Dec 22
Verbose mode

If you get a bit bored booting up your Mac and waiting for the Apple logo, here’s a trick that will let you see what’s going on behind the scenes.  It’s called verbose mode and it simply echoes to your screen everything that the computer is doing while it boots up.  It doesn’t change anything about the way the computer operates, it doesn’t speed it up or slow it down, it just displays it on the screen.

To enable  “Verbose mode” go into the terminal (Applications/Utilities/Terminal) and type in the following line:

sudo nvram boot-args="-v"
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Nov 25

Create Google sheets

XML is a format that some applications use to share data. For example I use a metronome called ‘Tempo’ on my iPhone. It allows me to share the tempos of all my songs by exporting an ‘XML’ file to an email.

This document can be read by the tempo app and it contains all the information about my tempos but it’s very hard to read and I would like to share the tempos with other people in a clearer format.

Here’s how to get the data out of such a file and into a spreadsheet.  This should work for any XML file that you need to parse.

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Aug 03

Confession time. I just got scammed. Yep. I know the dangers, I’ve spotted scams before, but this time I fell for it and for 5 minutes or so my account was vulnerable to attack. Thankfully I realised what was happening fast and was able to fix things quickly, but this scare has made me all the  more wary of opening emails and clicking on web links.

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Jul 23

With iTunes 12.7 you can’t download apps for older iPhones. If you have an older iPhone and you want to download older apps for you need iTunes 12.6.

But Apple have introduced a security feature called ‘System Integrity Protection’ that stops you from deleting iTunes 12.7.

To delete iTuens 12.7 (and go back to iTunes 12.6) you can disable System Integrity Protection, remove iTunes 12.7, then re-enable the protection. It’s pretty hard core. I would say this is not recommended by Apple. Here’s how to do it…

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Jul 21

osx

Apple releases a major update of OS X every year or so and for the past 10 years I have just done an automatic update, installing the new OS X on top of the old version and keeping all the existing applications and settings.  When I upgraded to El Capitan I decided to do a completely fresh installation. I started with a new hard drive (SSD).  I installed OS X.  Then I copied everything across  manually.  This took about half a day and some things didn’t work but overall I think it has been a good spring clean. This article is not so much a step-by-step guide but a  rough summary of what I did.

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Aug 25

safari

This is a bit of an advanced tip for web developers. Safari used to have a menu item called ‘View Page Source’. If you selected this you could see the HTML code of the website you were viewing.  This option has been removed from recent versions of Safari but you can re-enable it by turning on Safari’s Develop menu.

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Aug 11

browser

There are web applications that will allow you to preview what your website will look like on different browsers. You type in your website (e.g. macintoshhowto.com) and the site shows you what your website will look like in almost any browser you can think of. One such website is http://browsershots.org It’s free to use,  but there is a daily limit as to how many times you can use it.

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Jul 12

This article is a bit too technical for macintoshhowto.com so I’ve posted it over on my other blog here.

I you are wondering how  to move all your messages from one gmail account to a different gmail account, via your mac, you may want to check it out.

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