Mac Setups: The IBM Manager’s Desk

Aug 11, 2012 - 15 Comments

IBM Managers Mac desk setup

When you think of IBM, you probably don’t think of Macs, right? Well you probably thought wrong, because it turns out some IBM employees love their Macs! To prove that, here’s the awesome all-Mac desk setup of a manager at none other than Big Blue herself. Hardware shown in the picture includes:

  • MacBook Pro 15″ (2011) – 16GB RAM, 500GB SSD, OS X Lion 10.7.4
  • Dual Apple Thunderbolt 27″ Displays
  • Apple Extended Keyboard & Apple Magic Mouse
  • Plantronics Calisto Pro wireless phone and Bluetooth headset

Other Apple gear not shown includes an iPhone 4S and iPad 2 64GB AT&T model.

Considering Apple’s tumultuous history with IBM, the famous “1984” commercial, and the internal Apple Ghostbusters spoof, it’s pretty great to see the old rivalry between tech superpowers is obviously far in the past.

Want your Mac setup to be featured? Send in a good picture or two, a list of hardware, and a short description of what you use your Apple gear for to

By William Pearson - Mac Setups - 15 Comments

OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.1 Beta Released for Dev Testing, May Include Wi-Fi Fix?

Aug 10, 2012 - 10 Comments

OS X 10.8.1 Beta build 12B13

Apple has released the first point release of OS X Mountain Lion as a beta to developers. The beta build of OS X 10.8.1 12B13 focuses on a variety of bug fixes, but perhaps most interesting for some users is the mention of a Wi-Fi issue as a focus area, which could be related to the wi-fi dropping problems that have impacted some Macs running OS X Mountain Lion.

Other areas for developers to focus on include Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange, Mail app, Safari, Samba (SMB) sharing, USB, and the aforementioned wi-fi and audio issue that pertains to connections with the Apple Thunderbolt Display.

It’s unclear whether the update addresses the same wireless problems, and there is no mention of the battery drain issue that has also impacted some who have upgraded their Macs to Mountain Lion. For the wi-fi issue, this post fixes it for most people, and for the battery issue it is said a clean install resolves the problem.

The build is available to registered developers from the Mac Developer Center, and there is no timeline or expected release of OS X 10.8.1 being available to the public.

Those interested can read the full release notes at 9to5mac.

By Matt Chan - Mac OS X, News - 10 Comments

Run an Apple II Simulator on the iPad and iPhone with XScreenSaver

Aug 10, 2012 - 2 Comments

Apple 2 Simulator on iPad

iOS users who long for 1979, it’s time to rejoice. Just like you can run an Apple II simulator in Mac OS X, you can now run that same piece of computing history right on your iPad, iPod touch, or iPhone. It’s all part of the free XScreenSaver package for iOS, which includes a huge bundle of old school screen savers in addition to the aforementioned Apple II simulator.

Launch XScreenSaver and look for “Apple2”, tap the little blue arrow to customize the color, noise, tint, and behavior of the app. Unlike the Mac version you can’t interact with it as a terminal emulator, but you can give it an RSS feed or text file to type out for you. The screenshot up top shows the OSXDaily feed being read by the simulator.

There are plenty of other classic screen savers from yesteryear that function as little shows in the app, like BSOD, BouncingCow, Matrix, and Flying Toasters. The entire XScreenSaver package is also available for Mac users as a free download, in OS X it can actually be used as a screen saver too.

By Paul Horowitz - Fun, iPad, iPhone, Retro - 2 Comments

Turn Off Notification Center in Mac OS X Temporarily

Aug 10, 2012 - 9 Comments

Enable Do Not Disturb in Mac OS X

Looking for some temporary peace and quiet from alerts and notifications but don’t want to completely disable Notification Center on your Mac? There are two quick ways to temporarily hush all notifications in OS X, silencing and stopping both the pop-up alerts and sound effects with the notifications, these two methods last until the next day before automatically resuming.

Read more »

By William Pearson - Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks - 9 Comments

This Original Macintosh Commercial from 1983 Never Aired [Video]

Aug 10, 2012 - 6 Comments

Andy Hertzfeld in 1983 Macintosh Commercial

A never-before-aired commercial for the original Macintosh has surfaced which any fan of Apple history should get a kick out of it. Coming in at just over a minute long, the unaired TV ad includes some big name early-Apple employees, including Andy Hertzfeld, Burrel Smith, George Crow, Bill Atkinson, and Mike Murray, all describing Macintosh and the goals for the product.

The video was posted to original Macintosh team member Andy Hertzfeld’s Google+ page (follow us there too) and has since made the rounds of the web. Hertzfeld said the following about the video:

Here’s a rare commercial for the original Macintosh that Chiat-Day made in the fall of 1983 , featuring snippets from interviews of the design team. It never aired because Apple deemed it too self-congratulatory, although it was used in some promotional materials sent to dealers.

Watch the video embedded below:

Whether it’s nearly 30 years old or not I actually like it more than the recent Mac Genius ads, but maybe that’s because I’m a big fan of Apple history, and I appreciate that Apple’s philosophy remains more or less unchanged.

