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When Your Mac Slows Down, Give It A Tune Up [MacRx]

Mac Tune Up

Tune up your Macintosh and do a bit of spring cleaning

This article first appeared in Cult of Mac magazine.

Macs are solid machines, but just like their owners they have a tendency to get lethargic as they age. Launching and switching programs takes longer, simple tasks become arduous, and the dreaded beach ball of doom appears more often. The Operating System just starts to feel crufty, and can get worse over time. I see these issues in my IT consulting business regularly.

You may be asking, why does this happen? There are many reasons, but some are more common than others. Sometimes your hard disk (or SSD) gets too full and interferes with normal computer operations. Crashes or misbehaving programs can corrupt the disk directory or application cache files. Remnants from old software may still be running behind the scenes, or you don’t have enough RAM to deal with your OS and workflow.

OK, so is there some sort of tune up or spring cleaning you can do that sorts it out? Your tech always tells you to just reboot the computer, but there’s got to be more than that. The good news: yes, there are some things you can do. And, perhaps, adopt some more efficient computing practices for yourself along the way.

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How To Fix Mac Missing Plug-In Errors [MacRx]

Missing Plug-In
If you’re a Mac user on the Internet, chances are you’ve come across a few websites where embedded content isn’t displayed correctly. Instead you get an icon or an error message saying Missing Plug-In, often with few additional details about exactly what is missing.

While there’s no single installer which will solve all missing plug-in problems, there are a few common things to start with. If those don’t work you can delve deeper into non-common formats or the forgotten codecs of yesteryear.

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I Can’t Reinstall Snow Leopard After Installing Lion [Ask MacRx]

Mac os x lion install

Now here’s a bizarre headscratcher. A reader’s Mac Pro was upgraded from Snow Leopard to Lion, then refused to subsequently boot off the Snow Leopard DVD to reinstall the older OS on another drive. Despite many different attempts, for this one Mac it appears perhaps you can’t go home again…

I use Bryce occasionally to produce art for friend’s projects. I just discovered it crashes under Lion. DAZ, the manufacturer acknowledges the problem but has no date when the fix will be made. Thinking I could install Snow Leopard and run Bryce under it, I set up a partition on an external drive and attempted to install SL. Lion was having none of it. I also attempted to boot from the SL install disk. It was also rejected out of hand.

Thanks for any help you can provide,
Mike

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Why Doesn’t My Mac Wake From Sleep? [Ask MacRx]

Why Doesn’t My Mac Wake From Sleep? [Ask MacRx]

When your Mac doesn’t wake from sleep, the reason could relate to uncooperative hardware or unstable software. When people don’t wake from sleep, it could be the sign of a Monday morning or an upcoming exam…

Sometimes when my mac goes to sleep it doesn’t want to wake up and the screen stays black. I have to turn off computer then turn it back on. Why does it do that?

Andres

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Diagnosing Mac Software Memory Leaks Can Be Difficult [Ask MacRx]

Memory Problems

Sometimes explaining the problem with your computer isn’t easy, particularly when you’re not sure of the correct technical term used to describe an issue. It took some back and forth to assess this reader’s problem about RAM usage and availability – but I got to enjoy the affectation of “Sir” during the discussion!

Hello Sir Adam,

Hope all is well. I am in desperate need of your help. Im currently living in the TURKS AND CAICOS ISLAND and unfortunately there are no apple shop here. my problem is that since yesterday the memory (which is by the way 8 GB) keeps on falling down. I have a MBP early 2011 i7 model and just acquired it last Aug 4. Ive spent hard earned money on this one. thats why im very disappointed that as early as 5 months i have this problem. would you kindly give advice on how i can do something about this?

TJ

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How Do I Install Samba Into Mac OS X Lion? [Ask MacRx]

Mac SMB Networking

Apple made a number of changes to internal components in OS X Lion, including not installing Java by default and changing it’s SMB (Samba) Windows networking code. These changes have broken some previously working setups but fortunately there are workarounds:

I recently upgraded to OSX Lion, little did I know that samba was removed. Now I cant get on to my DNS 323 and my laptop is piling up with junk. I’ve seen on the net that there are way to install samba but all of them are out of my expertise. Can you help me and put it plain english steps?

Alon

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Can I Access My Home Mac While I’m At Work? [Ask MacRx]

Mac Remote Control

It’s happened to many of us: you’re at work or on vacation and you realize you need something from your Mac at home. There’s nobody at the house to help. By making use of one of the remote desktop solutions on the market, a simple one-time setup can help solve this dilemma:

If my mac is on at home and connected to the internet via a wireless router, and I am at work on either a PC running windows XP sp3 or my mac again connected to the internet via a wireless router is there anyway I can log into my mac at home via the internet and use files etc remotely at work without any input from somebody at home ?

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How Can I Get That ‘New Mac’ Feeling On My MacBook? [Ask MacRx]

New Mac Feeling

Sometimes when our computers have been in use for many years it can help to clean house and start fresh. Restoring from a Time Machine backup via Migration Assistant doesn’t allow for picking and choosing which data you put back, but hard drive clones can help in a situation like this:

I have been putting off this for some time… but I am finally motivated to do a clean boot on my now getting older Macbook. Over the years I have collected many extraneous files, documents, apps etc. and am looking for a fresh start with that “new mac” feeling. I was wondering if you could provide a step by step procedure on how to best prepare for doing this. Obviously there are certain files, photos, music and applications that will need to be transferred or reinstalled, but beyond that everything can pretty much go.

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Will iWeb Live? The Answer Is A Mixed Bag [Ask MacRx]

Ask MacRx IWeb

As Apple pulls us all forward into the Next Great Thing, some widely-used Previously Cool Things get left behind. It’s happened with HyperCard, PageMill, and all PowerPC-only applications. Today one reader ponders the uncertain future of his favorite program, iWeb:

I bought my first Mac in ’85… Being an Old’nAging Geezer I saw that an encroaching Class of ’61’s 50-year Reunion deserved a website so I volunteered, commandeering iWeb for the very first time (successfully aided by FileZilla and my generous wonky Mac-pal Greg) to ultimately be rewarded by several of my classmates and a few fanboys’ sporadic kudos–AND proving once again that old, time-proven saw of Macintosh’s unassailable user friendly superiority.

All that to bring me to this QUESTION: Will iWeb live?

Paul

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Can I Merge Mac User Accounts After a Time Machine Restore? [Ask MacRx]

Time Machine User Accounts

Ask MacRx took a hiatus for a few weeks in December but we’re back for 2012 and here to help try and answer more of your Mac and iDevice questions. Today we hear from a reader who has more user accounts than desired after restoring from a Time Machine backup:

I recently replaced the drive in my Macbook, upgrading to a larger capacity drive. For the first time I used Time Machine to restore my applications, settings and data files. I was surprised to find that I had to name the restoration differently than the account named on the destination drive. I followed the on-screen prompts and successfully transferred the data from my old drive to the new one.

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