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Re: help - installing Skype on a Mac

David Empson
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vitw <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> I don't have a Mac and certainly don't have any current Mac experience.
> My sister is overseas, so we only have phone contact, and she wants to
> install Skype on her new Mac (OSX) laptop. I tried to talk her through it
> based on my familiarity with Windows and Linux, but came up blank with
> Mac. She lost me when she mentioned dragging the skype icon onto her
> applications folder.

I understand that bit, and often have to deal with this for new Mac
users. The issue arises with applications that don't have an installer,
and just expect you to copy the application to install it. Some do a
better job of explaining this than others.

Skype on the Mac is distributed in the form of a Disk Image file (e.g.
"Skype_2.6.0.151.dmg"). You double-click the disk image to "mount" it
(if the web browser didn't do that automatically). This causes another
icon to appear on the desktop, which has the name "Skype" and looks like
a "white external floppy drive" (for want of a better description). The
mounted disk image should open automatically in a window which shows its

Inside the window is the Skype application icon (blue circle with lumps
and a white "S"), and it also shows an alias to the Applications folder,
with an arrow pointing from the Skype icon to the Applications folder.

The expectation is that the user is supposed to pick up the Skype icon
and drag it into the Applications folder. Skype is then copied to
Applications, after which the disk image can be ejected (by dragging the
"floppy drive" Skype icon from the Desktop to the Trash, which will
change to an Eject symbol while that icon is being dragged). The
downloaded disk image isn't needed after that (unless she wants to keep
it in case she needs to reinstall it later without downloading it

A little background at this point: the "Dock" is a strip of icons which
normally appears along the bottom of the screen, but can be configured
to go on the left or right side and can be hidden from view. It shows
running applications and icons which can be used to launch or open
frequently used applications, folders and documents. It also holds
minimised windows and the Trash.

"Finder" is the name of the application which is responsible for
managing files on a Mac, roughly equivalent to Windows Explorer. It is
always running, and always appears at the start of the Dock as a "blue
square smiling face" icon. You can get to it by clicking on that icon or
the desktop background. On Mac OS X, the name of the active application
is always displayed in bold near the left end of the menu bar at the top
of the screen.

(end of diversion)

The next step is to open the Applications folder, which can be done via
the "Go" menu in Finder, or by opening a new Finder window and clicking
on "Applications" in the sidebar. Skype can be run directly from the
Applications folder by locating its icon and double-clicking on it.

Assuming she wants to use Skype regularly, it would be a good idea to
keep it in the Dock. With Skype already running, its icon will appear in
the Dock temporarily, and by clicking and holding the mouse button on
Skype's icon in the Dock, you get a popup menu, from which you can
choose "Keep in Dock".

After doing that, Skype can be launched in future from its Dock icon.

If she wants Skype to be running every time she uses the computer, there
is another item in the Dock popup menu "Open at Login".

David Empson Removed)
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David Empson
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vitw <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> On Fri, 28 Nov 2008 13:52:54 +1300, David Empson wrote:
> <excellent detailed explanation snipped>
> Hey, wow, thanks *so much* for your detailed instructions and info. I'll
> pass this on to my sister.

Glad to help.

One point I should have mentioned: if she made the mistake of launching
the Skype application directly from the disk image, it will be on the
Dock as a running application.

It would be a good idea to Quit from that copy before running it again
from the Applications folder, to avoid the confusion of having two
copies of Skype running, and setting up the wrong one to stay in the
Dock or launch at Login.

David Empson
(E-Mail Removed)
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