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  • Jay Versluis 11:06 am on November 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Logitech   

    Categories: Mac OS X, Windows ( 30 )

    How to fix problems with Logitech Unifying Receivers 

    screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-17-12-10I’ve recently bought a new Logitech K360 keyboard for my HP Z600 workstation. I also had a Logitech M325 mouse, both of which came with Unifying USB receivers. I could plug both receivers in, and both devices would work great.

    However, I heard great things about these little receivers and wanted to free up a USB port, and thought I’d connect both devices to the same receiver. Apparently you can connect up to 6 devices to one receiver and store any spare ones inside the mouse or keyboard. Being an all-efficient belt-and-braces kinda guy, I tried my luck.

    Turns out it was relatively easy to pair both devices to the same receiver, thanks to a small piece of software that can be found here, along with instructions on how to use it:

    It all worked fine on my Windows 10 machine, until I wanted to use the mouse (not the keyboard) with my Mac. I know, it’s exotic, and perhaps I should have just bought another mouse. But really, there’s only so much space on my desk, and I really don’t need more clutter in front of me for just an occasional switch.

    I regretted pairing both devices to the same receiver and wished I hadn’t done that, for this very eventuality. So now I had to figure out how to UN-pair both devices again and put them back to how things used to be (before I started messing with them). (More …)





     
  • Jay Versluis 10:54 am on November 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply  
    Categories: Mac OS X, Screencast ( 30 )

    How to launch a Mac App with Command Line Parameters from the Dock 

    In this video I’ll show you how to launch a Mac App from the Command Line, so that we can pass parameters. I’ll also explain how to wrap up such a command into your own app and add an icon to it, so that you can launch it from the dock with a single click.

    This can be useful if you need to convince Google Chrome or any other app to launch with certain parameters and modify its behaviour somehow. In my example I’m using Blender, and I’m using a startup parameter to change its default render engine upon launch. The same principles apply to any app you need to launch with startup parameters.

    The process is as follows:

    • find out the full path of the app you want to launch
    • try launching your app from the command line
    • now add parameters to the end of the launch command
    • create an Automator App
    • change its icon from from the generic Otto Icon to your desired app’s icon
    • drag your new launcher app into the dock

    I’ll explain all the gory details in this video.

    Enjoy!





     
  • Jay Versluis 4:29 pm on August 23, 2016 Permalink | Reply  
    Categories: Mac OS X ( 30 )

    How to kill a Mac App via the Command Line 

    Sometimes it’s’ necessary for us to force-close an app on our Mac if it’s no longer responding to our commands. Usually we’d do that by pressing CMD+OPT+ESCAPE, which brings up a handy window from which we can choose a troublesome app.

    Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 16.10.14

    But sometimes, this keyboard combination won’t work – for example, if we’re dealing with a remote Mac to which no physical keyboard is attached. In such cases, we can choose to force-close an app via the command line. Let me show you how to do that.

    Connect to your Mac via SSH using a Terminal Session and find out what apps are currently running. We’ll so that with the top command:

    top -u

    Using the -u switch tells top to list the app with the highest CPU usage over time first. The command will display a list of running processes, much like this:

    Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 16.15.04

    Take a look at the list and make a note of the troublesome app. In my case it’s Carrara, using 165% of my CPUs resources. By definition impossible, but let’s not worry about that. The important thing is this app’s PID (Process ID). Write it down or take a screenshot, we’ll need it in amount to kill the app (mine is 5964).

    Press CTRL+C to stop top and return to the command line. Now issue the following command, replacing 5964 with your own PID:

    kill -9 5964

    And that’s it: the troublesome app has been force-closed and should vacate your system sharpishly. For more information on both top and kill, check out their respective man pages on your Mac.





     
  • Jay Versluis 5:43 pm on August 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Categories: iOS, Mac OS X ( 222 )

    How to make Notes App sync properly on iOS 

    ios9-notes-app-iconHave you ever wondered why some notes seemingly sync just fine between your iOS devices, but others do not? Wether a note is not fully updated, or you find a duplicate entry in the list, it can be an exercise in frustration.

    But fret not, it doesn’t have to be! This is not a bug in the Notes app; it’s the way we’re using it.

    Let me show yo what you can do to avoid such problems, and how they can happen in the first place.

    Why do we sometimes get random duplicate notes?

    This has to do with the way the app stores data in the cloud. Notes saves your content only when you close the note, or when you switch away from it. Your note is not saved while you’re typing it.

