Rene reacted to c.frio for an article, How to Open .pkg Files to View What Will Install on Mac with Suspicious Package
This is where the amusingly named ‘Suspicious Package’ application comes in to play, it’s a free Mac app which allows the opening and inspection of PKG installer files before the installation is actually executed, giving you a look at what is going to happen when the PKG is run.
Using Suspicious Package to open and inspect .pkg files on a Mac is not particularly complicated though it’s obviously most appropriate for advanced users who will have a general idea of what they’re looking at and what to make of it. If any of this sounds interesting to you, you’ll want to download and install the application, which includes a Quick Look plugin:
Get Suspicious Package free from the developer (for macOS and Mac OS X) Once Suspicious Package is installed, you can give it a try by dragging any PKG installer file into the application, or selecting a package installer in the Finder and hitting Command+Spacebar to activate Quick Look on the package in question.
Within Suspicious Package, you’ll see three primary tabs which detail all sorts of information about the package file. The first is “Package Info” which shows an overview including how many items will be installed, the size of the installation, the developer ID and if it is signed (if applicable) and valid or expired, how many installation scripts are run, and where and when it was downloaded:
The “All Files” view shows you exactly what files are going to arrive from the package file and where they are going to go, including permissions for specific files:
The final tab shows the scripts that will be run, “post install” which are often cleanup bash scripts that adjust permissions or perform a cleanup duty:
While all of this is informative to any and all users, it’s really intended for advanced users who encounter package files from dubious sources or that are otherwise questionable. If you’re downloading all of your apps, updates, and packages from Apple.com or an equally trustworthy location, you may find Suspicious Package to be interesting but not particularly noteworthy since the source is trusted, though even packages from Apple can encounter weirdness like having a pkg get stuck on Verifying which can sometimes be troubleshooted through a utility like this. Where Suspicious Package really gets useful is in more advanced situations where higher Mac security is necessary and where users want to be sure a file is trusted and an installer isn’t doing anything sketchy when it’s run.
Longtime Mac users may recall that a package inspection feature used to exist in Mac OS X some time ago via the right-click menu, but that feature has since been removed. More advanced Mac users can still extract pkg files with pkgutil without actually installing them but it requires the use of the command line, and the Show Files method to see what files are going to be installed and where to is not always available or detailed enough.
Suspicious Package requires a relatively modern version of macOS or Mac OS X to use. Mac users with older system software can try Pacifist which performs a similar ability to dig around in PKG files if interested.
Rene reacted to c.frio for an article, Move Cursor Word by Word in Terminal for Mac OS X
There are a few ways to achieve this, but the easiest which requires no modifications to the Terminal uses a longstanding series of two different keyboard shortcuts:
Move Cursor Forward by Word in Terminal: Escape + F
Escape F moves the cursor forward a word at the command line.
Move Cursor Backward by Word in Terminal: Escape + B
Escape B moves the cursor backward by a word at the command line.
Moving forward and back word by word at the command line with these two keystrokes is demonstrated in the simple animated GIF below:
These two keystrokes have been around at the command line for ages, and so though they certainly work to navigate by word block in the Mac OS X Terminal, they should also work in just about any other unix based terminal you come across as well.
There are also two Mac OS specific keystrokes to navigate in text word by word forward and backward in Mac OS X Terminal and in most other Mac apps too:
Option + Left Arrow Moves Cursor Left by a Word in Mac OS X Terminal
Option / ALT and the Left Arrow will also move the cursor position left by a word throughout Mac OS.
Option + Right Arrow Moves Cursor Right by a Word in Mac Terminal
Option / ALT and the Right Arrow will send the cursor position right by a word throughout Mac OS as well.
Remember, the option key is the ALT key on Macs, and vice versa, though some models and regions will label them differently they are always the same key.
You shouldn’t need to make any adjustments to terminal for the option tricks to work either, but if you find they are not working in Terminal app you may have better results with enabling Option as Meta key in Terminal for Mac.
Rene reacted to c.frio for an article, How to Recreate Recovery Partition in Mac OS X
If you find yourself in a situation where a Mac is missing the bootable recovery drive partition, you can recreate the Recovery Partition in two different ways, as we’ll show you here.
The first method of rebuilding a Recovery partition is to simply reinstall OS X onto the Mac, of course the obvious difficulty with that approach is that unless you use Internet Recovery mode or a USB installer, you can’t access the reinstall function. While using a bootable USB Mac OS X installer or Internet Recovery works just fine for those with good internet access or a separate install drive, another option is available as well by using a third party tool that is freely available on the web. That’s what we’re going to focus primarily on here, since the third party solution does not require the compete reinstallation of Mac OS X to repair and rebuild a Recovery partition onto a Mac.
How to Create & Restore a Recovery Partition in Mac OS X
Missing a Recovery partition? Here is how you can quickly re-create one on a Mac:
Download a copy of the “Install OS X” or “Install Mac OS X” from the Mac App Store under the “Purchases” tab which matches the version of system software on your Mac (for example, the “Install OS X Mavericks” app, or “Install macOS Sierra” app) Go to the developers website here and download the latest version of Recovery Partition Creator, it’s an AppleScript that will handle the recreation of the recovery drive After the app has downloaded, right-click on “Recovery Partition Creator.app” and choose “Open” to bypass Gatekeeper Follow the onscreen instructions, and select the primary drive you want to restore a recovery partition onto (typically Macintosh HD unless you named the drive differently, or are using a separate disk) Point to the Mac OS X installer application you downloaded in the first step and let the AppleScript do it’s work When the Recovery Partition Creator app is finished running, reboot the Mac and hold down Command+R to boot into Recovery and confirm the recovery partition now exists and works as intended The recreated recovery partition is identical to one that comes with modern versions of Mac OS X to begin with, and it will offer full access to the restore, testing, and reinstalling features you would expect to see.
