Category Archives: How-To

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

How to choose a format for an external drive in OS X

USBDriveIconXFormatting an external drive to work with your Mac can be done in several ways. While for the most part drives ship in formats that are universally recognized among operating systems so data can at least be read, there are times when you may wish to wipe a drive and set it up to be most compatible with your Mac. On the other hand, you may have a drive you have primarily used with your Mac, but now wish to use it with a Windows system. In these cases, it helps to know how best to format your drive. Continue reading

How to change the Dock for another user account in OS X

DockIconXThe Dock in OS X is meant to be easily configurable, where you can simply drag items to and from it, or resize and position it to organize and manage it according to your needs. However, there may be times when you need to set up a Dock for another user, which may be more significant for a Mac being used in a school, business, or other multi-user environment, and especially true for one which you are managing remotely. Continue reading

Prevent Gatekeeper from auto-enabling in OS X

GateKeeperIconXGatekeeper is an execution prevention technology in OS X that will block apps from running if they have not been properly certified. It combines with similar technologies in OS X such as quarantining of downloaded files, to give you ample warning that a program you are running may be suspicious if it has not come from vetted sources, such as the App Store. Continue reading

How to maximize screen real estate in OS X

DisplaysIconXIn most instances you may want to have as much desktop space on your Mac as possible to get your work done. While you can organizing windows on your screen and streamline your workflow to reduce clutter, nothing beats having a large workspace on which to open apps and view numerous windows of your files. For any Mac there are several approaches you can take to increase this and get more work done, or at least have more area on which to put your clutter. Continue reading

How to find group membership in OS X

AccountsIconXGroups in OS X are special account entries that act as umbrellas under which user accounts may exist, allowing single adjustments of access permissions to immediately apply to numerous users. As a result, the use of groups when setting up a multi-user Mac can be exceptionally useful, but then again may also leave open security holes if not done correctly. Continue reading