7/25/08
11:18 am

MacMost Now 111: Mighty Tab Memory Crossbones

Gary Rosenzweig answers some view questions. How to clean the mighty mouse trackball, using the tab key to navigate through buttons in dialog boxes, where to buy memory and crossbones stickers.

Video Transcript (Click to Expand)
Hi everybody and welcome to MacMost Now. I'm Gary and today I'm going to answer some of your questions.
First question today comes from Klaus. 'I'd like use the keyboard to navigate through dialogs and select a tab.' Well, you can do this in Leopard but you need to change a setting in your System Preferences. Go to your System Preferences, Keyboard and Mouse Settings and go to Keyboard Shortcuts. At the bottom you'll see a setting for full keyboard access; this determines how the tab key is used inside dialogue boxes. Usually it's set for text boxes and lists only but you can set it for all controls. Once you do that then you can control dialog boxes completely from the keyboard. So for instance here's a text edit document. If I go to Save it I get a dialogue box and now I can tab through all the controls on it including the buttons at the bottom. I get over the cancel button, which has a blue halo around it now that I've hit the tab enough times, I can press the space bar to cancel. I can do the same thing for a simple dialogue box if I go to Close I can go ahead and tab between Don't Save, Cancel and Save. Hit the save bar to activate.
The next question comes from Adam. 'I saw your MacBook Pro in a MacMost video with the crossbones underneath the Apple logo. I was wondering where you got that sticker.' Well, I got that sticker from a website called jobbyroger.com and they sell skull and crossbones for not only MacBook Pro and MacBooks but even the iPhone. Check it out.
The next question is 'I wanted to ask something about the annoying Mighty Mouse Trackball. I'm sure you've heard about how it stops scrolling down all of a sudden. I tried to use a cloth and press hard on it upside down, it worked again but stopped a few hours later. Is there an easier way?' I know exactly what you're talking about. I get it all the time and I think that everybody who has Mighty mouse gets this. It usually scroll sup okay but won't and the way I do that is hold it upside down put a little bit of rubbing alcohol onto a cloth or tissue and clean it that way. Then it works for a while again until it clogs up again and I have to reapply. I guess it's just a fact of life. Hopefully the next generation of Mighty Mouse Trackball will fix this problem.
The next question is from Will. 'What do you use to edit your videos?' Well, a lot of my editing is done on the fly. To record the Podcast I use varasoft's Wire Cast and this takes care of a lot of special effects like the text you've just scrolled right there. That happens live while I'm shooting the video. Then I take it into good old iMovie. I just use the most recent version of iMovie to quickly edit things together. I find that Final Cut Express and Final Cut are a little too broadcast oriented. Since I'm distributing to the web iMovie's just right. Now the last step I use FFmpeg X which is a great little tool for being able to compress your video a little bit better than what regular QuickTime does and that's how I upload the Podcast and upload it to places like You Tube.
The last question is a multi-part one. 'Do you have a favorite manufacturer when it comes to you're upgrading I saw on Craig's List people selling their old RAM off their MacBook Pros. Would that be a safe bet? If I to was to sell my Mac could you give me some tips on how to sell and what to do before I sell it.' Okay, first off, on buying memory there's two places I usually check right away when looking for memory for a Mac. First place I've been shopping at for probably a decade is called thechipmerchant.com. They usually have some pretty good deals and they have good customer service. Another place with good deals and customer service is crucial.com. Now there's a dozen others, these are just the two I happen to visit all the time. Now as for buying things on Craig's List I suppose Craig's List is relevant, whether you buy it on Craig's List or eBay or whatever you're buying from another individual and it's definitely risky. So you have to ask yourself is the price difference worth the risk? I mean if somebody's selling a hundred dollars worth of memory for five bucks and you figure 'well, I got five bucks to waste' then go for it. But if somebody's selling a $100 worth of memory for $90 you have to ask yourself why not just go and pay the little bit of extra money and get it from a place where you know you can get customer service and you can return it if you have to.
Now I've talked about selling or donating your computer before. The thing you want to do is you want to make sure that the hard drive completely cleaned off. So you want to use some sort of advanced program for erasing all the data on the hard drive. I mean, after all you might have used your credit card number on that machine, say entered it into a website, that might have gotten written to the hard drive and some hacker can easily go through and find those numbers on the hard drive even if the file that contained them have been deleted a long time ago.
So you want to search around or ask an expert on how to delete all the files on your drive. It really depends on how old the Mac is, what type of processor's in it, what type of hard drive it is, that sort of thing. There's a lot of utilities out there that'll do this. Now you have a computer with a completely empty hard drive which means it won't do anything. So you want to ask yourself do I want to reinstall the OS on it? You might want to use an older copy of OS X that you're not using anymore since the license for that copy of OS X will go with that machine or you may want to ask whoever you're donating or selling the computer to if they even need that. They can go out and buy their own copy of their operating system or they may already have it. As for reselling your Mac well, well I've only ever resold a Mac to somebody I know. So I don't know what it's like to actually resell online or to a local shop. But just be careful and try to avoid scams. And ask yourself 'is it really worth the trouble?' If you're going to get a $100 or $200 out of an old machine but it's going to cost you days and days of hassle in trying to figure out how to sell it you may just want to try to donate it or maybe find somebody you know that will buy it for a little cheaper.
If you've got a question for me you can email me at questions@MacMost.com. Until next time this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.