Category Archives: How-To

Tips and tricks for increasing the use of the OS X Console

ConsoleIconXOne of the top troubleshooting tools you will use in OS X is the Console app, with which you can view a centralized list of logged system activity, be it from the system console or from application-specific log files. With the details output in the resources available in the Console, you can often track relevant activity for when crashes and other faults occur, and then address them accordingly. Continue reading

How to run “headless” virtual machines in OS X

VMWareFusionIconXIf you run multiple operating systems on your Mac in virtual machines, then you likely use either Virtual Box, VMWare Fusion, or Parallels Desktop. For the most part, when you set up a VM on your Mac with any of these solutions, it will run as a window that shows you the graphical view of the virtualized OS. However, if you use your VMs for servers instead of running desktop applications, then you can use a small trick to run them in the background, and thereby save both a little processing power and some desktop clutter. Continue reading

Options for securing external storage in OS X

USBDriveIconXThe default approach for storing files on drives other than your boot drive is to get an external storage device and then copy your files to it; however, by doing so you leave open the possibility of someone getting your drive and accessing your data. To secure the files you place on such drives, there are several approaches you can take, including encrypting files or the drive itself, and using special setups to require two or even more physical drives be attached before you can access the data on them. Continue reading

How to authenticate a shell script with the OS X GUI

NewTerminalIconXWhen you run various commands and scripts in OS X, you may need to first authenticate the actions you are taking as administrator. While some commands include options for providing authentication, generally you will run the “sudo” command as a precursor to your desired one, in order to promote the desired one to run with full administrative access privileges. Continue reading

No Recovery drive? Three alternatives are available to you.

HardDriveIconXWhen some problems such as hard drive corruption occur on your Mac, or if you need to perform account maintenance such as resetting passwords or fixing account permissions, then you will need to use the tools that Apple includes on the hidden Recovery drive that is part of OS X. However, in some cases such as for RAID arrays, you may not have a recovery partition, in which case there are several alternatives you can use, even if you are limited by your internet connection: Continue reading

How to script QR and data matrix code generation in OS X

MacissuesQRIf you have a need to catalog items, be they for inventory of a store, or for assets of a business, you might find yourself needing to create some sort of barcode option for your items. Granted there are a number of well-established software packages for doing so, but at times you may create custom scripts, out of which you might want a QR or data matrix code to be generated. Continue reading