Did you know? Snow Leopard edition

Having only recently moved into the wonderful world of having an up-to-date operating system, I’m still playing catch-up on capabilities. I went from Tiger on my old G4 to a short stay on Leopard on the new Mac Pro, and now Snow Leopard on the Pro and the new iMac. And I keep finding little surprises I didn’t even know it could do. For instance, all of a sudden, QuickTime will make and save audio, video and screen recordings. When did that happen? Last I had checked, you had to buy QuickTime Pro, which I never did, and used about 14 different programs to work around that need. (Downside: it still won’t record streaming audio, for what may seem like obvious copyright reasons.)

This morning’s new discovery?

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Preview can run my scanner. I’m not sure
it makes much difference – the Epson Scanner software starts up quickly
enough and is what I would always use for photo scans, but Preview will
connect to the scanner and run it for quick document copies, cutting
out a couple of middle steps. I had no idea it could do that. I also
had no idea it could transfer files from my phone — I thought I had to
go through the slightly clunky Bluetooth interface. Well, Preview has
an option to import from my phone, but it doesn’t seem to see the files
there; no idea if that’s a settings issue or just a glitch in Snow

I also like the connectivity between computers — for the first time,
it’s actually easy to browse another machine, or even look at its
screen. That never quite worked right in the previous systems, and in
taking care of a family member’s eMac (you read that right: eMac), I
have to resort to extreme measures involving Chicken of the VNC,
publishing to a DNS server, etc. It works, but it’d be much more
convenient to be able to do it right through the sharing window.

As usual with Mac, if you don’t know how to do something, it pays to try to option-click. I’ve been going back and forth to the Systems Preferences pane to change my sound inputs and outputs. Well, duh: option-clicking on the Sound symbol on the menu bar does the same thing, and quicker. Same with the rest of the symbols up there in the menu bar: option-clicking brings up a variety of options. Again, duh.

And Time Machine alone was worth the upgrade (which went hella-smooth, for the first time). There are lots of threads around about how you could accomplished what Time Machine does in other ways, etc., etc. But the point is this: every hour, your Mac is backed up. Completely. And if your main drive crashes, you can fully restore right away.

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