Average Joe's Tips

The Basics and More: System Preferences



System Preferences is great because it allows you to control almost every setting on your Mac all in one spot. To start I am going to show you how to use System Preferences interface. To navigate around just click on the icons of what you want or you can search it in the top right hand corner. To track back just click the backward or forward buttons on the top left and to go to the main menu select Show All.



The two panes that I use the most are Desktop and Screen Saver, and Mission Control. To use Desktop and Screen Saver’s settings you can navigate through it by going to the left where all the photos and screen savers on your computer will be. To select a background or screen saver just choose the desired photo or screen saver on the side. Sometimes it will bring you to a folder so you can sort from there.  Personally, I just put photos on a slideshow and choose a default screen saver because it is the easiest thing to do.

Mission control is very simple, yet effective because it allows you to use many different shortcuts. For Keyboard Shortcuts you can change how to access the shortcut by scrolling down the menu next to it. Another thing that is very useful is the Hot Corners section where it allows you to scroll to any given corner and it will do what you had designated it to do.



System Preferences is a great way to control settings on your Mac all in one place. It can be a very simple or complicated application depending on how you use it with many ways to customize and secure your Mac.

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Introduction to Mission Control

Mission control is where the user can see and navigate everything running on your Mac. Mission control explains itself; Apple brought Exposé, Dashboard, Spaces, and full-screen app to one place. To use Mission control, you swipe with three fingers on your trackpad. You can also click the Mission Control icon in the dock, and your desktop zooms out to Mission Control. You can also use gesture navigation. By using this you, swipe up and your desktop zooms out to Mission Control. Swipe left or right to more to the next or previous Mission Control item.

In Mission Control, at the top of your desktop it shows your Dashboard, desktop spaces, and your full-screen apps. At the bottom or middle of your screen, it shows an Exposé view of the open windows. Exposé groups window not the same application. So if you have tabs from different windows from safari, it will group those items together to make it easier for yourself.

The spaces on your Mission control depend on the user. You can also add and remove desktop spaces from Mission Control itself to add a new space, click the new Spaces control (+) in the upper-right corner of Mission Control. To remove a space, click the delete button (x) on the space’s thumbnail. You can also bind an application to a space to make it ready for spaces right from the Dock. You can do this by pressing and holding the icon in the Dock and make a selection from the contextual menu. Leave a comment below and we will answer it as soon as possible.


Best Mac OS X Lion 10.7 Features

I am really excited about the new Mac OS X Lion 10.7 that is coming in July to the Mac App Store for just $29.99. So what is new? The Mac OS X Lion 10.7 has over 250 new features such as Multi-Touch gestures, Mission Control, full-screen apps, and Launchpad. With so many new features, everyone should be excited about it. Features such as Multi-Touch helps you interact with your Mac in greater depth such as full-screen swiping and image zooming. With full-screen apps, you to take advantage of the whole Mac display for your apps. It’s easy to switch from full-screen to desktop view and vice versa. The full-screen apps feature is very similar to iOS, as are many of the new features on Mac OS X Lion. You really get immersed in your apps when it is in full-screen.

Mission Control gives you the ability to have full-screen apps, Dashboard, Exposé, and Spaces all under your fingertips. With Mission Control, you have a bird’s-eye view of everything. It only takes one three-finger swipe to show Mission Control. Launchpad is one of my favorite features. It really brings the iOS feel to your Mac display. Just click the Launchpad icon on your Dock and your Mac display is replaced by a full-screen of all your apps on your Mac. You can organize and arrange them however you like, just like you could on your iOS device. When you download an app from the Mac App Store, it goes straight to Launchpad.

Resume is very self-explanatory. You can now close your apps and reopen them and they will look exactly as you left them. You can restart your Mac and open your apps and they will be the same as before you restarted your computer. Auto Save is also self-explanatory. Your work automatically saves your work so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to save your work and having to start over. Versions is a feature that allows you to chart the history of your documents and place it on a timeline to compare them side by side with your latest version. You can see how much you improved your documents.

AirDrop is a very useful feature that allows you to share files with other AirDrop users that are within about 30 feet of you. You don’t need a complicated set up or internet, just drag the file onto the person’s name and once accepted, the file will begin transferring. Mail is getting a huge upgrade. Mail takes advantage of the full-screen and includes a message list on the left that also includes snippets of the message. You can also search for messages with ease. Lion Server now has a Server app that helps assist you in turning your Mac into a server. Profile Manager allows you to manage all your Macs, running Mac OS X Lion of course, and iOS devices. Mac OS X Lion definitely has many improvements that everyone has been looking forward to. What features are you looking forward to the most?

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Mac OS X Lion 10.7 Distributed in Mac App Store

Apple is finally releasing the OS X Lion in the summer, but how is it being distributed? Sources are saying that it will be distributed through the Mac App Store which is currently on the Mac OS X Snow Leopard too. This new operating system comes with many new features such as full disk encryption, AirDrop, a new interface, an iOS —style application launcher, mission control, and certain looks on the home screen. I created an article about the OS X Lion beta version which you can find through the search bar. Just type in OS X Lion and the article is there. It provides a more in depth review of the OS X Lion. The new Mac App Store is like the App Store on an iPhone or iPod touch. It’s basically an easier way to find apps on your Mac instead of going to an Apple store to find it.


I like that Apple is selling the OS X Lion 10.7 on the Mac App Store. It makes it a lot easier for the customers to download it instead of driving to a store to buy it. It may be just another attempt to promote the Mac App Store, but it’s in a great way. It saves Apple money because they don’t have to pay for the disks, gas money to get the OS to the stores, and it makes the customers life easier as well. The customer wouldn’t have to keep track of another disk, as if they don’t have a million of those already. This won’t mean that they won’t sell the OS X Lion 10.7 in stores, it just means that if you don’t want the hassle of another disk, just download it straight to your Mac. Apple is just trying to make your lives easier by letting you download it off their Mac App Store. In other words, no more waiting in those dreaded lines. I can finally celebrate at home when my download finishes and I have the OS X Lion on my computer without the frustration of humans.


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