Tagged: OS X

Troubleshooting Apple’s Time Machine

Time MachineError messages on the Mac have always been a mystery, rarely do they tell you anything that can point you in the right direction for troubleshooting. Mac OS X is no different, and Time Machine has plenty of its own error messages to learn and love.

Thankfully, James Pond has put together a pretty good Time Machine troubleshooting guide and made it available for everyone.

I came across the site this past weekend because my Time Machine backups kept failing, and I had no idea why. The site offers a Dashboard Widget that helped diagnose the problem, and in fact pointed me directly to the file that was causing the backup to fail.

Mac OS X Lion and Adobe Creative Suite: what you need to know

Lion and Adobe CS

The question of the day: Will Adobe CS apps choke on Lion fur?

I received several emails since yesterday morning asking why I hadn’t posted an extensive review of Mac OS X Lion. I’ve already stopped replying to those emails, and thought it better to update everyone on the most common subjects.

Why no review of Lion on The Graphic Mac?

If you go through the archives here, you’ll find that I’ve never really reviewed the latest Mac OS X upgrades. The reason is simple. Everyone else already has it covered. Seriously, if you really want to read re-hashed press releases from Apple you don’t need me to do it. The features found in Lion are awesome. The updated interface is awesome. The new Mail is awesome. And for the most part, everything works just as before.

Just buy it, it’s only $30 and it’s awesome.

I’m running Adobe Creative Suite version X, will it work with Lion?

I run Adobe Creative Suite 5, so that’s the only version I can comment on with first-hand knowledge. In short, it works just as it did in Snow Leopard. And I mean that literally. Adobe CS apps don’t take advantage of any of Lion’s new features like Versions, Full Screen, Restore, and some multi-touch gestures.

There are a few issues with CS apps running under OS X 10.7, which Adobe has outlined in this Knowledge Base article, but for the most part they are minor.

Do the Adobe CS apps run faster or slower in Lion?

See comments above. They run just about the same as they did in Snow Leopard – whether you consider that fast or slow is a matter of opinion.

When will Adobe update their apps to work with Lion?

I work for an ad agency, not Adobe.

Is it hard to get used to running iOS on a desktop Mac?

No. But that’s because the idea that Lion is iOS for the Mac is way overblown. Apple has implemented a few features from iOS, ALL of which can be turned off or simply ignored. Other than the interface colors, and a few other minor tweaks, it’s not a whole lot different than running Snow Leopard.

That being said, if you’re unhappy with the direction Lion has taken, you’re going to really hate the next few years. If you buy a new mouse for your Mac today, it’s not far-fetched to say it’s probably the last one you’ll ever use (if it’s a decently made one, anyway). That spaghetti string of cables behind your desk is probably going to get a lot smaller in the coming years. Everything is going wireless – including the charging of your iPhones, iPods and other small devices.

I believe we’re on the front doorstep of a new revolution of change in the technology industry. In closing, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

FontExplorer X Pro 3: complete font management for your Mac

FontExplorer X ProIt’s no secret that I’ve been a huge fan of Extensis Suitcase Fusion for many years. In fact, I’ve never veered away from it for my font management needs since the days of Mac OS 9 on my PPC Macs. Recently I was asked by the folks at Linotype/Monotype to take a look at FontExplorer X Pro 3. I had no interest in switching font managers but I figured what the heck, I’ll give it a try.

What started with admiring the very slick icon, ended up being complete surprise to me, and a shift in my thinking about my preferred font management app of choice.

FontExplorer X Pro 3 (I’ll call it FEX from this point forward) isn’t the “mostly glitz and little guts” type of alternative application you run into when trying to replace a big-name app. FEX is stable, fast, intuitive, and actually works as advertised. After about an hour of use, I began to think “this is nice, but at some point today this thing is going to do something to tick me off.” FEX never did.

