iTunes playlists are a great way of selecting songs for specific occasions/moods, burning a music CD “mixtape”, sharing on your home network, or syncing with your iPod / iPhone / iPad. “Smart Playlists” let you quickly create a list of songs based on rules you choose. These rules can be simple like “songs from the 1970s” or complex like “songs in the Rock, R&B, or Blues genres with ‘love’ in the title that are under five minutes and I’ve assigned a rating of 3 or more stars”.

I’ll go over those and a few other fun and useful examples below but first watch this quick video to learn how easy it is to make a Smart Playlist. [click to continue…]


This may sound silly but here’s a video about how to watch videos. Please stick with me a minute.

My Mom was having trouble remembering all the details in some Mac Help For Mom videos, so I asked how she was using the videos. She said she took notes while watching and then would try to follow the notes to do what I taught. I suggested that instead she watch the videos and follow along with the steps at the same time. This video shows how easy it is to switch back and forth between watching a video tutorial and immediately practicing what you learn. [click to continue…]


If you are thinking of upgrading your Mac to OS X Lion, hold your horses (or would that be zebras?). Many people are finding (sometimes too late) that software applications they use everyday will no longer run on Lion. So, before upgrading, watch this quick video to see if some of the software that you can’t live without can’t live with Lion. [click to continue…]


OmniDazzle yellow circle around cursor

Readers Jac and Carmelita both asked how I get the yellow circle around my cursor (pointer) in my videos. That yellow circle is a handy way to better show where the cursor is in videos and can also help if your vision isn’t what it used to be. Unfortunately, as of Mac OS X version 10.6.7 (Snow Leopard), you need to download and install a separate FREE application to do that. Watch this video to see it in action. [click to continue…]


Whether it’s documents for work or photos of the (grand)kids, someday you’re going to want to attach files to your email. The Apple Mail application offers various ways of doing this so you can pick whichever is most convenient at the time.

Watch this video to see the many attachment methods and also how to tell Apple Mail to resize the images you’ve attached. [click to continue…]


Reader Linda submitted a question a few days ago that reminded me that I’ve noticed many people think that they can quit an application by clicking the little red X button Little red X button in the upper left of a window. When I switched to a Mac a few years ago I thought the same thing since Microsoft Windows has a similar button that does quit the application.

On the Mac, the red X button does not quit the application, it just closes that window. The application is still running, possibly with no open windows. Often this won’t cause you a problem but in Linda’s case it did. She was trying to update her version of Safari and the update installer asked her to quit Safari so it could continue. She thought she had since she’d clicked the red X button and there were no Safari windows open.
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How to add the Applications folder to your Dock

November 23, 2010 Mac OS X

Hi Mom, today I’ve got a quick tip that will help you more easily start any of the program (also known as applications) on your Mac. I show you how to quickly add a shortcut to the Applications folder right on your Dock.

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