Managing files etc., for confused PC user

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by pcusingdad, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. pcusingdad macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #1
    We've got one Mac in our PC household, a 2006 13" Macbook used by my high school senior son and only by him until now, when the hard drive is showing up as "full. We've got an external hard drive (Lacie Rugged) that connects to the mac with a firewire 400 or USB2 cable.
    60GB internal drive. Upgraded to Leopard earlier this year when the keypad broke.

    I've got the most basic questions about managing this computer than I simply can't figure out. How can I get a complete list of files and folders that displays how large the files/folders are in a way that can be sorted from large to small. Using Finder doesn't seem to work. Easy to do in XP or Vista using "my computer" but can't do this on the Mac. Can't even find a page on Apple support telling me HOW to do it. Goal is to find the larger files and folders and either move them to the external drive or delete them.

    Second, unrelated, the external drive comes up as an iconon the desktop that is the same icon and same name as the original hard drive. Any way to change this?

    Finally, how do you tell which programs are running? A bar of icons pops up at the bottom of the screen but nothing tells you what's active and I don't think there is an "alt-tab" function to scroll through active programs.

    Yes I know that the Mac is supposed to be easy to use but I've found this frustrating in the extreme.

    Thanks very much
     
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #2
    File size search: Finder > File > Find... (or cmd-F). Set the search criteria to "Size", then = > < or not. You can save this Search in the sidebar for future use.

    Icon: It's hard to visualize what you are describing. The default icon for an internal drive is a "bare drive". Default icons for external drives are orange, with either a Firewire or USB logo. If a custom icon were used for both internal and external, you can Finder > File > Get Info (cmd-I) on the volume, select the icon, then use File > Edit > Cut (cmd-X). It should revert to the default icon.

    Dock: Running apps will have a blue badge below the apps icon. You can also use cmd-tab (sort of like alt-tab) to see and select from a list of running apps. Once the app icons are displayed (horizontally), you can continue to hold down the cmd key and use: tab to cycle to the right, shift-tab to reverse, "Q" to quit, or "H" to hide an app. Also, a single cmd-tab will cycle between the previously used app and the current one. That one's very handy.

    From the Finder, you can get to "Mac Help" and search for keyboard shortcuts, and Search/Spotlight. That might help answer some of your questions.
     
  3. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #3
  4. pcusingdad thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #4
    Thanks, I DID try!

    Honestly I didn't even know what the command key is. Doing these tasks is a no brainer on a windows machine. Add the pressure of a mac that is not working the night before school begins and.....well imagine.

    Thanks very much!
     
  5. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #5
    In the user manual, there's a "More Information" page with links to many other helpful sites.
     
  6. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009

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