Tips for Photographers who use Macs by Stanley Leary


by Stanley Leary


Figure 1
Computers and cars have one thing in common—every so often you need to do some routine maintenance to get the best performance.
With cars about every 5,000 miles you need to take the car in for routine maintenance. I would say that once a month you need to also do some basic maintenance for your computer.
For the Mac owner I recommend just a couple of things that will improve your computer’s performance.
Disk Utility
Performing disk maintenance using Disk Utility that is included in the Mac OS X.
You can also use this even when your computer starts just fine but you want to check the disk for possible file system issues.
1. To launch Disk Utility go to your Applications Folder>Utilities>Disk Utility.
2. Click the First Aid tab.
3. Click the disclosure triangle to the left of the hard drive icon to display the names of your hard disk volumes and partitions.
4. Select your OS X volume.
5. Click Repair. Disk Utility checks and repairs the disk.
You should see improved performance when this is done.
Your Mac stores certain settings in a special memory area even if it is turned off.  On Intel-based Macs, this is stored in memory known as NVRAM.
Information stored in NVRAM includes:
1. Speaker volume
2. Screen resolution
3. Startup disk selection
4. Recent kernel panic information, if any
Figure 2
How to reset your NVRAM
1. Shut down your Mac.
2. Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command (⌘), Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in step 4.
3. Turn on the computer.
4. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys before the gray screen appears.
5. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time.
6. Release the keys.
After resetting NVRAM, you may need to reconfigure your settings for speaker volume, screen resolution, startup disk selection, and time zone information. If issues persist, your Mac's logic board battery (not a portable Mac's rechargeable battery) may need to be replaced. The logic board battery helps retain NVRAM settings when your computer is shut down. You can take your Mac to a Mac Genius or Apple Authorized Service Provider to replace the battery on the logic board.
If you have never done this you will notice major improvement in your computer.  The Disk Utility may take some time to run that first time. Running Disk Utility once a month takes less than five minutes unless something unusual has happened.
Parting Comment
Figure 3
I still recommend buying DiskWarrior and using this utility. It does more than just the Disk Utility. However, just using the Repair Permissions in Disk Utility when it makes changes does improve your performance.