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Updated: 5 years 36 weeks ago

10.7: Get colored sidebar icons in Finder

Mon, 10/31/2011 - 7:30am
Relive the glorious days of colored icons in the Finder's sidebar in Lion.
  • Install SIMBL if you haven't already. Use the 0.9.9 version.
  • Download ColorfulSidebar.
  • Copy the file ColorfulSidebar.bundle from the Disk Image to /Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins (or ~/Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins).
  • Restart Finder.
  • Enjoy colorful icons in the sidebar once again!

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described. I do prefer the colorful icons.]

Categories: Mac Feeds

Siri Quick Tip: Wikipedia

Mon, 10/31/2011 - 7:30am
I haven't seen this hint anywhere else, but I've found that in Siri, if you say 'Wikipedia' followed by anything like 'Muppets' or 'Zombies,' it will take you right to the Wikipedia entry for that request. Pretty cool.

[crarko adds: It's going to be a while before I get a 4s, due to my contract. For those who have one, is Siri as amazing as it sounds or is it just a 1.0 version in need of improvement?]

Categories: Mac Feeds

Deleting Gmail messages in

Mon, 10/31/2011 - 7:30am
When you use Mail, or another email client, together with a Gmail account you will surely know that clicking on a message and pressing the delete key does remove that message from Inbox folder but leaves a copy of it in the 'All Mail' folder on the Gmail server. Effectively the message has not been deleted. This is the default Gmail behavior.

While I like using with Gmail I don't like the 'All Mail' folder. Here's how to configure Mail so a deleted message ends up in the Trash folder on the Gmail server.

In, under Preferences click the Accounts icon. Select your Gmail account. In the Trash section check the box 'Move deleted messages to the Trash mailbox' and check the box 'Store deleted messages on the server'. Close the Preferences.

On the left side where the Mailboxes are located, expand the Gmail folder, and click on the Trash folder. Next, from the menu select Mailbox » Use this Mailbox For » Trash ...

Categories: Mac Feeds

10.7: Hidden Mobile Network Profile support

Fri, 10/28/2011 - 7:30am
Opening a .mobileconfig file in Lion exposes an otherwise hidden System Preference, 'Profiles' as shown here.

The .mobilconfig files are typically used to manage network settings on iOS, including the Access Point Name (APN).

To view this in Lion, just open a .mobileconfig file from Finder and System Preferences will now reveal 'Profiles' with a means to manage multiple profiles.

If you install a .mobileconfig, Profiles will remain available in System Preferences; if you delete all profiles, then Profiles no longer appears in System Preferences.

This doesn't yet seem to affect network access or browsing at all, so it is possible this feature exists to pave the way for more unified management of APN on desktops with mobi ...

Categories: Mac Feeds

iOS 5: Repeating Tasks in Reminders

Fri, 10/28/2011 - 7:30am
This may not be so much a hint as a caveat.

I was thrilled to discover iOS 5.0 now allows repeating reminders until I discovered that while the iOS software (such as that on the iPad) allows repeating reminders, iCal and iCloud still DO NOT.

So, if you create a repeating reminder you need to make sure you check it off on your iOS device and NOT on iCloud or iCal -- doing so checks off the task and removes it. Checking it off on the iOS device marks it as done for that day and then automatically creates the task again at the specified repeat interval.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. The hint submitter didn't mention the version of iCal being used, so if that makes any difference please note so in the comments. I'm certainly willing to believe iCloud is still undergoing improvement, and maybe this is an issue which will be corrected.]

Categories: Mac Feeds

Getting more information about your iOS device

Thu, 10/27/2011 - 7:30am
I just came across this today by accident. As we all know we can get the Serial Number of our Macs and the Build number of the version of Mac OS X that we are using in the About This Mac window.

The same trick works in iTunes for iOS devices, and here's how:

In iTunes under the Devices section you will see your iOS Device listed click on the name of the device and make sure you have the Summary tab selected, move your cursor to Software Version and left-click, it will change to Build Version and if you click on Serial Number, you'll get the UDID Number of the device.

Now this trick will only work for the iPhone but if you click on your Phone Number, you'll get the IMEI and ICCID. I think this is useful information to know in case you talk to your wireless provider or Apple tech support.

[crarko adds: This may have been around for a while, but I didn't notice it before. It's more important than before since beginning with iOS 5 the UDID ...

Categories: Mac Feeds

10.7: Command+Tab now stops at the end of the bezel

Thu, 10/27/2011 - 7:30am
I think this is new in 10.7. When holding down Command+Tab to switch applications, the selector now stops at the last application in the row. To loop back around, you need to release Tab and press it again. This is useful if you know you want the last application in the row because you don't have to worry about overshooting it.

[crarko adds: Is this new?]

Categories: Mac Feeds

10.7: Change the Finder option when copying multiple files

Thu, 10/27/2011 - 7:30am
You can change 'Keep Both Files' to 'Skip' when copying multiple files in Finder.