I had to run through this process recently on a Mac that had changed physical hard disks where the drive had been cloned first, which works great but routinely does not bring along the Recovery partition with that procedure. It doesn’t take too long to restore though, and it’s fairly straight forward process to rebuild the recovery drive again, so if you find yourself in a situation where the Recovery partition is missing or you (or someone else) have inadvertently removed that critical Recovery partition from a Mac, (or maybe intentionally deleted it too) just run through the above process to create a new one and restore that functionality again.
from : http://osxdaily.com/2016/07/03/recreate-recovery-partition-mac/
Rene reacted to c.frio for an article, The MacOS Sierra Compatibility List
If the Mac is fairly new it will certainly support macOS Sierra, but many older Macs are getting cut off from the compatibility list, including any Mac made before late 2009. That means many Macs that support the current versions of Mac OS X system software won’t be able to run MacOS Sierra at all, and instead will be stuck staying on an earlier software release.
List of Macs Compatible with MacOS Sierra 10.12
According to Apple, the official compatible hardware list of Macs capable of running Mac OS Sierra 10.12 is as follows:
MacBook Pro (2010 and later) MacBook Air (2010 and later) Mac Mini (2010 and later) Mac Pro (2010 and later) MacBook (Late 2009 and later) iMac (Late 2009 and later) This list of supported Macs is offered directly from Apple, shown during the MacOS Sierra debut presentation at WWDC 2016 conference. The still from that presentation is shown below with the same compatibility list:
How to Check Your Mac for MacOS Sierra Compatibility
The simplest way to determine if your Mac is compatible with MacOS Sierra is to check the model make and model year, here is how to do that:
Open the Apple menu in the upper left corner and choose “About This Mac” From the “Overview” tab, look under the current system software version and for the computer model and year
If the Mac is the same or a later model year than what is shown in the macOS Sierra compatibility list above, the Mac is compatible with 10.12.
You may notice the compatibility list for MacOS Sierra 10.12 is a little curious because some of the Macs that are incompatible have better hardware than some of the hardware that is included in the compatible list. It’s unclear why this is, but this does suggest that support for MacOS Sierra is not just a matter of hardware specs alone, as the minimum system requirements for macOS Sierra are not clearly defined by minimum CPU type or speed, RAM, GPU, or disk capacity. That makes macOS Sierra a little unusual compared to some of the other Mac OS X releases from years past, but as time goes on we may get a clearer picture as to why this is.
Developers can download MacOS Sierra right now from the App Store and developer center, whereas the general public will have to wait until the fall to get their hands on the final version.
Of course it’s not just MacOS that is getting an update this fall, and for mobile users, you can check the iOS 10 compatibility list of supported iPhone and iPad models too.
Rene reacted to c.frio for an article, Apple’s OS X will soon cease to exist
You’ve known it as Mac OS X or OS X for years, but that’s about to change in 2016. Apple will replace OS X with “MacOS” or “macOS,” which would be more in line with its software naming scheme. iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS rolls off the tongue a lot easier than having “OS X” inserted anywhere in that enumeration.
In a support document related to its early WWDC announcement on Wednesday, Apple let the “macOS” name slip for the second time, MacRumors reports. The new name was spotted in documentation detailing the new revenue split for subscription-based apps, as seen in the following screenshot.
Apple quickly fixed the error, replacing “macOS” with OS X. But at this point it seems pretty clear that a name change is due. Earlier this year, Apple used the new macOS name in an environmental website update. At the time, the company quickly changed its “MacOS” reference – with a capital M – to OS X after it was discovered.
Rene reacted to c.frio for an article, Use a Website as a Screen Saver on Mac
You can use any URL, site, or web page, and you can even reference a remote list of URLs if desired.
Get the WebViewScreenSaver here Once it has finished downloading, right-click and choose “Open” to bypass Gatekeeper and install the screen saver (or install the screen saver manually) Open System Preferences and go to “Display & Screen Saver” settings, and under the Screen Saver tab locate and select the newly installed WebViewScreenSaver Choose “Screen Saver Options” and use “Add URL” button to add a website address to the screen saver, you can change the URL by selecting it from the address list then hitting the Return key, (go ahead and add http://osxdaily.com of course) Close the screen saver and enjoy your new website screen saver You can use multiple sites if you want to cycle through them, or just a single web site if you want to view one particular web page in particular.
Once you activate the screen saver, the web page(s) chosen are embedded in webview in the screen saver, surrounded by a black border.
The screensaver works with any website but it’s perhaps most appropriate for the type of sites you visit often, whether thats the magnificent osxdaily.com, a news site, hobbiest forum, some fancy HTML5 animation, or something you create exclusively for the purpose of using as a screen saver.
Rene reacted to c.frio for an article, Use an Animated GIF as Wallpaper in Mac OS X with GIFPaper
GIFPaper is somewhat experimental at this point, requires skipping Gatekeeper, uses about 15% of CPU to display the animation, requires manually installing a preference panel, and if you want to get rid of it, you have to force quit the associated process through Activity Monitor. Because of all that, using GifPaper is likely better used exclusively by more advanced Mac users, as it’s totally unsupported by the developer (or anyone else). If you aren’t comfortable with any of that, don’t use the GifPaper app for now. If you don’t mind those caveats, here’s how you can use GIFPaper to set an animated GIF as the desktop picture on a Mac.
