How to Fix OS X Mavericks’ Biggest Annoyances

How to Fix OS X Mavericks\’ Biggest Annoyances


Everything You Need to Know About OS X Mavericks In Four Minutes

OS X Mavericks is coming today for free, and while there aren\’t that many new features this time around, it still has a few new tricks up its… Read…

OS X Mavericks was released yesterday, and while it\’s hard to complain too much about a free operating system, there\’s a few things Mavericks does that might get your goat. Here\’s how to fix those annoyances.P

Re-Enable Your Favorite Text ExpanderP

Most text expansion programs work by enabling a special accessibility option in the settings. That option was moved in OS X Mavericks, so there\’s a good chance your text expander of choice has suddenly stopped working. Thankfully, the fix is relatively easy:P

Open System Preferences.

Select Privacy & Security.

Click the Privacy Tab.

Select Accessibility.

Click the lock button and enter your password.

If you text expander is listed here, make sure the box next to it is checked. If not, open up your Applications folder and drag the icon to the System Preferences box.

Once your text expander is listed you should have no problem getting it to work properly. If you\’re using any similar tools that tap into Accessibility options like BetterTouchTool you\’ll need to do run through the same process.P

Disable Notification Center on the Lock ScreenP

Notification Center doesn\’t see a whole lot of improvement this time around, but the update does mess with your settings a little bit. If you\’re not a fan of getting a million notifications, you\’re going to want to pop into System Preferences > Notifications and take a look at the new options. The big one to check is \”Show notifications on lock screen.\” If you don\’t want your emails or anything else showing when you\’re computer is locked, uncheck this box.P

Disable Automatic App UpdatesP

Auto updates aren\’t new to OS X, but Mavericks handles them a bit differently than Mountain Lion did. This time around they happen in the background. The good news is you\’re offered a bit more control of what\’s updated.P

Head into System Preferences > App Store. Here you can turn off automatic updates or fine tune how they\’re handled. If you don\’t like the idea of just downloading every updated imaginable, it\’s a good idea to turn these off.P

Enable Offline DictationP


How to Talk to Your Mac: Using Dictation Effectively

One of the more useful and interesting features in OS X Mountain Lion is Dictation, which allows you to speak to your Mac and have your words… Read…

Dictation was introduced in Mountain Lion, but it required an internet connection to work. Since you can\’t always be connected, Mavericks allows you to download the dictation software so you can use it offline.P

Head to System Preferences > Dictation & Speech and check the \”Use Enhanced Dictation\” box. This enabled the ability to use dictation regardless of whether you have an internet connection or not.P

Prevent App Nap On Select AppsP

App Nap is the new system in Mavericks that helps save power and increase battery life. If an app\’s not currently doing anything, App Nap conserves battery life by slowing the app down. In most cases, this is good when you\’re working off a laptop, but if you find yourself in a special circumstance where you want to disable it on a per-app basis, you can. Just right-click an app and select \”Get Info.\” Then check the box labeled \”Prevent App Nap.\”P

Download Adobe Flash and Java RuntimeP

Mavericks doesn\’t come packed with two pieces of software you\’ll probably need at some point, Flash and Java. In fact, if you had either installed in OS X Mountain Lion, Apple went ahead and deleted it when you upgraded to Mavericks. Here\’s how to install Java:P

Open up Terminal (Applications > Utilities) and type:

java -version

If Java isn\’t installed, you\’ll see an option to download it. If it is, you\’ll see something similar to the screenshot above. Click the \”More info\” buttons. Find the file for Mavericks, then download and install it.

You\’ll need Java for all kinds of apps, from FTP clients to Minecraft servers, so it\’s not a bad idea to download it right away.P

Likewise, Apple deleted that copy of Adobe Flash you\’d installed before the updated. If you\’re having trouble playing any Flash content, head over to Adobe and re-download the plugin again.P

Check for App UpdatesP

We\’ve had pretty good luck with app compatibility in OS X Mavericks, but if you\’re having trouble you\’ll want to make sure you update your software. You can do this either by heading to Apple logo > Software Update, or through your software\’s own update system. If you want to double-check software compatibility before you make the upgrade, head over to Roaring Apps and search for your software of choice.P


via How to Fix OS X Mavericks’ Biggest Annoyances.


Refresh Launchpad in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion

Launchpad is OS X 10.7′s iOS-like app launcher, it’s a nice utility but it does have some quirky behavior in Lion. One of the major issues is that sometimes apps won’t appear in Launchpad at all, or when you delete an app it doesn’t disappear as it’s supposed to. If you run into this, try this tipleft in the comments about LaunchPad Control about refreshing Launchpad and its contents.

