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Mac OS X Power Hound, Second Edition by Rob Griffiths

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Accounts

As described on Sidebar 1.1, Mac OS X is a true multiuser system. That is, if you set up accounts for each person who uses your machine, Mac OS X can separate and protect everyone’s preferences, files, emails, and so on.

Although it may come as a surprise, this feature benefits even solo operators. For one thing, it lets you create a new account strictly for troubleshooting ( Section 4.6.2).

Limiting Account Privileges

When you’ve got a machine with more than one account on it—for you, your spouse, your son, and your Turkish exchange student—you may wish to limit peoples’ ability to perform certain functions. Things like removing stuff from the Dock, changing the machine-wide System Preferences, burning CDs or DVDs, and running certain programs can all be controlled by you. And let’s not kid ourselves: besides protecting Mac rookies from accidentally messing up their accounts, the act of limiting other people’s computer powers also provides a cheap thrill.

First, open System Preferences Accounts pane. Select the name of an account holder on the left, and click the Limitations tab.

Note

You can only restrict someone’s rights if the “Allow user to administer this computer” checkbox in the Security tab is turned off.

Click the Some Limits button. From here, you can make any of the following changes to the account.

Limit the programs

At the bottom of the dialog box shown in Figure 5-6, there’s a list of all the programs in your Applications, Utilities, and Mac OS 9 Applications folders ...

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