to commonly asked questions.

Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard install failed

My daughter bought Pages for her iPad. Does everyone have to buy it individually for each iPad?


No. Your computer will have the authorization for the app and you’ll be allowed to share that app among your home’s iOS devices including all iPads. You can use Home Sharing to sync apps between iTunes libraries automatically as well.

10.6.6 update fails

 Let me ask you, from time to time, does it make sense to have you come by and give my macbook  tune up?  it seems not to load as fast or start up as quick......

A "tune up" is not really necessary.  However there are some maintenance issues you'll want to be aware of.  Freeing up ram, checking background processes, repairing permissions, checking login items from time to time.  You don't really need me for these things.  Just a matter of learning what they are, mean, and do.  

Feel free to join us on Mondays on my site to learn more and ask about maintaining the health of your mac.  

10.6 won't install

It's not letting me get to ITunes and it's using my old AOL address and won't let me change it.
Screen shot 2011-03-11 at 4.39.23 PM

So the new computer has to be authorized to play content purchased on iTunes.  You can authorize up to 5.  So first you'll need to find out the password to your old apple ID associated to the aol email address. It's very common for people to have more than one apple ID.  Apple also has a pretty easy method of reseting your password.  Remember this is not your email password.  This is your apple ID that happens to be associated with that email address.  After you've authorized that computer for that account then you need to log into iTunes store from within itunes with your current apple ID, which in your case may be your mobileme or gmail address.  

You can reset your apple password here.

iPad cursor jumping around

Hey Scotty....For some odd reason the Apple TV in the family room is not connecting to internet....the one in the Bedroom is fine...and my music is fine.  I entered the pass codes for the network and it is not recognizing them.  Any suggestions?  

To double check pass code to my network do I go in settings and then network, choose my network and unhide the code?  Not sure why just that TV is offline.  

This is a hard one to troubleshoot without being there. Second question first: to double check the password saved in your computer for your network, go to spotlight in the top right corner and type “keychain access”. Now open that program and you’ll be presented with a list of passwords saved on your computer. Now find the one that has the name of your wireless network. Double click that and you’ll get the following screen.

Screen shot 2011-03-01 at 8.18.18 PM
Now click the “show password” checkbox and you’ll be prompted to enter your actual computer’s password. Once you’ve done that, you’ll see your wireless network password.

Now, as far as your appletv, unplug and replug it in. Be sure no ethernet is connected. Be sure you can find the wireless network at that location by testing with a laptop. It may be out of range or the signal may have become degraded in that area of the house for some reason. I don’t have a great set of advice for that issue. It’s more of an issue I can only deal with in person if any of those suggestions don’t work.

What do the blue dots mean? Quitting applications

So at last I’ve found a great alternative to Snow Leopard’s parental control bug where your child is protected from content on the web including https sites such as, or perhaps their own school’s website. Anything that requires a username and password is blocked by 10.5 and 10.6’s parental controls. So it’s time to start considering using OpenDNS. It seems to do a better job filtering the bad stuff. it also allows your child to email you from the forbidden site and ask permission to have access. It’s about a 7 in difficulty to set up but not too horrible. It involves changing the DNS server from your ISP’s default to OpenDNS. I’ve been testing it for a while and I think it’s ready for prime time.

Trouble booting from external drive old email address from your address book/computer PERMANENTLY? I have a contact that divorced, therefore has new contact info, but everytime I pull her up, the old email still comes up - EVEN THOUGH I DELETED IT 100 TIMES.  So her x husband is getting our email traffic - not good.
Any suggestions?


So besides making sure an email address is out of the address book. (do a search in address book under a couple of different queries to be totally sure, like searching by last name, first name, etc... there is one more place that the old email address will hide. In mail, go under “Window” in the menu bar and select “previous recipients”. Now search in that window and you should find the person’s old email. Now remove them by selecting “remove from list”. That should do it. Their history is gone.

Extreme Router improves download speed

Hi scotty, Somehow I have lost the bar across the top of a new message I am wanting to send that has -  Send - Reply - attach - address etc. If I am replying to a message that is opened I get the bar but do not get it when I am just wanting to send an e-mail.

