Tips, Tricks, and Shortcuts

SAN FRANCISCO (03/28/2000) - Do you like iDisk Internet storage, available at Apple Computer Inc.'s new iTools Web site (, enough to want iDisk automatically mounted at start-up? Russell Hearn of Broad Brook, Connecticut, discovered that you can set this up through Mac OS 9's Chooser.

First open the Chooser window and click the AppleShare icon, and then click the Server IP Address button. In the dialog box that appears, enter and click Connect. In the resulting AppleShare dialog box, enter your iTools member name and password, and then click Connect. The next dialog box lists your iDisk volume. If you select the check box next to that volume's name before clicking OK, your Mac will mount iDisk whenever you start up. (If you have the Multiple User Accounts option turned on in the Multiple Users control panel, every time someone logs onto your Mac, it will try to connect to your iDisk volume. But users won't be able to mount iDisk unless they know your iTools password.)This all works because your iDisk volume is an AppleShare server volume, similar to a shared folder on another Mac on your local network. But iDisk, unlike other server volumes, requires Mac OS 9 for password authentication.

This process is necessary even though it's a bit inconvenient-it doesn't let you add your iTools member name and password to your Keychain, and you can't change your password.

An iDisk connection is limited to 60 minutes, and it could slow down your computer-especially if you have a modem connection-so put away iDisk as soon as you're done with it.

You can also mount iDisk using Mac OS 9's Network Browser, but unlike the Chooser, it doesn't let you automatically mount server volumes. However, you can make iDisk mount automatically by putting an iDisk alias in the Servers folder or the Startup Items folder (both are inside the System Folder). If you have trouble disabling automatic mounting later, see the next item.

Multiple Log-in Attempts at Start-Up

Q. Every time I start up my Macintosh with Mac OS 9, three separate dialog boxes ask if I want to connect to the shared folder on the other Mac on our home-office network. I have to click Cancel three times to get past them. What gives?

Bob Stoffer

Holualoa, Hawaii

A. You can fix this problem by opening the Servers folder inside the System Folder and removing the aliases of your shared folder (which is a server volume). Mac OS 9 connects to the server volumes that have aliases in this folder at start-up.

Removing the aliases will take care of the problem for now, but it's likely to crop up again unless you manually change one step in the shared-folder-connection process. Whenever you use the Chooser to connect to the folder, in the last step of the process you can check a box next to the shared folder's name. This tells the Mac to mount it at start-up. Selecting this option puts an alias in the Servers folder. If the Servers folder already contains an alias for a particular shared folder, the system creates another alias with a slightly different name. Multiple aliases for the same server volume result in multiple connection attempts during start-up or log-in.

If you want to stop all automatic server connections on a Macintosh with OS 8.6 or earlier, you'll have to use a different method. Remove the AppleShare Prep file from the Preferences folder (inside the System Folder). Then use the Chooser to reinstate the particular automatic server volume connections that you do want.

Change Default Web Browser

Q. When I open a Web site found with Mac OS 9's Sherlock, my Mac uses Microsoft Internet Explorer by default. How do I switch to Netscape Communicator?

David C. Ripley

Boulder City, Nevada

Link to Secure Sites: In Mac OS 8.5 through 9, you can change the default Web browser for links to secure Web sites. To do so, set the Internet control panel's User Mode setting to either Advanced or Administration (choose Edit:

User Mode to change this setting), so you can see the Advanced tab. Under the Advanced tab, click the Helper Apps icon and change the assignment for the https URL type.

A. You need to change the Default Web Browser setting at the bottom of the Web tab in the Internet control panel. (If you don't see any tabs in this control panel, click the Edit Sets disclosure triangle so that it points down.) Other applications besides Sherlock, such as the Browse The Internet application that normally has an icon on the desktop, use the Default Web Browser setting. In addition, some e-mail programs, such as Microsoft Outlook Express, use this setting for links in e-mail messages (specifically for URLs that begin with http://). However, the Mac does not use this setting for links to secure Web pages (whose URLs begin with https://) if the links are in any program other than a Web browser. The setting that controls these links is buried under the Advanced tab of the Internet control panel.

One More Shutdown Reminder

TIPStill haven't found the right way to remind yourself to turn off your monitor when you shut down-despite previous tips that suggested using a text clipping, recorded sound, or self-dismissing alert (Quick Tips, November 1999 and February 2000)? Chris Lambert of Toronto suggests creating a simple AppleScript application that speaks a reminder. (This requires the text-to-speech software that's normally installed as part of Mac OS 7.6 and later.) Start by opening the Script Editor program. If you have any Mac OS version between 8.5 and 9, enter the following AppleScript statement in an empty script window:say "Don't forget to turn off your monitor!" using "Ralph"This script will make your Mac speak the quoted text aloud using the voice of Ralph. You can change the text as you like, and you can select a different voice. If you're not sure which voices are available, open the Speech control panel, set its Options pop-up menu to Voice, and then check out the Voice pop-up menu.

If you have a version of the OS between 7.6 and 8.1, you can't specify the speaking voice, so you'll need to omit the last part of the statement, starting with using. You must also change say to speak.

Once you've finished writing the script, save it in the Shutdown Items folder.

In the Save dialog box, set the Kind option to Application and turn on the Never Show Startup Screen option.

LON POOLE answers readers' questions and selects reader-submitted tips for this monthly column. He is a coauthor, with Todd Stauffer, of Macworld Mac OS 9 Bible (IDG Books Worldwide, 2000).

All shareware and freeware mentioned in Quick Tips is available from the Macworld Online software library (

We pay $25 to $100 for tips selected for publication that discuss how to use Macs, peripherals, or software. Please include your full name and address so that we can send you your payment. Send questions or tips to or to Macworld Quick Tips, 301 Howard St., 16th Fl., San Francisco, CA 94105. All published submissions become the sole property of Macworld. Due to the high volume of mail received, we cannot provide personal responses.

Control Panels for Limited Users

So you want to set up a limited user account-with access to some control panels but not others-in Mac OS 9? At first perusal, the only options in the Multiple Users control panel appear to be access to all or access to none, but Doug Steinhoff of Canyon Lake, Texas, discovered a workaround. Here's what you do.

1)Open the Multiple Users control panel and create or open a user account. Then click the Limited button.

2)If you don't see the setup details at the bottom of the control panel, click the triangle next to Show Setup Details.

3)Click the Privileges tab and turn the Control Panels option off (rather than on).

4)Click the Applications tab and choose Selected Items Only from the Show pop-up menu. This is important; if you choose either of the other options from this pop-up menu, this procedure won't work.

5) Click the Add Other button. In the dialog box that appears, select a control panel that you want to allow the limited user to access, then click Open. The selected item appears in the User Applications list. Repeat this step to give the user access to other control panels and programs.

The limited user will now be able to access the selected control panels through the Items folder, which normally has an alias on the user's desktop.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

More about Apple ComputerMicrosoft

Show Comments