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In this course, Macworld senior editor Christopher Breen provides a comprehensive overview of Mac OS X Lion, complete with insider tips for getting the most out of the operating system. The course shows how to configure system preferences, personalize the interface, and master gestures, as well as achieve fluency with applications such as Mail, iCal, and Preview. The course also includes tutorials on browsing the web with Safari, automating complex tasks with Automator, sharing over a network, and performing maintenance operations using the disk utility, along with timesaving techniques for using the Mac efficiently.
Throughout this course I've tried to provide you not only with, as the course title suggests, Lions essentials but toss in a few helpful hints along the way. But a few hints remain. Allow me to offer them to you now. Should some one ask you for some of the more intimate details about your Mac, and this could be a repair person or an ISP representative, for example, you may not know where to look. So let me help you with that. Go to the Apple menu and choose About this Mac. Here you are going to find not only the version of the software you're running, but the build if you should be that information, but also your Mac serial number.
Every so often if you are talking to somebody at Apple Support you may need to provide this information and this is where you can find it. You will also find the kind of processor you have and the speed, in this case we have 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, and the amount of memory that's installed in your Mac. I will close that, now hold on the Option key and again click on the Apple menu and this time choose System Information. At one time this application was called System Profiler, but with Lion they have changed the name. This provides even more granular detail about your Mac. Again select Hardware and you can see the overview of the map but you can go much deeper.
For example click USB, you can find the kind of devices that are connected to the USB port, click on Printers if your printers installed, you'll see which printers are installed on your Mac, and you can check other settings such as Bluetooth, your memory which slots, they are installed in, and so on. When I talked about recording with QuickTime, I mentioned that you can capture a movie of the screen. But you can also capture still images on your Mac screen and this can be helpful if you need to send some of the details of your Internet connection from the Network system preference for example.
So speaking of that let's just go to the Network system preference and I'll take a screenshot of it. Hold down Command+Shift+3 and that takes a still image of whatever's on the screen and here's our still image. By the way I brought that up by selecting the image and pressing the Spacebar and that invokes Quick Look, which allows you to preview files. There's another way to capture the screen and this time just a portion of the screen.
Hold down Command+Shift+4 and I can select just a portion of the screen, let go and it creates an image of the selection and here it is. Finally if you want to capture just a menu or a window, hold down Command+Shift+4 and then press the Spacebar and then you can take a shot of just a menu or a window. So for example if I wanted to capture this Edit menu, I select it then I press Command+Shift+4 and then press the Spacebar.
Once I've done that all I have to do is move my cursor over the object that I want to capture. Click the mouse and there's your image. So there is my screenshot of the menu. I can also do that with this window. I will click on the window, Command+Shift +4 Spacebar, I click, and here is the image of the window, plus notice they draw the shadow around it so it's a very nice looking image. If you like typing, you can move to locations on your Mac very easily. Just press Shift+Command+G and up pops the Go to Folder window.
At this point I can then type in the path for a folder I want to visit. The shortcut way to get to your user folder is to press Shift+~. The tilde key is next to the one key near the top of the keyboard. And then a slash and then I want to go to the Library folder inside my User folder and then we'll go to the Preferences folder. Go and here I am and I can show you the path. So I Command+Click on that folder and here's the path. Preferences within the Library folder inside my User folder, inside the Users folder, and finally the hard drive on this Mac.
This could be more efficient than just double-clicking on the hard drive and digging down. And finally using the Option key with Finder menus. I have got a couple of menus up here in the menu bar. One is the Airport menu. Now if like click on the Airport menu, it shows me all the wireless networks nearby. However, if I click while holding the Option key, I see some more information. I can see not only the channel that this airport network is on, but I can also check out the signal strength. This RSSI is an indicator of signal strength.
Also if I want to know what kind of protection is on that network, I just look under security. And then there's the Sound menu. If I click on that I can adjust the sound up-and-down if I like. However if I hold on the Option key and click on the Sound icon, I can see which devices I have configured for the output device and for the input device. Currently, we just have one line out and one in. However, if I had multiple devices connected to sound I could then from here select what I want to have for my input and which I want to have for my output.
And there you have it. Some of the Finder's less well-known powers that you can put to good use to have a more efficient Mac.
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