Tag: tips

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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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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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

Confusion

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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Printing and Chrome

Posted by on January 8, 2012 | Comments Off on Printing and Chrome

As Safari continues to choke on Flash-centric websites, and Firefox has lost my interest, I have found myself daily more reliant on Google’s Chrome browser on my Mac. One of it’s “features” is the built in printer handling, which inserts itself between the user and the “how do I make it all fit on the same page?” button.
A screenshot of Chrome's print dialogue.
To bypass Chrome’s “Print Dialogue”, hold down the Option / Alt key when you select “Print” from the “File” menu, or use the keyboard shortcut “Command-Option-P”. This will take you straight to the regular Mac-style “Print Dialogue”, where you can make all of your usual adjustments.

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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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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"

Eureka!

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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