[NEWBIE QUERY] Multiple Users

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by dalvin200, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. dalvin200 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #1
    Hi there,

    Well.. after about 20 years with PC's I've finally ordered my first Mac (iMac 20"), which should arrive by end of this week - FINGERS CROSSED!!

    Anyway, most of the PC app's I use, I can either find Mac alternatives to, which is fine, but I have 2 questions - both relating to multiple users.

    So my 2 questions:

    1) Is it OK to just use the single user on MAC OS X? I was reading somewhere on the web that you should have the admin user and then create another user account (normal user?) which you use day to day, and when you want tomake any system chanegs, you log in as admin etc..
    This info can be found here: http://the.taoofmac.com/space/HOWTO/Switch To The Mac
    about a 1/3 of the way down in the section: BEST PRACTICES - What NOT to do

    2) Now, on WinXP, I've never had multiple user accounts, as there was no need.
    I only share Outlook with my partner, and so I could set up 2 users each with their own multiple email accounts.

    Can this be done on mail.app? Have 2 users set up each with their multiple email account profiles? As I don't really want to have 2 separate users if not really needed.

    Your help is very much appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. UKnjb macrumors 6502a

    UKnjb

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #2
    Hi!
    Well done for your switch.

    Your link to the Mac set-up review of dos and donts - here - was fairly comprehensive, including the list of all the Things You SHOULD Do

    IMO, such a good idea to set up multiple users (or at least one extra non-admin user account). Use the Admin account, System Preferences [the icon in the dock that looks like a light switch with the Apple logo on it], click on Accounts in the System area and set up the extra account. Then highlight the extra user account and you will see a tab that sets limitations as to what the user can do. FWIW, on my machines, I do not let myself, as the sole user, to install any app, run up-date schedules or have access to any potential OS-sensitive routines.

    Again, a good idea IMO. Otherwise, your App folder will gather so much 'stuff' that will rarely, if ever get used.

    Again, such a good idea. When the files get downloaded, you can inspect them by highlighting each file, and then use the File > Get Info function from Finder. If you find that, for instance, a JPG file is going to be opened with Terminal, then it might be that it is a piece of malware (which don't exist on Macs, as everyone here will tell you) and gives you the opportunity to -- decide what to do.

    When you go onto the Internet, there is a very useful App, called Little Snitch (read about it here) that visually flags any attempt from an app on your machine trying to make contact with an external address and also tells you if someone 'out there' is trying to make contact with your machine. It gives you the chance to decide if it all looks OK and let it go ahead or not.

    Once you get used to the running multiple users, especially with fast switching enabled, it becomes an insignificant routine and you have the comfort of knowing that you are protected as far as possible, both from basic security considerations and also your OS from accidental fiddling around and potentially damaging changes to it.

    Doubtless there will be loads of input from others that will express their own views, but these basics will establish good practice for the future.

    One other consideration is the routine maintenance of your machine and its OS. There are numerous methods for this (including Disk Utility) - IJ Reilly, a member of MR, suggested Applejack to me - it's free, easy-to-use and thorough.

    Enough from me!!
     
  3. idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    NYC, or thereabouts
    #3
    I agree with the "don't be admin all the time" crowd. Here's how it works in practice:

    When you first turn on your Mac (oh, and congrats, BTW!) you'll be walked through setting up a first user account. Since at least one account must have admin privileges, this first account will be an admin account.

    When you're done setting up, go to [Apple Menu] --> System Preferences... which will open the System Pref. window. Click on Accounts, and you should see your one current account in the column on the left with the reminder that it is an "Admin" account. At the bottom of the column, click on the "+" to add a new user. Chose a name and password. Make sure that "Allow this user to administer this computer" is unchecked.

    While you're here, click on "Log In Options" at the bottom of the user name column. Make sure that "Automatically log in as" is unchecked and that "Enable fast user switching" is checked.

    Save everything and now log out with Shift+Cmd+Q or [Apple Menu] --> Log out... and confirm.

    When you log back into your day-to-day account, much will seem the same. However, in you try to modify certain files (like adding a program to the Applications folder), the computer will ask you to "Authenticate" -- that is, type in an admin user name and password.