In Lion, one of the new features is to be able to 'Keep Both Files' when copying multiple files in Finder. While this is useful there are many times when the old 'Skip' behavior is better suited to the task. Well, the (now) obvious way to do this is to just hold the 'Option' key, and then 'Keep Both File' changes to 'Skip.'

Credit for this tip goes to a poster on the Apple Discussion Boards.

[crarko adds: Sometimes simple tips are the best. This is also serves as an example of good software design.]

Categories: Mac Feeds

3D Collada file support

Wed, 10/26/2011 - 7:30am
You can manipulate Collada (.dae) 3D objects in Lion.

I was converting a Sketchup 3D file to Collada to be able to open it in Cinema 4D when I noticed the Finder icon generated was looking same as the model. I could Quick Look at the file and discovered that you can manipulate the whole 3D right into Quick Look, or Preview.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. The file type is one that is used for a lot of interchangeable 3-D graphics modeling in various game engines.

According to several comments, this also works in Snow Leopard.]

Categories: Mac Feeds

iOS 5: Connect to MS Exchange task lists

Wed, 10/26/2011 - 7:30am
More a feature observation than a hint, but the Reminder app that comes with iOS 5 will bring in tasks from a MS Exchange server.

I already had my MS Exchange email setup in the Mail app prior to upgrading to iOS 5 and when I went into the Reminder app, I saw all of my tasks from Exchange there. This is something that was really missing for those of us that have to use Exchange and is a welcome addition.

[crarko adds: Are a lot of you using iOS with Exchange out there and has it been a pretty smooth ride for you? My experience has caused me to feel nothing but sympathy for those still using Blackberry with a BES.]

Categories: Mac Feeds

10.7: Restore missing search results in Mail

Wed, 10/26/2011 - 7:30am
After upgrading to Mac OS X Lion, I started searching for mail to find registration emails for software that I had to reinstall. I knew they were in my mailboxes because I had found them with no problem in my previous Snow Leopard Install. None of the emails were showing up when I did a search via Lion's search function.

After doing a search I found a thread on Apple Discussions that helped solved the problem but I went back to search for the thread so I thought I'd submit it as a hint.

The solution is to force Spotlight to re-index your hard drive. There are a few ways you can do this:

Follow this Apple Knowledge Base article,

or in Terminal type:

sudo mdutil -E /

You will need to enter your admin password to execute the Terminal command.

[crarko adds: I had to do a Spotlight re-index when I did the Lion upgrade. It took forever on the Firewire drive that ...

Categories: Mac Feeds

10.7: Removing a Delay in SSH commands to some hosts

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 7:30am
Using SSH to connect to some servers can introduce long delays from the time the command is issued until the connection with the server is established. This hint describes two potential problems and offers a solution.

In connecting to a local server, my ssh command would take about 20 seconds to complete. Non-Macintosh clients would not see this delay. After searching for the web and slogging through a number of posts that suggested how to change the server to fix ssh delays, I pieced together enough information to find out how to change my client configuration to solve the problem.

The first, and largest cause of delays, was my client and the server working to authenticate me using 'GSSAPI' (Kerberos) authentication. That seemed to be a good 15-18 seconds of the delay. I fixed this problem by adding a configuration file for my user that disabled GSSAPI authentication for the host. The file I added is ~/.ssh/config and I created it to read: ...

Categories: Mac Feeds

10.7: iCal Reminders Lists displayed separately from Calendars

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 7:30am
In previous versions of iCal, calendar items and to-do items (reminders) were contained in the same calendar container. In Lion, they are separated into Calendars and Reminders Lists.

To see the Reminders Lists, click on the word 'Reminders' above the list of reminder items on the right side of the screen. To create a new Reminders List, select File » New Reminders List.

You may have a Calendar and a Reminders List with the same name. But you can also have Calendars and Reminders Lists which are only displayed in the one place.

When I upgraded from MobileMe to iCloud, I thought some of my calendars had disappeared, except the reminders from those calendars still appeared in the list. These were special calendars I had that only contained reminders. Then I clicked on 'Reminders' and discovered that they were listed separately.

[crarko adds: Seems like a good addition.]

Categories: Mac Feeds

iOS 5: Send as SMS without waiting for iMessage timeout

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 7:30am
If you're using an iPhone with iOS 5 to send a text message to another iOS 5 iPhone user and you have iMessage enabled, the phone will always attempt to send your text as an iMessage in the first instance. If your recipient doesn't have a data connection, it will eventually timeout and the iPhone will send your text as a regular SMS/MMS message.

If, however, you already know that the recipient doesn't have a data connection, you can force the iPhone to send it as an SMS immediately without having to disable iMessage.

Compose your iMessage as normal and hit send. Then immediately tap and hold on the sent message; a small bubble will pop up with the option to 'Send as Text Message.' The iMessage will immediately be cancelled and your text will be sent over the regular SMS/MMS cell network.

