Blog Archives

#MacOsX : Show Hidden Files and Folders

In *NIX systems file and folders beginning with a dot (e.g., .name) are not visible in the Finder (also known as file browser). Since Mac Os X it’s a certified UNIX that’s also the case. If you use the terminal you can use the command:

ls -a

However, most people will use regular Finder. To enable view of hidden files in the Finder use this command:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles -bool TRUE

and then restart the finder with the following command:

killall Finder

To revert the changes use the same command, but replace TRUE with FALSE.


#MacOsX : Fix Mountain Lion Slow Shutdown

Ok, actually there are many good reasons to wait a bit of time before send a SIGKILL to processes (like giving them time to write things on disk or finish an upload on the iCloud), however the “slow” shutdown could be annoying, so try this:

sudo launchctl unload /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/

sudo defaults write /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ ExitTimeOut -int 2

sudo launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/

This set the shutdown timeout to 2 sec instead of the default value (20).

#MacOsX : Enable Quicklook Text Selection [OUTDATED]

Quicklook is a beautiful and powerful feature of Mac Os X (take a look here to know what is capable of) but it is somewhat weird that it doesn’t allow text selection.

To enable text selection in Quicklook:

defaults write QLEnableTextSelection -boolean YES

killall Finder

NOTE: this trick stopped working with Mac OS X 10.11 and later.

#MacOsX : Show Remote Disks

There are Macs without disk drives. You can access CD/DVDs from another Mac over the network allowing remote disk.

This option allows you to always see remote drives within Finder:

defaults write EnableODiskBrowsing -boolean YES

killall Finder

#MacOsX : Reset NVRAM, PRAM and SMC

Sometimes after a software (system) or hardware upgrade even Macs can have some problems; if you have tried every solution without success you could try this.

Every Mac stores certain settings in a special memory area even if it is turned off. On Intel-based Macs, this is stored in memory known as NVRAM; on PowerPC-based Macs, this is stored in memory known as PRAM.

Resetting NVRAM and PRAM may solve lot of problems and could be required if you upgrade SSD or Mac firmware (more tips on SSDs here).

Another step to try is Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC). An SMC reset should only be attempted after all other standard troubleshooting has been performed.



#MacOsX : Disable Auto-Save and Versions in Mac OS X

Auto-Save and Versions are excellent features in Mac OS X, but some advanced users are annoyed by  them as they often don’t want to save intermediate versions of their work.
Moreover some apps write lots of data on disk (e.g. iMovie and iBooks Author) and this can shorten the life of SSD (look here for more tuning for SSDs).
If you know the name of the app plist you want to disable auto-save and Versions for, you can just plug the name into the defaults write command:

defaults write app-plist ApplePersistence -bool no

If you don’t know it then you can find it with the following command:

osascript -e 'id of application "NAME OF APP"'

Now if you enter the Versions window, auto-save list will be empty and there are no versions to restore to. You’ll probably want turn off File Locking too.

NOTE: some sandboxed apps require another command in addition:

defaults write app-plist AutosavingDelay -int 0

This is expecially true for TextEdit as it is the only Apple app that uses “old-style” autosaving and this causes issues with the sandbox in Lion/Mountain Lion.

NOTE2: It seems that the preference can be set globally but it may cause the login process to become very slow and possibly cause other unexpected behaviour:

defaults write -g ApplePersistence -bool no

#MacOsX : Turn Off File Locking

Mac OS X Lion has introduced automatic file locking for files that hasn’t been edited recently.

To Disable File Locking:

  • open System Preferences > Time Machine
  • click on Options
  • uncheck the box next to “Lock documents [2 weeks] after last edit” or modify the value as preferred
  • done 🙂

#MacOSX : Customize Launchpad with Launchpad-Control

Quoting from developer’s site:

Already upgraded to Mac OS X Lion? Yes? Well then you certainly know Launchpad, the “home for your apps” like Apple says.

A huge disadvantage of Launchpad is that every app located in your /Applications folder is shown. That means that you will see little helper programs like uninstallers or updaters, too.
These apps can’t be hidden from Launchpad easily because Apple does not provide any preference pane or tool to do so.

Launchpad-Control is a small tool which allows you to easily hide/unhide apps (and groups) from Launchpad in Mac OS X Lion.

NOTE: it is free, but be kind and make a donation to the developer, he will appreciate it very much. 😉

#MacOSX : System Preferences Archives Pane

Mac OS X support zip & unzip files natively, but you can’t find how to configure it in System Preferences.

Archives Pane exists but it is not installed by default, so you must install it first:

  1. Go to (Shift-Command-G):
  2. Double-click on Archives.prefPane
  3. Insert your admin password
  4. From now on you have Archives pane in System Preferences

NOTE: it works on Mac OS X Lion, Snow Leopard and Leopard.

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