How to Set Animated GIF as Desktop Wallpaper in Mac OS X
Get GIFPaper from this Dropbox link*, it’s free from the developer but unsupported Install the preference panel and use the Browse option to select your animated GIF, then adjust the settings as desired The animated GIF should load as wallpaper immediately, but if it doesn’t try manually launching the Gifpaper.app to load the gif as the desktop background picture Here’s an example of the Mac desktop with a fireplace GIF in use as the wallpaper background image:
And here’s another Mac desktop example with animated GIF as wallpaper via Lifehacker:
This can be a fun use for your Live Photos converted to GIFs, which is what I have done in this piece with a fireplace gif that was created from a Live Photo. Of course if you have Gif Brewerythan you can use other masterful animated GIF creations of your own doing as well, otherwise a quick Google Image search for “animated gif (item)” or visit to a site like Giphy should find you something to meet your GIF needs.
* Download and use this app at your own discretion, currently there is no associated developer page or Github page about the GifPaper app. Generally speaking it is unwise to download and use apps or files from random web links from an unidentified developer, but this app was found by LifeHacker and it works as advertised (the creepy blinking eyes gif via 2001 (the movie) shown on page is from Lifehacker too).
Removing GIF Paper and getting the regular wallpaper back again
You can remove the GifPaper preference panel with a right-click:
And if you want to end the animated GIF as your wallpaper, either reboot the Mac, or quit the Gif Paper process running through Activity Monitor:
Unfortunately there isn’t a Github page with source or an official site for the project, though the developer Tomasz Wojcik mentions they’d likely put it on Github eventually. If you were hoping to get a look at the source, get support for the app, or ask questions specifically about the project or how it works, you’ll have to reach out to the creator directly via the readme file attached to the download, for now anyway.
Rene reacted to c.frio for an article, Why can’t Safari sort bookmarks alphabetically?
But the more bookmarks you save, the harder it is to find what you’re looking for. Remember that site where you saw that really interesting article last month? You bookmarked it, and you remember the title, but if you look in your Safari bookmarks, you have to either scan the entire list, or search for it. Sure, you can sort bookmarks in folders, but who has the time to do that? And you’d only do that for the sites you visit very often.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could sort bookmarks alphabetically in Safari? There has never been a way to do this in Safari itself, but there is a way, one that’s been around for donkeys’ years. The process is slightly different now.
Start by displaying your bookmarks in Safari (Bookmarks > Show Bookmarks). Click the Edit button at the bottom of the list.
Edit your Safari bookmarks to be able to drag them to the Finder.
Drag them all to a folder in the Finder; make sure you don’t select Bookmarks Menu, or you won’t be able to drag the bookmarks. Display that folder in List view (View > As List, in the Finder), and then click the Name header to sort the files by name.
Next, move up a level in the Finder (press Command-up-arrow), and drag that folder onto the bookmark list in Safari. All your bookmarks will be added to the Bookmarks list, in that folder, You can delete the originals, then move the bookmarks out of the folder to the Bookmarks Menu, or to your Favorites. This is a lot of work for something that should be pretty simple.
You can do this easily in other browsers. For example, in Chrome, if you display your bookmarks and click the Organize menu, you can easily sort them alphabetically (Reorder by title).
Chrome lets you sort bookmarks alphabetically.
And Firefox gives you a plethora of sort options:
Firefox gives you lots of sort options for your bookmarks.
Fortunately, there’s an app for this: the free SafariSort, which can sort your bookmarks alphabetically, or in alphabetical order with all your bookmark folders on top of the list. It’s fast and simple, and if you like having bookmarks in order, you can run it regularly.
SafariSort is a simple app that sorts your bookmarks alphabetically.
Wanting to sort bookmarks alphabetically doesn’t seem like an odd feature request; it’s actually a great way to cull duplicate bookmarks. In fact, Apple should allow Safari to display bookmarks in date order as well. If you add bookmarks to folders, you won’t see all your bookmarks by date, and having a full list in order can be a good way to find what you’re looking for.
No matter what, it would be nice if Safari offered some more ways to view bookmarks, as other browsers do.
Rene reacted to c.frio for an article, What to do when a hard drive won’t unmount in OS X El Capitan
He’s had this happen routinely with a Mac mini using flash drives and external hard disk drives (HDDs). I’ve definitely seen some of this behavior, though it’s not routine. If OS X “understands” why it can’t unmount a drive, starting a few releases ago, it will tell you. But the dialogs Kurt is seeing aren’t the informative kind that tell you which app is involved.
Folks across the Internet seem to have connected the rise of this issue under El Capitan to Spotlight indexing. They’ve tested whether that was the cause by removing the mounted drive from Spotlight, and then they are able to unmount it. (Open the Spotlight preference pane, click the Privacy tab, and drag the volume into the “Prevent Spotlight from searching these locations” area.)
Failing that, logging out of your OS X account and back in should clear the state, allowing you to unmount it. And if that doesn’t work, a full restart should help.
I’ve discovered in El Capitan, unfortunately, that even in 10.11.4 it retains a few bugs that degrade the experience until rebooted, notably the “items disappear from my sidebar” bug. I documented it back in November 2015, and subsequent release of El Capitan (10.11.2, .3, and .4) seemed to reduce the frequency with which it occurs. But I have heard from readers that they are still seeing this disappearance as well.
Because some sidebar items derive from Spotlight searches, it’s possible that Spotlight is the culprit behind both disk unmount and the temporary loss of sidebar items.
If you want to dive down into the command-line level, launch Applications > Utilities > Terminal, and type precisely:
lsof | grep "/Volumes"
The “list all open files” (lsof) command combined with grep to filter lets you see all open files on attached drives.
