How to make macOS better

This blog post focuses on a number of tips and tweaks that will help to make your macOS experience better and more efficient.

How to ensure macOS checks for new software updates daily

Within the Terminal type the following:

defaults write com.apple.SoftwareUpdate ScheduleFrequency -int 1

How to copy text from a website and paste it quickly into a text file

Head to the Keyboard section within System Preferences and highlight the Services section. Next, in the secondary panel scroll down you see “New TextEdit…..”. From there add your shortcut keyboard combination.

Next, copy text from a website and use your new shortcut keyboard combination. The copied text will automatically be pasted into TextEdit

 

 

How to add emojis in your documents quickly

Within macOS, select your text-based application and then type the following key combination:

Command + Control + Space

This will launch the emoji selector.

How to add a quit option to the Finder

To add a quit option to the Finder, add the following command to the Terminal

defaults write com.apple.finder QuitMenuItem -bool YES

Now type killall Finder into the Terminal window

How to stop macOS from indexing the Applications folder

To turn off Spotlight, open the Terminal and type the following:

sudo mdutil -a -i off

To unload it, type the following into the Terminal

sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.metadata.mds.plist

To load It, type the following into the Terminal

sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.metadata.mds.plist

To turn on Spotlight, type the following into the Terminal

sudo mdutil -a -i on

How to quickly see your IP address and other Wi-Fi networking information

In macOS, hold down Alt (or the Option key on some keyboards) and click the Wi-Fi icon at the top right of the screen. Beneath the name of the currently in-use Wi-Fi base station you will see the networking information and also a disconnect option.

How to delete autofill entries from Google Chrome 

Within Google Chrome, position the cursor in the address bar and type the following after you enter a web address

Function+Shift+Delete

The auto-completed web address should now be removed.

How to quickly launch incognito mode in Google Chrome

Within Google Chrome type the following:

Command+Shift+N

How to force quit an app in macOS

Type the following:

Click Option, Command, and Escape

How to change the location of your screenshot images

Within the Terminal type the following:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture location ~/Dropbox/Screenshots

Where ~/Dropbox/Screenshots is the location where you want the screenshots folder to live.

Now type killall Dock into the Terminal window

How to disable screenshot drop shadows

Within the Terminal type the following:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool TRUE

Now type killall SystemUIServer into the Terminal window

How to shutdown your Mac, with or without a delay

To shut down your Mac immediately:

Type the following into the Terminal:

sudo shutdown -h now

To restart your Mac immediately:

sudo shutdown -r now

We can even add a time delay (in minutes) if we wish:

sudo shutdown -r +60

How to make your Mac talk

Within the Terminal type the following:

say "Hello world"

We can even go one better and have it read any text file we like:

say -f /path/to/file.txt

Your Mac can then say whatever was in the text file.

How to change the default filetype for screenshot images

Within the Terminal type the following:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg

Now type killall SystemUIServer into the Terminal window

How to add your most recent used applications into the dock

Open Terminal and copy the following command:

defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-others -array-add '{ "tile-data" = { "list-type" = 1; }; "tile-type" = "recents-tile"; }'

Now type killall Dock into the Terminal window

How to show the full file path in Finder

To easily find the hierarchy of folders, you can easily find the full path by adding this tweak to the Terminal.

Open Terminal

defaults write com.apple.finder _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool YES

Now type killall Finder into the Terminal window

If you need to change it back, change “YES” to “NO” (without the quotes).

How to add spacers into the dock

If you need a way to organize your dock icons, the following command will allow you to insert a spacer into your dock that you can move around and place anywhere to divide your apps up by category.

Within the Terminal type the following:

defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-apps -array-add '{tile-data={}; tile-type="spacer-tile";}'

Now type killall Dock into the Terminal window

To add more spaces, add the command into the terminal again. If you want to remove the spaces just drag them out of the dock.

