Tag: lion

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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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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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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Escaping Auto-Resume – This one’s for you, Gav!

Posted by on August 13, 2011 | Comments Off on Escaping Auto-Resume – This one’s for you, Gav!

Application menu showing "Quit and Discard Windows"


Mashing at keys today, as I am sometimes wont, I have discovered the magical key combination that will get you out of the current App in such a way as to reset it to a pristine state when you next launch it.

command + option + q

This issues the “Quit and Discard Windows” command, which you can also find in the Application’s Application menu (unless you can think of a better name for it), if you hold down the option key. This doesn’t seem to override the “Save As…” dialogue that pops up if you’ve got unsaved work in a non-Versions-compatible App.

I’m glad the option is there, at least, even if it’s pretty well hidden!


— Edit: pun not intended, but then recognised and loved for what it is! 🙂

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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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How to Escape Lion’s Infinite Loop

Posted by on August 3, 2011 | One comment

Among the new features of Lion is the ability to “Resume” apps, so that everything is as you left it when you last  left off. This, combined with the “Versions” change-tracking and auto-saving of files themselves, can help you get back up to speed quickly should you run into a hiccup while working on your screenplay.

Sometimes, though, one can get tangled up in the safety nets that Apple has so thoughtfully provides us. If you find yourself locked out of your app, in a never-ending cycle of crash, followed by re-open, followed by immediate crash, it may be time for drastic measures. Spotted among the macintouch.com Special Reports on Lion, there is a method for escaping this madness:

• Select “Go to Folder…” from the “Go” menu in the Finder. In the box that appears, type or paste:
~/Library/Saved Application State
and hit return.
This will open the (nowadays) hidden folder where Lion keeps its most recent snapshots of what your apps were up to when you last saw them.

• You will notice that there are a lot of folders with names like com.apple.AddressBook.savedState. Find the one corresponding to your troublesome App, and drag it out of the “Saved Application State” folder – to the Desktop or the Trash, if you like.

The next time you open the app, you should find that, while your windows may not be as you left them, at least you’re now able to open them and close them as you please, once again.


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Accented characters in Lion

Posted by on July 29, 2011 | Comments Off on Accented characters in Lion

A new feature in Lion, sure to save a lot of time, comes via the excellent macosxhints.com.

To use an accented character, such as é or ö, just hold down the key of the “base” letter. After a few moments, a bubble will appear. You can then either click on the character you need, or use the left / right arrow keys on the keyboard to select it, followed by the space-bar to insert the letter.

For those dinosaurs still stuck on previous versions of the OS, you can find all the characters you might require by going to the “Language and Text” panel in your System Preferences. Under the “Input Sources” tab, you should find something called “Keyboard and Character Viewer”. Check the box next to it to turn it on, and you should see a new menu icon appear at the top right of your display. There you’ll find the Character Viewer, full of exciting new things you can enhance your text-life with. Keyboard Viewer is kind of fun, too. Watch what happens to the characters on the keys when you hold down the “option”, “control” and “shift” keys on your keyboard, singly and in combinations… So exciting!!

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Signature capture in Lion

Posted by on July 22, 2011 | Comments Off on Signature capture in Lion

Apple’s new operating system, Lion, came out a couple of days ago, and thanks to people like Robin Parris at applegazette.com, there are already some excellent “hidden” features coming to light. It is now possible to capture a digital copy of your signature to paste onto PDF documents requiring it.

To save your signature:

  • Open Preview (you can find it with Spotlight, the magnifying glass at the top right of your screen, if you’re not sure where it is…)
  • From the “Preview” menu, next to the Apple menu (top left), select “Preferences…”
  • In the Preferences window, click “Signatures” and then “Create Signature”
  • Follow the instructions on-screen!


It took quite a bit of adjusting the piece of papering front of the camera before my chicken-scratch was recognized by the system, but it worked, and I am now ready to digitally sign my life away 🙂

Note that you can save and make use of more than one  signature at a time, should you want to save the one with the hearts over the ‘i’s for pleasure, and the skull’n’crossbones one for business!

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