OS X

All posts tagged OS X

QualtyNerpFowndThis is actually the first time in a long time I am not taking an iTunes update, given that it doesn’t fix the graphic artifact during scrolling issue, and other users are reporting worse things happening. In retrospect, I should have stuck with 11.x . iTunes 12.x is looking more like Windows Millennium everyday.

Sad.

This was once SoundJam, an app so good that Apple bought it. But this is now another example of an app in the care of a company too big to care to give it the attention to detail, and true UI/UX modernizations and feature enhancements an indie would have. A third party company would have listened to their customers or face declining sales. Apple is too big to truly care about the declining quality of iTunes. Whomever is sitting in charge of shipping product quality control is obviously not paying attention, and this toxic style of management is what can and has brought once great companies down.

Since v4 the only “improvements” have been cosmetic and the addition of the various stores. Apple has never addressed iTunes key failings and has instead focused on bloating it u to the point where once loyal users are looking elsewhere for leading edge features.

But this isn’t really about Apple. Apple is really an example. This is about a mentality epidemic in proportion of people who think that marketing, money or someone else can make up (or take the blame) for subpar products. The logic is as follows:

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Rather than write this article, I noticed that this article has been updated and is still relevant.

Remote OS X Daily: Control a Mac with Screen Sharing in OS X

I would add that, if you want to be able to do this away from outside the network the Mac is located, you need to have administrative access to your internet router, and understand how to configure ports on your router to forward the right port number to the Mac you want to connect to — you should also make a DHCP reservation for the machine so it is a reliable connection.

If you are behind a company firewall, I doubt many Network Admins would open up and forward the ports to you without very good reason. (If they do, send them the port numbers and do not make them look them up.) The reason Network Admins are very hesitant to allow users this level of access, is because most users do not understand the huge security implications that need to be considered before opening any externally accessible ports. In short: lock down every port you do not need, limit the rights of the remote account if you can, and make the access password as brutal to crack as possible — especially if you put your machine on the DMZ.

So, it is best to just do this on a home network that you have set up Access Point Isolation on (so the computer accessed externally can only see the router). Basically, once you are allowed to remote control a intra-network device, this can be used to attack an entire internal network. When I worked as a Network Admin, there was only one exception we made to this policy of not allowing any sort of direct access from outside our network, and that was only for the CEO of our company, and only for a few days. Yup, we said no to our boss until given good enough reason, and even then we placed a severe limit on it.

That said, this article can be vey handy, and can also be used to allow Mac Techs remote access to your machine should you need remote technical support that would cost a lot more with an in-person service call. However, setting this up, might require a service call considering the wide array of variables between routers, internal networks and machines that true network techs can quickly understand.

I have tried a few iOS to Mac apps, but I am still trying to decide which, if any, would warrant a recommendation. The yearly fees of those that I have tried often put me off of even writing about them.

I often get asked what I use to develop web pages and other types of documents on OS X. Sometimes it is from new users, who have switched from a Windows environment who genuinely want advice. Sometimes it is a loaded question from a developer with a Windows bias and outdated information who thinks that developing on OS X is more difficult and clunky compared to Windows (or Linux). In some cases it is (such as if you are trying to develop for a Windows .NET system) because OS X is a Unix derivative, Windows’ naming schemes (such as the path separator and old text encoding) makes it a pain. However, for apache development, most web libraries and applications simply need to be configured and installed for OS X’s flavor of unix to work. Many offer native precompiled apps. At one point setting up a basic Web Server in OS X was a simple matter of dropping files in /{username}/Sites/ and going to System Preferences>Sharing>{selecting} Web Server. However, because Apple now confuses simplicity with ease [1. a subject I comment on from time to time.]— it has followed a trend of removing a lot of the convenience features for starting standard unix services such, from the default install of OS X. Now, things are less straight forward for developers who just want to toss up a quick php server to develop locally, and some people now need help setting this stuff up, and would rather not have to learn the terminal commands. Others, like me, know the terminal all too well, but are tired of having to edit file after file (taking care not to make a single mistake) and restart services when throwing a few switches and typing a few lines in the terminal is so much faster and practically immune to error.
No matter what your angle is, I get asked often enough how to get started or what I use, that I have decided to write it down so I can point people to this article. While not exhaustive (I do not have unlimited funds to try every IDE, or app that increase productivity), this is what I currently use. For the most part I like it, but try to avoid being too biased because I realize everyone has different needs and different preferences on how things should work. So, as usual: YMMV.

