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Archives:


Apple OS X "Mountain Lion" Upgrade

There is not much over-the-top wow about the OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion" upgrade, and it seems like the small upgrade fee goes to more subtle changes this time around. The upgrade itself was uneventful, but took a while due to database changes in Mail and Calendar, which needed to convert.As for functionality after the upgrade, here are a few things I found to be worth remembering - More apps that work
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OS X Lion 802.1q Tagged VLAN Setup

Apple obviously works hard to make things as easy as possible for users, but sometimes in their zeal for simplicity, technical things that should be represented simply in the GUI, are actually made more difficult and opaque. One such example is setting up 802.1q VLANs in OS X Lion 10.7. In  System Preferences, Network, you can use the gear icon at the bottom of the interface list, to Manage Virtual
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Efficient Gmail with OS X Mail.app

Greetings and Happy New Year. I am using Mail.app on OS X Lion, to retrieve mail in my Google Apps for Business Gmail account, and I wanted to blog about my setup, because I think it is relatively efficient and might help others. My goals are:To keep my inbox small, to allow Mail.app to perform well. This goes for any mailer, really. The larger the mail store, the slower it will get. To keep minimize
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Turbulence during iCloud Restoration to Replacement iPhone 4

My firm purchased the Apple "Joint Venture" service, which allows us to register our iDevices, and get priority support from the Geniuses at an Apple Store, as well as training. The home button on my iPhone 4 went wonky on me, and would not react in the normal way when pressed. So I called the JV guys up. They told me it is a typical problem, and offered to replace my iPhone in-store, since it was
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OS X 10.7 Lion and Lion Server Upgrade Notes

In this post I will share my notes on the upgrade from OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" to 10.7 "Lion". This is not meant to be a comprehensive review but I hope someone can find some benefit in this information. I am an early adopter in most cases and a software lover (fanatic or addict might be a more appropriate adjective!), so I bit the bullet for this upgrade as soon as I could get it, knowing that I
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Happy, SuperDuper! Happy.

My hard-working Macbook Pro, which I keep running pretty much 24x7 without a break, had a hard disk failure yesterday. The dead disk was inconsolable, and no amount of Disk Utility or fsck or Applejack would cure its ills. I tried the usual boot-from-install-dvd-and-run-disk-utility, but that did not work either, and the fact that I do a daily Cocktail run to keep things clean wasn't relevant - a dead
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Got Mojibake in Mail.app? Here's a Cure.

If you use OS X Mail to send Japanese email, you may find that some recipients complain that your Japanese is "mojibake" or garbled. If you are getting this feedback you can set your default Character Set encoding in the terminal. How to Set Mail.app's Default Charset Here's how to change it. Shut down mail, then in Terminal: $ defaults write com.apple.mail NSPreferredMailCharset "ISO-2022-JP" That
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Opening a Tab-Delimited "CSV" in Apple iWork Numbers

I like Numbers, from Apple's competent and beautiful iWork suite, but there are still things where it is different from Microsoft Excel, and hence it feels somewhat unfamiliar at times. For example, although Excel has never been good at handling text files saved in UTF-8 format (a big deal for those of us who work in Asia), it does have a nice Wizard for importing CSV or TSV text files. Some applications
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Fixing an Unexpected Prompt Hostname in OS X

In Mac OS X, you may have noticed if you use the Terminal that OS X automatically picks up what it thinks your hostname should be and sets it. This is nice, but the problem with it is if any utility uses your hostname to set config files, you'll have a different config file every time. How to fix a "Strange Hostname" in an OS X Prompt If you are getting varied prompts that look like this...: rcogley@em60-123-194-6
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Aperture 3 Upgrade Observations

My upgrade to Apple's Aperture 3 came over the weekend so I upgraded and started letting it analyze faces using the iPhoto-inspired "Faces and Places" feature. Here's a few observations from the upgrade process and just a little use of the Faces feature. Aperture 3's icons are colorful, compared to its predecessor. I think they still look professional, but they are a little "friendlier" and more
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Set MBR Correctly to Backup Successfully with OS X Time Machine

If you use Time Machine on OS X, you need to ensure your target drive is formatted with the correct Master Boot Record type. Time Machine requires either "Apple Partition Map" (works with PowerPC or Intel but is best for PowerPC) or "GUID Partition Table" (works with Intel). There are a couple of problems which lead to this requirement biting people on the you-know-where. Pre-formatted drives
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Fixing Aperture Vault Errors from Terminal

Apple's pro photo management application Aperture 2 is long overdue for an upgrade, and I hope that we'll see Aperture version 3 before long. But while I'm itching for new features and functions, Aperture 2 covers the bases for me, in spades. Aperture has a nice feature called Vaults, which lets you automatically back up your photo library with all metadata to an external drive or drives. Except when
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Handle Leading Zeros in iWork Numbers