    If you want to do one or two things (like repair disk permissions), you can just authenticate. If you want do a number of things (like create the two new accounts "friend" and "guest" and then install all the programs in Adobe CS2) you should probably just switch to your admin account by clicking on your user name at the top right of the screen and then choosing the admin account from the drop-down menu. Just remember to log out when done.

    Have Fun!
    :)
     
  4. dalvin200 thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #4
    can someone tell me when I get my iMac, what the process is when you first switch it on.

    do I have to install everything, or is it all pre-installed and I have follow on-screen instructions etc..?

    i'm still not that keen on multiple user accounts - for a start, for the next month or so, i'll be getting familiar with the OS and installing apps, os x updates (10.4.6 is out) etc.. plus, it's all extra passwords to remember, which is a pain on top of all the other hundreds of passwords you have already :)

    but then again, being new to the OS may mean me screwing things up and deleting files which I shouldn't be doing, so could end up screwing the system up.. :confused:

    if i can do the outlook multiple user switching within mail.app that would be great. anyone have an answer to this one please?

    thanks
     
  5. dalvin200 thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #5
    AHH.. looks like you've just answered my question about what happens when first boot up :) thanks

    hmm.. why have the "automatically log in as.." unchecked? this will mean that each time the iMac is turned off and on gain, I will have to re-enter those details?
    What about on my wireless network? will i have to remotely "log in" from my winXP laptop to the iMac to share files? :confused:

    Now that's a good thing.. having the "Authenticate" option.. I was under the impression that you would have to always switch to the admin user account to do anything

    Thanks for the info - just a little confused about having users and then sharing folders/files over network
     
  6. idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    NYC, or thereabouts
    #6
    I guess that there wouldn't be a problem with having the automatic log-in option active, but it will go into this account whenever you power up. (Remember that shutting down is usually unnecessary -- sleep will suffice for overnight, w/e, etc.) So, if you pick an admin account, then anyone who restarts your computer can get admin access. This sort of defeats the purpose of trying to keep people out of admin.

    If you don't have this checked, then on start-up you'll get a list of users. Click on yours and type your password.

    About the 'first starting it' thing, I must admit that I'm a bit jealous -- it's always a little fun! For an iMac, you should expect the following high points:
    1. Connect the power cable to the back of the iMac and plug in,
    2. Plug the keyboard and mouse in (mouse can connect to the keyboard),
    3. Press power button.
    4. The iMac will take you through some screens to set up basic data.
    4. If your wireless network is already running, the iMac should recognize it.
    5. Enjoy!

    About the file sharing with a PC, I haven't done it, but I would check the guides that MacRumors has put together:
    Mac Beginner's Guide, generally, and
    Networking Windows with Mac OS X, specifically.
     
  7. dalvin200 thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #7
    Thanks for the info idea-hamster..

    Has anyone got any info/help ergarding my multiple user switching within mail.app instead of physically switching users

    similar to what windows/outlook does..

    thanks
     
  8. idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    NYC, or thereabouts
    #8
    That's the way it works -- each user should set up Mail to check all their IMAP and POP accounts. When you switch users, Mail switches too. No overlap, total privacy. :)
     
  9. dalvin200 thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #9
    so there's no way to switch user just for mail, while keeping in the SAME user logon session?
    just as you can with outlook..

    can someone confirm this please?

    thanks
     
  10. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #10
    I don't really see any reason to setup multiple accounts. People recommend setting up secondary accounts, but I think that is just more of a headache, or rather just unneccesary.

    The only time I heard about using multiple accounts is with our 'now defunct' virus scare, which was practically zero-threat. And also for the people that change the name of their home folder (which do not do after you name it in the beginning).

    It's a Mac, and it is easier to use than a PC. Although sometimes people on these boards like to make it as confusing as a PC. You really have nothing to worry about.
     
  11. idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    NYC, or thereabouts
    #11
    Well, you can certainly have Mail access the e-mail accounts of anyone in a single account and view the mailboxes separately.

    So if you and another user want to share the computer but keep your e-mail accounts separate (but not private from one another), then you can just set up one user account. Mail will keep your inboxes separated by e-mail address.

    If Outlook requires a password to switch between accounts, then it's not more difficult to switch users. With fast user switching, you don't have to log out and all your programs continue to run in the background (even video rendering).

