There's Garbage Hanging Around Outside the Trash Can
If garbage piles up around your trash can, it's because you didn't put it inside the can, but set it down outside, just like the kids. When the very tip of the pointer touches the can and turns it black, that's the time to let go. It doesn't matter if the icon you are throwing away is positioned over the can--it's the pointer tip that opens the lid.
Gray Disk Icon is Left on the Screen
A gray disk icon means either the disk is open or it is in RAM.
If the disk itself is still in the drive, then the blank gray shadow only means that you have already double-clicked on it and its window is open somewhere on the screen. If you can't see the disk's window because there are other windows in the way, simply double-click on the gray disk shadow and it will come forth as the active window.
If the disk itself is not in the drive, then you most likely ejected that disk by choosing "Eject Disk" from a dialog box. This procedure does eject the disk, but also leaves its information in the Mac's memory.
Lost Your Application? Other Windows Popped Up in Front of Your Face?
You lost your application? Your menu suddenly changed and you can't find "Font"? Now your window is buried under other windows? Don't worry--you just accidentally switched applications or perhaps you clicked on the Desktop and popped back to the Finder where all your Desktop windows are. Use the Application menu to choose the application you were previously working in: when you press on the Application menu (upper right of your menu bar) you will see a list of programs that are open. Choose the one you want. Also use the Application menu to hide the windows of applications you're not using.
Desktop Windows Open Very Slowly
If your Desktop windows open too slowly or perhaps everything on the Desktop seems to take longer than it should, check to see if you have told your windows to calculate the folder size: In your window in a list view, under the column "Size," do you see the size of folders? That's what is slowing you down. To _x it, make sure that window is the active window, then from the View menu choose "View Options..." and uncheck the box, "Calculate folder size."
Erratic Typing or Mouse Movement
Is the movement of the mouse rather erratic? Does your typing jerk around? Do your menus not show up right away? You are probably trying to do something in the background, like copy a large file or print. While the computer is doing something like printing, it has to split its attention between you and the printer, which results in putting you on hold for seconds at a time. Just relax and it will go away when the printing or copying is done.
Can't Eject a CD or Cartridge
You can't just push a button to eject a CD or most cartridge hard disks. You must first unmount them--drag the icon to the trash, or select the icon and press Command Y. After it has unmounted (its icon will disappear from the screen), the disk will eject. Many CD and removable disk drives have a button you must push to get the disk out of the drive--don't try to push the button until after you have unmounted the disk.
If you get the annoying message that the disk cannot be ejected because it is being shared, you have to stop file sharing before the disk will unmount. If you still have the wonderful "Automated Task" option in your Apple menu, then slide down to "Automated Tasks" and out to "Stop File Sharing." To start file sharing again, use the same menu.
The Control Strip, that little bar that shows up in the bottom-left corner of the screen, has a control to start and stop file sharing. If for some reason you don't have it there, just go to the Apple menu, then Control Panels menu, choose "File Sharing," and turn it off there.
Figure 16 This is the Control Strip.
You Don't Have Access Privileges or Something is Locked
If you try to move or rename files in the System Folder or the Applications folder and you get a message telling you that something is locked or that you don't have access privileges, shoot it. No, that doesn't work. You must be using an operating system older than Mac OS 9: Go to the Control Panels (in the Apple menu) and choose General Controls. Uncheck the boxes that say, "Protect System Folder" or "Protect Application Folder." Close the General Controls control panel and try again.