Tagged: Mountain Lion

Get detailed battery time, info and notifications in Mountain Lion

Apple’s OS X Mountain Lion removed the ability for laptop users to see the exact amount of time left on the battery charge in the menubar – which annoys some users to no end. But you can not only get that info back, but add even more with this free app for OS X.

Battery Time Remaining app

Battery Time Remaining (BTR) is a small app that places a battery indicator in your menubar just like the built-in battery monitor, except it displays the time remaining instead of just a percentage. In addition, you can set BTR to show detailed battery information such as battery cycle count, temperature and power being used. You do so by turning on Advanced Mode in the preferences of the menubar item.

Battery Time Remaining notificationIf you like, you can also set BTR to add a system notification to Mac OS X’s Notification Center at specified times in the Notification menu of BTR. I like that you can choose more than one percentage for your notifications, rather than only offering one or two pre-defined settings.

Battery Time Remaining is a free app which can be downloaded from the GitHub page.

How to install and configure Apache, MySQL, PHP and phpMyAdmin on OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion

Mountain Lion Web SharingIf you’ve upgraded to OS X Mountain Lion, you may have noticed that turning on Web Sharing is no longer available.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not there. I suspect Apple would prefer users who need to serve websites from their Mac upgrade to Mac OS X Server instead.

Thankfully, you can install and configure everything you need to start serving websites from your Mac by following this relatively simple tutorial. It’s not the ideal situation, but it works.

OS X and Mac App Store signals the death of desktop customization

Back in the day of Mac OS 7, 8 and 9, Apple didn’t make it too terribly difficult to customize the OS with themes and custom icons. Theming your desktop was so popular that it was nearly its own sub-culture. Theming websites sprout up almost weekly, offering window themes, icons, and other theming items. There were literally thousands of options. But that all changed when Apple released Mac OS X.


Mac OS X was a top-to-bottom change to the system architecture, and theming was infinitely more difficult. It took a long time before creative developers figured out a way to bring customization to OS X. There were themes, if only a few dozen, and of course you could still customize icons. But it was never to the extent that you could in Mac OS 9.

Eventually (I don’t remember if it was OS 10.4 or 10.5), theming became nearly impossible. But when Apple released the Mac App Store, customizing your Mac desktop all but died. Because of the code signing of all apps sold through the Mac App Store, altering files contained in individual apps (such as icons) rendered them either useless, or at the very least prevented you from updating them in the Mac App Store.

Between code signing, recently implemented Sandboxing rules, and the release of OS X Mountain Lion (which prevents theming of the Dock), it’s all but a dead art. If you need any more evidence, Panic Software recently announced they were sunsetting their icon customization tool, CandyBar. For many years, CandyBar was the gold-standard of customizing icons. Thankfully, Panic made CandyBar freely downloadable, and updated it for Mountain Lion. For those like me who used CandyBar for it’s icon collection organizing feature, and the ability to quickly and easily export app icons as PNG images with transparency intact, the fact that it still works is a bit of relief. But it’s future is most decidedly in doubt. It surely won’t be long before it can no longer customize System icons.

It’s sad to see theming and customization fade off into the sunset. But to be honest, Apple has improved the appearance of the OS to the point where even the most avid themed simply preferred the clean look of the standard theme. And right now, you can get an absolutely fantastic icon customizing and organizing app for free.

Add an RSS subscribe button to Safari in Mountain Lion

Add to Google Reader Safari ExtensionOne of the features Apple chose to kill off in Mountain Lion is the RSS Subscribe button in Safari. While RSS feeds aren’t quite the rage they used to be, many users still use RSS feeds religiously. The king of RSS Readers is of course Google Reader. And if you miss the subscribe button, there’s an easy way to get it back.

Add to Google Reader Safari Extension adds the RSS feed of the page you’re currently on to Google Reader. It works extremely well!

Another extension that works with any RSS reader you have installed is Subscribe to Feed, a side-project by Red Sweater software, maker of the MarsEdit blog editor.

OS X Mountain Lion to fix full screen support on multiple displays

When Apple releases Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) next month, we’ll be treated to hundreds of new features. But one of the most exciting for me is the ability to take advantage of multiple displays when in full screen mode.

Currently, if you have more than one display and you enter full screen mode, your secondary display is rendered completely useless. With Mountain Lion, you’ll be able to have enter full screen mode on one display and still use the secondary display for other tasks.

When Lion shipped, I wasn’t immediately in love with full screen mode, but it wasn’t long before I wished it worked on both my displays independently. This will be a very welcome feature!

[box type=”note”]It has been brought to my attention that this new functionality will NOT allow full use of the second display. Apparently, you’ll ONLY be able to use the second display for windows of the app that is currently in full screen mode. If true, this will truly suck![/box]

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]