The age-old problem of "Where the heck did I leave my car?" may finally be over as a number of app developers use the built-in GPS feature in the iPhone to track and remind users where they left their vehicle. Car Finder Locator is just such an app and offers one of the more intuitive, attractive interfaces for GPS car locators currently on the market. The app is very easy to use, instantly activating the GPS locator on your phone and ascertaining your current location. Simply click the "Set new position" button to mark the location … Read more
Everything on a Mac looks so polished on the outside that it may become unclear how to fine-tune settings under the hood of its graphical interface. Cocktail for Mac allows you to access an impressive number of useful tweaks and enhancements without entering a single line of code.
Cocktail for Mac can manually trigger maintenance scripts, optimize inactive RAM manually or periodically, toggle Spotlight indexing for chosen drives, force special startup modes, and access a lot of the hidden Finder and core app settings, to name just a few options. By "hidden," we mean those settings that are … Read more
Duplicate file finders were critical back in the pre-gigabyte era, but in some ways, today's terabyte-capacity drives make the problem just as bad. Not for space reasons, obviously, but because duplicates clog up your file system with redundant data that your computer still has to process. Duplicate files can make your searches take longer and return confusing or contradictory results. Enough duplicates together can even cause your system to run more slowly. And if you boot from a solid-state drive (SSD), particularly a smaller one, you're probably just as concerned about duplicates as users were back when hard … Read more
MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which I answer Mac-related questions e-mailed in by our readers.
This week, readers wrote in with questions about a system not loading past the gray Apple screen, an external DVD player not working, how to switch to internal speakers with headphones attached, and trouble enabling X-Ray folder view in the Finder. I welcome views from readers, so if you have any suggestions or alternative approaches to these problems, please post them in the comments!
Question: System not loading past the gray Apple screen MacFixIt reader Greg asks:I can start my system, and hear … Read more
In OS X you should be able to create and manipulate files on your system largely without being burdened to authenticate, especially if the files are within resources your account owns such as your home folder. However, after upgrading or otherwise performing changes to the system you may find that the system continually prompts you for a password when you try to manage your files.
Sometimes this issue may occur only when you perform certain tasks such as deleting files (as opposed to placing them in the trash), but at other times it may happen on any manipulation.
OS X … Read more
In the past, classic search routines in the Mac OS scoured the directory tree of the file system to locate files, but with ever-increasing numbers of files on computers, these searches became slower and slower. To tackle this in OS X, Apple introduced an indexing solution called Spotlight as a replacement for the classic search, which actively indexes files as they are created or edited. When you perform a search, the system accesses this index to almost instantaneously bring up search results not only for file names, but also for relevancy since the indexing includes the content of the files … Read more
Often when saving and managing files you may need to quickly access certain folders. In OS X, in general, user folders are located within your home directory, and the standard way of accessing them is to open a new Finder window and navigate to the desired location. However, there are some perhaps quicker alternatives. Not only does the Finder offer some shortcuts for getting to favorite folders, but there are some additional ways in OS X such as accessing recent items and using hot keys coupled with custom services to quickly open directories.
Finder default location In prior versions of … Read more
Emoticons have become some of the most commonly used symbols when communicating using computers and cell phones. Starting with combinations of text characters, smilies evolved into emoticons with the development of Unicode fonts that include complementary images for common smilies. For instance, applications like iMessage and iChat in OS X will make use of emoticons, automatically substituting an image of a smiling face from an emoticon font if you enter the ":)" text for a standard smile.
If there are other emoticons you often use, then you can use the system preferences to set up your own global text … Read more
MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which I answer questions e-mailed in by our readers.
This week, readers wrote in with questions on hiding specific file types in the Finder, managing a program opening numerous documents when launched, dealing with "file in use" warnings in the Finder, resetting a Mac to factory default settings, and concerns about memory leaks in Apple's Dashboard feature. I welcome views from readers, so if you have any suggestions or alternative approaches to these problems, please post them in the comments!
Question: Hiding files of a specific type in the Finder MacFixIt … Read more
Apple's Quick Look feature in OS X is a convenient way to preview the contents of a document before opening it fully in an application. To invoke Quick Look, simply select a file in the Finder and press the spacebar, and you will see a window appear that shows a view of the contents of the file, or for unsupported file types will show the file's icon along with some information about it.
Quick Look uses small plug-ins that provide it with a lightweight interpretation of a specific file format, so it can display some detail about the … Read more