How to make hidden apps “hidden” in the dock

If you use ⌘H to hide apps on screen with this tweak, you’ll be able to add transparency to all of your hidden apps so you don’t forget they’re running in the background

Within the Terminal type the following:

defaults write com.apple.Dock showhidden -bool TRUE;

Now type killall Dock into the Terminal window

If you need to change it back, change “YES” to “NO” (without the quotes).

How to eliminate the dock reveal delay

If you need to speed up the dock when you have it hidden, this tweak will speed it up.

For faster animation, within the Terminal type the following:

defaults write com.apple.dock autohide-time-modifier -float 0.12;

Now type killall Dock into the Terminal window

For no animation, within the Terminal type the following:

defaults write com.apple.dock autohide-time-modifier -int 0;

Now type killall Dock into the Terminal window

To go back to the defaults, within the Terminal type the following:

defaults delete com.apple.dock autohide-time-modifier;

Now type killall Dock into the Terminal window

Run a Macbook Pro with Chrome? You’ll love this

Via Paul Boag

Creating and installing OS X Lion from a bootable USB drive or DVD

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  1. You will need to locate the OS X Lion installation package on your Mac. The easiest way to do this is to Option + click its icon on your dock and choose Options>Show in Finder.
  2. Once you’ve located the package, Option + click it and choose Show Package Contents.
  3. Open the folder titled ‘SharedSupport’ and find a file called ‘InstallESD.dmg’. This file contains everything you need to boot up a computer and install OS X Lion. Drag this file out to your desktop or another easy to find location.
  4. At this point, if you just want to make a DVD, open up Disk Utility on your Mac, find this image in the list on the left, Option + Click on it and click ‘Burn’. You’ll have a bootable DVD.
  5. Now prepare a USB thumb drive at least 8GB in size by opening up the Disk Utility application on your Mac, plugging it in and choosing to Partition it in a 1 Partition scheme. Note that this process will erase your thumb drive, so make sure you’ve backed it up.
  6. Highlight the single partition and use the pull-down menu to select ‘GUID Partition Table’ as the type and click ok.
  7. Name the USB drive anything that you would like, make sure that the Format option is set to ‘Mac OS X Extended (Journaled) and click the Apply button.
  8. Now, click on your new partition and click on the Restore tab at the top right. In the Source section, click on Image and choose the ‘InstallESD.dmg’ file from step 3.
  9. Make sure that the Destination field displays the name of your USB drive and click Restore. You will be prompted to enter the password for your Administrator account. Once you’ve done so the copying process will begin.
  10. Once the process is complete, you can verify the bootable status of your drive by selecting it and clicking Info in Disk Utility. Bootable status should show ‘Yes’.

Now that you have a bootable USB drive (or DVD) that contains OS X Lion, you can boot from it by plugging it in to any Mac and holding down the Option key while its booting. Once the screen appears that asks you which volume to boot from, choose the bootable OS X Lion drive. This will enable you to install OS X Lion on any compatible Mac without using the standard upgrade procedure. If you’re the kind of user who likes to perform a clean install instead of an upgrade, this is a great option for you.

(via The Next Web)

iTunes – Your Way.

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Apple’s iTunes is the defacto standard application for syncing music to iPods on many PCs. As a result, many people also use iTunes to organise their music libraries, iPhone applications, podcasts etc. However, there is one big problem with the iTunesSetup.exe installation file. Apple have decided to bundle and install a number of other applications with the iTunes installation. The other applications include Bonjour, Mobile Me, Apple Application Support, Apple Mobile Device Support and Quicktime.

Many people do not want to install the other applications. However, Apple does not allow the option to install individual components. The good news, is that it very easy just to install the individual components that you want.

Firstly, you need to install Winrar. This application will allow you to ‘unpack’ your downloaded iTunesSetup.exe file. Locate your file, and right click on it. You will be presented with a number of menu options, select ‘Extract Here’.

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Winrar will now extract the iTunes installation package and will reveal the individual MSI setup files. You can now double click on the iTunes.msi file to install iTunes without the other applications.

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How To: Install Snow Leopard on a Dell Mini 10v with 10.6.2 support.

This post was originally made by Gizmodo. However, I have added some additional information to support the 10.6.2 update, which removes Intel’s Atom processor. All picture credits to Gizmodo.

