Tag Archives: Mac OS

Hide unwanted System Preferences

If you want to hide unused system preferences or re-arrange them alphabetically and not by categories, Lion will let you do that. Open “System Preferences” and click on “View” in the menu bar – there you go. Finally you can hide “MobileMe” and other Icons you don’t need. And don’t worry, you can always bring them back!

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Transmission Is THE BitTorrent Client For Macs

Dude, whatever you download is your own business, but the best software to get the job done on a Mac is probably Transmission. It’s a neat tool using little resources (CPU & memory), offering remote (web) access and full encryption. This BitTorrent client is an open source project and comes with most features you might need.

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Quickly Send Files And Folders To Multiple Macs

Apple introduced simplified file sharing with Mac OS X Lion, calling the feature AirDrop. However, if you’re not into Lion or your Mac isn’t supported and you don’t want to fiddle around to activate it anyway, get DropCopy! It does more or less the same thing as AirDrop offering even more transfer options and settings. There’s a free version for up to 3 Macs on a local network and a paid version ($25) if you want to connect more machines.

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Introducing: Apple’s iCloud

With iOS 5 and the next update of Mac OS X Lion (10.7.2.) just around the corner it is time to take a look at iCloud. The free service (curtsey of Apple) keeps your different Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, Mac) synchronised over the Internet. That includes photos, music, documents, and apps among other things. You get 5GB of free storage and your purchased music, apps, books, and TV shows, as well as the photo stream (of your last 1000 pictures) don’t count against that cloud space. Only mail, documents, the camera roll, account information, settings, and other app data will fill up the 5GB (that’s not too bad, right?) If you want more storage you can buy up to 50GB for $100 per year.

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Enable AirDrop On Unsupported Mac

So, officially you only get the benefits of easy file sharing (aka AirDrop), when you have any of the following Mac models:

MacBook Pro (Late 2008 or newer); MacBook Air (Late 2010 or newer); MacBook (Late 2008 or newer); iMac (Early 2009 or newer); Mac Mini (Mid 2010 or newer); Mac Pro (Early 2009 with AirPort Extreme card, or Mid 2010).

However there is a way around this (kind of*). Meaning you have to tinker with the Terminal first. Just type the following into the Terminal: defaults write com.apple.NetworkBrowser BrowseAllInterfaces 1 (that’s it!) Now non supported Macs will know how to “AirDrop” files *as long as the Macs are in the same network. Thanks, Mac OS X Hints! To find out which WiFi cards support AirDrop check out this web site.

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Pick A Colour With Colors

Plain and simple colour picker (and free). You may need “Colors” to pull colours from images or websites in order to “extract” that colour and its colour value –> #rrggbb; rgba; r, g, b; hex; hsl. Of course you can also put in a css colour declaration directly to see the respective colour or simlpy chose your favourite colour to find out the right colour code. Download here!

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Check Your MacBook Battery

Mac users interested in the health of their MacBook Pro battery (such as full charge capacity and cycle count) find the relevant information via the “About This Mac” menu (upper left corner) and “More Info” in the “System Report”. For even more details on your internal power supply – like the battery temperature or your current battery power usage – turn to coconutBattery!

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dupeGuru Finds Them All

Digital cameras make it easy to turn even a short holiday trip into a photo frenzy, resulting in hundreds of pictures on your hard drive. After a few years thousands of pictures and duplicates are living all over the place… On backup disks, in apps like iPhoto and other places. Well, dupeGuru is there to put an end to the mess, sorting through folders and matching EXIF data to find all the duplicates. In the end you are left with cleaned up and much smaller folders and can finally start enjoying your pics again by actually looking at them. dupeGuru is freeware and there are different version for general files or photos. It’s not the most polished interface but a great tool!

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Pimp Your Mac Pro To USB 3.0

Feel left out of the action of a growing number of USB 3.0 devices? HighPoint comes to the rescue and offers you the RocketU Quad USB 3.0 for Mac. The PCI-E card brings 4x USB 3.0 ports (5GB/s, type-A) to your Mac Pro. It supports up to 4 external USB HDD/SDD and handles RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 and JBOD. Of course the thing is backwards compatible with older USB devices. Unfortunately there’s no price tag yet.

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Copy Pictures From iPhone To Mac

Copying pictures off your iPhone and onto your Mac can be a tricky process. The easiest way (though Apple is quite hush about it) is probably via the inconspicuous Image Capture. The tool lodges in your application folder. Just plug your iPhone into the Mac and open Image Capture (might take a few seconds till the iPhone appears). You can now copy selected images or all photos from the iPhone. No need to fumble with your sync settings in iTunes or iPhoto.

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Check Your Mac Storage

Not a major feature but still good to know is Lions revamped “About This Mac” info panel. You can quickly find out where all the storage on your internal drive went or how much memory (RAM) is installed. Plus there is a link to an Apple document describing how to upgrade your Mac’s memory.

