People tend to have strong feelings about QuickTime 4’s QuickTime Player; some heartily dislike it. For an example of why, take the volume-control thumbwheel. One sweep of the mouse doesn’t seem to turn it very far. The trick is to remember that this is a
thumbwheel. Patrick McClure of Santa Monica, California, discovered that you can click the thumbwheel and drag up (or down) past the point where you no longer seem to be touching the thumbwheel; the volume continues to change until it reaches its maximum (or minimum) setting. You can also change the sound level by clicking and dragging directly in the volume indicator located next to the thumbwheel.
If you prefer using keyboard shortcuts, you can ignore the thumbwheel completely and simply use the up- and down-arrow keys to control the volume, notes Benjamin Drew of Munich, Germany. The new QuickTime Player recognizes many of the keyboard shortcuts from previous versions: the return key and the spacebar both start and pause forward play, the right-arrow key steps forward and the left-arrow key steps backward, and command-right arrow plays forward and command-left arrow plays backward.
Unreadable Rewritable CDs
When I burn a CD-RW disc and put it in my LC 630’s internal CD-ROM drive, it doesn’t appear on the desktop. Yet the same CD-RW disc mounts fine on a Power Mac 6100, a G3 machine, and an iMac. I’ve heard that older CD-ROM drives don’t have the requisite speed for rewritable media. Since I don’t encounter this problem when using CD-R media, I can’t see how speed is an issue.
The problem is not with the speed of your drive but with the discs. Simply put, CD-RW discs are less reflective than CD-R discs and factory-made CDs. Older CD-ROM drives such as the one in your LC, as well as some older audio-CD players, don’t have the necessary circuitry to compensate for this low reflectiveness. Most new CD-ROM drives and audio-CD players can read CD-RW discs, although some CD-ROM drives read them at a reduced speed.
Really Big Backup Files
I recently had the “bright idea” to install an inexpensive 18GB hard drive in our company’s main Mac file server as backup storage (using Dantz Development’s Retrospect) for our network. But after everything was set up, I discovered that even with full compression the Retrospect backup-set file exceeds the 2GB file-size limit for Mac OS 8.6. Is there any way to get around this file-size limit?
Raleigh, North Carolina
To create files of this magnitude, you need two things. First, you have to get Mac OS 9, which features the HFS+ disk format and which is the first version of the operating system that provides the programming interface applications need in order to save files larger than 2GB. Second, you need a version of Retrospect that makes use of this programming interface. Unfortunately, the latter does not exityet.
Use Retrospect’s Duplicate function to back up more than 2GB of data to another hard drive.
You could perform a scheduled Duplicate for each hard drive that you want to back up. To make a complete backup of each hard drive on your network, specify the destination for each drive (or source volume) as a different folder (subvolume) on the 18GB backup hard drive (see “Big Backups”). If you want the backup folder to be an exact duplicate of the source, select the Replace Entire Disk option. In this mode, Retrospect will replace all files that have been changed and delete files that no longer exist on the source. On the other hand, if you want the destination folder to contain all the files that are on the source
any files that were already in the destination folder but were deleted from the source, select the Replace Corresponding Files option instead.
An interesting variation is to specify the same destination on the backup drive for all the networked hard drives and then choose the Replace Corresponding Files option. In this case, the backup drive or folder will contain a superset of the files from all the networked hard drives. For example, you could use this configuration to transfer only new and rerecorded MP3s from several source computers to a master collection on one big destination hard drive.
With any of these configurations, the Duplicate process is incremental. Retrospect simply scans the destination folder and copies only those files that are new or that have changed.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t back up only to a hard drive on your premises. It’s important to back up to media that someone moves off-site. Otherwise, the fire (flood, earthquake, hurricane, theft) that destroys the original will also likely destroy the copy.
Dragging Background Windows
If you need to move a window that’s behind your current window (in the same application), simply hold down the command key while you drag the title bar of the background window. With this neat little trick, the background window stays in the background, so you don’t need to click back and forth between windows.
San Anselmo, California
Outsmart Word’s Autoindent
Microsoft Word 98 automatically adjusts an entire paragraph’s indentation when you press the tab or the delete key at the beginning of an existing paragraph. This sounds fine but is often annoying in practicethe loss of control over the formatting of paragraphs that follow the magically altered one can be especially troublesome to novices. Word Help says you can turn off all automatic formatting by choosing AutoCorrect from the Tools menu and clearing the check boxes on the AutoFormat As You Type tab of the dialog box. Don’t believe it. Instead, you must choose Preferences from the Tools menu and clear the Tabs and Backspace Set Left Indent option on the Edit tab. Now Word will stop trying to outsmart you.
Browse Invisible Items
You can see the invisible files in a folder or the root level of a disk by dragging the folder or the disk icon to a Netscape Navigator window and comparing its list to the Finder’s.
In “”Unmask Your Mac’s Hidden Problems”” (
, August 1999), Ted Landau suggested using Sherlock to list invisible files. An easy way to see the invisible files in any folder is simply to drag that folder onto a Netscape Navigator window (see “Decloaking Device”). Navigator will list all of the folder’s files and subfoldersincluding the invisible items. (This does not work with Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.5.) If you see a file that you want to delete, open the invisible file using Apple’s free ResEdit program (
) or any of a dozen other file utilities. In ResEdit, choose Get Info For (name of the selected item) from the File menu, and in the dialog box that appears, turn off the Invisible option. Close all ResEdit windows (or quit ResEdit), saving changes when asked. Now you can drag the newly visible file to the Trash.
Douglas S. Mehr
More Shutdown Reminders
If you want to record an audio reminder to play at shutdown, you don’t need QuickTime Pro (as suggested in
, November 1999). Instead, says William H. Clarke of Missoula, Montana, open the Monitors & Sound control panel or the Sound control panel (whichever you have) and select the Alerts menu. Click Add to record a new alert sound. Once you’ve recorded your reminder and are happy with the message, save it, open the System file (which is inside the System Folder), and drag the sound file you just created from the System file’s window to the Shutdown Items folder. Now your message will play whenever someone shuts down the computer.
For a more formal alert, Alan Somers of McKinney, Texas, suggests using the Script Editor to create the following simple AppleScript:
display dialog "Turn off the monitor." ¬
buttons "OK" default button "OK" ¬
with icon note giving up after 10
The last part of the statement, “giving up after 10,” causes the dialog box to go away automatically after ten seconds. If you use Mac OS 8.5 or later, you can change the delay time by entering a different number. You must omit this part altogether in Mac OS 8.1 and earlier.
When you have finished, save your script in the Shutdown Items folder. In the Save dialog box, set the Kind option to Application and turn on the Never Show Startup Screen option.µ
LON POOLE answers readers’ questions and selects reader-submitted tips for this monthly column. He is a coauthor, with Todd Stauffer, of the upcoming
Macworld Mac OS 9 Bible
(IDG Books Worldwide) and, with John Rizzo, of The Little Network Book (Peachpit Press, 1999).
All shareware and freeware mentioned in Quick Tips is available from the Macworld Online software library (
We pay $25 to $100 for tips selected for publication that discuss how to use Macs, peripherals, or software. Please include your full name and address, so that we can send you your payment. Send questions or tips to
or to Macworld Quick Tips, 301 Howard St., 16th Fl., San Francisco, CA 94105. All published submissions become the sole property of Macworld. Due to the high volume of mail received, we cannot provide personal responses.