Repairing Permissions with Disk Utility

Repairing Permissions with Disk Utility

This common issue comes straight to you from our Forum. Sometime you will see an error that states “Disc is in use” when working in an application such as iTunes. This is because applications such as iTunes use the disk directory actively for playback and importing.

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If you are unable to eject the CD or DVD from your Mac’s optical drive after trying all the usual methods try one of these alternate methods:

  • Quitting all open applications. Sometime applications keep an index of the disc ready for when you need to access it.
  • Open Disk Utility (Volume/Applications/Utilities), select the disc, and choose File > Eject.
  • Select Apple menu > Restart and hold down the mouse or trackpad button until the disc ejects.
  • If your drive has an emergency eject hole, put the computer to sleep and insert a large, straightened paper clip in the small emergency eject hole of the drive (the location varies, depending on the drive and Mac). Push firmly until the disc ejects.

If all other methods fail, you can try ejecting the disk using the firmware. (This may not work on all Macs – such as Intel-based Macs.) The steps listed below describe how to start up and briefly use the computer with only the firmware loaded – you will not be using your standard Mac OS X interface. If you are not comfortable with this don’t try it and seek expert help.

Using the Firmware

  • Restart the computer.
  • When you hear the startup sound, press and hold the Command-Option-O-F keys.
  • Release the keys when you see the welcome screen.
  • At the prompt, type: eject cd
  • Press Return, then wait a few seconds. The disc drive should eject the disc, and “ok” appears on the screen when the action is complete.
  • Next type: mac-boot
  • Press Return.

Mac OS X Quick Tips

Top 10 Tips From Mac User Guide

Mac Users Guide brings you a series of Mac OS X Qucik Tips via its feed on In the next phase of Mac Users Guide we are opening iLearn by Mac Users Guide, a training program designed to bring valuable information through hands-on instruction. The workshops are designed to expand on the concepts and how-to articles found on Mac Users Guide and offer you, the user, the opportunity to learn with a real Apple professional who can answer your questions about Apple’s Mac OS X and wide range of equipment and applications. We offer 1-hour private classes or weekly 2-hour group classes that focus on specific applications and help beginners get started or experts deepen their knowledge of Apple hardware and software concepts. Learn more at

The following are a series of Mac OS X Snow Leopard quick tips that we will be covering in our upcoming workshop.

Language and texts in Snow Leopard
Ever run into needing a symbol shortcut…like lets say the copyright symbol. I do almost on a daily basis. To solve this problem simply open System Preferences, choose Language & Text. In Leopard a new tab was added called Texts and it has a Symbol And Text Substitution feature. For instance type ( c ) and you get © among other commonly used symbols. You can also make your own custom shortcuts! Like type “awesome” to substitute it for Carl Berkeley! Also comes in handy for your name or address.
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Selecting Multiple Files
Most of us long time Mac users know that if you want to select something you just click on it to open or move it. What if you want to move or open more than on file? To select groups of items select the first item in a folder and while holding down shift select and click on the last one. If you want to be more specific hold down Command and Click on only select items in a folder. While selecting items in this manner you can also select groups of items next to one another. Simply hold the Command and Shift buttons down at the same time as you click. With a little practice you will be a power selector!

Set a poster frame in iTunes
What is a poster frame? It is a still based frame taken from your video. You can add them to new movies and TV shows in iTunes or iTunes automatically creates an image to display as that video’s icon. What if you want to customize this image? I have had a a studio logo come up or the auto select landing on something not very descriptive. A simple solution to this problem is to choose another frame of the movie to use as the poster frame. To do this, just start the video playing in iTunes, go to the frame you want to use and then pause it. Then just right-click on the video and choose “Set Poster Frame.”

Cisco VPN Support
If you work from the road, or from home, you know how important Cisco VPN is. Did you know that Snow Leopard has it built right into the OS. To set up your VPN start my getting your setting from your IT Department. Next navigate to System Preferences > Network. Click on the small plus sign (+) in the lower-left corner. Choose VPN in the Select Interface drop-down. This is much better than opening a third-party application to get on the office server from home.

Image Capture Device Control
Image Capture transfers images between your digital camera, iPhone or scanner and your Mac for use in iPhoto and other applications. You can download all or any portion of the contents of your digital camera, crop images to a variety of sizes, and delete unwanted pictures from your camera. You can also set iPhoto to open for one device, and Aperture for another… or nothing at all.

