Mac OS X Newbie guide

Here’s my guide for newbies to Mac OS X for people like myself who just got a mac mini. Personally I haven’t used apple, mac for about 17 years so it’s pretty new to me. Actually got one back in February 2005. These screenshots were mostly done in April but didn’t get around to finishing this Mac guide till August.

Mac mini is selling like hot cakes.

Ok I’ll admit that this isn’t a hot cake but it’s a hot freakin cake.
Luckily my mac mini wasn’t destroyed taking these pictures.
Evidently a mac mini isn’t as hot as a $50 used iBook.

DVD Backup and Burning Guides on Mac

DVD and CD .iso image burning Disk Utility, Toast, Dragon Burn

Roxio Popcorn DVD Backup

SVCD to DVD using Toast and iDVD


iDVD works pretty well for home movies.

Easily add chapters in iDVD.

Japanese on Mac OS X Tiger

Japanese input, reading, study freeware, etc.

OS X keyboard shortcuts

cmd + TAB = cycle through apps (Q = quits app)
cmd + M or double-click Title Bar = minimize
cmd + H = hide window
cmd + delete = move to trash (delete key where backspace would be)
cmd + click = same as right clicking mouse
cmd + I = get info
cmd + alt + ESC = force quit apps

cmd + C = copy
cmd + V = paste
cmd + X = cut
cmd + A = select all
cmd + Z = undo
cmd + Z + shift = redo
cmd + Q = close app
cmd + W = close window

Arrow Keys
cmd + left = beginning of line
cmd + right = end of line

cmd + N = new Finder window
select file, press ENTER = to rename file
cmd + down arrow = launches highlighted app
cmd + shift + A = apps
cmd + shift + U = utilities

F9 = tile all windows across desktop
F10= tile all windows in current app
F11= show desktop
Also has Hot Corners
Can map mouse buttons 4,5, & 6

Screen Capturing
No ‘Print Screen’ like in Windows
cmd + shift + 3 = captures whole screen
cmd + shift + 4 = captures selected region
cmd + shift + 4, spacebar = captures window with camera icon
Saves as PDF then in Preview must export to .png, .jpg, etc.
Actually I don’t prefer the built-in screen capturing at all and prefer to use snapclip (freeware) instead.

Booting up Mac
Hold C key to startup from CD-ROM (change password)
Hold T key to startup in Target Disk Mode
Hold N key to startup in Net

must use CTRL-E end of line, CTRL-A beginning of line (bash)

Hot Corners (Expose)
can make mouse4, mouse5, mouse6 (side buttons on logitech mx1000)

Things I like about Mac OS X

System wide:
– spell check
– PDF creation
– multi-lingual input (unicode-16), Japanese, Chinese, Korean, etc.

Built-in Sharing
Personal, Windows, Print, AppleTalk, FTP Server, Incoming Firewall
Windows (SMB) sharing must use SharePoints for external firewire/usb drives.

Fast-user Switching
Account security, each app install requires users password

Miscellaneous notes on Mac OS X

History of Mac OS X
Cheetah 10.0
Puma 10.1
Jaguar 10.2
Panther 10.3
Tiger 10.4

Long filenames (255 characters or 755 bytes, based on UTF-8

HFS+ Hierarchical File System Plus. The Mac OS Extended file-system format. This format was introduced as part of Mac OS 8.1, adding support for filenames longer than 31 characters, Unicode representation of file and directory names, and efficient operation on very large disks. HFS+ is a multiple-fork volume format.

Exporting Image
drag image to app or desktop
cmd + drag to app or desktop to maintain focus

Stuffit Expander is the compression utility
handles .sit, .zip, .hqx,
download a ton of compressed files, select them all and double click which will decompress all of them in their respective folders.

Creating an archive
select the files and it’ll put them in a .zip.