The lsof command is short for “list open files,” and sending the results via a pipe | to the grep pattern-recognition command and using /Volumes as the match shows only open files related to items on externally mounted drives. You can look through this list of files, and see if there’s a frozen program or something you need to uninstall that you didn’t realize was active.
Rene reacted to c.frio for an article, Fixing Wi-Fi “Connection Timeout Occurred” Errors on Mac OS X
If you see that error message, you should be able to resolve the connection timeout issue by following the steps outlined below.
The troubleshooting steps covered here apply to any and all Macs using nearly any version of Mac OS X, whether it’s on a MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Mini, Air, or whatever else you’re using. Note you’re going not be removing wireless networking preferences as part of this sequence, that alone can reliably resolve stubbornly problematic wi-fi issues, but you will lose customizations to wireless settings in the process, so if you set custom DNS or specific DHCP or TCP/IP settings, be prepared to make those changes again.
How to Resolve Mac “Connection Timeout” Error Messages with Wi-Fi Networks
Before anything else, you should reboot the wi-fi router that is having a hard time connecting. Sometimes just turning a router off and back on again is sufficient to resolve connection difficulties.
Turn off wi-fi on the Mac by going to the wireless menu and choosing “Turn Wi-Fi Off” Eject and disconnect any Thunderbolt or USB drives or disk peripherals that are attached to the computer (I know this sounds weird, just do it) Next to to the Finder in Mac OS X and create a new folder, call it something like “backup Wi-Fi files” so that it’s easy to identify and put it on the Desktop or another easy to access location Open a new Finder window, then hit Command+Shift+G to bring up “Go To Folder” (you can also access this from the Go menu), entering the following path: Select the following files in this directory, and copy them to the “backup Wi-Fi files” folder you made in the third step by using drag and drop: Back at the “SystemConfiguration” folder with the aforementioned files selected, delete those files by dragging them to the Trash (you will need to authenticate to make this change) Now reboot the Mac as usual by going to the Apple menu and choosing “Restart” When the Mac boots back up, go to Apple menu and choose “System Preferences” and select the “Network” preference panel Choose ‘Wi-Fi’ from the side menu, and click the “Turn Wi-Fi On” button, then pull down the “Locations” menu and choose “Edit Locations” Click on the + plus button to create a new network location, name it something obvious, then click “Done” and using the Network Name menu item choose to join the wi-fi network as usual Authenticate and login to the router as usual, the wifi network connection should establish without incident and without a connection timeout error Close out of System Preferences (Choose Apply when asked about network settings) and enjoy your wi-fi connection
Once you have established a wi-fi connection, you can reconnect any USB drives, Thunderbolt drives, USB flash disks, or other peripherals back to the Mac again – why this sometimes impacts wi-fi connections is unclear but for whatever reason, perhaps due to a bug, disconnecting them as part of the sequence usually resolves any connection failed and connection timeout issues.
After the wireless connection is shown to be working as intended, you can trash the ‘backup Wi-Fi files’ folder that was created in this process – the reason we kept those is so that if there is a problem and things are somehow worse (which is incredibly unlikely), you can quickly swap the files back into place again and at least return to the prior point. Of course if you regularly back up your Mac like you should with Time Machine, that’s less of a necessity, but it’s still good practice.
Did this resolve your Mac connection timeout problems? Do you have another trick to fix the issue? Let us know in the comments below.
Rene reacted to c.frio for an article, 3 of the Best Disk Space Analyzers for Mac OS X
We’ll cover three of the best and most popular disk space analysis tools available for the Mac, each of which is either free or offers a free trial version to give a good test run with.
A big thing to remember with using these disk analyzer apps is that if you shouldn’t delete anything without discretion, as they sweep the entire drive and inevitably display system files, system folders, and other necessary components of Mac OS X and apps, along with personal documents and accumulated cruft. It’s a good idea to back up the Mac with Time Machine before using these apps if you’re planning on performing some mass file removal, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and lose files or have to reinstall Mac OS X if you deleted critical system files willy-nilly.
DaisyDisk is by far the most attractive storage analysis utility, with a beautiful and intuitive interface that makes finding disk clutter a matter of navigating an interactive colorful wheel. In terms of visualization of your file data, DaisyDisk is superior to anything else available, and it’s also very fast.
Get Daisy Disk from the developer here (free trial available, otherwise $10)
The free version of DaisyDisk is highly functional and will sweep your drive and allow simple quick access to any files or folders found (right-click on anything and choose ‘Show in Finder’), and you could get away with just using the free version if you wanted to, but if you enjoy DaisyDisk enough and find it to be a helpful companion to your Mac experience, the full version is money well spent.
OmniDiskSweeper is great and the interface is quite similar to using the Finder in Column view, making it very easy to navigate to large files and folders throughout the file system hierarchy. The files are shown in descending order by size, so it’s very easy to figure out what’s eating up storage space.
Get OmniDiskSweeper from the developer (free)
OmniDiskSweeper has long been one of my favorite free utilities available for the Mac, and I use it often for my own computer and when trying to figure out what’s eating the disk space of other Macs I may encounter. We have discussed using OmniDiskSweeper before here on multiple occasions, it’s a great tool.
Disk Inventory X
Disk Inventory X has been around on the Mac for quite some time, it is an oldie but goodie. Though the interface could use some updating, the functionality remains high and the app works great for discovering large blocks of data (for example, a gazillion photos or zip archives). Perhaps the only issue is that in modern versions of Mac OS X, files can be assigned to the app they open with rather than their file type, which may lead to some confusion. Nonetheless, Disk Inventory X is free too, so if you decide it’s not your cup of tea you’re out nothing but a few mb of bandwidth.
