Mac 911

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Mining for Tiger movies

In your “Mining for Movies” tip ( June 2005 ), you suggest that readers save streamed movies by going into the invisible tmp folder. This technique doesn’t work with Tiger, so I’d like to suggest an alternative that works with Safari.

Click on a streamed-movie link within Safari ( Click here to find such links) and wait for the movie to launch in QuickTime Player. After the movie window opens, go to Window: Show Movie Info (Command-I) and highlight the Source link. Copy the link, paste it into your browser’s address field, and close QuickTime Player.

The movie will now load in Safari. In the browser, go to Window: Activity, locate the movie file, and option-double-click on it. This causes the movie to download to your hard drive. Close the Safari window to conserve bandwidth, but don’t quit the app, as this will stop the download.

[ This technique allows you to download these movies without Apple’s $29 QuickTime Pro. If you have QuickTime Pro, you can control-click on a downloaded movie within your Web browser and choose Save As QuickTime Movie from the contextual menu.—Ed. ]

Patrick Fallon

Tool time

This month I take this sidebar’s title literally and discuss the tools—such as screwdrivers, wrenches, and acetylene torches—I use to muck around with my computers’ insides. The right tools can make the difference between a successful upgrade and a smoldering Mac. You can purchase many of them separately from an electronic-parts shop, or look for an all-in-one computer tool kit (pictured here) made by companies such as Belkin ($15 to $78;).

Grounding Strap Static electricity can kill your Mac. Before touching a computer’s innards, use one of these to get grounded.

Screwdrivers The most useful ones are Phillips-head screwdrivers #000, #00, #0, #1, and #2; a small flat-head; and Torx #10 and #15.

Why you’d mess around on the inside of an iPod mini is beyond me, but if you want to remove its internal top plate, you’ll need a #000 Phillips screwdriver. Today’s PowerBooks have #00 screws on the bottom. The #0 and #1 Phillips screwdrivers are for small internal screws. The screw that holds a PCI card in place can be handled with a #2 screwdriver. I can’t recall the last time I found a flat-head screw inside a Mac, but a flat-head screwdriver is helpful for gently prying things apart. The inside of the iMac G4 has a fair number of #10 and #15 Torx screws, as do some PowerBooks.

Needle-Nose Pliers Well tapered though my fingers may be, they’re not precision instruments. These pliers are useful for grabbing tiny parts.

Three-Pronged Parts Retriever I drop small screws into my Macs all the time. This helps me fish them out.

Thin Putty Knife If you want to get into your Mac mini, use a trusty putty knife.

Credit Cards To avoid scoring your iPod case, use a thin credit card (that you’re willing to damage) to separate the back from the case. A thicker credit card can be used to pry up an older PowerBook’s hard drive.

IC Extractor This tool pulls up chips.

Small Flashlight Extra illumination helps when you’re trying to read the tiny print on a circuit board. Get a flashlight that’s small enough to hold in your mouth.

Magnifying Glass or Reading Glasses Internal connectors can be really small. Use these to get a closer look.

Digital Camera Document your progress, and when it’s time to reassemble, you can see what you’ve done.

Pen and Paper If a photo won’t do, take notes.

With this trick, you can save a QuickTime movie to your hard drive even if it was designed to stream over the Internet. (How better to watch the space shuttle launch again and again?)
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