By Paul Horowitz - Fun, Retro - 6 Comments

How to Fix iMessage Not Syncing Between a Mac & iPhone/iPad

Aug 9, 2012 - 42 Comments

Use an Apple ID for iMessage syncing between iOS Devices and Mac OS X

As you probably noticed when configuring iMessage on a Mac, you use an Apple ID during the set up process. This allows iMessage to sync all messages between any Macs and any iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad you may have using that same Apple ID. But this doesn’t always work as intended, and sometimes messages sent to the iPhone won’t reach the Mac, and sometimes messages sent to the Mac won’t reach the iPhone, and a myriad of other similar situations. If you find Messages to not be syncing properly between iOS and OS X, the fix is straight forward:

From the iOS Device(s):

  • Open “Settings” on the iOS device and tap on “Messages”
  • Scroll down and tap on “Receive At” which is usually followed by a phone number or email address
  • Tap the “Use your Apple ID for iMessage” button at the top and sign in

Exit out of Settings and return to the Mac briefly.

From the Mac(s):

  • Double-check the Apple ID used in Messages for Mac is the same as the iMessage setup in iOS

This problem seems to mostly effect users who set up iMessage on the iOS device a while back but based the delivery and caller ID on their phone number and not their Apple ID. Because Messages for Mac uses an Apple ID and not a phone number, the messages won’t sync. Simple cause, simple solution.

Similarly, if you discover that iMessages aren’t syncing between multiple iOS devices, be sure to use your email address and Apple ID as caller ID and all should be working as intended.

Things still aren’t working? Try this:

Confirm Your Apple ID Mobile Phone Number
Another possible solution is to confirm your mobile phone number with your Apple ID. This has been reported to be a fix for some users who have persistent issues after the above sequences turn up blank.

  • Go to and log in with your Apple ID
  • Under “Phone Numbers” make sure you have the proper cell phone set under “Mobile Phone”, if not enter it and choose “Save Changes”

Fix iMessage syncing with iPhones

Try sending a new iMessage, it should now sync flawlessly between all iOS devices, whether it’s sent to or from an iPhone, Mac, iPad. Thanks to Taylor for leaving this last tip in our comments, it does seem to resolve some stubborn problems so give it a try!

By Paul Horowitz - iPad, iPhone, Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks - 42 Comments

How to Access iCloud Documents From the Mac OS X Finder of OS X Lion, Mountain Lion, Mavericks

Aug 9, 2012 - 16 Comments

Access iCloud files from the Mac Finder

Since OS X 10.7.2 onward, you can access files stored in iCloud directly from the OS X Finder. Furthermore, if you have multiple Macs configured with iCloud and running Lion or Mountain Lion, you can actually use this hidden folder to sync files between Macs with iCloud, much like DropBox. With OS X and iOS becoming increasingly dependent on iCloud, having a quick way to access those iCloud documents can be useful for power users.

Read more »

By Paul Horowitz - Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks - 16 Comments

How to Quickly Access Wi-Fi Diagnostics Tool in Mac OS X

Aug 9, 2012 - 6 Comments

Wi-Fi Diagnostics quick access from the OS X menu bar

We have discussed the powerful new Wi-Fi Scanner tool in OS X but it turns out there’s a much easier way to access the Wi-Fi Diagnostics app than to dig around in /System/Library/CoreServices/ and make a Dock or LaunchPad alias.

Instead, you can quickly launch the excellent wi-fi diagnostics app on a Mac at any time just by doing the following:
Read more »

By William Pearson - Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks - 6 Comments

Use a 24 Hour Clock on the iPhone & iPad

Aug 8, 2012 - 6 Comments

Show the Military Time as 24 Hour Clock in iOS

The iPhone and iPad default to use a 12 hour clock in the USA and Canada, but you can easily switch to 24 hour time (often called Military time) through a quick settings adjustment in iOS.

Read more »

By Paul Horowitz - iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks - 6 Comments

Change the iPhone Simulator to 640×1136 Resolution

Aug 8, 2012 - 4 Comments

iPhone Simulator Resolutions

With rumors and some new evidence suggesting the new iPhone display will have a 640×1136 screen resolution, developers and designers may find it interesting to alter the iOS Simulator to accomodate such a resolution. This can be done fairly easily by adding a basic text file to a directory, and then altering a plist file within the the iOS Simulator to add the new dimensions.

  • Grab this text file, save it as plain text named “File.txt” into ~/Library/Application Support/iPhone Simulator/
  • Now locate the iPhone Simulator and modify the plist file stored at the following location – you will need admin privileges to edit the plist file:
    /Applications/ (Retina).deviceinfo/Info.plist

  • Add the following keys near the bottom of the plist but before the closing dict and plist tags, like so:
  • Modifying the iPhone simulator resolution

  • Relaunch iOS Simulator and select iPhone Retina as the device type to see the changes

This was discovered by Cedric Luthi and works with the latest versions of Xcode.

By comparison, the current iPhone 4 and 4S retina display is 3.5″ and has a resolution of 640×960 pixels.

Test Password Strength & Generate Strong Passwords in Mac OS X

Aug 8, 2012 - 5 Comments

Test Password Strength & Generate Secure Passwords in Mac OS X

Mac OS X includes a great built-in utility that helps you test existing password strength, and also generate new strong passwords. If you’re wondering if your password is secure this is a great safe way to test the quality of it, and it’s also a safe way to create new strong passwords that you know will be considered secure.

Read more »

By Paul Horowitz - Mac OS X, Security, Tips & Tricks - 5 Comments

Change the Default Font of Notes App in Mac OS X

Aug 8, 2012 - 11 Comments

Change the Default Font of Notes app in Mac OS X

The new Notes app in OS X features a default font that is kind of hard to read and looks a bit goofy, nearly like Comic Sans. If you want a more professional looking font that’s easier on the eyes, you can easily switch the default font from “Noteworthy” to the always classic Helvetica, or another font of your choice.

Read more »

By William Pearson - Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks - 11 Comments

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