Graphic Arts IT guy

Q. I recently upgraded to Leopard and I wanted to use “Quick Look”, but I cannot find it in the Finder. How can I load it in the toolbar?

A. There is an unfortunate side affect to upgrading your Mac from either Panther or Tiger, and it is that the new features of the Finder don’t appear as advertised. The reason for this snafu is that your preferences are preserved when you choose “Archive and Install” when upgrading to Leopard on your Mac.

“Quick Look” and the new “Cover Flow” features normally appear in the toolbar at the top of the new Finder Windows. Quick Look allows you to read a text file, view an image, or even play a movie without having to open the application that created it. Cover Flow allows you to “flip” through your files and quickly preview them.

The upgrade installer preserves your preferences and doesn’t replace the toolbar items. To correct that or to customize the toolbar, choose “Customize Toolbar” from the “View “ menu while you have a Finder window open. To get the standard Leopard settings, choose “drag the default set into the toolbar”. You could also add any other items from the dialog box that you would like.

Q. I have a colour laser printer, and I would occasionally like to print in grayscale to save the colour toners or when colour output is not necessary. How do I do that using Leopard?

A. Apple has redesigned the Print dialog box to make printing easier. The print dialog includes a preview of the page. Some programs, such as those from Adobe and Microsoft, use their own styled Print dialog; however, the standard Apple dialogs have been improved.

At the top you can choose which Printer to use, and load any presets you have saved. Enter the number of copies, the page range, and the paper size. You can set the orientation and scaling, which will be previewed on the left side. There is also a pull down menu specific to the program that you are using.

What you will see depends on the type of printer you have selected. If you have chosen a colour laser printer you may see “Print Character” (or something like that) where you can choose more options. In the case of my Lexmark printer, a radio button appears labeled “B&W”—which, when selected, outputs the page in grayscale using only the black toner.

Q. I’m curious about using Time Capsule to backup my Macintosh wirelessly. How long does it take?

A. That’s a really good question. One of my pet peeves as a roving IT consultant is how many clients of mine don’t appreciate how important backing up their data really is. The problem is no one can tell you when a hard drive mechanism will fail. Tape backups can be damaged by exposure to heat, cold, or magnetic fields, and CDs and DVDs can get scratched, dirtied, or broken, leaving them useless. Unfortunately the majority of users are oblivious to the dangers of data storage.

Last year Apple introduced “Time Machine”, which can automatically backup your data to any attached hard drive. “Time Capsule” is an Apple Airport Base Station (internet router and wireless access point) complete with a server-grade hard drive with a special network version of Time Machine.

All computers using Mac OS X 10.5 can connect to the Time Capsule and be backed up on the network. By entering a password, older Macs and PCs can connect as a network drive for manual backups and file sharing. Like most backup technologies, Time Machine starts by backing up every file on your Mac (you can decide to exclude files or folders.) After a complete backup it then backs up incrementally—backing up new files or files that have been modified.

The initial backup takes over 10 hours. The backup over Ethernet took much less time. Afterwards, Macs back up about once an hour. Each backup is only accessible by the Mac that created the backup, and Time Machine can restore your Mac in case of a disaster. Your data is important to you, so get a Time Capsule or at very least use Time Machine with a removable drive.