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Last week my Sister,  a very capable Systems Admin, called me to ask my advice. She hadn’t owned a Mac in a very long time, and wanted to know whether she should buy a Mac Mini and an iPad or an iMac?

If your Mac is still stock, you might want to read this…

(Since Advertising is visually detracting from the content by cluttering the formerly clean UI, and the price to remove them is significantly higher than other site’s yearly full featured offerings [themes and full customization is extra here whereas other hosts include them in one price scheme, which is usually much lower], most new content will be on 10Centuries.)

Okay, since tech journalists far and wide love speculating, and taking the whiff of a rumor and exploding it into fact, that is picked up ad nauseam until when said fantasy feature is not announced people, including the same amplifying pundits, have a rage quote episode and decry how Apple’s ship is going down. How I truly hate that continual churn of stupidity. Let’s not include the fact that many of these predictions are not rooted in technical understanding nor have a solid idea of what a product really needs. And to be clear: any product needs to fill a gap, by making things either easier than before or make something that was impossible, possible (with minimal fuss in the case of consumer products). 

With that said, here are my completely baseless predictions on what Apple will reveal in about 9 hours presented to you in pseudocode-o-vision. Make no mistake: none of these have any basis in any current rumor or factoid about what parts assembly lines in Taiwan are missing this week, and all of the numbers (even the number of the new iPhone and OSes) are made up. 

1: Apple will slightly redesign the outside of the iPhone 5s, not that it matters because any tweak might look nice but be a literal pain to hold more than a few minutes at a time. (Chance of this actually happening? Meh; var Meh= ~10%; [note: all numbers are also completely made up.])

1.25: Apple will offer a 128GB iPhone 5S. if(anyoneAtAppleHasAppsGoneFree){Chance(Meh *5)};

1.5: Higher Res Camera (~10MP), a 720pixel display, a brighter LED flash, a bigger ~1.8Ah battery for a few more hours runtime (~10 hours on mobile data) . {Chance(Meh*7);}

1.75: The new iPhone will have a new improved accelerometer that registers fewer false tilts. Absolutely no dat that makes me think this can happen if(iPhone5s->DoesItNeedIt(Accelerometer++)){Chance( Meh% *√3.14159…);

 

/*By the way here’s a fun bet: 

Noivad:“I bet I know the last number of π!”

Patsy:“No way! π is infinite!”

Noi:“Yes but if it wasn’t what would the last digit be?”

PatsyCline:“No way you could know that!”

Noi:“Do too! wanna know why?” 

Patsayjack[SIC]:“Why?” 

Noi:“’Cause it’s Zero! XD” 

PatBucannan:“Grrrr!” 

Note: this joke requires a lot of suspension of disbelief, much like Green Lantern did… not because of the idea that an imagination ring that granted flight and super powers is really out there, but for the mere fact that Data for an Alien Autopsy was handing over on a 3.5″ HD in a lab that had the spare change to mount Neon Lights and unnecessary lifts everywhere & a super top secret drone fighter had a release party with press, cameras and a super top secret drone on display in the center of a fountain.*/

 

2: Apple will Retiring the MBP13″ in favor of New MacBook Airs (11 & 13) with better graphics and larger active and storage RAM, an updated iPad mini, and iPad Macro. Your truly will shed a single tear then buy 1 or 2, 2TB 2.5″ HDs for his MBP13, and some sort of bullet proof case, and clean its fans out more often. {Chance(Meh*2.5)};

 

3: iOS 7 & OS 10.9 will get a facelift. Why? cause that cute little WWDC poster with the translucent icon borders, and some mysterious new guy at iOS’s helm (whom I will refer to simple as JIve) who loves clean design. { Chance(Meh * 10);} //again completely made up.

