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.

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 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.

Only 11 More Sleeps…

Words cannot describe how much this excites me.  Only in my wildest dreams did I think Steam (my absolute favorite gaming platform) would ever come to Mac OSX.  Then I saw this news, which made me giddier than a school-girl.

I watched April come and go, and still no Steam for Mac.

But then my patience was rewarded when Valve gave a hard date of May 12, 2010 as the official release date.  Now obviously we Mac peeps wont get the entire Steam catalog, but Valve has more-or-less promised their library and any future games to be simultaneously released on PC, Mac and XBox360.

Valve also has a nasty habit of pushing back release dates again, and again - but I am hopeful that this time, they'll do us proud.

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 I would post them here in case the root link goes missing for whatever reason.  "...and I'm a PC" and "iSandwich".

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 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.

Apple’s Magic Mouse Now Running Properly Under Windows

As I've indicated earlier, I am a massive fan of Apple's Magic Mouse.  While it does carry a heavy price tag, I thought it was completely worth it.  But a sad draw-back was that under Windows (pecicially Boot Camp), the mouse only works as a standard 2 button mouse.

But thanks to a little hackery from Apple’s Bluetooth Update (located here) the Magic Mouses driver was extracted via WinRar resulting in a 32bit version and a 64bit version that you can install on any ordinary Windows PC that will enable all the scrolling ‘magic’ of the Magic Mouse.
lasertracking_20091020

The Ultimate Mac Keyboard Shortcut List

I have found possibly the best site on the Internet:

I like to figure out the fastest way to do things. I hope these shortcuts will help you become the power user that lies within. These keystrokes should work on Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard and 10.5 Leopard (many also work on 10.4 Tiger). I add new shortcuts as I find them, so check back! I’m still exploring Snow Leopard and will be updating this page as I discover new goodies.

Last week I have tried this medicine and would like to recommend you. Viagra alternative new drugs? We would strongly recommend you to consult your doctor before taking a medication.

Please note that Cmd is short for the Command key (otherwise called the Apple key).

Guide to the Mac’s Menu Symbol:

Symbol
Key on Keyboard
Symbol
Key on Keyboard
Command/Apple key (like Control on a PC)
Delete
Option (like Alt on a PC)
Escape
Shift
Page Up
Control (Control-click = Right-click)
Page Down
Tab
Home
Return
End
Enter (on Number Pad)
Arrow Keys

Finder Shortcuts

Action Keystroke
Open Sidebar item in a new window Cmd-Click it
Switch Finder views (Icon, List, Column, Cover Flow) Cmd-1, Cmd-2, Cmd-3, Cmd-4
In List view, expand a folder Right Arrow
In List view, collapse a folder Left Arrow
Rename the selected file/folder Press Return (or Enter)
Go into selected folder or open the selected file Cmd-Down Arrow
Go to parent folder Cmd-Up Arrow
Go Back Cmd-[  (that’s left square bracket)
Go Forward Cmd-]  (that’s right square bracket)
Select the next icon in Icon and List views Tab (Shift-Tab reverses direction)
Alternate columns in Column View Tab (Shift-Tab reverses direction)
Instantly show long file name (for names condensed with a “...”) Hold Option while mousing over long filenames
Resize current column to fit the longest file name Double-Click column resize widget
Resize all columns to fit their longest file names Option Double-Click resize widget
Copy and Paste files Cmd-C, then Cmd-V
Move a file instead of copying. (Copies the file to the destination and removes it from the original disk.) Cmd-Drag file to disk
Move selected files to the Trash Cmd-Delete
Empty the Trash (with warning) Cmd-Shift-Delete
Empty the Trash (without warning) Cmd-Opt-Shift-Delete
Cancel a drag-n-drop action while in the midst of dragging Esc
Show Inspector (a single, live refreshing Info window) Cmd-Opt-I
Undo the last action (such as rename file, copy file, etc.) Cmd-Z
Hide/Show Sidebar (on the left) Cmd-Opt-T
Move or Remove item in toolbar (at the top of the window).
This works in most programs.
Cmd-drag
Open Quick Look (Mac OS 10.5) With file selected, tap Spacebar (or Cmd-Y)
Zoom In/Out on a Quick Look Preview Cmd-Plus(+) or Cmd-Minus(-)
Find by File Name (Mac OS 10.5) Cmd-Shift-F