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TechTip: Universal Apps vs Old Apps

[Found at TMO Quick Tip - Finding the Universal Binary Apps On Your Mac...]

TMO's reviews editor, John F. Braun, pointed out an easy way to check all of your applications at once: System Profiler. This application can inventory all of the applications on your Mac, and tell you if they are Universal Binary or not. Here's how:
Choose About This Mac from the Apple menu, and then click the More Info... button to launch System Profiler. Select Applications from the Contents column on the left to build a catalog of every application on your Mac. Once System Profiler locates all of your applications, click Kind to group all of the PowerPC applications together, and all of the Universal Binary applications together. Depending on the speed of your Mac and how many applications you have installed, the search may take several minutes.

Posted by Ozguru at 06:00 AM | Comments (0)

TechTip: Europa Universalis Cheat

Q: There are plenty of cheat sites for Europa Universalis for the PC but what about the Mac?

A: Well personally I wrote a perl program to edit the save files but I guess you mean interactive cheats. There is a list of PC cheats here. On the Mac, you can use most of these by:

  • Pause the game (/)

  • Press control-F12 (this may be because I have mapped my function keys)

  • Type the cheat code (see below)

  • Press control-F12 again

  • Move the mouse

Note that the shadow window (from control-F12) will not vanish until you move the mouse.

Useful cheat codes include:

  • montezuma (more gold)

  • pocahontas (more colonists)

  • dagama (more merchants)

  • vatican (more diplomats)

  • oranje (max stability)

  • loyola (more missionaries)

That last code does not appear on most of the cheat sites but it is probably the most important. Remember that converting provinces makes them less likely to revolt...

Posted by Ozguru at 06:00 AM | Comments (0)

TechTip: Converting Yojimbo bookmarks

Yojimbo is a new information management tool from Bare Bones Software. I downloaded the demo and played around with it. One of the preferences allows you to choose to store URLs as bookmarks or web-archives. As I usually use bookmarks, I left it at that setting and dragged a few bookmarks in. Then I decided I wanted to change my mind and use a web-archive for a particular bookmark. Probably a contextual menu... Nope. Hmmmm. After fiddling around, I discovered a quick way to do it...

Go to the URL entry, click on 'Copy URL'. Press F8 and make sure web-archive is selected. Type in a subject and press enter. Easy as....

Posted by Ozguru at 06:00 AM | Comments (2)

Deep Sleep (Safe Sleep)

[Found at How to Safe Sleep (Hibernate) Your Mac -]

Up until recently, Mac users didn’t have a similar Sleep mode which required no power. When Apple announced new PowerBooks in October 2005, it also introduced Safe Sleep to Mac OS X, an extention to Sleep mode that allows for hibernation without power.

It turns out that you can also do this on older PowerBooks:

Safe Sleep is so-far only officially available on the new PowerBooks. But Safe Sleep is very much software based , not hardware based. With Apple’s release of Mac OS 10.4.3, Safe Sleep can be enabled on many Macs thanks to an excellent hack. To enable Safe Sleep you must be running Mac OS X Tiger, and be up-to-date to with version 10.4.3 (or above). Reportedly working laptops include (but not necessarily limited to) iBook G4s, Aluminum PowerBook G4s. You may also try Safe Sleep on desktops. For a much more technical look into enabling it, visit the source information on the hack.

For a quick guide, read the rest of the article at

[I have not yet tried this but I am planning to once my new employer has provided me with a desktop Mac and I can afford to rebuild my PowerBook if it goes wrong...]

Posted by Ozguru at 06:00 AM | Comments (1)

Use Google Maps with People widget

[Found at Macworld: Use Google Maps with People widget...]

In late December, [MacWorld] described how to use Google Maps with the Address Book widget. Then a few weeks later, Apple goes off and introduces the People widget, which looks up people you enter via an internet White Pages search. (The People widget is part of the OS X 10.4.4 update.) After looking up a person, you can click on their address to be taken to a map showing where he or she lives. I was hoping Apple would use Google’s Maps out of the box, but no such luck—this widget, too, relies on MapQuest.

However, it didn’t take the community very long to come up with a fix. Reader Maxwell Bates sent in a solution less than a week later. So if you’d prefer to use Google’s classy maps with the new People widget, here’s what you need to do. Note that you will not need to use the Terminal for this hint at all. If you’re comfortable using TextEdit, you’ve got the required skills.

Check out the article for the exact steps. I have tried it and it works except that (of course) it is useless for addresses outside the US and Canada.