    Likewise, iOS can only “save over” the current note if you’re not actively editing it. Leaving it open, even if you’re only looking at it, means your note is locked for edits from other devices.

    When you make a change on device A, and the same note is opened and edited on device B, then iCloud cannot save your changes to the current note. Hence it creates a duplicate entry. This is a safety mechanism so that your changes are saved rather than lost, and you can decide which copy you’d like to keep when you’re done.

    How to avoid sync trouble on iPhone

    So on iPhone, the solution is simple: always return to the list view of all your notes. Do not leave a note open. That way, another device can edit its contents without trouble.

    How to avoid sync trouble on iPad and Mac?

    On the iPad as well as your Mac, things are a little different due to the nature of the Split View Controller. It displays both the list of your notes, as well as a note next to it. Even when you hold your iPad in portrait mode and cannot see the list view, one note is ALWAYS open and displayed, and therefore cannot be edited by another device. That’s usually when and why iOS (or macOS) saves a duplicate.

    To avoid this situation, make sure you switch to a note that you’re unlikely to edit from another device. Perhaps create a “dummy note” without content and switch to it when you’re finished with the Notes app.

    Remember you can look at a note even if it’s open on another device – it’s just that when editing an open note, trouble keeps in.

    Hope this helps 🙂





     
    • juliav305 8:26 pm on August 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Another great article thank you – another part of the system that made me think I was going slightly crazy with duplicate notes of the same thing or not syncing up at all. Mystery solved 🙂

      • Jay Versluis 8:33 pm on August 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Julia 🙂

      • Jay Versluis 8:34 pm on August 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, Julia 🙂

  • Jay Versluis 11:41 am on March 14, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Beta   

    Categories: Mac OS X ( 30 )

    How to switch off Developer Beta Downloads on Mac OS X 

    A while ago I thought it would be fun to run the OS X Developer Betas on my MacBook Pro. That was before El Captain was released. Once the buzz had died down I grew a little tired of the bi-weekly point release downloads that took about an hour to install.

    So how can we tell a Developer Beta Mac to become a “normal” non-beta Mac again?

    While forum posts suggest that it’s an impossible feat, it’s actually no trouble at all. Simply head over to System Preferences – App Store and find a button that reads “your computer is set to receive pre-release Software Update seeds”.

    mac-beta-versions

    Click it and an overlay window is shown, allowing you to “not show pre-release updates” anymore. Be warned however that when you do this, the option to bring up this dialogue disappears – so once switched off, there’s no going back easily (unless you install another beta from scratch, like you did when you first obtained yours).

    Note that when you switch this feature off, your Mac will remain on the beta you have currently installed, until a new release comes out and replaces it. This option will not remove beta files from your machine, nor will it turn your beta system into a non-beta system instantly: you’ll have to wait for the next release and use the regular update option for that.

    You can always check what’s currently installed by heading over to the Apple Icon and select About This Mac.





     
  • Jay Versluis 2:05 pm on January 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Dolphin, Gamecube, Xbox Controller   

    Categories: Mac OS X ( 30 )

    How to connect your Xbox 360 Controller to Dolphin for Mac 

    DolphinI’ve been experimenting with the marvellous Dolphin Emulator recently. It’s an open source project that allows us to play Nintendo Gamecube and Wii games on modern hardware. Dolphin is available for Windows, OS X and Linux.

    I have a wireless Xbox 360 controller for Windows at my disposal, but the only Windows hardware I have is the first generation Surface Pro. While the controller connects without issues, the Surface sadly just isn’t fast enough to run Dolphin.

    My more powerful hardware is Mac based, and Dolphin runs great on my Mac Mini. But I had no idea how to connect my Xbox controller to it.

    Turns out it’s actually a breeze to setup: let me show you how it worked for me on OS X El Capitan.

    (More …)





     
  • Jay Versluis 2:47 pm on December 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Categories: Mac OS X ( 30 )

    How to check the Fan Speed on your Mac 

    Sometimes you may want to know how fast your fans are spinning, more as a “number value” rather than a “noise value”. While you can hear when your Mac in front of you is working hard, it’s impossible to tell how fast those fans are spinning when you’re miles away from your Mac in a data centre.

