MacFixIt Answers is a feature from MacFixIt where our editors answer questions e-mailed to us by our readers. We have been getting regular contacts and questions from our readers, and hope to share our correspondences so everyone may benefit and contribute to them. This week we have questions about e-mail time stamps, spinning beach ball cursors when entering text in text fields, changing the default application for documents, "File Exists" errors when managing messages in Mail, and iTunes window resizing problems.… Read more
The first thing I saw when I booted my PC yesterday evening was a notice that Google had prevented my default search setting from being changed. I certainly didn't want to switch from searching via Google by default. I hadn't even been considering a search change, regardless of Bing's pretty wallpaper.
To find out what program was trying to change my search default, I opened Vista's Event Viewer by pressing the Windows key, typing event viewer, and pressing Enter. I clicked Application in the left pane and scrolled to the approximate time the warning popped up. … Read more
For all the wonderful things that OS X does, flipping through folders while opening and saving documents remains a hassle. This award-winning app attaches a toolbar to the side of all your Open and Save dialogs, providing quick access to multiple folders and commands. You can jump to favorite and recently used folders, or even manage files and folders right from the dialog (so you don't need to go to the Finder for simple tasks such as renaming and deleting). Default Folder also lets you assign hot keys and work with recent items right from the Dock. We're … Read more
I got a kick out of the recent headlines stating that Microsoft wants to make the next version of Windows less annoying than Vista. Talk about setting the bar low!
Most of the things that bug me about Windows are easy to fix--the lack of a Run option on Vista's Start menu is an example. To put Run back on the menu, right click the Start button, choose Properties, click Customize under the Start Menu tab, scroll to and check "Run command," and click OK twice.
Here are three other Windows irritations that I finally got around … Read more
A system plug-in called Choosy is trying to change the way people are opening links on their computer. This small Mac OS X application gives you the option to choose which browser you'd like to open up any link with sans having to ever set a "default" browser.
In my case my default browser is Firefox, but it's not always the best solution. Sometimes I'm opening up a link for a site I know will work better in Safari or IE (like my work e-mail). With Choosy installed, clicking that link simply gives you a … Read more
There are many things I like about Windows Vista. The OS's approach to folder views isn't one of them.
XP had it right: To change your default view in Windows Explorer and folder windows in Vista's predecessor, you just open a folder, change it to the view you prefer (for me, its View > Details), and click Tools > Folder Options > View > Apply to All Folders > Yes > OK.
If only things were that simple in Vista. XP's successor (I use the term lightly) has five different types of folders. Changing the view … Read more
Ramesh Srinivasan has clearly known the tensions of shared computing, especially the bickering over which mail app and browser to set as defaults when two or more users disagree.
Thanks to Srinivasan's two apps, DefaultMail and DefaultBrowser, families and roommates can cool it on the tug-of-war and continue clashing over important things, like drinking milk straight from the carton. The free apps smooth things over by linking default browser apps and e-mail clients to each user account.
Tune in to the video to see how the apps work, but forget typing those long URLs to download the apps. We'… Read more
You use your browser a lot. You use your e-mail program a lot. But the chances are better than even that you spend a big chunk of your workday in Microsoft Word. There's no way any application used by so many people for so many different tasks is going to be set up just right for you. Here are the five settings I changed to make Word work my way, more or less.
I say "more or less" because Word isn't quite the paragon of flexibility. You can make serious changes to the program's look … Read more
Leopard has now only been available for a week, so even if you waited in line to purchase the latest Mac OS, you're probably still getting used to all the new features. My personal favorite at this point is probably Spaces, because I can split up my work into different areas and quickly switch between them. The addition of Stacks is a welcome change, too, because I now have all my articles in the same place--right there on the Dock. One surprise for me, though it probably shouldn't have been, was that I soon realized I missed a certain program immediately when I went to save a document.… Read more