Tagged: Mac OS X

Is your favorite app compatible with Mac OS X (10.7) Lion?

Mac OS X Lion app compatibility

Mac OS X Lion app compatibility chart

RoaringApps has put together a fairly extensive, and constantly updated, list of current applications that reveal their compatibility status with Apple’s next big OS update, OS X 10.7 Lion. You can view the collection in list format, or as an icon grid as seen in the screenshot above.

As far as graphic designers concerned with Adobe apps, it appears that most do run under Lion, but with some issues. I’m sure Adobe will be providing updates shortly after Lion’s release.

Delay the launch of your OS X apps, utilities and helpers at startup

DelayedLauncher 2.0

DelayedLauncher 2.0 allows to set the order and delay time between app launches at startup

If waiting for all those startup utilities, helpers and applications annoys you every time you boot up/restart your Mac, rejoice in the fact that their is a simple solution.

While you could spend the time to set up an Automator Applescript to set the order and delay time between apps launching, it’s far easier to use DelayedLauncher to do the job.

Delayed launcher allows you to set the order your helpers, utilities and apps launch at boot time, as well as set a delay between each one. This can be quite helpful because OS X attempts to launch all the items in the Startup Items list (in your System Preferences/Accounts tab) at one time – thereby slowing the time until you can actually use your Mac down. In some cases, it can bring your entire system to a crawl until they’ve all launched.

Mac OS X Lion screenshots

Lion Address Book

The new OS X Lion Address Book app according to screenshots

Razorianfly has (re)posted screenshots it acquired revealing some of the new interface enhancements found in the upcoming Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion).

Among the screenshots is one of the new Address Book app, which appears to take after the iPad version of the app. It should be noted that these screenshots being posted break the NDA the original author accepted.

Shortcut: Full screen Quick Look

One of the handiest features of Mac OS X for me has been Quick Look, the ability to quickly view a compatible file simply by selecting it in the Finder and hitting the Space bar.

Quick Look keyboard shortcuts

The two faces of Mac OS X's Quick Look feature: Regular and full screen

But OS X has the annoying habit of displaying the selected graphic at an arbitrary size on your screen (as seen on the left in the image above). You can then hit the double-arrow icon in the Quick Look preview to zoom it to full screen. This is doubly annoying for anyone with a large screen because not only do you not use the full size of your screen, but you then have to move your mouse all the way down to the bottom of the screen to click the icon.

Thankfully, you can avoid all that mousing around and enjoy a full screen Quick Look preview (as seen on the right in the image above) simply by using the keyboard shortcut of Option + Space bar instead of just the Space bar.

You can also view a slideshow in full screen mode by selecting multiple files before entering Quick Look. To exit full screen Quick Look, simply hit the ESC key in the upper left of your keyboard.

Redesign your home or office with Sweet Home 3D

I recently had the need to produce a generic looking floorplan for a project I was working on, but surprisingly couldn’t find an appropriate piece of freely-available artwork on the web. That’s when I came across Sweet Home 3D.

Sweet Home 3D

Sweet Home 3D makes interior design simple

Sweet Home 3D is a free interior design application that helps you place your furniture on a 2D house floorplan, with a 3D preview. It’s relatively simple to get started using, and since it’s free it’s worth checking out if you’re considering redesigning your office or home.

Along with the app itself, you can download plenty of 3D extras to use in your floorplans.

30 Mac OS X apps and utilities I love: Part 3

Mac OS X ApplicationsOver the years I’ve installed a lot of commercial software, shareware and freeware on my Macs. I love trying new apps. That being said, most of what I install gets used once or twice, then discarded. Last week I published 10 of my favorite apps in Part 1, and another 10 in Part 2. Today I conclude the series with 10 more apps that I love to use.

The applications listed below contains a few “old timers” and several Johnny-Come-Lately apps that have found a permanent home on my Mac.

Snapz Pro XSnapz Pro X

The last few years has seen several fancy-pants screen capture utilities come to market. They all look spectacular, but I’ve stayed with Snapz Pro X because it offers the perfect balance of features at a reasonable price. Snapz Pro X offers everything you would expect in a screen capture utility, with the added ability to capture video and audio of your Mac’s screen (a feature I love to use when a web site attempts to prevent downloading of audio or video!). When it comes to static image capture of your screen, Snapz Pro can capture your entire screen, specific windows, or user definable portions of your screen with a keyboard shortcut, and save it in a number of formats. It also gives you the ability to keep the cursor visible, keep or remove drop shadows, add watermarks, and much more. Snapz Pro X with video capture capability costs you $69 and is well worth it if you do a lot of screen captures.