 

4: Apple will open up iOS 7 to allow changing things such as the default browser, mail client, navigation client, contacts and calendar app to third parties and allow better interaction with Apple’s iCloud. Apps will simply have to be updated to register themselves as a calendar, a browser, a navigation app, etc. To show up in the list of other default clients. 

4.5: Siri will be able to pull up locations in Apple Maps or the third party registered nav apps. if(OS7->Siri > OS6->Siri) {Chance(Meh+75)}  //Yup, you guess it, another made up number. But it’s a feature I would love to see.

 

5: Siri will finally be let out of the box more. Siri will be able to set up appointments just by saying: “Meet with legal the week after WWDC to prepare my defense for this article,” and Siri will look up WWDC’s date, a legal contact (if you have it in your contact’s notes or any field with “legal” in it), and ask “will this be at legal’s offices?” I’ll whine, “yes,” and Siri will schedule the appointment. If I’m lucky, Siri will also set my alarm to tell me when to hit the road and send the location to my registered Navigation app, Waze. Siri will be in OS X 10.9 as well, and allow me to activate it with a control-space by default. I’ll tell it to “push this (by this I mean the document that has focus on my system) to my blog on Wednesday at 9AM,” and Siri will scan it and offer tags for the article, such as “Mea Culpa” and “Oops, I got sued again.” The reasoning is simple: since both OSes are under the control of JIve, teams will naturally start exchanging ideas and bring them closer to feature parity, and leverage the installed base of iOS devices to pick up Windows 8 defectors who decided to get an iPad instead of a SMurface Pro, after upgrading their desktop or laptop to Windows 8 and being horribly confused. if(OS7->Siri->GetsLove(AppleFocus)){Chance(Meh + 40%);} 

/*I would love it but the cool engineers at Apple (you guys know who you are) probably have their hands full actually making Siri distinguish between “Pick up my dry cleaning tomorrow at six,” and “Pick up my dyke leaning tomato axis.” Don’t ask me why Siri thinks I have anything to do with flood plane repairs near fruit gardens….*/

 

6: Better iOS <> OS X data exchange via iCloud. Set a reminder on my iPad or iPhone to pay my Netflix bill via paypal on the 10th with Siri, and my “maintenance” Reminders list on my OS X machine will open up my browser to hulu.com at 9AM on the 10th. It will also check my Queue and notice that A movie in my Queue will expire in 2 days and add that to my “downtime” reminders list. My “business” reminders will also remind me it is time to do a full backup with MySQL Workbench of my personal projects server and offer to trigger that script lying around ~/Documents/Dev/mySQL/Scripts that I never got to setting up a CRON/Launch agents action for. if(iOS7->dataPayload == iOS->dataPayload){Chance(Meh+65%)}; other fantasy automatic reminder features: if(iOSX->date->autoscan){Chance( Meh)};

 

7: iOS7 will offer an improved Bluetooth Manager that allow Airplay-like connect/disconnect options in any apps that support BT audio or connections because some bitchy customer (Me) told the AppleCare rep how stupid it was that you had to turn off BT to disconnect one device from an iPad, and then reconnect the other devices that you didn’t want to disconnect but has to, in order to release that one device for something else to hook up to it. if(AppleMonitorsSupportCalls){Chance(Meh*.2);}

 

8: iOS7 will offer multiple user Accounts, so each person that shares an iPad will be able to keep their Pandora account separate from their Kids and we have no more psychiatric admissions because Dad found out he was accidentally rocking out to One Dimension [SIC]!  Also, How many of use would rather keep our Browser free of links to <Insert This Quarter’s Teenie Bopper Idol Here> and home screen free of that clutter of time wasting games? Not to mention accidentally leaving your device with the store password entered right before the kids decide now is a great time to stock up on in App Purchases costing a few hundred dollars? if(AppleActuallyCaresToSeeHowTheirProductsAreUsedInWild){Chance(Meh *3 );}

 

9: OS X 10.9 will be more secure requiring people to mess with CLI defaults to install software that is not signed. Shortly thereafter 3 or 4 free and paid apps will be able to toggle this setting with one click.

