Monthly Archives: March 2014

Disable new power button sleep mode in OS X Mavericks

PowerIconOne of the new features in OS X Mavericks is a slight change to the way the power button on your Mac is used. While pressing the button on a powered-down system will start it up as expected, with OS X running, instead of bringing up the power menu as it did in the past, the behavior now has three different modes.

The first mode is to sleep your Mac, where you press the button for about a second and then release it. Continue reading

500 millionth iPhone gets little fanfare

iPhoneIconXEven though according to Forbes, Apple has cranked the 500 millionth iPhone off the assembly line, this milestone has been met with little acknowledgement by Apple.

In the past, Apple has used various milestones to promote its products and services; however, Apple has rarely done so for sales of its physical products. Instead, it has focused these efforts on milestones of sales in the App Store, or in the iTunes store. Continue reading

How to check the model number of your Mac

MacBookProIconXApple’s common system for differentiating its various models in a given computer line is a bit unique, where instead of appending a collection of letters and/or numbers to a model as it did in the past (e.g. Performa 675), it now uses a segment of the year in which the model was introduced, such as the “mid-2012” version, or the “late-2013” model, or finally the “early-2014” model.

If you need to service your system, or update it, then you may need to know this detail about it in order to Continue reading

How to properly manipulate defaults in OS X

TerminalIconXThe “defaults” system in OS X is Apple’s preferences-writing and management system, which many programs and system services use to read and write preferences to disk.

In general, the preferences written to disk are those that the developer intends to be modifiable by you or to be otherwise configured; however, in addition to these there are quite often a number of hidden settings that are in a particular program’s defaults. Continue reading

How to back up your Mac

TimeMachineIconXWhen using or troubleshooting your Mac, you may be eager to jump in and get to work; however, it is worth your while to ensure your system is properly backed up, especially if your work and data is important, or if you plan on making changes to the system in any way (e.g., installing software, or tweaking a system component).

There are several ways to back up your data on a Mac, with two that are the most recommended options. Continue reading

How to check for free hard drive space in OS X

HardDriveIconXMaintaining a small amount of free drive space is required to keep your Mac running optimally. Even though can add files until the hard drive is full, if you encroach on the last few gigabytes of space, the system will not be able to manage its virtual memory footprint as easily, resulting in slower performance. Additionally, even though OS X manages file fragmentation for conventional hard drives well by keeping 20MB chunks of data in contiguous blocks, this feature requires free space to work. Continue reading

How to use the system console in OS X

ConsoleIconXWhen programs and services run on your system, they are programmed to give some sort of indication of what they are doing, either through a graphical interface or some added function for the system. Since no program is perfect, programmers build in logging routines that indicate when specific tasks are done, or at least tried, by their programs.

The Console in OS X is a utility that allows you to see some of these ongoing messages the system and running applications are Continue reading

Troubleshooting Mac power adaptors

PowerAdaptorIconXIf you own one of Apple’s portable systems, you will have either a 60-watt or 85-watt power adaptor that comes with the unit for charging it. With these, you can either charge your battery or run the system directly from wall power; however, there are times when these adaptors may not work properly, or at least show behaviors that might be concerning. Continue reading

Fix QuickLook errors in OS X

QuickLookIconXQuickLook is a service built into OS X that allows you to quickly preview the contents of many document types. When browsing through your files in the Finder, to view their contents simply highlight one and then press the spacebar to open the preview window.

This service should work for many common file types, including images, movies, presentations, and common formats like Word, Text, Pages, and PDFs. Continue reading