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 In this instructable I will show you how to do a few things with your apple computer that I had to learn the hard way.

All of which are very useful for the custom Windows user with his/her first mac like me.

This is my first instructable, so forgive the possible crudeness,

I am using a Leopard/Snow Leopard computer, this may be different for 10.4, I apologize for the lack of universalism

Skills Needed:
For starters you have to be confident in what your doing no matter How much you know about computers
The rest is pretty simple.. an apple computer

Step 1: Hidden Files

Alright, when I first got my apple I tried to move some hidden files to it from my windows machine to do maintenance on another machine.. well, apple doesn't make this quite as easy as windows. this is the best way I could find to show hidden files without installing aNother application, read on;

This is a very simple function if your not afraid to use it, simply open the terminal (Finder > Applications > Utilities > Terminal), copy "defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
killall Finder" without the quotes of course, and press enter

To reverse this simply change "TRUE" to "FALSE" which requires typing the whole command in because when it sees "killall Finder" it starts a new line.
Check out the illustrations for visual details

Let me know what you think, use this at your own risk, I take no responsibility if You use this wrong and destroy your computer.

The next trick is screen capture >

Step 2: Screen Capture

This is pretty easy, and consider it Is screen capture I don't have any illustration :P

I love how many options there are for this:
To capture the whole desktop simply hold 'Command-Shift' and '3' and it will save a picture on the desktop in PNG format
To, instead, copy it to your clipboard hold 'Control-Command-Shift' and '3'
To capture a specified portion of the desktop hold 'Command-Shift' and '4' and then drag around what you want to capture, it will save it to the desktop
To capture a specific window/application hold 'Command-Shift', '4' and 'Space'
Add 'Control' to the two previous shortcuts to copy the image to the clipboard

Now we get to Grab, a very cool application in your utilities folder (Finder > Applications > Utilities > Grab)
To use Grab we'll start with preparation;
After opening Grab go to preferences (if you don't find it, the universal shortcut is (Command-, 'Comma'), the only of which are what kind of cursor you want to appear in your image and wether to enable sound. So, choose which cursor you want, or if you don't want one, and close the preferences. 
Now you can take your picture,
similar to the shortcuts, if you want to take a picture of the whole desktop then select the Capture menu and then Screen, then click where you want the cursor and it will take a picture whereever you put the cursor and show it to you, if you close it it will not save.

The rest is pretty self explanatory;
Selection, you can select a specific area to capture (no cursor)
Window, go to your window and click where you want the cursor
Timed screen, gives you 10 seconds to click on menus and the like to add them to your image

And that's screen capture, next; 64 Bit enabler

Step 3: Utilizing Your Full 64-Bit System

Did you know Leopard and Snow Leopard doesn't usually run a full 64 bit system? Check it out (Apple > About This Mac > More Info > Software) right where it says 64-bit Kernel and Extensions it should say No.
Lets change this;
Before we start, like I said before, I am Not responsible for any problems you encounter with this edit.
To start, if you'd like to test this system, simply boot holding 6 and 4, if you don't notice any difference check the system profiler again (More Info)
if your ok with this system and don't have any programs that don't like it, then download the SixtyFourSwitcher www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/32299 in the folder open SixtyFourSwitcher.prefPane to add it to your system preferences, then go to your system preferences and click on it's icon; if it's unlocked slide it to 64
All done

Step 4: Record Streaming Audio

It seems so easy to do this with windows, so, I've come up with a possibly easier way on mac;

This could come in handy even if your not looking for it
So simple, download SoundFlower cycling74.com/downloads/ under 'Other Products'
Then in sound (System Preferences > Sound) change the input/output to SoundFlower, either 2 or 16 channel. Then open Garage Band, create a new file, start recording then play whatever you want to record. That's it

Step 5: Windows Without Windows

Really need windows for something, but don't wanna put another system on this computer? Just simply Remote Desktop to a windows computer (assuming you have one)
First, download this great little program www.microsoft.com/mac/products/remote-desktop/default.mspx, then get the IP address of your windows computer (Start menu > Run > "cmd" > 'ok' > ipconfig / all) if this doesn't work let me know, I had to type it out On my mac. Make sure you have a password on your windows machine, if I remember right, for some reason you have to have a password for it to work right. Next just type in the IP in the remote desktop, and viola. This should work but network stuff can be very iffy, make Sure both computers are on some kind of a network

Step 6: Speed Up Your System

Alright, last but not least, lets get your machine moving a little faster.

First one of my favorites, this will almost Certainly speed up your boot;

You can either shutdown or restart, either way hold down 'Command-Option-P-R' before it shows the white screen, hold these down until it goes blank and shows that screen again. 9/10 this will seem to break boot time records.

Time to speed up your running system a bit. This is pretty simple and will speed up little details and can make a big difference. Open the disk utility (Finder > Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility) once your there, right under the white details box there is a button 'Verify Disk Permissions'... click it, let it do it's thing. When it's done click the next one 'Repair Disk Permissions', this is the more important one.

Other then those two, if your system is journaled it will defragment itself as long as it's running, so don't worry to much about that. If your computer is still slow, just organize Everything. It really helps, if you only have a few icons on your desktop that will speed your final boot. If all of your folders are organized the way your computer wants them (snap to grid/cleanup) then that's that much less it has to think about. So weed out anything you don't need and organize it, it can be hard work but it's worth it.

Thanks for reading, let me know what you think. 
Great! Thanks for the useful tips.
cool :)
Things like the options to not store ds store files over a network you'll find in TinkerTool, it's a must for OSX in my books.<br><br>Love that 6-4 trick! Exciting.

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