It happens to every Mac user sooner or later. The virtual gears inside your computer begin to act as though they're running in a vat of tapioca pudding. No matter what you try to do, your Mac moves at a pace that a snail could run circles around. But before carting your Mac off to an Apple Genius Bar, try these fixes.
Restart your Mac
One of the simplest steps you can take is also one of the most effective. Restarting your Mac cures most slow-downs, because it forces background processes to quit, frees up RAM, and generally lets you begin afresh.
Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area. More by Christopher Breen
Do you routinely receive correspondence that contains a load of email addresses within the body of the message? Say, you're in charge of pulling together a meeting for the company's worldwide accounting department or you receive behind-the-scenes "Get out now while the getting's good!" missives from recently laid off co-workers. You’d dearly love to compose a message to the people associated with these addresses but it’s a bother to copy and paste them into a new message’s To field. If only there was a way to automate the process.
Of course there is. That way is Apple's Automator—specifically an Automator service that uses an AppleScript to work the service’s magic. It shakes out this way:
Senior Contributor Joe Kissell is a best-selling author of print and electronic books about Apple products and a popular speaker at Mac-themed events. He also serves as the Senior Editor of TidBITS. More by Joe Kissell
When you drag files or folders to the Trash icon in the Dock, OS X doesn’t delete them immediately. Just as you can pull something out of a physical trash can before the garbage collector arrives, you can remove files from the Trash until you decide you want to get rid of them for good (and thereby recover the disk space the files were using). When that time comes, you choose Finder > Empty Trash.
Ordinarily, emptying the Trash is immediate and uncomplicated. But occasionally something goes wrong and your Trash won’t empty; the Finder may display an error message indicating a reason (though not how to fix the problem). If that happens to you, here are several solutions you can try.
If you get a lot of email, you know how hard it can be to spot messages from friends and family, or from your most important contacts. The recently introduced VIPs feature, added to Mail 6 in OS X Mountain Lion and iOS 6, can alert you when you get emails from your most important friends and colleagues, whether you’re using your computer, iOS device, or even iCloud mail on the Web. Here's how to use it.
Set up VIPs
The VIPs feature works on Macs running Mountain Lion, on iOS devices running iOS 6, and on iCloud on the Web. You can have up to 100 people listed as VIPs.
Little things mean a lot—especially when tiny tips save time. Ramp up your Web-browsing skills with these speed-friendly techniques for Safari 6.
1. Open a link in a new tab
When you type something into Safari's Address Search Field and click Return to see the top search hit, the new page replaces the current one, as you'd expect. But if you want to keep the current page around, you can: Press Command-Return to open the top hit in a new tab, or press Shift-Return to open it in a new window.
An easy way to keep your Mac healthy is to keep your apps current. Why? Bug fixes, security updates, new features—need I go on? Resolve to stay on top of updates in the new year.
Upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion (if you can)
If you haven’t gotten around to upgrading to Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8), now’s the time to forge ahead to get new and improved apps and features. Not sure which OS version you’re running? Choose About This Mac in the Apple menu; and in the window that appears, look beneath 'OS X' to see the version number. Mountain Lion is 10.8.x; Lion is 10.7.x. The two previous systems are Snow Leopard (10.6.x) and Leopard (10.5.x).
David has been covering Apple and how to get the most out of its products since 2005. Now a freelance tech writer, he runs Finer Things in Tech, jots down thoughts at DavidChartier.com, occasionally starts outlining the great American tech novel, and might still get to snowboard Breckenridge one more time. More by David Chartier
The way we find jobs and pitch ourselves to prospective employers is changing rapidly, and LinkedIn is trying to help you stay ahead of the game. The “social network for professionals” recently introduced a new feature called Endorsements that, with a little help from your coworkers and close friends, can help you catch the eye of recruiters who are short on time but long on candidates.