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Do you want to know if your system can run that new software title? What CD-ROM drive you have? What is that extension for? What applications are taking up the most space on my hard drive? Have a problem of some sort and the tech asks what version is your driver?

The Apple System Profiler will help you.


The Apple System Profiler is a valuable tool for seeing just what is attached to and installed in your computer. You will find it in the Apple Menu.




This is how it looks when you open it. The blue triangles will open more specifics.


On the Control Panels, Extensions and Application tabs you can see which version you are using, how large the file is and are able to sort by any of the columns just by clicking on the column header. This can be handy when you are trying to make some room on your hard drive.


You can also obtain information about these items to help you determine what they do and whether you really need them loaded into your system. Just highlight an item and you will get a screen similar to this.


In order to save or print any of the information you will need to create a report. Choose "New Report" from the File menu and you will see this window.


You can choose what information you would like the Profiler to gather for your report. You will get info about what the control panels, extensions and applications are for and you can sort them by any column.

You can print the reports or save them for future reference. You will be surprised to find how long these reports can be. Printing some of them will be many pages long. I have over 450 applications, many of which are "About" files and AppleScripts, unfortunately you can't eliminate any with a find operation.


Desktop Snapshots  

Would you like to save a picture of an error dialog that pops up in front of you that you have no clue as to what it means? You can take pictures of your screen or parts of it with keyboard shortcuts. This will create a PICT file named "Picture 1", "Picture 2" etc. which will be saved to the root directory of your hard drive. You will be able to open these files in Simple Text or most any graphics program. Don't forget to rename it to something which makes sense.

You can take a picture of your entire screen with the keyboard shortcut shift+cmd+3.

With the keyboard shortcut shift+cmd+4 the cursor will change to a crosshair which you can click and drag to take a picture of a portion of your screen. You need to place the cursor at one corner of the portion you want because once you let go of the mouse button the picture will be taken.

With either of these keyboard shortcuts you can include the control key and the picture will be put to the clipboard instead of being saved to your hard drive but you must copy it to a program (like Simple Text) before you take another.

If you use the Caps Lock with the shift+cmd+4 the cursor will change to a Bull's Eye and you can take a picture of the open window or menu.







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