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


How to Burn a Data CD or DVD in Mac OS X

Burning a data a CD or DVD is no longer as popular as it once was. Chalk it up to high-speed Internet connections, cloud storage services, USB drives, and other technologies that have made massive data transfer easy and dirt-cheap. Nevertheless, there are still times when you'll need to burn a data CD or DVD with your Mac. The resulting disc can be used on Mac, Windows, and Linux computers.

Here's how to burn a data CD or DVD in Mac OS X:

  1. Insert a blank CD or DVD into your Mac's drive. The window shown below appears.

How to Show Hidden Files on Your Mac

You wouldn't know it by using the Finder, but your Mac has thousands of hidden files that can't be found or accessed using conventional methods, like opening a folder or searching with Spotlight. Most of these secret files are hidden from view to protect the innocent. Apple doesn't want new users poking around in the /sbin directory, because there's no real reason why they would need to access it. But advanced users may want to see all of the files on their Mac, for whatever reason.

Here's how to show hidden files on your Mac:

How to Gift an iTunes Playlist

iTunes gift cards make great stocking stuffers, but did you know that you can also give one of your iTunes playlists as a gift? Here's how it works: Create a playlist full of the songs you'd like to give and then follow the instructions below to purchase the songs in the iTunes Store. The recipient will be emailed a special iTunes code to download all of the songs in the playlist. And if you really want that stocking stuffer, you can print a gift certificate for the playlist.

Here's how to gift an iTunes Playlist:

How to Burn a Music CD in iTunes

iTunes is one of Apple's most exciting and practical applications. It allows you to collect and catalog thousands of songs, television shows, podcasts, and movies - and its interface is simple enough for everyone to understand. But don't let the sleek and shiny appearance fool you: iTunes is a powerful piece of software that is capable of much more.

How to Configure Your Mac's Firewall

Every Mac ships with a built-in firewall - a service that can be configured to disallow information from entering your Mac. But what is a firewall, and why do you need to use it on your Mac?

Firewall Crash Course

How to Restore from a SuperDuper! Backup

You made backups with a third-party application called SuperDuper!. Now maybe the time has come to transfer your backup onto another hard drive. Maybe the unthinkable happened and your primary hard drive failed. Or maybe you just replaced your primary hard drive with a new, larger drive. Whatever the case, you need restore from your SuperDuper! backup.

How to Schedule SuperDuper! Backups

Automation is an important part of any backup system. With a third-party application called SuperDuper!, you can schedule automatic backups of your Mac's hard drive. This is a great feature that takes all of the guesswork out of making backups - you don't have to do anything except make sure that your backup drive is connected to your Mac.

How to Update a SuperDuper! Backup

Regularly updating the backups of your Mac's hard drive is essential. If you've already created a backup of your hard drive with an application called SuperDuper!, it's easy to update. The smart update feature allows SuperDuper! to compare the current files on your hard drive with the files in your backup. If the files have been modified, SuperDuper! copies those files - and those files only - to the backup drive.

How to Rip DVDs with Handbrake

One could argue that the age of digital media truly began in the mid-1990s, when the MP3 standard of audio compression gained popularity, allowing users to rip vast quantities of music to their computers. Personal MP3 players soon followed, and Apple managed to resurrect itself through the powerful iTunes + iPod combination.

How to Test Your SuperDuper! Backup

If you use SuperDuper! to back up your hard drive, you should test the backup disk to make sure it worked. (See Back Up (Clone) Your Mac's Hard Drive with SuperDuper! for instructions on backing up your computer with SuperDuper!) Since SuperDuper! creates an exact copy of your primary hard drive, you can set the backup drive as your startup disk and try booting your computer from it.

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