Dec 25

The new Mac Minis have super fast SSD Drives. I measured read times of 2500MB/s which is 5 times faster than the SSD drive in my old mac mini. But these drives are super super expensive. (An extra US$1400 for a 2TB drive). So I thought it might be an option to buy a Mac Mini with a small internal drive (256GB) and add an external SSD drive and combine them into a fusion drive. It didn’t work! But I thought I ‘d write a post in case anyone else has the same idea.

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Dec 22
Verbose mode

If you get a bit bored booting up your Mac and waiting for the Apple logo, here’s a trick that will let you see what’s going on behind the scenes.  It’s called verbose mode and it simply echoes to your screen everything that the computer is doing while it boots up.  It doesn’t change anything about the way the computer operates, it doesn’t speed it up or slow it down, it just displays it on the screen.

To enable  “Verbose mode” go into the terminal (Applications/Utilities/Terminal) and type in the following line:

sudo nvram boot-args="-v"
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Dec 18

Apple used to have a fantastic application called OSX Server (now called MacOS Server) which allowed you to run a full server from any OSX computer. A server can  allow you share files, run your own email or web server, remotely connect in to your office etc.  OSX server was particularly powerful running on a Mac Mini. With OSX Mojave Apple killed off OSX server, but it is still possible to download an older version from Apple that still works. Here’s how.

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Dec 14

The “Create Booklet” PDF action stopped working when Mojave was released. It seems to be to do with Apple requiring an increased level of application signing. What this means is that the old version of Create Booklet (that was free) that I wrote about here no longer works. You need to download the new version from the Apple App Store. (It costs $20). I’m not sure if it’s worth $20 just to be able to make a booklet. It may be worth it to you. In my opinion it should be a feature that the built in OSX print driver can do. But for now I cannot find any free options to do this.

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Dec 12
Network attached storage

This article is about how to get your large files off your main computer hard drive and onto some external network storage that is more reliable, longer-term, and doesn’t take up precious space on your laptop or desktop computer. Apple don’t make an external storage solution but I found Synology have some great devices.

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Dec 04

There seems to be a long-standing bug with Apple mail that when you go to print an email message you can get stuck on a window that says “Generating content to print”.

This was fixed on my computer by unselecting the ‘Load remote content in messages’ option under Mail: Preferences: Viewing.

Generating content to print

 

For some reason Apple mail doesn’t seem to be able to print images properly that are loaded from a remote server.

Nov 25

Create Google sheets

XML is a format that some applications use to share data. For example I use a metronome called ‘Tempo’ on my iPhone. It allows me to share the tempos of all my songs by exporting an ‘XML’ file to an email.

This document can be read by the tempo app and it contains all the information about my tempos but it’s very hard to read and I would like to share the tempos with other people in a clearer format.

Here’s how to get the data out of such a file and into a spreadsheet.  This should work for any XML file that you need to parse.

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Nov 15

HTML in Safari

I just went to add a Facebook invitation button to an email only to discover that the code that Facebook gave me would not paste properly into Apple mail. This  is because Apple mail does not allow you to paste ‘html’ directly into an email. Here’s how to get html (like a Facebook button, or a table or form) into an email.

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