A column for people who remember what
the world was like before there was color.....
Images Through E-Mail, 22 Copies Of SimpleText, & Folders September 20th, 2000
I figure I will never run out of column ideas. All I have to do is make note of all the things I still either don't know how to do, have never heard of, or do wrong. What can I say, it keeps me humble.
Sending Images Using e-mail
Today's "lesson" had to do with sending image attachments via e-mail. I sent images to a couple members of my family. Both are stuck using computers from the Dark Side and, as a result, both are very insecure when it comes to trying anything new or different. Let's face it - PC's do not lend themselves to ease of use by "amateurs." Basically we had a situation consisting of three such amateurs, all trying to do what should be a simple task. I was able to send the images fine, they just couldn't be opened on the other end.
I asked some of my colleagues at The Mac Observer for advice. One suggested that I needed to save the images in a universally accepted program. I thought I had done so when I saved them as .jpg files. I was half right. My colleague suggested that I should have saved the images in Adobe Photoshop rather than my old favorite GraphicConverter. (For more information about GraphicConverter see the Computing With Bifocals Index) That made sense to me so I saved the images as .jpg documents, using Photoshop. The recipients still couldn't open them. I saved them as .gif documents. The recipients still couldn't open them. They were getting very frustrated with me and beginning to make disparaging remarks about my beloved Mac. I couldn't let that happen so I asked more questions.
Here is how we solved the problem. I suggested that the recipients use their browser to open the images. One uses a packaged e-mail program (Microsoft Outlook). The other gets her mail via one of the free e-mail address sites available through the internet (Yahoo!). For the Yahoo user I suggested that she drag the images to her desk top, open a new window and then drag the images, one at a time, onto the new window. The images immediately opened. I suggested she open a new window rather than dragging the images back to the one she already had open because I figured that would be too confusing. For the second recipient, I suggested she open a window in her browser, move it to the side so she could see both her browser window and her e-mail window, and drag from the e-mail to the browser (one image ata time). Her pictures also immediately opened. Then I suggested to each one that they save the images to their desktop so they would be able to view them again as needed.
Help - I'm Drowning in SimpleText
Every time you install an application you get files with names like "ReadMe." They usually contain instructions for setting up the application, legal information, and sometimes, the history of the development of the application. You also sometimes get new copies of SimpleText included with these applications to make sure you can read their ReadMe files. You don't need to keep these copies of SimpleText, after all you only need one! But if you are like me when I first started using a computer, I would not have dared throw them away. "They came with the application so they must be important." Pretty soon they start to breed like rabbits, all taking up a small amount of space on your hard drive. You really don't have to keep them.
The easy way to get rid of them is to use your Find File or Sherlock and search for SimpleText. Then delete all but the most recent. If you have a lot (I had 22 last time I did this), removing them will help clear up the clutter on your hard drive. Do, however, take the time to make sure you are throwing away what you think you are. Just because something is dated 1995 doesn't mean you have had it that long. As of this writing, the latest version of SimpleText is version 1.4.
Help - I'm Drowning in Folders Too
Now folders are a different kind of animal. It is good to have lots of folders. Folders help you stay organized. Oh, I remember when all I had on my Mac was a few games and a list of birthdays. Then I started learning how to use different kinds of software, creating greeting cards, writing columns, making templates for envelopes and forms, adding more games, downloading images, etc., etc., etc. What happens next is that you can't find all your "stuff" when you need it. You can save everything on your desktop or in your hard drive until you have row upon row of little icons marching across the screen, but all you get from that is a headache. The whole folder thing is one of the best things that Apple created. Those of us who had to use DOS at some point remember the directories and sub directories that one had to dig through to find anything. Everything looked the same and it was not user-friendly. On the other hand, most of us are already familiar with the concept of file folders. You may have as many folders inside folders as you want, but they are all easy to get to. And, with a Mac, you can either color code your folders or replace the simple blue ones with icons that help you spot them quickly. (For instructions on replacing yellow folders with icons see the column from February 9, 2000) You can also name them with real words as opposed to shorthand names.
This system is further enhanced by the addition of the care that you see when you view things in lists. To see how this works open your hard drive and then choose the "View" pulldown Menu. Choose "as lists" and the items in the window will be listed in alphabetical order. To the left of each folders will be a caret. Click on the caret and the folder will open, listing all the contents. If there are folders within folders they will also have carets by them. So I have a primary folder on my hard drive called iView. iView (see column from March 8, 2000) holds all the images I have on my machine. Inside the primary folder I have sub-folders for family photos, black and white icons, color icons, wedding images (for a web page I made) , and Mac icons. With the folder organization I can more easily find what I am looking for. Plus, as I get older I tend to forget more - such as exactly what I named something - which leads nicely into the next item.
Finding Something On Your Computer
I confess that among the things that I tend to forget is the fact that I can search for things based on content in addition to searching for titles. With Sherlock 2 you can click on Content rather than File Name and Sherlock will search all the files on your computer for the word or phrase you entered. Granted you may get a long list - I got 93 listings when I put in September - but it is much easier to go through that list than to look through all the folders on your computer. And, they will have dates with the titles so you can reduce your search options by process of elimination. You can also click on Edit and reduce the parameters even more.
If you have ideas related to using your Macintosh for the upcoming holidays that others would like, please take a moment to write me about them.
Copies of Nancy's book Tips, Hints, and Solutions for Seasoned Beginners Using Apple Macintosh Computers With OS X are available in PDF download versions for US$9.57 and in print version for $18.15 plus $4.00 shipping. To view sample pages and get ordering information visit the September 14, 2004 column.
Talking to a generation that remembers what the world was like before there was color,
covers issues for people who don't care how their computer works, but rather what their computer and the internet can do for them.
Nancy has a Master's degree in Human Services Administration and prior to her retirement she worked for almost 30 years in field of mental health and mental retardation. She has been a Mac user for 11 years, and has recently developed an avocation of teaching basic computer skills in both group and one-to-one settings.