FontExplorer X Pro main window

FontExplorer X Pro's main window contains exactly what you would expect in a font manager

The main window of FEX is much like any other font manager, listing your fonts and font sets in a column on the left, with a preview of fonts on the right. And like other font managers, FEX allows you to create groups of fonts you use frequently, add tags to your fonts for easy searching, get more in-depth info about your fonts, and set up custom type previews of selected fonts. Being a Suitcase Fusion user, I felt right at home in FEX. (more…)

OS X Lion: It’s the little features that will make a big difference

You’ve no doubt read a lot about OS X Lion, Apple’s next generation operating system for the Mac. The last few weeks have seen the tech media publishing gobs of information, but some of the new features in Lion aren’t getting the attention that some of the more popular features like Launchpad, the new Mail and Calendar apps, and iCloud are.

OS X Lion

A few features that should be in the final release of Lion when it ships in July that you may not have read about include: (more…)

The Graphic Mac Link Box #2

The Graphic Mac Link BoxA collection of interesting or otherwise helpful links I’ve come across recently that you may not have seen:

Steve Ballmer’s days are numbered

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, has apparently done more to reduce the value of Microsoft than any other product, service or company. That bit of news comes to us from an in-depth opinion article by Ben Brooks.

Your next logo design: RGB vs. CMYK

MycroBurst attempts to answer the question of what color standard you should use when designing your next logo. It isn’t a particularly in-depth article, but I felt like it was a great lead-in for a list of 9 rules for logo design I wrote a long time ago!

25 Weird interview questions from large companies

I can’t say I’ve ever been asked any of these in a job interview, but I have been asked some odd questions that were clearly intended to set me off pace for the purpose of gauging my reaction.

Text Wrap and Fit Content Options in Adobe InDesign

New users of Adobe InDesign may find this article quite helpful. It covers the ins and outs of InDesign’s Text Wrap and Fit Content Options most excellently!

How to Create Eroded Metal Text with Photoshop

Creating eroded, grungy, nasty, weathered metal text in Photoshop is probably something you do 50 times a day, right? Ok, probably not. But if you did need to, this tutorial will make it easy for you!

Apple to introduce us to Lion: Maybe you’ve heard?

Ok, so that was a smartass question. If you’ve been on Twitter, Facebook or the web in general, you’ve probably heard that Apple has a lot to announce Monday at their annual WWDC conference. Expected in the announcement are details about Apple’s MobileMe replacement, iCloud. Also expected are announcements concerning the next release of iOS 5 which will reportedly include Twitter integration and much more. As for me, I’m prepping my hard drive for a rather large (and price discounted) download of Lion from the Mac App Store!

Quickly add events to your iCal calendar with Remind Me Later

I love the simplicity of iCal as my calendar application of choice on the Mac. But one thing that seems unnecessarily cumbersome is adding events to the calendar.

When I want to add a simple reminder to my calendar, I have to launch iCal, find the date (if I’m lucky it’s in the same week I happen to be displaying), click to add an event, double the event name to edit it, click yet again to make time adjustments, then place a bandage on my bleeding head from banging it on my desk. It shouldn’t be that difficult.

Thankfully, Remind Me Later (Free) relieves me of the keystrokes and the bleeding head.

Remind Me Later

Remind Me Later makes adding events to iCal easy

Remind Me Later lives in the menubar, and allows me to add calendar events using simple plain language in a single dialog box which I can activate with a keyboard shortcut, or clicking the icon in the menubar. It’s even smart enough to understand that fri 530pm means “this Friday” at “5:30 pm.” I just love how simple the interface is, and am amazed at how such a single feature app can make my day easier.

Once you download the app from the website or the Apple Mac Store, you make a few configurations in the preferences and you’re off and running. If you use iCal, and add frequent new events, Remind Me Later is virtually the perfect add-on.

SneakPeek allows you to view your InDesign and Illustrator files on the Mac, iPhone or iPad

When Apple introduced Quick Look in the Mac OS it was a huge productivity boost to many designers and photographers. Quick Look allows you to view QuickTime compatible files in an overlay right in the Finder simply by selecting the icon of the file and pressing the Space Bar. It wasn’t long before users began seeking out plugins to view more file types than just PDFs and JPG images though.

