My Mac

Showing Hidden Files in OSX Finder

Just like when using Windows, sometimes it is necessary to make special hidden system files visible to Finder.  There is no preference for it, but with a simple Terminal command, things can be made visible very easily, on a privileged user account.

Simply open the 'Terminal' application, and at the prompt, type:

  1. defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

and then:

  1. killall Finder

This will cause all Finder windows to close and then reopen with the hidden files, visible and identifiable with a ghost-like appearance. You should be able to interact with them normally now.

Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 11.00.54 pm

Syncing Google Contacts with iMessage (and Contacts) on OSX Mavericks

You may remember earlier in the year I took issue with the super secret hidden checkbox in the Mountain Lion's version of Contacts which magically syncs your Google contacts with OSX Contacts and Messages. As it seems, Apple have finally fixed the SSL problem stopping you from syncing through the Google option in System Preference's Internet Accounts setup.

Getting the sync to work now is as trivial as adding a Google account to your Internet Accounts list, log in and turn on the items you want to sync. Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 9.46.42 pmHurray! Easy peasy.

It's beyond me that it wasn't like this before.

 

Pipe Viewer (pv) in Mac OSX

 

Update:
Forget what I said.  Install Homebrew (really, do it now) and use HomeBrew to install it.


Pipe Viewer (pv) - is a terminal-based tool for monitoring the progress of data through a pipeline. It can be inserted into any normal pipeline between two processes to give a visual indication of how quickly data is passing through, how long it has taken, how near to completion it is, and an estimate of how long it will be until completion. However, it isn't included by default in Mac OSX.

The good news is that there are several ports of pv, you just need to go and grab one:

  • HomeBrew: Run "brew install pv" to get the latest version.
  • MacPorts: Run "port install pv" to get the latest version.
  • Or (recommended) install the Rudix pv port (a simple package installer)

Pv allows you to get a really awesome progress of your terminal commands to see how things are going; especially useful for long operations (such as cp or tar etc) so you know everything is ticking over time (and perhaps even giving an ETA for completion):

13.2GiB 1:33:17 [3.57MiB/s] [================================>                ] 67% ETA 0:44:4

I highly recommend this for anyone doing long, large or complicated terminal commands.  It's outstanding! To learn more about using Pipe Viewer, this is a great resource.

 

Syncing Google Contacts with iMessage (and Contacts) on OSX Mountain Lion

Being able to sync your Google Contacts with your OSX Contacts is possible - it just takes a bit of digging.

As a long-time iPhone 4 user, I was recently introduced to the wonderful OSX Messages app, which lets me read/send iMessages from my Mac, as if I had sent a text from my phone. Such an amazing thing (even if it does only work with other iPhone users). However, it only used phone numbers to identify contacts; less than ideal since I seldom reference my friends and family by their cell numbers.

I use Gmail for all my email purposes; and after loosing my completely contacts list TWICE from the failures of Windows Mobile 6, I am also a huge advocate for Google Contacts - awesome synergy between my phone list and email contacts. and while I've been very happy Syncing my email/calendar/contacts between Google and my iPhone; my Mac just didn't want to come to the party and I refused to retype my contacts manually.

At first I tried syncing the contacts over Google's Microsoft Exchange Protocol (which is actually the best way of syncing Gmail/contacts/etc onto the iPhone), however you cannot get the necessary SSL to connect to Google on Mountain Lion. Next I tried backing up my iPhone contacts into iCloud, which also failed.

I was about to give up until I discovered that the preferences for the Contacts app has an option that I didn't know about. Carefully disguised under the “On My Mac” account, you will find the option to sync with Google.

syncing-google-contacts-in-mountain-lionHurray! Easy Peasy.

How to Create a Bootable Lion Restore USB Drive without Snow Leopard

If you are like me and have installed Mac OSX Lion on a computer and need or want to create a bootable OSX Lion USB Drive, Apple have released an official tool to accommodate you.

