Mr Mac Byron Bay

... a legend in his own lunchtime

Bits and Pieces of Useful Information

Changing Your Account Password When You've Forgotten It!

For 10.6 and earlier:

Locate the disks that came with the computer when you bought it. They are usually grey and the one you want will say something like "Mac OS X Install Disk 1" or similar. Pop it in the disk drive and restart the computer by going to the Apple menu on the top left of the screen and choosing Restart... It will ask Are you sure you want to restart your computer?

Click the Restart button and hold down the C key on your keyboard. Keep holding it while the computer starts up and it will Boot from the DVD rather than from the internal hard drive.

The first window that appears, after a while, lets you choose English as the language.
Then next screen is Preparing for installation.
Ignore it and look at the top of the screen and find the Utilities menu.
In it you will find the Reset Password selection.
Click it and a little window will open with a picture of your hard drive.
Select the hard drive icon and the accounts that have been set up on the computer will appear.
Select the one that needs it's password reset and a box will appear so that you can enter the new password, twice
Click the Save button and Quit the Reset Password Utility by going to it's menu and choosing Quit, or by selecting Command+Q on the keyboard.
It will ask you if you really want to quit!
Then do the same at the next window and the computer will restart with your new password saved.

Eject the install DVD and use your new password.


For 10.7 and later:
Restart while holding Command and R. The computer will boot into the Recovery partition.
Go to the Utilities menu at the top of the screen and open Terminal.
Be very careful in Terminal!


Type these exact words: 


Just the same with no space, then hit the return key and a window will open where you can select the account whose password you want to reset, enter the new password twice and click the Save button.

Once that's done quit out of the Recovery partition and retart the computer.


Parental Controls

As the internet is a sort of unlimited library containing all information to be accessed by everyone — in contrast to the previous century's paradigm of information being difficult to locate — it follows that everything can be found if you search for it. That includes less savoury information such as pornography and other material unsuitable for children (and adults!).


Apple recognise this and have built in a feature to control the information available to your kids called Parental Controls.

Although this is simple to switch-on and configure a couple of things need to be made clear. It relies on the fact that the child has a separate account on the computer which needs to be a Standard account not an Administrator account and that the password for your Administrator account is kept from the child.

For information on how to set up accounts see Adding and Deleting User Accounts. Anyway, its a good idea to have seperate accounts for each user of the computer.
While logged into your usual account after setting up the child's account go to System Preferences/Accounts and click the Open Parental Controls button.



This is the start of the many options available for controlling your kid's computer access.
The first page lets you control what applications they can use and other simple choices.
Then click the next tab called Content:
This is the most contentious area because you are trying to limit or control the internet which is really difficult as the Chinese and Iraqi governments have found!

If you click the box Try to limit access to adult websites automatically you have a further Customise option which lets you literally add and delete what websites they can visit. In practise this is very difficult if not impossible to achieve.

Its a matter of trying your settings and then checking back regularly to see if it's working along with monitoring their responses to what you have done. Each kid is different and many will be wailing about not being able to go to certain sites they could visit previously!

Next is the Mail & iChat tab which really is just for email via the Mail application if you wish to limit who they can send and receive email from. I find in practise that this area is usually ignored by most people:


OK next we're on to Time Limits which can be a very useful carrot in getting the little blighters to do their chores and such like. You can agree an amount of time that the user can have per day and as it gets near to the end an alert will warn them that the account is about to be switched of. Cue screams of frustration...

Pretty straightforward to configure, just click the boxes and adjust the times as required.
Then a last tab which again not many people bother with which is a log of all the places the user has visited online.

This area collects a log of all activity if Parental Controls are activated so if you haven't limited their access to the internet you can go and see where they have been!
I have to say at this point that trust and communication are the best ways of regulating computer and internet access but of course they don't always work. If you feel a need to use Parental Controls bear in mind that our kids are experimenting and looking around usually with good intentions. Talking to them about the internet and building a feeling of trust in their decision making can work wonders, but of course this is really only viable in older kids.
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Right-Clicking Explained

Macs have had a Right-Click option for ages but it's always been hidden and is to this day! If you have a recent iMac with a scrolling mouse or a Magic Mouse or Magic Mouse then Right-Click is available on these and any other 2-button USB mouse that is plugged into your Mac.

To switch it on look in System Preferences/Mouse (or Keyboard and Mouse then the Mouse tab on older versions of the Mac OSX) which will bring up an image of the mouse where you can choose Secondary Button for the right hand button.


