How to change your Mac icons

Students asked me before how I changed my Mac icons and I wrote this post Change your Mac icons. Students asked me again at the end of last year how I changed my Mac icons and so here is another post. The video explains it really well. You can just search for icons and download them and then use the preview pane to copy and paste the icons. Sometimes it doesn’t change. Don’t panic. If that happens on a folder it will invariably change when you reboot your Mac.I usually pick icons which support learning we are doing or a theme I am running in class. The video refers to Mavericks but changing the icons works the same way in all the previous versions of Mac OS.

My MacBook is a mini-drive murderer

MacBook I have been thinking of renaming my MacBook Highlander. Harsh, you say? I am up to my third portable drive with this MacBook. The one I got for my Windows desktop is still going. So what is the problem? No idea. I have been trying to resolve it for 2 years. It all started with my white MacBook. That was running on Snow Leopard which did a sizeable upgrade and then -bang – my WD portable drive was no longer readable, couldn’t be found in Disk Utility, could not be resurrected by the technicians and the shop gave me a new Toshiba one to replace it because it was still under warranty. All my Time Machine back ups gone, all my saved files gone. Was it the drive or the Snow Leopard update? I then backed my MacBook up to my new portable Toshiba drive and things fell apart again when we upgraded to the MacBook Pros. I was setting my new MacBook Pro up it at home, had connected my drive at the designated prompt on the screen and nothing. I sat there waiting. Nothing. So I had to bypass that part and set my MacBook up without the back up…which then meant a restoration and repair with the help of technicians when I got back to school. In the meantime I worked out my Toshiba would only be read by my MacBook Pro if I plugged it into my USB hub. With the hub it was fine and worked well. I just couldn’t plug it directly into the USB port on my MacBook. It went well for 6 months and then I plugged it in and nothing. I could see it in Disk Utility but the MacBook could not mount the partitions. I took it home. Nothing on Windows but on my Linux laptop I could read it. I shifted the files to there but the Time Machine backups were not going to go anywhere. I reformatted the drive on my MacBook and started again. All went well and then…same story. So I have been shifting files onto my Linux laptop to preserve them but have had no functional Time Machine back up because the drive just stops being recognised unless I reformat it. Defeats the purpose of a back up , don’t you think? Now my Toshiba portable drive is sitting waiting for me to do something with it. Not a lot at the moment. I now have a Seagate portable drive. How much is this MacBook nonsense costing me? The Seagate advertised itself as MacBook compatible. If it survives Highlander it will be an invincible hero. I plugged it in to the port and it worked straight away. That gave me hope. It loaded the MacBook software easily. Still hoping .It has backed up my MacBook. Early days yet. Fingers crossed. Ever hopeful. I am not the only one to suffer the demise of my portable drives on a MacBook. There is plenty to read on the Net about it. This is not me having an isolated issue. Apple needs to get onto it.

Teaching with iMindMap

I was using iMindMap at school on Snow Leopard and it was fine. I had started to get quite good at it as you can see. Nothing grand but some very useful visual material which appealed to students. We migrated to Lion and have since had difficulty getting the programme to work. I have just downloaded the Basic version onto Windows at home and you can see from the picture left that it is functional and useful. You can add text and images and the advantage is you can move these around the screen, hence whiteboard, which means you can focus on what you are talking about. With more practice I am sure I’d be able to build the mind maps as I talk. It’s a matter of mastering the software. Before the fuss and bother with licensing I was building a Mind Map on the weather. It keeps the vocabulary clear and you can sequence it as you build the mind map to become a little more complex. In the full version you can add sound. The Basic version is free to use but doesn’t have all the features. For me it has enough features to be able to do what I want without becoming too fancy and now that I think of it, it’s probably not such a bad idea to be working on the basics in Basic before I progress. It is software which can confuse people but the videos on the site and on YouTube bring a lot of visual and clearly explained help.

Josefine Grimm-Blenk

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