Posted by Ozguru at 12:00 PM | Comments (0)

TechTip: Burn Folder Size

[Found at Macworld...]

View size requirements for burn folders
Thanks to the Finder’s new Burn Folder feature (File: New Burn Folder), burning files to a CD is easier than ever. Just drag the files you want to burn into a burn folder, insert your CD-R, and click on the Burn button. The Finder fills the burn folder with aliases, rather than the original files. So once the burn is complete, you can trash the burn folder without losing your work. Unfortunately, the Finder’s size display for Burn Folders is incorrect—it shows the size of the alias files, not the originals. So how do you find out how much disc space your files will require?
The quickest way is to click on the Burn button before inserting any recordable media. The Finder will display a dialog box listing the amount of disc space the files require.

Posted by Ozguru at 06:00 AM | Comments (0)

Agenda font problems

Q: I have a powerpoint presentation which looks terrible when I print it on my colour laser printer...

A: To be complete surprise, I found the answer for this really quickly (after confirming that the user had a Lexmark printer....

[Found at Macworld: Review: Lexmark C522n...]

The printer did have trouble printing a PowerPoint document containing some PostScript Type 1 fonts—a family named Agenda—substituting them with other fonts that made a mess of the presentation. Lexmark tech support recommended a workaround: instead of using the Lexmark driver, they suggested going back to the Apple Printer Setup Utility, adding the printer again, but this time using the Generic PostScript Printer driver that appears in the Print Using drop-down menu. After I did this, the problem font printed just fine. To see if this was an isolated problem, I tried another 30 fonts, a mix of standard Mac OS X fonts as well as a bunch of Type 1 fonts. All of those printed just fine using Lexmark’s driver, so this problem may be limited to the Agenda type family.

Posted by Ozguru at 06:00 AM | Comments (1)

TechTip: Firewall Stealth Mode

[Found at Macworld...]

Hide your Mac from hackers If you use an always-on Internet connection, make sure to check out Tiger’s new hacker-fighting tools. Go to the Sharing preference pane and click on the Firewall tab to see the new Advanced button. Click on it to access options such as Stealth Mode. With Stealth Mode enabled, uninvited queries to your computer will receive no acknowledgement, making it nearly impossible for someone to surreptitiously discover (and possibly hack into) your Mac.

While on that screen, you may also want to turn on firewall logging :-)

Posted by Ozguru at 06:00 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Virtual PC vs IntelMac?

[Found at MacMinute...]

Microsoft on Virtual PC for Intel-based Macs January 18, 2006 - 15:44 EST   Microsoft has issued a statement on the development status of Virtual PC for Intel-based Macs."The Mac BU recognizes the need for the product and believes it is the best virtualization solution for PowerPC users, so it is committed to providing Virtual PC to new and existing PowerPC customers. However, Microsoft is still discussing with Apple the feasibility of bringing Virtual PC for Mac to Intel-based Macs in the future and has not made any announcements about if/how the product might work on the new machines."

Posted by Ozguru at 06:00 AM | Comments (0)

TechTip: The Singing Mac

A pointer at NonStop Mac: 5 ways to use the Terminal in OS X, from useful to just fun served as a reminder that your Mac can sing. Try the following code snippet in a terminal* window:

osascript -e 'say "Did you know your mack can sing \
just like me I can sing do you like to hear me sing \
cause I sing just for you?" using "Cellos"'

Of course you have to choose the words carefully (to match the voice timing)...

[* If anyone out there is Mac-less but wants to hear this, I can send you a recording of it :-)]

Posted by Ozguru at 06:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

TechTip: Hidden Stickies

Q: I had some stickies on my desktop. I opened a game and afterwards the stickies are all off the edge of the screen somewhere...

A: Yup. Easily fixed. Quit stickies and relaunch it. Any individual stickies that were off-screen will be relocated on-screen. No data will be lost because stickies keep all their text when they are created (you do not need to choose to save them).

Posted by Ozguru at 06:00 AM | Comments (0)

Wear Your Headphones...

Is that a joystick in your pocket? Well it could be if you were wearing the new iPod Levis. Apart from a suspicious feeling that this is really a prank, I have this nagging question about how you wash the jeans when they have electronics in them.

On the practical side, if you see someone fiddling in their pocket, check if they are wearing the distinctive iPod headphones before assuming that you should call the cops...

Posted by Ozguru at 06:00 AM | Comments (0)

Are you buying a MacBook Pro?