Installing .dmg (disk images) applications
double-click on blahblah.dmg
new disk image appears on desktop
open disk image and drag Application icon to Applications folder
right click or cmd + click and choose Eject

sudo -s = become root
ssh -l root = ssh as root

for using newsgroups under Mac see my newsgroups guide

diskutil and drutil commands

For Hard Disks and CD/DVD burners

diskutil list (shows current Volumes)
diskutil rename /Volumes/200GB_orange 200GB_orenji
diskutil rename /Volumes/currentname newname

drutil list
drutil info
drutil tray open
drutil tray close

drutil tray eject or disktool -e disk2

mrbass-Computer:~ mrbass$ drutil list
Vendor Product Rev Bus SupportLevel
1 MATSHITA CD-RW CW-8123 CAD4 ATAPI Apple Shipping
2 LITE-ON DVDRW SOHW-1633S BS0S FireWire None

Mac OS X Annoyances

ENTER = choose YES – focused on yes with NO or YES dialog (obvious)

spacebar or ESC = choose NO – focused on yes with NO or YES dialog (not so obvious)
however this spacebar or ESC doens’t always work so it’s hit and miss so one usually has to resort to using the mouse….sucks the big one.

Dialogs in Mac OS X usually require one to use the mouse to choose the one not highlighted or with focus. This drives people accustomed to using keyboards bonkers..arggghhhh. Windows has allowed use of keyboard for dialogs for ages. GNOME on linux got reamed for not allowing it by Sun Microsystems desktop research group and now allow it.

to print a selection of text choose Firefox from printer dialog
change default F11 key in Expose to F13 (for instance) so F11 functions as fullscreen toggle

Setting up Mac OS X for first time
cmd + Q, then skip = skips registration

Irfanview replacements

batch resize = iPhoto, Photo Tool works too but doesn’t retain EXIF like iPhoto does
batch rename = Photo Tool
batch rotation = iPhoto, lossless rotation Photo Tool
red eye removal = iPhoto

crop = iPhoto
view exif info = iPhoto
full screen slideshow = iPhoto or built in Mac OS X screensaver

screenshot/crop = SnapClip
add transparency, other advanced filters = ToyViewer
blank out certain parts of image = seashore (native OS X port of gimp)
add simple text = seashore

Mac OS X freeware

Video Playback
Quicktime, following can be downloaded:
Divx, Xvid, Windows Media Player, Real Media Player, VLC player

FTP client

cyberduck (GPL, free)


Monitor bandwidth rate, memory and CPU usage

Can click on each for a detailed report.

Namely is one I use to quickly launch an app. Press ALT – ESC to bring up namely then type first couple of letters then hit ENTER. Yes spotlight works too but it takes 2 seconds so that drives me up the wall. I’d prefer to use namely on windows and linux too someday.

Snapclip is what I use to capture any screenshots.
I set it to output to .png. You can set it to .jpg if you wish.
Beats the pants off the built-in one that saves to PDF.

Snapclip has many automatic naming options. JPEG compression.

Winswitch let’s one keep their menu short by replacing login name with an icon.

Backlight let’s you run a screensaver on your desktop.

Fink unix apps ported to Mac OS X
install via source or apt-get install
I got totally excited at first but now it seems more like hit and miss.
vim didn’t format text right (UTF-8?), nano did but couldn’t get syntax highlighting working with it (have no problems under linux) and no undo makes it worthless to me (nano failed to install from source), vile worked great (just couldn’t figure out color schemes). Was able to install lftp and ncftp which both worked well. Bluefish I never could get to show up but I was able to get Quanta working but the ugliness of the fonts is a huge turn off.

Sharepoints is needed if you wish to say copy files via SMB to windows on external firewire or usb drives.

Reason I mention audion is it’s a great mp3 player even though most everyone nowadays just uses Itunes. However, one should note the history of it. Basically Apple can pretty much destroy any market they choose to go into. Panic has some great products both around $30 a pop. Unison is best newsreader and Transmit is a great FTP client.

Little Snitch Firewall

Little Snitch is $25 but well worth it. People usually have routers nowadays so it’s not for protecting INCOMING missles but rather sneaky OUTGOING secret documents. So many applications want to ET call home it’s pathetic.

Outgoing connections it’ll allow you to Deny or Allow it once.

Also allows you to choose to Deny or Allow connections Forever so it won’t ask you again.

You can easily edit or delete your existing firewall rules.

4 options are available and they’re self-explanatory.
Any connection, Same Port, Same Server, Same Server & Port.

Favorite MAC OS X icon sets

Reneex 1111_reenex.sit 923KB

Pixel Feng Shui PP-PixelFengShui.sit 628KB

SweetShop SweetShop.sit 321KB

MAC OS X links

Find Mac Applications

News Sites

Icons, Wallpapers, etc.

Magazine Subscriptions
I subscribe to both of them.

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