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Take Control of Users & Accounts in Leopard
Jan 29, 2008
The Author

Kirk McElhearn is a freelance writer, specializing in Macs, iPods, iTunes, digital music, and more. In addition to having written or co-written a dozen books, he is a Senior Contributor to Macworld magazine and he contributes to several other publications. He reviews classical CDs for MusicWeb and audiobooks for Audiofile, and he is a translator from French to English.

Take Control of Users & Accounts in Leopard

Learn to manage user accounts and parental controls in Leopard!

User accounts are an integral part of Mac OS X, but for many people, they’re a source of confusion. No more, thanks to Kirk McElhearn’s straightforward explanations, which help you understand and manage all the accounts for people who use your Mac, even if the only person is you. You’ll learn how to create the right types of accounts for the different people who use your Mac, why you need at least two accounts, and what you can do with the many new options in Leopard’s parental controls. Kirk shows you how to set up a troubleshooting account to solve problems, use Fast User Switching, share files between users, manage login and startup items, and more. Kirk even reveals tricks for sharing music and photos among multiple users on your Mac using iTunes and iPhoto.

More Info

"Even experienced Mac users can find accounts a minefield, but this book’s penetrating content explains what you need to know, offers tips, and helps you solve problems." —Mark Willan

Read this ebook to learn the answers to questions like:

  • Why must I log in to my Macintosh?
  • Why are my files in the Users folder?
  • What’s the difference between a login item and a startup item?
  • What’s the purpose of an Administrator account?
  • How can I take advantage of the new Guest account?
  • How do I limit the time of day when my child can use his Mac?
  • Can I control who my child exchanges email with?
  • How can people log in and log out more quickly and with less bother?
  • What’s the best way for users on my Mac to trade documents?
  • Can users on my Mac share my iTunes songs or iPhoto images?

Will this ebook help me set up accounts so that other people can log in to my Mac from some other location?

Well, on the one hand, yes, this ebook will help you understand the whole account concept and create the necessary accounts. But, on the other hand, Take Control of Sharing Files in Leopard is the ebook you want. It assumes you have a basic grip on the idea of an account already, but it goes into a great deal of detail about the best types of accounts to set up for different file-sharing services, how much access to allow to those accounts, which areas of your Mac to make available, and so on.

I understand the basics of accounts, but what I need assistance with is permissions. Will this ebook help?

Not really… but try Take Control of Permissions in Leopard instead.

Update Plans

October 2009 – We have no plans to update the 10.5 Leopard edition of this book, but a new Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard edition is now available.

Posted by Tonya Engst

  1. Snow Leopard Data Loss Bug

    Apple has publicly acknowledged a rare but nasty data-destroying bug related to using the Guest account in Snow Leopard. The bug appears to be associated with having a Guest account already set up before you upgrade to Snow Leopard. While there is currently no fix available, we hope to see one in 10.6.2. To learn more, check out my TidBITS article, Apple Acknowledges Guest Account Data Loss Bug. [This bug was fixed in 10.6.2.]

    Posted by Doug McLean (Permalink)

  2. TweetMyMac

    Now that you’ve wrapped your mind around accounts on your Mac, wrap your mind around this: you can now send a Twitter message to a particular account on your Mac and tell your Mac to do things such as restart or send you a screenshot. Sounds crazy? It could be. Glenn Fleishman writes about the new TweetMyMac in a recent TidBITS article, TweetMyMac Offers Remote Control by Twitter.

    Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

  3. Kirk Talks about How User Accounts are Under-Appreciated but Powerful

    Listen to MacVoices #9109 and learn about author Kirk McElhearn’s approach to user accounts. In this interview, which kicks off the release of the Snow Leopard edition of Take Control of Users & Accounts, Kirk talks about many facets of using accounts effectively, including—among many topics discussed—troubleshooting and limiting what certain users can do on your Mac.

    Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

  4. Home Sharing vs. iTunes Sharing

    Home Sharing, a new feature in iTunes 9, makes it possible to easily share media among family members (or any group where everyone is authorized on the same iTunes Store account). While the feature is a clear win for sharing iPhone apps, several Take Control authors have been perplexed by Home Sharing, either because the feature didn’t perform as they’d expected, or because it’s difficult to concisely explain the differences between it and the old iTunes Sharing feature. Thankfully, Take Control author Ted Landau’s recent Mac Observer article tackles the subject with detail. If you’re interested in gaining a deeper understanding of how to share media in iTunes, check it out!

    Posted by Doug McLean (Permalink)