Tag Archives: Mac OS X

From Mountain Lion Back To Snow Leopard

So you want to downgrade from Mountain Lion back to Snow Leopard? Not happy with the latest OS X or some applications won’t run properly? Well, it ain’t pretty, but here is how…

You will need: A second Mac (with FW or TB port) running Snow Leopard, a Firewire or Thunderbolt cable, a Snow Leopard installer (DVD or image on the second Mac).

1. Bakup all your stuff, it’ll be gone! 2. Connect your Mac to the second Mac which is running Snow Leopard via Firewire or Thunderbolt. 3. Boot the Mac you want to downgrade into Target mode (press and hold T after startup chime). 4. Once the Mac shows up as an external hard drive in the Finder of the second Mac, delete/reformat the drive with Disk Utility. 5. Now start the Snow Leopard installer on the second Mac (DVD or image). Choose the external hard drive you just erased as the target and install Snow Leopard. Quite a bit of work but it does the trick. Thanks Apple for making it so easy, not!

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Get Automatic Duck Pro Import & Pro Export Free

The guys over at Automatic Duck are giving away their Import- and Export-Tools for Avid, Final Cut and Adobe After Effects for free! Pro Import AE imports timelines from Avid, FCP 7 into After Effects. Pro Export FCP exports AFF files from Final Cut Pro 7 and FCP X to Avid. Pro Import FCP on the other hand imports OMF and AFFcompositions from Avid to Final Cut Pro 7. Well, check it out the details for yourself… Automatic Duck will stop supporting the tools, that’s why you can download them for free now.

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Choose Your Favourite Firefox

Did you know Mozilla offers 3 different Firefox versions? Release candidates, beta versions and a developer builds, called Aurora. If you’re not the adventurous type and frequent updates are a nuisance to you, download the release candidate. If you have the urge to try the latest, go with the beta channel. Aurora is for people who want to join the rocky developer front. You can check your Firefox version via “About Firefox” from the menu bar.

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Winamp Plays Nice With Mac OS X & Android

Not every Mac user loves the iPhone. If you happen to be the Adroid-kind-of-guy check out Winamp for Mac OS X. It imports all your iTunes contents and syncs them with many Android phones. It supports wireless syncing, SHOUTcast Radio and other things. There’s a paid version available without ads, FLAC support and other goodies.

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Enhance Your Scrolling Options

Scroll Reverser gives you several options to adjust the direction of scrolling in Mac OS X Lion to your personal taste. You may opt for reverse horizontal or vertical scrolling and set different scrolling behaviour for your mouse, trackpad or tablet. Scroll Reverser is free of charge and rests in the menu bar for quick access (if you want it to).

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Create Folder For Multiple Files

Another helpful new feature in Mac OS X Lion is the option to create a folder for multiple files. By selecting two ore more documents the context menu offers you “New Folder with Selection.” This will create a new folder in the same location and put the chosen files right in there.

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Find Out More About Your Mac

Lion makes it much easier these days to find information and help for your specific Mac model. Go to “About This Mac” in the upper left corner of your screen (the Apple symbol) and you’ll find direct links to the user manual, specifications and hardware support. A good place to start if your want to upgrade or repair your Mac or just want to find out its noise level.

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Super Easy File Exchange

This is a neat new feature in Mac OS X Lion: Activate AirDrop in the sidebar (by selecting it) on two or more Macs and they will automatically establish a wireless connection between each other. You can then send files from one Mac to the other by dragging a picture or document or video to the appropriate user icon. No need to join the same WiFi, activate file sharing or worry about passwords. AirDrop does it for you!

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Customise Mail’s E-Mail Alert

Just in case you’re the customising type, Apple Mail lets you choose your own “New message sound” in Mac OS X Lion. It is done via Mail Preferences –> General and New message sound. At the bottom you will find the option Add/Remove where you can select your favourite tunes and sound bites to play each time a new e-mail has arrived. Nice touch, Apple.

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Quickly Encode Audio To .M4A

This is a quick way (in Lion) to convert standard audio files (MP3, WAV, AIFF and others) to MPEG (.m4a). Select one or several audio files in the Finder and do a right-click. Almost at the bottom of the context menu you’ll find “Encode Selected Audio Files”. The next window will present several encoding options such as High-Quality (128 kbps) and iTunes Plus (256 kbps). Nice and easy!

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Lion Recovery Options

Apple provides several layers of security when it comes to your Lion installation. 1. There is a hidden partition on your hard drive if things go wrong (press Command-R during startup to access it). 2. Internet Recovery: This feature downloads Lion from an Apple server if the hard drive fails and there is no previous Lion installation available. 3. Create your own Recovery USB drive with Apple’s Lion Recovery Disk Assistant. 4. Restore from Time Machine Backup (if you have one). You can also create your own Lion restore solution, which doesn’t need Internet access.

