Mac 101

We recently had a Switching to Mac Workshop for those Mac users who needed to brush up on their Mac skills and for others who needed help from the bottom up, the beginners or the want-to-be Mac owners looking for some lessons before they entered into the new frontier of the Mac OS X simplicity.  We were told it was very informative.

The next day however, I was approached by an attendee who needed more in-depth help.  I showed some basics with our Mac’s at the Apple Desk in the Bookstore and then sent the individual to Mac 101- the Grand Tour Introduction.  You can actually start with Mac 101 which is a Getting Started with Mac tutorial assistance link provided by Apple. There is also a Mac 101- Mac Essentials which includes helpful pictures.

After you’re more comfortable with the basics, you can visit Mac 101- All Work and Playfor help with different applications like TextEdit, Safari, File sharing, iChat, VoiceOver and many other fun apps.  So for those of you out there, who would like more tutorial instructional assistance, just follow the links provided for a look into the other world, allusive to some, the world of Mac OS X.


Changing The Language on a Mac

You can learn more tips like this if you can make it to the Switching to Mac Workshop- Wednesday, March 14th at the Davis Family Library Rm 201 from 1:00-3:00. Try this step-by-step instruction for those who want to change the system language in the Mac OS X. Changing the system language in Mac OS X Step 1. Click on “Apple Logo“, and then click on System Preferences Step 2. In System Preferences; click on the International icon. Step 3. At the right hand side of the window, look for a flag with “Languages & text” beneath Step 4. Change the system language from English to Simplified Chinese (or any language you choose). Do this by dragging the Simplified Chinese on top of English. To see the changes right away without logging out by clicking on the red button to close the International settings first: Step 5. Click on the “Apple Logo”, and then click on Force Quit Finder: Step 6. Select Finder and click on the Relaunch button: Step 7. Click on the Relaunch button again: Step 8. Now you should see the changes I retrieved this from the link below which includes pictures!:

Tech Note:

How should I protect my Mac?

 The two most expensive kinds of damage I see are spills and drops. Even Apple’s extended Applecare service doesn’t cover “customer damage” so when this most common occurrence happens to you, will you be ready? 

 Many small spills won’t get down to the fragile interior parts if you have a keyboard cover*. These are cheaper than having me open your Mac, say nothing of having to replace parts. 

 A laptop case may help for small drops (not setting Mac down softly), as long as it’s not when it falls (falls are bad for Mac). The neoprene cases* are nice and protective, but usually are taken off when in use. The hard shell cases* are fun and colorful, but don’t help much when your Mac hits the floor (nothing does). 

You should also check your (or your parent’s) homeowner’s insurance policy to see if it covers accidental damage to laptops. Often damage is done to the logic board, which cost almost as much to replace as buying a whole new Mac. If your deductible is close to the price of a new Mac, it won’t do you much good either. 

 An alternative if the homeowners option isn’t available to you is a SquareTrade warrantee. This is typically around $160 to cover equipment up to $1200. See details at, and read reviews before buying.

 Next time, we’ll talk about what to do immediately if a spill happens to minimize damage.

 -Ark Lemal
Vermont’s On-Demand IT Department
Apple Certified Technical Coordinator  • Apple Consultants Network

*Keyboard covers, Neoprene Cases and Hard Shell Cases are sold in the College Bookstore located next to Apple Desk in a variety of colors.


Backing up to Middfiles!

Here is a very important link to save.

This brings you to the instructions on using Middfiles to back up files- your mid-term papers, finals, and theses that you do not want to lose in case of laptop failure.  Follow the instructions to connect to the file server. When you have the Middfiles folder up and can see the title as Middfiles, drag the icon over near (but not into) the trash in your dock.  You can connect to Middfiles and save data with a click now.  Follow the instructions on the page on the link above to save data you want saved.

Using Mini-Displayport – HDMI to hook HDTV to Mac

Getting Audio to work as well as video

The fix is fairly simple, but it might take a few times. What you need to do are flush out your Mac’s PRAM and SMC, resetting them.

Resetting your PRAM is easy:

1) Shut down your Mac totally.

2) Locate (but don’t press) the following keys on your Mac’s keyboard: COmmand, Option, P and R. Put your fingers over them, but don’t press them yet.

3) Turn on your computer.

4) Immediately after turning on your computer, hold down Command+Option+P+R. This must be done before you see the gray boot up screen.

5) Hold down the keys. If you do this correctly, your Mac will restart and you’ll hear the startup sound a second time.

6) Release the keys.

Congrats, your PRAM’s reset! Now let’s reset the SMC for good measure. The instructions on doing this vary from computer to computer, but Apple’s got a great support document that explains how to reset the SMC on any Mac you own.

Once you’ve flushed both the SMC and PRAM, allow your Mac to boot properly. Plug in your Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter, make sure that HDMI is selected as your Sound output in System Preferences and give your Mac a whirl. Your sound should now hopefully be working through HDMI under OS X Lion. Hoorah!

Using the above steps, I got HDMI sound working on my MacBook Air as well as my girlfriend’s MacBook. How’d it work for you? Let us know in the comments.

By John Brownlee

Hello world!


Hello everyone, this is  Meridith, your Apple Computer Retail Assistant here at Midd. This is the our new blog where we here at the bookstore hope to share with you sales, information, tips, and other goodies about your Apple products and accessories. Check back in to see what’s up ad coming here in the Middlebury College bookstore!