Category: Mac & OS X

Apple Watch screensaver for OS X

Apple Watch screensaver

If you like having new screensaver on your Mac, grab this Apple Watch screensaver from Rasmus Nielsen. With 5 different watch faces and 15 color combinations to choose from, it’s Retina-ready, free and looks beautiful. You can download it here.

Weather in the Mac’s menubar: Welcome back, old friend

Years ago I used to have an app that showed the weather in my designated cities in the menubar. It wasn’t overloaded with features, it was free, and it worked great. Then it stopped working, and users gave up waiting for updates.

Years went by without a peep from the developer, until…

Meteorologist
Meteorologist has finally been updated to work with Yosemite and El Capitan. Completely re-written in Swift, the new version looks the same, but works much better.

I like that I can get a snapshot of the weather where I live, where I work, and a number of other cities with a click of an icon in the menubar—without all the data-sucking maps and doc-dads of other weather apps. If you’re looking for a weather app, I encourage you to give it a try.

How to force your Mac to shut its pie-hole at startup time

Sound icon

When your Mac powers on, the process starts with a (usually) loud and obnoxious boot chime like the one below.

I love the sound the first time I boot-up a new Mac, but after that it can be quite annoying. If you have your own reasons for not wanting to hear the startup chime, you can temporarily or permanently disable it.

To temporarily disable the startup chime, simply hold down the Mute key (F-10) on any supported keyboard as soon as you hit the power button or select the restart menu item from a running system.

For a more permanent solution, enter the following text exactly as shown in the Terminal app:
sudo nvram SystemAudioVolume=%80
Enter your password, and Shut Down (it must be a Shut Down, not a Restart) your Mac to see if it works.

It should work for most Macs, but if it doesn’t then try substituting the “80” part with a pair of characters from 0-9 or A-F, depending on your system. You can check to see what method your system uses by typing the following in the Terminal:
nvram SystemAudioVolume

For those who don’t like fussing with the Terminal, you can download Onyx for free and go into the Login tab and click the Turn Off button for the Startup Sound. This method is probably going to be the easiest for most people.

The Apple Mac App Store sucks: Reason #237

Mac App Store fail

It seems like every time I have to update an Apple application on my Mac (not an OS update) using the Mac App Store, I experience obnoxiously slow download speeds, and a plethora of update issues. The screenshot above shows off what happens almost every time I update iMove (it happens with Pages & Numbers as well, though not Keynote).

The fact that I’ve already endured a painfully slow download of a 2GB+ update to iMovie 10.1.1, and am able to launch the app and use it doesn’t seem to bother the App Store app. It continues to tell me that I have an iMovie update. It continues to try to download the 2GB+ iMovie update. It continues to suck donkey balls.

I’ve tried all manner of fixes, but the Mac App Store app just insists on sucking donkey balls.

What doesn’t fix it:
• Restart Mac App Store app
• Log out/in from App Store Account
• Log out/in from iCloud
• Log out/in from Mac
• Restart Mac
• Deleting all .plist files with the word ‘store’ in them

What does fix it:
• Re-downloading the giant and slow-downloading ‘update’ of iMovie

So to summarize… the Mac App Store sucks donkey balls. Phil Schiller (recently placed in charge of the Mac App Store at Apple) has his work cut out for him.

Dear Apple: Seriously???

I have a pretty darn fast Internet connection. Much faster than any streaming video service requires, and plenty fast enough for me to download large files with little eye-rolling and finger-tapping. But the thought of updating my iPhone makes me cringe.

When Apple pushes an update to iOS, you have two miserable choices.

Miserable choice #1:
You can render your phone completely useless for as long as it takes to download the OTA (over the air) update, unpack/prepare, install and restart your iPhone. The annoyance is compounded by the fact that you must keep the phone from “sleeping” while the update downloads, otherwise it just stalls. So you basically have to sit there like a jackass flicking the screen every minute or so to keep it active. Unless you have a death-wish, you definitely don’t want to do this while driving.

Miserable choice #2:
You can render your entire home network useless for hours by downloading an enormous iOS installer. It’s like downloading the entire OS just to get the updated components. Everyone in the house will hate you, because your Internet service slows to a crawl while you download what appears to be something the size of the entire Amazon video library just so your Apple Music app gets improved playlists, old photographs stop showing up in Photos app as new every time you connect your iPhone to your Mac, and your Email app works the way it should have to begin with.

iOS updates

…And as is always the case…
I decided to update to iOS 9.2 this morning. At 4am, to be exact. Nobody in my neighborhood is awake, so there is no internet traffic from other users in the local pipe. I made sure no other downloads of any kind were occurring. I decided to ‘download only’ the iOS update via iTunes on my Mac. The 2GB file download offers me the wonderful news that it might be finished downloading by the time I get home from work tonight. That doesn’t include actual install time.

So I decide to go the ‘quick’ route by doing the OTA download. A much smaller file, my iPhone claimed it only need ‘about 15 minutes’ to update. So after 40 minutes of downloading, another 15 or so minutes of updating, and 5 or so minutes of excruciatingly slow restarting, my phone is finally ready to use again.

In contrast, I downloaded and installed the entire Mac operating system from scratch in less time than it takes to do a run-of-the-mill iOS update. And I didn’t have to sit there and babysit the download—–as the Mac is smart enough to not fall asleep while downloading/installing.

Seriously, Apple. FIX THIS SHIT!

Can you really replace Mac OS X’s Finder?

Commander OneWhen I decided to take a look at Commander One, I did so with the expectation that I was going to be looking at something that was equal to or better than apps I was already familiar with and/or used on a regular basis—such as XtraFinder, Path Finder, Transmit, etc.. After looking at the feature list of Commander One, I immediately wondered if it could possibly deliver on the promises it made.

Commander One is what you would call a Finder Enhancement app. It simply recreates Finder windows and adds a multitude of tweaks and features to them. This is nothing new; XtraFinder does this to some extent, and and Path Finder have done these things for years. But Commander One promises to offer Path Finder-level features, plus a built-in FTP manager, at an affordable price through the Mac App Store—where you have the luxury of installing it on five Macs at a time. (more…)

Download, play and organize any type of video for 30% less

Elmedia Player appSimple, targeted solutions is the name of the game for me when it comes to 3rd party software. I no long want apps that try to do a whole bunch of loosely-related things just to justify the cost.

For as long as I can remember, people have been complaining about iTunes and web browsers as it relates to their ability to download and manage videos. And for several years I’ve been telling you about Elmedia Player Pro because I found it to be a great solution.

Eltima Software recently updated their powerful media player/manager Mac app, Elmedia Player, to version 6, bringing with it some speed improvements via hardware acceleration, and support for Apple’s latest OS X version, El Capitan.

If you’re wondering why you might need Elmedia Player, and what makes the Pro version worth $20, read on for a brief summary.
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Control window position with Spectacle

Spectacle

If you’re looking for a little more control over your Mac’s window placement but don’t want to waste time mousing around, Spectacle is the answer to your wish.

Spectacle allows you to move windows to full screen, top half, bottom half, left and right half position with a simple keyboard shortcut.