MacMost Now 85: Old Podcast Switch Password

Gary Rosenzweig answers view email: Can you delete old system Folders? How to control when podcasts are deleted. Using Command+Tab to switch between applications. Password protecting iWork documents.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary and welcome to another episode of MacMost Now. Today, let's look at some viewer email.
The first question today comes from Jeff. Jeff writes, am I able to trash my system folder from old Mac without running the risk of deleting something critical to my operating system? How about previous systems?
Well, yes, if you've upgraded from an old system to the current Leopard you probably have some folder sitting around called 'old system' or from previous system or something like that. And yes, it's safe to delete these. But, here's what I like to do first. I like to back them up. I mean, why not? You never know what sort of system preference file or old font or something's going to be in there. All you need to do is go to the store and buy a really cheap CD or DVD. I mean these things are dirt cheap, they cost pennies. So, why not go ahead and buy one, and your Mac's capable of writing out a CD at least, if not a DVD. So go ahead and copy this to one of these CDs, label it, and put it away. And then delete it without a worry.
Now, Jon writes, One thing that I am missing since I switched from Windows to Mac OSX is the Windows Alt-tab, where I can task switch between the last two tasks. I know Alt-Tab will switch between programs and Alt-tilde will switch between program windows, but they require you to cycle through all of the open windows.
Well, actually, that's not quite completely true. For instance, here I've got several applications open. If I do command-tab, I will see all them, and if I hold it down I will cycle through them very quickly. If I hold the main key down and continue to hit tab, I go to the next one. So let's say I switch from iCal to address book. Now if I do it again, you'll see that I can switch back to iCal and so forth. So I can switch between the last two applications by simply hitting command-tab, and, as I'm going through them I can also hold the shift key down to go backwards. Another thing I can do is I can use my mouse and select any one of them. I'm still holding the command key down but nothing else, so I go ahead and switch to any other one that I want. So, there are a lot of different options for you to be able to switch between things, than just cycling through them all.
The next question comes from Kalin. My question is, is there a way to set up each podcast subscription for the different setting of how many episodes to keep rather than just one setting for all subscriptions? I mean, is there a way to keep all the episodes of one subscription, while only going to the last of another?
Well, this is a problem, in that, you could only really have one setting. Say, you say, keep last three episodes of every podcast. But there is one way you can kind of modify it. Let's go and take a look at iTunes here. Now, in iTunes, you've got your different podcasts, and you also have your system preference here, where you go ahead and set it up for podcasts, and you say, keep all episodes or say keep last three episodes. Okay, that's great. But what you can also do is select a podcast and hit the control key and click, which is the same as right click, on say Might Mouse, and, you can go ahead and turn off the auto delete. So you can say, do not auto delete. So what happens is that this one podcast will never auto delete. In other words, it will keep all episodes whereas the rest of them only keep the last three. So basically then, what you can do is have two options, one where it keeps all episodes and another where it only keeps a certain number of episodes. Now, you're still gonna have to manage it manually for all of these. You can delete more say than keeping the last three or you can manage the one where you're keeping them all. So, gives you a little more flexibility but you're still gonna have to go in there and manage them all on your own to some degree.
The last question today is from Nir. I switched from Windows to OSX. Till now I used Excel for invoicing etc. But I think iWork 08 will do this too and I don't have to install Microsoft stuff on my new MacBook Pro. I used to use password protection in my spreadsheets in Excel and I was wondering can I password protect my Numbers spreadsheets or even my Pages documents?
Well, this is actually a problem a lot of people complained about. You cannot password protect Numbers spreadsheets or Pages documents like you can Microsoft Excel or Word documents. But, there are some workarounds. First of all you should consider why you are password protecting these things? I mean, if you need to keep your files secure then what you should do is have a password on your account on the machine and only you know the password and you have to log in to your account to use your machine. Somebody else is using the machine, they have their own account. This is kinda the way you should probably set up a multi-user machine anyway, and even if this a single user machine, it prevents somebody from walking up to your desk when you're not there and accessing any of your files. But, besides that, if you just really want to password protect these, you should take a look at MacMost Now episode number 46 where I talk about password protecting files using a disc image. You can use the disc utility in your applications utilities folder to create a disc image that's password protected and you can encrypt it, which is even better than password protected, because there's really no way to break into it without the password. And then you can save some of your valuable files, like these Numbers files, inside of this disc image, and another bonus is that the disc image only takes up one file on your drive and you can even have it compressed, so it doesn't really take up all this extra space. Use it instead of a folder, so you might have an invoices folder or you can have an invoices disc image. You mount the invoices disc image just by double clicking on it, and type in your password, and now you can get to all your invoices, save some new ones, and then, close the disc image.
That's all the questions for today. If you've got a question for me, you can email me at questions (-at-) macmost.com and I'll do my best to answer it. Also remember to subscribe to my twitter feed. 'Til next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: 2 Responses to “MacMost Now 85: Old Podcast Switch Password”

    John
    5/23/08 @ 5:25 pm

    The point of password protecting documents is not just security. We use it so that people will not change the document but they can view it. Anyone can read it but you have to enter the password to change the word or excel document. That is a reason why we can never change to macs in our engineering department.

      Roger McIlmoyle
      2/25/10 @ 4:20 am

      Why not just publish via PDF? If you’re providing read-only access then this is the simplest way to accomplish this while at the same time reducing the document size.

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