Graphic Arts IT Guy Q and A

ImageI recently bought my first Mac after using a PC for years. On my PC, there were thumbnails of each picture in folders with images. How do I see the same thing in the Finder?

With Mac OS X, you can view a folder of images as preview icons. In the Finder, open the folder with the pictures. Then switch to icon view by pressing the Apple key and “1”. You can also click on the “View” icon at the top of the Finder window. The View icon allows you to change the folder view from view as icons to view as list or view as columns. You’ll probably see either the generic preview icon or the icon of the application that created the file.

With the “view as icons” set, open the View menu and choose “View Options” (or press Apple and “J”). A small view options pallet will open. At the top, you can choose to have the settings apply locally with “this window only” or globally with “all windows”. Below this setting you’ll find a slider that will let you choose the size of the icons; the default size is 48 by 48 pixels.

Further down is the section with checkboxes. Place a check in the third choice and you will select the “icon preview”. If you applied your change to all windows then your Finder windows will behave in a similar way as those of Windows XP.

I often find that I cannot send email from my laptop when I am in different locations, such as a wireless hotspot or while I’m visiting another company. Why?

The problem has to do with the SMTP server you have set up in your email client. Early in the days of the Internet, you could send and receive email from just about everywhere. Unfortunately unscrupulous email users took advantage of this fact, so, as a defense, you can no longer “relay” mail off any SMTP server you choose.

A bit of background: Email requires two separate servers (or services), one is a POP3 (post office protocol) to collect your email and an SMTP (simple mail transport protocol) to send your email. When you use your email client—such as Outlook, Mail, or Entourage—to get your mail, you log on to your POP3 server with a username and password. When you send an email, it is sent via a nearby SMTP server, usually hosted by your Internet Service Provider—which is on the network you’re connected to at the office or at home.

When you travel around you may not know who the provider is—and when your email program tries to send, you may get an error stating that “you are not permitted to relay email”. This message is sent to you by the SMTP server, telling you that you are attempting to send email while your computer is on another network.

Spammers look for networks that do allow relaying email, called “open relay” networks, as one of the ways to send their messages. On an open relay, spammers can masquerade their identity and use another server to spread their useless messages. Additionally, when spammers discover an open relay they bombard the mail server with millions of messages—which also ties up the server and network.

So what’s the solution? Well there are at least two workarounds. Your current SMTP server may already require you to log in with a username and password (usually the same as your POP3 login) and therefore prove your identity before allowing you to relay. This extra step may create a delay in sending, but you are also assured that you are in control of the process. Another solution, if your provider doesn’t allow for authentication, is to enquire of your host what their SMTP server is and temporarily adjust your settings.

If you have two regular locations, you can also create two accounts for sending email—one configured for the office SMTP and the other set to your home network’s SMTP. Set them up with the same email and choose which to send with depending on where you are. Soon you’ll be sending email like an IT guy!

Timothy Mitra, IT specialist (IT Guy)

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