Tag: Tips

I’d been struggling valiantly with a blog that refused to save properly without giving an error (plug: www.ryersonformulasae.com, check it out!) until earlier today I decided to try modifying the settings until something changed. After deactivating the first plugin–which happened to be of my own creation–the problem was solved.

So now I know the solution, and would like to share it with others: if your WordPress installation is messed up, try deactivating your plugins one at a time and maybe your problem will work itself out.

Tagged with: , , ,

I’m writing this today as a public service. You may notice that your mail client typically contains 3 address entries: To, CC, and BCC.

To is self explanatory, but the other two are often misused. CC, or carbon copy, sends the same message to whatever addresses are in that field. What people often forget is that everyone who receives the email can view all the addresses associated with the message. To solve that problem, every email client uses BCC or blind carbon copy. This sends the same message to all the addresses, but hides them so that it appears that they are the only one receiving the email. This is great for sending a message to your entire address book without everyone knowing who you have contact information for. Sadly, spammers have also capitalized on this feature, as many now send messages in this way.

Next time you send emails to multiple people, remember the benefits of using BCC. Otherwise, people may know you’re friends with iamawesome83636@aol.com.

Tagged with: , , ,


After downloading iTunes 8, I wrote some of my initial opinions based on my first few hours with the program. While the overall message was that iTunes 8 is an excellent update, I found something today that Apple can do to improve the application (besides changing the visualizer, which is now stunning).

While sitting in class today, a friend said that their iPod touch was dead, and I helpfully suggested that they could use some of the power from my MacBook while it was sleeping in my bag. They loved the idea, and I connected media player and laptop with little difficulty. Once I opened iTunes, however, I was inundated with messages that said This iPod is not set to sync with this computer. Rather than replace my friend’s data with my music collection, I pressed No on every dialog that came up.

Later on, I realized how simple it would be for Apple to make this a much better experience. Surely there are times when users just want to charge their iPods without overwriting everything. Why not make a dialog box come up when you plug the player in that allows you to sync should you choose, but also to turn off all other messages and simply use the connection to power the battery? This would eliminate those accidental data overwrites and make powering up a breeze.

How about it, Apple?

The dialog box shown above is not really in OS X. I created it using Applescript with the help of this tutorial.

[tags]iPod, iTunes, Apple, Applescript[/tags]

Tagged with: , , , ,

No matter how stable, awesome or bulletproof your operating system may seem, there may come a time when you need to start over. This may not happen with Mac OS X very often, but it can be real annoying when it needs to be done. I was asked recently what’s the best method for getting OS X clean on your computer, and the answer really depends on how fresh you want to start. You need to choose if you want to retain your current information or have a completely empty computer.

With that in mind, here is a small guide for installing OS X properly.

Options

  1. Upgrade
  2. Archive and Install
  3. Erase and Install

The procedure for all of these operations is the same. Once you have booted from the Install disk, fill out the necessary options for customizing your installation and choose Options from the install location panel (where you pick which disk to install on). This window gives you an option to do any of the 3 procedures outlined here.

Upgrade


The fastest and simplest method for starting with a new operating system, Upgrade simply overwrites the system folder with a fresh one. If the Install DVD is older than your current system, it will revert to that number (ie. OS X 10.5.4 goes back to 10.5.0). This will not impact your personal data at all, and can be done in as little as 20 minutes (if you customize the install). When you receive a new OS from retail, this is typically the default method.

Though you should back up regularly regardless, it is especially important to back up before upgrading in this manner because there is slightly more risk involved than other methods.

Archive and Install


A popular method for Apple Geniuses to heal sick computers, archive and install means installing a new system folder overtop the old, but also moving that old folder into a safe place on your hard drive for backup. With this method, all your original documents, settings and applications are safe, as long as you select Preserve network settings and users, like the above picture. It offers more safety than the standard Upgrade procedure because it makes a single overwriting operation into two safer ones.

Erase and Install


Erase and install will wipe your drive clean and start fresh with a brand new system. Your documents, settings and applications will all be deleted for good, and you will not be able to access them unless you’ve backed them up before to a separate drive. This method shouldn’t be used unless you believe your computer needs to be cleared of everything in order to work properly. If you’re selling your computer, this is how you should prepare it.

If you choose to erase your drive completely but still wish to retain your data, all hope is not lost. In a case like that, you could clone your hard drive to an external drive, and use the Migration Assistant to transfer your files. The MA appears as the option Would you like to transfer files from another Mac? when you prepare your computer initially. Make the selection for Transfer from another partition on this Mac and choose the external drive. Wait for the files to transfer and you’ll be productive again in no time.

Apple makes installing their operating system very easy. With a little preparation you can reinstall OS X quickly and efficiently so you can get back to your work.

[tags]OS X, Apple, Mac, MacBook, installation, tutorial[/tags]

Tagged with: , , , ,

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]

Tagged with: , , ,