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

    Categories: Mac OS X ( 31 )

    How to burn an ISO image with OS X 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…
    Burn completed successfully
    hdiutil: burn: completed

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

  • Jay Versluis 5:07 pm on November 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Categories: Mac OS X ( 31 )

    How to use the new Apple System Font SAN FRANCISCO on your website 

    Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 16.58.08

    Apple have a new System Font in El Capitan and all of their other products starting 2015: it’s called San Francisco. It’s very similar to their previous font Helvetica Neue, but apparently San Francisco is better for your eyes (not to mention the fact that Helvetica Neue isn’t owned by Apple, and obviously we can’t have that).

    If you’ve tried searching for San Francisco on your Mac’s Font Book app, you’ll notice that it doesn’t seem to exist. Likewise, if you’re trying to use it in CSS it won’t work.

    Thanks to Craig Hockenberry I now know that this is because Apple haven’t exposed the font the usual way; rather, it can be used in web content and via CSS with a new property they’ve introduced. Here’s how:

    body {
      font-family: -apple-system, Helvetica Neue, sans-serif;

    Replace body with your own CSS property, and on Apple devices running El Capitan, iOS 9, watchOS2 or tvOS, your web views will sport San Francisco. Other devices will show Helvetica Neue when installed, or use a generic sans-serif font.

  • Jay Versluis 11:24 am on November 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , OS X Server   

    Categories: Mac OS X ( 31 )

    OS X Server vs. Parallels Desktop – Overhead Differences 

    Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 10.28.17

    Ever wondered if there’s a difference in overhead and memory usage when you’re using a VM instead of OS X directly? Here’s a comparison for website hosting.

    The above graph shows the difference of hosting one of my websites for the last few days on OS X Server (in blue) that I got from Hostgator (using their HostGator Thanksgiving Deal 2016 coupon), and in a CentOS VM under Parallels Desktop 10 on the same hardware (in red).

    The traffic logs show that the amount of requests and visitors has remained the same, so we can deduce that the load put on either OS X and the VM is the same. There is a little more overhead when using the VM, but not as much as I had feared: the requests have to be forwarded to another software layer after all, and that takes some CPU power.

    Let’s have a look at memory next:

    (More …)

  • Jay Versluis 8:57 am on June 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Categories: Mac OS X ( 31 )

    How to kill the “accept incoming connections” dialogue on your Mac forever 

    Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 08.28.12Have you ever come across the above dialogue, asking if you’d like to “accept incoming network connections” on your Mac? It’s caused by the Firewall and it’s meant to be helpful. Because if you have an app that needs incoming network connections all the time, you can just add them to the Firewall rules (under System Preferences – Security – Firewall).

    But of course, it doesn’t always work. Some apps get updated and this message starts appearing out of the blue, no matter if it hasn’t happened before or if you’ve manually added said app to the Firewall rules a thousand times already. God only knows whatever is upsetting our precious operating system, but it’s driving us all nuts.

    Help is at hand: turns out these messages are caused by some certificate issue I genuinely do not care to know about – nor should I have to. Here’s a “relatively easy” way to fix it once and for all. There are other ways which involve more typing, or switching off the Firewall altogether, but the following is by far the quickest option in my opinion:

    • open a Finder window and navigate to the app in question (usually in Applications, potentially in a subfolder)
    • open a Terminal Session (under Applications – Utilities – Terminal)
    • type cd followed by a space
    • from the Finder window, drag the folder in which your app resides into the Terminal window
    • hit return (this will put you into the same directory as your app)
    • type the following scary line of code:
    sudo codesign --force --deep --sign - ./

    Replace “” with the actual name of the app, including the .app extension. You will be prompted for your password and in a few moments you should see a message such as “replacing existing signature”. With this code your Mac will have created a self-signed ad-hoc certificate, re-signing the app.

    Don’t worry if this doesn’t sound English, all it means is that we’re telling the operating system (or rather, Keychain Access) that “the Administrator says it’s OK to trust this app”.

    Now launch your app again. Don’t be dismayed when you see that annoying “accept incoming connections” dialogue again – it’ll be the last time. Select “allow” and you’re done with this – hopefully for good. Try it out by closing your app and restart it again. Celebrate about not seeing that message again.

    Should this trick not work, leave out the –deep switch, and make sure your file does not have a trailing slash. Oh, and preface any spaces in the file name with a backslash.

    Kudos to ahall over on Stack Exchange for this tip! It’s made me a much happier person again 🙂

    • 9:09 am on February 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you!! Thank you!! This has been plaguing me for months. I could not find the answer anywhere else. I just tried it on two of my apps, and now they load without that annoying popup!

  • Jay Versluis 9:33 am on May 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

    Categories: Mac OS X ( 31 )

    How to reset the PRAM (or NVRAM) on your Mac 

    On a recent chat with Apple support, the representative suggested I reset my PRAM. From what I understand this will clear BIOS like values that may cause a Mac to malfunction. It only takes a second to do – here’s how:

    Press CMD+OPTION+P+R, then start the system. You’ll need three hands or a portable keyboard to do it.

    Hold those four keys down until you hear a second startup chime (or if you’ve previously disabled in, until you hear one chime).

    That’s it!

    Note that there are technical differences between the PRAM, NVRAM and the SMC, but I really don’t know what they are. You can reset them all to make your Mac behave if it’s doing weird things though.

  • Jay Versluis 7:34 am on May 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

    Categories: Mac OS X ( 31 )

    How to start Mac OS X Yosemite in Safe Mode 

    Hold down SHIFT during normal boot, until the loading bar appears. It will take longer than usual to start the system. Some services are not available.