Get Disk Inventory X here from the developer (free)
A significant perk of DiskInventoryX having been around for ages is that it’s widely supported on much earlier versions of Mac OS X, so if you’re working on an older Mac with earlier system software, this may be the solution you’re looking for.
Bonus: The Finder!
If you don’t want to download any third party utilities, or perhaps you can’t for whatever reason, the Mac search function within the Finder is able to find large files in Mac OS X too. You’ll just need to set a minimum file size to look for, and away it goes.
The Finder search function works reasonably well for this purpose, but for many Mac users they will find one of the above third party utilities to be easier to quickly scan for large groups of files on a drive with.
Know of any other great utilities to analyze disk storage space and files on a Mac? Let us know in the comments!
Rene reacted to c.frio for an article, Apple might’ve let “MacOS” rebranding for OS X slip out
As spotted by 9to5Mac, Apple’s Environment page got an update on Thursday, and for a short time it included a reference to MacOS. “Years of use, which are based on first owners, are assumed to be four years for MacOS and tvOS devices and three years for iOS and watchOS devices,” the page said. (Apple has since reverted the name to OS X.)
This isn’t the first time the potential name change has slipped out. Last month, an Interface Builder document inside the OS X system folder included a file named “FUFlightViewController_macOS.nib” (emphasis ours). Still, 9to5Mac noted that the name could have been included for the sake of convenience, as developers sometimes prefer the symmetry of iOS and macOS suffixes together. The name’s appearance on an official webpage seems like strong evidence.
Also worth noting: Last June, Apple marketing head Phil Schiller vaguely hinted at more name changes to come, after the company announced “watchOS” for the Apple Watch. “I think, you’ll see. Give us time, we’ve been through many fun naming things,” Schiller told John Gruber during a live podcast at Apple’s WWDC conference. (At the time, however, Apple still hadn’t revealed “tvOS” for the Apple TV.)
Why this matters: A name change would make sense given that all of Apple’s other operating systems now fall under the [prefix]OS naming scheme. And given that Apple has been updating the desktop version of OS X for more than 15 years now, the roman numeral for 10 has long outlived its functional purpose. MacOS—or, perhaps, macOS—could be a fun throwback to the operating system’s origins, while positioning it for the future alongside Apple’s broadening range of phones, tablets, watches, and TV devices.
Rene reacted to c.frio for an article, List All Third Party Kernel Extensions in OS X
Determining what kernel extensions are loaded and running in OS X is rather easy, and using grep you can then easily list all third party kexts. You can also use the same command to list native kernel extensions as well. To accomplish this, you’ll use the kextstat command and pipe the output to grep, using the command line. This works the same in all versions of Mac OS X.
How to See All Third Party Kernel Extensions in Mac OS X
The full syntax to see third party kernel extensions is as follows:
kextstat | grep -v com.apple
The output is going to vary depending on what, if any, third party extensions are in the kernel. It may look something like this:
Index Refs Address Size Wired Name (Version) Linked Against
117 0 0xffdddfff8209ff910 0x2000 0x2000 com.radiosilenceapp.nke.PrivateEye (1) 4 1
119 0 0xfffff945818248770 0x3000 0x3000 com.whattheheckisthis.WeirdExtension (1) 5 2
If you see something out of place in that list, that could be a good place to start troubleshooting.
How to List All Kernel Extensions in OS X
Of course you can always list all kernel extensions (meaning, Apple’s official Mac OS X kexts included) by just typing the following command string:
The output here is going to be significant, but it can still be valuable.
If you want to learn more about kextstat, just type ‘man kextstat’ to open the man page in the OS X Terminal.
Don’t forget that you can manually inspect the traditional kernel extension system folder location as well if necessary, even moving and removing kext files from there to aid in the process of installing, uninstalling, troubleshooting, or discovery of kernel extensions.
Rene reacted to c.frio for an article, Make Animated GIFs from Movies in Mac OS X with Drag & Drop Ease
Drop to GIF is a free app for Mac OS X which automates the entire animated GIF creation process, all you need to do is toss a movie file into the app and the conversion begins. The app is both extremely simple and effective, so if you’re looking to make quick work of gif creation using existing movie or video files, it’s an excellent choice to get started.
Making Animated GIFs with Drop to GIF in Mac OS X
Here is how simple the movie conversion process to GIF is:
Get Drop to GIF from Github (free) and launch the app Drag and drop any movie file into the Drop to GIF app, or the app Dock icon, to start converting the chosen video to animated GIF When conversion is finished, look in the original directory of the movie file to find the exported animated GIF The exported GIF will loop endlessly, and the default settings will pull the frame rate from the video and set that as the animated GIF FPS as well. Users can make changes to FPS, width size of the animated GIF output file, and GIF quality, adjusting these three settings helps to control the file size of the exported GIF, since a large high FPS animated GIF will wind up being a large file by default. To access the settings, just click on the little gear icon in the app.
There’s even a little handy directory watching feature, where any movie file that appears in a watched directory will instantly be converted into an animated gif. As already mentioned, any exported animated GIF file will be saved in the same directory as the originating movie was, so that directory would contain both the origin movie file and the GIF output.
Here are a few example movies that were converted using Drop to GIF, this one is a quick capture from an iPhone movie that has been compressed heavily:
In this example, the original video is a simple screen recording .mov file made from QuickTime and there has been no compression or quality reduction, meaning the file is a bit on the large size:
For users who need more gif creation and movie conversion options, like a timeline and editing tools, a paid app like Gif Brewery for Mac allows you to convert video to GIF and make edits as well, which would perhaps be a better option for more avid GIF makers. But even if it has fewer features, Drop to GIF is an excellent app, and since it’s free there is little commitment to giving it a try and seeing if it works for your needs.