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A Bootable Lion USB Stick

While installing Mac OS Lion via Apple’s App Store is easy, reinstalling Lion on a clean hard drive is not. A new installation requires access to the App Store (or at least a Internet connection). So if your hard drive just died you are really in trouble. This is where a (home made) bootable Lion partition on a USB stick (8GB) comes as a real life saver. Here is how you create it: 1/ Locate the Lion installer package after downloading it from the App Store (before actually installing Lion). 2/ Right-click and open “Show Package Contents”. 3/ Look for the folder “ShareSupport” and locate the file “InstallESD.dmg”. 4/ Copy (don’t move) that file to another location and open Disk Utility or Carbon Copy Cloner. 5/ Using Disk Utility select “InstallESD.dmg” and do a “Restore” onto your freshly Mac formatted USB stick. (Remember to use that stick as a Lion boot disk only!) You now have a backup Lion system on your stick.

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App Store Refuses Lion Download

Mac users who have the Lion Golden Master developer seed installed may get the following message when trying to download Mac OS X Lion from the Mac App Store: “A newer version of this app is already installed on this computer.” If you want to download the official App Store version anyway, just hold down the Option-Key (Alt-Key) while clicking “Buy App”. The App Store will skip the version check and download Lion right away.

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Recently Bought A Mac? Get Lion Free!

If you bought a new Mac between June 6 and July 20 of this year, you qualify for a free copy of Mac OS X Lion. You can redeem your copy of the new operating system via Apple’s Up-To-Date Program. You must order your copy of Mac OS X Lion within 30 days of the date of your purchase of a qualifying computer.

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SSD Adapter For Mac Pro

If you want to treat your Mac Pro to some super cool and super fast SSD action, take a look at the Sonnet Transposer. The adapter fits any 2,5″ standard SSD into a 3,5″ hard drive bay. This might do the trick to bring you amazing startup times and programme response at acceptable costs. Transposer is compatible with 3Gb/s and 6Gb/s SATA. The drive tray adapter is $39.95.

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Teach QuickTime Avid & More

There are plenty of codecs QuickTime doesn’t understand naturally. So in order to use the great functions QuickTime provides you might want to pimp that tool yourself. Start with Perian, followed by Flip4Mac and head over to Apple’s own suggestions. Finally add Avid support by installing their codecs.

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Sync iPhone With New Mac


So you bought a new Mac and now want to sync your iPhone to the new computer? Well, Apple doesn’t make that easy for you. So here’s how: Close iTunes on both Macs and copy the following folders/files from your old Mac to the new one:



/Username/Library/Application Support/MobileSync





Now you can sync the iPhone with the new Mac and merge the data. But be sure to backup first! By the way, thank Racker Hacker for this how-to!

P.S. The official way would be to use Apple’s “Migration Assistant” to accomplish the transfer.

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Check Your Drive Speed

With the help of the AJA System Test (direct download) you can determine the write and read speed of your hard drive (HDD) or solid state drive (SSD), external drive and USB stick. Just so you know where you are in terms of disk performance  or if you feel the need to boost the HDD bottle neck.  The tool is provided free of charge by AJA Video Systems.

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Fill out PDF Forms

Sometimes you come across PDF forms which won’t let you fill-out anything. You would have to print them out and do the job manually. This is where FormulatePro comes in. The open source tool lets you fill out PDF forms on your Mac without any hassle. You can position the cursor to your liking, adjust font size, style et cetera and save the document as a pdf file afterwards.

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Batch Rename Photos or Files

Sure, there are many ways of renaming multiple files on your Mac. But for those who don’t feel like messing around in the Terminal or fiddling with Automator, NameChanger is a handy solution. You have many options to rename photos in different ways and the image browser gives you an overview of selected pictures. The tool is donation ware.

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MagicPrefs for Magic Devices

Mac useres unhappy with Apple’s meagre system preferences for the Magic Mouse, MacBook Trackpad (glass Trackpad only) or the Magic Trackpad may now turn to MagicPrefs for a solution. The gratis preference pane offers plenty of options to configure the input devices to your liking. Among different taps, clicks and gestures you can choose to invert scrolling, enable capslock notifications and speed up the tracking speed.

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Create iPhone Ringtones

With a few clicks you can turn your favourite song into a ringtone for your iPhone:

1. Select a song in iTunes (if the file format is MP3 convert it to ACC by right-clicking on the selected song and choosing “Create AAC Version”).

2. Select the created AAC Version and press Cmd + i

3. Go to “Options” and check “Start Time” and “Stop Time”. Set the time code to the part of the song you want (30 seconds max).

4. Drag the song from the iTunes Library to your desktop and change the ending to .m4r

5. Now drag the renamed file back into iTunes and it will show up under “Ringtones” ready for the next iPhone sync.

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Secure Easy VPN-Network

Thanks to the help of LogMeIn Hamachi Mac users (hey, Windows and Linux users too!) can set-up a secure private network (VPN) over the Internet in seconds. After installing the Hamachi client it takes one click to start the software and another click to create a network. Everyone on the world wide web who knows your network name and password can now connect to your computer as if they were in the same local network. LogMeIn Hamachi is free for private use. Also works with Apple’s Screen Sharing feature.

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