Computing with Bifocals - The Letter Bag
- September 30th, 2005
I cleaned out my bedroom closet this past week. I know, I know -- stop the presses. I only mention this for one reason. Well OK, for two reasons, if I am being honest.
One is to make everyone who needs to clean out their closets but hasn't done so feel guilty. (It's a mom thing.) The other is to explain to a couple of people who sent me questions that I printed out their questions and then put them in my closet while getting ready for company, and then forgot to retrieve them. Belatedly, and with apologies, here are my responses.
One Button or Two?
When Apple introduced the Mighty Mouse last month, Ann Elizabeth from Utah wanted to know my opinion of a multi-button mouse. Her PC co-workers have teased her about using a one button mouse, but she has been happy with it. She wonders if there is any benefit to going with a multi-button mouse.
I have not tried a Mighty Mouse yet, but I plan on getting one. I have used a multi-button mouse for about 3 years, however, and can not imagine working without it. The one I have right now has 4 buttons and a scroll bar in the middle and is made by (gasp) Microsoft. It is an "optical" mouse meaning it senses movement by sensing variance in reflection of a laser beam on a surface. That is why it doesn't work well on glass and will not work at all on a mirror. I don't know if the old style of mouse, track-ball, is even available on the market any longer. [Editor's Note: There are still many
Even though my current mouse has 4 buttons and a scroll bar, I only use two of the buttons. The left button, which is the equivalent of the one button on the standard Apple mouse, and the right button which functions the same as holding down the Control key along with the Apple mouse. I could choose to use the others, or program the two I use in different ways, but I am perfectly happy with just the two.
The only reason I purchased the mouse with more buttons than I wanted is that it was on sale.
I still haven't really answered Ann Marie's question though. I prefer the two button mouse because it lets me do what I want to do faster, easier, and more efficiently. It is so much easier to hold down the right mouse button to execute commands than to stop what I am doing, look at the keyboard, and hold down the Control key while holding down the mouse button. It is all a matter of personal preference and I will never be like my friend Chad who has created a 10-button mouse, but I will take two buttons every time.
How To Successfully Email Photos...
The second question came from Arthur Washington in Pennsylvania. Arthur is getting a new digital camera in November and he knows he wants to be able to send photos to his relatives. He has experienced problems with people sending him pictures that he can't open and he wants to know what he should do to keep that from happening when he sends out his pictures, using his new Mac. He also wants to know if people using a PC will be able to open pictures that he sends out from his Mac.
There are two secrets to sending pictures that anyone can open and read. The first, and most important, is to save them in a universally accepted image format such as JPEG (.jpg). The second is to compress them to a size that any email services provider will accept and download. If he does those two things, it will not matter what computer or operating system he uses to send out his photos, the recipient should be able to open and view them without any problem.
Before you begin the first time, make iPhoto aware of your email application. Choose iPhoto > Preferences > General > Email Photos Using > the email application you are using (such as Apple's Mail program, Eudora, Entourage, or Outlook Express).
Note: Limit yourself to 3 photos per message to assure they will be accepted by any email services provider.
Many thanks to Ann Marie and Arthur for writing with their questions.
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.
|Check out Nancy's complete index of all her columns for the most complete list of tips anywhere. The list is categorized and is a great reference when you are looking for help!
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.
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