Enable quick access to the keyboard and emoji viewer in macOS The keyboard and emoji viewers are handy utilities in macOS and it's possible to access them quickly by enabling an option in the Keyboard Preferences. This lets you bring up the keyboard or the emoji viewer easily from the top menu bar like this...
Workaround for Mobile Safari scrollTop() not updating during scroll I've recently discovered that on Mobile Safari the $(window).scrollTop() would not update during the scroll event animation. It appeared to only update after the scroll (the elastic scroll) had finished its animation. This was a rather annoying 'feature' for me because I needed to update my UI during the animation, so I went looking for a workaround and here's what I've come up with.
How to uninstall Samsung Smart Switch from your Mac I had a need to install Samsung's Smart Switch app on my Mac this weekend to transfer files over from an Android phone. That's when I discovered how horribly incompatible Android and Apple devices really are and just how terrible Samsung's software is. They don't follow the standard way that apps that run on a Mac get uninstalled, preferring the Windows style approach instead. Boo. This is how you get rid of Smart Switch from your Mac if you happened to (probably accidentally) have installed it.
No sound or microphone when answering calls on an iPhone So this all started when I took my iPhone 6s to the Apple Store to have its battery replaced. They warned me that there was a chance that the phone may be damaged during battery replacement but if that happened, I'd get a replacement phone free of charge. I didn't think that was very likely so just went ahead with it.
NeoOffice Viewer macOS Word Document viewer vs Preview and Microsoft Word It's amazing how much of a market share Microsoft has when it comes to people producing documents using it's Office software on Windows. I often find myself in situations where I have to read DOC or DOCX files on my Mac and without a Mac version of Office installed this can be quite frustrating. So I decided to try the NeoOffice Viewer which is a free product that runs on macOS and lets you view (but not edit) files created in Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Importance of cleaning the internal fans and heatsinks in a MacBook Pro A few days ago I decided to give my MacBook Pro's internal fans and heatsinks a clean, but before I did that I decided to collect some data on temperatures before the clean out. I knew my Mac has been running hotter than usual lately, I just didn't know how bad it was. I've not cleaned its heatsinks or fans ever since I purchased it back in 2012 (4 years now).
Add batch image resize functionality to macOS using Automator If you were used to using the Preview app for resizing images in batch, both in macOS Sierra and OS X El Capitan the 'Save All' feature has been removed so it became a real pain to use. Nobody wants to click 'Save' on every single image after resizing them all (especially if you have dozens or hundreds of images), but luckily there is a way to simplify and automate this process.
Show transfer percentage and speed when copying files in Linux and Bash As great as Linux/Bash is, sometimes I wish some of the built-in commands did a little bit more than the bare minimum. Of these the 'cp' command is something that I always thought should have had a way to show progress when copying files. There are many questions about this very thing on StackExchange like this one and this one. My preferred solution is to use 'rsync' but I'm also a big fan of simplifying things and can never remember all the various command line options required. So this post shows my little trick to enabling file copy speed and percentage display when copying files.
How to open apps from unidentified developers on macOS Sierra In macOS Sierra, the security around apps from unidentified developers has really been tightened. In previous releases of the OS you were given an option to open the app if it came from an unidentified developer but it seems that Sierra just gives you the 'OK' option and will not launch the app. There is a way around it however so read on for how to do it.
Make the new Gmail App delete messages instead of archiving The new Gmail App has been released on iOS a couple of days ago and while going through the settings I noticed that deleted messages were set to Archive instead of being Moved to bin i.e. deleted. I think this is a bit undesirable, pressing delete should delete the message, so here's how to make sure it does!
Pulse Secure VPN not working on macOS Sierra and how to fix it If you're running the 5.2 version of the Pulse Secure VPN client and happen to have upgraded to macOS Sierra, you will quickly find that it has lost your settings and is not able to make any connections. Instead it displays the message "Failed to connect to the Pulse Secure Service". Great!
Multiple page PDF scanning does not work in macOS Sierra If you're trying to use the macOS Sierra Image Capture utility and scanning multiple pages to a PDF file and wondering why you're ending up with just the first page, you're not alone. I've found this problem when doing some scans this morning, it seems that even when the 'Combine into single document' option is checked, any pages scanned after the first one are simply ignored.
VMware Fusion stops working after macOS Sierra upgrade I've been running the same version of VMware Fusion on a number of OS X releases and even though it was a rather old verion (6.0.6) it continued to work all the way up to and including on El Capitan. The official documentation stated that configuration was not supported, but it worked. Now I upgraded to macOS Sierra and all hell broke loose. None of my VMs would start and to make it worse the actual Fusion App itself was badly broken.
How to remove missing songs from iTunes for free without any Apps I've moved my music collection between media servers recently and so my iTunes library got a little bit messed up. There were lots and lots of missing files. I started looking into ways of removing these and quickly found various apps that would do it for you, but those were not free. If you don't mind fiddling with iTunes a little you can find and delete all of the missing songs in your library without any apps and without paying a cent. Here's how.
Human Resource Machine - a game that teaches programming I was browsing the Apple App Store today and saw that there was a $0.99 special on a bunch of games and so thought I'd check some out. One that caught my eye was 'Human Resource Machine', which is a game about learning how to write code. I tried it out and it's actually quite fun (mind you I already like writing coding anyway).
Ingress crashing on launch after iOS 9.3.3 update I updated my iPhone 6s to iOS 9.3.3 today and noticed that Ingress started crashing every time I went into it. It looks like just as it zeros in on my location and the map is about to appear, it crashes.
