Advanced Mac users may have noticed that X11 is no longer bundled with OS X, and it’s also no longer available as a separate installation option through Developer Tools. Instead, to run X11 on OS X Mountain Lion (and later), you’ll want to download and install the free XQuartz system, which bundles all the necessary … Read More
Mac OS X 10.8
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The first beta of OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.3 has been released to registered Mac developers. OS X 10.8.3 beta 1 is identified as build 12D32 and focuses on AirPlay, AirPort (wireless), Game Center, and graphics drivers, though it’s not yet clear if the intention is for bug fixing, feature enhancements, or a bit of … Read More
Keeping software up to date is one of the top maintenance tips for Macs, but sometimes those Software Update notifications can be just plain annoying. Whether you’re just trying to focus on work, or the update that’s bugging you is irrelevant to your needs, here is every possible way you can stop software updating from … Read More
If you need to change a computers MAC address (the unique ID attached to a physical network interface), but aren’t comfortable with the command line approaches that we’ve discussed before, an excellent free preference panel called LinkLiar makes it easy. Not only does LinkLiar make changing MAC addresses remarkably simple for any network interface on … Read More
Photo Streams are a great addition to iOS, but thus far seem to be an underused feature. With Photo Stream, you can easily share a collection of images with a select group of people, without having to go through the usual avenues of social networks. Instead, you create an instant gallery right out of the … Read More
As some of you undoubtedly noticed, OS X Mountain Lion removed the Displays menu bar item, which let you quickly change screen resolutions from a pull down menu available system wide in OS X. If you miss that function, you’ll be pleased to discover a freely available app is on the Mac App Store to … Read More
For anyone who uses the command line regularly, a new tool called pkill makes killing processes significantly easier in modern releases of Mac OS and Mac OS X. Improving on the standard kill command, pkill easily supports wildcards, making it easy to terminate all processes belonging to a match or even a specific user.
Mac OS X no longer includes a native RSS reader in Mail or Safari, something that just about no one is particularly pleased about, but a new free app brings RSS functionality back to OS X in perhaps the most logical new way: by embedding feeds into Notification Center. Aptly named “RSS.app”, it’s a lightweight … Read More
Screen Sharing supports drag and drop file copying to and from remote Macs, an excellent feature that was briefly covered in our recent guide to using Screen Sharing in OS X. This offers a really simple way to move files around Macs that are not nearby, and it’s one of those tricks that you’ll really … Read More
All My Files is one of those features of Mac OS X that was somewhat controversial at first, but once you start using it often, you can stop sorting files yourself in the Finder and just let All My Files, search, and Spotlight manage documents instead. Nonetheless, there are still times when you’ll want to … Read More
The latest version of Preview app from OS X Mountain Lion onward feature a couple of fun menu items that let you quickly add comic book styled speech bubbles to any photo. It’s extremely easy to use, but it’s also easy to overlook, so here’s how to use them to add some humor to any … Read More
Apple has issued minor “Supplemental Updates” to both OS X Lion and OS X Mountain Lion. The small releases focus on resolving a few prominent bugs, though the most noticeable is probably the fix for Lion users who are encountering extraordinarily long waits with Time Machine backups. The updates are available through Apple menu … Read More
Now that Twitter is deeply integrated into OS X from Mountain Lion onward, you can easily add Twitter usernames and their accompanying profile pictures to your existing Contacts information automatically. This is done by crossmatching data in your Contacts list with Twitter email addresses and phone numbers, which basically guarantees accuracy.
Notes has been around in iOS for a while, but it’s new to the Mac with OS X Mountain Lion, and if you think it’s just a place to keep track of a few thoughts you’re greatly underestimating the usefulness of this app. In fact, Notes can function as a powerful cross-platform clipboard, because not … Read More
Time Machine backups can be encrypted right from your Mac. This means the backed up data is extremely safe from prying eyes and the very unlikely event of a cracking attempt, and it also means you’ll need a password to access the encrypted backups yourself. Enabling encrypted backups in Time Machine for Mac OS X … Read More
“Save As” is back in OS X Mountain Lion and Mavericks, but many users have complained of how it modifies the original file in addition to the newly saved file, thereby defeating the purpose of how many people use Save As. If this bothers you, you’ll be pleased to discover that from OS X 10.8.2 … Read More
Mac OS X includes a powerful built-in spelling and grammar tool that runs automatically when you type in many apps, but a separate panel can be summoned from just about any text entry point or app that provides additional support for the feature.
Using the command line softwareupdate tool you can update Mac OS X system software without using the App Store. This is particularly useful for Mac users running later versions of Mac OS X where the software update system is primarily handled through the Mac App Store, but can occasionally either go awry or be inaccessible … Read More