[Update: There are some more considerations about future models at tech ronin...]

I have been asked this question four times already this morning....

The short answer is 'No'.

The long answer is complicated but there are four considerations:
1. I like my systems to last at *least* three years and my PowerBook is 2004 model so it is not due for replacement until 2007 at the earliest.
2. I don't like to buy the *first* of a new form factor. There are usually teething problems that are sorted out by the second iteration.
3. Performance. Yes, I know Stevie claims 4-5x the performance of a PowerBook G4. Maybe (YMMV*). That ain't gunna be as fast as people think (see comments below).
4. No firewire 800 bothers me. I use that to dump my PowerBook to external storage and I *know* that FW800 is faster than FW400 for what I do. Maybe the second iteration will bring back the FW800 port.

Performance: The man (and woman) in the street (apart from risking instant death from a speeding motorist) has been led to believe that the move to Intel is to gain performance - despite all the years of explaining the MHz myth, consumers still fall for the more MHz = more performance. Consider the current PowerPC family - the G5. Top of the line is dual-core, multiprocessor boxes. The mythical-person-in-the-street is expecting to pull these out, wack in some Intel procs and the whole thing will run faster.... Ain't gunna happen. At least not straight away. There is a lot of tuning to be done in the background first - remember MacOS X beta and the performance tuning that had to be done?

Now the claimed performance gain is 4-5x the previous system model - the G4. Note that G4 -> G5 is one performance upgrade, G5 -> dual core is another performance upgrade. So a dual core G5 powerbook (which cannot be done due to heat) would be 3-4x faster than a G4 powerbook. In other words there is no significant gain switching from G5 to Intel - yet**. That means the best target market for the Intel powered systems would be to the consumers who can't use G5s (i.e. powerbook users).

Yes, the new MacBook Pro will appear to be faster than your PowerBook G4 but it will not appear faster than your dual-core, dual-proc G5 tower and that suggests there is still a lot of hard work to be done behind the scenes...

[* Your Mileage May Vary ...]

[** Remember that successive versions of MacOS X got *faster* on the same hardware. This will also happen with the Intel machines]

Posted by Ozguru at 06:00 AM | Comments (1)

Cisco VPN

Q: I installed the new Cisco VPN client and it doesn't seem to work...

A: You could try rebooting :-)

Or you could try unloading and reloading the relevant kernel module (you type the bits in italics):

ozguru$ sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/CiscoVPN.kext
kextunload: unload kext /System/Library/Extensions/CiscoVPN.kext succeeded
ozguru$ sudo kextload /System/Library/Extensions/CiscoVPN.kext
kextload: /System/Library/Extensions/CiscoVPN.kext loaded successfully

Special thanks to MH for that solution :-)

Posted by Ozguru at 06:00 AM | Comments (0)

Finder labels

I happen to use LabelsX but even without it, it can be handy to use labels in the Finder. The problem is that often the labels need to be applied regularly to be useful. In my case, I like to tag work-related documents as to their recency and type - that makes it easy to find the right file in small dialogue boxes.
In keep a whole bunch of documents in a single folder tree. I want to see current (< 30 days since last changed), archival (no longer current), links (where the file is not locally stored) and Microsoft Office backup files (because I can delete them). To do all this, I have a shell script that runs once a day. It is not very efficient because it runs multiple finds over the same directory...

function findfile()
find . \\( -name \"200[56]*\" \\
-or -name \"Backup*\" \\
-or -name \"*.doc\" -or \\
-name \"*.xls\" \\) \\( -type f \\
-or -type d \\) $2 -exec osascript \\
-e \"$SCRIPT $1^M end tell\" \\; 2>&1 >/dev/null
SCRIPT=\"tell application \\\"Finder\\\"
set fileName to posix file \\\"$DIR/{}\\\" as file
set the label index of item fileName to \"
cd $DIR
# Set all documents to \'Red\'
findfile 2
# Change backup documents to \'Purple\'
findfile 3 \"-regex .*/B.*\"
# Change older documents to \'Blue\'
findfile 5 \"-mtime +30\"
# Change empty (link) documents to \'Green\'
findfile 6 \"-empty\"

Note that the script is partially in the $SCRIPT variable and partly in the shell function. Next week we will convert this into a perl script and make it faster (and more efficient)....

Posted by Ozguru at 06:00 AM | Comments (2)

osascript vs posix paths

AppleScript vs POSIX
Q: I am having trouble with Unix path directories in my osascript...

