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Archives:


Fixing a Mac OS X Spotlight Index, that Doesn't

After a spate of Mail.app problems probably related to having too damn many mail accounts and messages, I had to do the "Mail.app Reimport Samba" taking hours to let Mail.app reimport the entire mail store. After that got resolved, I found out that my Mail.app "Entire Message" selection in Search was greyed out. This turned out to be a symptom of a problem with the Spotlight index, since this search
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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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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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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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Disc Burnin' with Disco

Disco is a polished, inexpensive (USD 29.95, currently 10 dollars off as of 13 May 2009) alternative to Toast Titanium. I've had mixed results with Toast, and did not want to pay the upgrade fee, so I started looking for alternatives. I've done a few burns in Disco so far, and it seems to work quite well. No problems or "coasters" yet, at this time. Here's some highlights: Disco supports spanning
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Path Finder - Collapsing All Folders

I could not find this information in the help file or on the CocoaTech forum. If you use CocoaTech's Path Finder, the Finder replacement that has a lot of extra functionality that is missing in the normal OS X Finder, you may be browsing around in a folder with many subfolders, and wish to somehow "collapse" the folders you opened, to clean up the view. Clicking the disclosure triangle of 100 open
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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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Color Management in Flock (and Firefox)

If you use anything but IE 7 you are still out of luck, but Safari users have had this functionality for quite a while. I refer to "color management", which is the concept of adjusting the color properties of devices, like displays, monitors, printers or scanners, so that colors mean the same thing across devices, and more importantly look the same. The adjustment can be done in the operating system
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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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URL for MobileMe iDisk Public Folder

MobileMe iDisk users can share files Publicly, but it's less than obvious how to do it. Further, the whole MobileMe experience is still a bit buggy as well, in my experience. Apple announced back in the summer when MobileMe launched, that easy sharing of public files via email would be "coming soon", and their site still reflects that notion. The MobileMe launch was not quite Apple, actually, and
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iPhone Tap Tips

After (finally!) getting a new iPhone and contract from Softbank here in Japan, just like I did with Mac Keyboard Shortcuts, I struggled a bit with the "tap sequences" one needs to learn to be able to input text or navigate efficiently in this superior smartphone. How to Manipulate the iPhone with Taps and Button Presses For convenience, I compiled a list of iPhone "Tap Tips", or shortcuts for tapping
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Word 2007 Performance Optimization Tips

A Windows user colleague asked about optimizing Word 2007 documents because he is having no end of problems working with 100 or 200 page documents in Word. If you are pushing the envelope in Word use, you might like to keep in mind several recommendations. Here are some Optimization Hints for Word 2007 Defragment your hard disk regularly. This is not necessary on a Mac but for Windows, you definitely
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Save Local Disk with Gmail "Advanced IMAP Controls"

I outlined "Setting up Leopard Mail.app with Google Gmail IMAP" previously, and Google Labs has released a new feature for regular and Google Applications Premier Edition Gmail - Advanced IMAP Controls. This tip shows you how to avoid having to sync the GMail "All Mail" folder, thus saving a considerable amount of local hard disk space in many cases. Before enabling Google Labs features, note the caveat
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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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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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