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by Tom Nelson

Safari has long had an undo feature, letting you recover from accidental mistakes, such as entry errors and general typing mistakes. But ever since Safari 5 and OS X Lion, the undo feature has grown to include the ability to reopen tabs and windows that you accidentally closed.

SafariUndoTab2

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Restore Closed Tabs

If you’ve ever been working in Safari with multiple tabs open, perhaps researching a problem, then you know the sheer agony of accidentally closing one of the tabs.

by Tom Nelson

Starting up your Mac is usually just a matter of pressing the power button and waiting for the login screen or the desktop to appear. But once in a while, you might want something different to happen when you start your Mac.

keyboard

David Paul Morris/Stringer/Getty Images News/Getty Images

These startup shortcuts come in handy if you need to troubleshoot your Mac, or you just want to boot from a different volume than usual.

Startup Shortcuts

  • Hold the ‘x’ key during startup. This will force the Mac to boot from OS X, no matter which disk is specified as the startup disk. You may find this useful if you have your Mac set to boot to a non-OS X volume, such as Windows or Linux. In some cases, an alternate OS may prevent the Mac’s normal boot manager from running.

Read more on About: Macs.

by Tom Nelson and Mary F. O’Connor

Apple Mail flags can be used to mark incoming messages that need further attention. But while that may be their primary purpose, Mail flags can do much more. That’s because Mail flags aren’t just a bit of color attached to emails; they’re actually a form of smart mailboxes, and can do many of the things other mailboxes in the Mail app can do, including being used in Mail rules to automate and organize your messages.

MailFlags

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Mail Flag Colors

Mail flags come in seven different colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and gray. You can use any flag color to mark a message type. For instance, red flags may indicate emails you need to respond to within 24 hours, while green flags might indicate tasks that have been completed.

You can use the colors any way you wish, but over time, it can be difficult to remember just what each color was supposed to mean. After we show you how to assign flags to messages, we’ll show you how to change the names of the flags.

Read more on About: Macs.

by Tom Nelson

Ever since OS X Lion and the release of Safari 5.1, the Safari web browser has included support for extensions that allow users to add features that Apple may never even have thought of.

SafariKeyboardShortcuts

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Extensions are provided by third-party developers who create the add-on code that uses Safari’s web features for specific tasks, such as making it easier to search Amazon, allowing an app, such as 1Password, to integrate with the browser and create an easy-to-use password management system, or adding an effective way to block pop-up ads.

You’ll also find that most social media sites have Safari extensions that make posting to your favorite social site as simple as clicking on a button in the Safari toolbar.

Read more on About: Macs.

by Tom Nelson

Mac Pros are back in stock, with quite a range of models to choose from. If you need one of these mini powerhouses, this may be a good time to buy one.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Mac minis are out of stock. Someday we may see the Mac refurb store fully stocked with all models, but not this week.

iMacRetinaHero2127

Image courtesy of Apple

Deals of the Week

Our first deal this week is a very nicely configured 2014 MacBook Pro, complete with dual graphics. We also picked out a new 2015 21.5-inch Retina iMac at an amazing price.

Don’t forget that for any Mac you buy, you should consider an external drive for backup and additional storage, if you need it.

Read more on About: Macs.

by Tom Nelson

Geekbench 3 from Primate Labs is a cross-platform benchmarking tool for evaluating the performance of single and multi-core processors. Geekbench can be used to test Macs, Windows, Linux, even iOS and Android systems.

Geekbenchscore

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Geekbench makes use of both simulated real-world tests, to measure the performance of your system performing the same types of tasks you’ll be using it for on a daily basis, and stress tests, that not only can show what your Mac is capable of, but in some cases, even reveal problems with your system that you may not know you have.

Read more on About: Macs.

 

by Tom Nelson

Disk Utility underwent quite a bit of changes when Apple released OS X El Capitan. The new version of Disk Utility is much more colorful, and some say easier to use. Others say it has lost many of the basic capabilities that old Mac hands took for granted.

ResizeDiskUtilityElCap

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

While this is indeed true for some functions, such as creating and managing RAID arrays, it’s not true that you can no longer resize your Mac volumes without losing data.

I will confess though, that it’s not as easy or intuitive to resize volumes and partitions as it was with the older version of Disk Utility. Some of the problems are caused by the clumsy user interface that Apple came up with for the new version of Disk Utility.

With the gripes out of the way, let’s take a look at how you can successfully resize volumes and partitions on your Mac.

Read more on About: Macs.

by Tom Nelson

Bookmarks, Favorites, Apple seems to have a hard time deciding what it should call the shortcuts to often-viewed websites in the Mac’s Safari browser.

SafariBookmarksFavorites

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

But no matter what you call them, losing your Bookmarks, Favorites, or Top Sites can be a heart-stopping moment.

Read more on About: Macs.

by Tom Nelson

Google’s Gmail is a popular and free web-based email service that has a lot going for it. Its basic requirements are an Internet connection and a supported browser such as Safari. With just about all of the popular browsers being on the supported list, Gmail is a natural choice for many, especially those of us who travel a great deal and never know where we’ll have the opportunity to connect and grab our messages.

Gmail-Logo

Image courtesy of Google

I don’t mind Gmail’s web-based interface when I’m mobile. I can use any computing device, even a computer at the business I’m visiting, or one in a library or coffee shop. But when it comes to using Gmail at home or on my MacBook, I don’t use a web browser for access. Instead, I use Apple’s Mail client (included with OS X), where I’ve set up Gmail as just another email address to check.

Using a single application, in this case Mail, lets you keep all of your email messages organized in one app.

Read more on About: Macs.

by Tom Nelson

Safari, Apple’s web browser, is one of the best browsers for the Mac. Out of the box, Safari is fast and can handle just about any type of web site.

As is true of most browsers (and some other software programs), you can expand Safari’s feature set by adding modules called plug-ins. Plug-ins are small programs that can add functionality that a software program lacks; they can also enhance a program’s existing capabilities.

SafariPlugIn

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Plug-ins can have a down side. Poorly written plug-ins can slow down Safari’s web rendering performance. Plug-ins can compete with other plug-ins, causing stability issues, or replace a program’s built-in functionality with methods that aren’t as, well, functional.

Whether you want to add functionality or fix a plug-in problem, it’s a good idea to know how to find out what plug-ins Safari is currently using, and how to remove the ones you don’t wish to use.

Read more on About: Macs.

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