(By the way, if the Github page looks familiar to anyone, it’s because Drop to GIF arrives from the same developer who brought us the excellent simple language text editor ClearText, which is another fun little app for Mac users.)
Rene reacted to fantomas for an article, OS X 10.11.4 is out!
Rene reacted to c.frio for an article, Where Photo Booth Image Files are Located in Mac OS X
The simplest way to access the Photo Booth picture files is from the Mac OS X Finder, as they are located in the user home Pictures directory in a package file:
Open a new Finder window and navigate to the current users home directory, then open the “Pictures” folder Locate “Photo Booth Library”, this is a library package file that contains all of the images but you’ll find that trying to open it directly is ineffective Right-click (or Control+Click) on the “Photo Booth Library” file and choose “Show Package Contents” Navigate to the “Pictures” folder within the Photo Booth Library contents to find the original image files taken with Photo Booth app in OS X in this folder, they are standard JPEG images
You can copy, edit, backup, and delete the Photo Booth image files directly from this folder. These are the original picture files, so if you remove them from this folder they will no longer appear in the Photo Booth app of OS X.
The Photo Booth Image File Location in Mac OS X
If you want direct access to the photo booth image files through a directory path, for quick access with the Go To Folder command or through the command line, the files are located in the two following locations, depending on the pictures themselves:
~/Pictures/Photo\ Booth\ Library/Pictures/
Note that some pictures will appear in the Originals folder as well, if they have used an effect or filter to distort the image, the original unmodified version will appear here:
~/Pictures/Photo\ Booth\ Library/Originals/
Either of these Finder locations can be accessed directly from the Finder or Terminal, just keep in mind that if you move files out of those directories they will no longer appear within the Photo Booth app on the Mac. In that sense, the package files for Photo Booth are a lot like the library of original files with Photos app on the Mac as well, both accessible to users but generally hidden from the average gander through the file system.
Photo Booth is a pretty fun app, if you haven’t messed around with it in a while, you may want to check out some other Photo Booth tips for Mac, as there are hidden effects, secret Debug menus, and simple tricks for disabling the countdown or flash in the app too.
Rene reacted to fantomas for an article, Apple targeted by KeRanger ransom malware
A first ransomware made its appearance on the Mac, and it's clearly not good news. Named KeRanger, ransomware that aims to encrypt the hard drive of the users and then ask them for money to decrypt it. If they do not pay, their data will be lost.
KeRanger has emerged with the application Transmission, the most popular client for download torrents on Mac. Version 2.90 has been infected with ransomware, some users have been affected without knowing it. It will set up tomorrow, it is important to block it immediately.
To find out if you are infected, open Activity Monitor and then look for a process named "kernel_service". If so, click it twice and check if there is something with the name "/Users//Library/kernel_service". If that's the case, close the process. And especially (!) be sure you installed the last 2.91 update.
Apple announced to Reuters be aware about ransomware and has already revoked the certificate from a legitimate developer who has installed KeRanger on Mac.
Rummaging through the XProtect file from Apple, there is a blockage which has been made as demonstrated in the screenshot below.
Rene reacted to c.frio for an article, Apple issues a fix for ethernet disabled by a recent OS X update
Ethernet. Don’t be embarrassed if you have no idea what it is; after all, Apple doesn’t even include an ethernet port on its laptops anymore. For the uninitiated, it’s a network connection type that involves using an actual cable.
On the desktop, though, Apple still includes an ethernet port. Recently, Apple issued a minor kernel extension update for OS X, but the update had a bug that disabled ethernet. Apple fixed the offending update, but if you installed the update and still see problems, Apple has a support article for troubleshooting and fixing your disabled ethernet.
If you have an ethernet and Wi-Fi working at the same time, you may not have noticed your ethernet connection not working. So it’s worth a few minutes of your time to check your connection.
See if the bad update was installed
Follow these steps to see if the update was installed on your Mac.
Launch the System Information app (Applications > Utilities or hold down the Option key and select Apple menu > System Information. In the left column, look for the Software header and expand it if needed. Select Installations. In the list in the top section of the main window, click the Software Nameheader to alphabetize the list. Scroll though the list and look for “Incompatible Kernel Extension Configuration Data” in the Software Name column. Then look at the version number. If the version is 3.28.1, you have the bad update and will need to get the latest version.
Install the new update via Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi still works, and you’ll use it to get the update. Get connected over Wi-Fi and follow these steps.
Launch Terminal (Applications > Utilities). Enter the following:
sudo softwareupdate —background This will update Incompatible Kernel Extension Configuration Data to version 3.28.2, which will correct the problem.
How to fix without an Internet connection
If you can’t use Wi-Fi, the fix is more complicated. It involves booting into Recovery Mode, using Disk Utility to mount your Mac’s internal drive, running Terminal, entering a command to fix ethernet, restarting, and then using an ethernet connection to get the fixed update. Apple has the complete instructions.
Rene reacted to c.frio for an article, Mac Apps Not Opening? Apps Crashing on Launch? Fix Error 173 with OS X App Store Apps
While this is undeniably annoying and surely should have been prevented by someone other than the end-user, the good news is this app crashing problem is easy to resolve, and you’ll be regaining use and access to your Mac App Store apps again in no time at all.
Fixing Mac App Store Apps Crashing on Launch in OS X
Quit all open apps that are from the Mac App Store (assuming some opened successfully in the first place) Open the “App Store” application by going to the Apple menu and choosing ‘App Store’ Go to the “Updates” tab, and to fix all apps, choose “Update All” – (You can also individually update specific apps that are crashing on launch by locating them in the list and choosing “Update” on a per app basis) Wait for the app updates to install on the Mac via App Store When finished updating, relaunch the app(s) which were crashing, they should open fine now and without incident The Mac apps should be working and opening as usual now. If for some reason they are still crashing on attempting to launch, you’re going to have to delete the apps first, then re-download the same apps that were just deleted again from the Mac App Store.
