Mac OS X

Set snooze times for notifications in OS X Mavericks

One of the more recent additions to OS X is Apple's Notification Center, which debuted in OS X Mountain Lion. This service offers a central place for notices such as new messages, update alerts, calendar alarms, or other messages a program may provide.

Notifications appear as either banners or alerts, which can be customized for some applications using the Notifications pane in System Preferences. While banners have no interaction controls and will only show for a brief time before disappearing, alerts will persist until you click the Close or "Snooze" button, the later of which will default … Read more

Tip: Copy search results directly from Spotlight

The Spotlight in OS X can be useful for finding applications to launch, documents, images, and many other items in your user account that you might wish to access. Pressing Command-Space bar will invoke Spotlight, where a simple search term or two will bring up relevant results, which can then be previewed or opened directly.

In addition to these actions, you can also copy Spotlight's search results simply by dragging items off of the list to a location of your choice. This may be useful in a number of ways:

Duplicate a found item to a desired location in … Read more

How to assign applications to desktops in OS X

Applications in OS X are by default assigned to the current desktop, so if you open a program and then switch to a different desktop, the program's windows will stay on the current desktop. However, there are a couple of ways to change this, so specific programs open on a different desktop, or so they remain present on all desktops.

The first option is to assign a program to all desktops, which is the most straightforward option. To do this, simply add the program to the OS X Dock, then right-click it. In the contextual menu that appears, choose &… Read more

How to find your Mac's serial number

Your Mac's serial number is required for warranty service, among other benefits that Apple offers its customers. Therefore, while not commonly used, you may occasionally need to look it up. While you can always look on your Mac's chassis to find the printed label that contains the serial number, there are a number of additional ways do do this, some of which are more convenient than others.

Besides using the Mac's chassis, the easiest way to find your Mac's serial number is to use the About This Mac information panel that's in the Apple menu. … Read more

Systemstats offers quick overview of Mavericks system activity

When troubleshooting your Mac, you may have specific symptoms -- such as the inability to print or a warning or error that pops up -- or problems which are not so specific in nature -- such as a general slow-down where programs launch with long delays or long pauses when shutting down.

In these instances, often it helps to get a general feel for how the system is configured, and how its hardware and software are being used. This can be a listing of attached USB devices and loaded drivers, a listing of processes that use CPU, and most importantly, … Read more

Just days after 10.9.1 update, Apple preps Mavericks for 10.9.2

Apple has launched another update to OS X Mavericks, but for now, it's only available to developers.

Dubbed OS X Update Seed 10.9.2, the prerelease update includes some minor tweaks to Mail and deeper integration of FaceTime audio into Messages and associated apps, according to 9to5Mac, which earlier reported on the update. Apple also asked developers to specifically focus their time on testing VPN, Graphics Drivers, and VoiceOver, according to a listing in the Mac App Store.

Apple launched its OS X Mavericks 10.9.1 update earlier this week. It's not uncommon for a subsequent … Read more

Apple issues EFI Firmware update for 2013 Mac Pro

Apple has issued an EFI firmware update for the newly released Mac Pro, which addresses some outstanding hardware bugs that have been identified since the release of the machine.

The new Mac Pro, which was announced at WWDC in June of this year, was today made available for purchase through the Apple online store. The system introduces a radical new design twist for Apple's pro Mac systems, ditching the old aluminum chassis that was reminiscent of the initial PowerMac G5, in favor of a new, rounded, and relatively minute form factor that relies on Thunderbolt connectivity for expansion, rather … Read more

2013 MacBook Air black screen woes continue

In late July of this year, a problem with Apple's 2013 MacBook Air became apparent, where owners began experiencing intermittent black screens somewhat randomly when using their systems.

Since the initial reports of this problem, Apple has issued both general OS updates and upgrades with the release of Mavericks, as well as a specific graphics update for the 2013 MacBook Air; however, this problem has not yet been fixed and affected MacBook Airs continue to show random black screens.

The problem usually happens when systems are moved, bumped, or sometimes even slightly vibrated (such as might happen when typing … Read more

Troubleshooting tip for Safari in OS X Mavericks

Safari is the default and more commonly used Web browser in OS X systems, and while a fairly robust browsing solution for Mac users, it can encounter periodic problems that cause high CPU usage or a hang, or other odd behavior that may be frustrating to manage.

If this happens, then as is the case with all versions of Safari, you can try quitting and re-launching it, closing windows, or more in-depth troubleshooting like disabling plug-ins (globally or on a per-site basis), clearing caches, and clearing cookies and other site-specific data.

Unfortunately, when such problems happen, you may have numerous … Read more

How to reset the audio system in OS X

The audio system in OS X offers audio processing, MIDI, input and output, and other capabilities to programs through a central Core Audio framework structure, allowing for easy audio implementation into programs and system services. Generally, you interact with the audio system through System Preferences, Apple's Audio MIDI Setup utility, or the settings of specific programs like GarageBand, but if an error occurs such as no sound, scratchy audio, a repeated audio loop, lack of device recognition, or other problems, then you may have to work around it in several ways.

The first step if a problem occurs is … Read more