    Thankfully there is an easy way to read out the fan speed with a small built-in utility we can access from the command line. Launch a terminal session and issue spindump as admin user:

    sudo spindump
    
    Password:
    Sampling all processes for 10 seconds with 10 milliseconds of run time between samples
    Sampling completed, processing symbols...
    Spindump analysis written to file /tmp/spindump.txt
    

    It’ll take a few seconds, at the end of which a file is produced that tells you a lot more than just the fan speed. To filter this info out, issue the following:

    cat /tmp/spindump.txt | grep "Fan speed"
    Fan speed:       3151 rpm (-317)
    

    And there you have it! Execute this command under low load, then try again under heavy load to see your low and high spin numbers to get an impression how how busy your Mac’s fans are.

    To remove that temporary file and avoid your hard disk from being clogged up, issue this when you’re done:

    sudo rm /tmp/spindump.txt
    

    This may not be the most elegant way to read out your fan speeds, but it works without installing additional utilities. The spindump command is computationally expensive, so don’t do it continuously – there are better tools for that (such as smcFanControl, or others – see the link below).





     
  • Jay Versluis 11:31 am on December 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Categories: Mac OS X ( 30 )

    How to disable System Integrity Protection on OS X El Capitan 

    System Integrity Protection was introduced in El Capitan to add another layer of security to OS X. The system prevents the root user from doing things that are potentially harmful. Apple did this because any app at any time may ask for the administrator password and execute commands with elevated permissions, which is a big security risk on single user systems.

    There are downsides to yet another layer of security, and much like Gate Keeper, System Integrity Protection brings us one step closer to a completely locked off system like iOS. I guess that’s the long term plan.

    Until then, and if you need it, you can disable System Integrity Protection. Here’s how to do it:

    • boot into the Recovery Partition (hold down CMD + R during boot)
    • this takes a little longer than usual
    • when the system is back, select Utilities – Terminal
    • now type “csrutil disable”
    • close Terminal and restart the system

    You can check at any time if this feature is on or off by typing

    csrutil status
    
    System Integrity Protection status: disabled.
    

    Enable it again during a Recovery session by typing “csrutil enable” and El Capitan is secured again.

    To see what else this command has to offer, type csrutil without parameters:

    csrutil
    
    usage: csrutil <command>
    Modify the System Integrity Protection configuration. All configuration changes apply to the entire machine.
    Available commands:
    
        clear
            Clear the existing configuration. Only available in Recovery OS.
        disable
            Disable the protection on the machine. Only available in Recovery OS.
        enable
            Enable the protection on the machine. Only available in Recovery OS.
        status
            Display the current configuration.
    
        netboot
            add <address>
                Insert a new IPv4 address in the list of allowed NetBoot sources.
            list
                Print the list of allowed NetBoot sources.
            remove <address>
                Remove an IPv4 address from the list of allowed NetBoot sources.
    




     
  • Jay Versluis 12:14 pm on November 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Categories: Linux, Mac OS X ( 85 )

    How to see which users are logged in on OS X and Linux 

    There are two funky commands that can help us see who’s currently logged in, and what operations were performed last. Those two commands are who and last.

    Let me show you how to use them.

    The who command

    Type who at the command prompt and you’ll see a list of currently logged-in users:

    who
    
    versluis tty1         2015-11-19 11:21 (:0)
    root     pts/0        2015-11-19 11:46 (10.0.1.55)
    

    This system has two users logged in: versluis, via TTY, and root via PTS. We also get to see which IP addresses these users are logged in from (:0 is localhost).

    On this note, TTY is the local text based terminal at the machine, while PTS is a pseudo-terminal. This is most likely an SSH session or similar, anything that’s happening remotely.

    who can also show us who we are, in case you’re ever logged in on a system and don’t know which user you are:

    who am i
    
    your-username-here
    

    You can also concatenate who am i into whoami.

    The last command

    The last command can take a moment to execute and will show a list similar to this:

    last
    
    versluis tty1         :0               Tue Feb 10 18:54 - down  (4+13:11)   
    reboot   system boot  2.6.32-504.8.1.e Tue Feb 10 18:51 - 08:05 (4+13:14)   
    root     pts/1        10.0.1.43        Tue Feb 10 16:33 - 16:44  (00:10)    
    root     pts/0        10.0.1.52        Tue Feb 10 11:36 - down   (07:13)    
    versluis pts/0        :0.0             Tue Feb 10 11:35 - 11:35  (00:00)    
    versluis tty1         :0               Tue Feb 10 11:29 - down   (07:20)    
    reboot   system boot  2.6.32-504.8.1.e Tue Feb 10 11:27 - 18:50  (07:22)    
    root     tty1                          Tue Feb 10 11:16 - down   (00:09)    
    reboot   system boot  2.6.32-504.8.1.e Tue Feb 10 11:15 - 11:25  (00:10)    
    reboot   system boot  2.6.32-504.8.1.e Tue Feb 10 10:59 - 11:25  (00:26)    
    root     tty1                          Tue Feb 10 10:29 - down   (00:28)    
    reboot   system boot  2.6.32-504.el6.i Tue Feb 10 10:28 - 10:58  (00:29)    
    