Apple's iWork '09 Numbers spreadsheet is a versatile app with a lot of power available if you open your mind and don't expect it to be Excel. It does not quite do everything Excel does, but it handles UTF-8 well (where Excel does not and has never), and I take advantage of that often. I also love the formatting options and the multiple-sheets-per-document paradigm, but that is a different post. One
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Corrupt Apple Leopard Server Open Directory Services

I had a Leopard Server crash and burn so that nothing was responding, and when I forced the server to reboot (as well as rebooting a bunch of other ancillary servers and services just in case), I found an ominous sign in Server Admin, along with no user accounts in Workgroup Manager. Eek! Server Admin's Open Directory showed: LDAP Server is: stopped Password Server is: running Kerberos is: stopped Not
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Linking File Types and Apps in OS X

If you are an OS X user, and you find files of a certain type, say PDFs, are opening in one applications but you want them to open in a different one, you can easily change the association using Finder. How to Re-associate File Types with Applications in OS X Here's how: Select a file in Finder and ctrl-click it. Select "get info" from the context menu. Find the "open with" section in the "get
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Directory Utility MIA in Snow Leopard?

Is Directory Utility, which has been available in /Applications/Utilities, missing in action in Snow Leopard? No, it's just been moved to Core Services. Access it this way: Open Apple Menu, System Preferences. Enter Accounts, clicking the lock to authenticate as needed. Click Login Options at the bottom of the accounts list. Click Edit, to the right of "Network Account Server." Click Open Directory
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Fixing EMobile USB Dialup on Snow Leopard

I just installed Snow Leopard OS X 10.6 with no problems after getting a replacement for a bad Family Pack install disk (the Shibuya Apple Store said that many people reported the same), and found that my EMobile Huawei D02HW USB Wireless Dialup card, which was fine in Leopard, died when Snow Leopard was installed. Reinstalling the EMobile Huawei D02HW on Snow Leopard Here's how I fixed it: Deleted
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Shared iTunes Music Storage

My family has a shared iMac G5 running Leopard OS X 10.5.7 and iTunes 8.2 (both the latest as of 13 July 2009), and recently I noticed we were running low on disk space, so I did some digging via du at the command line. I found that we were eating space by ingesting CDs into iTunes, which would get copied to our respective local user folders. After a little research, I found the Apple KB article
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iPhone 3GS Unfairly Expensive in Japan for Upgraders

I went to a Softbank shop in Shibuya, Tokyo and asked how much it would cost to upgrade an iPhone 3G to an iPhone 3GS. The clerk told me that for the 16GB model it would be an additional JPY 780 per month for 24 months, totaling JPY 18,720, assuming the continuation of my current contract. That sounded about right to me, given the US prices. I wanted to see if I could just buy one outright, and slipped
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iPhone OS 3.0 Tips on Parade

Apple released yesterday an updated iPhone operating system, iPhone OS 3.0, with a number of useful improvements. For me, the update itself was seamless, and took about 15 minutes after clicking the update button in iTunes. I upgraded first thing in the morning, but colleagues who tried later in the day had some delays. I guess it's to be expected when so many people try to download at the same time.
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Restoring Mail, but not via MobileMe Account Backups

So much for MobileMe backing up my Mail account data! I had a another weird crash, which has been plaguing me since I upgraded OS X Leopard to 10.5.7. The crash happens when I wake the computer from sleep, and plug in my firewire then USB hard drives. When the USB hits the socket, sometimes I get the grey screen of death, in which the only way to recover is a hard reset. This happened again today,
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Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.7 Update

I updated my MacBook Pro's OS X from 10.5.6 to 10.5.7 today, and there was a little hiccup. Here's what happened, but see UPDATES below: I noticed there was an update available, so I shut down all the user applications and things like ExpanDrive and Plaxo, then tried Software Update from the Apple menu. Software update started to work, then stalled at around 150 MB of 450 MB downloaded, claiming
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Does my SuperDrive do "dual-layer"?

If you are wondering whether the SuperDrive in your Mac is dual-layer capable, or whether it can store 8+ GB of data on a data DVD rather than 4+ GB, have a look at the System Profiler app (you can Spotlight it to easily find it if you use Leopard), and check Hardware, Disc Burning, DVD-Write. If you see the tell-tale DLs in the description, you're good to go. Just buy the appropriate media.
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Migrating User Folders in OS X Leopard Server

I did an experiment on my test Leopard Server to migrate User Folders from the default /Users to another direct-attached volume based on some questions that came up. The problem is, OS X Leopard Server defaults to using the system disk as the Users partition, and this disk is not often your largest disk. It can fill up quickly if users start storing their photos or music. Long story short, the trick
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Splitting Long Videos for YouTube in iMovie

iMovie, included among other excellent consumer applications in Apple's iLife 09, now provides an easy way to share your videos on Google's YouTube video sharing service. You just prep your video, and then use the Share menu to share it in various ways. However, YouTube has a 10 minute, 1GB limit. Using iMovie 09 with YouTube Here's a few tips to work with those YouTube limits: Confirm the total
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Happy 25th Birthday, Macintosh!