Sure would appreciate your instructions on how to get the Send bar every time I click on "new Message."

Thanks much and I really like my IMac.  


This is a very common problem. For some reason Apple decided to place a button in the top right hand corner of their mail program that, when clicked, it makes all the important buttons disappear. There are a couple of ways to get those buttons back.

1. Under “view” in the menu bar at the top of the screen when in Mail, select to “show toolbar”.
2. You could also just click the same button that made it go away. Shown below:

Using Terminal to connect to a server

Hi Scotty,

Have a quick question...If I use my Alias email as an email address, can I send stuff from this address too and have this address be shown? It is attached to I don't want people to see this address. I may need to just buy the membership. Will it let me do this now that I have secured this as an email alias?




You should be able to use the alias address to send and have the recipient only see that email address.  To show you, I'm send this response to you as  You'll see my name "scotty sells" but you will not see my normal email address in the "from" field which is  

You should not have to buy a separate account for that.  This is exactly what aliases are for.  You just need to remember to toggle what identity you're sending from by switching the choice found here...

Time Machine delayed on Snow Leopard So, should we just re-install Leopard?

Hey Scotty!   Any tips for a good all in one  color laser printer?


I see a lot of printers at work in a lot of homes and businesses and I would have to say the most reliable color laser printer for the cost in my opinion is the HP Laserjet series.

You just have to decide what features you want and what price range you're in.

HP printers

The CP1518 is my personal favorite at the moment.


How about a bluetooth?  Jet and full blown laser all in one?

I'd say stay away from bluetooth.  

1. the standard will probably be changing again soon.
2.  The range is just not that great for printers to be useful.  

I'm not sure what you mean by jet and full blown laser. But printers are usually only inkjet or only laserjet.

AutoCad in on a Mac

how do i change settings on pop server regarding emails to download...i think setting is now download emails from past 90 days...i'd like to change to a few days old is taking forever.


Settings vary from email reader to email reader but I'll assume you are using apple's to read email.  As you know, POP email doesn't sync across multiple computers and the amount of mail left on the server can vary depending what your program's settings are.  Here's where to find how to change them. 

Go to's preferences under "Mail" in the menu bar.  Then select the "accounts" tab.  Next, check or uncheck the "remove copy from server" line depending on your needs and finally, select the frequency at which you'd like that computer to remove email from the server as seen below.  

POP email is very old and, in my opinion, obsolete.   IMAP email is a much better way to go so start thinking of moving away from that POP email address.  In the meantime, keep in mind that any email program you are using to check that POP email account must be addressed otherwise if they're set to remove the email immediately then you run the risk of another email program never even getting a chance to download a copy of it.  

Hope that helps.

Should I move to Snow Leopard yet?


Thanks for the response concerning the used Macs. If the decision is made, I will definitely use your services to make sure all is hooked up properly.

Now to another issue, the Vista PC at my church finally gave up and died. I would have preferred to make the transition much more smoothly, we purchased an iMac this week, and I have set it up.

The one issue that I have is getting a Mini Display Port to S Video connection for our Panasonic Switcher. The Apple store at South Park sold me a Mini DVI to S Video connector, but it does not plug in.

As you've discovered, mini display ports and mini DVI ports are two different connectors.  Apple's only recently decided to push video through this new connector.  They're very well known for changing form factors at the inconvenience of their users.  (remember ADC?)  But in this case, Mini Display is the new open standard so it will become more popular in the coming months. Apple didn't invent this technology.   It sounds like you need a mini display to S-Video adapter.  Only one problem.  The mini display port is digital and S-Video is analog.  So essentially, that converter would need a go between.  Ugh.  Couple of different solutions.  It may be possible to go mini display port to VGA then VGA to S-Video.  Silly but works on paper.  

My questions are these:
1) is there a way to make this work with something sold at the Apple Store?

