Category: Mac & OS X

Mac OSX topics

OS X Yosemite font management advice

Font Book
If you’ve upgraded to Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10), there is one important piece of advice I can give you as it pertains to fonts: Don’t ever, ever, EVER move or delete HelveticaNeueDeskInterface.ttc. You will completely hose your system, requiring a re-install of the system, or some work with a recent backup. Either way, it’s just not worth messing around with.

Unlike Mavericks (10.9), Yosemite does not have a fall-back option when it comes to the main system font. Desktop icons will use Helvetica, but menus, dialog boxes and the rest of the interface will simply be blank and unusable.

The following are the require fonts for Yosemite, and should not be moved or deleted from the System/Library/Fonts folder:

• Apple Color Emoji.ttf
• AppleSDGothicNeo-Bold.otf
• AppleSDGothicNeo-Regular.otf
• Courier.dfont
• Geneva.dfont
• Helvetica.dfont
• HelveticaNeue.dfont
• HelveticaNeueDeskInterface.ttc
• Keyboard.ttf
• LastResort.ttf
• LucidaGrande.ttc
• Menlo.ttc
• Monaco.dfont
• Symbol.ttf
• Times.dfont

All other fonts can be safely moved or deleted if you wish, though some may be required by other app such as Pages, Keynote, etc. But in general, those fonts are found in the main Library folder, not the System folder.

Why you shouldn’t install MacKeeper

MacKeeper

But the real problems with MacKeeper that I can see is that it provides questionable value to most users, can destabilize an otherwise stable Mac, and embeds itself so thoroughly into the operating system that removing it is an uncomfortable and weird process.

iMore’s Peter Cohen wrote a great article about MacKeeper, a highly-suspect disk utility for the Mac that’s been floating around for quite a long time. He makes a great argument for not installing it.

I’ll go one step further than Peter and say that running ANY disk utility is largely placebo, and quite often causes more problems than it solves. I haven’t run a disk utility program since the pre-Mac OS X days and have zero problems.

If you want to feel like you’re doing all you can to keep your Mac running smooth, try this:

  • Let your Mac stay on all night for six days, then shut it down on the seventh before you go to bed. Mac OS X runs maintenance scripts overnight.
  • Run Onyx once a month to empty caches.
  • Limit the amount of apps you install that run in the background. Generally these are apps whos icon lives in your menubar.
  • If something does go wrong or your Mac is running abnormally slow, have an experienced friend take a look at it, or take it to an Apple Authorized repair shop.

The ‘Genius’ inside your computer

EtreCheck

EtreCheck is a simple little app to display the important details of your system configuration and allow you to copy that information to the Clipboard. It was designed by an Apple engineer, and is meant to be used with Apple Support Communities to help people help you with your Mac.

It’s a nifty little utility that will list every daemon, launch agent, kernel extension and plugin running on your system, as well as some other insightful information. It’s like having a Apple Genius living inside your Mac. The app really does nothing you can’t do with the Terminal, but it makes it much easier to read and decipher.

Advice: Building the best graphic design toolbox

There is no perfect set of tools for graphic designers. We’re all unique, we all work in different ways, and budgets always come in to play. I’ve put together a breakdown of major factors when building the best graphic design hardware and software toolbox based on my experience. Consider the following as a guide, rather than a set of absolute rules.
Design Toolbox

Keep it simple

I’ve been a graphic designer for 30 years, using the Macintosh the entire time to produce work for some great clients. I’ve worked for ad agencies large and small, a design firm, printing companies, and I’ve freelanced full and part time. Over the years I’ve learned a few short rules as it pertains to building my design toolbox and getting things done—and it has held true everywhere I’ve worked. Those rules are: keep it simple no matter the cost, don’t get caught up in software trends and gimmicks, buy a little more than you think you need, because you will grow into it. The following is more specific advice for building your design toolbox. (more…)

Where are VIP Contacts for Messages and FaceTime?

I’d love to see VIP moved from Mail’s settings to Contacts proper, so that I can make sure the people who are literally “very important” get through more easily, no matter how they choose to communicate with me. And it’d be great if it happened with iOS 9.

As soon as I saw the VIP feature of Mail, I wondered why I was setting it up in Mail instead of Contacts. It makes no sense. If someone is in my VIP list, they’re a VIP in Mail, Messages, and FaceTime, not just Mail.

Rene Ritchie goes into more detail at iMore.

Block ads in iTunes Radio on Mac and iOS

Irradiate

iTunes Radio is great, but the advertisements that are played and displayed while listening to it are annoying.
Irradiate is a quick, easy, and free tool for Mac and iOS to block advertisements from being played or displayed while you are listening to iTunes Radio.

I haven’t tried this on my iPhone yet, but it works great on the Mac.

How to Flush DNS Cache in OS X Yosemite

TerminalSome Mac users may encounter situations where they need to flush DNS cache in OS X for a name server to resolve properly, or for some DNS address change to become noticed by their individual computer. Longtime Mac users will know that resetting DNS cache has changed in nearly every version of Mac OS X, and OS X Yosemite is no different. Thankfully, Paul over at OSXDaily has a great write-up on how to flush all your DNS Cache.

To flush and reset all DNS caches in Yosemite, launch Terminal app and type the following command:
sudo discoveryutil mdnsflushcache;sudo discoveryutil udnsflushcaches;say flushed

Be sure to check out the article linked above for more Terminal commands regarding DNS Cache.

Change OS X Yosemite’s default System font

Fira System Font Replacement

Though you can’t choose any font you wish, you can use these modified Fira Sans fonts to replace Mac OS X Yosemite’s default System Font. Best of all, it’s easy to do and involves absolutely no hacking of system files.

  1. First, download Fira System Font Replacement.
  2. Next, drop the fonts into your /Library/Fonts folder. Note that this is not your User Library folder, but the one you see at the root level of your storage drive.
  3. Now simply relaunch the Finder. To do that, Option+Click the Finder icon in the Dock and choose “Relaunch” from the menu.

You should immediately see the new font appear in all your windows and menus. If you don’t like Fira Sans as the system font, you can simply remove the fonts from the Fonts folder and relaunch the Finder again.

As I stated at the start, this won’t work with just any font. This version of Fira Sans has been altered to supersede Apple’s default system font. The original system fonts haven’t been touched, which is why you can switch back simply by removing the Fira Sans.

These fonts are intended as a system font replacement on Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite. They are based on the Fira Sans font family by Erik Spiekermann and Ralph du Carrois, and are licensed under the Open Font License version 1.1 or later. The System font replacement package has been prepared by Jens Kutilek.