Category: Recommended

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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SPAM :(

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.

TechBeast: iTunes Match syncing hell

Posted by on February 12, 2012 | Comments Off on TechBeast: iTunes Match syncing hell

An interesting post at techbeast.net delves into issues experienced with iTunes Match, syncing, and data duplication, as well as offering up some really useful tips on how you can use Automator to help you fix your iTunes library.

Thanks Gavin!

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If This Then That – An Automator for Social Networking Sites

Posted by on October 2, 2011 | Comments Off on If This Then That – An Automator for Social Networking Sites

Last week, Rui at Tao of Mac posted a quick piece about ifttt.com which piqued my curiosity. After a bit of a play with it, I think it’s got huge potential for improving many people’s experience of the current crop of social media sites and cloud-based services.

The geekier among you may remember Yahoo!‘s Pipes – a similarly conceived service from a few years back. IFTTT presents, to my view, a much more user friendly way to access pre-defined, online information sources such as Flickr, Google Calendar, Twitter, RSS feeds, FaceBook, and even phone calls, SMS messages and email, and automatically perform an action based on triggers that you define. You can create your own “Tasks” by working through a simple wizard, or choose from a huge library of  “Recipes” shared by other users.

It’s a matter of minutes to arrange to receive an automated phone call whenever you have an upcoming appointment containing a certain keyword… Simple to syndicate synopses of your latest blog post to twitter, or make sure that your FaceBook and Google+ accounts are in accord with one another, if you’re still straddling that fence 😉

The application that most struck me, was the ability to create new calendar appointments / events based on 4square checkins from your phone – a fantastic way to keep track of your own actual schedule, vs. the imaginary one that you started the day with in iCal. You can then even sync iCal with Google Calendar, view both calendars side by side, and then come to a shocking realisation about your awful time-management skills…

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Lost in a Sea of Information: Scrollbars in Lion

Posted by on August 13, 2011 | Comments Off on Lost in a Sea of Information: Scrollbars in Lion
A Finder window sans scroll-bars

No Scroll-Bars: Where are all my files?!

By default, Lion is set up to do away with those pesky scrollbars that look so ugly, and take up space at the edges of our windows. Aesthetically, this works well with the new Full Screen mode available to modern Apps, but unfortunately it can also lead to confusion for the user when they fail to intuit that there is more to the folder, or document, than first met the eye.

 
» Read the full post

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IOS printing via CUPS – Mac OS X Hints

Posted by on December 24, 2010 | Comments Off on IOS printing via CUPS – Mac OS X Hints

IOS printing via CUPS – Mac OS X Hints: A way to print from your iPad or iPhone without using the app formerly known as hacktivator.

Making invisible files visible

Posted by on December 24, 2010 | Comments Off on Making invisible files visible

Hard drive not showing up on the desktop, sidebar, or in your “Computer” directory? Maybe you need to make it visible again:

chflag nohidden /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD

The Tao of Backup

Posted by on December 24, 2010 | Comments Off on The Tao of Backup

The Tao Of Backup

The seven rules of backup: we can all learn a lesson here.

via Rui Carmo

Excellent battery article

Posted by on December 24, 2010 | Comments Off on Excellent battery article

The Register has an excellent article on how best to look after and extend the life of the batteries that keep your toys online, on the go.

Account aliases in Leopard

Posted by on December 24, 2010 | Comments Off on Account aliases in Leopard

While explaining how to alter a user’s “short name” to a friend, I noticed the “aliases” field in the “Advanced options…” for the User System Prefs pane.

Adding an alias will allow you to use said alias rather that your full account name or “short name” to identify yourself to the computer. By default, your MobileMe login works, for example…

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