How to stop the iMovie Video rendering error: 10008 On the weekend I was putting together some video footage from separate movie clips that I captured on my dashcam and every time I tried to export my project I'd get a 'Video rendering error: 10008' message. The same thing happened if I tried to share directly to YouTube too. This is how I managed to stop the error and successfully export my movie.
How to change IntelliJ IDEA Terminal background and colours IntelliJ IDEA is a fantastic IDE, much better than any other IDE I've used in the past. It's my IDE of choice for most of my professional development work so I use it on quite a regular basis. A really cool feature it has is that it's possible to run the OS shell in a Terminal tab. The default colour scheme of course sets the background to white and foreground to black, not very Terminal-like. This is how you can get the Terminal tab looking like it should.
Getting jQuery and iOS playing nicely to programatically select input field contents Something as simple as the jQuery .select() should just work across all browsers and platforms but it doesn't. I know jQuery Mobile attempts to solve the deficiencies that the multi-platform/device ecosystem creates, however not everyone wants to use jQM and sometimes it's easier to create a small workaround. This is exactly what I did to get input field text selection working for my Travel Microblog project.
A better way to handle fixed position DIV elements with form input fields Not long ago I wrote about Mobile Safari scrolling problem with an input field inside a fixed DIV and provided a solution that used a small amount of CSS to make the scrolling issue go away. This worked really well until I discovered that by setting overflow to auto caused the 'scroll' event to never fire. I rely on the scroll event firing so that I can dynamically load more data into a page, so this forced me into finding a better solution and here it is.
Digitizing old photos with a scanner and some handy scripts Over the past couple of months I've been digitizing my parents' old photos with the aid of a scanner and some ImageMagick scripts. The scanning itself is quite an arduous process, and the cropping and rotating of the images is equally as much work so I decided to see if I could automate at least a part of this.
Mobile Safari scrolling problem with an input field inside a fixed DIV I've come across an issue in Mobile Safari while working on my travelblog.ws where 'fixed DIV' popup forms would cause the page behind the popup to scroll up as soon as the form was displayed. I narrowed this down to the jQuery .focus() method, but that wasn't the cause of the problem. Once I disabled auto-focusing of the first input field in my forms and manually selected an input field, the same behaviour manifested. I did manage to fix the issue eventually though.
Sony PS4 Remote Play on OSX connected to a Dell U3415W A couple of days ago the PlayStation Blog announced it's 3.50 System Software Update which included one of the best features released in a long time - Remote Play with support for PC and Mac! I took some time out today to check it out and I really like it.
iOS 9.3 Night Shift mode not available on older devices but you can still run f.lux So I've been waiting for iOS 9.3 to come out specifically for the Night Shift mode that's been promised and finally it's been delivered, but it will not be available on older devices like my original iPad mini! (it is there on my iPhone 6s.) Going to Settings > Display & Brightness shows the usual screen with Night Shift missing.
Does f.lux for OSX really make a difference to your sleep patterns? You've probably heard of f.lux, an app that reduces the amount of blue light that your screen puts out at night. That is meant to help with sleep problems due to distorted circadian rhythms caused by the blue light. I've been using f.lux for a few weeks now to see if it actually has some sort of effect, read on to check out what I observed.
Apple finally kills Free iTunes Radio but there is redemption with Pandora It was a few weeks ago that Apple announced that it will stop streaming free radio stations on iTunes. That announcement apparently came through in an email, I never received that, oh well here we are anyway. Free radio stations on iTunes are officially dead, the only remaining free station is Apple's own Beats 1, which may as well not be there given it's poor and biased selection.
Apple replacing AC wall plug adapters due to electrocution concerns Apple has recently announced its AC Wall Plug Adapter Exchange Program for certain affected power plugs. At first I wasn't too worried when I saw this but then I kept on seeing it pop up all over the place and decided to checked it out. Ironically both of my plugs were affected. The exchange process is very simple, though I thought Apple's web site was a little skimp on information.
Got an old Apple TV 2? You could be sitting on a gold mine! I've not used my Apple TV 2 for quite some time, specifically after I replaced it with a Raspberry Pi running Plex. Recently however I did a search on eBay for ATV2 and found that these old devices are being listed for staggering amounts. So if you got an old Apple TV 2 and are willing to spend a few minutes jailbreaking it and setting up some additional software, you could rake in a neat profit.
Chrome and Safari keep saying ad.doubleclick.net requires a client certificate I've noticed today that ad.doubleclick.net started asking for client certificates when browsing in Safari and Chrome on OS X. For some reason mutual authentication is being performed by the doubleclick (Google) servers. I'm guessing this is a configuration issue on the Google side as there is generally no need to have the client prove their identity, especially when serving ads. That or this is some new ad tracking technology gone wrong.
Facebook finally has searchable stickers on iOS Ok so maybe this feature has been out for a couple of weeks now but I still find it really cool. The Android version of the Facebook App had searchable stickers for a long time, but this was not available in iOS until recently. It's easy to use and has a number of preset searches already but you can put in your own search terms too. The best part is you don't have to download the entire sticker album to use one particular sticker.
How to remove images from Skype's 'Recents' profile pictures list in OSX Skype allows you to change the picture that's displayed as your avatar, the (sometimes) unfortunate side effect is it keeps all of the previous pictures you used in its 'Recents' tab. I never really liked this kind of functionality, but do admit it can come in useful sometimes. In the case of Facebook you can delete the recent profile photos, but in Skype, at least on OS X there is no way to remove these recent pictures within the app itself. However, there is a more complicated way to remove them if you're willing to put a few minutes of your time into it.
