Mac Tips part 4

Part four in an occasional series sees me repeating my earlier mantra of ‘Mac stuff: it just works’.

So, today we’re learning about spurious screen-dimming, screen savers and an emergency exit…

Auto-Dim Screen

If you move about a bit with your MacBook, like me you may have been annoyed by the screen randomly dimming and brightening.

Turns out this is because your MacBook buddy is trying to be clever by sensing the ambient light and automatically adjusting the screen brightness. Moving around and variable lighting can confuse the wee soul.

Easily fixed through by switching off the cleverness:  Go to System Preferences > Displays > uncheck “Automatically adjust brightness as ambient light changes”

Screen Savers

Next up, screensavers. I downloaded one, unzipped it and then went looking for the ‘install my screensaver’ option in the ‘Desktop and Screensaver’ section of System Preferences. But there is none! I spent longer than I really should have looking for one.

Then I realised I had reverted to Windows expectation mode. Installer? Pah! I tried the obvious – just double-clicking the file, et viola, installed and working. D’oh.

Force Force-Quit

Finally, for now, we have an escape route. In the couple of years I’ve since moving to Mac I’ve had occasion where an app (often MS Word) will stall or go into a tailspin.

Symptom: Spinning CD cursor and you can’t get anything to react, not even get the Apple Menu to open to get to Force Quit, which you know holds the key to your frustration.

Previously, I’d have resorted to a force-shutdown (hold down the power button for 5 seconds), but not anymore.

Keyboard shortcut Option(Alt)-Command-esc – brings up the Force Quit menu.

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