Fun time, right? But in all seriousness, as troubleshooting goes this is not too bad, and it’s good maintenance to update apps to the latest versions available anyway.
For those who care about the nitty gritty, this is what error 173 looks like when found in console, in this case showing with the excellent text editing app TextWrangler:
Undeniably annoying, this certificate problem is well documented by developers and users. Apparently the certificate expired a few weeks ago, but not all users have discovered the issue right away, particularly since not everyone uses the same apps every day. In my case, I went to open an app I use a few times per month only to discover it immediately crashed, and after a few failed launch attempts I finally got this very helpful dialog box to appear:
Perfect! Since reading that dialog text is clear as mud “????????????????????????”, the clue was the App Store icon appearing alongside the error message, and with that in mind the dialog window does vaguely look like an App Store login dialog box. So, off to the App Store I went, updated the apps, and things worked fine. It was then I realized that apps wouldn’t open because of the certificate expiration issue which Apple explains to developers here, but nonetheless this is something the average end-user should not experience.
TLDR: If your Mac apps are crashing instantly on launch and not opening at all, update your Mac apps from the App Store.
Rene reacted to c.frio for an article, Play a Song from Spotlight Search in Mac OS X
How to Play Music Directly from Spotlight Search in Mac OS X
You’ll want to be sure the song you’re looking to play is part of your iTunes music library or stored elsewhere locally on your Mac, the rest is a piece of cake:
Open Spotlight as usual by hitting Command + Spacebar Type the song name in Spotlight search, and hover over the album art cover in the search result to press the “Play” button that appears Exit out of Spotlight as usual, the song track will continue playing in the background while you do other tasks elsewhere on the Mac You can pause and stop the song by returning to Spotlight search and again hovering over the album cover to click on the pause icon, otherwise it will stop itself automatically when the song has finished.
Only the song you searched for and chose “play” on will play, no other music is triggered, so if you’re looking for listening to a playlist or a full album you’ll still want to launch iTunes or your music player of choice to do so.
The short video below demonstrates this feature in use with Spotlight playing a Grateful Dead song from the local iTunes music library, note the audio is played entirely from within Spotlight and iTunes is not launched or used:
A similar trick allows you to play and preview movies in Spotlight as well, though since video is usually enjoyed at larger resolutions it is perhaps less useful than playing music this way.
Longtime Mac users may recall that a similar song and audio track playing feature exists within the Finder of OS X as well, except that when a song is played in the Finder through the icon view, it will stop when it’s no longer the focus, whereas when played within Spotlight it will keep playing until it has finished or it is paused. No iTunes required, kind of a nice trick, huh? Another iTunes-free option is to use the Quick Look music player, but that also will cease playing the track when it loses focus, making that approach better for quickly checking on a file or scanning through a song.
Playing a Song with iTunes from Spotlight in OS X
Another option to play a song from Spotlight is to search for the track name as usual and then just hit the “Return” key to immediately launch the song into iTunes and start playing the track.
Of course, this method obviously launches directly into iTunes to play the song, whereas the Spotlight only method works without iTunes opening at all.
Rene reacted to c.frio for an article, Create a New Desktop Space in Mac OS X with Mission Control
You can create many desktop spaces if you want to in Mission Control, and if you use multiple monitors, each display will have it?s own set of spaces. Making a new space and switching between them is an easy and efficient way of improving multitasking in OS X.
How to Create a New Virtual Desktop Space in Mission Control for Mac OS X
Open Mission Control in OS X as you normally would with the F3 key or what keystroke you have set depending on your Mac keyboard and settings defined in System Preferences Hover the mouse cursor over the top right of Mission Control where the faint [+] plus icon is, clicking on the [+] plus button will create a new desktop space named ?Desktop #? Select that desktop to switch to it, or click the [+] plus button again to create a new desktop virtual space
Once a new desktop is created it will add to the thumbnail list across the top of the screen, it won?t become the active desktop unless you select it from the Mission Control screen, however.
You can switch between spaces by accessing Mission Control and selecting the desktop again, another option is to?use keystrokes for quickly moving between Desktops?as well, which power users should enjoy.
While in Mission Control, you can also create a new desktop space?for a specific app with a drag and drop trick.?Closing Spaces?is a matter of hovering over a desktop in Mission Control and clicking on the (X) icon.
Spaces, which is the Mac OS X name for virtual desktops, is a helpful feature that can reduce clutter and improve workflow. If you haven?t utilized Spaces much, give it a try, it can be a great productivity booster. You can also learn more by checking out?a collection of some particularly useful Mission Control tips?or?browse through all Mission Control posts here.
Rene reacted to c.frio for an article, How to View & Clear the Mac NVRAM Contents from Terminal in OS X
This probably goes without saying, but aside from listing the nvram contents, users should absolutely not delete or clear nvram variables if they don?t know exactly what they?re doing and why.
To get started, launch the Terminal, found in /Applications/Utilities/ and issue the following commands, depending on your desired objective:
How to View All NVRAM Contents on Current Mac
Issue the following command to print out all current NVRAM contents:
This will display the output in XML format, which is much more readable than the default format, which is read with the -p flag:
If you don?t specify -x flag, you?ll likely see a lot of gibberish, XML, and perhaps some plain text mixed in that is easily readable, but for the most part this data is only going to be relevant to advanced Mac users for troubleshooting purposes.?
