Synopses & Reviews
OS X is a lot more than just a pretty face. Sure, the basics are easy, but beneath that gorgeous surface lie countless powerful features.
If you want to go beyond the basics, Master Your Mac will take you there. With tips on everything from organizing your workspace to strengthening your computer's security, author Matt Cone will show you how to tweak, customize, and control your Mac. And since many of the best tools for unlocking your Mac's potential don't come with OS X, you'll discover the best apps to fix those everyday Apple annoyances and make your computer do things your way.
In Master Your Mac, you'll find out how to change hidden defaults and enable undocumented features; repair disk permissions to improve performance and keep things humming along; monitor your system; and even create a bootable USB drive for emergencies. You'll also learn how to:
- Automate day-to-day tasks with AppleScript, triggers, and Automator macros
- Handle massive amounts of email and media with synced accounts and spam filters
- Turn your Mac into a file or web server
- Improve your web experience by creating Safari extensions and using site-specific browsers
- Secure your Mac with firmware passwords, firewalls, and FileVault full-disk encryption
Master Your Mac is packed with tips and addons to make everything you do with your Mac faster, easier, and better. Make OS X your own.
Covers OS X Mountain Lion.
Mac OS X is so easy a monkey could use it, right? Well, half right. Beneath that glossy surface the fearless user will find lots of powerful features that aren't immediately obvious. The Practical Mac aims to help you cross that divide. You'll start with productivity tips and shortcuts: quick ways to improve and customize your Mac by changing hidden defaults, discovering faster workarounds, and enabling undocumented Mac OS X features. Next, you'll learn how to automate tedious tasks with macros, triggers, and Automator scripts. You'll then learn how to turn your Mac into a file or Web server, handle massive amounts of media, and enable helpful features like Voice Commands. You'll also learn how to get serious security, like firmware passwords, FileVault full-disk encryption, and ways to protect yourself while connecting on the road. With troubleshooting and upgrade tips like repairing disk permissions, repairing the hard disk, and instructions for creating a bootable USB drive for emergencies, you'll learn how to keep your Mac in fighting shape.
Mac OS X is more than just a pretty face. Sure, the basics are easy, but beneath that gorgeous surface lie lots of powerful features that aren't always obvious.
Master Your Mac will show you how to quickly and easily tweak, customize, and control your Mac. Productivity and shortcut tips will show you how to change hidden defaults, discover faster workarounds, and enable undocumented features. You'll learn how to enable helpful features like custom gestures and shortcuts, repair disk permissions, monitor your system, repair problems with the hard disk, and even create a bootable USB drive for emergencies.
With the basics out of the way, you'll learn how to:
- Automate day-to-day tasks with macros, triggers, and Automator scripts
- Turn your Mac into a file or Web server
- Improve your Web experience by creating Safari extensions and using site-specific browsers
- Handle massive amounts of email and media
- Secure your Mac with firmware passwords, firewalls, FileVault full-disk encryption, and even Tor to help protect your online privacy
Mac OS makes things easy. Master Your Mac will show you how to tweak Mac OS to make it your own.
Covers OS X Mountain Lion.
About the Author
Matt Cone, a freelance writer specializing in Apple hardware and software, has been a Mac user for over 20 years. A former ghost writer for some of Apple's most notable instructors, Cone founded Macinstruct.com in 1999, a site with OS X tutorials that boasts nearly 200,000 unique visitors per month.