Relaunching Launchpad

Launchpad is attached to the Dock app, so the easiest way to relaunch LaunchPad is to kill the Dock from the command line:

killall Dock

Both the Dock and Launchpad will relaunch and that should clear up most minor issues with app persistence.

Refresh Launchpad Contents

If relaunching alone hasn’t fixed LaunchPad and apps are still not showing up, try deleting Launchpads database files located inside your home ~/Library directory, which forces them to rebuild. The directory path you are looking for is:

~/Library/Application Support/Dock/

The fastest way to get there is by using Command+Shift+G in the Finder to access the “Go To Folder” function, then just paste that directory path in. You will see a folder like this:

If you want to back these up you can, otherwise just delete them by dragging the .db files to the Trash, and then kill the Dock again from the Terminal to force the databases to regenerate.

killall Dock

Take note that you will lose any custom icon placement and folders that are setup within Launchpad, because that information is stored in the database file you are trashing.

One-Line Terminal Command to Refresh Launchpad Contents

If you are comfortable with the command line, you can also do this entire process through the Terminal with the following commands:

rm ~/Library/Application\ Support/Dock/*.db ; killall Dock

If you want control over exactly what shows up in Launchpad rather than just creating a bunch of folders, use the third party System Preference Launchpad Control, it’s free and works as a sql frontend to the Launchpad database.

Thanks to Igo for the tip!

via Refresh Launchpad in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion 

The New MacBook Pro: Unfixable, Unhackable, Untenable | Gadget Lab |

This week, Apple delivered the highly anticipated MacBook Pro with Retina Display — and the tech world is buzzing. I took one apart yesterday because I run iFixit, a team responsible for high-resolution teardowns of new products and DIY repair guides. We disassemble and analyze new electronic gizmos so you don’t have to — kind of like an internet version of Consumer Reports.

Kyle Wiens

The Retina MacBook is the least repairable laptop we’ve ever taken apart: Unlike the previous model, the display is fused to the glass, which means replacing the LCD requires buying an expensive display assembly. The RAM is now soldered to the logic board — making future memory upgrades impossible. And the battery is glued to the case, requiring customers to mail their laptop to Apple every so often for a $200 replacement. The design may well be comprised of “highly recyclable aluminum and glass” — but my friends in the electronics recycling industry tell me they have no way of recycling aluminum that has glass glued to it like Apple did with both this machine and the recent iPad.

The design pattern has serious consequences not only for consumers and the environment, but also for the tech industry as a whole.

The Retina MacBook is the least repairable laptop we’ve ever taken apart.

Four years ago, Apple performed a market experiment. They released the super thin, but non-upgradeable, MacBook Air in addition to their two existing, easily upgradeable notebooks: the MacBook and the MacBook Pro. Apple’s laptops had evolved over two decades of experience into impressively robust, rugged, and long-lasting computers. Apple learned a lot from the failings of the past: the exploding batteries of the PowerBook 5300, the flaky hinges of the PowerBook G4 Titanium, the difficult-to-access hard drive in the iBook.

Apple’s portable lineup was a triumph — for consumers and for Apple itself. IT professionals the world over love working on the MacBook. I’ve disassembled a few of them myself, and I can attest that they are almost as easy to repair as they are to use.

The 2008 Air went in a new direction entirely: It sacrificed performance and upgradeability in exchange for a thinner design. Its RAM is soldered to the logic board (as in the Retina MacBook Pro), so upgrading it means replacing the entire expensive logic board. And like all laptops, the Air has a built-in consumable. The MacBook Air’s battery was rated to last just 300 charges when it was introduced. But unlike laptops before it, replacing the Air’s battery required specialized tools and removing some 19 screws.

When Apple dropped the MacBook Air to $999 in 2010 to match the price point of the MacBook, they gave users a clear choice: the thin, light, and un-upgradeable MacBook Air or the heavier, longer lasting, more rugged, and more powerful MacBook. Same price, two very different products. At the time, I wasn’t very happy with the non-upgradeable RAM on the MacBook Air, but I respected that Apple had given their users a choice. It was up to us: Did we want a machine that would be stuck with 2GB of RAM forever? Would we support laptops that required replacement every year or two as applications required more memory and batteries atrophied?

Apple has presented the market with a choice. They have two professional laptops: one that is serviceable and upgradeable, and one that is not.

Consumers overwhelmingly voted yes, and the Air grew to take 40 percent of Apple’s notebook sales by the end of 2010.

The success of the non-upgradeable Air empowered Apple to release the even-less-serviceable iPad two years later: The battery was glued into the case. And again, we voted with our wallets and purchased the device despite its built-in death clock. In the next iteration of the iPad, the glass was fused to the frame.

