Aliases in OS X are analogous to the Windows shortcuts, in which you create a small pointer file that references another location or file on disk, so you can quickly access that resource without continuously having to reveal it first. In a sense aliases allow a similar function as the OS X Dock or the Finder sidebar, except they can be placed anywhere on the file system. A benefit to this is that you can create a folder that contains aliases of all the common documents, remote folders, and other items you access, and then add this to your Dock … Read more
The OS X Terminal is a very useful and powerful tool for troubleshooting Mac systems, and in doing so, one of the more common steps in getting a task done is to change directories to target files in it. The contemporary method of doing this is to use the "cd" (change directory) command and then specify a filesystem path; however, this can be a bit frustrating to deal with, especially if you are relatively new to the Terminal and are not too familiar with text-based filesystem browsing.
Given that Apple provides a fairly easy to use filesystem browser … Read more
The recent flooding in the Philippines has left many people stranded or missing. Now Google is using its Person Finder to aid in the search.
Person Finder is aimed at connecting missing persons with their loved ones. Anyone who is looking for a lost person or has information about someone who's been found can use the Person Finder page to post that person's name.
If you're looking for someone who's missing, you can enter the person's name or at least parts of the name. And if you've have information on someone who's been … Read more
While in OS X people often copy individual files or small groups of files between locations using the Finder, there are times when you might copy hundreds if not thousands of files at a time, especially for the purposes of backing up or migrating data from one drive to another. For the most part, the Finder's copying process is perfectly adequate for moving these files; unfortunately it does have some drawbacks that can hinder the copying process.
When the Finder copies files, it first catalogs all files to be copied and then treats the copy process as one all-or-nothing … Read more
In past versions of OS X, Apple offered an obvious item count indicator that showed the number of items in a given folder. This feature was present by default in the Finder, which made it convenient to use for managing folder contents. However, Apple has changed this in Lion so that there is no obvious item count indicator.
This setup was done as part of Apple's more minimal approach to the user interface; it has removed toolbars and scroll bars among other items in order to present as much content on screen as possible. Unfortunately, some convenient aspects have … Read more
There are any number of apps that can help you pinpoint a friend's location, but they all have one thing in common: they require that friend to have the same app installed and running, and usually to sign up with YAS (Yet Another Service).
And don't forget, it's a two-way street: you have to run the app yourself, and leave it running all the time -- a pretty big drain on the ol' smartphone battery.
Enter Space-time for iOS, a clever cross-platform locator app that runs only when you need it to and requires no installation or … Read more
When you log in to an account in OS X, the Finder process opens and allows you to browse files within that account, organize them, delete them, or open them for editing if needed. However, if you can't log in to the account, then browsing its files may be a bit more difficult.
If a problem occurs in a user account in OS X that prevents it from logging in correctly, then often the solution is simply to remove preference files, caches, or other files that the account loads at log-in. This can be done with the Terminal if … Read more
For many Mac users, the Finder provides plenty of functionality. But if you're looking for more powerful control over your files and desktop, Path Finder can be an attractive alternative. This standalone file browser complements and improves on the Finder, with scores of useful integrated features.
The program lets you quickly access favorites; view the contents of almost any file in a preview drawer; and move files more easily using the Shelf and Drop Stack. Other features include the capability to compress and decompress files; mount disk images; view invisible files, securely delete files, and work from the command … Read more
Often when managing collections of files in the OS X Finder, you may find that giving the files unique or patterned names may help in your organization. For instance, if you have a set of image files it may help to quickly append a date or sequential number to the file name; to do so manually might take a while.
At other times, you might wish to quickly append a time stamp or other similar attribute to a file name without having to manually edit the name. As an example of this, if you use the OS X compress feature (… Read more
In OS X there are several ways to prevent access to files, including putting them in locked disk images or changing their permissions setting so only select accounts on the system are permitted to read them.
In addition to these options, the OS X Finder supports another method of locking a file. When you open the information window for the file, you can check the Locked check box to prevent the file from being edited, even by people who otherwise have access to it. When this lock is enabled, the file's icon in the finder will have a small … Read more