An example of nvram -p output may look like the following:
$ nvram -p
Again, this will be meaningless data to most users but advanced Mac users can find helpful details in the NVRAM if they know what to look for.
How to Clear All NVRAM from the Command Line in Mac OS X
The next most useful trick is to be able to clear out NVRAM with the same command string. To delete all nvram variables just use the following syntax:
For changes to take effect, you must reboot the Mac, thus unless you?re doing something else you may want to just initiate a?reboot from the command line?while you?re there.
Deleting Specific NVRAM Variables on Mac OS X
To be more specific, you can also target a set nvram variable for removal with the -d flag:
nvram -d (variable key name goes here)
For example, to clear the system audio setting from nvram:
nvram -d SystemAudioVolume
Going Further with nvram Modifications
The nvram command has other uses as well for advanced users, from settings like?disabling the startup boot chime sound on a Mac?to?always booting into verbose mode in OS X?or even?enabling safe boot mode from the terminal?for remote management or a headless/keyboardless Mac. For those interested in learning more about this powerful command, the man page for nvram is quite helpful, as is the basic ?help flag to show other syntax options:
% nvram --help
nvram: (usage: no such option as --)
nvram [-x] [-p] [-f filename] [-d name] [-c] name[=value] ...
-x use XML format for printing or reading variables
(must appear before -p or -f)
-p print all firmware variables
-f set firmware variables from a text file
-d delete the named variable
-c delete all variables
name=value set named variable
name print variable
Note that arguments and options are executed in order.
Whether or not you find this necessary or easy really depends on your skill level and your needs. Many advanced Mac users know they can also?reset the PRAM / NVRAM?on boot with a key sequence, which can be helpful in troubleshooting some particular issues as well, and that approach removes everything from NVRAM similar to the -c flag during an actual reboot, which is perhaps easier for many users to remember. This is particularly valuable for working with remote machines?connected through SSH?or found elsewhere on the network, where it would be impossible to manually reset NVRAM with a keyboard shortcut sequence.
Another common example where clearing nvram can be beneficial for troubleshooting purposes is when the Mac App Store loads a blank display that won?t populate with any content or store data. For whatever reason, the nvram -c flag and rebooting almost always resolves that issue alone.
Rene reacted to c.frio for an article, What we learned about SSDs in 2015
Despite their wide use, SSDs are a young technology, one we're still learning about. Here's a roundup of the best research on SSDs in 2015.
Researchers at Facebook and Carnegie Mellon?checked out both reliability and performance of SSDs. They found that high temps can cause SSDs to throttle back on performance. Slow server? Check SSD temp.
From?researchers at SanDisk?we learned that the log-structured I/O management built into SSDs is seriously sub-optimal for databases and apps that use log-structured I/O as well - which today is most of them.
But the?most startling SSD paper?came out of Korea, where researchers concluded:
As the paper shows, using an SSD poorly can waste most of its possible performance. And until vendors give users the right controls - for example, pausing garbage collection - SSDs will inevitably fail to reach their full potential.
Finally, the unpredictable latency of SSD-based arrays - often called all-flash arrays - is gaining mind share. The problem: if there are too many writes for an SSD to keep up with, reads have to wait for writes to complete - which can be many milliseconds. Reads taking as long as writes? That's not the performance customers think they are buying.?
The Facebook paper offered the best data on SSD reliability. Key findings:?
System write activity correlated with SSD failure, probably because flash writes require a lot of power.? SSD unrecoverable read errors are relatively common: 4.2 to 34.1 percent of the SSDs reported uncorrectable errors.? SSDs are sensitive to temperature - more so than hard drives. REPLACING FLASH?
Today's SSDs run on NAND flash, which is far from the ideal storage medium. Clunky addressing. Very slow writes. Poor endurance. And it's an analog medium, driving vendors to 3D architectures.
? Reinventing Analytics, Sideways The traditional way of doing analytics with lots of separate, silo products for each aspect of analysis is going away. New platforms allow new "sideways" combinations of features. Sponsored by SAP? ? But it's cheap, thanks to widespread consumer use, so engineers have made it work in much more demanding applications. But better alternatives are on the way:
3D Xpoint.?Intel and Micron's hastily announced?3D Xpoint?and?Optane drives?are promised for 2016, but I'll believe it when I see it. It is supposed to combine the performance, density, power, non-volatility and cost advantages of all available memory technologies on the market today. The technology is up to 1,000 times faster and has up to 1,000 times greater endurance than NAND, and is 10 times denser than conventional memory.
But as details have continued to trickle out, the future of 3D Xpoint looks less certain. Incompatibilities with current tech, pricing concerns, single sourcing and more are clouding the picture.?
Nantero.?The company hopes to be the ARM of memory technology, licensing to all comers. Their?carbon nanotube memory?offers promises like those of 3D Xpoint:?
Fast as DRAM - with much lower power consumption? Unlimited endurance? Non-volatility - >1000 years at 85C? Picosecond switching smaller feature sizes than flash - down to 5nm I?wrote about Adesto?last November, so they aren't 2015 news, but they are another NVM technology that could surprise us one day the way flash did 10 years ago.
THE STORAGE BITS TAKE
SSDs have always been a transitional or bridge technology. There's no way that we'd be using SSDs today if we'd had flash technology in 1957 instead of IBM's RAMAC.
But billions of open SATA ports made for a ready market. And now that the early fears of low endurance have passed, we're ready to move on. NVMe, 3D, TLC and all-flash/no SSD arrays will drive the market in 2016.
Since CPUs aren't getting faster, making storage faster is a big help. We can expect more of that in 2016, along with much lower flash prices.