    E.g. -- 1. User A turns on iMac, types password, starts Mail, and checks e-mail.
    2. User B sits down, chooses "User B" from user menu, types password, starts Mail, and checks e-mail.
    3. User A comes back, chooses "User A" from menu, types password, and finds Mail still running and ready to use, including having been checking for mail every x minutes during User B's session.

    Also, if you want privacy from other users, but don't want to log out, just choose "Login Window..." from the user menu. This will bring you back to the user list, but keep Mail running. When you want to check e-mail, just type your password. Everyone can be logged in with their session of Mail running at once.

    Oh, and if you've ever had anyone that you share a computer with [change a setting/delete a document/trash a bookmark/wreck a preference/etc] that you really needed, you'll be happy to set up another account.
     
  12. gman71882 macrumors 6502

    gman71882

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    #12
    No, but you can setup as many accounts as you like in the Mail Program.
    I Access 3 accounts, 2 for myself & 1 work account.

    or you can set up Fast User Switching to separate the accounts and then just switch users quickly to check mail then log out.
     
  13. dalvin200 thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #13
    do they have separate inboxes? or when you check all the accounts all the amil arrives into the same inbox and it's up to you to filter the emails into their respective folders?
     
  14. annk Administrator

    annk

    Staff Member

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    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    Somewhere over the rainbow
    #14
    I would think you could use rules for this. If you make a rule that says all mail that comes in to addess X goes to folder Y, you'd have a way to let each user have his/her own "inbox". Folder Y could be called "Sarahs inbox" or something like that. And if the separate users felt the need for more folders where indentifiable mail to them from specific addresses automatically goes (instead of everything just dumping into their inbox), that should be possible as well.
     
  15. dalvin200 thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #15
    ok cool.. i the options are there for having either multiple users in OS X or having the 1 user but creating various rules in mail.app etc..

    thanks to all who helped out.
     
  16. maxterpiece macrumors 6502a

    maxterpiece

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    #16
    Mail willl have a main folder called inbox. If you click that it's all the messages together. below inbox it will have all the individual accounts that mail.app is setup to access. clicking each one of those will only show the mail sent to that address.

    If you and hte other mail user have separate address books, then this gets even more confusing, and to make things work properly, you might consider downloading thunderbird, from the makers of firefox. It is VERY similar to mail.app, and you could run both programs simultaneously and maintain separate address books, etc.

    One thing you might wnat to consider before you decide to not setup multiple users, if you have two people who regularly use the computer, all of OS X's defaults are going to be a pain for you with only one account.

    1)iChat (apple's chat app, compatible with AIM and jabber) is geared towards 1 user/account and it's a pain in the butt to switch users. You can use the AIM app, but it's pretty weak for compared to iChat.
    2)all your documents would be kept separate and out of the way of each other. ONe person goes to the documents folder in their account and they see only their documents (if they're admin they can still access the other person's docs, it's just not in the way).
    3)if you end up using the computer with itunes/ipod combo, you can each have separate libraries.
    4)You can configure a program to yuor liking and it won't affect the way the program is configured for the other person. Only your bookmarks will show up in safari. YOu can block pop-ups and the other person doesn't have to. You can have iChat bounce when you get a new IM, the other person can not. You can have the stock widget and the weather widget opened, and the other person can ahve the solitaire widget and the ESPN scoreboard widget.

    Neither of you even have to be aware of how the other person configures their computer. it simplifies a lot.
     
  17. dalvin200 thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #17
    you have valid points, but my wife doesn't use the pc for much other than email / internet or accessing word documents.. i pretty much do most of the intensive work (photo's, movies etc..), so maybe creating a separate user for her is the better idea, BUT, can you access the other users folders/files? anyway to share them?

    do you both have to logged in if you're sharing?

    re: itunes etc.. well.. we currently have 1 library with many playlists and we chop and choose what playlists each has, so that's no problem keeping it as 1 library..
     
  18. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

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    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #18
    You said exactly what I was thinking. Macs are supposed to be (and are) easier to deal with than PCs, but reading through this thread I'd get the impression that they're complicated and difficult to manage. While having a separate non-admin account for day-to-day use is a theoretical security advantage, threats to the Mac are so rare that I see it as more trouble than it's worth.

