Apples, Kids, and Attitude
Martians in the Manholes is a thoughtfully and well written story that reflects the clear and purposeful direction of the pure and dedicated spirit. While we may disagree in some small way with what the author said, we appreciate and admire him for inspiring us.
Can PC zip disks be reformatted for Mac (100 MB Zips)?
Sure they can—I do it all the time. I usually buy Zip disks preformatted for PC in bulk at low prices and reformat for the Mac. You can do it from the Finder easily by using the Erase Disk command and selecting HFS rather than PC DOS from the Format pop-up menu. Or if you don’t have PC Exchange (or File Exchange) installed the Mac will ask you automatically upon inserting a PC formatted Zip disk into your drive. —Evan Trent
I’m suffering form a plague of desktop printer icons—I’m not sure if it’s whenever I select a printer in the Chooser, or whenever I select Print, but whatever it is, I get anything up to six or eight copies of the desktop printer icons: and in fact I don’t want any of them, I’m perfectly happy with pressing Command-P like I’ve always done and using the Chooser on the rare occasions when I change between paper and PDF.
I tried to disable something in the extensions, but find only Desktop Printer Spooler and Desktop Printer Monitor, both of which I suppose are needed and shouldn’t generate these desktop icons. Actually I thought it was the Desktop Printer Utility which did it, but I can’t find that on the hard disk anywhere.
The Mac OS Help files seem to be written for idiots these days, no explanation of how things work so you can actually understand things and make an intelligent choice, just “Do this and you’re done.”
OK, there are two different things going on here. The first issue at hand is Desktop Printing itself. This is a feature of the OS that allows you to have desktop icons representing each of your printers. Only one is set as the “default printer” which is where all Command-P print jobs go by default. But you can drag print jobs from desktop printer to desktop printer.
Generally Desktop Printing is most useful if you have several network printers or different printers for different jobs (i.e. one for color, one for high speed B&W output, one for oversized pages, etc.) but it can also prove invaluable for queuing print jobs for future use. When I am on the go with my PowerBook I simply put my default print queue on hold, and then I can print e-mails or Web sites or other documents. When I return home I switch the queue back on and then poof—all of my queued documents are printed right before my eyes.
If neither of the above scenarios is especially applicable to your situation, you may choose to disable Desktop Printing. To achieve this, simply disable the Desktop Print Manager and Desktop Print Spooler extensions. Printing will then function as it used to in the “old days” before the advent of Desktop Printing.
The problem you describe, regarding the creation of superfluous desktop printers, is most likely the result of excessive Choosering. With Desktop Printing turned on, you need not use the Chooser to switch printers. Instead, select the printer to which you wish to print in the Finder, and then from the Printing menu select “Set Default Printer.” Now when you select Print or press Command-P from an application, the job will be sent to that printer (i.e. this procedure has the same effect as selecting that printer in the Chooser).
If you go through the Chooser, often times you will end up inadvertently creating a new Desktop Printer icon. This isn’t supposed to happen—you are only supposed to be able to generate Desktop Printers by using the Desktop Printer Utility. But often times the Chooser or the Mac OS gets confused and rather than setting an existing Desktop Printer as the default printer, it generates a new Desktop Printer altogether. As I’m sure you’ve figured out, you can easily remove desktop printers by dragging them to the trash.
If you can’t find a copy of the Desktop Printing Utility on your hard drive, you will be able to install a copy from your Mac OS CD.
You therefore have two options: 1) continue to use Desktop Printing and choose your printer from the desktop rather than from the Chooser. 2) Disable Desktop Printing and go back to your traditional method of Chooser and Command-P printing. —Evan Trent