Once again, with another product announcement, Apple has presented the market with a choice. They have two professional laptops: one that is serviceable and upgradeable, and one that is not. They’re not exactly equivalent products — one is less expensive and supports expandable storage, and the other has a cutting-edge display, fixed storage capacity, and a premium price tag — but they don’t have the same name just to cause confusion. Rather, Apple is asking users to define the future of the MacBook Pro.

Apple isn’t fundamentally against upgradeability and accessibility. The current Mac Mini has compelling finger slots that practically beg people to open it. When Steve Jobs released the “open-minded” Power Mac G3 with a door that opened from the side, the audience oohed and aahed. Apple products have historically retained their value quite well, in part due to third-party repair manuals, but also due to a number of very modular, very upgradeable designs.

Even the MacBook Pro was originally touted as an accessible, repairable machine — at Macworld in 2009, Steve Jobs said, “Our pro customers want accessibility: […] to add memory, to add cards, to add drives.” That’s part of what I love about my MacBook Pro. I’ve upgraded my RAM, and I even replaced my optical drive with an 80GB SSD.

We have consistently voted for hardware that’s thinner rather than upgradeable. But we have to draw a line in the sand somewhere.

On the other hand, Apple has consistently introduced thinner, lighter products. They learn from experience. They react to their customers. They’re very adept at presenting us with what we want. And they give us options from time to time and allow product sales to determine their future designs.

We have consistently voted for hardware that’s thinner rather than upgradeable. But we have to draw a line in the sand somewhere. Our purchasing decisions are telling Apple that we’re happy to buy computers and watch them die on schedule. When we choose a short-lived laptop over a more robust model that’s a quarter of an inch thicker, what does that say about our values?

Every time we buy a locked down product containing a non-replaceable battery with a finite cycle count, we’re voicing our opinion on how long our things should last. But is it an informed decision? When you buy something, how often do you really step back and ask how long it should last? If we want long-lasting products that retain their value, we have to support products that do so.

Today, we choose. If we choose the Retina display over the existing MacBook Pro, the next generation of Mac laptops will likely be less repairable still. When that happens, we won’t be able to blame Apple. We’ll have to blame ourselves.

How to Remove Credit Card Information From iTunes |

How to Remove Credit Card Information From iTunes

By Jason Artman, eHow Contributor , last updated March 15, 2012

When you become a customer of the iTunes Store, your credit card information is saved to make future purchases an easy process. Your information is protected by your password and by Apple’s servers. However, you may decide that you no longer wish to use the card you have on file, or that you prefer a different online music store. Edit your iTunes account information to remove your credit card information.

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Launch iTunes and click “iTunes Store” in the left navigation pane.


Click the “down arrow” next to your name at the top right side of the page and click “Account.”


Enter your username and password and click “View Account” to log into your account information.


Next to your Payment Type, click “Edit.”


Select the “None” button and click “Done.”


Confirm that your card has been removed by returning to the Apple account information screen. Under Payment Type, it should say that there is no credit card on file.

via How to Remove Credit Card Information From iTunes |


bannerbomb alpha – v2

compatible with Wii Menu version 4.2 only, for older versions see index

Get a SD card. If it has a private directory, rename it temporarily, e.g. to “privateold”. Having other saved channels on the same card will screw it up.

Download and unzip it onto the SD card.

Go download the HackMii installer. Copy installer.elf to the root of the SD card, and rename it to boot.elf.

Press the SD card icon (for the SD menu). This is different from the last version. Then insert the card. It should either pop up Load boot.dol/elf? or freeze.

If it pops up a dialog, then fill out the survey.

If you encounter any problems from then on, don’t try other versions (it won’t help), but see the information below the survey.

If it freezes before popping up the dialog, you could try these versions:


if you got the dialog,

and have a problem later on,

DON’T TRY THESE — they won’t help

via bannerbomb.

The Best Free Software of 2012 |

It’s simple math: Every year this list gets bigger and, consequently, the amount of money you can save gets greater.

When we did our first Best Free Software story five years ago, the list contained a mere 157 products. This year, we’ve selected 273 apps in 40 categories. Keep in mind, in those first few years, we included more of a mix in terms of operating systems, with some Mac- and Web-only apps. We spun those titles off into their own stories (The Best Free Mac Software and Best Free Web Apps) so that this story could concentrate on Windows-based productivity apps and utilities.