I've not seen it done yet but in theory, mini display to DVI, then DVI to S-Video should do it.
2) does someone locally sell what I need?
3) if I need to buy from an online store, is there a reputable brand or store I should go to?
I think Apple is your best bet.  

interesting threads:
 DisplayPort to SVideo/Composite? - Mac Forums
Mini DisplayPort to S-Video? - Mac Forums
Mini Displayport: The Missing Adaptor - Mac Forums
Apple - Support - Discussions - Mini DisplayPort to Composite/ S-Video?? ...

As an aside, I have installed Snow Leopard and love it. I have used it for a few days and put it on my wife's laptop last night. I also encouraged my father in law to put it on his 2 machines. This morning I read your posts about your experience. I have subscribed to your RSS feed, but did not get these posts. So, I may be generating work for you. Sorry in advance.
I'm glad to hear you've had a good experience with Snow Leopard so far.  At this point, even with the 10.6.1 update, I'm not ready to recommend others install.  I've just seen too many issues over the past 2 weeks.  

With the new iMac at the church, what are you areas of expertise? We purchased a One To One training package, but if you can train the operator on what we need, we can return the One To One, and just have you do the training.

What is needed:
1) an intro to Macs
2) Pages and Keynote training

no problem on either of these.   I would be happy to provided assistance to your team in learning how to work through both Pages and Keynote as well as the intro to their new iMacs.  

My schedule is a bit full for the next several days but hopefully we can find a common time that will work for you. 

Back to Leopard


As I've stated in many earlier posts here, I don't think it's time yet to update to Snow Leopard. While it's ok for some, it's not ready for many others and here's why.

Apple just updated Snow Leopard to 10.6.1 which seems to have helped but overall Snow Leopard seems to have broken many third party applications that were not ready at SL's release. It will take some time (around a month or so) for the developers of this software to update their apps to run on SL. While at first glance, there's not much different in appearence, underneath SL has made the move to 64 bit. This means that apps will now have the ability to address more than 4 gigs of ram. Apple hasn't yet initiated 64 bit as the default start up mode but could during any up date to follow. That means that app developers are rushing to move their software to run in 64 bit mode but this will take a while.

I've personally experienced lots of problems with multiple SL installs but have finally gotten an install I'm fairly confident about. Overall, I think it's best to proceed with caution and wait about 1 month before jumping in to SL. I think it has the potential to break much more than it fixes. Just be patient.

(owner)wants to know if we should upgrade to snow leopard? He is sold on it, but wants to know any issues that would keep us from it.

Wait a few weeks to move to Snow Leopard

Hi Scotty,

Hope you are well.  Thanks for your recent help.  Perhaps you can give me a 'quick fix' for a new mobile me snag that is somehow the result of fixing some of the problems:

Since having mobile me, every time I'd connect my iPhone to my Mac, iTunes and the 'syncing' options window would automatically open and automatic syncing would begin.  However, this is no longer the case.  Whenever I connect my phone to my Mac, nothing happens.  I've also just now discovered that info from my phone is not being synced to the Mac.  I found several instances of discrepancy in information and again I am at a loss as to what is the correct  information.

Also, my devices still do not retain their settings and reset without my input.  For example, this email is supposed to contain a signature which I have on more than one occasion taken great pain in creating with impact.  When I now go to mail preferences it no longer even exists.  However, one signature is there and it is one I don't even use.  I previously had about 5 different signatures.

Don't you know anyone at Apple with clout who will take pity on me and give me a new system because this one obviously came possessed by every evil known to man since the beginning of original sin!  Just thought I'd ask because you never know!

I'd appreciate your help at your earliest opportunity.


First, there is a setting within iTunes to automatically sync your phone upon the connection.

Be sure that's checked so that iTunes will begin the process when you plug in. Also, there is an application called "itunes helper" that should be in your login items within your system preferences/accounts pane. It allows iTunes to open when plugging in an iPod or iPhone. If that program is not running in the background, iTunes will have to be manually launched. I remove it from launching on my own systems because sometimes I just want to charge my phone without iTunes getting in the way.

With syncing there are many things that can go wrong. First, you'll want to check to see if the data you expect to be in the cloud is actually there. Next you'll want to go to your system prefs and then to mobileme/sync to see that "automatic" is selected. I've seen instances where this will turn itself off in the past so anything is possible.

