Mac Efficiency 101 started its life on December 8, 1998, a week after Dave invited me to write for MacCentral. It hadn't hit upon that name yet, but the focus was set from the first moment I was invited to write a column.

Column Introduction

Hi, I'm Deborah Shadovitz and this is a test of another (hopefully) great MacCentral column - by me - to help you get the most out of your Mac. This won't be a high-falootin' techie column. MacCentral and I prefer plain English with easy-to-understand explanations and steps. You might think of this column as a series of recipes to follow, whether you're new to the Mac, or have been using it for a while. If you like it and find it useful please let me know at [Update: don't use that address. It won't reach me.]

In case you might like to know a bit about me and how I got here, I'll try to explain. (You can skip this part and jump straight to the advice part {the next page}. I won't mind... or know.) After that I'll begin talking about one of the most basic organizational tips you should be following. Then, each week I'll bring you another recipe for a healthy, efficient, nice-looking Mac. Over time I'll talk about OS basics, cool utilities, tips and tricks, and fun stuff. If there's ever something you want me to address, just say the word. I've got a long list of great stuff to share and you might help me get to your issues faster, or you might just know of something that I've yet to discover.

About me... I'm a typical Mac user who loves my Mac, the power it gives me, the things it helps me do or enables me to do and the world it opens up to me. It's funny... I studied writing and art, worked as a writer, photographer, and in video, then spent years backpacking around the world. I certainly wasn't any type of computer geek.

But like I said, I'm a typical Mac user - there's not one Mac user I've ever met who doesn't love discovering something new the Mac can do and pass it on to anyone who will listen.

So here I am, for almost 10 years now, actually finding it fun to work on my computer ('cause it's a Mac). Somewhere along the line, helping people or passing the word on a tip turned into a full-time career as a Mac Instructor/Specialist. Somewhere else along the line I went full circle back to writing - by writing articles, books, and a column about the Mac. Sometimes I still find it hard to believe that when I visit a friend I end up spending hours on his/her Mac organizing them and demonstrating all the ways I've discovered to do things better. (But I know I'm not alone in this - the Mac's contagious.)

Five years ago I was asked to give a seminar called Five Fabulous Utilities at MacFair LA. It wasn't hard to come up with five fabulous utilities, but it I found it impossible to limit my list to only five and still do justice to those coming to learn. Instead, I cheated and covered about 10, at least giving quick mentions to easy-to-use no-brainers (like RAM Doubler). That's when I realized that I love utilities - and saw how much others do too (so you'll learn plenty about helpful utilities here as time goes by). Since then I've done this seminar every year (removing the number from the title). As the MacOS changes, so does my utility list. As new utilities such as Action Utilities replace and surpass Now Utilities and Font Reserve surpasses Suitcase, the list changes. But one thing remains constant - as incredibly cool and slick as the MacOS is, there are always amazing developers out there dreaming up ways to make it even better and smoother.

I'm excited about this column and I hope you'll stop by again to see if I have anything that can help you.

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