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Archive for December, 2015

by Tom Nelson

You can change your Mac’s desktop wallpaper from the standard Apple-supplied image to almost any picture you care to use. You can use a picture you shot with your camera, an image you downloaded from the Internet, or a design you created with a graphics application.

DesktopScreensaverPrefPane

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Picture Formats to Use

Desktop wallpaper pictures should be in JPEG, TIFF, PICT, or RAW formats. Raw image files are sometimes problematic, because each camera manufacturer creates its own RAW image file format.

Apple routinely updates OS X to handle the many different types of RAW formats, but to ensure maximum compatibility, particularly if you’re going to share your pictures with family or friends, use JPG or TIFF format.

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by Tom Nelson

If you’ve been using email for more than a few days, you probably have hundreds (if not thousands) of messages stored in Apple Mail. And if you’ve ever used Mail’s search function to try to locate a specific message, you’ve probably discovered that it can be more frustrating than helpful (not to mention slow).

SmartMailbox

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

A search tends to bring up so many matches that trying to wade through the list is in itself daunting.

When you try adding search filters to narrow things down, the results can be less than helpful, with either no matches displayed, or no real change from before the filter was applied.

Read more on About: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

Safari has long had a hidden Debug menu that contains some very useful capabilities. Originally intended to assist developers in debugging web pages and the JavaScript code that runs on them, the debug menu was hidden away because the commands that were included in the menu could wreak havoc on web pages.

SafariDebug

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

With the release of Safari 4 in the summer of 2008, many of the most useful menu items in the Debug menu were moved to the new Develop menu.

But the hidden Debug menu remained, and even picked up a command or two as Safari development continued.

Apple made accessing the hidden Develop menu an easy process, only requiring a trip to the Safari’s preferences. Accessing the Debug menu, on the other hand, is a bit more complicated.

Read more on About: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

The Mac refurb store is showing signs of recovery after the holiday sales; stock in most categories is rebounding, and will soon be back to normal. The exception is for the priciest of all Macs, the 2013 Mac Pro, which had its stock pretty much depleted. Pretty amazing, considering that the prices started around $2,500, and quickly climbed to well above $8,000. There are still two Mac Pro models available in the store, if you need a cylindrical Mac for your video or graphics projects.

2014MacBookProFamily

Image courtesy of Apple

Deal of the Week

This week, we have a single deal for you: a current generation 15.4-inch MacBook Pro. This Retina-equipped Mac includes dual graphics for those of you who need high-performance graphics options, as well as a more battery-friendly display system when on the go.

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by Tom Nelson

Seasonality Core turns your Mac into a weather station that supports multiple reporting locations, 7-day forecasts, hourly forecasts, radar maps, graphs, and much more. If you like to keep track of the weather, and you’re ready to move beyond simply knowing the current temp or the day’s forecast, Seasonality Core from Gaucho Software may be just what you need to do it.

SeasonalityCore

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Weather apps tend to have either complex user interfaces, or ones so simplified as to make them little better than checking your favorite search engine for the current local temperature. Seasonality Core, on the other hand, has found the sweet spot; it’s able to produce complex graphs, continuous running real-time weather mapping, 7-day forecasts, and much more, all in a well-organized single-window app that’s easy to read and use.

Read more on About: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you need to shut down or restart your Mac, but need to do so from a remote computer that isn’t the Mac you actually want to restart?

RemoteLogin

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

For a number of reasons, this happens occasionally around our home office. It may happen because the old Mac we use as a file server is stuck and needs to be restarted. This Mac lives in a location that’s a bit inconvenient: upstairs in a closet.

Perhaps in your case, you come back from lunch and discover that your Mac won’t wake from sleep. Sure, we can run upstairs and restart the Mac we’re using as a server, or for the Mac that won’t wake from sleep, you can simply hold the power button in until it turns off. But there’s a better way, one that for the most part is a better response than simply hitting the power button.

Read more on About: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

The Display preference pane is the central clearinghouse for all of the settings and configurations for your Mac’s display. Having all display-related functions in one easy-to-access preference pane lets you configure your monitor and keep it working the way you want it to, without spending a lot of time fussing with it.

displayprefpane

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Display Preference Pane

The Display preference pane lets you:

  • Set the resolution of one or more monitors attached to your Mac.
  • Set the refresh rate used on each attached display.
  • Control the display’s orientation (landscape or portrait) if your display supports rotation.
  • Set the brightness level.
  • Arrange multiple monitors in one cohesive virtual display.
  • Set secondary monitors to mirror the primary display or extend the desktop across the displays.
  • Choose from existing color profiles.
  • Create custom color profiles.
  • Calibrate your display.

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by Tom Nelson

Opening the box your new Mac came in can be an exhilarating experience, especially if it’s your first Mac. The real fun comes after you power the Mac on for the first time. Although you’ll want to dive right in and start using your new Mac, it’s worth taking a few minutes to configure it to meet your needs.

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by Tom Nelson

I love my first generation Magic Mouse. I’ve been using it since Apple first released the little desktop critter in 2009. But it does have a few issues, including dropping the Bluetooth connection and short battery life. The good outweighs the bad, though, by a large percentage, so I put up with these shortcomings. I’ve also devised methods to fix common disconnect issues.

MagicMouse2

Image courtesy of Apple

There can be numerous reasons for a Magic Mouse to drop the Bluetooth connection, but in my experience, the most common reason is a loose battery terminal contact inside the Magic Mouse.

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by Tom Nelson

SpamSieve from C-Command is by far one of the most powerful spam filtering systems available for the Mac. SpamSieve works with the most popular email clients, including Apple Mail, Airmail, Outlook, Gmail, and iCloud. It will also work with just about any mail server, including those using POP, IMAP, or Exchange protocols.

SpamSieve

Image courtesy of C-Command

SpamSieve makes use of Bayesian spam filtering techniques, and whitelists and blacklists that are easy to manage; it even displays just how spammy it thinks an incoming message is.

Read more on About: Macs.

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