Moving on, it may not be a bad idea to replace information on mobileme with a fresh copy of known good data. This is done by using the advanced tab shown above. This should only be done if you are confident you know what you are doing. There is a chance you'll lose data if you make a mistake. Then it's time machine to the rescue.

Regarding, signatures, I would suggest unchecking signatures in the sync tab above. You may have lost your signatures if they were syncing and will have to recreate them. I usually suggest users not check the mail accounts or rules check boxes to sync. I've found that just relying on IMAP email is better than what mobileme syncing provides.

Lastly, I don't think I can help you with getting a computer replaced. That's really only a call Apple can make themselves.

Hope some of this info helps.

Snow Leopard breaks many screensavers


We've been able to move documents and such using the Target Disk mode.

But we're having trouble with the email, address book and iTunes. Wasn't sure how to do that properly. We first just put the icon on the desktop but that didn't work. Do we move the old stuff into the apps folder on the other drive?

Thank  you for all you did with the machine. You can be sure you will get referrals from us.


Moving items inside the user folder to another mac without using the migration assistant can be very tricky. There are many files that would need to be moved if you're going manually and permissions of those files can also be altered in such a way that causes conflicts down the road. I would suggest using the built in migration assistant tool in your applications/utilities folder. This will create a new user on the machine but all files will move to the computer safely and correctly. There is a chance that your computer may not have the migration assistant due to the age of the operating system. Just not sure what you'll be using to move the data to.

If you are planning to move the files manually then there are proceedures that must be followed but the instructions would be a bit much to cover here. Using the migration assistant will still make use of the target disk mode. But if you'd still like to look into how to do so, here's a good start:

Snow Leopard Woes Continue...

I am curious as to why you advise waiting a week or two before proceeding. I'm certainly not second guessing your advice, and with a stack of vet bills I'm not in a rush to spend more $ anyhow, just wondering why your advising the wait...........


Simple. Snow Leopard, with it's new changes within the operating system can very likely break 3rd party software. It would be best to wait in order to give the developers of software to make the proper changes to be sure their software runs fine within Snow Leopard. Overall, you will hardly even notice a difference so you're really not gainning much by upgrading right away.

Snow Leopard first thoughts...Disappointed

 I just got home and now my Time Capsule RR internet is not working.  I probably screwed something up in trying to fix the Alltel problem.  wife's internet is working fine.  Airport is on but it says I am not connected to the internet or to the server.

After reading your email over again, I realize I may have answered your question incorrectly.  The actual issue is that you may need to look at network in system preferences.  You can set up multiple profiles for different environments such as a school network, business network, or others.  To do so, go to system preferences then to network.

You can then create different settings for your altel device verus the automatic system already in place. You may also want to choose advanced then release DHCP in the next window.

Snow Leopard incompatibilies

Here's an interesting letter recently forwarded to me by a client who's children attend the local private school who sent the email out. Then my response.

Dear Parents,
Please read carefully the message from our computer department concerning new upgrades. 
We have upgraded all of our computer to Microsoft Office 2007. Families with previous versions (office ’97 to 2003) have two options to be compatible with the school:
1.      Download the compatibility pack from Microsoft by clicking on the following address:
2.      Use the “SAVE-AS” feature and save as a previous version (’97-2003) when working in Office( word, excel, PowerPoint…) at the middle school.
Also, please be aware that we DO NOT support Mac software. If students work on Office for the Mac they “should” be able to open them here at the Middle School. However, we have had a lot of problems with students working on a Mac at home and trying to open up their documents at school. Please know that we can NOT support two operating systems. We are a Windows based school.

my response:

This email you received is indeed a very disturbing one.  I am sad to see that this school would take this stance and tone.  This says to me that the IT department is not knowledgeable enough to support the most popular Operating systems.  As an active consultant in the area, I can't tell you how many of my clients (mac users) send their children to this school.  This is not the best position to take as an organization but it is, of course, their prerogative.  
Now to address the question.  It's not actually a mac to windows issue of compatibility.  The core issue is that Microsoft chose to adopt a new file saving method and extension naming system that cripples older versions of office documents, be it excel, doc, powerpoint, etc... by adding an "x" to the file name extension.  In actuality, Apple's iWork suite was compatible with Microsoft's new file format before Microsoft was.  As long as anyone creates a file on a mac with an office application then saves it as a traditional office document, there is no reason it should not open on Windows other than the Windows machine's own inability to open files singularly.  