    wtmp begins Tue Feb 10 10:28:53 2015
    

    You can see who has logged in to the system recently, from which IP address, and when each session started and finished. You can also see when the system was last restarted (and in Linux, which Kernel was used to do so).

    The last line (on Linux, beginning with wtmp) shows since when the command was able to display results. last and who both read a file called wtmp (in /var/log/wtmp), which logs all login attempts over time.

    last accepts several filtering options too. For example, to query when a particular user has logged on and off, type last followed by the username:

    last versluis
    
    versluis tty1         :0               Thu Nov 19 11:21   still logged in   
    versluis tty1         :0               Tue Nov 17 12:44 - 22:32  (09:48)    
    versluis tty1         :0               Tue Nov 17 11:13 - down   (01:29)    
    versluis tty1         :0               Sat Oct 31 23:35 - crash (16+12:37)  
    versluis tty1         :0               Sun Aug  9 09:09 - down  (83+14:24)  
    versluis tty1         :0               Tue Jun 30 18:03 - down  (39+15:04)  
    versluis pts/0        10.0.1.52        Thu Feb 19 14:41 - 18:34  (03:52)
    

    Or if you’re only interested in restarts:

    last reboot
    
    reboot   system boot  2.6.32-573.8.1.e Thu Nov 19 11:20 - 12:02  (00:41)    
    reboot   system boot  2.6.32-573.8.1.e Tue Nov 17 12:43 - 12:02 (1+23:18)   
    reboot   system boot  2.6.32-573.7.1.e Tue Nov 17 11:12 - 12:42  (01:29)    
    reboot   system boot  2.6.32-573.7.1.e Sat Oct 31 23:34 - 12:42 (16+14:07)  
    reboot   system boot  2.6.32-573.1.1.e Sun Aug  9 09:08 - 23:33 (83+14:24)  
    reboot   system boot  2.6.32-504.23.4. Tue Jun 30 18:02 - 09:07 (39+15:05)  
    reboot   system boot  2.6.32-504.8.1.e Sun Feb 15 11:30 - 09:07 (174+20:37) 
    

    On OS X the output is somewhat more limited due to the absence of kernels, but it works just the same. For more information on each command, checkout the man pages with man last and man who.





     
  • Jay Versluis 6:06 pm on November 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Categories: Mac OS X ( 30 )

    How to burn an ISO image with OS X El Capitan 

    El-Capitan

    Sometimes it’s important that things change for no apparent reason. You know, the way they move things around in supermarkets just to drive you crazy.

    If you’ve tried burning an ISO image to disk in El Capitan recently, you know what I’m talking about:

    because the option to burn an ISO has been removed from Disk Utility.

    Yeah, I get it: plastic disks are out, no one should be using them anymore, there are no more Macs with SuperDrives in production as of 2016, so it’s time to remove this option from the built-in utility that had it for the last ten years. Think different. It keeps you sharp.

    Lucky for us plastic spinners, there are two (not so obvious) solutions: the command line and the good old Finder that can still burn disks for us. Here’s how to do it.

    Using Finder

    Apparently Finder always had the option to burn a disk image. I never knew that! All we have to do is:

    • insert a new blank disk
    • navigate to our ISO image
    • select it (single-click)
    • head over to File – Burn Disk Image “xxx” to Disk

    Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 18.00.40

    Using the Command Line

    It’s for hackers really, but it’s very simple:

    • insert a blank disk
    • open Utilities – Terminal
    • navigate to the folder that holds your ISO image
    • issue the following command:
    hdiutil burn /path/to/your/image.iso
    
    Preparing data for burn
    Opening session
    Opening track
    Writing track
    .................
    Closing track
    .................
    Closing session
    ...................................................................
    Finishing burn
    Verifying burn…
    Verifying
    .........................................................................
    Burn completed successfully
    .........................................................................
    hdiutil: burn: completed
    

    El Capitan. There’s just more to love with every click.





     
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