Short name shortcut

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A reader who does not wish to add his name to the following tale of a love lost writes:

I recently bought a new 20” iMac. That purchase was subsequent to the parting of the ways of myself and ex-partner. The old G4 was hers and left for me as part of our division of common possessions. When I followed the instructions to transfer files and information, my new iMac assumed the name of my ex! Of course I have administrative privileges, but how can I get this new computer to bear my name instead of hers? If this condition persists, I can see how it could cause trouble for me down the road, should there be a new significant other.

It’s dead simple to change the long name for your account. Just go to the Accounts preference within System Preferences, select the account name you want to alter, click the Lock icon to pull up the authenticate dialog box, and when the account is unlocked enter a new long name in the Name field.

It’s the short name that’s the problem. Changing it manually requires a serious bit of effort. But Macworld’s own Dan Frakes and James Bucanek have done their best to spare you that effort with their free ChangeShortName utility (comprised of a Unix shell script and helper application). It’s getting rave reviews on the major download sites and has been cited as a bacon-saver on Apple’s Discussion forums.

Give it a go. And when that next relationship rolls around, consider assigning a generic (and transferrable) “pet name” to your significant other — “pumpkin” for example. That way, should the next partnering blow up, you need do nothing but make sure that you begin calling the next prospect “pumpkin” at the earliest (and most appropriate) opportunity.

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