SneakPeek Pro, by Code Line Communications (the company that brought us Art Directors Toolkit, arrived on the scene and took Quick Look to a new level. This simple Preference Pane allows you to view layered Adobe Photoshop files, Illustrator .ai and .eps files, and InDesign documents. SneakPeek doesn’t stop with just a preview image of your document though. The Quick Look overlay SneakPeek provides also displays information about Illustrator and InDesign files, such as the colors used, the images placed in the document, fonts used, and general file information such as multiple page previews (see the image below).

SneakPeek for Mac

SneakPeek Pro for Mac allows you to view your graphics files in the Finder

I’ve found SneakPeek Pro for Mac to be a valuable addition to any designer’s toolbox. But with more and more designers working on the road, the ability to view graphics files on the iPhone would be nice addition. Thankfully, Code Line has finally brought the power and usefulness of SneakPeek to iOS device users.

SneakPeek renders previews of graphics files stored on your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. It works by providing an “Open in SneakPeek” button to your favorite iOS applications like Mail, Dropbox, Safari and just about any app that gives you access to files.

SneakPeek for iOS

SneakPeek for iOS allows you to view the same file information as the desktop version

With SneakPeek installed on your iPhone, you can check the InDesign file for a client’s new business card layout that just got emailed to you without waiting to get back to the office. And rather than viewing a jagged JPG file attached to an email of a new logo, you can view the actual Illustrator file. SneakPeek for iOS also offers you the same file information as SneakPeek Pro for the Mac – such as fonts, images and colors used.

SneakPeek Pro for Mac is available for $19.95, and offers a 15-day demo for you to test out. SneakPeek for iOS devices can be had for only $9.99 directly from the Apple App Store. Both versions of SneakPeek can save you a lot of time, and are well worth the cost of ownership.

Take control of your Mac OS X Finder windows

Mac OS X FinderThere are numerous ways to customize your Mac’s appearance, and one of the things I love about OS X is the ability to quickly change the views of your Finder windows using easy to remember keyboard shortcuts.

Here’s a list of some of the commonly used keyboard shortcuts that will allow you to customize the way you view files in Mac OS X’s Finder.

  • Command + Option + T hides the toolbar across the top of your window
  • Command + Option + S hides the sidebar on the left edge of your window
  • Command + [ takes you back
  • Command = ] takes you forward
  • Command + Up Arrow opens enclosed folder
  • Command + Control + Up Arrow opens enclosed folder in a new window
  • Command + Down Arrow opens the highlighted item

Here is a more complete collection of keyboard shortcuts, straight from Apple.

Disk Drill recovers deleted files (get 15% off!)

Disk Drill iconFile recovery applications have been around since the early days of the Mac OS. There’s nothing worse than deleting a file, only to realize a few days later that you really didn’t want to do that, and you have no backup.

Apple has made backing up your hard drive easy when it began including Time Machine with every Mac. The problem is, not everyone has an external (or a second internal) hard drive for Time Machine to back up to. This can be particularly troublesome if you’re on the road with your Mac Book and you accidentally delete a file you need. If you have Disk Drill Pro installed, you may be in luck.

Disk Drill, by Cleverfiles, offers affordable ($89 for the Pro version – Get 15% OFF using coupon code TGRC-MC at checkout) drive monitoring and file recovery from HFS, HFS+, FAT, NTFS and other file systems, including USB and Firewire drives and memory cards from your digital camera.

Run Windows on your Mac – save $30!

If you need to run that one or two Windows apps, there’s no need to buy a separate PC to do it. True, Apple has made it possible to boot into Windows natively, but the process is cumbersome and not very flexible – especially in a cross-platform workflow.

Parallels on sale for $50, and get 10 other great apps as a bonus

Parallels on sale for $50, and get 10 other great apps as a bonus

Parallels allows you to run Windows right inside the comfort of Mac OS X, and it does so extremely well – allowing you to Drag-and-drop files between Windows and Mac applications, launch Windows applications from your Mac dock, and do so with a great amount of speed and control.

Parallels normally sells for $79.99, but you can get Parallels 6 for $49.99 for the next few days via the MacUpdate Bundle – which includes 10 other great apps like 1Password, TechTool Pro 5, Civilization IV, and A Better Finder Rename.

If you do choose to purchase the bundle, I appreciate you using the affiliate link I’ve provided!