The one common mistake that mac users can make is by using iWork to create their documents but then forgetting to export them to the Microsoft format.  It is true that Microsoft Office can not open pages, keynote, or numbers files in their native apple format.  The simple thing to do is to export the file from iWork into the Microsoft format.  Very simple and built in to iWork.  

This school's statements are made out of ignorance on how both platforms interact with each other rather than out of actual fact.  Their statement that they can not support two operating systems should be reworded to say they choose not to.  Not that they can not.  As many corporations have begun to discover in the past few years, there are a tremendous growing number of mac users in both the home and in business and if they do not learn to adapt to both platforms, they will find themselves technologically inferior to other choices of schools in the area such as Charlotte Latin who does a very good job at educating both their staff and students on how to work within today's computing environment.

 The old attitude of "macs don't work with windows" was last relevant around 1995.  We've moved on.  

Snow Leopard Preview

Snow Leopard will be breaking several older applications including Parallels 3.0 as well as a host of printer drivers. Here are a few useful links to keep an eye out for what will not be allowed to open or may not be able to open in Snow Leopard. Another good reason to wait a few weeks before updating.

Apple’s list of incompatible software

3rd party watch list

new print drivers from Apple

Snow Leopard Requirements?

Hi Scotty,

Suddenly my  Macbook Pro doesn't recognize my wireless devices. When I hook up to hard wire they all show up in airport utility with green lights (2 expresses & a time capsule). They are all plugged in & working. please advise what I should do.



First, we need to make sure you have the correct airport network selected on your laptop. Go to the wireless airport icon in the menu bar and click it to reveal all the possible networks you could choose from. Be sure you are connected to the network that belongs to you.

If you are connected to you own personal network but the devices still don’t show in airport utility there may be other issues.

open airport utility and hit command +R. This will refresh the airport device list. If this still doesn’t show the network, then next go to system prefs and then to network.

Select the airport in the left hand column. Now click “Advanced”. Now select each network listed and hit the minus button on each one. This will manually remove all the history stored wireless network. Restart. Now go back to your airport icon in the menu bar and try to reconnect.

If neither of these work, then there are still more steps that can be taken. But they are a bit more advanced than I would feel comfortable addressing in this forum.


I failed to clarify that the wireless network fan icon at the top of the screen just suddenly goes grey...I loose connection. So when I go to the first step you suggest, I cannot select the proper home network because none appear at all.  I did clear the history as you suggested however. If I reboot the computer, the fan icon goes active again, the proper network is selected  & all the wireless devices show active. It happens about once or twice a day. I recent travelled to Chicago and used a hotel wireless network and Boingo network in the airports...could there be something that happened with these that is causing this dropping of the signal? Anything we can do to fix this inconvenience? Thanks so much,

Follow up:

It’s a bit hard to isolate whether it’s hardware or software. I would tend to lean toward software. To best isolate the problem you’d want to use a second user. If you don’t have one, create a test user on your computer and connect to the internet wirelessly. The results of this test can tell us a great deal as to where the problem lies. If the problem persists then we can begin to look at the computer’s own files however, if the problem goes away then most definitely the problem files are within your own user.

Will G5's go be able to take Snow Leopard?


I have two DVD player/recorders.  Both MAC and PC are only seeing  one.  How do I fix it so they see both.



Do you mean you have stand alone burners?  I would question the age of the unit not being detected.  I would look at if it connects via firewire or usb.  I would look at how it's being used on the computer.  You you trying to burn a disc with iTunes using the burner or just watch a DVD.  I guess I would need more information before I could assist you. 
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