Why Can’t I…?

| Computing with Bifocals

Following are some things you might want to do when using your Mac if you just knew how to do them (or knew that you could do them).  Some of these came from other beginners who were kind enough to share them.  I hope you find them helpful. 

Why Canit I Hide E-mail Recipient Lists?

I have mentioned  before that I am very active in our local Austin, Texas Macintosh users group, CapMac.  Recently, I had to send out an e-mail message to the membership, but our membership chair was out of town.  She has the responsibility and the ability to send out group messages to all 220 members.  I have the membership list and the email addresses, but not the ability to send group messages so I sat down and painstakingly divided the membership into groups of 20 and sent out the message 11 times. 

I did it that way to help prevent SPAM filters from throwing the messages away because they went out to a large group of people.  I got jumped on big time from a couple of members who were upset because I listed the 20 e-mail addresses in each group in the "TO" field.  When they got their message they could see the email addresses of the other 19 recipients which meant, of course, that the other 19 recipients could also see their email address.

They were correct to be unhappy with me.  Especially since I had an easy way to avoid the problem had I remembered to use it.  I should have sent the message to myself using a second email address (such as my TMO email address) and then blind copied the real recipient list.  That way no one would have been able to see the list.

If you are using Mail it would look like this:


Mail Email With Blind Copy Recipient List

Why Canit I Stop The Endless Round of Automatic Updates That I Donit Want?

As a basic function the automatic update feature of OS X is totally cool.  I donit have to worry about getting the latest versions of my operating system software because I know a notice will pop up on my desktop telling me about it.  That way I get to be the first one on my block to play with iTunes 7.  However -- there always seems to be a however doesnit there? -- sometimes I get notices of stuff that I donit want and they never go away. 

Maybe you donit have an iPod and donit want to install iPod updates, or maybe you donit use Safari and donit want Safari updates.  Whatever the reason, sometimes you just arenit interested in a particular update.  If you donit install a specific update, it will show up over and over and over.  Often, it will be the only application that triggers the software upload panel to open.  There is a way to tell your Mac that you donit want any updates for a specific application.

The next time your software update window opens highlight an application that you donit want.  Go to the Update menu in the Software Update toolbar and choose Ignore Update.  (Note:  in Jaguar this menu command is called Hide.)  The update will disappear from the list of updates.  If you change your mind later you have an option to select Reset Ignored Updates from the same menu.

Why Canit I Control What Applications Automatically Open When I Start My Computer?

Some people like to have certain applications automatically open when they turn on their computer.  A good example is Mail.  Other examples might be your newsreader application, or iCal and iChat.  Each one of these may be applications that you use constantly.  I thought it would be cool to have them open automatically. 

After two days I decided it wasnit so cool after all.  OK, it happened to be two days that I was teaching classes and the extra time it took for my computer to come up was a nuisance.  Why do I do these things to myself?  Sometimes application installation packages will set an application to automatically launch when the computer comes on.  Whether you want this feature on or off is up to you if you are using OS X. Here is how to set it up.

Open System Preferences.

In Jaguar
Choose Accounts Preference Pane
Click the Login Items Tab
Put check marks in the
appropriate boxes.
In Panther
Choose Accounts Preference Pane
Click the Startup Items Pane
Put check marks in the
appropriate boxes.
In Tiger
Choose Accounts Preference Pane
Click the Login Items Pane
Put check marks in the
appropriate boxes.

Why Canit I See What My JPG or GIF Images Contain Without Opening Them?

Prior to Tiger there is a great little application called QuickImageCM that lets you create thumbnail images for jpg, gif, tiff, and even PDF documents.  It works instantaneously and will do a whole folder of documents at once.  QuickImageCM is distributed by Pixture and it is free.  It is listed as appropriate for Jaguar and Panther, but I have continued to use it with Tiger without any problems.  QuickImageCM actually does more than just create thumbnail images and if you are interested in the additional features you can read about them at the link noted above. 

With Tiger, you have an additional option.  You can set your system to have all your jpg, gif, and tiff images automatically display as thumbnail images.  To set this up, open a folder that contains image documents.  They can be a mixed lot.  It doesnit matter.  Click inside the folder.   Choose the View menu, then choose Show View Options.  You will get this window.


Show View Options Window

Put a check mark by "Show icon preview" and click the box next to "All windows."  Thatis all there is to it.  Incidentally, if you choose to put a check by "Show item info" you will find the image size displayed underneath the name of the image for all of your images and the number of items contained in a folder under the name of all your folders.

And iTunes 7 is way cool.  If you havenit tried it yet I hope you will.

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