 

10: iOS 7 will come with an upgraded Weather app, that allows you to control the temperature, cloud cover and humidity within one mile. Things will be great for about 5 minutes until people start overriding each other’s settings and cause tornados, flash floods and other events eventually leading to earthquakes and tsunamis before Apple engineers can turn off the iWeather server controlling it all.

 

While I am making predictions, I will take this opportunity to complain for a paragraph about the backslide companies such as Apple are making with their products: Hey how many people know that the Kensington Security slot is not present on the new Retina MBPs and the MBAs? And how many people even know what that is? Well, there goes physical security for those who care about it! As it is, Kensington is one of the few manufacturers who makes a case for the iPad with a lock for end users. Aside from them, I am not aware of any security cases for the iPad that are not meant for Kiosks and Register applications of the iPad… Apple’s design team apparently never takes any of their products out in public? Case Designer: “I got rid of that ugly slot on the side! It was really annoying, and no one knew what it was for!” Apple Exec that approved it: “Good job! That little slot was really annoying us with the extra 30 seconds it took the C&C machine to carve it out!” But whatever, a friend pointed out that Mac laptops are becoming disposable products with the tendency to use glue instead of screws in more products. 

Okay, well I thought I was going to write wild predictions about iOS7 offering to do your laundry at Lundry Locker or being able to point the camera at your eggs and it telling you the exact time to take them off the stove, but I guess I got too serious and just injected my wishes for Apple Products.

CleanMyMac2 Icon

CleanMyMac2: Looks as good as it cleans

Bottom Line (TL;DR) MacPaw’s CleanMyMac2 is a fast and easy Mac cleanup utility that even advanced users will find a few features that save them tons of time. You could do a lot of the stuff that CleanMyMac2 does manually, but then you would have much less time to do other things, like actually being productive. Yes: I would recommend it to pretty much anyone.

“System Maintenance”
If the above phrase makes you lose all interest in this article, or makes you shutter with guilt because you don’t do it often enough —or worse, never — then let me tell you how you can do it
  1. easily,
  2. virtually error free,
  3. and without taking away more than a few minutes of your month.
There are of course a few ways to do this, but in order to achieve all of this, especially the last condition you will have to plunk down some cash.
Read on Skeptic, your review awaits…

Yet another major version release of OS X is out, and I have talked to a few people about it. For the most part, aside from a few “.0” bugs, the response has been pretty positive. I decided to upgrade after I noticed a vast majority of the apps I use regularly released updated Mountain Lion compatible versions within days of its release. Also, there were no reports of data loss (not that I have to worry about that because of the religious fanatic level of backups I have) or any major problems from people that upgraded right away.

My Advice for Upgrading to Mountain Lion: 10.8

So, I followed my own advice previously posted about upgrading. I’ll recap it here. In short:

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RAM Speed Calculation

I see a lot of confusion about this subject so here is a quick guide for finding out what sort of RAM your computer takes. Let’s say you are out at a store, and see what looks like a great deal on some more RAM for your computer, but you don’t know what type to get. To find out what memory “PC#-XXXX{X}” your computer needs but you don’t have a manual handy, do the following:

If you know your data rate (1066 or more commonly 1333 these days) multiply it by 8 and round to the nearest hundred (but most manufacturers round down) and you can figure out what goes in the XXXX{X}. A data rate of 1333 * 8 = 10664 or “10600,” the “#” is for the data rate type. So  PC3-10600 (SO-204pin) is what 2011 MacBook Pros take. It is DDR3  1333 Memory.