Table of Contents
Dedication; Acknowledgments; Introduction; What This Book Is About; What's in This Book; Back to Basics; Chapter 1: The Best Shortcuts (and How to Make Your Own); 1.1 What You'll Be Using; 1.2 Using Keyboard Shortcuts Built into OS X; 1.3 Creating Your Own Shortcut Commands; 1.4 Additional Ideas for Controlling Your Mac with Keyboard Shortcuts; Chapter 2: Starting Applications Automatically at Login; 2.1 What You'll Be Using; 2.2 Adding Login Items; 2.3 Adding Global Login Items; 2.4 Resuming Applications and Reopening Windows at Login; 2.5 Configuring Advanced Login Item Settings with Exhaust; 2.6 Additional Ideas for Starting Applications Automatically at Login; Chapter 3: Finding Files and Folders Fast; 3.1 What You'll Be Using; 3.2 Mastering Spotlight Searches; 3.3 Using Find Any File to Search for Files and Folders; 3.4 Additional Ideas for Finding Files and Folders; Chapter 4: Organizing Windows; 4.1 What You'll Be Using; 4.2 Switching Between Applications; 4.3 Mission Control: The Ultimate Application and Window Switcher; 4.4 Maximizing Your Screen Space; 4.5 Additional Ideas for Managing Applications and Windows; Chapter 5: Cleaning House; 5.1 What You'll Be Using; 5.2 Removing Applications with Launchpad; 5.3 Removing Applications with AppCleaner; 5.4 Removing Preference Panes; 5.5 Additional Ideas for Removing Applications; Chapter 6: Adjusting Energy and Display Settings; 6.1 What You'll Be Using; 6.2 Understanding Energy and Display Settings; 6.3 Temporarily Disabling Energy Settings; 6.4 Adjusting Your Display's Color at Night; 6.5 Additional Ideas for Adjusting Energy and Display Settings; Boosting Productivity; Chapter 7: Launching Applications Fast; 7.1 What You'll Be Using; 7.2 Getting Your Feet Wet with Spotlight; 7.3 Configuring Spotlight as an Application Launcher; 7.4 Using Alfred; 7.5 Using LaunchBar; 7.6 Additional Ideas for Using Application Launchers; Chapter 8: Customizing Trackpad and Mouse Gestures; 8.1 What You'll Be Using; 8.2 Using Gestures in OS X; 8.3 Customizing Gestures with Third-Party Applications; 8.4 Additional Ideas for Customizing Trackpad and Mouse Gestures; Chapter 9: Connecting Multiple Displays to Your Mac; 9.1 What You'll Be Using; 9.2 Connecting the Displays to Your Mac; 9.3 Adjusting Display Settings in OS X; 9.4 Controlling How Windows Are Positioned and Displayed; 9.5 Making the Menu Bar Available Everywhere; 9.6 Keeping a MacBook Awake with the Lid Closed; 9.7 Additional Ideas for Connecting Multiple Displays to Your Mac; Chapter 10: Talking to Your Mac; 10.1 What You'll Be Using; 10.2 Setting Up Speech Recognition; 10.3 Talking to Your Computer; 10.4 Telling Your Computer What to Type; 10.5 Giving Your Computer a Voice; 10.6 Creating Custom Commands for Speech Recognition; 10.7 Additional Ideas for Talking to Your Mac; Automation; Chapter 11: Automating Tasks with Macros; 11.1 What You'll Be Using; 11.2 Creating a Macro with Automator; 11.3 Using Macros with Keyboard Maestro; 11.4 Additional Ideas for Making Macros; Chapter 12: Automating Tasks with AppleScript; 12.1 What You'll Be Using; 12.2 What Can You Do with AppleScript?; 12.3 What's the Difference Between a Macro and a Script?; 12.4 Getting Started with the AppleScript Editor; 12.5 Dabbling in Advanced AppleScript Concepts; 12.6 Launching Your AppleScript; 12.7 Additional Ideas for Creating and Using AppleScripts; Chapter 