Category: Macs

If you run a home server, use file sharing on your network or use BitTorrent, you’ll know how inconvenient a dynamic IP address can be. Rather than memorizing a single address for each computer, you need to constantly look up each system. The solution is to set up your router to use static IP addresses. The problem — if you use an Apple Airport base station — is that the setting is often hidden among the advanced features, and even then it can be hard to identify.

I found the solution while browsing around the Airport Utility after my Internet went down. The setting is hidden in the Internet tab, under DHCP. There you’ll find a list that says IP Reservations, which is Apple’s way of saying these computers will each get a dedicated address.

To set up a computer, click the + icon and start the assistant. The key to successfully setting up the entire system is knowing a computer’s MAC address, which can be found from the Airport Utility under logs and statistics (like the picture below). This code of letters and numbers uniquely identifies each computer on your network, so you’ll need to make a note of it and enter it into the Reserved IP assistant.

With the assistant complete, you need to update the settings on the Airport and wait for the computer’s IP lease to reset. Once that is done, you’ll be able to use the reserved IP whenever you access the computer.

[tags]Airport, Apple, OS X, networking[/tags]

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It’s 8 AM. You’re just about to email the TPS reports you’ve been working on since 1 o’clock this morning when suddenly your computer stops responding to your inputs. In a panic, you shut down the system by holding the power button, but on the next startup, the screen doesn’t even reach the desktop. Before starting to pull your hair out, you suddenly realize that you’ve prepared for an event like this — you’ve made a backup drive.

By and large, Macs are very stable systems. Even with little or no maintenance, they’ll run for years without a problem. Unfortunately, they do occasionally decide to take a vacation, which most often comes at a very unlucky time. To protect yourself from such problems, you should have a bootable drive that contains only the bare minimum of applications, hopefully allowing you to remain productive in desperate times.

Important note: There is an important difference between making a drive for Intel-based systems versus PowerPC-based computers. Intel systems can be booted from cases using the cheaper USB 2 standard, while PowerPC computers can only use FireWire drives. Be sure to use the correct case for your computer, as well as the right partition scheme: GUID for Intel, Apple Partition Map for PPC.
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Whenever a new operating system comes out, many people enjoy peeking around the internals to see what sort of treasures lie beneath the shiny exterior. Nerdy, yes, but in the case of Leopard, that searching yielded some very cool results.

You may notice from browsing around the site that I like to use illustrated icons with posts. These icons were all found in a single folder hidden among the Leopard system files. The folder contains high-quality 512×512 pixel icons of computers and nearly any image used in the OS itself.

I learned about this trick from MacOSXHints, and if you’re interested in checking out the icons yourself, here is where you can go.

/System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle/Contents/Resources/

This location can be copy and pasted into the Go to Folder window under the Finder Go menu, or can be navigated manually. CoreTypes.bundle actually appears as an application, so you need to right click it and choose Show File Contents. Open any of the icons in Preview and you can save them in any format you wish.

[tags]Mac OS X, Leopard, Preview[/tags]

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After trying repeatedly to get a job with our local Apple store (unsuccessfully), I’ve decided that I will be sharing information normally given to new customers with readers of this blog. A natural first step is to explain the differences between the different Apple models, and how each one is best suited for a particular user.

The first question you need to ask yourself is what you plan on doing with your new computer. While each model is surprisingly powerful for doing a wide range of computing tasks, some do them better than others. By knowing this going in, it makes choosing the system much easier.

The second question — generally decided by the answer to the first one — is whether you want a laptop or a desktop. Laptops have greater portability, but often lack high powered components, and sometimes come at a higher price. Desktops generally come at lower prices, but at the expense of portability.
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This was going to be a post about how to move your iTunes library from one drive to another (maybe after upgrading it) and have iTunes recognize it properly. I thought it was going to include XML editing to trick iTunes into thinking the media was somewhere it wasn’t before.

Turns out the solution is much, much easier than that.

Before I upgraded my MacBook’s hard drive, I imported iTunes TV Shows by storing them on an external drive and told iTunes not to copy media into the library. That of course meant that whenever I wanted to watch a show, I had to have the drive connected. Once I upgraded the drive, I had plenty of space to move the TV shows over, but I didn’t want to ruin my metadata (play count, playlists, etc).

On a whim, I tried importing the media again after changing the setting in iTunes that says Copy media to library. iTunes took over and copied the file into the library, and simply updated the existing record. That meant that instead of the file pointing to


/Volumes/External 1/TV SHOWS/Season 1

it pointed to


/Volumes/Macintosh HD/iTunes Music/TV Shows

and I could watch the media as before.

So if you ever have to move media from one drive to another and maintain the existing iTunes data, just import it normally and watch iTunes work it’s magic.

[tags]iTunes, Mac OS X, iPod, Apple, Mac[/tags]

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