Mac Newbie Questions


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 27, 2005
I apologize up front if this is a basic question.. i did a few searches and couldnt find the answers i was looking for.. a few questions on using mac Powerbook's and OS-X...

1) How do you launch multiple copies of the same app? eg. i want to load two instances of Toast and burn two different DVDs at the same time (i have an external FireWire LACIE drive and the internal one).. or if i wanted to launch two copies of FFMPEG - how would i do that?

2) when my powerbook is connected to the external keyboard and monitor - how do i turn it on from a 'fully powered down' state (eg not in sleep mode)
the only way i have found to do this so far is to open the screen, push teh power screen, and close it. seems there should be a better way

3) i often remove and attach the powermac to the external monitor and keyboard.. is it ok to just put the powermac to sleep and detach the external Firewire drives (HD and DVD)? or do i have to eject them, then put to sleep, then detach?

4) is there some write up somewhere on the algorithm the powermac uses to determine the modes the monitors come up in? eg sometimes when the power mac is asleep and i connect it to the monitor and turn it on, it brings up the external display as a secondary, not primary. then i cant figure out how to swap them.. so i wind up powering down and powering up again... any hints here? the machine didnt come with much of a manual - and the 'help' section isnt very useful on these topics.. any hints/help appreciated!!


macrumors 68030
Jun 26, 2005
To Number Two:
That is the only way. There is no other way to turn the PowerBook on short of pushing its power button when it's fully powered down.

To Number Three:
You can detach after ejecting. No need to sleep/shut down first. In fact, most of the time you can detach without ejecting, but ejecting just minimizes any risk of something going wrong. It's like the Safely Remove Hardware wizard in Windows, only better.

Dunno about #1 and 4. Sorry.,


Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
1) Basically you don't! If you really want 2 copies of something then create a copy of the app, rename it (ie. call it Toast-2) and alter the identifier in the Info.plist file. I think that will let you launch 2 copies. Apps where it would be usefull to have 2 copies should, in general, be document based (or similar) to avoid the need for this.


macrumors 603
Sep 3, 2003
North Carolina
#2 -- If you're not even going to be detaching the monitor/keyboard, there's no reason to shut down. Just put it to sleep. You'll be much happier, with a faster startup time, and no harm will come to your computer. I even travel with my computer in sleep mode -- I've taken mine on weekend trips without even bringing the power supply, just slept it when I wasn't using it.

#4 -- I don't have an external display anymore, but don't you just go into displays prefs and drag the monitor images around?


macrumors 68020
Apr 12, 2005
Moorestown, NJ
1). im kinda just theorizing here, but couldn't you just open another project within the program? I mean i guess it may depend on the program itself, but it seems there must be a way to open multiple projects such as "new project" or whatever in one of the main menus... If there isn't that is quite silly :)


macrumors 65816
May 23, 2005
Great White North
You can switch around monitors using system preferences, hardware panel, displays. If you find you need to switch a lot you can click the "Show displays in menu bar" option and then play with them from there.


macrumors member
Jan 8, 2004
#3: I'd always eject before disconnecting (sleep alone isn't good enough) drives... *nix views everything as a file and if files (read: hard drive) suddenly "disappear" then wierd things can happen. Once ejected, you can do anything, including plugging it back in. The monitors and keyboard can be plugged/unplugged without doing any prep work. At least in my experience!


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 27, 2005
Guys - thanks for all the replies! i have slowly been learning. I think your right about the multiple copies of the same app - it doesnt really work without some 'hack surgery'

the rest of the stuff i have slowly been able to figure out.. thanks again!

Doctor Q

Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
Los Angeles
I forgive Toast for not letting you simply open multiple burn sessions in separate windows in one invocation of the application. This use would be limited to rare cases such as yours, where somebody has the hardware and inclination to do two burns at once. For the other 99.9%, having a multiple-window document-oriented style would probably cause mistakes or confusion by those new to the program.

Of course, they could have included a preference setting to allow it to work either way...

That said, I think you will find that your problem with Toast is an exception. Almost any application that has a reason for multiple windows/documents allows you to have them.


macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2001
The Cool Part of CA, USA
On #1, some applications simply will not allow you to launch two copies of themselves--they do a check at startup to prevent it. However, for apps that aren't that careful, simply duplicating them and running the copy will work fine--I've done this before. It could well corrupt your prefs or just not work right, though, and particularly with an app like Toast, I'd be worried about it screwing something up since both might try to access the same hardware simultanuously.

You can also use fast user switching to open a 2nd user and run the apps from there; that works fine every time. Well, again, something like Toast that access hardware directly might still have an issue, so I'd be careful.

On #2, I'd just plug it in while it's asleep, but there is an alternate option; if you get an old-style Mac keyboard with a built-in power button (it'll be in the upper right), I believe you can still use it to turn new Macs on. Maybe.

And, as others said, on #3 ALWAYS eject first--you can corrupt files or even whole disks if you just pull the plug, and I've seen it happen--there's OS-level caching that goes on and ejecting first makes sure things are properly cleaned up. Occasionally pulling the plug on an unejected disk can even freeze the OS entirely, though that's uncommon.