Is Apple's iOS News app a Google Play Newsstand killer? Apple updated iOS to version 9.1 recently and with that brought out its new News app. I had a bit of a play around with it and must say that I do really like it. It is a built-in app so there is no additional download, it also means you can't remove it and every iOS 9.1 device will have it. This isn't necessarily a bad thing because as you will see below it boasts all the features you would want in a free news reader app and it is a serious competitor to Google's Play Newsstand. But is it a Newsstand killer?
OneNote vs Apple Notes round two, Microsoft loses this time More than a year ago now I wrote an article mostly praising Microsoft's OneNote app on OS X. Now that OS X 10.11 El Capitan has been released, my position on OneNote has become less enthusiastic. I really did love aspects of OneNote for a time, but for my purposes Apple's updated Notes App does the job better all around.
XtraFinder not working on OSX 10.11 El Capitan I was super excited when XtraFinder was released. It really transformed how Finder in OS X worked. I loved the folders on top sorting and many of its other features. Unfortunately it ceased to function in OS X 10.11 El Capitan.
With iPhone 6s having arrived I'm just about ready to throw my iPhone 5 in the trash I was surprised to find my iPhone 6S arrived on Friday the 25th, the day it was arriving to everyone who preordered it. I was one of those people who put in the preorder in the last possible minute, I guess I just got lucky. This is the first new phone I've had in years, replacing my old iPhone 5, which I'm about ready to throw out, and by that I really mean pass it onto my parents like most tech items seem to go in my family.
Dealing with iOS9 ad blockers on your ad sponsored blog A new release of iOS always brings in new features and its share of troubles and this time it hasn't been any different. Since the iOS 9 release date on the 16th of September, Apple made available its content blocker API to developers. This brought out a deluge of ad blocker apps on the App Store, with some topping the charts within moments of release. This may be a welcome addition to many people, but something that many miss is how this hurts those sites and blogs that rely on advertising revenue to pay for their hosting fees.
How to resume/unpause paused apps in OS X My OS X Hackintosh that I use as a home server has started behaving strangely recently, iTunes would stop responding, Plex would not work and sometimes I couldn't even log into the server itself. What I noticed was that Apps were being 'Paused'. This is how I resolved it.
Creating a bootable SD card for RaspberryPi on OSX is so easy now It's been some time since I've had to create a fresh Raspberry Pi SD card and I'm really pleased how easy it is to do now. There is no need to get your hands dirty with command line tools like diskutil or dd, just download a graphical app and let it do the work for you. In my case I used the ApplePi Baker. The app is super easy to use and it shows you progress so you don't have to be guessing how much time is left before your SD card is ready to go.
How to package your Java code as a native app on OSX into a DMG file I've come across a nice tool in the Java 8 SDK (Java 7 has it too, but it has a different name) that lets you package your Java application as a native app for a range of platforms. This tool is called javapackager and it makes distribution of you Java apps so much easier than previously and best of all, it's part of the JDK itself.
OS X and iOS Safari iCloud Tabs not synchronising? This is how you fix it! At some point in the recent past I've noticed that my Safari iCloud Tabs stopped working and synchronising between my iPhone and my Macbook Pro. I am not sure exactly when this happened, probably after the iOS 8 upgrade, but something's changed. I looked into this a bit further and found out the cause and how to fix it.
Facebook disables chat, leaves Adium dead in the water, but there is a solution Adium is a fantastic IM client for Mac, but unfortunately its been lacking updates in the recent times. When it comes to Facebook Chat, Adium used to work flawlessly with it, however over the past month or so it started to play up. First, I could not use the standard Facebook account support, it would ask me to authenticate over and over. I got around that by switching to the chat.facebook.com Jabber account, this allowed me to keep using my Facebook account with Adium for a time, but last weekend that finally stopped working too. This is happening in version 1.5.11b2 of Adium. Although it looks like Facebook chat support for Adium is gone, there is a way forward.
Cornerstone is the best SVN client for Mac I've been using Cornerstone 2 on my Mac for about 6 months now and cannot imagine using anything else. Prior to this, I preferred to use svn commands on the Terminal, but then realised I was wasting time doing this - some tasks are much easier to do with a UI. When I finally decided to switch to a graphical client, I went through a lot of different apps before settling on Cornerstone 2. Of the apps I tried out, many didn't feel right or had the necessary feature sets for me (svnX, Versions) or had too high of a licence fee (SmartSVN). I went through many more SVN apps than that, including some Java clients.
LASER! - Endless Laser Dodging Action I was browsing through the games in the iTunes store and this game caught my attention: LASER! - Endless Laser Dodging Action. The reason I downloaded it was because it reminded me of Monument Valley, you have to admit the resemblance is there. However, the looks is as close as it gets. I found LASER! to be ok to kill a few minutes of your time, but wasn't super impressed with it overall.
Fallout Shelter bugs and glitches and amusing features I've been playing Fallout Shelter since it came out and after some initial struggles I finally got it to work on my iPhone. Well, that was not the end of the journey in terms of problems I've encountered. This is a collection of all the bugs and glitches and some of the more amusing features that I've come across in this game.
Fallout Shelter - it's a game about sex, violence and sweet sweet loot After some initial struggles getting Fallout Shelter to run on my iPad mini, I was able to get it going on my iPhone 5 (yes I really do need to upgrade both soon!). The game is all it's hyped up to be and more, it's really addictive and lots of fun, though with bouts of frustration thrown in for good measure.
