Nancy's Tips for Cover Flow, Mail, and Preview

Cover Flow in Safari 4

One of the things I like about my Mac and my Mac apps is how they integrate together so well.  Especially when it is the apps that Apple itself creates.  An example of that is an element in Safari 4 called Cover Flow.  Cover Flow lets you flip through websites you have visited as easily as you flip through album art in iTunes.  Cover Flow displays your bookmarks and history as large images, and you can pick out a website instantly.

Sample Cover Flow

The quickest way to access this is to click on the Search History button in the bottom right corner of the Top Sites Window.

Search History Button

However, if you know you want to look for a page you visited a week ago, this method might be too slow.  In that case, click on the open book icon at the left end of the Safari Bookmarks bar.  That will open a History of all the sites you have visited in the past month.  

You can choose any day from that list by clicking on it and, when the web sites pop up, you can page through them using the horizontal scroll bar or your mouse.  If you are using a trackpad you can swipe left and right.

The Mail Application and Those Funny Marks

The "funny marks" look like this.  

Mail Error Marks

They show up because your email app can't find your mail. One good reason for that is that you have an iPhone that is also getting your mail and your computer and your iPhone can't receive mail at the same time. Usually when you see those marks you can get rid of them by hitting the "Get Mail" button. Then your mail will be sent to your mail box.

But, here is something I have discovered in the year I have had an iPhone: Sometimes messages will go to my iPhone that never show up on my computer. Therefore, I have to be very careful about not deleting messages from my phone if they are important, until I make sure they also exist on my computer. If I have to keep a copy of a message, or provide a detailed response, I much prefer to do it on the computer rather than my phone.

And here is one more quick tip. If you get a pop up box telling you that you need to re-enter the password for one of your email accounts, you can do that, but if you don't remember what it is and you don't want to look it up, just quit out of Mail and then open it back up. Almost always that will take care of the problem.

What is the Difference Between Backup Software and Time Machine

This can be so confusing to beginners.  Last week I taught a class on when to use which and how to properly set up an external hard drive.  Well, I didn’t teach the external hard drive stuff.  I got someone who knew what they were doing to teach that part, but you know what I mean.

So here is a basic explanation of the difference and why you may want to use both of them. 

Backup Software

Backup Software will provide failover support for the all-too-common case where things fail in a pretty catastrophic way, such as when a drive fails, or your system becomes un-bootable. The software accomplishes this by creating a fully bootable copy of your source drive, current to the most recent time you backed up your machine using the software.  

Recovery is near immediate, even if the original drive is completely unusable, because you can start up from your backup and continue working.

You can take your backup to a totally different Macintosh, start up from it, and work while your failed Macintosh is in the shop… then, when it comes back all fresh and shiny, restore from the backup and keep working.

Time Machine

Time Machine lets you step backward in time through all your folders and files in order to access a file that was subsequently changed or deleted. With this purpose in mind Time Machine performs an hourly backup, saving those files that have undergone change within the preceding hour. Time Machine preserves every file backed up in the last twenty-four hours, then one instance of a backed up file for each day in the most recent week, then one instance of a backed up file for each week. 

When the Time Machine volume becomes full, the oldest files will be pruned to make space for new files. What is great about Time Machine is that it gives you a significantly increased likelihood of being able to access information that has, either intentionally or unintentionally, been erased from your internal drive. You can not reboot your system from Time Machine.

I installed the latest version of Leopard a couple of days ago and my entire iPhoto library disappeared.  Just gone. Nowhere to be found.  I used Time Machine to go back to the day before I did the installation and retrieved my iPhoto file, brought it forward to replace the empty file and everything was back in place.  This is the second time that Time Machine has saved my hide.

Preview and Screen Shots

Preview is absolutely the most amazing application.  I am constantly finding new things it will do.  You may be aware of a built-in utility called Grab that lets you take pictures of selections, windows, and timed screens images.  Well, Preview allows you access those Grab features without even opening Grab and then takes it even one step further.  When it saves your product it includes the date and time you took your image.

Preview Menu Image Identifier

I hope you find these tips useful as I do. If so, you might also be interested in my beginners manual. Anyone who purchases the current version at this point, will automatically get a download version of the new manual that will be published when Snow Leopard is released. 

The first is the more traditional printed book format, spiral bound. Cost is U.S. $17.15 each, plus shipping. All the illustrations have been printed in black and white to reduce the purchase price.


The second option is a PDF download version. This is the full version of the book available in the same format as that available in the free review The contents are hyperlinked from the Table of Contents for ease of location. This version is U.S. $9.85 After payment has been verified the purchaser will be sent a URL where they can download of the document.
The third option is a CD format. It is the PDF version saved to a CD and the contents are also hyperlinked from the Table of Contents for ease of location. This version is $10.85 plus shipping.

Payment for any version must be made using PayPal. Clicking on the Buy Now button next to the version you want to purchase will take you directly to PayPal where you can place your order and make your payment. Payment can be made through PayPal even if you are not a PayPal member.

Anyone wishing to pay with a money order or cashier check may contact me through TMO.