zooming feature using universal access mac OS X

Have you ever visited a website or tried viewing a document on or offline and wanted to zoom-in. Sometimes our vision falls short of the task of seeing what our screen renders making a website, document or image file inaccessible. Apple has address the issue of accessibility through Mac OS X by including vision features in its Universal Access preferences. Universal Access is not for everyone but it does offer handy feature when something you are working on need enhancing.

To enable Universal Access without going to System Preferences simply hold-down the Option + Command + 8 keys.

  1. 1. Zoom-in by holding the Option + Command + “plus /Equal” key in the upper right of your keyboard. You can also step-in by tapping the plus/equal key.
  2. 2. Zoom-out with the Option + Command + “dash/Underscore” key next to the “plus /Equal” key. You can also step-out by tapping the “dash/Underscore” key.

To disable the feature just hold down the Option + Command + 8 again.

Print Utility USB and Wireless Printing

Printer Sharing Basics

Home offices are on the rise as the current economy transforms working situations. There is a growing need to create a functional yet flexible office solution, and a variety of ways you can setup a printer on a home office network starting with purchasing a all-in-one laser or inkjet printer with Ethernet. This is the optimal solution for managing your home office needs and allows many users to share one locally networked printer. Setting up these printers is easy on a Apple or PC based network using a DHCP. If budget is dictating what you can and can’t do when setting up your network solution then using USB Print Sharing with either a Macintosh computer or a Airport Extreme Base Station might be your next best bet. Both work very well as a Mac printer sharing solution as the next best option to having your Macintosh computer directly connected to the printer. When using the USB Printer as your Mac OSX printer you will need to have the computer on whenever you print. This becomes a problem if you are in a hurry and don’t have time to boot up the other computer. I am going to cover both USB Print Sharing using a Desktop/Laptop and Airport Extreme.

Macintosh Desktop or Laptop using OS 10.5

To use print sharing on a local network you will need a host Mac with 10.2.3 or later installed that has a USB printer attached, router (either an Airport Extreme or similar) and a second computer that will be sharing the connected printer. Assuming that your router and USB printer connections have been made and and setup correctly please follow the next few steps to configure your Mac:

  1. 1. Launch the System Preference.
  2. 2. In the second row select Printer & Fax.
  3. 3. Select your already installed Printer.
  4. 4. Next to the printer icon and under the name there is a empty checkbox. Check Share this Printer.

Now go to the second Mac and launch System Preferences.

  1. 1. In the second row select Printer & Fax.
  2. 2. Click the “+” to add a new printer.
  3. 3. In the Printer Select Dialog find the printer name that is listed under Kind as Shared Printer.
  4. 4. Make sure you have the appropriate drivers installed.
  5. 5. Follow the prompts to add the printer as you normally would.

AirPort Extreme Print Sharing

Setting up Print Sharing using your AirPort Extreme Base Station is a bit more involved and but requires less components and is always ready. [Note: Some Mac OS X compatible printers might not work as base station printers and you will have to have Mac OS 10.2.3 installed or later and a 802.11g based AirPort Extreme. ]

Setting up the Base Station

  1. 1. Go to Applications > Utilities > AirPort Utility.
  2. 2. Select AirPort and Click Manual if you already have set it up.
  3. 3. On the top menu you options are AirPort, Internet, Printers, Advanced. Select Printers.
  4. 4. Next to USB Printers you should see your printers make and model.
  5. 5. Check Share printers over WAN.
  6. 6. Click Update.

Setting up your Mac

  1. 1. Launch System Preferences.
  2. 2. In the second row select Printer & Fax.
  3. 3. Click the “+” to add a new printer.
  4. 4. In the Printer Select Dialog find the printer name that is listed under Kind as Bonjour.
  5. 5. Make sure you have the appropriate drivers installed.
  6. 6. Follow the prompts to add the printer as you normally would.

That’s it! Now everyone can enjoy using your printer.

Reformatting Hard Drive with DiskUtility

Erasing the Primary Drive

The best way to reformat a Mac hard drive is from the operating system disk you currently have installed. Using a previous version system installer disk doesn’t usually work well. You have to complete an extra step that does a high-level erase before doing a more comprehensive low-level one. It will also cause some hiccups when trying to install the new operating system. Essentially, to get off to a good start use the operating system that you have all the disks for. On the other hand, if you are upgrading simply use your new disks.

Why Reformat you Macintosh HD (hard drive)

We tend to reformat a hard drive to prepare the disk for use, either with an operating system or as a storage drive. A corrupt operating system (OS) might also require you to reformat the drive before reinstalling OS X 10.x. This is a drastic last step that you should only use once all other options have been exhausted. Troubleshooting this problem of formatting disk structure damage involves two types of repair paths that use the Disk Utility to address the potential damage to the logical or physical formatting structures. Both eventually lead to the reformatting of the hard drive. For the sake of keeping this to the point I am describing the final step in both of these repair paths.

There are two types of formatting that can be performed on your hard drive: low-level and high-level formatting. Both will erase your Mac hard drive, but there are differences which will determine which type you want to use. The Low-level format is used when you are deleting personal information from your hard drive and preparing it for re-installation of the OS; whenever a high-level format path my have failed to resolve problems that you might have encountered; and when disk testing applications within Apple’s utilities have failed, such as Apple HD SC Setup, Internal HD Format, Drive Setup, Disk Utility, etc. The High-level format is used anytime you are troubleshooting for systems that deal with formatting structure damage. For more information regarding the two complete repair paths please visit Apple’s Support page Troubleshooting Hard Drives: Reformatting

Reformat you Macintosh HD

A high-level format can be used to Erase and Install or just simply Erase your hard drive. This does not zero out, or reset the hard drive’s 0 and 1 binary digit data. It simply overwrites it as it needs space.

The low-level format option you have available to you depends on which version of Mac OS X you have the installer Disk for or have installed on you computer. Earlier versions of OS X prior to OS 10.3.x offered a Zero All Data, returning all the binary digits of the hard drive to 0. Zero All Data does pretty good job of completely erasing your hard drive. Mac OS X 10.4 and later include additional secure erase options that include the once, seven times, or 35 times rewrite options. Note that if you have a large disk overwriting the free space several times can take a long time.

      1. To erase the primary drive, insert the OS X installer disk.
      2. Reboot the computer. It will ask for your administrator user name and password.
      3. Select you language.
      4. From the menu select Utilities > Disk Utility.
      5. Select the disk you want to erase and click Erase.
      6. Specify a volume format and name for the disk.
      7. Click Security Options and select your formatting option.
      8. Click OK.
      9. Click Erase.

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