Mac OS X Tips

OS X Software Updates

Apple provides free, periodic updates that you can download to your computer. These updates fix bugs and offer better compatibility with popular 3rd party software. Before making any updates to your computer, be sure to run the Disk Utility’s “Repair Permissions” to make sure that your computer is in it’s best form before making any significant upgrades. To update your Apple laptop, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure that you are connected to the internet
  2. Click on the Apple menu bar (located in the top-left corner of the screen).
  3. Select “Software Update” from the menu and allow your computer to check for any available updates for which you may be eligible.
  4. Select the software you find relevant, and click the “Install” button.

Some installations or upgrades may require that you restart your computer afterwards, so please be aware.

Disk Utility

The Disk Utility will allow you to do many things to help maintain your computer data. It can repair disk permissions, erase a hard drive or partition, partition a hard drive, copy a hard drive to another, and other things you may want to explore if you’re savvy with it. The Disk Utility application is found in the Home->Applications->Utilities folder. The most important thing you can do to maintain the data on your hard drive is to verify and repair disk permissions. This feature checks to see that all files on your computer are in order.  If files are not in order, it will let you know that permissions have changed on your computer and that they need to be fixed.  For most of the time, you can simply click on the “First Aid” tab, then select the “Repair Disk Permissions” button, and let your computer do the rest. (Keyboard shortcut to the Utilities folder: Command + Shift + U)

Disk Defragmentation

We recommend running Disk Warrior on your computer every three or four months, especially if you are in the habit of filling up your hard drive with lots of media, and then emptying it out constantly.

Power, and Battery Pack Conditioning

To properly condition your laptop battery, when you first purchase it you should always charge it to it’s fullest capacity immediately. Then let it drain down to less than 6% battery charge. At this point, the computer will put itself to sleep to preserve itself, and this is when you should charge your battery all the way to 100% uninterrupted.

Working With Fonts

Fonts are fun, except for when they crash your computer. For your Apple system to function smoothly, your system requires that certain fonts remain intact, and that your computer does not contain any duplicates of these system-critical fonts. If any of these fonts are duplicated or are corrupted, then your computer may experience a slow down or may jumble things up like graphics. If you have dumped a whole bunch of fonts into your computer that you got from a “friend”, chances are that you have acquired corrupted fonts and that your computer is now acting really weird. Be sure that when adding new fonts, that you DO NOT add these fonts to the root/library/fonts folder, or the system/library/fonts folder.  Either add them to your home/library/fonts folder, or just create an entirely new folder in your home folder to contain and manage these fonts. It is easier to delete the whole thing this way if your system has corrupted fonts and you don’t feel like going through all 700 of them to figure out which ones are corrupt.