Dock Exposé
One “ooooohhhh, aaaaaahhhhh” feature in the Snow Leopard is that you can simply click and hold an icon in the Dock to trigger Exposé to show all of the select application’s windows. This way you can avoid having to use a keyboard shortcut. This can be especially useful if you’re trying to quickly sort through all your Finder, Web browser, or word processing windows.

Battery Status
If you’ve secretly suspected that your MacBook’s battery isn’t working correctly, Snow Leopard can tell you what your geek senses have known all along. Now in the menu bar you can not only check the status of your battery but also see if it needs service. Just hold down Option and Click. Hopefully you not see the “Service Battery” warning :(

Screen Saver Photos
Here is a quick way to customize your Mac. As Apple users we have always had the option to shuffle through different Desktop pictures, but now you can set your screen saver to shuffle through different iPhoto, MobileMe, Flickr, Facebook, and Aperture Library. Simply organize your photos in either iPhoto or Aperture libraries and add your favorite social networking outlets or add them directly to Desktop and Screen Savers by click on the plus sign. Check Use Random Screen Saver then click on Shuffle. Then just check the boxes of the image libraries you want shuffled as screen savers.

Get Specific with Spotlight
If you use Spotlight a lot to find files, you know it’s slightly annoying when you type a file name into the Spotlight search field in your Finder window, only to have it search everywhere. In the Finder navigate in the menu bar to Finder > Preferences, click on the Advanced tab, and change the default search location from Search This Mac to Search the Current Folder.

Put it back!
Accidentally put an item in the trash? Simply select the item in the Trash. Right-click on the item and select Put Back from the contextual menu. The file will return to its original location before you throw it away.

Taking a closer look at the new Apple iPad
Having gotten the new iPad on its release date I have been playing around with all the features and comparing the differences against my iPhone and iPod Touch. Basically the bigger screen makes a huge difference when working in the Apps. I have downloaded the new iWork Suite and found that integrates well with my current work flow. In getting to know the iPad I have compiled a series of my top tips to help you improve your productivity.

Put 6 Apps In the Bottom Tray
As we all know the iPhone hold up to 4 apps in the bottom tray by default. Did you know that the iPad can store more! Start by Tap/Holding on any app icon just like you would do to rearrange apps. Once your Apps are unlocked just drag any two additional apps into the bottom tray. Super handy!

Virtual Keyboard vs. Real Keyboard
If you still needs some practice using the virtual keyboard or just like the feel of a real one try pairing a Bluetooth keyboard with your iPad. Once connected the virtual keyboard will cease to appear. However, what if, for some random reason, you needed that virtual keyboard? Don’t unpair via Bluetooth in your General Settings. Just hit the eject key on Apple’s physical keyboard. It’ll bring up the virtual one.

Get Your Own (Free) Books
Similar to the way iTunes and the iPod can import and play downloaded music, iTunes and the iPad can import and display downloaded books. Supported formats are limited and the iPad only supports ePub (with or without DRM). Your local library may be a great source for free ePub checkouts. Also, Project Gutenberg has 30,000 free ePub books you can download since they have fallen out of copyright. If you want to convert your own PDFs and other DRM-free formats to ePub check out

Extending your iPad Battery Life
Concerned about your iPad’s battery limit? There are three main factors that can affect how long a charge lasts: The brightness of the screen, volume and Push services. The higher the volume and brightness are, the more battery life is consumed. In addition you might want to update your Push services from “Push” to “Manual” by going to Settings -> “Mail, Contacts and Calendars”.

Instant Muting
Lets say you are in back row of a wedding just minding your own business when, oops, you forgot to mute your Audioboo Tips from Mac Users Guide! No worries. There’s a quick way to cut the speaker. Holding down the volume down button for about two seconds will mute your iPad.

Access Special Characters
Simply bring up the keyboard and hold down any vowel. You’ll see a menu pop-up with additional variations of that character. When in Safari or Mail holding down the .com key to get a set of additional domains such as .edu, .org and .net.

Set your iPad Mail to more than two lines
When working with Mail on your iPad you qucikly realize you have space! This feature exists also for the iPhone and iTouch but their smaller screen makes it less practical. On the iPad, however, I find the feature is pretty handy for skimming several emails without opening them. Go to Settings -> Mail, Contacts and Calendars and select “5 lines” under Preview.

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