How to invoke alerts from the OS X Terminal

When you run a script or command in the OS X terminal, it can be useful to have some indication for when it is completed, especially if the script is a lengthy process you might not wish to monitor at all times. Unfortunately when a script or command finishes running, the Terminal will drop you to the command line again, without any notice to you. However, if needed, you can set up the system to run commands so it does offer some notification.

System alerts The first option is to have the terminal invoke the system alert after the command … Read more

Is Mountain Lion mishandling large drives?

Hard drives are easily surpassing 3TB storage capacities, either individually or when used in RAID arrays, and have become attractive options for external storage on various Mac users, not only for various data libraries (i.e., iTunes and iPhoto), but also for Time Machine backups. However, some people have encountered an apparent bug in which using some drives in Mountain Lion results in partitioning errors and the inability to access data on the drives.

When the problems happen, the drive becomes inaccessible, and when checking with Disk Utility users will see an error that states, "Error: Partition map repair … Read more

Use Wi-Fi diagnostics to find active Bonjour services in OS X

Apple's Bonjour service in OS X is a convenient zero-configuration autodiscovery technology that allows the operating system to locate and present various network services available to you. For example, if a computer on the network has file sharing available, then the system will discover that and make it available in relevant areas of the system such as the Finder, and also allow your system to easily discover shared printers, remote log-in capability, screen sharing, and similar services the remote computer may have enabled.

While convenient, most of the services that Bonjour broadcasts are contextual, meaning that they only appear … Read more

Apple releases OS X 10.7.5 and Snow Leopard security updates

In addition to firmware updates for MacBook systems and updates for iPhoto, Aperture, iOS, and Mountain Lion, Apple has issued security updates for both OS X Snow Leopard and Lion.

The updates should be available via Software Update for systems running their respective operating systems, but they can also be downloaded from the Apple Support downloads pages for the respective updates:

OS X Lion Update 10.7.5 Server Combo (1.99GB) OS X Lion Update 10.7.5 Server (1.22GB) OS X Lion Update 10.7.5 Client Combo (1.91GB) OS X Lion Update 10.7.5 Client (… Read more

Apple's OS X 10.8.2 arrives with Facebook in tow

Apple's iOS isn't the only thing to get an update this morning. Alongside iOS 6, Apple quietly pushed out 10.8.2, the second minor update to Mountain Lion since it was released in July.

Chief among the additions is integration with Facebook, a feature that was promised for a fall release when Mountain Lion first debuted earlier this year. Facebook users can share items directly from share sheets now, as well as in Notification Center, and sync up contacts from the popular social network.

The update also adds the Power Nap feature to late-2010 MacBook Air machines, … Read more

How to control which apps can access your contacts on OS X

When Apple released OS X Mountain Lion, it included some extra controls to help you keep personal information private. One area of personal information you now have control over is your Contact list. Prior to OS X 10.8, apps could access your Address Book (the name changed to Contacts with Mountain Lion) without alerting you, or requesting your permission.

When you run an app on OS X Mountain Lion for the first time, and it tries to access your Contacts, you'll see an alert similar to that above. Clicking OK will allow the app to access your Contacts, … Read more

Twitter said to be tossing 'Twitter for Mac' app

The rumor mill is heated up with chatter that Twitter is throwing the Twitter for Mac app under the bus. Apparently the social network is planning to stop all development and future updates on the app, according to TechCrunch.

Tech reporter MG Siegler announced earlier today, via Twitter no less, that, "Word is that Twitter made the call today: Twitter for Mac is done. They won't kill it outright, but no further updates. Goodbye, old friend."

There actually hasn't been much done to the app for some time now -- the last update was in June … Read more

Q&A: MacFixIt Answers

MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which we answer questions e-mailed in by our readers.

This week readers wrote in with questions regarding an odd apsd-related firewall error in OS X, the utility and risks of having Java Runtimes installed, options for maintaining Mountain Lion on corporate networks, and running MacBooks on a dead battery that will not charge. We welcome views from readers, so if you have any suggestions or alternative approaches to these problems, please post them in the comments!

Question: apsd firewall error in OS X MacFixIt reader Clem asks:

When I log into my system I … Read more

Proxy ports showing formatted text in Mountain Lion

In OS X, Apple supports the configuration of various network proxy servers for individual ports in its Network system preferences. In some instances users have been reporting odd formatting issues in which entered proxy port settings either adopt commas or decimal points, though the proxy settings still work just fine.

As with most network services, proxy settings require a specific communications port to be set so network traffic can be directed to the appropriate background tasks that require it. In many cases such as Web browsing (port 80) or FTP access (port 21) these ports are fairly well established and … Read more

Q&A: MacFixIt Answers

MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which we answer questions e-mailed in by our readers.

This week readers wrote in with questions about Mac Pro compatibility with the Thunderbolt Display and other Thunderbolt devices, whether or not Apple's Mountain Lion system requirements are a sales ploy, and options for avoiding Snow Leopard when upgrading to Mountain Lion. We welcome views from readers, so if you have any suggestions or alternative approaches to these problems, post them in the comments!

Question: Mac Pro compatibility with Apple's Thunderbolt Display MacFixIt reader Bahri asks:

I ordered a MacPro 3.2GHz Xeon … Read more