Record iPhone screen video and audio without Jailbreaking or special apps in OSX I've been looking at making a recording on my iPhone's screen to make a video and at first was stuck for options. I tried some apps that claim to do this but they didn't work properly, then I found out that it's possible to use QuickTime Player to record your iPhone's screen directly from your Mac without needing a Jailbreak or any extra hardware.
Fallout Shelter really does not work on iPad Mini I was really excited by the Fallout 4 announcement and then by Fallout Shelter being launched on the App Store. I love Fallout so I downloaded Fallout Shelter on my iPad Mini to see what it's like. Long story short is I have no idea because it doesn't work on the Mini.
Last Voyage - a game to play if you loved Monument Valley I really loved Monument Valley when it came out. Then there was an expansion and a special level released. I've been craving for more of the same style of game play and recently came across a title that approaches that, it's called Last Voyage. Although you don't have a central character to play, the game is about puzzles and has a mysterious feel to it.
How to select columns of text in OSX Applications If you've ever needed a quick way of selecting a column of text in OS X (this tip should work in Windows too by the way), this is a tip for you. In most applications that display simple text, you can do this by holding down the Alt/Option key and dragging your mouse to select a column (or rather a box) of text that you want.
Use a Sony Bravia TV to power a RaspberryPi 2 running Plex I've had an ageing Apple TV 2 for quite some time now, it's been running the aTV Flash (Black) software to stream from my local file server, although that setup was mostly working fine, I was noticing a lack of features, so I've decided to replace the ATV2 with a Raspberry Pi 2 and Plex and to make it all run by drawing power from the TV itself.
Simple JMeter counter example This is a simple example on how to create and use a counter inside JMeter. The counter can be set up so that it increments independently for each user i.e. thread, or it can be a global counter. The process to define either type of counter is almost identical.
Change the JRE used for SoapUI on OSX I use SoapUI on a regular basis and today I wanted to change the JDK that it uses. I've noticed that by default the OS X installation of SoapUI 5.1.2 is using JRE 1.7. On my system, I've had the 1.8 JDK set as the default for quite some time, my ~/.profile file pointed to the 1.8 JDK bin directory for the PATH and the JAVA_HOME was set correctly, so it was puzzling to me why 1.7 was being picked up by SoapUI. I dug a little deeper and found the answer.
Use 'Separate Spaces' option in OSX to stop the second display switching desktops At home I use my Mac in clamshell mode so I've never had a need to do anything on the second display, however at the office everyone who was not using an external monitor was given one now, so all of a sudden I had a second display to use. As soon as I connected it, I instantly remembered why I've been avoiding dual displays on a Mac - whenever you changed desktops on one, the second display would change its desktop too. This is very annoying if you use the second display to hold some reference material or a document while you work on the primary display. Luckily with Yosemite (although I think it was added in Mavericks) this can be changed.
External monitor not working on boot up with OSX Yosemite and FileVault I've recently enabled FileVault on my OS X Yosemite install, everything went well at first, then it came to restarting my Mac to complete installation and this is where I hit a snag. My laptop is always in clamshell mode when I'm working from home, so naturally I rely on having everything displayed on the external monitor. With FileVault, after the laptop boots up, you're asked for a password, at this point even if your external monitor is plugged in, you will not get anything displayed on it. The laptop will sit waiting for you to open it up and type in your password before it continues to boot.
Alto's Adventure on iOS Alto's Adventure is another one of those 'endless running' type of games, except you're on a snowboard and you have to rescue the Llamas that have escaped. The story is very simple and the controls even simpler, simply tap the screen to jump or hold to start doing a flip, which can end up as a trick. I played the game for a while, it was fun, but it didn't really draw me in too much to be honest.
Remove unwanted accounts from the Skype login window on OSX If you have old skype accounts you don't use or had someone login on your computer with their Skype account, the chances are that the Skype login window remembered this account and has it in its drop-down list. This can be irritating, but there is an easy solution to get rid of these offending accounts as well as their data from your Skype login window.
Giant Boulder of Death on iOS I know that I'm late to the table on this one, but while I was on a plane this week I saw someone playing this game and it looked amazing. For the next flight I made sure that I had downloaded Giant Boulder of Death (GBoD) so that I could (literally) spend the entire flight playing it. This game is super fun and addictive and if you get kicks out of rolling a giant boulder and crushing innocent cows, hitchhikers and lumberjacks, you will love it too.
Get notifications from your Android device on your Mac I use a Mac for work, I also have an Android for work. I have the tendency to leave my phone in my bag a lot of the time so this makes me miss phone calls and messages that could be important. At first I thought the only solution is to simply check my phone, but after searching around I found an App called Pushbullet that pushes notifications from your Android to your Mac. You'll (or rather I) won't miss a work related call or txt again even if my phone is in my bag!
Stop OS X tar from including hidden ._ files in archives I've noticed that when I use the OS X tar command that it adds a bunch of files that start with ._ to the archive. These files store extended file information and are useful on OS X, but on a system that does not understand them, they just add clutter.
FireCore fixes AppleTV restart loop issue in its 2.5 software update FireCore has updated its aTV Black software for Apple TV to version 2.5. This version fixes the crash-restart loop that started occurring after Trakt.tv updated their API. This looks like a maintenance release, mostly fixing the issues with Trakt.tv. I'm still waiting for useful new features to be added by FireCore, which seem to be bent on disappointing their members who bought lifetime subscription.
OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 update fixes previously terrible graphics performance The OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 update resolves a number of OS and Security features as well as adding some visual perks like nice new toolbar icons in Mail.app. However, the most enticing reason to get this update is because it hugely improved graphics performance, something that Apple left off the official update notes.