My MacBook Pro (2009: 5,5) takes DDR3 – 1066. Using a quick bit o’ Math, that translates to PC3-8500

Macs Are Easy

If you happen to have your computer handy and you are on a Mac, you can also open the System Information Application located in

Applications/Utility/System Information (System Profiler in previous OS X releases)>Memory

or

Apple Menu>About This Mac>More Info…>Memory and it will tell you what type of DRAM it takes and how many slots are full.

Where to Buy

Among my favorite Mac hardware resources is Other World Computing because their prices are competitive and they stand behind their products. I had purchased RAM from OWC that ended up being defective. I did not find this out until my new installation of Leopard started crashing under heavy memory loads. (they change how OS X uses memory to use more of it if available, and when I upgraded the memory that was usually not used in 10.4, was activated in 10.5 to speed the system up.) But this discovery took place over a year after I purchased the memory from them. I was hoping “lifetime guaranty” meant what it suggested—a hassle free exchange. It took one phone call, my invoice number and about 10 minutes for them to cross ship a replacement set out to me. It was truly hassle free. Since then they are my first consideration when buying new memory. So, if their prices are within $10–15 of competitors, I go with them.

CSS3 animations & less layout headaches are pretty slick, but I’m not going to bother supporting MS browser quirks. I’ll wait for them to catch up. The person it matters to only cares about iPad compatibility (He uses Win7, but only FireFox). Mozilla browsers benefit from being closer to standards compliant though and the CSS property names are almost identical to webkit and the proposed standard. I’ll pop up the standard “Upgrade your browser to a web standards compliant one” with links to FF, Safari, Chrome, etc. considering Opera & others.

IE isn’t even on my radar anyway because no one I know uses it, and every time I have encountered it in the last year is when someone uses it to download one of the other browsers. I see more MacBooks and MacBook Pros and iPad at various coffee shops now than Windows Notebooks or Netbooks. It is clear that the tide has turned, but the business sector hasn’t realized it yet. About 5 years ago, after I got my 3rd Mac Laptop, I started working at coffee shops because I can get more done than anywhere else. (No one wants to interrupt the guy in black with headphones on furiously pounding away at the keyboard faster than they can and is always waiting for his computer to catch up to him.

Odd that none of CSS3 is finalized yet. It works great when it works though. I do wish there were better ways to see precedence of style definitions without uploading and without counting element, class and id priorities. Luckily Safari’s Develop Menu is extremely helpful at tracking down the ordering.

I just wish Coda, my Web Development program of choice, was updated with things like code folding, CSS3 compatibility and AJAX help.

I’ve found a ton of useful links in learning the newer (but still not finalized) CSS3, but the most helpful documentation is the actual W3C Working Drafts because they go into the “why” you want to do things this way and considerations others have noted in red which is pretty interesting. However, when it comes to drop down menus and the like I’ve have found very few guides that explain the syntax and reasoning while explaining the techniques.

I am really looking forward to CSS3’s grid module, but the box module is no slouch either, and using it is disgustingly easy. It works the way I wish bock elements did. If the browser makers all decided to support this stuff fully, post-haste, we could see web sites require a lot less time to do UI design and refaces.

I had more, but it is worthy of its own post…

Wow WordPress just failed me badly. I spent a good hour or more on a long post, and this is all that’s left:

Well, I planned on having the second article in the communications series out by now, but it hasn’t happened for a few reasons. None of them being procrastination. As it turns out, I wanted to refresh my memory of certain things before I started spouting off about them, so I went back and re-read some chapters and have just been letting it gel in my head. Also, I’ve been busy with life and a few recent experiences with miscommunication have made me want to include and consider them.

Also, I decided to get an iOS/OS X program so I could brainstorm and plan each article first then arrange them logically. I have a program called MindNode, that I downloaded from the AppStore when the AppStore premiered. However, I wasn’t happy with it because its intended purpose of allowing you to quickly get your ideas down was hobbled by the interface that got in your way and slowed down getting your ideas written down before they were lost. While looking for another app like it I found SimpleMind (free) while browsing there Appstore and also found out that they had an iOS version as well that was also free.

To read the reader’s digest summary of what I wrote and can remember… click onward!

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