Washington Apple Pi

A Community of Apple iPad, iPhone and Mac Users

Best of the TCS

The Best of the TCS

By Dick Rucker

Washington Apple Pi Journal, reprint information

The following message threads appeared recently on the Pi’s members-only message boards found at: http://tcs.wap.org/. The TCS is best place I know for members to seek answers to questions about their Macs or about the services offered to members by the Pi; I check it daily.

To find help on using the TCS to your advantage, refer to:

            A Brief User’s Guide to the Washington Apple Pi (one Web page):


as well as:

            Guide for Users of the Washington Apple Pi’s TCS (downloaded PDF file):


"Camino 1.0" started Feb 14, 2006

URL: http://tcs.wap.org/topic?b=inet&top=3487

Keywords: “web browsers” Firefox Safari “Internet Explorer”

Abstract: Jon Thomason wrote: “Most of you are happy with Safari (and with good reason), and others have special reliance on some add-on feature of Firefox...For day-to-day use, I still find I'm happiest with out-of-the-box Camino. Though as long as I can factor in PithHelmet, Safari would be a fair second…” He gives the URL to the site where the latest version of Camino can be downloaded.

"mpg files" started Feb 25, 2006

URL: http://tcs.wap.org/topic?b=video&top=1252

Keywords: “merging video files” “mpg files” “iMovie” “iDVD”

Abstract: Robert Phillips wrote: “I have several separate .mpg files which I would like to view as one file. The Mac help, the iMovie help, and the iDVD help are of no help.”

Several people provided suggestions. To one, Robert replied: “…after lots of Gumby manual reading and re-reading and use of the option key and Gumby 50C, I now have one merged video file (and sound) instead of the 14 segments…thanks for helping out in the strange world of video.”

"Taming Spotlight" started Feb 27, 2006

URL: http://tcs.wap.org/topic?b=macos&top=6743

Keywords: search find spotlight

Abstract: Joseph Belotte wrote: “I found Spotlight to be almost entirely a nuisance. Going through several thousand training and classroom documents…I would get so many hits it would take a half hour to check them all out… I found a way to find what I want significantly easier and faster. I share it here just in case someone might find it useful.”

I have since been using his solution to great advantage – it narrows Spotlight’s search to just file names – when I know my search term is in the name of the file I am looking for. This bypasses all the more powerful kinds of searching in which Spotlight also excels.

Lawrence Charters replied: “The technique you describe of using Smart Folders is an excellent one, and exactly what Spotlight was designed to do. So…continue to enjoy using Spotlight. It really is quite spiffy.”

"What is optimizing (installers)" a continuation of another message thread

URL: http://tcs.wap.org/topic?b=macos&top=6738

Keywords: “installing programs on OS X” “optimization”

Abstract: John Rhead wrote: “I just downloaded and installed an update of iTunes. At the end of the process there was a note that ‘optimizing’” was taking place.

Jon Thomason replied: “Applications launch fastest when they can load into memory at predetermined locations…” and followed that with an easy-to-understand explanation of how program installers designed to play well with Mac OS X do this using a method called prebinding.

"CS 3" started Mar 28, 2006

URL: http://tcs.wap.org/topic?b=photo&top=1263

Keywords: “Intel Mac” “Adobe CS 3” “performance comparisons” “universal binaries”

Abstract: Edward Miller wrote: “It seems that Photoshop CS 3 and Adobe [Creative Suite] 3 is not due until the second quarter of 2007. That's when we should get a universal binary to work OK with the new MacIntels.”

A good discussion follows on the unique demands Adobe’s programs, especially Photoshop, place on computer processing power, and how those demands are likely to affect those who use these programs and who may be contemplating the purchase of a new Mac with Intel inside.