Mac tips part 3

ejectBack on the trail of helpful Mac tips. Just two quickies this time round:

First, I had a CD that wouldn’t eject from my MacBook drive.

It was really stuck; the drive was spinning up and down but nothing in Finder, not even an icon. I was getting an occasional colourful spinning CD mousepointer, but nothing else. Pressing the eject button showed the eject icon on the screen but didn’t actually have any effect.

Not only that, it pretty much ate up the resources preventing starting of other apps etc. or even get to display the dock.

I searched around, and while there were a number of suggestions, none of them worked for this particular disk, but the following did…

My more forceful way of getting the machine to eject the little blighter:

  • Switch the MacBook off.
    Do a nice shutdown if you can. If you can’t, hold the power button down for a few seconds to force an immediate shutdown.
  • Switch it back on again, and hold down the ‘opt’ key (marked ‘alt’ on my keyboard), the one with the line-style menu on it.
    The Mac will boot up to a ‘Hard Disk’ icon.
  • Let go the ‘Opt’ key and press the ‘Eject’ key.
    You should hear the magic sound of the disk ejecting.

Second tip:

If, like me, you spent ages scanning your MacBook keyboard for a hash (#) only to arrive at the conclusion it’s just not there, let me reassure you; it’s not.

But fear not, help is at hand. It’s easy really; just Alt 3. Not much of a tip I suppose, but hey.

While I was looking around, I came across this handy reference for a whole myriad of the less frequently used characters and symbols.

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