Send Growl Notifications to Notification Center in OS X 10.8 with Hiss

Feb 20, 2012 - 6 Comments

Growl to Notifications Center

Make OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion‘s new Notification Center feature instantly more useful by grabbing Hiss, a free application that sends apps Growl notifications directly to Mountain Lion’s desktop notification panel.

There’s not much more to the app than that, but nonetheless it’s a great utility and worth downloading for those who are using the OS X 10.8 Developer Preview. Right now there simply aren’t that many apps that have Notification Center support tied in, although this will certainly change as we approach the Summer release date. Also, it’s worth keeping in mind that chances are reasonably high that Growl itself will end up tying similar functionality into future releases of their apps, but Hiss should bridge the gap for now.

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By Paul Horowitz - Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks - 6 Comments

Clear Versions History & Auto-Save Cache Data in Mac OS X

Feb 20, 2012 - 3 Comments

OS X Versions Cache and Auto-Save

New versions of Mac OS X include the Versions feature and Auto-Save ability, this lets users restore back to previous editions of a file by creating a constant sequence of saved file states while they are being worked on.

All around, Versions and auto-save are useful, but they can also leave traces of sensitive documents and files you may not wish to keep around. Other than the privacy implications, this same technique can resolve some erroneous behavior with Versions as well. The simplest solution to these issues is to manually delete the Versions saved states cache directory.

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By William Pearson - Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks - 3 Comments

How to Uninstall XCode

Feb 20, 2012 - 12 Comments

Uninstall Xcode

Updated 12/17/2015: Included are new simple instructions for uninstalling modern versions of Xcode. Deleting old versions of Xcode is covered as well, this is a thorough guide to uninstall Xcode from any Mac regardless of version and OS X release.

Xcode is Apple’s developer suite for iOS and Mac OS X, it’s necessary if you intend to be write apps for either OS and installing it includes a number of other useful utilities other than the main IDE itself. The additional aspects include things like the Interface Builder, iPhone Simulator, Quartz Composer, Dashcode, gcc, dtrace, perl, python, ruby, and much more that has use beyond core iOS and OS X development, adding valuable utilities to tweakers and administrators toolkits.

Installing Xcode is just a matter of downloading it from the Mac App Store, but what if you want to remove Xcode?

How to delete Xcode depends on what version you are trying to remove from the Mac. We’ll cover removing newer versions of Xcode first, then cover deleting the older versions of the app as well.
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By William Pearson - Development, Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks - 12 Comments

How to Dual Boot OS X 10.7 Lion & OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

Feb 19, 2012 - 25 Comments

Dual Boot OS X Lion and OS X Mountain Lion

OS X Mountain Lion is Apple’s latest Mac operating system that is complete with a bunch of new features that iOS users will find familiar. It’s looking like a great addition to the Mac OS family, but for the time being it’s still in Developer Preview, has a fair amount of bugs, and isn’t quite ready for prime time. For those who want to explore and develop for OS X Mountain Lion without losing their primary – and stable – OS X Lion installation, the best thing to do is create a dual boot set up. This lets you have both Mac OS X 10.7 and OS X 10.8 on the same Mac, which you can easily switch between with a reboot.

Before beginning, do the following:

  • Check system requirements to insure OS X Mountain Lion compatibility
  • Download OS X Mountain Lion from the App Store
  • Back up the Mac within OS X Lion using Time Machine

If you already made an OS X Mountain Lion boot installer, you can use that, or you can partition directly from Disk Utility in Lion. It shouldn’t matter although OS X Lion can be pickier with partitioning the boot drive than prior versions of Mac OS X. After you have backed up your Mac, you can proceed.

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Send Any File to an iOS Device from Mac OS X with iMessage

Feb 19, 2012 - 7 Comments

A little-known feature of iMessage lets any Mac send files to another iMessage user (or yourself) using an iOS device, and vice versa. Yes, this means iMessages can function as a full-fledged file transfer app for both OS X and iOS users, providing for simple transferring of files, pdf’s, text and rtf documents, movies, pictures, and just about anything else.