A: Yup. Me too. I looked at your script and tried a few ideas. I did a bit of digging around and found a post at Mac Geekery and this forum post (Cube Owners) which gave me some pointers.

What appears to happen is that AppleScript is able to convert a Posix file path (slash separated) into a colon separated path (as used by the Finder) but it falls over in a screaming heap with directories.

The work around is to explicitly convert the path like this:

tell application \"Finder\"
set fileName to posix file \"some file or directory\" as file
set the label index of item fileName to 2
end tell

That will set the file label OR the directory label to 2 (Red). Tomorrow I will provide a shell script to do some auto-labelling of files.

Posted by Ozguru at 06:00 AM | Comments (0)

iTunes 6

The tip is easy: Don't upgrade yet.

See JHymn for information:

It appears that if you make any purchases using iTunes 6.0, from that point on you must use 6.0 — and then JHymn won't work for you either. JHymn will have to learn how to perform the iTunes 6.0 protocol before this problem is likely to be fixed -- so hang on, it could be a bit of a wait.
In the meantime, you may wish to delay upgrading to iTunes 6.0 so that you can continue to free your music until a new solution is found.

Also note that I am not suggesting you use JHymn for piracy (and neither is the author of the software):

Let me start with what JHymn is not meant to do. JHymn is not meant to aid music piracy. I personally love shopping for music at the iTunes Music Store (I have nearly 900 legally-purchased songs so far, at the time of this writing), I'm happy to pay for the music I get, and I wish Apple all the success in the world at making legal music downloads a viable, profitable business.
I don't much care, however, for Digital Rights Management (DRM). I understand why it's there, and I know Apple never would have gotten the music industry to cooperate without it, but that doesn't mean I have to like DRM or having my fair-use rights restricted.
I have a non-Apple network music player attached to my stereo. With DRM, I can't play my music on my stereo with my existing equipment. I like to play my music on my computer at work, but I don't like the idea of having to "authorize" a computer that's not completely under my control. I like to edit my music sometimes — trimming intros, adding fade-ins and fade-outs, splicing consecutive tracks together to eliminate between-track dropouts, etc. As of iTunes 4.5 and QuickTime 6.5.1, however, my favorite audio editing software would no longer open my iTunes purchases for editing. That really annoyed me. I couldn't burn iTMS purchases music using Toast anymore, either. That annoyed me even more.

Posted by Ozguru at 06:00 AM | Comments (0)

TechTip: iTunes 5 installation

Q: I am trying to install iTunes 5 (via Software Update) and it keeps telling me to shut down iTunes. iTunes is not running....

A: Maybe you are using the excellent SizzlingKeys from YellowMug..... Go into the system preference panel for SizzlingKeys and shut it down (just for now). Close the annoying pop-up window that Software Update keeps opening and the installation will proceed as normal. If you have ticked 'Launch automatically' then SizzlingKeys will restart after you reboot.

Posted by Ozguru at 06:00 AM | Comments (0)

Multiple windows in iChat

Q: I was chatting with friend A and friend B in different windows and decided to open a three way chat as well. I kept dropping out of the chats with some error about using "the other window"...

A. The advice for this problem corresponds to the fellow who told his doctor "It hurts when I do this". The doctor replied "Well, don't do that." :-)

You can, if you persevere long enough, get both windows to tell you this at the same time. The problem is that you can't chat in parallel (two or more windows) to the same person. Or at least not for very long. As this didn't use to be a problem (effectively having a private chat on the side during a group talk), I have to assume it was something that happened in Tiger - possibly as part of the bandwidth saving procedures introduce to allow multiple video chat sessions.

Posted by Ozguru at 06:00 AM | Comments (0)

Mac-on-Intel FAQ

MacSlash has the answers. Click on over to MacSlash | Mac-on-Intel Frequently Asked Questions for all the possible questions. My favourite gem has to be:
Q: Will I be able to run System 6 software on Intel Macs? Apple will include Classic with 68k emulation, right?
A: Absolutely. And what a great idea too! Apple realizes the importance of running decades-old software that its users can't upgrade from due to stubbornness or misplaced sentimentality and so has invested millions in making sure you can bring your antique computer programs with you to the next Mac platform."

Posted by Ozguru at 06:00 AM | Comments (2)

MacOS X on Intel

Audio CD Images

Apple Script Errors

Rsync and Forks

Tiger and Burning

TechTip: Disk Permissions

TechTip: Cheat (Civ III Mac)