Deluge not starting on OS X - how to fix it Every now and then my Deluge app fails to start on the home server. This was a little frustrating at first, but then I figured out what was going wrong. This is how to fix Deluge and make it start again.
iOS 8.1.3 update released with less space needed to upgrade The iOS 8.1.3 release has been made public. It weighs in at 136Mb (on both my iPad and iPhone). Apple faced a massive backlash over space requirements for iOS updates, this update fixes that, you no longer need gigabytes of free space, however it does take some time to complete the upgrade. On my devices, it took around 11 minutes to prepare and install the upgrade, and another 7 or so minutes to download it in the first place.
Enable OS X quick look feature to view Markdown files If you do any kind of software development or use any open source software the chances are that you have come across Markdown files, typically something like README.md. If you're on OS X, there is no easy way to view these out of the box. This is where qlmarkdown comes to the rescue. It's a QuickLook addon that renders the Markdown formatted files directly in the quick look window.
Stop the iPhone WiFi hotspot from starting automatically when plugged into a Mac via USB The Handoff features were introduced with iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. One of those features is to automatically start the WiFi hotspot on your iDevice as needed. This feature can be great in some circumstances, but in others it can be a downright pain. I found that plugging your iPhone into a Mac causes the hotspot to start by default, that's not needed nor desired in my case, so here are a few steps on how to disable that feature.
Thousands of free classic DOS games for your Mac with Archive.org and Boxer Archive.org has made available thousands of DOS games for free that can be played directly in your browser. The list of games consists of classics like Commander Keen, Wolfenstein 3D, Leisure Suite Larry, Sim City and Prince of Persia. This is all well and good, but the in-browser games do not appear to work in Safari; they do work in Chrome. Not all games are downloadable directly either, but with a bit of URL manipulation and the Boxer app, you can get these running directly on your Mac. Here's how.
How to fix the Apple TV 2 restart loop introduced with the Trakt.tv API updates Around around the 30th of December 2014, my Apple TV 2 got stuck in a constant restart loop where it would briefly show the main screen only to crash out and restart again. This went on an on for a while. I've re-installed the seas0npass software and put FireCore's ATV2 Flash back as well, this made it work again, but as soon as I entered my Trakt.tv login details, the crash/restart loop would come back.
Hands on with DuetDisplay - bugs, terrible performance, not worth it I was really excited when I heard that about the Duet app that promised to make your iPad into a second screen with good refresh rates and even retina resolution (if available). I downloaded the app and installed it as soon as it was available, only to be severely disappointed by how buggy and slow it is.
XtraFinder updated to 0.25, fixes annoying refresh bug If you are using OS X Yosemite and don't have XtraFinder, you need to get it. It adds functionality to Finder that should have been there all along, like sorting all folders on top, a feature that's so useful I can't believe Apple didn't include it in the first place.
iOS 8.1.2 update fixes the missing ringtones issue This update has been out for a few days now and I finally thought that I'd get it. What does it fix? Well remember when you installed iOS 8 and your custom ringtones were gone? This update supposedly fixes the ability to have those again, but I say it's a few months too late.
Bad graphics performance while zooming screen in OS X Yosemite It appears that if you use the screen zooming feature in OS X Yosemite and you happen to have an external monitor attached to your Mac's laptop, you're in for a world of trouble. In Mavericks, zooming the screen was not a problem, it was smooth and worked as expected. In Yosemite, the performance drops significantly while zooming. I used NovaBench to run just the GPU Test to prove this and here are the results.
How to stop OS X auto spelling correction Ever since the upgrade to OS Yosemite, I've noticed the automatic spelling correction has been ruthless and fast. Working in an IT field and using quite a few TLAs (three letter acronyms), this led to a lot of backspacing and correcting the auto-correct and causing lots of frustration. Finally, I decided that the auto-correction simply had to be turned off, this is how you do it.
How to fix Safari Can't Open the Page error Ever since the upgrade to OS X Yosemite, I've noticed some sites in Safari just would not load. This typically happened when I had to log into a site to access admin features. The same site would work find in Chrome however. This was really getting under my skin, but I did manage to find a solution and this is how to fix it.
Monument Valley - Ida's (RED) Dream level in support of World AIDS Day Just as I was excited that Monument Valley got an update and eight new chapters via the Forgotten Shores expansion, now there is a new (and final) chapter available for a short period of time. The chapter is called "Ida's (RED) Dream" and it is created in support of the World AIDS Day. The price is $1.29, which gets you one new chapter of the game, 100% of the proceeds go towards fighting AIDS however, so its' a good cause.
iOS 8.1.1 update is available for download The new iOS 8 update, 8.1.1 is available for download and install on your iDevices now. The update fixes some bugs and improves performance, no specifics are available about what bugs are actually fixed though. The size of the update depends on your iDevice. On my iPhone 5 it was 43.4Mb and on my iPad mini it was 121Mb. You still need 1.1Gb of free space on your device to install this update!
OS X Yosemite 10.10 issues This is a list of OS X Yosemite issues that I've come across from daily use. I'll add to these as I encounter more and will update when/if they are fixed in the future releases.
Rename multiple files easily in OS X Yosemite One very useful feature in OS X Yosemite is the ability to rename multiple files with ease using Finder. This functionality is quite flexible with several options on how files should be renamed.