On Apple mice this button is stylishly hidden, but it's there!



As you can see there are also 2 side buttons on the Apple mice which can be set for any number of things, but it seems a bit over-kill to me and most people don't use them. However, if you are a power user set them to your choice.
On laptops and single-button mice you access Right-Click by holding the Control key and clicking. This performs exactly the same function as Right-Click on a 2 button mouse.

So what does Right-Clicking offer? It is basically a whole heap of extra choices depending on what you click. For example if you Right-Click the Desktop you will get these choices:

Choose the one you want. If you are on a web page Right-Click lets you go Back or Forward or Save an Image to the Desktop.



I recommend that you switch on Right-Click and click around in different applications, webpages and anything you are doing on your computer. You will find a Pandora's box of choices and options that you soon won't be able to live without...


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Taking a Screen Shot

There are 3 ways to take a Screen Shot, that is taking a picture of all or part of what is visible on screen and they all use the keyboard, Key Commands.

1. Capturing the Entire Screen: hold down the keys Command+Shift and then while holding them hit 3.
A picture of the entire visible screen will be captured and saved to your Desktop and called Screen shot 2010-01-31 at 8.48.17 PM.png. See that the time and date that it was taken becomes part of it's name.

2. Capturing part of the screen: hold down the keys Command+Shift and then while holding them hit 4. Your cursor will change into a cross-hair like the sights of a weapon! Click and drag across the area of the screen you want to capture and on release of the mouse button a Screen Shot will be saved to the Desktop of that area.
This is very handy when grabbing a part of a website or an image on a website that is a part of a Flash movie and can't be saved normally like a regular image from a website. Or is you have paused a YouTube movie and want a shot of the paused image...


3. Capturing an Open Window: hold down the keys Command+Shift and then while holding them hit 4 and then hit the Space bar. The cursor will change into a camera icon. Click the window you want to save and the whole window will be saved as a Screen Shot to the Desktop.


Using Onyx to Tune Up Your Mac

Giving your trusty Mac a monthly or bi-monthly tune up is a good idea. If you combine this with a virus check (see and perform both procedures together you are giving your Mac a good chance of a long and happy life.

First download and install Onyx from

You will need to get the version to suit the operating system you are running. If you don't know which one it is go to the Apple menu on the top left of your screen and click About This Mac and look in the window that appears to find out whether you are on 10.6, 10.7, 10.8 or 10.9:

 About this mac

Select the correct download, click to download it and look in your Downloads folder to find the installer, called onyx.dmg. Double click this and you will get a window with the which is dragged into your Applications folder.

Eject the installer, trash the onyx.dmg file and open Onyx from Applications.


The first window asks if you want to check the state of your hard drive:


The next one checks to see if any repair is needed:


If it needs a repair call Mr Mac!

Then it will ask you for your computer password, enter it and the main Onyx window opens:


Before we get into the repair we need to set it up, which is only done once.

First open the Preferences from the Onyx menu. The only two areas we will need are Behaviour:


and then Messages and Logs:


Set them both as in the pics and then close the Preferences window.

Then click the Cleaning tab on the Onyx toolbar.
Go through each tab of Cleaning setting them just in like these pics.
Once this is done we are ready to run Onyx.

Apart from the setting up which is only done this once, it is very simple to use.

Once Only Setting Up Onyx:
First up is System:


Then User:


Then Internet:


Then Fonts:


Then Logs:


Then Misc:


OK that's the setup all completed, now we can run Onyx and give your Mac a tune up.

This is the procedure you will follow when you do your regular maintenance.

Running Onyx:
Open Onyx.

Click the Maintenance button, then the Permissions tab and click the Execute button on the bottom right of the screen:


Repairing the Permissions will take 5 or 10 minutes, just wait until it is done and some text appears in the window.

Then click the Scripts tab, make sure all the boxes are ticked and click the Execute button. This takes 5 minutes as well:


Once the Scripts are done we leave the Maintenance area and go to Cleaning which we set up before.

Now that the setup is done we can just Execute each tab which takes a couple of minutes each.

At the end of each tab a window pops up asking if you want to Restart:


Click the Close button and move on to the next tab.

On the last tab, Misc, we let Onyx Restart after the procedure is run.

The computer restarts and is all tuned up and happy!

Now go and do a virus check and your computer is all done:

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