Send Files to iOS from Mac with iMessage

To use this awesome feature, you will need to be sure to have iMessage set up in iOS and/or the Messages for Mac client as well. Having both lets you send files between yourself and your Apple devices, but if you only have a Mac or an iOS device then you can still send files to other users through the messages apps. Once you have the necessary apps configured, using the feature is surprisingly easy, here’s how to do it:

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By William Pearson - iPad, iPhone, Mac, Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks - 7 Comments

Remove All Music from iPhone, iPod touch, iPad

Feb 18, 2012 - 51 Comments

The music app icon for iOS

If you want to delete all music from an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you can handle the entire music removal process directly on the iOS device itself, you don’t need to sync to iTunes or do anything fancy. Do be warned however, this deletes every single song and album from the Music app and from the device, so be absolutely certain you want to do this!

So you definitely want to remove all music from an iOS device? That’s what we’ll show you how to do, it’s a few settings deep to prevent accidental access and removal of songs, but it’s easy to do in just a few steps.

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By Paul Horowitz - iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks - 51 Comments

Install OS X Mountain Lion Developer Preview on Old Unsupported Macs

Feb 18, 2012 - 33 Comments

Unsupported Mac running OS X 10.8

If you read the OS X Mountain Lion system requirements and got discouraged that the next version of OS X won’t support your computer, don’t give up hope for that old Mac quite yet!

A crafty MacRumors Forums member has managed to get OS X Mountain Lion Developer Preview working on an officially unsupported mid-2007 white MacBook, a model with the unsupported Intel GMA 950 GPU, 2GHz Core 2 Duo CPU, and just 1GB of RAM. Not only does OS X 10.8 run on the old MacBook, it reportedly works very well and with full graphics acceleration.
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By Paul Horowitz - Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks - 33 Comments

Mac Setups: iMac Amateur Music Studio

Feb 18, 2012 - 1 Comment

iMac and Keyboard

This weeks Mac setup comes to us from Ben, a graphic and motion designer from Italy who spends his spare time composing music. The hardware he uses for these pursuits includes:

  • iMac 21.5″
  • Apple Wireless Keyboard
  • Magic Mouse
  • M-Audio KeyStudio 49 (Keyboard)
  • AKG – K66 headphones
  • Logitech speakers

Great Mac setup Ben, thanks for sending this in!

Submit pictures of your own Apple & Mac setups to – include some details on the hardware and what you use it for.

By William Pearson - Mac Setups - 1 Comment

How to Make a Bootable OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion USB Install Drive

Feb 17, 2012 - 98 Comments

OS X Mountain Lion Bootable Installer

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion will be offered exclusively through the App Store, familiar territory for Apple since OS X Lion was provided the same way. Thankfully it’s still possible to create a bootable OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion installer from any USB drive, be it a flash key or external hard drive.

By creating a bootable install drive, you can perform clean OS X 10.8 installs, install it on separate partitions, and install OS X Mountain Lion on Macs that don’t have internet connections. We’ll walk through the process here, but don’t forget to check OS X 10.8 system requirements for the destination Mac before beginning.

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Apple Sold 156 Million iOS Devices in 2011, More Than All Macs Sold in 28 Years

Feb 17, 2012 - 5 Comments

Cumulative Apple Sales: Mac vs iPhone vs iPad vs iPod touch vs Apple II

Growth of iOS, the mobile operating system that powers iPhones, iPads, iPod touch, and Apple TV, is exploding. To put iOS’s success into some context, Asymco crafted the above chart to demonstrate the growth curve relative to years of Apple products on the market. The most staggering observation? Apple sold 156 million iOS devices last year alone, that is over 30 million more units shipped than all 28 years of the Macs existence, where it has sold 122 million computers. Overall, the iOS platform totals over 316 million devices sold in a few short years.

