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. Hurray! Easy peasy.
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.
The last line in particular will re-generate all the documentation for your installed gems (including Rails) and can take a while, but you should be able to confirm the fix by reissuing the Rails gem install command:
sudo gem install rails
shows that rails now installs properly and says that it has installed both ri and RDoc documentation without issue.
Listen up, all you Boot Camp’in Mac users … Can’t find Windows drivers for the Apple USB Ethernet adapter? Want to use use the adapter on another Windows machine? Are you crazy? Well, it turns out it CAN be done, with a little bit of trickery.
There is a lot to be said for Apple’s simplicity of design. Even their adapters and cables look as if they were pain stakingly and lovingly hand crafted by an eccentric, gay, Swedish man. Everything just looks better.
Recently, after the onboard NIC died in my Acer Aspire L3600 (which runs Windows 7 x64, and I use as a dedicated Windows Media Centre). After flashing the BIOS and jumping through several hoops with no avail, I needed to go looking for another way to get a wired >=100Mbit/s network interface into the machine. Since its ultra-compact form factor makes an internal PCI option impossible, I needed to go looking for an external (USB) option. It didn’t take long to realise that my options were going to be extremely limited and after checking out my nearby computer retailers, I had only two options. A reasonably generic SWANN adapter, or Apple’s USB Ethernet Adapter – both were in stock at my local Dick Smith Powerhouse. The problem with the SWANN adapter, is that its a single solid block, and since my Media Centre lives very close to the wall, it wasn’t desirable, while The Apple adapter can be flexed to a right angle.
Problem is, the Apple adapter says (on the back) that it can ONLY be used with an Apple MacBook. But the adapter’s drivers ARE included as part of BootCamp, which means it canfunction when running Windows on a MacBook. So with a little trickery, you can get it working on any old Windows 7 or Vista PC (32 or 64bit editions).
First, you need to download the driver for the adapter, either the 32bit or 64bit version.
Next, extract the zip file and locate the file Ax88722.inf. It needs to be altered in order to get the device drivers to be installed. In order to simplify the process, I’ve simply got the tweaked version here, for you to download. Just replace the original Ax88722.inf file with this one inside this zip file.
Next, attach your USB ethernet if you have not done so. Launch device manager (right-click on “computer” and select “Manage”). Locate the lonely unknown device “Apple USB Ethernet” and right-click it to select “Update Driver Software”.
Select “Browse my computer for driver software” and in the file browser dialog select the folder of your recently modified .INI file and continue the wizard. This should bring your Apple USB ethernet to life!
Apparently there are drivers for 32bit versions of Windows XP, put together by the BootCamp community, if you’re an XP user and feeling lucky you can try your luck with this link(but like the rest of this post, use it at your own risk).
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.
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 OS10.6 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.
Please note that Cmd is short for the Command key (otherwise called the Apple key).
Guide to the Mac’s Menu Symbol:
Key on Keyboard
Key on Keyboard
Command/Apple key (like Control on a PC)
Option (like Alt on a PC)
Control (Control-click = Right-click)
Enter (on Number Pad)
Open Sidebar item in a new window
Switch Finder views (Icon, List, Column, Cover Flow)
Cmd-1, Cmd-2, Cmd-3, Cmd-4
In List view, expand a folder
In List view, collapse a folder
Rename the selected file/folder
Press Return (or Enter)
Go into selected folder or open the selected file
Go to parent folder
Cmd-[ (that’s left square bracket)
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
Empty the Trash (with warning)
Empty the Trash (without warning)
Cancel a drag-n-drop action while in the midst of dragging
Show Inspector (a single, live refreshing Info window)
Undo the last action (such as rename file, copy file, etc.)
Hide/Show Sidebar (on the left)
Move or Remove item in toolbar (at the top of the window).
Yes you can – but not directly. To install boot camp 3.0 on Windows 7 x64 follow these instructions.
open command prompt in administrator mode
type “net user administrator /active:yes” hit enter
log out then log in as “administrator”
then open cd and navigate to “bootcamp/drivers/apple/”
once done reboot, logback in and turn off administrator account by entering “net user administrator /active:no”
viola! boot camp 3.0 on x64!
This successfully installed on my late 2008 model uni-shell MacBook (the non-pro single cast aluminium one). Windows 7 managed to get most of the drivers by default, which was a refreshing change from XP and Vista (including the wireless drivers), but once BootCamp had installed the audio was fixed, and everything was great. I installed the GeForce 9M drivers from nvidia.com and I was in action.
While using a Windows VM on my MacBook today, I needed some files off a Windows install disk. I put the disk is with no problems, did what I needed to do, and then tried to eject it. You can imagine my suprise when I could hear the drive (making its really ugly crunching sound) and then – no disk.
So I pressed eject again. Nothing.
And again. Nothing. hrmm. This wasn’t looking good.
So I went back to OSX, and the disk wasn’t being detected by OSX – despite working fine the VM. I pressed the eject button. Nothing. I logged off (thinking some app had locked the superdrive). Pressed eject. Nothing. Rebooted, holding the mouse button down(I’d heard this does an eject if done on boot) – still nothing.
I was worried.
