Tag Archives: Apple

Installing Windows 10 on a MacBook Pro (2011) without Bootcamp

I love my old MacBook Pro. It does everything I want for a portable coding, writing and occasional editing device. I’ve had it since 2011 and it’s still going strong.

Apple however doesn’t want to suport it anymore. I’m stuck with macOS High Sierra, without an option to upgrade without shadowy patches. Even if I could keep up with Mojave and beyond, the hardware might just not be fast enough anymore to give me an enjoyable experience.

So I thought, perhaps I’ll put in a new hard drive that I had in another old laptop and install Windows 10 on it. Apple’s recommended way is to do all this from macOS, using their own Bootcamp setup. However, being the hacker that I am, I thought perhaps I’ll try the “Windows Only” experience.

I did this in two live streams the other night, and continued the process over the following days – and now I’ve got a (more or less working) Windows 10 installation on my MacBook Pro (early 2011 Edition). I thought I’d take some notes on how I did this step by step, and give you my opinions if this was an adventure worth undertaking.

Continue reading Installing Windows 10 on a MacBook Pro (2011) without Bootcamp

Creating a Podcast Feed with WordPress and PowerPress – Part 3

In this final episode of this mini series I’ll show you how to configure the first episode of your Podcast Feed by adding the audio file to the post. I’m also talking about the implications of setting the date and time on the post so that all your post-dated episodes appear in the correct order. Finally, we’ll submit our validated feed to the Apple Podcasts directory.

Creating a Podcast Feed with WordPress and PowerPress – Part 2

In this episode I’ll show you how to configure our Podcast Category with the relevant settings that are necessary for the feed to have meaningful content. I’ll talk about every single tab, including the Feed Description, specific Apple iTunes and Google Settings, how to add artwork and how to preview the feed.

Creating a Podcast Feed with WordPress and PowerPress – Part 1

In this episode I’ll show you how to add podcasting capabilities to your WordPress website, using the Blubrry PowerPress plugin. I’ll explain the concepts and inner workings of a Podcast Feed, how it can be read by podcast directors and readers alike, and talk you through the installation of the plugin.

For this example, I will setup Category Podcasting on my website https://supersurvivor.tv, which will allow me to host more than one Podcast Feed from the site.

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 🙂

How to sync past events in the Apple Calendar App on iOS

Apple-Calendar-Official-iconHave you ever been shocked to find out that a new iOS device does not show your old calendar entries, even though future events sync fine across your other devices?

We’ve all been there! Turns out there’s a default setting in the Calendar App that only synchronises the last 1 month of entries. As if your life before that point didn’t matter. Kind of like Apple’s policy of not supporting hardware older than 4 weeks. But I digress…

To fix this problem, open the Settings App on your iOS device, then head over to Mail, Contacts, Calendars and scroll all the way to the bottom. Find the Calendars section. There’s a section here called Sync, and by default it says “Events 1 Month Back”.

Change this to All Events, and magically, past events are now synchronised on this device as well.

Photo Aug 07, 16 38 37

You must make this change on ALL your iOS devices so that all past calendar entries can be pushed to every device. Note that there is no such setting on the Calendar App for OS X.

Another mystery solved!

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.

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:

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:

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:

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).

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:

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.

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.