How to save to hidden directories in OS X

While in standard uses there may be little reason to save files to a hidden directory in OS X, there are sometimes cases when you might want to do this. The operating system contains numerous hidden directories, such as the Library folder in your user account, a number of system folders that contain configuration files and programs, as well as the ability to manually hide specific folders on your system which, for fun or otherwise, can be used to keep items relatively hidden.

If you would like to access a hidden folder on your system, you might find that accessing … Read more

Fix shared computer 'not found' in Finder

When you connect your Mac to a network where there are file sharing services, such as AFP and SMB services from other Mac and Windows systems, you will see these computers show up in the "Shared" section of the Finder sidebar. Accessing these is then as easy as clicking the computer, logging in, and selecting a shared folder to mount on your system.

While this feature can be exceptionally useful, you might sometimes encounter a problem where the system cannot connect to listed shared devices and will instead give you an error stating the item "cannot be … Read more

How to manage the menu bar in OS X

The OS X menu bar is the central location for commanding application you use, but in addition holds several options for accessing global content, including the Apple menu, and the status menus, along with hosting third-party menu extras and features like Spotlight and Notification Center.

Configuring There are not very many options for configuring the menu bar in OS X; however, you can change its opacity as well as arrange some of the menu items on it. To change the menu bar opacity, go to the Desktop tab in the "Desktop & Screen Saver" System Preferences pane, and … Read more

Secure file sharing in OS X

If you would like to share files and folders on a network for others to see, or for you to access from another system, then you may be concerned about how to do so and properly protect your documents from prying eyes. Ideally, you would like to have your system available for access, but only after proper authentication from a remote user.

To enable file sharing on your system, go to the System Preferences (accessible from the Apple menu) and then in the Sharing preferences pane check the box for "File Sharing."

By default, enabling this will give … Read more

How to manage Wi-Fi networks in OS X

Chances are that if you use a modern Mac system, especially a portable system, you will regularly be accessing at least one Wi-Fi network for connecting to the Web, email, and other on-line services.

If you use your system at more than one location, then you might regularly log in to multiple Wi-Fi hotspots, be they private ones such as those at work, or public ones at cafes. Sometimes, at conventions or large workplaces, you might find yourself switching between different hotspots, depending on the signal strength available.

When you make these various connections, you may find various problems with … Read more

Setting up custom keyboard shortcuts in OS X

Keyboard shortcuts are useful options for quickly accessing specific program commands or system services, such holding the Command key and pressing C, X, or V, for copy, cut, and paste.

While common and useful commands are usually assigned a hot-key shortcut, you can also set up custom hot-key assignments in an application to give unassigned commands a hot key to invoke that command.

To do this, simply go to the "Shortcuts" tab in the Keyboard pane of System Preferences, and choose "App Shortcuts" in the categories list, where you can click the plus button to add … Read more

Manage grayed-out 'Move to Trash' option in OS X

The OS X Finder allows you to access and organize files and folders on your hard drive, with one common function being to move items to the trash. While you can drag items to the trash, an additional feature is to make a selection and then press the hotkey Command-delete, or choose "Move to Trash" from the File menu, which will place the selected items in your account's trash in preparation for deletion.

While this feature should work for files and folders in your account, sometimes it is not available for a selection, and the command in … Read more

Fix stalled safe-boot with OS X Mavericks update

One of the minor but relatively long-standing bugs in OS X Mavericks has been an inability to boot to Safe Mode on some systems after upgrading. When attempting, the Safe Mode progress bar may display but will then disappear after about a third of the way (or halfway) to completion, followed by the system restarting and then booting normally.

For those affected by this issue, it appears a change Apple made in OS X 10.9.2 addresses this problem and allows affected systems to boot properly into Safe Mode. Therefore, if you have not done so already, applying the … Read more

Apple issues Mac Pro SMC Firmware update

If you are the owner of a late-2013 Mac Pro, then an update is available that addresses some bugs and enables new Power Nap modes.

The update is a small 544KB SMC firmware update, that will allow the Mac Pro to now run in Power Nap mode without running the fan that is located at the top of the unit. This will make the system run completely silently when in sleep mode, while still performing Power Nap functions like Spotlight indexing, iCloud syncing, receiving new Mail messages, Backup, and downloading software updates from the Mac App Store.

In addition to … Read more

Protect your Mac from SSL bug

Recently, Apple released an iOS update to address a bug with its SSL implementation, which would allow a nefarious individual on the same local network as your computer to intercept sensitive information as you browse the Web.

This type of attack, called a man-in-the-middle attack, is possible because in the latest versions of OS X and iOS (up to version 7.0.5) the operating system does not check the signature in a TLS Server Key Exchange Message, allowing a third-party to spoof a private key or simply omit using one and intercept the SSL data. Since encrypted SSL data … Read more