Fix the javax.net.ssl.SSLException: Received fatal alert: illegal_parameter in SOAP UI I've started receiving the 'javax.net.ssl.SSLException: Received fatal alert: illegal_parameter' exception when sending requests to some web services. These services were all working fine previously and continue to work when invoked from other applications e.g. OSB. This could only mean that the issue was local. Turns out that the problem started occurring due to a JDK upgrade.
MP150 and MP Navigator even less usable under OS X Yosemite I've written about the Canon MP150 printer/scanner no longer scanning out of the box under Mavericks. Back then the MP Navigator utility still let you use the scan features however, which extended the life of the device. Under Yosemite, the MP Navigator software is broken and is more or less unusable. There is a workaround, but it is ugly and produces terrible scan results.
Onyx for OS X Yosemite available Onyx, my favourite utility for OS X has been updated to work with OS X Yosemite. This utility lets you verify and clean your OS as well as tweak many settings that are otherwise not available to change. This is a must have for any serious OS X user.
Mac computer name keeps changing after OS X Yosemite upgrade The 10.10.1 OS X update fixes this issue. Read more about it here: http://www.igorkromin.net/index.php/2014/11/20/os-x-yosemite-10101-update-fixes-the-computer-name-changing-bonjour-issue-lost-notification-centre-settings-and-improves-performance/
Force iPhoto to refresh your iCloud shared streams on OS X Yosemite I've noticed that sometimes iPhoto does not refresh the iCloud shared streams after they've been updated on another iDevice. Quitting iPhoto and starting it again does not help. The only fix is either to restart your Mac or to restart the iCloud Photos process. The method for how to do this is different on Yosemite to previous OS X versions. This is how to do it.
A quick glance at OS X Yosemite The new OS X Yosemite has been released to the public and is available as a free download. It took me about an hour to get the download this morning, unfortunately I had to work so only got a chance to install it now. The installation is a breeze and took less than 30 minutes on my existing Mavericks install. This is a quick glance at what Yosemite looks like and my initial thoughts on it.
Automatically start your iPhone hotspot using iOS 8 Continuity features With the release of iOS 8 we were gifted with the Continuity features. I think one of the overlooked, yet very useful features that Continuity provides is Instant Hotspot. If you're a regular traveller like me and have multiple iDevices, then this feature is super useful. In a nutshell, Instant Hotspot lets you turn on the WiFi hotspot on your iPhone directly from your iPad without ever having to touch the iPhone. This is amazing at airports when there is terrible free WiFi service.
Google's sense of humour is...mathematical I was looking at the settings for the Gmail app on iOS and something caught my attention. The version number is set to 3.1415926, which is the number Pi to the first 7 digits. I've checked both my iPhone and iPad and the version number is the same on both. Very mathematical!
Some cool new iOS8 features I like iOS8 has been released not long ago, and after waiting hours for a download slot to be available, both my iPad and iPhone have been upgraded. I've played around a little with the new OS and these are some of the new features I like and probably will make use of most.
How to remove U2 Songs of Innocence from your iTunes A few days ago I wrote about how Apple forced every iTunes user to have U2's Songs of Innocence album forced into their iTunes. It seems that Apple received quite a backlash over this and has created a way for people to remove this offending content from their accounts.
An Apple Store experience Usually I dread having to go to the Apple Store. Why? Because it always seems that the 'Genius' you get is a bearded hipster know-it-all fanboy with a holier than thou attitude. However, this time I had no choice, my Retina MacBook Pro was starting showing permanently lit pixels and had quite noticeable signs of the ghosting/burn-in. To add to that, my iPhone 5's battery would not keep charge for longer than half a day, so reluctantly I made a Genius Bar appointment.
Apple and U2 trespassing on your iTunes So this came to me as a surprise (or maybe not), it looks like Apple has forcefully made every iTunes user automatically have the U2 'Songs of Innocence' album. I don't have any music on my iPad, yet now when I go to the Music app, I see this blatant trespass of my device right there.
Break a OS X software RAID-1 up into individual disk volumes I've been running two software RAID-1 arrays on my OS X Lion Server for quite some time for backup and data storage purposes. At the time, I went for software RAID so that I didn't have to rely on any particular hardware. This worked great for me, but I've been thinking more and more that for my purposes, I did not need a RAID-1 array, what I needed was a separate, stand-alone offline mirror of my drives. This required me to break the RAID-1 arrays up into their individual volumes, this is how I did it.
SoapUI taking a long time to establish a connection Some of the recent work I've been doing required the use of SoapUI to do some basic load testing. When I first started this, every request I tried sending to the server was taking 30+ seconds to complete. This really stumped me because another, pretty much identical environment would respond immediately. I've finally tracked down the issue to DNS.
Change to the traffic cam script to auto-sort by year/month/day into folders As the traffic cam keeps taking photos every 5 minutes, the number of files in the archive directory quickly adds up, over the past 2 months there were around 12 thousand files. This was getting a little bit difficult to manage so I decided that it would be a good idea if the script automatically put these into directories sorted by year, month and day.
Webcam Tools (wacaw) vs ImageSnap for OS X webcam image capture I've been running the Riverside Expressway Traffic Cam for some time now. One of the things that's been bothering me with it has been the image quality of night time shots. I've had a look around different apps that I could use for this purpose and it really came down to Webcam Tools (macaw) and ImageSnap. I looked at other tools and these either didn't work at all or were not compatible with OS X Lion Server.
NetBeans 7.1.2 does not work with JDK 8 I've recently installed the JDK 8 on my rMBP and all of a sudden NetBeans stopped working for me. I've dug into this a little further and tried several things, none of which worked, in the end I ended up forcing NetBeans to use JDK 7 and everything was working again.
