Editing Accounts

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Editing Accounts

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12.4. Editing Accounts If you're an administrator, you can change your own account in any way you like. If you have any other kind of account

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  1. 12.4. Editing Accounts If you're an administrator, you can change your own account in any way you like. If you have any other kind of account, though, you can't change anything but your picture and password. If you want to make any other changes, you have to ask an admin to log in, make the changes you want made to your account, and then turn the computer back over to you. 12.4.1. Deleting Accounts Hey, it happens: Somebody graduates, somebody gets fired, somebody dumps you. Sooner or later, you may need to delete an account from your Mac. When that time comes, click the account name in the Accounts list and then click the minus-sign button beneath the list. Mac OS X asks what to do with all of the dearly departed's files and settings (Figure 12-11): • Save the home folder in a disk image. This option presents the "I'll be back" approach. Mac OS X preserves the dearly departed's folders on the Mac, in a tidy digital envelope that won't clutter your hard drive, and can be reopened in case of emergency. In the Users Deleted Users folder, you find a disk image file (.dmg) like the ones described on Section 5.12. If you double-click it, a new, virtual disk icon named for the deleted account appears on your desktop. You can open folders and root through the stuff in this "disk," just as if it were a living, working Home folder. If fate ever brings that person back into your life, you can use this disk image to reinstate the deleted person's account. Start by creating a brand-new account. Then copy the contents of the folders in the mounted disk image (Documents, Pictures, Desktop, and so on) into the corresponding folders of the new Home folder. • Do not change the home folder. This time, Mac OS X removes the account, in that it no longer appears in the Login list or in the Accounts panel of System Preferences—but it leaves the Home folder right where it is. Use this option if you don't intend to dispose of the dearly departed's belongings right here and now. POWER USERS' CLINIC
  2. Moving Your Home Folder Between Computers Mac OS X proposes putting all of the account holders' Home folders in one special folder (Users) on the main hard drive. But being able to put your Home folder on a different disk can have its advantages, too. If you travel back and forth between home and work, for example, you might find it convenient to keep your entire life on an iPod or some other portable disk. In corporate environments, a network administrator may want you to keep your Home folder elsewhere on the Windows network. (Yes, Mac OS X is that compatible.) You can do it, but you'll have to exploit the sometimes intimidating power of NetInfo Manager, a program included with Mac OS X that's designed to let you perform just such technical tasks. Begin by copying your Home folder to the iPod (or wherever). To make absolutely sure that you're getting everything in it, use Terminal—described in Chapter 16. Open up a Terminal window and type this command: sudo ditto -rsrc "/Users/casey" "/Volumes/path-to-new-folder" Of course, type your account name instead of "casey," and the folder path instead of "path-to-new-folder." Use the folder-path notation described on Section 1.2.4. Now open the Accounts pane of System Preferences. Control-click (or right- click) your account's name; from the shortcut menu, choose Advanced Options. In the new Advanced Options dialog box, in the Home Directory box, type the folder path to your new home folder—or just click Choose and show Mac OS X where it is. Now restart the Mac. Log back in, and test the new Home-folder arrangement. If everything is working perfectly, you can delete the original from the internal hard drive. If your intention is to take the external hard drive back and forth to work, repeat the procedure on the Mac at work. Just make sure that the external drive is plugged in, powered up, and running before you try to log in; otherwise, the Mac won't be able to find the Home folder at all, and will give you an error message.
  3. • • Delete the home folder. This button offers the "Hasta la vista, baby" approach. The account and all of its files and settings are vaporized forever, on the spot. Note: If you delete a Shared Only account, you're not offered the chance to preserve the Home folder contents—because a Shared Only account doesn't have a Home folder.
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