Its pretty basic, download the tool, run the file inside the .dmg file and follow the prompts. You will need a 8Gb USB thumb drive (I believe 4GB won't quite be enough). Now you can simply plug the thumb drive in, and on boot hold down the [option] key and select the recovery drive from the menu. I can verify that you can use this installer to online viagra create clean installs of lion without having to first install Snow Leopard and on machines other than the one that created the recovery drive.

Left4Dead and Left4Dead 2 Available on OSX in October

Back in March, the Mac gaming world got excited when Valve announced their Steam gaming software was coming to the Mac -- along with Left 4 Dead 2, Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, Portal, and the Half Life series.  I was shocked at just how quickly the Valve catalog viagra order no prescription was being ported to OSX, but then, the announcements stopped as suddenly as they started; alegedly sue to a number of graphics and OpenGL bugs issues that Valve helped Apple sort out.  Today, I found this little gem:

We’d previously heard tell that now that those graphic issues are fixed, Valve as hard at work to bring Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 to OS X by October… and now, if a casual mention over at Macworld is anything to go by, it looks like that date might have been further locked down to October 5th, along with the latest Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 add-on pack, “The Sacrifice.”

So only a few more sleeps until all Mac users can help keep the hordes of zombies at bay with their Windows buddies.

Limiting Steam for Mac to Specific (Free) Content Servers

I have had iiNet ADSL for a very long time, and as a result of one of their acquisitions, the 3FL game servers now count as "freezone" for all iiNet customers. Whats really great about this, is that viagra prescription online 3FL has official steam content servers; so steam downloads from 3FL are "freezone" too! This is great, if like me you are a die-hard valve/steam fan boi.

online xenical pharmacy

The problem is that Steam uses a "BitTorrentesque" download technique and despite any settings you make inside Steam, it will not guarantee that it will limit its downloading from that server. Windows users for a while now have had an app called SteamWatch which monitors Steam, and when it trys to download from another server, forcibly closes the connection on Steam. Sadly, mac users dont have anything so easy, yet. However, here is a shell script which adds a number of rules to the OSX firewall to stop steam from downloading from non-free servers:

  1. /sbin/IPFW -f flush
  2. /sbin/IPFW -f add 3000 allow tcp from any to 203.59.140.194 27030 out
  3. /sbin/IPFW -f add 3001 allow tcp from any to 202.173.128.178 27030 out
  4. /sbin/IPFW -f add 3020 deny tcp from any to any 27030 out

Just save these lines into a text file (mine is called 'rules.sh') and then in the terminal (and from the directory you saved the file) execute:

  1. sudo bash rules.sh

In this case, I have setup the rules for 2 servers, 203.59.140.194 and 202.173.128.178 which are the 2 servers which correspond to free content servers for iiNet. If you are not iiNet, and can find out the IPs of your free Steam servers, just remove those lines and add/edit accordingly.

Now, this is not a silver bullet. When these rules are on, it may restrict or otherwise affect online gaming and some Steam games may not download at all (because not every Steam content server has 100% of the steam catalogue on it!). However, when you reboot, its reset, or you can run this command at a terminal prompt:

  1. sudo /sbin/IPFW -f flush

...and the rules will be reset.  Happy free downloading!

High-Res Versions of Steam for Mac Teaser Images

Someone over at the Steam forums, made some wicked high-resolution (high-definition) versions of the new Steam for Mac teaser image Valve released a few weeks ago.  I thought viagra made in india I would post them here in case the root link goes missing for whatever reason.  "...and I'm a PC" and "iSandwich".

cheap generic cialis

Woot! Valve Confirms Steam for Mac OSX

Its been speculated for some time now, but it turns out that sometimes rumours that seem too good to be true, do materialize after all.  Steam is coming to the Mac.