It's the 25th birthday of the Mac, and I for one hope I can use a system as good as my Mac for 25 more years. Omedetou! Thank you Apple, for bringing so many good things into this world.
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Address Book vCard to Windows User - Garbled Japanese Fonts etc.

Apple's "Address Book" is included with OS X and is part of the "triumvirate" which also includes Mail.app and iCal.app, gives you the ability to drag address cards to Mail, where they are automatically pasted in their vCard, or VCF, form. Problems Sending vCards to Windows Users In trying to send VCFs to Windows Outlook users, I discovered two problems by trial and error. First, the Windows users
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Upload Photos in Specified Order to Flickr from Aperture for Better Visibility

Pro photographer Thomas Hawk gives good advice in his article about getting attention on Flickr (whether that's a good thing or not is a different matter!) that you should upload fewer shots with the best one last. So if you're an Aperture user, how do you accomplish this sort of forced upload order to Flickr without having to upload each photo individually? I'm using the Connected Flow FlickrExporter
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Finding Photos within a Date Range in Aperture

A friend using Apple's powerful Aperture photo management application asked me how to sort photos into date ranges, such as an entire year, a calendar month, or by day. Here's how to do it with Aperture's Smart Album feature. First, create the Smart Album by ctrl-clicking on the Library folder and choosing "New Smart" then "Album". The same thing is available from the File menu. A grey-black semi-transparent
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SproutCore - Apple's Open Source Javascript Development Platform

If the new desktop-like apps in MobileMe, Apple's replacement for its .mac service, are any indication, SproutCore is going to be the source of some really incredible apps. AppleInsider calls it Cocoa for the Web.
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Large 450MB Upgrade to Leopard 10.5.3

This AM I upgraded my two macs, a first generation MBP and a G5 iMac, to Leopard 10.5.3. Please note, the upgrade is large, at 450 MB, and when you finally restart it seems to cause Mail and iCal to freeze. You need to allow it to perform its processing on those apps, because it apparently does some kind of check on the mail and calendar contents. After the upgrade, I noticed that Option-Cmd-Eject
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Flushing DNS

When accessing websites or mailservers, your DNS resolver caches the request so that future lookups are fast. However, sometimes when a zone on DNS is being changed while you work, you want to be able to clear the cache to force the resolver to get the latest name:IP address pair mappings. Here are some command line commands for flushing the DNS cache on your local machine: On Mac OS X Tiger: lookupd
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Tip - Get the OS X Version from CLI

If you are logged into OS X as usual, you can get your system version from "About This Mac" in the Apple menu. This is not helpful when you are remotely connected to a server via SSH, however. So how do you do it? You can get OS X's version from the command line, like this:jrclt2007:~ rcogley$ sw_versProductName: Mac OS XProductVersion: 10.5.1BuildVersion: 9B18
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Tip - OS X Leopard Screen Sharing Tweaks

The default Leopard screen sharing app can be made a little more ARD-like, if you add some parameters via the "defaults write" command in Terminal. Check out the default style by sharing the screen of a neighboring computer in Finder. You can enable Screen Sharing on a machine in System Preferences, Sharing. Now, to add the extra settings, first, open Terminal from your Applications, Utilities folder,
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Tutorial - Making Nice with Mail.app Rules

Tutorial Introduction I got Mail.app set up to use Gmail's IMAP, and wrote a bit about it in this tutorial. One of the next steps I wanted to take, was to somehow manage all the mail that comes in from subscriptions, or, regular announcements from colleagues regarding common reporting milestones. In Microsoft Entourage, I was using an AppleScript and Rules, so I reckoned I could use a similar approach
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Apple - MacBook Air

Apple - MacBook Air  - wow! How do they do it?! What an incredibly slim laptop. I like my MacBook Pro because it has the ports I need in it already, but, this is typical Apple pushing (er, forcing?) the envelope by removing the network port and optical drive. Perhaps this will drive WiFi innovation or perhaps Apple has something else up their sleeves?! By the way, TimeMachine now works over wireless
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Very Sexy - Apple Docking Patent Works Perfectly with Ultra-Slim MacBook

Just saw Gizmodo's article on the Apple Docking Patent for a slim notebook that docs inside an iMac. Wow, that's sexy!
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Mail.app 3.x in Leopard - Rule to Tag Mail as "Expiring" Takes Advantage of Address Book Groups

As a New Year's project, besides biking a lot up and down along the Sakai River on my new Centurion, I decided to try switching from Entourage 2004 and its monolithic mail store file, to the Mail.app that comes with OS/X Leopard and use Gmail IMAP. One thing I have set up in Entourage is a rule that runs an AppleScript to search a long list of sender email addresses from which comes mail I want to
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