[crarko adds: I tried testing this, but the messages actually went through with iMessage quickly so I didn't get to confirm this.]

Categories: Mac Feeds

If MobileMe suddenly stops working on the Mac

Mon, 10/24/2011 - 7:30am
I have 2 iMacs and an iPhone all in sync via MobileMe. Out of the blue, one of the iMacs refused to sync. It let me sign in via Preferences » MobileMe; but the Mac was no longer registered and nothing would permit me to re-register the Mac.

All of the other devices were working fine.

Here's how I got it to work again:
  • First sign out from the affected Mac.
  • Then go into Keychain Access. In the list of Keys, seek out a Key called MobileMe Password which has the Cloud icon beside it. It's probably in the Login keychain. Right Click (Ctrl+Click) on this and delete it.
  • Now sign in to MobileMe via Preferences and all will be well. Click on Account and then Advanced and Register your Mac.
  • When you've done that, select items to Sync and when prompted choose Merge -- this is vital to preserve what's on your Mac.

[crarko adds: This sounds like a damaged Keychain, or something getting s ...

Categories: Mac Feeds

10.7: Unanticipated but welcome behavior in Photostream

Mon, 10/24/2011 - 7:30am
More of an observation than hint but from the Apple site (and Geniuses at the stores), I was expecting to have to move photos taken on my iPhone from Photostream to the permanent library on the iPhone to preserve them after the 30 day limit.

Not so. Both on my iPhone and my iCloud-synced MacBook Air, the photos are both in Photostream and in the Library automatically. Personally, I think this is preferred behavior but does seem to defeat Apple's goal of not having too many pics stored on the iDevices.

[crarko adds: I haven't tried Photostream as part of my general putting-off of the iCloud transfer, but the behavior mentioned here is what I would expect, and would have been pretty annoyed has it been otherwise. You should never be forced to do these things manually.]

Categories: Mac Feeds

Hiding purchases in the App Store/iTunes Store

Mon, 10/24/2011 - 7:30am
It looks like you can finally hide purchases from the the App Store (and the iTunes store).

This may have been mentioned somewhere before, but I haven't seen it.

If you open iTunes and go to the iTunes store and click on 'purchased,' you'll get your list of purchases. From here, if you mouseover a particular purchase (movie, tv show, app), you'll see a little X in the top left corner. If you click on the X, you'll see a message: 'Are you sure you want to hide this purchase? You can unhide purchases from your Account Information page.'

Click the X and the purchase is now hidden on all your Apple devices.

[crarko adds: I don't know how new this is, but I'd not noticed it before either. Handy to know for things like the MLB app that have a new version each year.]

Categories: Mac Feeds

In Safari 5.1.1 , Show Downloads is back

Fri, 10/21/2011 - 7:30am
Not really a hint as much as an observation, but 'Show Downloads' is back in Safari.

In the most recent Safari update, 5.1.1, the Show Downloads menu item is back with its original shortcut, Command+Option+L. The only strange behavior is that it will be unavailable if your download history is empty (and of course that it is stuck to the Safari window). Otherwise it works like in Snow Leopard.

Thanks unnamed Apple hero!

[crarko adds: I guess I didn't notice it was missing, but it's good to have it back. Now Apple heroes, let's please have that modest iCloud support for Snow Leopard. :) ]

Categories: Mac Feeds

10.7: Change an application's category

Fri, 10/21/2011 - 7:30am
Lion provides a new feature in the Finder: the ability to sort your applications by (App Store) category.

But category is not always accurate, or is not set for many non-Apple applications.

To add or modify a category, you have to open the application bundle ('Show Package Contents', the under the folder Contents open the file 'Info.plist').

You then can change the existing category by changing the key called 'LSApplicationCategoryType' (or create the category by adding a child named accordingly).

The list of available categories seems to be restricted to the ones provided by Apple here.

[crarko adds: As far as I can see, the category does indeed seem to only be included in programs downloaded from the Mac App Store, so you might want to add it. It's quite possible that when you u ...

Categories: Mac Feeds

Upload iPhone contacts to iCloud

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 7:30am
When transferring my MobileMe account to iCloud, I found that my contacts didn't make it up to iCloud when accessed through the website ( even after repeated syncs through iTunes.

To force my contacts up to iCloud, I did the following:
  • Make sure your iPhone iCloud account is setup. I did mine with a address.
  • Turn off 'Contacts.'
  • When prompted, choose to save the contacts on the iPhone.
  • Turn 'Contacts' back on.
  • When prompted, choose to merge the contacts.
That did it for me. Almost immediately, all my MobileMe contacts were available on iCloud.

[crarko adds: Since I'm not using iCloud (yet), I haven't tried this. It is very similar to a process I've used in the past to correct iOS sync problems with Exchange servers, so I suspect it will work.]

Categories: Mac Feeds