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Change Lion’s Ugly iCal Look

If you find the new leather look of Lion’s iCal disturbing, to say the least, here is a simple solution. Head over to this friendly blog and download the necessary files to treat iCal to a more subtle (simple grey) user interface. The custom resource files are free so you only have to replace the original ones with a few clicks. Just in case – do a backup first!

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How To Re-Download Lion

In case you trashed your Lion install image already and now want to create a bootable Lion disc or USB stick, you can easily download Lion again. Hop over to the Apple App Store and before clicking on “Purchased” press the alt-key (option-key). You now have the option to re-download and reinstall Mac OS X Lion. And create your own bootable Lion backup.

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Finder View Settings In Lion

The new Lion Finder doesn’t show you file and folder sizes any more (or the number of files in a folder) by default. Also the file path is gone as is the slider to adjust the icon size in Finder’s icon view. Don’t worry you can bring it all back! Select the Finder and click on “View” in the top menu bar. There you’ll find “Show Path Bar” and “Show Status Bar”. Select the two and you’re up and running!

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Sign PDF Files In Lion

With Lion you also get a new feature called “Signature Capture”. This means you can sign PDF files by using the build in webcam of your Mac to take a picture of your signature. It’s fairly easy: Take a thick pen (a standard ballpoint pen might be a bit thin) and write your signature on a piece of paper. Open a PDF file in Preview and click on the symbol which looks like a pen to show the “Annotations Toolbar”. Here you will find the signature tool and may choose something like “Create Signature from FaceTime HD camera.” Now hold the paper straight in front of the cam and the tool will capture your signature, mirror it and add it to your PDF document. You can keep that signature for further use. Pretty cool and useful, huh!

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Open Web Links In Quick Look

Quick Look is a great tool to quickly look at pictures, Word documents, PDFs, movies and other files without opening their respective programmes. Apple’s Quick Look also supports web links in Lion. Just select a link you saved on your desktop or so with one click and press the space bar. Quick Look will now open the related website or file in a simple window. Tapping the space bar again will close the window.

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Show Hidden Library In Lion

In Mac OS X Lion Apple has hidden the user library, which used to be located at Users/Your Username/Library. But sometimes it is necessary to dig into that folder to delete preference files, obsolete application support folders, print drivers et cetera. A quick way to do just that is to go to “Finder” select “Go” from the menu bar and press the Alt-Key (Option Key). The invisible library folder will show up in the window as long as you hold the alt key and you can select it and navigate its contents. You can also drag the library folder to your side bar for quick access.

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NetPortal Offers Remote Mac Access

Probably one of the best ways to remotely connect to you Mac from your iPhone is through NetPortal ($2.99). You can view and save files from your Mac on the iPhone while on the go. Setup on your local network is easy! For a secure connection over the Interent you should know what you’re doing and check out the official setup guide!

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Control your Mac with TeamViewer

Probably the easiest solution to remotely (i.e. via the world wide web) check and manage your Mac while sitting on another Mac or PC. TeamViewer is easy to set up (just install the thing on the two machines you want to connect) and it gives you a unique user ID plus password. Now you’re good to go. For private use the tool is even free!

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Thunderbolt: Fast And Flexible

With the latest MacBook Pro update Apple introduced the new high speed port Thunderbolt. It is designed by Intel and looks promising:

↯ Up to 10 Gbps of throughput in both directions (20 times faster than USB 2.0).

↯ Provides 10 watts of power to peripherals through electrical cables (Thunderbolt also supports optical cables).

↯ PCI Express is the technology behind this, linking up to six supported devices together (by daisy-chain). Supports data, video, audio, power.

↯ Provides native support for Mini DisplayPort displays. Also supports DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI and VGA using an adapter.

↯ Compatible with USB, FireWire 800 and FireWire 400, eSATA, Gigabit Ethernet (via adapters).

↯ Supports Target Disk Mode (boot capabilities not confirmed).

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Remoter Controls Mac via iPhone

One of the best ways to control your Mac with your iPhone is Remoter. The app is pleasantly easy to set up. The Remote Desktop app (VNC) teams up with the Screen Sharing function build into Mac OS X (have a look in your system preferences under sharing). You can open/close applications or move files among many other things. Using Bonjour you’ll have your wireless desktop control running in seconds. Connecting through the Internet is slightly more tricky. You can find a tutorial over here. For $1.99 (currently 0.99) it’s a bargain!

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Looking for… ⌘ ☃ ☂ ☕ ✂ ☛ ♻ ℃ …Symbols?

If for some reason you need characters and symbols – here is how to use them on your Mac:

Go to “System Preferences”, “Input Sources” and tick “Unicode Hex Input” as well as “Keyboard & Character Viewer”.

You should now have a flag symbol sitting in your menu bar and the option to show the “Character Viewer”. There you go, all the symbols you could wish for!

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