Goat Simulator released on OS X I know I'm a few days late and the release was actually on the 27th of June, but hey that still does not take away from the awesomeness of this game. My curiosity of what it would be like to be a goat has finally been satisfied. This game is silly and pointless, but quite a lot of fun to play. Check out some of these screenshots I took.
Fix Cura window positioning on OS X One of the Cura updates recently caused my main window to go off-screen. Out of the box OS X does not have a built-in way of manually moving windows using a keyboard (like Windows does). There are third party tools for this, however I thought that surely there is a different answer and this setting must be stored in Cura configuration somewhere. After a bit of digging, it's right there as expected and here is how to change it.
Setting up a traffic webcam on OS X I've had a number of people mention to me that I should have a webcam set up in my apartment because I am overlooking the river and the major road that runs beside it. After some thinking, I've decided to do just that. So here it is, this is how I've set up the Riverside Expressway Cam.
SQLDeveloper 4.0.2 on OS X with the Mac L&F rendering issues I've updated my SQLDeveloper to 4.0.2 and to my surprise found a major rendering issue with this version. The whole window is using black as the background, including the toolbar. This means none of the text can be read and the whole application is essentially useless then.
OctoPrint and the Portabee 3D printer I'm still tinkering with my Portabee 3D printer, this time I've decided to give Printrun the boot and switch to OctoPrint for my printing software, there are pros and cons of course, but so far I am liking OctoPrint much better.
To regex or not to regex, with Reggy it's a simple and clear choice I used to hate regular expressions, however, recently I've had a need to use them a fair amount so actually started to appreciate them. What I found challenging then was debugging them. Writing code, compiling it and executing it just to find out the regex was incorrect was not going anywhere fast, so I looked around and found Reggy.app. This very simple app lets you put in your test strings and most importantly, your regex and see what matches. It's a super handy tool.
Change the aTV Flash (black) icon order on Apple TV 2 to appear on the first row If you're like me and have an Apple TV 2 and use aTV Flash (black), you may have disabled a number of applications in the parental controls leaving you with just the parts for streaming music and video via the Apple TV. The unfortunate effect this has is that the Maintenance and nitoTV icons appear on the second row with an alignment to the left which makes the whole screen look lopsided in my opinion. This is how you get these icons on the first row.
7200 RPM HDD vs SSD performance in Skyrim for PS3 I'm still playing Skyrim, yes it's an amazing game! However, I've been getting frustrated with its loading times. So I thought, why not try an SSD upgrade, they are so cheap now it's almost a crime NOT to do it. The results are quite favourable, they aren't going to blow your socks off, but will definitely improve the gaming experience.
The MiniDrive for 15 inch rMBP now in Red - Shiny! The first MiniDrive that I got, I was not so happy with, but now I've had the chance to use the new version with a red end cap and I have to say that I am impressed with the improvements. I would recommend this one over the earlier revisions, the manufacturing process looks considerably moved towards a better direction and it looks great too. If you don't know what this is, it's an SD card adapter that fits flush with the Mac and aims to provide an easy way to expand onboard storage.
Microsoft OneNote vs Apple Notes When Microsoft OneNote came out, I was very quick to download it and make the switch from the iOS/OS X Notes app, but over time I've been finding myself slowly creeping back and using the original Notes app for certain things. These are my thoughts about both of these apps: I think both have legitimate use cases and can coexist and used together, but their use is quite different.
PS3 hard disk upgrade makes you lose Skyrim DLC There is a number of guides that talk about how to upgrade the hard disk inside a PS3 (and now a PS4) and various reports that talk about how beneficial these upgrades can be. Well I've decided to try it out myself by upgrading to an SSD and seeing how Skyrim performance changes, that's in a separate post later. I was out to get some real figures to see what an SSD upgrade would do, instead I found something worse - the DLC content is lost during this upgrade process.
WinZip Mac 1.5 won't quit from the Dock WinZip Mac not quitting via the Dock is a bit of a bothersome issue, the only workaround I found is to open WinZip and use the WinZip menu to quit it. This behaviour is quite bizarre, I am not sure if it still happens in later versions and not willing to upgrade to find out, however I hope they have fixed it.
This game is art: Monument Valley One of my friends sent this game to me on the iTunes store, saying that I have to play it: the game is like an art piece...well I was skeptical at first, but then I gave it a shot and wow, I am blown away. This game is amazing in so many ways and if you love puzzle games with a twist, then read on. You can find Monument Valley on the iTunes store now, there is only and iOS version at the moment, but an Android version is in the works.
Add a filter/search option to the OS X Terminal history command If you're like me and use the Terminal in OS X on a daily basis, you probably also use the 'history' command quite regularly too. Every time I use history I always pipe it through grep, so always, always end up typing 'history|grep blah', now isn't there an easier way? Well there is, and that's what the alias functionality is for.
Playing around with Gource on OS X A friend of mine showed me a video he made with Gource, so this got me interested in seeing how the two major repositories that I have been contributing for years now have evolved over time. So I decided to get this tool myself and give it a shot. It's amazing to see how a Subversion repository evolved over the life of a project and this is an awesome tool to help do just that.
Parrot Flower Power - a bluetooth wireless sensor for your plants - review part 2 This is part two of the Parrot Flower Power review. In the first part of the review I talked about the actual device itself, in this review I am going to concentrate on the software that makes it all come together. The app will only run on iOS for now, there is an Android version in development, but it's not ready yet. There are limitations on which device it will run on too, you will need one of iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad 3, iPad mini, iPod touch 5th generation or later iDevices.