This post walkthroughs the process of preparing Mac OS X Leopard, onto a USB memory stick. The USB memory stick can then be used to install Snow Leopard on the Dell Mini 10v netbook.

Prerequisites

 

• Dell Mini 10v.  It must be a 10v, not a regular Mini 10.

• BIOS version lower than A06 (A05, A04, A03 all work fine). Downgrade instructions are available here, though they require a Windows PC for creating a bootable DOS flash drive.

• Retail copy of OS X 10.6 (NOT an OEM copy that comes with a new Mac).

• An 8GB (or larger) USB flash drive, the faster the better. External HDDs will work too.

• A Mac with a working optical drive, for preparing your flash drive

Netbook BootMaker and NetbookInstaller

 

Preparing Your Flash Drive

 


1. Insert your flash drive and OS X Retail install disk into your computer

2. Open Disk Utility (searching in Spotlight is the easiest way to find this)

3. Select your flash drive from the list on the left. Make sure to select the drive itself, not any partitions you may have written to it before.

4. In the right panel, select the "Partition" screen.


5. From the dropdown menu, select "1 Partition," then click "Options" below the partition map.

6. Select "Master Boot Record." This will ensure that your Mini 10v can boot from your flash drive. Select a name for your partition—doesn’t really matter what—and apply your changes. Keep in mind this will delete anything you have on your flash drive right now, so back it up if need be.

7. Once this is done, move from the "Partition" screen to the "Restore" screen in Disk Utility

8. For your Restore Source, select (by dragging) the OS X install disk from the left panel. Make sure this is the item called something to the effect of "Mac OS Install DVD," not "Optiarc DVD" or some other hardware title. For the destination, drag your newly-prepared partition over. Click restore.

9. Run the BootMaker app., select your OS X partition on the USB drive and select Prepare Boot Drive.

Installing OS X Snow Leopard

 

10. Jump into the BIOS, double-check to see if you have the right BIOS. As long as it’s lower than A06, you’re fine. If not, you will need to downgrade. See above.

11. With the arrow keys, cycle over to the "Advanced" screen, where you’ll see a list of options. USB BIOS Legacy support should be enabled, as should Bluetooth.

12. Now cycle over to the Boot screen., "USB Storage," and move it to the top by pressing the F6 key.

13. Once you’re done, press F10 to save and exit.

14. Ensure your power plug is connected to your computer and the USB stick is connected. All being well, you should see the screen below.

15. The first thing you need to do is format your hard disk. Bring up Disk Utility in the installer select it at the highest level possible. Go to "Partition" and make it a single Mac OS X Extended (Journaled) partition. Before hitting Apply, go to Options and select GUID Partition Table. Then hit apply.

Follow the usual OS X install instructions.

Updates

16.  Download  the Mac OS X v10.6.1 Update. After the installation reboot. Now, install the Mac OS X v10.6.2. Update – BUT DO NOT REBOOT!

17. Next download and install the latest version of Netbook Installer and reboot. The netbook should now reboot with the 10.6.2. update.

Odds and Ends

By and large, your install should work out of the box. Sleep, shutdown/startup, sound, keyboard shortcuts, battery indicators, and anything else you can think of should be present and at attention, barring one glaring flaw: the trackpad.

18. Go here, and download the attached trackpad driver.

19. Open Finder on your 10v, and press CMD+Shift+G (on this keyboard, that’s Alt+Shift+G.) In the box that comes up, typed "/Extra" and press enter.
This will bring you to a hidden folder. Copy the .kext file you’ve download into the Mini10vExt folder, making sure to back up the one you’re replacing.

Open Finder on your 10v, and press CMD+Shift+G (on this keyboard, that’s Alt+Shift+G.) In the box that comes up, typed "/Extra" and press enter.
This will bring you to a hidden folder. Copy the .kext file you’ve download into the Mini10vExt folder, making sure to back up the one you’re replacing.

20. Run the app in the "Extra" directory called UpdateExtra, which will alert OS X to the new drivers. Restart your computer.

