Most crashes on a Mac affect just one application. But you may encounter a type of system-wide crash that brings down your entire Mac: a kernel panic. When this occurs, there’s no warning and no way to save your work or do anything else without restarting. And, because kernel panics can have many different causes, diagnosing the problem and preventing its recurrence are difficult.
How do you know if it’s a kernel panic?
If you’re running OS X 10.7 Lion or earlier, kernel panics usually result in your screen dimming from top to bottom, and a message appearing in several languages telling you that you must restart your Mac (by holding down the power button for several seconds to turn it off, and then pressing it again to turn it back on).
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When you’re on the other side of 50, as I am, you become less concerned about how fast your Mac is, and more interested in how well you can see the text it displays. Whether your eyes are aging, your young eyes need glasses, or someone that you provide computer support for could use a boost in seeing the screen, no one should have to squint when surfing the Web, reading email, or writing documents. A few key techniques can increase the font size in applications where easy-to-see text makes the biggest difference.
Bigger fonts and word processing
Most applications that let you compose text also let you adjust the font size. If you’re using a word processor such as Apple’s Pages or Microsoft's Word, or a text editor such as Apple’s built-in TextEdit, you have numerous font and size options. It’s a good idea to increase your font size by a few points if you use corrective lenses; even if the font looks all right, you might not realize that you’re squinting.
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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.
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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:
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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.
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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.
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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.
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