Parrot Flower Power - a bluetooth wireless sensor for your plants - review part 1 Continuing the plant theme, I've finally spent enough time with the Parrot Flower Power to give it a proper review. In a nutshell, this little unit has a few sensors that monitor the soil moisture, pH levels, temperature and light levels. The device then sends this to your iOS device (Android version coming soon) which analyses the data, shows you charts of the readings and gives you tasks to do like water your plant, if it detects the need.
Wood grain EXOSkin for Retina MacBook Pro It's been some time since I've had this EXOSkin on my rMBP and since I've been getting quite a few comments about it, I've decided to write something up. Overall, this is a good cover for the laptop and it really gets the attention, so if that's what you want, this is the product for you.
Review of The Mini Drive for 15 inch rMBP I've been thinking about getting the Nifty MiniDrive for a while so when I finally decided to go and get one, their website what completely broken, so I went searching around and found that there are replicas of this out already. I decided to go for a replica to see how it stacks up. Incidentally as I write this now, the 15 inch rMBP Nifty MiniDrive is not available. The replica I went with is called "The Mini Drive".
iOS7: How to take a screenshot of the power off screen The usual way of taking a screenshot in iOS by holding down the home key and pressing the power button does not work when on the power off screen, so I looked around a little to see if there was a way at all to take a screenshot in this scenario and turns out there is!
OS X Mavericks breaks the Java Dock Name functionality I've been updating a Swing app recently and discovered that under OS X Mavericks the dock name setting does not work as expected. Previously it was possible to set this programatically, now it seems that the dock name can only be set via a java startup option.
Dual installing WhatsApp on iPad and iPhone does not sync the messages The WhatsApp app is not available on the App Store for the iPad but there is a way to install by following a guide at http://ipadwhatsapp.com. I tried this and found out that when you have WhatsApp installed on both iPad and iPhone your messages do not get synchronised between the two.
Windows being resized when monitor goes to sleep on OS X Mavericks Ever since the upgrade to OS X Mavericks, I've been having issues with windows losing their positions and having their sizes changed when my external display goes to sleep. My setup is to have the rMPB running in clamshell mode with a Dell U2713HM monitor connected via a mini-DP to DP cable. This problem has been driving me nuts, but luckily I found a solution.
Adium Xtra: Minimal-Light service icon set Ever since I've switched to a Mac, I've been using Adium as the chat/IM app and have gone through a lot of Xtras to customise it. I could not find exactly what I wanted for the service icon set, so here it is, it's basically a light version of another icon set that's available already.
Apps crashing since the iOS 7 upgrade on iPad mini I had no issues doing the iOS 7 upgrade on my iPad mini and everything worked fine for a while, then one day the Gmail App all of a sudden stopped working, sort of. The App would get a badge icon telling me how many new emails I had, but when I launched the app, it would sit at the login screen for a minute or so and then crash out to the home screen.
Converting a Xen raw disk image to VMware VMDK virtual disk on OSX Recently my Xen server has been retired and taken away for recycling, but the disk images that were running the VMs remained on the external drives that I've been using with it. I've needed to use one of these VMs, but with the Xen server gone I had no way other than to convert everything to VMware to run on my Mac. It took some time to do the disk image conversion (6 days for a 200Gb disk!), but it did get there in the end and the VM works perfectly off of my laptop now.
Incipio STOWAWAY iPhone 5 Credit Card case review I've had a number of iPhone 5 credit card cases now, from horizontal flap to vertical flap, each of those had issues with the flap getting in the way so I thought that I would try something different, the STOWAWAY case from Incipio holds three credit cards in a back compartment of the case without any flaps to get in the way of normal phone use. A great case overall, but it does have it's own issues.
XJCTask task failing on OSX with JDK 6 when using 3rd party extension for JAX-WS I've recently had to use a different JAX-WS library for some development work on a project, which worked great by placing all the jar files into the Java Extensions directory, however when I went back to trying to compile another project I had, everything started to break, I was getting exceptions I have never seen before. After a bit of investigation, it turned out that the NetBeans JAXB libraries do no like being mixed with the JAX-WS libraries. The fix is simple, remove the 3rd party libraries from the Extensions directory.
King Pig Toy doesn't work with iPad mini I was really excited when I received the Angry Birds King Pig Toy as a present, so I went to try it out right away, but lo and behold, it does not work on an iPad mini.
Griffin WaveStand Review (with iPad Mini) I've had my iPad mini for quite some time now and have been using the iPad mini Smart Cover from Apple with it. This cover is great when on the road, but what I found lacking is stability when using the cover to prop the iPad up on a desk.
Using Lion DiskMaker to create a bootable OS X Mountain Lion USB Stick Since I've removed the optical drive from my 2009 model MacBook Pro and replaced it with a second hard drive, the only way to reinstall the OS was via USB. Instead of creating a USB stick the manual way, there is a handy application called Lion DiskMaker that does the job for you. You simply plug in the USB stick, click a few buttons and wait for it to complete.
Using Java HIDAPI on OS X to read temperature from the TEMPer1 sensor The TEMPer1 USB Thermometer finally arrived a few days ago, so I started to play around with it. It comes with a CD with software on it, which I promptly disregarded. After searching around the net, I could not find anyone that's written Java code to interface with the device, but I did find other useful information like javahidapi and this blog post: Controlling your TEMPer on Mac OS X. Now my Objective-C is quite bad, but I was able to follow the code to extract the required information to read the temperature from the TEMPer1.