13: Creating a Bluetooth Proximity Monitor; 13.1 What You'll Be Using; 13.2 How Bluetooth Proximity Detection Works; 13.3 Setting Up the Bluetooth Proximity Monitor; 13.4 Performing Actions Based on Bluetooth Proximity; 13.5 Adding the Scripts and Testing Everything; 13.6 Additional Ideas for Creating a Bluetooth Proximity Monitor; Chapter 14: Automating File and Folder Actions; 14.1 What You'll Be Using; 14.2 Using OS X Folder Actions; 14.3 Using Automator to Create Folder Actions; 14.4 Using Hazel to Perform File and Folder Actions; 14.5 Additional Ideas for Automating File and Folder Actions; Chapter 15: Triggering Location-Based Actions; 15.1 What You'll Be Using; 15.2 Understanding Location-Based Actions; 15.3 Getting Started with Sidekick; 15.4 Manually Switching Places; 15.5 Using AppleScripts as Actions; 15.6 Additional Ideas for Triggering Actions; Managing Your Life; Chapter 16: Managing Your Email; 16.1 What You'll Be Using; 16.2 Taming the Mail Application; 16.3 Categorizing Email with Tags; 16.4 Processing Email with Keystrokes; 16.5 Archiving Email; 16.6 Additional Ideas for Managing Your Email; Chapter 17: Killing Spam; 17.1 What You'll Be Using; 17.2 Filtering Junk Mail in the Mail Application; 17.3 Filtering Spam on a Server with Gmail; 17.4 Additional Ideas for Killing Spam; Chapter 18: Creating Quick and Easy Alerts; 18.1 What You'll Be Using; 18.2 Creating Basic Alerts; 18.3 Creating Advanced Alerts; 18.4 Additional Ideas for Reminders; Chapter 19: Managing Your Music; 19.1 What You'll Be Using; 19.2 Getting Started with iTunes Match; 19.3 Controlling iTunes with Shortcuts; 19.4 Adding Missing Metadata; 19.5 Managing iTunes Libraries; 19.6 Additional Ideas for Managing Your Music; Internet and Networks; Chapter 20: Creating Your Own Safari Extension; 20.1 What You'll Be Using; 20.2 Understanding Safari Extensions; 20.3 Getting Started; 20.4 Creating a Safari Extension; 20.5 Additional Ideas for Creating Your Own Safari Extension; Chapter 21: Turning Websites into Applications; 21.1 What You'll Be Using; 21.2 Creating Site-Specific Browsers; 21.3 Pinning a Site-Specific Browser to the Menu Bar; 21.4 Customizing Display Settings; 21.5 Additional Ideas for Turning Websites into Applications; Chapter 22: Storing Files in the Cloud; 22.1 What You'll Be Using; 22.2 Using iCloud to Store Files; 22.3 Using Dropbox to Store and Synchronize Files; 22.4 Additional Ideas for Storing Files in the Cloud; Chapter 23: Accessing Your Mac Remotely; 23.1 What You'll Be Using; 23.2 Preparing Your Mac for Remote Connections; 23.3 Connecting to Your Mac Remotely; 23.4 Additional Ideas for Accessing Your Mac Remotely; Chapter 24: Turning Your Mac into a Web and FTP Server; 24.1 What You'll Be Using; 24.2 Understanding Web Servers; 24.3 Configuring Server Software; 24.4 Enabling Remote Login; 24.5 Making Your Website Accessible to the World; 24.6 Additional Ideas for Turning Your Mac into a Web Server; Chapter 25: Wirelessly Sharing a Printer and Hard Drive; 25.1 What You'll Be Using; 25.2 Sharing a Printer; 25.3 Sharing a Hard Drive; 25.4 Additional Ideas for Wirelessly Sharing a Printer and Network Hard Drive; Chapter 26: Synchronizing Files Between Computers; 26.1 What You'll Be Using; 26.2 Getting Started with ChronoSync; 26.3 Setting Up Synchronizations; 26.4 Monitoring ChronoSync; 26.5 Additional Ideas for Synchronizing Files; Serious