I do this because I work with Windows half of the time and with Macs half of the time and I get people from both sides asking me about their systems. Windows dominates when it comes to market share with about 85 percent and Apple weighs in at roughly 10 percent. That being said, I have to make sure to keep all of the Apple enthusiasts happy.
I’ve found that I get a lot of feedback when I write about Apple, and specifically Mac OS X tips and tricks.
With Windows users, the most common questions I get are about spyware, viruses, and other malware. Since Macs don’t typically have many of those kinds of problems, I seem to get more generalized questions.
Just like with a Windows machine, you want to make sure to tidy up after yourself while using Mac OS X. One of the most common things that I have seen Mac users do is to keep open every program they launch, taking up valuable resources. Perhaps you are browsing the Internet and you open Firefox, then you open iPhoto to check out some of your pictures. After that, you open Microsoft Word to write an essay. You can see how these programs can add up and can cause the computer to run slowly.
Quitting applications completely can greatly improve the performance of your Mac. When you open an application, a small indicator, such as a dot or a light, appears below the application icon in your Dock. Many times, when people want to quit an application, they simply click on the red dot in the upper left-hand corner of a window. They think that this closes the program. In many programs, though, this only closes the part of the program you are working on and it leaves the program itself open.
You can close the program completely by clicking on the program icon to select it, finding the program name in the top-left corner of your screen beside the Apple menu, clicking it, and choosing Quit from the menu. Alternatively, you can right-click the program icon in the Dock with a two-button mouse and choose Quit, or you can hold the Control key on your keyboard, click on the program icon, and choose Quit.
Making sure to close programs will help to keep your system resources from running out and will help to keep your computer running at its best. If a Mac is used correctly, it will perform admirably. The more programs that are running unnecessarily, the more the computer will slow down. Remember to always quit programs you are no longer using if you notice your computer slowing down. Also, just as with a Windows computer, a restart every now and then can never hurt. I try to restart my Mac at least once a week. This helps to keep the memory freed up and the computer running quickly.
This may sound like a no brainer but I can assure you that it happens a lot more often than you’d think.
Ryan Lee is the IT director for the Norwalk Reflector and the Sandusky Register. He can be reached at [email protected]