Just wanna give a shout out to Hawk Wings, a website I just discovered today. This page is just filled with tons of free and cheap apps and scripts (or “plug-ins” as they call them) for the most commonly used Mac apps. I highly recommend checking it out to see what cool things your missing… for example, there’s DockStar, which allows you to “assign a separate notification badge to different mailboxes.”
A new hint was posted today on Mac OS X Hints explaining how to re-gain use of the arrow keys in Quick Look’s full screen mode. The solution worked but I thought that there had to be a better, quicker, easier way.
So, I started trying various other keys when in Quick Look full screen and I stumbled upon a much easier solution:
Have you ever needed to connect to your iPhone when you don’t have a wireless network available?
Probably not, but I had to a few weeks ago, here’s why:
While on vacation I took a video using Cycorder on my iPhone. I needed to move the video to my MacBook to edit and upload it to the web. Unfortunately, the only way to get a video off the iPhone (that was taken with Cycorder) is to wirelessly connect to the iPhone and copy the video (I avoid the Terminal and just use Transmit to connect via ssh).
The problem was that even though I paid $15 for internet access at my hotel, it would only work for one device at a time (either the iPhone or the MacBook). Rather than spending another $15 to connect my MacBook and iPhone to the same network so I could copy the video, I set out to find a better (read: free) solution.
The easy 3-step solution I discovered was right under my nose: Read More
In Safari, when you create a new bookmark by pressing Command+D or by clicking the “+” icon in the toolbar you see this pop-up window:
As a highly organized bookmarker, not having the option to make a new bookmark folder from this pop-up is a big pain. As you can see, I’m bookmarking a motorcycle helmet, but don’t have a folder for “Helmets.”
BTW… a sub-hint here is that you can click the folder list (“Computers” in the above image) and start typing the first letters of the folder you want to appear instead of finding it manually in the list.
However, the problem this hint fixes is when you don’t already have a folder. The hint is that at this pop-up window, you can press Command+Shift+N – this will automatically open a new “Organize Bookmarks” window and create a new bookmark folder, ready to be named:
Just put the folder where you want, go back to the original bookmark pop-up menu, and select the new folder you just created.
As you probably know, I’m all about shortcuts and using the keyboard instead of the mouse to improve efficiency and productivity. Well, there’s a new shortcut in Leopard just for sleeping the display (I did have a hot corner setup, but this is faster and easier): Shift+Control+Eject
I think this may be a new Leopard (10.5) feature, but perhaps I just never noticed it: if you close your LCD display (sleep your computer) during a file transfer, the transfer will resume after the machine is woken up.
For example, say you’re transferring a 5GB file from your Macbook to your Mac Pro on the same network. Halfway through the file transfer, you accidently shut your LCD display and the computer goes to sleep.
Do you have to start the transfer over? No! Open the LCD display and wake up your computer — it will automatically rejoin your network and immediately resume the file transfer from where it was stopped!
The only caveat here is if your computer can’t rejoin your network. If, after shutting your display, you move to another network or loose your WiFi signal, the transfer will give up and produce an error about 10 seconds after waking up.
At first glance, Quicktime seems very basic. But I’m continually amazed at what neat little tricks it keeps tucked away. I just stumbled upon one such trick today when I was looking for an easy way to overlay text on a video (see previous post).
The overlay isn’t fancy, and I can’t find any way to customize the font or size or anything else – but if you want to avoid expensive programs and steep learning curves, just follow these 5 easy steps:
FYI… I’m pretty sure you need Quicktime Pro for this to work
1) In TextEdit, type the text you want to overlay and save as .txt file.
2) In QuickTime Player, choose File > Open File and then select the text file.
2) Choose Edit > Select All and then choose Edit > Copy.
3) Select the part of the movie you want to overlay with text.
4) Choose Edit > “Add to Selection and Scale.“
When using Screen Sharing or Remote Desktop to control another Mac on my local network, my biggest complain has always been the inability to use several important keyboard shortcuts. Things I frequently rely on, like toggling dock visibility, opening spotlight, and force-quitting applications, don’t work. Although all those functions can be accessed through other means, Application Switcher (which I use practically every minute) can only be accessed with Command+Tab.
The secret to getting full keyboard support is by running Teleport in conjunction with Screen Sharing. Teleport gives you the ability to use one keyboard and mouse to control other computers on your network.
With Teleport installed and setup, open Screen Sharing and connect to another computer on your network. Now move your mouse to the appropriate side of your display (while holding the appropriate modifier key) and “teleport” to the “screen shared” computer.
You now have full keyboard support; including use of your Function keys (for things like Expose, Dashboard, and ejecting), Command+Tab, and even Zooming (Control+2-finger-scrolling-on-trackpad)!
Paranoid? Try Tor (free!), it bounces all your Internet activity around a network of thousands of other servers/proxies (people like you), making it impossible to track your location or activity.
Tor works on Tiger and Leopard, but it’s best if you’re using Firefox (because Tor includes a one-click enabler plug-in for Firefox). Tor installation is a breeze as the installer package actually installs and configures four smaller programs:
1) Vidalia – GUI for Tor
2) Tor – a system for using the Internet anonymously
3) Privoxy – a filtering web proxy that integrates well with Tor
4) Torbutton – a 1-click way for Firefox users to enable or disable the browser’s use of Tor
I tried both the Stable and Unstable Mac versions and they both installed correctly. According to the instructions, I should have been good to go (except they forget to tell you to “Open Vidalia”). I opened Vidalia, opened Firefox, enabled Tor within Firefox, and I was anonymous.
There are a few shortcuts every mac user needs to remember. They will make your mac experience much smoother and your workflow more efficient.
The main reason to use shortcuts is so you can spend more time with your hands on the keyboard instead of the mouse or trackpad. Forgoing the mouse or trackpad completely is almost impossible, but forgoing them occasionally will definitely speed you up.
Before starting, first go to the Apple menu (top left), System Preferences, Keyboard & Mouse, Keyboard Shortcuts, and select “All controls” at the bottom.
Computer is up and running with usb drive(s) mounted and working fine. After restart or sleep, CERTAIN drives aren’t visible – they don’t show up on desktop, in disk utility, in system profiler, or in disk utility started from os x install disk.
• in 10.5: both sleep & restart cause problem to occur
• in 10.4: sleep causes problem to occur, but restart doesn’t cause any problem. when using a drive that exhibited the “problem” in 10.5; putting computer to sleep and waking on 10.4 causes drive to improperly eject, prompting “device removal” screen upon wake; drive disappears and can’t re-mount until power toggled.
The Quick Fix:
• Toggle hard drive power (turn hard drive off and on)
One of the most common Mac newbie mistakes is running an application from within a disk image. For some reason, this is most often the case with Firefox.
You can think of a disk image like a box used to physically deliver your application; you need to receive the box (download), open the box (double-click disk image), and move the contents out of the box and into your home (drag application icon into your applications folder).
Typically, when you download an application from the internet, it comes “wrapped” in a disk image. If you’re coming from PC land, a disk image is similar to a Zip file, in that both disk images and zip files contain several files within them.
Let’s use Firefox as an example of the correct way to install an application from a disk image. Go to the Firefox download page and click “Download Firefox” – you will see that the file you are downloading has a “.dmg” extension. This is the “disk image” extension.