If you are concerned about your Mac starting to run slow or become unstable, you may have looked into regularly running maintenance routines to clear caches, log files, and other temporary items from your system. You may have even seen advertisements for programs that automate these tasks. While such routines can be beneficial if a system is experiencing slowdowns, and should not adversely affect the system if implemented correctly, there is potential for something to go awry. This is especially true if you use an outdated version of these software packages that may have a bug or two in it.… Read more
One of the features in the OS X Finder is Quick Look, which lets you bring up an information window for the document, and if the system has a supported plug-in for it, enables you to preview its contents before launching a program to handle it.
If you have more than one item selected in the Finder when using Quick Look, you can use arrow keys to navigate through the selection. If only one item is selected, then pressing the arrow keys with the preview window open will move to the next item in the current Finder folder and display … Read more
Apple's Time Machine backup service in OS X supports options to back up data to locally attached drives, or to networked drives such as Apple's Time Capsule devices. In addition, you can configure Time Machine to back up to a share point on another Mac. For instance, if you have a large 2-3TB USB drive attached to a desktop Mac, you can mount this drive on any other Mac as a shared folder, and then use it as a Time Machine backup destination.
This setup should provide you with networked backups, without needing to purchase a separate NAS … Read more
When you download a file in OS X, often the site issuing it may have a SHA (Secure Hash Algorithm) checksum listed, which you can use to verify the file. Checksums are a quick algorithm that takes select parts of a file and performs a quick computation on them (summing, multiplying, and otherwise combining them) that results in a number or code that should be unique to that file's contents. Since the sums are computed using data from all parts of the file, the sum is an indicator of file integrity, and can be used to verify the version … Read more
If you have attached a secondary display to your Mac, be it a computer monitor, a projector, or a television, you might naturally wish for the Mac to output video in the display's native resolution. This will keep the pixels at an even 1:1 ratio, resulting in a crisp image instead of one that blends pixels together, aliasing the image and making it look a touch fuzzy.
Unfortunately, sometimes when you connect an external display, the system will not output to its native resolution, and may show a blurred image, or show an image at a different aspect … Read more
Apple is currently preparing a supplemental update for OS X 10.8.5 users, which should address some outstanding bugs that have cropped up in the latest OS X release.
Apple's latest OS X 10.8.5 update, issued on September 12, brought a number of fixes including improved 802.11ac support, among other fixes for screensavers, networking, and authentication. However, along with these fixes the update seemed to break functionality for a number of users, who have posted numerous complaints on the Apple discussion boards.
Is your Mac taking a little slower to boot, open applications, and otherwise perform some tasks? If so then one reason may be if your hard drive has minimal free space left on it. As with most operating systems, OS X uses a virtual memory system for managing memory, and this system optimizes RAM by using the hard drive as an intermediary storage location for unused memory contents. This process is similar to moving unused papers from a desk to a drawer temporarily, to free up more desk space so you can work optimally.
As with a cluttered desk, a … Read more
Security company Intego recently found a new malware package for OS X, called OSX/Leverage.A, which appears to be yet another targeted command-and-control Trojan horse, this time with apparent associations with the Syrian Electronic Army; however, Apple has blocked its ability to run with an XProtect update only days after its discovery.
The Trojan horse is distributed as an application disguised as a picture of two people kissing, presumably a scene from the television show "Leverage," hence the name of the Trojan.
When the Trojan's installer is opened, it will open an embedded version of the … Read more
When you create a user account in OS X, it will by default show as as a clickable icon in the log-in screen; however, there are ways you can hide a user account, if desired. For example, if you would like to keep all accounts on your system as managed and restricted accounts, then you can keep your administrative account from showing up in the log-in window.
There are several ways to do this:Require name and password at log-on The first and foremost is to forgo using a graphical approach to account identification at the log-in window. This means … Read more
When you create a user account in OS X, the system will create default share points for the account, so if you enable file sharing you can access your data with little additional effort, if any. Most of these shared locations, such as the home folder, are specific for the user itself; however, in addition to these the system will make the user's Public folder and its enclosed "Drop Box" folder more openly available to other users on the system.
While access to these folders is limited to the users on the system by default, if you … Read more