    Safe Mode will clear several caches and verify the startup disks.

    From the command line, or on remote systems, boot into Safe Mode using this:

    sudo nvram boot-args="-x"

    When you want to boot into “normal” mode again, change the startup parameters to nothing:

    sudo nvram boot-args=""

    Very handy article from the Apple Knowledge Base:

  • Jay Versluis 3:23 pm on March 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Finder   

    Categories: Mac OS X ( 31 )

    How to show hidden files in the Mac Finder 

    Hidden files start with a . on UNIX like systems and OS X is one of them. While we can show hidden files in a Ternimal session by using something like ls -a, it’s not so easy to convince the Finder to show such files.

    If ever you need to see them, execute the following from the command line:

    defaults write AppleShowAllFiles YES

    Now relaunch Finder ALT-right-clicking the Finder icon in the dock. Choose Relaunch.

    Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 15.17.42

    Next time you open a Finder window – either on its own or via an app – you’ll see all kinds of files you didn’t even know existed. They all begin with a dot and are slightly lighter in colour. Others are system folders, such as Library.

    So many new files can make your file navigation a little cluttered – which is why it’s good to know how to switch this feature off again. Same command as above, but this time we’ll say no:

    defaults write AppleShowAllFiles NO

    Thanks to Ian Lunn for this tip:

  • Jay Versluis 9:57 am on March 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Categories: Mac OS X ( 31 )

    How to disable the ultra annoying Startup Sound on Mac OS X 


    I passionately *H*A*T*E* the startup chime that my Mac makes when I switch it on. At least on my MacBook, if the volume is turned down before I shutdown, the system restarts silently. I guess it’s somehow linked to the internal speakers.

    Sadly on my Mac Mini this approach doesn’t work: due to the lack of “real” internal speakers , the Mini always wakes up with that horrible eighties K-DONNNNNNNNG noise, waking up my wife and large parts of the neighbourhood.

    But there’s good news: thanks to the nvram command we can set a firmware value to suppress this sound. Here’s how:

    sudo nvram SystemAudioVolume=%80

    This will write a value of 128 (or 80 in hex) to the BIOS. Make sure to shutdown your system and then power back on to “hear” the effect on a Mac Mini: simply restarting it will not suppress the sound, but a full shutdown and restart will do the trick from now on. Result!

    As much as I dislike the sound, it is there for a reason: it signals the successful completion of a quick self test. I appreciate this – so I may not want to switch K-DONNNNNNNNG off forever.

    It’s easy to remove that value again from the BIOS, using the -d parameter of the same command:

    sudo nvram -d SystemAudioVolume

    There. Now the horror chime is enabled again, ready to annoy more neighbours at 3am.

    Kudos to the following sources:

  • Jay Versluis 5:38 pm on March 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

    Categories: Mac OS X ( 31 )

    How to prevent your MacBook from sleeping when you close the lid 

    Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 17.27.37

    There’s a built-in command line tool in every Mac called caffeinate that prevents your computer from going to sleep, even when the lid is closed. This is the default behaviour if an external monitor is attached, but if that’s not the case, MacBooks just go to sleep as soon as you close the lid.

    While several GUI tools are available (such as InsomniaX, or the Nosleep Extension, you can also call caffeinate from the command line without installing anything.

    Open the Terminal app (under Applications – Utilities), and simply type


    The cursor will disappear and your Mac won’t go to sleep. To terminate the behaviour, simply press CTRL+C – just like you would to stop any other shell command.

    You can stop the command and close the Terminal session as soon as your lid is closed (and stays closed). If you open and close your lid again, your Mac will get sleepy again.

    The command has a lot to offer, for example you could ask the hard disks from not sleeping using caffeinate -m, or prevent the display from going blank with caffeinate -d.

    You can also specify a timeout using

    caffeinate -t 3600

    This specifies the time in seconds you would like caffeinate to stay active (after 3600 seconds, or one hour, your Mac will sleep again).

    Checkout man caffeinated from the command line for more options.

  • Jay Versluis 2:51 pm on March 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

    Categories: Mac OS X ( 31 )

    How to show uptime and reboot history on your Mac the command line 

    Hexley_the_Platypus.svgUsually the top command shows you how long a Linux system is up and running – but sadly not on OS X, or Darwin more specifically.

    There is however a command line tool with the descriptive name uptime which will tell you how long your Mac has been running, precisely the line that’s missing from top on OS X:

    14:37  up 14 days, 38 mins, 4 users, load averages: 1.39 1.42 1.38

    If you have the OS X Server App installed, it will show you this value in the GUI on the Overview screen too.

    Reboot History

    Sometimes it’s also nice to know when your Mac was last rebooted, especially if it’s a remote system you don’t often get to talk to. There’s another handy command which will show you just that: last reboot:

    last reboot
    reboot    ~                         Mon Feb 16 09:24 
    reboot    ~                         Sun Feb 15 09:07 
    reboot    ~                         Sat Feb 14 11:32 
    reboot    ~                         Fri Feb 13 09:27 
    reboot    ~                         Thu Feb 12 16:00 
    reboot    ~                         Wed Feb 11 17:23 
    reboot    ~                         Tue Feb 10 08:56 
    reboot    ~                         Sat Feb  7 12:29 
    reboot    ~                         Fri Feb  6 16:42 
    reboot    ~                         Fri Feb  6 16:22 
    reboot    ~                         Fri Feb  6 13:26 
    reboot    ~                         Fri Feb  6 11:04 
    wtmp begins Fri Feb  6 11:04 

    Further reading and kudos:

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