Help Desk

This Mac 911 tackles the five Ws of journalism: Who needs to be concerned about the size of an OS X installation? What can you do to edit the images and fonts within PDF files “printed” from Safari? When is it appropriate to install Panther while upgrading the processor in an older Mac? Where can you learn about foreign file extensions? And why can’t iTunes identify duplicate songs? It’s all the Mac news that’s fit to print.

Slimmer Installation

What is the minimum amount of disk space required to install Mac OS X?

G.W. “Bill” Sparks III

A full-blown installation of OS X can consume more than 3GB of hard-drive space. By judiciously using the installer’s Custom Install feature, you can install Panther and use just less than 925MB of space. To tweak what you install, run the installer and, when the Easy Install On Name_of_Drive screen appears, click on the Customize button. In the Custom Install screen, you can deselect BSD Subsystem, Additional Applications (this includes Microsoft Internet Explorer; StuffIt Expander; and Apple’s iTunes, iMovie, iPhoto, iCal, and iSync), Printer Drivers, Additional Speech Voices, Fonts, and Language Translations.

Most people can safely do without Printer Drivers, Additional Speech Voices, Fonts, and Language Translations. Although your Mac will boot without BSD Subsystem, failing to install it means you won’t be able to use Terminal, FTP, or Secure Shell (SSH)—a scheme necessary for securely accessing a computer on a network or over the Internet. I’d keep BSD Subsystem. Likewise, your Mac won’t be much fun without Apple’s applications. You’re welcome to disable Internet Explorer, since Apple provides its own browser, Safari. An installation that includes BSD Subsystem and Additional Applications takes up about 1.5GB.

Portable Document Foibles

I like to save Web pages as PDFs via Safari. Can I change how the Save As PDF command in a Print dialog box works, to better control images and fonts? And how do I include the page title and URL in a Save As PDF document “printed” from Safari?

I like to save Web pages as PDFs via Safari. Can I change how the Save As PDF command in a Print dialog box works, to better control images and fonts? And how do I include the page title and URL in a Save As PDF document “printed” from Safari?

John Sullivan

The Save As PDF command essentially takes a picture of the document and turns it into a PDF file, so if you want to control fonts and images, you have to muck with them at the source. For example, you might decrease the size of the displayed font in Safari (Command-minus sign [-]) or instruct the host application to not display images. If you just want to cram more information on a virtual page, you can change the paper-size setting to something larger—Tabloid or Tabloid Extra, for example—in the Page Setup dialog box.

It’s impossible to include page titles and URLs in PDF documents generated by Safari. When I’m faced with such a situation, I create a TextEdit document of the Web page. To do so, click somewhere on the page, press Command-A to select its contents, and choose Safari: Services: TextEdit: New Window Containing Selection. The resulting TextEdit document contains your selection’s live links (but you’ll lose some images, most formatting, and all backgrounds). To return to this page in Safari, simply seek out a Home link and click on it.

In Order to Upgrade

I plan to upgrade my 400MHz Power Mac G4 with a faster processor, a SuperDrive, additional memory, and Panther. Should I do this in a particular order? Are there any other things I should watch out for?

I plan to upgrade my 400MHz Power Mac G4 with a faster processor, a SuperDrive, additional memory, and Panther. Should I do this in a particular order? Are there any other things I should watch out for?

Gene D. Bennett

I’d perform the upgrades in this order: processor, Panther, RAM, and then SuperDrive. Here’s my rationale:

The processor upgrade is first because if your Mac works well before a processor upgrade and misbehaves afterward, you know exactly where the trouble lies.

The SuperDrive I’m going to recommend works best with OS X 10.3.3, so you should put Panther on your Mac before adding the drive.

A few people who have installed Panther on their Macs have discovered that RAM that doesn’t meet Apple specifications can cause problems with the installation, but once Panther is installed, the Mac doesn’t object to this RAM.

OS X 10.3.3 and later versions recognize the Pioneer DVR-107D (Pioneer’s latest “SuperDrive”), so you don’t need to update the drive’s firmware for it to work.

But if your processor upgrade includes jumpers or switches for adjusting its speed, you may discover that the top advertised speed makes your Mac unstable. If this is the case, adjust your new processor to run a notch or two slower.

Also note that Apple’s Final Cut Pro may refuse to run because it doesn’t recognize the speed of your new processor. Sonnet provides a fix for this in the form of its Sonnet X Tune-Up utility (find.macworld .com/0034), and Other World Computing has a technical note that explains how to work around the problem ( find.macworld.com/0035 ).

Extend Your Reach

I’ve received documents with a .max extension. I can’t open the files. What application are these files associated with?

I’ve received documents with a .max extension. I can’t open the files. What application are these files associated with?

Patrick Flynn

When I run into an exasperating extension, I turn to The File Extension Source (http://filext.com). This site lets you search an index with common (and uncommon) file extensions, as well as links to Web sites associated with those extensions. For example, I discovered that your .max files were likely generated by ScanSoft’s PaperPort (www.scansoft.com), scanning software that is no longer made for the Mac. The File Extension Source includes a link to ScanSoft’s site, where you can find a free PaperPort viewer application, which, regrettably, runs only in OS X’s Classic environment.

Double Trouble

After I transferred songs in my iTunes library to another computer, there were a lot of duplicates—03 Saturn Girl.mp3, 03 Saturn Girl.m4a, 02 I Am So Ordinary.mp3, and 02 I Am So Ordinary.m4a, for example. What happened, and how do I eliminate duplicate songs?

After I transferred songs in my iTunes library to another computer, there were a lot of duplicates—03 Saturn Girl.mp3, 03 Saturn Girl.m4a, 02 I Am So Ordinary.mp3, and 02 I Am So Ordinary.m4a, for example. What happened, and how do I eliminate duplicate songs?

Kevin Knight

Though it seems that your Mac just can’t get enough Paula Cole, this isn’t the case. iTunes considers song files ripped multiple times with different encoders—MP3 ( .mp3) and unprotected AAC ( .m4a), in this case—to be distinct files. I’m guessing that you either ripped Paula Cole’s Harbinger twice—once with iTunes’ MP3 encoder and again with its AAC encoder—or selected the album and converted it from one format to another with the Convert command (found in the Advanced menu).

To cull duplicate tunes, try Doug Adams’s free Corral All Dupes AppleScript (www.malcolmadams.com/itunes). This script—which works very slowly on large iTunes libraries—searches for songs with the same name, artist, and album, and places them in a new Dupes playlist (see “Don’t Be Duped”). Then you can determine which of the duplicates to keep. You may, for example, want to keep the AAC versions of your songs and delete their MP3 counterparts.

1 2 Page 1
Page 1 of 2
  
Shop Tech Products at Amazon