    When you get your Mac, plug it in, go through the setup assistant, and then just use it for a while. You'll find that it's very easy to deal with.


    I would add in regards to your question about switching between multiple users in Mail while in the same OS X user account, that Mail doesn't allow that, but Microsoft Entourage does. Entourage is the Mac equivalent of Outlook, and is part of MS Office. This is from the Entourage help (trimmed):

    "An identity stores a person's preferences, account settings, Project Center information, Address Book and Calendar information, schedules, tasks, messages, and more. If more than one person uses Microsoft Entourage on the same computer, you can set up separate identities so that each person can configure Entourage to reflect his or her own preferences. This feature ensures that each person sees only his or her own messages, calendar events, and other items, without logging on to the computer as a separate user.

    You can switch identities at any time (Entourage menu, Switch Identity command). When you do so, the Entourage window closes, and you can choose a different identity in the dialog box that appears. You can also display this dialog box automatically each time Entourage starts, so that each person can choose an identity when he or she begins using Entourage. When an identity is in use, it is called the "active identity.""
     
  19. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    You can have 2 different inboxes (sort of) with OS X Mail, the big mailbox at the top marked Inbox has all the new messages and when you check it goes into both, however you can also read just one lot of email as in the attached screenshot.

    Picture 6.png

    PS From OS 9 I hated the Entourage switch ID thing I found it really annoying though its probably better now.

    Also I don't follow the advice about having a seperate admin account, IMHO its not that big a deal and I feel would be irritating too. As long as you update your software with software update (this is enabled by default) you'll be fine.

    Also switch on the firewall in Sharing preferences (firewall subtab) you should be fine, I also in the security tab of preferences check the box saying "require password to unlock every system preference".
     
  20. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #20
    You can also share files in the public directory, you *can* put your photos and music in this directory but its complicated to set-up :(. But IMHO unless you want to keep certain files private from each other, or want to have different desktop backgrounds, then have one account.

    If you already have only 1 account on Windows only have 1 account on OS X.

    See this if you wish to share music between different accounts.

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=93195

    and to share photos (more difficult)

    http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20050904072808460&lsrc=osxh
     
  21. dalvin200 thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #21

    i'm not understanding what you are trying to show me from that screenshot...

    i'm not too sure about entourage tho.. i'd like to veer away from ms outlook type stuff.. the main reason i used outlook was cos it sync'd up with my pda, and worked better than palm desktop..

    i'm hoping mail is much better, and ical will sync to my palm pda with ease..

    thanks for the info
     
  22. dalvin200 thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #22
    hmm.. now i've got conflicting info.. and am getting a little confused..

    i think, to simplify things, i will first wait for the iMac to arrive (where the hell is it????), keep the 1 account and figure things out / get familar with OS X and set programs up etc..

    when i'm comfortable, i'll show my wife how to use the apps she wants to use and let her explore her own things, and then decide whether or not we need separate accounts.

    but i tend to agree about the statement above - if we're only using the 1 account on windows, then keep it the same on the mac..

    we'll see :)
     
  23. mrichmon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    #23
    It is easy to set up sharing of certain folders and of the iTunes library between users if this is what you need.

    In my experience, you are much better off deciding to use seperate user accounts for each user from the beginning. This way everyone using the machine gets used to doing things that way.

    When you find a need to share files, set up some shared folders to allow these things to be shared. One of the easiest ways to share files is to just use Apple File Sharing but point the afp address to the local machine.

    With fast user switching, each user can quickly log into their own account without disturbing whatever any other currently logged in user is running. A big benefit of this for people how don't use computers very often is that everything is always in exactly the same place that they left it. (As opposed to multiple users sharing one account where user A gets a little confused because some icon has been moved by user B.)
     
  24. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #24
    I'm showing you how the two mail inboxes work, its not very clear tbh. :eek:

    You should also be able to Sync your palm to your new Mac using iSync, click here to see the devices you can sync, you may need third party software which costs $40, all is explained on the link above.

    It is really easy to sync iCal to my Mobile phone so I imagine it's the same with a palm.

    Sorry for the conflicting advice, where its conflicting its because both ways are equally good, some are better than others for different people.
     

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