And not just im some crappy pseudo lameness through a dodgy emulation or some-such, but real honest to god native application which is, according to Valve to viagra mail order usa be considered a tier-1 level platform with simultaneous releases for PC, Mac and XBox 360 from now on.  Also, Mac and PC builds will be concurrent, patches will be released to both simultaneously as well.  The source engine, also gets the native treatment, now that Valve has incorporated OpenGL into its award winning, modular engine.

Portal 2 will be Valve's first simultaneous release for Mac and Windows. "Checking in code produces a PC build and Mac build at the same time, automatically, so the two platforms are perfectly in lock-step," said Josh Weier, Portal 2 Project Lead. "We're always playing a native version on the Mac right alongside the PC. This makes it very easy for us and for anyone using Source to do game development for the Mac."

This means that all steam games will be theoretically available to Mac users. Steam and Valve's own library of games including Left 4 Dead 2, Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, Portal, and the Half-Life series will be available as soon as April (next month).

But looking at the bigger picture, I think this is a huge industry changing announcement from Valve.  I think this will be the event all Linux and Mac users had been hoping for to finally bust the lid off the "Windows is best for games".  This is a great idea from valve because it means that they're going to have access toa  huge market of new potential gamers.  I suspect that many OSX users will flock to Steam as their de facto games delivery platform, since historically only very large titles were ever ported to MAc, and generally years after the PC launch.

What's more, if Valve is to be beleived, it may be more than just Source games coming, Gabe Newell, President of Valve said:

"As we transition from entertainment as a product to entertainment as a service, customers and developers need open, high-quality Internet clients, the Mac is a great platform for entertainment services."

"Our Steam partners, who are delivering over a thousand games to 25 million Steam clients, are very excited about adding support for the Mac," said Jason Holtman, Director of Business Development at Valve. "Steamworks for the Mac supports all of the Steamworks APIs, and we have added a new feature, called Steam Play, which allows customers who purchase the product for the Mac or Windows to play on the other platform free of charge. For example, Steam Play, in combination with the Steam Cloud, allows a gamer playing on their work PC to go home and pick up playing the same game at the same point on their home Mac. We expect most developers and publishers to take advantage of Steam Play."

Given the lack of enthusiasm for Windows Vista, and given he number of people I know to be making the move from Windows to Mac, I think this will only lessen the ties people have with Windows.  Especially that source game licenses are granted for either platform.  Blizzard has done this too, for the record.  Its not quite as elegant as steam, but battle.net was (to my knowledge) the first way to get dual platform licences which could be downloaded from the web.

In summary, this is such exciting news for me, I am positively elated.  And I think that this will cause quite a stir in the games industry, in that games that support only one platform may finally be a thing of the past.

Why iPad? Because it's Cheap!

ordinary people just want something cheap that works. And that’s how the iPad will seem to them. Many will never make a conscious decision to switch. They’ll get an iPad as well, then find they use their Windows machine less and less. When it dies they won’t replace it.

via ycombinator.com

I think this is totally generic viagra united states true.  And interestingly, I think its the same reason why the MacBooks have taken off recently.  I am one of the converted.  Mac "gets" mobile computing.  They  seem to understand that when I am on the move, I dont want headaches with network connections and I just want my Laptop to work!

This being said, the iPad is a disappointment for me because I really wanted something a bit more.  I wanted something that run OSX, and had a stylus with multiple sensitivities.  I also wanted it to have a conductive touch interface and I wanted it to be as thick as the air.  THAT would have blown my world - however, I am convinced that this may actually be coming (at least in part) in the future.

I do think that the iPad was rushed and I do think that its uninspired (the iPhoneesque interface is starting to show its age).  But I also think that this wont matter at the till.  I also think that it opens up some interesting development ideas, specifically in the area of table-top gaming and traditional board games - especially when coupled with 'linked' iPhones.

I am very hopeful that the iPad succeeds in creating a new category of applications that use it unique feature set.  I truly think that limiting it to Web browsing and Book Reading would be a terrible shame.  And a waste.