Old posts

Time Machine & OS X Server Tech-Note

Posted by on April 1, 2015 | Comments Off on Time Machine & OS X Server Tech-Note

Thanks Apple:

Time Machine & OS X Server Tech-Note


Adding an attachment to your automated replies in Mail.app

Posted by on July 29, 2013 | Comments Off on Adding an attachment to your automated replies in Mail.app
The "Rules" settings in Mail's preferences

Set up your auto-response

A colleague in an online forum recently asked how he could replicate the ability of Eudora (his old email client) ability to “set up a rule which would allow me to have any emails sent to a specific email address autoreplied with a little message and a PDF attachment. Then the emails were moved to a specific folder.” While he knew that he could use Mail’s “Rules” to automatically respond to and file incoming messages, he couldn’t see any way of adding an attachment to the text of his reply. There were a couple of suggestions from other members of the group, mostly centered around the use of AppleScript or Automator, but my solution in this case  was much simpler: did you know that you can put an attachment in your “Signature”?

The full solution would be as follows:-

First, set up your “Rule”…

And then, in the “Signatures” pane, create a signature for the desired email account, and drag the file that you want attached into the composition area!

Adding an attachment to a signature.

Adding an attachment to a signature.



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A fix for a slow Time Machine

Posted by on February 28, 2013 | Comments Off on A fix for a slow Time Machine

I found a great deal on a new 1TB USB hard drive at Fry’s this week, and decided to improve my personal backup system by replacing my smaller, clunky-sounding (!), old one. It sped through the first 212GB of a 550GB initial back-up, and then seemed to not-quite-stall, taking 2 days to work through the next 6GB, while reporting an estimated time to finish varying between 4 and 12 hours.

I checked the console for file-copying errors, as well as restarting the system and the Time Machine backup itself, to no avail.

This issue has been noted on the Apple Support Discussions site, where users have found that you can speed Time Machine up by disabling Spotlight indexing for the volumes that you’re backing up. The command, to be run in Terminal.app is:

sudo mdutil -a -i off

The result should be instantaneous, if your Time Machine process is currently underway. To reverse the command, and re-enable indexing after your large backup is complete, use:

sudo mdutil -a -i on

— Apparently this issue has existed since last year (though it’s my first encounter with it), and affects users of Lion and Mountain Lion.

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Up next in iTunes… Magic Key Combinations

Posted by on February 15, 2013 | Comments Off on Up next in iTunes… Magic Key Combinations

I’ve just discovered another use for the magical “Option” key in iTunes 11 that is pretty nifty: hold it down to change the “Play” icon…

iTunes album in Artist view

iTunes album in Artist view

… into a button that will add your selection to the “Up Next” queue.

iTunes add to queue icon.

Hold down “Option” to reveal the hidden button!

It also works on individual tracks – mouse over the track number to reveal the same icon 🙂


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New Feature: Downgrade your Airport’s firmware

Posted by on February 13, 2013 | Comments Off on New Feature: Downgrade your Airport’s firmware

New in the recently released Airport Utility 6.2 is the ability to downgrade your AirPort base station’s firmware quickly and easily from within the utility. This seems particularly fortunate in light of the reported bug in the latest firmware release (7.6.3),  which breaks IPv6 tunneling according to reports.

If you hold down the “Option” key and click on the firmware version that shows up in the dialogue when you select a base station within the utility, you will be presented with a menu listing the available options, as well as the opportunity to use something “Other…”!

Illustration of the firmware downgrade menu in the AirPort Utility.

Hold the “Option” key to reveal the firmware downgrade menu.

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Posted by on December 17, 2012 | Comments Off on SPAM :(

There’s a really interesting discussion going on at slashdot at the moment regarding malware, email address spoofing and “all kinda other groovy things”.

I’ve had a number of inquiries from friends and clients about spam email arriving addressed from people that they knew, and some of the /.ers commenting in the article give great insight into how it is that comes about.

What to do if you’ve locked yourself out of Apple’s Remote Desktop…

Posted by on December 10, 2012 | Comments Off on What to do if you’ve locked yourself out of Apple’s Remote Desktop…

Having stupidly locked myself out of a remote server by disabling the “Control” and “Observe” options under the “Screen Sharing” preference pane, I came across this handy Apple article with some very useful terminal commands.

The one that did it for me was no. 6, to “allow access for all users and give users full access,” :

sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/
-configure -allowAccessFor -allUsers -privs -all

Just remember to reset the privileges appropriately once you’re back in control!

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LinkedIn and iPhone / Android Calendar Security Issue

Posted by on June 6, 2012 | Comments Off on LinkedIn and iPhone / Android Calendar Security Issue

Hot on the heels of the LinkedIn password database leak, arstechnica today posted an article alerting users to a potential security vulnerability in the most recent versions of the LinkedIn app on Android and iOS devices. You can read more about the issue over at ars, and about LinkedIn’s response on the company’s blog.

The lastest advice for users of the service is to log in to the LinkedIn website and change your password as soon as possible, and to disable calendar syncing in the LinkedIn App on your phone or tablet, as well as making sure to update to the newly released version on Android through the Play store. Apparently an iOS update is pending Apple’s approval and will be available soon.

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Final Cut Pro X, Sony HXR-NX70u and 1080p60 video

Posted by on March 12, 2012 | Comments Off on Final Cut Pro X, Sony HXR-NX70u and 1080p60 video

“Trial and error” is what it’s all about.
If you have clips shot in 1080p at +/- 60fps, and saved as AVCHD, Final Cut Pro X will not recognise the camera’s storage (internal, SD card or “archived”) as a valid “Camera” from which to import video (sometimes it would complain about the directory structure being incorrect, instead). If you have accidentally switched from a lower frame rate partway through period in between computers, you will be unable to import ANY of your clips in the usual way until those 60p clips are removed from the source.
Naturally, the Sony seems to mount it’s internal storage as read-only in the Finder. Fortunately for me, the files I was looking for were easily identified as a block, backed up to my hard drive, and then deleted from the camera via it’s own built-in interface. Once the offending files were removed, Final Cut sprang back into life.
Look for another post on how to salvage those 60p clips, imminently!

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Final Cut Pro X (10.0.3) and ColorSync

Posted by on March 11, 2012 | Comments Off on Final Cut Pro X (10.0.3) and ColorSync

I’m doing a lot of work in Final Cut Pro X at the moment, and got off to a terrible start when every clip I tried to preview / play caused the application to lock up, while leaving me in control of the rest of my machine. Innumerable “Force Quit”s later, I spotted a post on Apple’s discussion boards indicating that this is to do with using a non-calibrated ColorSync display profile. It looks like Apple have re-introduced a bug that they claimed to have gotten rid of in version 10.0.1.

A screenshot of the displays section of System Preferences


If you are unable to play or preview media in Final Cut Pro X check that you’re using the correct profile for your display in the Color section of the Displays area of your System Preferences. There is some guesswork involved here, as you can see in the screenshot of my own Colors section – the “SyncMaster Calibrated” profile doesn’t work, for example, and there are 6 undifferentiated “Display” options. I went with the one at the top of the list, though examining the Colorsync Profiles themselves, there do seem to be differences between them…

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