Tagged: OS X

Apple announces Mac OS X Mountain Lion; to be released this summer

Mountain Lion

See how innovations from iPad inspire new features for the Mac. And find out what’s coming this summer with OS X Mountain Lion. Messages, Reminders, Notes, Notification Center, Twitter, Airplay Mirroring, Game Center, and more. You love them on iPad. Now you’ll love them on your Mac. And with iCloud, they all work better together.

[ilink url=”http://www.apple.com/macosx/mountain-lion/”]Read more about OS X Mountain Lion here.[/ilink]

Apple releases Messages app; will replace iChat in Mac OS X Mountain Lion

MessagesDownload Messages Beta and get a taste of what’s coming in OS X Mountain Lion. When you install Messages, it replaces iChat. But iChat services will continue to work. And Messages brings iMessage to the Mac — just like on iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch running iOS 5.

Here are the features you can expect with Messages:

  • Send unlimited iMessages to any Mac, iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.
  • Start an iMessage conversation on your Mac and continue it on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.
  • Send photos, videos, attachments, contacts, locations, and more.
  • Launch a FaceTime video call and bring the conversation face-to-face.
  • Messages supports iMessage, AIM, Yahoo!, Google Talk, and Jabber accounts.

We knew this was coming, and it’ll be great to have all our messages synced across desktop and laptop Macs and our iDevices!

Download Messages beta here.

Adjust your Mac’s volume by tiny bits

I came across this post at CultofMac that explained how you can set your Mac’s volume to “ultra-quiet” via a combination of lowering the volume all the way, then hitting the mute key on your Mac’s keyboard. This sets the volume to a barely audible level. The problem of course is that it’s barely audible.

Volume bezel

Adjust the volume by quarter bars at a time

Instead, just hold down the Shift + Option keys while using the Volume keys on the keyboard. This will allow you to adjust the volume (up or down) by quarter bars at a time, instead of full bars at a time.

Control multiple Macs with one keyboard and mouse

teleport lets you use a single mouse and keyboard to control several Macs. Simply reach an edge of your screen, and your mouse teleports to your nearby Mac, which also becomes controlled by your keyboard.

The pasteboard can be synchronized, and you can even drag & drop files between your Macs. You can make a donation to the developer if you find teleport useful in your workflow.


Control multiple Macs with one keyboard and mouse

teleport features:

  • keyboard bindings: you can assign a keyboard shortcut to a controlled Mac to directly jump to it.
  • host specific options: you can define the switching and sharing options per host, to have different settings.
  • much improved file transfers: a lot faster, specially when transferring folders, no more size limitation, supports multiple files.
  • full multi-screens support: all screens of shared Macs are now visible, so pairing a secondary screen is much easier than before.
  • full gestures support, as well as volume controls.
  • host location indicator: when positioning a host around your Mac, a red line appear at the location where the switch will occur.
  • sound notification: teleport can play a sound when it switches to another Mac.
  • host appearance indicator: when a host comes online, a line will flash on the corresponding border to notify that you can now control it.

Download teleport here.

Open files using OS X’s Quick Look feature

Quick Look is a handy feature of Mac OS X that allows you to preview a file simply by hitting the Space Bar while the file is selected. A large preview window opens allowing you to see what the file is (provided the file format is supported by OS X.

Open files with Quick Look

Quick Look can open files with a simple mouse shortcut

With OS X Lion, you can open the image by clicking the small button in the upper right corner of the Quick Look window, but it’s much easier to simply double-click the Quick Look window. Not a huge time-saver, but every click saved is a click earned, I always say.

Set the time interval of OS X’s Time Machine backups

When Apple introduced Time Machine in OS X 10.5 Leopard, it was a glorious day for everyone who struggled with overly complicated backup software. You simply turn it on and forget it, resting easy that your drive is constantly being backed up in case of drive failure. The key word that soon frustrated many users is constantly.

Time Machine backs up files every hour, and if you’re a power-user who updates and saves lots of files (particularly large ones), Time Machine could theoretically never stop working. The problem is that for many users, the Mac can get bogged-down while backing up, in some cases to the point of being unusable.


Thankfully, Stefan Klieme wrote a simple piece of software called TimeMachineScheduler that allows you to easily adjust the backup interval of Time Machine. With TimeMachineScheduler you can set the interval from one to 12 hours, limit backups to WiFi or hard-wired connection only, skip backups during specified hours, and more.

TimeMachineScheduler is free (donations welcome) and works with OS X 10.5 or later on Intel Macs. Because my particular workflow doesn’t require hourly backups, I love this little utility and the features it offers me.

Paste text without formatting in OS X Lion

If you want to copy formatted text from one document into a new one but don’t want to keep the formatting, you can do so with a simple keyboard shortcut.

Simply copy the text as you normally would (Command + C), then move to where you want to paste the text and hit Command + Shift + Option + V. Your text will be pasted with no formatting whatsoever.

This is particularly useful when copying colored text with one font and pasting it into a new document that uses completely different fonts and colors.

The problem with Mac OS X Lion’s Auto Save feature

Auto SaveMac OS X 10.7 Lion’s Auto Save feature is one of the highlights of the operating system revision, especially for inexperienced users. It removes the need to remember to press Command-S (or take a mouse trip to choose File > Save) in applications that support the feature. Lion automatically and continuously saves every change to disk. However, one casualty of the feature is the age-old “Save As” command, used to create and then work on a new file with the same contents as the original. Save As has been replaced by a cumbersome duplicate-and-then-save behavior.

Tidbits goes into detail about how Auto Save works, and the problem with it replacing the ages-old Save As command. I’m not a fan of Auto Save, which is to say I absolutely hate it. I hope Apple makes it an option I can turn off in future OS revisions, but I suspect we’re seeing the beginning of the end of the file system methodology we’ve known for years. (more…)

Quicky check your hard drive’s free space

Quick Look storage

Quick Look is more than just image previews

The Quick Look feature in Mac OS X Lion is useful for previewing images, text files and websites. But you can also use it to quickly check the free space remaining on your hard drive.

Simply click on the Mac HD icon on the Desktop or in a Finder window and hit the spacebar.

Another quick way to check your free space is to turn on the Status Bar in Finder windows by visiting View>Show Status Bar (Command + /) and click on the Mac HD icon in the Finder window. The Status Bar at the bottom of the Finder window will display your free space.