The place to learn about your Mac. Tips and tutorials for novices and experts.

OS X Tutorials

Back Up (Clone) Your Mac's Hard Drive with SuperDuper!

Backup solutions for Mac OS X come and go, but an application called SuperDuper! ($27.95, free trial available) remains one of the best third-party Mac backup applications available. SuperDuper! makes an exact copy of your hard drive, which means you can use the backup drive to boot your computer if your primary hard drive fails. It's easy to use - all you need is a backup hard drive that has enough space for all of the files on your primary hard disk.

How to Change Your Mac's Startup Disk

When your Mac turns on, it loads the operating system on the designated startup disk, a hard disk or partition containing the Mac OS X operating system. Normally, the startup disk is set as the hard disk inside of your computer, but you can use an external hard drive, USB thumb drive, or DVD as your startup disk.

Changing the Startup Disk with System Preferences

Here's how to change your Mac's startup disk:

  1. Connect the drive you want to use as a startup disk to your computer.

How to Compress (Zip) Files and Folders

If you own a Mac, you're going to want to save and transfer files and folders to others. It's bound to happen. Or maybe you just want to stick your Microsoft Word document on your USB thumb drive. Either way, you're going to want to shrink - or compress - the files so they take up the least amount of space possible. That way, it will be easy to move your files via email, FTP, or even with an instant messaging application like iChat.

How to Install Ubuntu 11.10 Using VMware Fusion

Everyone is talking about Ubuntu, the popular open-source operating system that's easy to install and use. Trying out this Linux distribution on your Mac is easy. With an application called VMware Fusion, you can create a "computer within a computer" and run Ubuntu in a virtual machine on your Mac.

Here's how to install Ubuntu 11.10 in OS X using VMware Fusion:

How to Remember Birthdays with Your Mac

If you dread remembering birthdays like we do, you'll be happy to know that you can use Address Book and iCal to store birthdays for all of your contacts and display an alert on the screen when one rolls around. After you follow these instructions and set the whole thing up, the entire process will be automated. All you'll have to do is enter your contact's birthdays! The bad news is that you'll no longer have an excuse for not sending birthday cards.

Updating Address Book's Template

How to Burn an ISO Disc Image on Your Mac

Many operating systems and software applications - like Ubuntu Linux and the Windows 8 Developer Preview - are available for download as ISO images. You know you're dealing with one of these archives when you see the .iso file extension. ISO images can be burned to CD or DVD for use on other computers or sharing with others.

How to Enable the Root User in Mac OS X

The most advanced tasks demand the most powerful user account of them all: the root user. When you log in as root, you have read and write privileges to every file on your Mac. This awesome power lets you override any account or permission restriction, but be careful! You could really mess things up if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Warning: The root account is disabled by default. To prevent accidents, you should only enable and utilize the root account when you absolutely need it.

Acting as Root with Sudo

How to Run Windows on Your Mac with VMware Fusion

It's an exciting time to be a Mac user. Everyone knows that we get to use Mac OS X Leopard, the world's most advanced operating system. And now, if you have an Intel-based Mac and an application called VMware Fusion, you also have the option of using the world's second and third and fourth best operating systems!

How to Change Your Mac's Icons

We've said it before and we'll say it again: One of the best things about Macs are the icons. There are dozens of icons that come pre-installed on your Mac, and there are literally thousands more available for free on the Internet. Collectively, these little pieces of artwork put a human face on (let's be honest here) the inhuman and somewhat foreign machine that is your Mac.

How to Get Rid of Favorite Styles in TextEdit

We've used TextEdit since it was first released for all of our word processing and find it does almost everything we need. Recently, we decided it was time to modify or delete some of the early Favorite Styles we no longer needed or wanted to re-title to something more descriptive.

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