Now you should be able to click and drag—the cursor should jump when your second finger makes contact. You should see, as you could before, a panel in the OS X preferences where you can adjust trackpad settings.  The only other issue you’re likely to run into is the occasional too-tall settings screen. Here‘s a clever virtual screen resolution workaround for that.

Enabling 10.6.2 support on the MSI Wind

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Apple removed Atom processor support in the latest update to Snow Leopard – 10.6.2. This prevents the MSI Wind hackintosh to update correctly. However, by following the instructions below, you can easily enable 10.6.2 support.

1. Download the 10.6.2 update from Apple’s download site.

2. Before running the update, launch Terminal and type in the following command:

sudo cp /mach_kernel /mach_kernel_10_6_1

3. Now, run the installer, but DO NOT restart

4. Next, type the following commands into the Terminal:

sudo cp /mach_kernel /mach_kernel_10_6_2

sudo cp /mach_kernel_10_6_1 /mach_kernel

5. Finally, launch any tools you need to patch your ktexts (if needed).

6. Restart Snow Leopard.

Top 10 Steve Jobs Quotes

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Hat Tip to Mario Sundar

5 Management Mantras

#10. On Management

My job is to not be easy on people. My job is to make them better. My job is to pull things together from different parts of the company and clear the ways and get the resources for the key projects.

And to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better, coming up with more aggressive visions of how it could be.

#9. On Hiring

Recruiting is hard. It’s just finding the needles in the haystack. You can’t know enough in a one-hour interview.

So, in the end, it’s ultimately based on your gut. How do I feel about this person? What are they like when they’re challenged? I ask everybody that: ‘Why are you here?’ The answers themselves are not what you’re looking for. It’s the meta-data.

#8. On Firing

We’ve had one of these before, when the dot-com bubble burst. What I told our company was that we were just going to invest our way through the downturn, that we weren’t going to lay off people, that we’d taken a tremendous amount of effort to get them into Apple in the first place — the last thing we were going to do is lay them off.

#7. On a CEO succession Plan

I mean, some people say, ‘Oh, God, if [Jobs] got run over by a bus, Apple would be in trouble.’ And, you know, I think it wouldn’t be a party, but there are really capable people at Apple.

My job is to make the whole executive team good enough to be successors, so that’s what I try to do.

#6. On Product Strategy

It’s not about pop culture, and it’s not about fooling people, and it’s not about convincing people that they want something they don’t. We figure out what we want. And I think we’re pretty good at having the right discipline to think through whether a lot of other people are going to want it, too. That’s what we get paid to do.

We just want to make great products. (I think he means “insanely great products!“)

5 Leadership Mantras

#5. On Leadership

So when a good idea comes, you know, part of my job is to move it around, just see what different people think, get people talking about it, argue with people about it, get ideas moving among that group of 100 people, get different people together to explore different aspects of it quietly, and, you know – just explore things.

#4. On Evangelism

When I hire somebody really senior, competence is the ante. They have to be really smart. But the real issue for me is, Are they going to fall in love with Apple? Because if they fall in love with Apple, everything else will take care of itself.

They’ll want to do what’s best for Apple, not what’s best for them, what’s best for Steve, or anybody else. (this actually reiterates my oft-repeated mantra of “ubiquitous evangelism” in companies)

#3. On Focus

People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.

#2. On the User Experience

Our DNA is as a consumer company — for that individual customer who’s voting thumbs up or thumbs down. That’s who we think about. And we think that our job is to take responsibility for the complete user experience. And if it’s not up to par, it’s our fault, plain and simply.

#1. On Creativity

That happens more than you think, because this is not just engineering and science. There is art, too. Sometimes when you’re in the middle of one of these crises, you’re not sure you’re going to make it to the other end. But we’ve always made it, and so we have a certain degree of confidence, although sometimes you wonder.

I think the key thing is that we’re not all terrified at the same time. I mean, we do put our heart and soul into these things.

We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life.

Life is brief, and then you die, you know?

And we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it.