Tag: “Mac OS X”

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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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/
ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart 
-configure -allowAccessFor -allUsers -privs -all

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

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