30 Mac OS X apps and utilities I love: Part 2

Mac OS X ApplicationsOver the years I’ve installed a lot of commercial software, shareware and freeware on my Macs. I love trying new apps. That being said, most of what I install gets used once or twice, then discarded. A few days ago, I shared the first group of apps I use regularly. Today I have another collection of applications and utilities I use on a regular basis.

The applications listed below contains some names you’ll probably be familiar with, but there’s a reason for that. They’re just superb at what they do, thus very popular.


If you work on a MacBook Pro, you no doubt have your LCD screen set to dim and turn off after a relatively short amount of inactivity in order to save battery charge. This is generally fine unless you’re doing a lot of reading or watching a DVD. Caffeine is a small application that lives in your menubar that solves this problem by preventing your screen from dimming and the computer from sleeping. A click of the coffee cup icon in the menubar prevents your computer from sleeping for a user-specified amount of time ranging from 15 minutes to 5 hours (or indefinitely). Caffeine is a free utility.

30 Mac OS X apps and utilities I love: Part 1

Mac OS X ApplicationsOver the years I’ve installed a lot of commercial software, shareware and freeware on my Macs. I love trying new apps. That being said, most of what I install gets used once or twice, then discarded. But there is a small collection of apps and utilities for Mac OS X that I’ve found to be extremely useful and kept around for the long haul.

I have no set criteria for deciding what stays and what goes, but for the most part the app has to serve a particular need, look good, and work as advertised. The following is not a complete list of what’s installed on my Mac, but it represents what applications and utilities have stood the test of time, and what I use the most.

My favorite apps are, in no particular order:


There are lots of note-taking apps out there, but when I set out to find one that was dead simple, had a Mac and web client, and synced with my iPhone – I found only one that worked for me. JustNotes uses the SimpleNote service and syncs with all my Macs, my iPhone. It offers a menubar item for quick access, a few keyboard shortcuts, and not much more. It’s exactly what I was looking for, and it’s free.

Note: SimpleNote offers a web client, as well as iPhone app by itself – so you only need JustNotes (or other compatible app) if you want a Mac client.

Hey Apple, give me what I want (cause surely the whole world wants it to)

Mac OS X FinderI often see comments on Mac OS X feature-related articles from users who feel that Apple should include this or that feature. No matter how obscure the feature request is, they’re convinced that the whole world could use it.

I normally ignore such fluff, but this past week I managed to come up with a list of a few things that I think Apple should build-in to Mac OS X to make me happy. Because you know if I want it, chances are that everyone else on the planet does too, right?

Mac OS X admin password

Mac OS X doesn't trust me!

For starters Apple, since I’m smarter than your average rock and managed to set up my Mac’s user account with administrative privileges, can you please stop asking me for my God-foresaken password every time I want to install something? Please! I get it, security and all that. But I’ve set myself up as an admin user for a reason. Can you at least offer the option of not asking me for a password? I know, enabling that feature will require me to enter my password, but that’s ok this one time!

Wait Apple, don’t run off just yet, I’ve got more. (more…)

Mac OS X startup key combinations

Startup keyboard combinations have been around since the early days of the Mac operating system. Holding down specific keys while pushing the power button offer a plethora of options for troubleshooting when your Mac starts up.

Here are the most useful keyboard startup combinations:

Key/Combo What it does
⌥ (Option) Display all bootable volumes (Startup Manager)
⇧ (Shift) Perform Safe Boot (start up in Safe Mode)
C Start from a bootable disc (DVD, CD)
D Start up in Apple Hardware Test (AHT), if the Install DVD 1 is in the computer
T Start in FireWire target disk mode
N Start from NetBoot server
X Force Mac OS X startup (if non-Mac OS X startup volumes are present)
⌘-V Start in Verbose Mode
⌘-S Start in Single User Mode
⌘-⌥-P-R Reset NVRAM
Mouse button Eject CD/DVD and start up from hard drive

Most of these keyboard combinations will work with any modern Mac, but some models may have variations that work or don’t work.