Look to iOS to Understand Mac OS X
If you’re wondering why Apple has been pushing the Mac platform to more closely resemble iOS with the release of OS X Lion and OS X Mountain Lion, this is it. The simplicity, familiarity, and success of iOS is too much to resist. PC’s, and Macs too for that matter, are indeed becoming the “trucks” that Steve Jobs predicted several years ago at D8 2010, becoming greatly outnumbered by the “cars” (in this case, iOS devices). Jobs’ now famous quote from that conversation:

“When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks, because that’s what you needed on the farm. But as vehicles started to be used in the urban centers, cars got more popular. Innovations like automatic transmission and power steering and things that you didn’t care about in a truck as much started to become paramount in cars. … PCs are going to be like trucks. They’re still going to be around, they’re still going to have a lot of value, but they’re going to be used by one out of X people. … I think that we’re embarked on that. Is the next step the iPad? Who knows? Will it happen next year or five years from now or seven years from now? Who knows? But I think we’re headed in that direction.”

The only thing Jobs’ was wrong about was how soon it would happen. As Asymco notes, it only took four years for iOS to overtake OS X.

Simplicity is the Future
None of this means the Mac is dead or dying though, in fact Mac sales are more impressive than ever before, but it does signify the changing roll of computers and how we define a PC. It makes us question who needs what hardware, and for what purpose. Frankly, for many users an iPad – or iPhone – is more than adequate to handle the routine tasks of daily technical life, be it reading or sending emails to browsing the web and listening to music. The Mac (and PC) will certainly still be around for those required to perform more complex tasks, but that market is undoubtedly smaller, and this has already been proven by the runaway success of iOS. As a result, traditional desktop operating systems are evolving towards simplicity. The Mac and PC are ultimately over-engineered and too powerful for the average users technical needs, this helps to explain Apple’s OS X strategy and Microsofts Windows 8 concepts, the power and underlying complexity is still there, but the experience is becoming simpler.

As DaringFireball noted when linking to the Asymco chart, “The lesson: simplicity sells.” If you have any doubts about this or where the industry is going, just look at that chart.

By Jeff Hurst - News - 5 Comments

Create Beautiful Custom Screen Savers from a Flickr Image Feed

Feb 17, 2012 - 12 Comments

Flickr Images RSS Screen Saver

Flickr has an endless supply of beautiful photos that make for fantastic automatically updating image screen savers in Mac OS X. All you need is a good Flickr stream and you can easily create a new screen saver from it, here’s how:

  1. Find a Flickr photo stream you want to use and scroll to the bottom of the Flickr page, looking for the “Subscribe to” RSS link
  2. Subscribe Flickr RSS

  3. Right-click on “Latest” and copy the URL (starts with into the clipboard
  4. Launch “System Preferences” and open “Screen Savers”
  5. Click the “+” icon in the lower left corner, select “Add RSS Feed”
  6. Add RSS Feed screen saver

  7. Paste in the Flickr RSS feed URL you copied earlier

You can use your own Flickr stream or just pick one from the “Explore” or “Interesting” lists. General themed image lists can be had by choosing tags, groups, or pools, but not everything on Flickr has the RSS feed option.

For best results, choose a Flickr user that uploads high resolution images, and select the Ken Burns Display Style within the screen savers options.

Fix Grainy Screen Saver Images with a New RSS Feed
If you notice that the resulting images are not full resolution, you can run the Flickr feed URL through a third party service to create a new RSS feed that will use only the high res images:

  • Go to and paste the Flickr RSS feed into the URL entry
  • Copy the output URL ( to the clipboard
  • BigFlickrFeed RSS url

  • Use that URL to add as the RSS feed screensaver in Mac OS X

If you want some absolutely stunning high resolution landscape photos from around the globe, this Flickr user stream is hard to beat:

You can also gather collections of images manually, place them into a folder, and create a custom screen saver that way.

How to Use AirPlay Mirroring on a Mac with OS X

Feb 17, 2012 - 44 Comments

AirPlay Mirroring on a Mac

Apple TV owners have an extra incentive to upgrade their Macs to the latest versions of OS X; AirPlay Mirroring. With AirPlay Mirroring, you can stream the Mac desktop and whatever application is on screen to an HDTV wirelessly through the Apple TV, making it easier than ever to watch videos from a Mac or play games on a much larger TV screen from a couch.

This is an awesome feature that became supported on the Mac with newer versions of OS X, here is exactly what you’ll need to use it:
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