Security; Chapter 27: Creating Strong Passwords and Storing Them Securely; 27.1 What You'll Be Using; 27.2 Understanding Password Management Applications; 27.3 Tips for Creating Strong Passwords; 27.4 Using Keychain Access; 27.5 Using 1Password; 27.6 Additional Ideas for Creating Strong Passwords and Storing Them Securely; Chapter 28: Enabling Firmware Password Protection; 28.1 What You'll Be Using; 28.2 Understanding Firmware Password Protection; 28.3 Enabling the Firmware Password; 28.4 Additional Ideas for Protecting Your Mac at the Hardware Level; Chapter 29: Encrypting Your Mac's Internet Connection; 29.1 What You'll Be Using; 29.2 Understanding How Attackers Capture Data on Public Wireless Networks; 29.3 Forcing HTTPS Encryption; 29.4 Using a VPN Connection; 29.5 Using a SOCKS Proxy Server; 29.6 Additional Ideas for Encrypting Your Mac's Internet Connection; Chapter 30: Enabling Firewalls; 30.1 What You'll Be Using; 30.2 Understanding How Firewalls Work; 30.3 The OS X Application Firewall; 30.4 Creating ipfw Rules with NoobProof; 30.5 Monitoring and Controlling Outgoing Connections; 30.6 Additional Ideas for Using Firewalls; Chapter 31: Preserving Your Anonymity Online; 31.1 What You'll Be Using; 31.2 Understanding How Tor Works; 31.3 Surfing the Internet Anonymously with Tor; 31.4 Routing Application Data Through Tor; 31.5 Configuring Your Mac as a Tor Relay; 31.6 Additional Ideas for Preserving Your Anonymity Online; Chapter 32: Encrypting Your Hard Disks and Backups; 32.1 What You'll Be Using; 32.2 Checking Partitions and Backing Up Your Hard Disk; 32.3 Turning On FileVault Whole Disk Encryption; 32.4 Encrypting Secondary Volumes; 32.5 Encrypting Time Machine Backup Disks; 32.6 Additional Ideas for Using Full Disk Encryption; Monitoring, Troubleshooting, and Maintenance; Chapter 33: System and Process Monitoring; 33.1 What You'll Be Using; 33.2 Why You Need to Monitor Your Mac; 33.3 Learning the Lingo; 33.4 Using Activity Monitor; 33.5 Using top; 33.6 Using iStat Menus; 33.7 Additional Ideas for Monitoring Your Mac; Chapter 34: Repairing Disk Permissions; 34.1 What You'll Be Using; 34.2 How Repairing Disk Permissions Works; 34.3 Verifying and Repairing Disk Permissions Manually; 34.4 Repairing Disk Permissions Automatically; 34.5 Additional Ideas for Repairing Disk Permissions; Chapter 35: Verifying and Repairing the Hard Disk; 35.1 What You'll Be Using; 35.2 Should You Verify and Repair Your Hard Disk?; 35.3 Verifying the Hard Disk; 35.4 Repairing the Hard Disk with Disk Utility; 35.5 Repairing the Hard Disk with fsck; 35.6 Additional Ideas for Repairing the Hard Disk; Chapter 36: Making Better File Backups; 36.1 What You'll Be Using; 36.2 Creating a Backup Plan; 36.3 Backing Up with Time Machine; 36.4 Making an Exact Copy of Your Hard Disk; 36.5 Storing Backups on the Internet; 36.6 Restoring from Backups; 36.7 Additional Ideas for Backing Up Your Mac; Chapter 37: Maintaining a MacBook's Battery; 37.1 What You'll Be Using; 37.2 Tips for Keeping Your Battery Healthy; 37.3 Achieving Incredible Battery Life; 37.4 Calibrating the Battery; 37.5 Additional Ideas for Maintaining a MacBook's Battery; Chapter 38: Creating an Emergency USB Drive; 38.1 What You'll Be Using; 38.2 Evaluating Your Emergency Drive Options; 38.3 Making Your Own Emergency USB Drive; 38.4 Using Your Emergency USB Drive; 38.5 Peeking Inside the Emergency USB Drive; Colophon;