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Extend Mac OS X's Screenshots

Mac OS X has a variety of built in screenshot methods. Here's a look at a few that offer more versatility than the basic full-screen capture (Command-Shift-3):

• Press Command-Shift-4 and you'll get a crosshair cursor with which you can drag to select and capture a certain area of the screen.

• Press Command-Shift-4-Space to select the entire window that the cursor is over, clicking on the window will then capture it. The resulting screenshot will even get a nice drop shadow.

• Hold down the Space bar after dragging out a selection window to move your selection rectangle around on the screen.

• Hold down Shift after dragging out a selection to constrain the selection in either horizontal or vertical orientation, depending on the direction of your drag.

• Hold down Option after dragging out a selection to expand the selection window around a center point.

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Preventing Second Drive Sleepiness

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Preventing Second Drive Sleepiness -- A while back I wanted some more disk space in my Power Mac G4, but I didn't want to buy a new boot drive to replace the 80 GB drive I've been using for a while. I had a 60 GB drive sitting around, so I installed that in a spare drive bay in the Power Mac. All has been well and good, with one exception: the second drive was constantly spinning down and causing delays whenever Mac OS X decided to spin up the drive, which was frequently, even though the drive sees only sporadic use. My first stop was the Energy Saver preference pane, where I confirmed that I had deselected the "Put hard disk(s) to sleep when possible" checkbox. But that clearly wasn't working. Next stop, Google, where my search turned up a Web site called The X Lab, associated with an ebook called "Troubleshooting Mac OS X."


The X Lab site explained that the Energy Saver preference pane was really just a graphical front end to the Unix pmset command. If you select the "Put hard disk(s) to sleep when possible" checkbox, Energy Saver essentially issues the pmset command with the "disksleep 10" (Tiger) or "spindown 10" (Panther) option, where 10 means to spin down the drive after 10 minutes. But as we've seen, leaving that checkbox deselected doesn't work either. What's going on? It turns out that to force the Mac to honor the "Put hard disk(s) to sleep when possible" checkbox being deselected, you must also set the "Put the computer to sleep when it is inactive for" slider to "Never." Only then will Energy Saver issue the pmset command with either the "disksleep 0" (Tiger) or "spindown 0" (Panther) option. If you want the best of both worlds - your Mac going to sleep after some amount of idle time and secondary disks not spinning down - you could create an AppleScript script or iKey shortcut that issued the appropriate pmset command at startup. Doing so is left as an exercise to the reader. [ACE]


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