In a last ditch attempt, I found the terminal command ‘drutil tray eject’ which made the right sounds, but didn’t eject the disk. hrmm, getting closer. I thought to myself “I wonder if it’s stuck on something?” and then (and I have to admit that I felt like i was molesting my Mac) – stuck the tip of a plastic cable tie into the slot poked around a bit (a little, just enough to feel some resistance inside) and tried ‘drutil tray eject’ again in the terminal window.
I was fortunate enough recently to get a license of Windows 7 x64 Home Premium which I promptly installed on my (non-pro) 15″ MacBook.
The install through the OSX Boot Camp wizard went really smoothly and wireless and most other drivers worked out of the box. However, on my early 2008 MacBook, the audio driver did not work (instead only red light constantly came out of the audio jack). Obviously, the driver provided by Boot Camp is not the right one. From my experiences using XP on my Mac, I remembered that the audio card is made by Realtek. After lots of googling, I downloaded the driver directly from Realtek and it worked. Here is the download link. The one I downloaded is Vista Driver (32/64 bits) Driver Version R2.14. Extract the files and run the setup.exe.
BTW, if you are looking for some older versions, you can use this ftp site. ftp://188.8.131.52/pc/audio/. This is a mirror site used by Realtek. Note that the download speed is kinda slow, so be patient.
For my whole life, I’ve basically been a Microsoft Fanboi. This isn’t because I actually believed Microsoft was better, but more so that I was a big gamer; and well, games sucked on everything that wasn’t a PC or a console. My options were limited.
So after my impressionable teen years and I started my IT career, it was really only logical to continue down that road, since in my opinion at the time, Window’s worked fine. Linux and BSD operating systems were still notoriously difficult to use, and had swarms of issues and Apple machines we’re for people who didn’t want a REAL computer. And since I still liked gaming – Windows was my de-facto standard operating system and I never thought that would ever change – until a couple of months ago when Vista finally broke what was left of my patience and spirit.
Unable to tolerate the Vista rhetoric any longer, and having been frustrated with the “omg, your computer’s sex is on fire” beauty of the new Intel-based MacBooks I made the switch. A long time ASP3, .Net developer by trade, doing the unthinkable – joined the army of people who like to wear berets, and watching Steve Jobs’ latest Apple keynote speech.
And I have never been happier, nor have I looked back.
Looking back on it, I actually think that the problem started the moment that WinFS was dropped from the (then longhorn) feature set. This was followed by more dropped features until there was nothing left to look forward to. Vista ended up being all bling and no substance. It is the Amy Winehouse of operating systems. But still, despite this, despite the endless trouble with driver accessibility, despite the pitiful security solution called UAC, despite the endless and constant flow of problems; I persevered – hopeful in the knowledge that if I gave Windows some love, it would love me back. This has always been the case with previous versions of Windows, why should this be any different? But try as I might, as patient as I was, there just ain’t no love coming from Vista. It hates you from the moment you install it, until the day that you die. And no matter how many service packs or patches I installed, it never got any easier.
It’s like the spoiled middle kid from a dysfunctional family. What’s worse, is that I suspect Microsoft knows it!
And before all of my previous comrades start cheering for Windows 7, like its the second coming, can I just point out that Windows 7 is effectively a working, stable version of Vista. Not much more. And what’s worse, your going to be charged for the pleasure of upgrading to what Vista should have been in the first place.
Having had several conversations with various Windows user’s since the purchase of my Mac, has been an interesting experience. I’ve come to realise, that Windows users have come to expect mediocrity from operating systems. And when I try to explain some of the awesomeness of OSX I am met with either apathy or a serious lack of comprehension.
It didn’t take me long at all to fall in love with the MacBook. And this is just as much a tribute to Apple elegance (when they choose to use it) as it is about Vista sucking harder than a hoover. But the single, final feature which sealed the deal was the magical MacBook, sleep and wake-up/resume functionality. It sleeps and wakes up on he close/open of the lid like any other notebook. But the speed at which is goes from fully awake → fully asleep → fully awake is simply staggering. And, unlike Windows, I mean fully asleep (minimal battery usage) to a fully awake (and fully usable) state. I have the 2.0GHz version of the 2009 aluminum MacBook, and the whole process is only a few seconds! Simply amazing.
And much of the things which have truly impressed me are not even immediately obvious. The best way I have found to summarize the difference is this; “All of the things that you [Windows users] have learned to live with, just gone!” Windows in Finder (the equivalent to Explorer) open instantly, viewing folder file properties are virtually instant, search is staggeringly fast (this is called spotlight) and often, close to instant.
Even gaming isn’t an issue (although I seldom get time for much of this these days) – I have a 30gb side partition for Boot Camp which runs Windows naively with correct drivers when I HAVE to use Windows with as much grunt as I can give it. VMWare Fusion actually lets you run the Boot Camp installation as a virtual machine if you only need basic Windows functionality (such as testing browser computability). This is sometimes to even needed, however, as many of the more popular games are sometimes available for OSX anyway.
I was expecting a lot more pain with the transition and its difficult to adequately paint the correct picture, but the simple fact is, MacBooks are amazing.