then you are going to want to check In new chat window, show > The last chat, or you can choose between The last 5, 25, 100 or 250 messages you have exchanged with your chat buddy.
I will choose 250 and we will close Preferences. Now let's say I have a short conversation with my buddy, Melanie. Wait for her to respond. I am going to say that's probably all I need for now. Thanks.
Now in the previous version of iChat if I were to close this window, that exchange will be gone. Even if I did have my Preferences set to save my iChat conversations, I would still have to go digging through my Home folder, into Documents, into my iChat's folder, and locate to save chat. But even though I have closed this window, because I am using iChat in Snow Leopard and I activated the feature to display my previous conversations, when I double-click Melanie's name again to open a new chat window, our previous exchange reappears. I can't tell you how many times I have accidentally closed chat windows and missed what the person I was chatting with was typing.
This ability to save and display previous conversations is a very welcome change to iChat, even if previous means just a few seconds ago. But be careful leaving this feature on if you are having any sensitive sorts of conversations, where you could previously just close the chat window to prevent someone from reading your exchange, at least without having to search through your saved chats, the previous exchange will now be brought up whenever your buddy's name is double-clicked. So just be aware of that if the security of your chats is a concern.
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