Yet, the list continues to grow, increasing by 65 products from last year’s story.

via The Best Free Software of 2012 |

The price of a messy codebase: No LaTeX for the iPad – Valletta Ventures

The price of a messy codebase: No LaTeX for the iPad

Any LaTeX user with an iPad has had the same thought: I want to use my favourite document creation system on my favourite device. Despite everything I am about to say about the LaTeX codebase, there is nothing like it for composing beautiful documents, and the iPad is the most beautiful platform out there, so it is natural to try and combine the two. This is the story of our failure to do so, and inside is a cautionary tale of the consequences of a messy codebase, the moral being that fourty years of work on TeX will most likely not make it into the tablet era due to the chaotic nature of the resulting codebase.

The App Store guidelines insist that any iPad app be a single executable. Jailbreaking would ease this restriction, but in this case Apple’s gatekeepers are right. A 4GB TeX distribution dependant on over 100 binaries is not acceptable on the iPad. It is incapable of delivering the slick user experience that the iOS platform’s adherents expect and love. If we were going to bring LaTeX to the iPad we have would do so such that it would be usable and appealing to the majority of the iOS userbase, in short it would have to jump platforms as a single binary.

That didn’t seem like much of an obstacle. We would set armv7 as the target architecture, and link the resulting code with an Objective-C frontend. This dream lasted a few days until we discovered that TeX, the typesetting engine underlying LaTeX, isn’t written in C. TeX is written in WEB, Donald Knuth’s “literate” programming language. WEB source is a mix of Pascal and documentation from which can be extracted Pascal source code and LaTeX source documentation with TANGLE and WEAVE respectively.

The first step in compiling WEB code is to run TANGLE to produce unhelpful Pascal source files. Thoughtfully the TeX build system includes a translator to produce compilable C files. Although WEB was hugely influential as the progenitor of modern source code documentation it is now obsolete, and modern extensions to TeX have been written in C. This is compiled alongside the translated WEB code. It is not hard to imagine the effect this has on the readability of the codebase.

The convoluted build system causes additional complications when cross compiling. At one point an object file is built and linked to the WEB application’s source to produce the CTANGLE executable. This executable translates part of TeX’s original WEB source code to C, which is linked with the original object file as part of the target executable. Whe cross compiling, this object file must first be built for x86_64 to build CTANGLE, then replaced with an armv7 version for the final binary. Problems like this were painful and frustrating, but with a suitably intelligent build script it was just a matter of patience and time. The killer obstacle for us was kpathsea.

As best we could tell kpathsea is a library to find fonts and scripts in the sprawling TeX distribution, and it is written in C. Unfortunately it calls bash scripts, which in turn call other C executables. To move forward here we would have had to have reimplemented these bash scripts in C, or perhaps even linked in the bash executable, but instead we stopped. This was the turning point where a scratch rewrite looked more appealing than porting the existing code.

Possibly kpathsea did us a favour. LaTeX is too large (4GB) and too slow for the pad. It takes a letargic three seconds to typeset a two page document on my brand new Mac Book Pro, so I can’t believe it would be quicker than ten seconds on my pad. This is totally unacceptable, especially as I have to run TeX twice to fill in references, or four times if I use BibTeX. ARGGGHHH……

That is enough ranting for now. The problem is that LaTeX is great. Once you’ve set it up and learnt the syntax, how else can you create documents that look so good? I badly want it on my iPad, and it is a tragedy that I won’t in the near future. I don’t feel like I can blame this on Apple’s gatekeeping, because in this case they are right. LaTeX’s deficiencies can hide behind a shiny frontend on a blazingly fast Mac Book Pro, but on an iPad it will feel the same as OpenOffice does on a netbook.

LaTeX needs a scratch rewrite. The speed, bloat, and complexity cannot be solved with the current uneasy mix of C, WEB, and Bash. If translating the code to C and refactoring/commenting was practical it would leave a 4GB distribution, much of which is obsolete and unnecessary, especially metafont. Now that Operating Systems ship with a range of standard fonts, LaTeX has no need for its custom font package. XeLaTeX has made great progress in using native system fonts, adding full unicode support as a side effect, but for the most part it shares the TeX’s codebase and its maladies. I can see no choice other than starting from scratch.

At the risk of inflaming GPL advocates I hope that the LaTeX of the future will be under the LGPL. Aside from better compatibility with the App Store guidelines, it has been in the community’s best interests for commercial products to interact with LaTeX on desktop systems, and with the restriction that iPad software must consist of a single binary, if the commercial sector is not going to be shutout on tablet systems, the LGPL is a must.

I have to admit I’m not volunteering to begin the Great LaTeX Rewrite; I don’t think I am the hero to lead the LaTeX faithful into the tablet era, but I hope that someone reading this is. I love LaTeX, and I love my iPad, but for now I can only love one at a time.

The price of a messy codebase: No LaTeX for the iPad – Valletta Ventures.