OS X Tutorials
Each of your Mac's network interfaces — such as the ethernet and Wi-Fi cards — have a permanent, unique serial number called a media access control (MAC) address. Some universities and employers may request your Mac's MAC addresses to monitor or limit your access to certain networks.
Your Mac contains thousands of hidden files and folders that you'll probably never need to access. We explained how to access all hidden files and folders in another tutorial, but there's an easier way to access one of most important hidden folders on your Mac, called the Library folder.
When your Mac is connected to a private network in a home or office, it's probably assigned what's known as a dynamic IP address. (To check, see How to Find Your Mac's IP Address.) That's not a problem for the majority of users - most people don't care whether their IP addresses changes or not. But dynamic IP addresses won't work for certain tasks like port forwarding, dynamic DNS, or client-to-client file sharing on the local network. For those unique situations and others, only a static IP address will work.
Your Mac allows you to save and quickly switch between multiple network configurations, which are referred to as network locations in OS X. This is a useful feature for users who need to set network-specific proxies, DNS servers, or static IP addresses. You can also use network locations to specify settings for specific network interfaces, such as an Ethernet card, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection, and even VPN.
Your Mac is assigned something called an IP address when it connects to a network. Other devices that are connected to the same network can use this unique identifier to transfer information to and from your Mac. If this sounds confusing, it might help to think of an IP address as your Mac's home mailing address. Just like physical mail, which is routed to your home via a unique address, digital information is routed to your Mac using an IP address.
There may be certain situations when you'll need to find your Mac's IP address. Here's how to find it:
Need a way to capture your Mac's entire screen or only a portion of it? Take a screenshot - a picture of your Mac's screen that includes the windows and applications that are currently visible. You can take screenshots when creating documentation, explaining system settings to friends or family members, or just capturing something on your screen that you want to share with others. This tutorial shows you how.
Capturing the Entire Screen
Dropbox is a popular cloud storage service that magically moves files from one device to another, but it's probably not the first name that comes to mind when you think of version control. However, as you'll learn in this tutorial, Dropbox has several powerful features that allow you to "undo" any changes you make to files saved in your Dropbox folder. This is an absolute necessity for those of us who use Dropbox to store critically important files that can be accidentally modified or deleted.
Apple's Magic Trackpad is a great alternative to the classic mouse. But as with all wireless devices, the trackpad's batteries will die eventually and you'll need to replace them. That's why it's a good idea to check your Magic Trackpad's battery life before you leave home or deliver a presentation.
Fortunately, there's a quick way to check your trackpad's remaining battery life. Here's how to do it:
Apple's Magic Mouse is probably the best wireless Bluetooth mouse available. But as with all wireless devices, the batteries will die eventually and you'll need to replace them. That's why it's a good idea to check your Magic Mouse's battery life before you leave home or deliver a presentation.
Fortunately, there's a quick way to check your mouse's remaining battery life. Here's how to do it: