Tag Archives: Yosemite

Five Tip Friday ~ Finding those hidden characters and new Safari speaker button

1/ Quick special characters — If you dabble in graphic design or publishing or you just like writing café properly (instead of cafe) you’ll eventually need hidden typographic characters such as ®, ©, ™, ° and maybe even € and £. The following keyboard shortcuts might be worth memorizing:
© Option-G
® Option-R
™ Option–2
• Option–8
° Shift-Option–8
€ Shift-Option–2
¢ Option–4
… Option-;
“ Option-[
” Shift-Option-[
‘ Option-]
’ Shift-Option-]
These keyboard shortcuts work in any application and in any field into which you can enter text.


2/ Using the Keyboard Viewer — OS X has Keyboard and Character Viewers. The Keyboard Viewer displays an onscreen representation of your Mac’s keyboard, and lets you insert a character into your text just by clicking its key on a virtual keyboard. Choose Show Keyboard Viewer from the Input menu at top-right of your Mac’s menu bar. (If this isn’t visible, open System Preferences in El Capitan, choose Language & Region, click Keyboard Preferences and turn on Show input menu in menu bar. In Yosemite or earlier, it’s in System Preferences>Keyboard, and tick “Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in menu bar’.)
You get a small window with the Command key symbol on it or, if you’ve enabled multiple languages for your keyboard, it looks like a flag instead.
When you first open the Keyboard Viewer, it matches the characters you see on your keyboard, which isn’t very exciting. To view more characters, press and hold modifier keys on your keyboard. For example, if you press and hold the Shift key, the top row of keys changes to a tilde, exclamation point, ampersand, and so on. If you press and hold the Option key, you see even more characters, as shown below.

3/ See special characters as you type — Recent versions of OS X provide an additional way to access the accented or alternate versions of a character while typing. Just as in iOS, hold down the letter’s key for a second and you’ll see a list of alternates appear in a popup menu. To use one of the alternates, either type the number that appears beneath it, or physically click the one you want. To dismiss the menu, either type a different character or press the Escape key. If no additional characters are available for the key you’re holding, the menu won’t appear.

4/ The Character Viewer — The super handy Character Viewer (called ‘Show Emoji & Symbols’ in El Capitan) conveniently clusters the characters in all your active fonts into logical groups. For example, the elusive Ⓟ character lives in the Letterlike Symbols group. Click once to see variations of that character in other fonts, and double-click to insert it into your text. The Character Viewer even remembers the characters you use the most — click ‘Frequently Used’ to see them. You can also add a character to your list of Favorites [sic] by clicking the ‘Add to Favorites’ button beneath its preview on the right.
These Character tips came from Macworld – this post has one more about them.


5/ Quick El Capitan (and Safari 9 for Yosemite) sound tip — You know those annoying sites that immediately start talking or playing music as soon as they load? Now you can turn them off in the Tab bar. Just click the little speaker button. Phew! (This assumes you use Tabbed Browsing, which you can turn on in Safari>Preferences>Tabs … and if you’re not using Tabbed Browsing, you’re not living, believe me.]

Five Tip Friday ~ Secure your Mac, and advanced Spotlight searches

Enabling Stealth Mode secures your Mac wifi even more
Enabling Stealth Mode secures your Mac wifi even more

1/ Enable Stealth Mode in Yosemite — Many people take their Mac laptops with them nowadays. If you’re one of those people, connecting your Mac to Wi-Fi networks willy-nilly in cafés etc, you might want to make sure you secure your information so others with less-than-honourable intentions can’t get their mitts on it.
Launch System Preferences and go to Security & Privacy>Firewall. Make sure Firewall is on. If it isn’t, you’ll need to click the lock in the lower left and enter the Mac’s admin password to enable it. When it’s on, then go to Firewall Options>Enable Stealth Mode:Between the Firewall being on and Stealth Mode being enabled, you have done quite a bit to secure your machine.
You’re not 100% protected from hacking, by virtue of being online there is always some risk (at home or not), and if you’re one of those people who leaves all your stuff to go to the restroom then all bets are off.

2/ Turn off broadcasting — A secondary measure you can take is to disable other broadcasting services. If you have iTunes sharing set up, you might want to turn that off in iTunes>Preferences>Sharing so your computer doesn’t magically appear in someone else’s iTunes. Another service to adjust is AirDrop. Open a new window and click on AirDrop in the sidebar, or switch to the Finder and choose Go>AirDrop. In that window, you can adjust who sees your computer if they too open an AirDrop window. You can adjust this to contacts, or even nobody at all if you’d rather disable it entirely. Now at least while you’re not home you can close some of the most obvious access points to all your information.

3/ Spotlight searches — There are several ways to access Spotlight in the Mac OS Finder. You can open a Finder window and click in the search field at the top, or can press Command-F [my personal fave] to convert any open Finder window into a search window. You can also access the Finder window search after you’ve started a query in the Spotlight menu (useful if you’ve got too many results). Simply scroll down in the results list until you get to the bottom and click Show All in Finder; Spotlight will open a new Finder window showing the results of your search.

4/ Hone your search — The Finder window’s search bar contains several options for tailoring your results. When you start typing search terms, the Finder pops up a menu asking if you want to restrict your search terms to file names only. And you can click on ‘This Mac’ to change the target of your search from the folder you were in when you started searching, to your entire Mac, including (or not) connected hard drives, thumb drives etc.

5/ Add criteria — On the right side of the Finder window’s search bar is a plus-sign button. Click it to display two menus; by default, the first is set to Kind, and the second is set to Any. But there are other options to choose from.
To narrow down your results, start by selecting one of the criteria in the first menu, such as Created Date, Last Opened Date, or Name. Or choose Other to call dozens of other options, including Authors, Audio Bit Rate, Email Addresses, Recipients (people who received a certain file), Layers (names of Photoshop layers), and much more. Click on the check box next to an item if you want it to appear in the first menu for easy access in the future. As you select different options, the second menu changes dynamically so you can set the appropriate parameters (such as dates, numbers, and so on).

There is more on this topic at Macworld.

Five Tip Friday ~ Shortcuts for Notifications on Mac

Notification Cetre aware apps
Notification Center-aware apps

1/ Quickly open Notification Centre — If moving the mouse cursor to the top right of the screen and clicking the Notification Center icon is just too much work, you can make it so that simply touching the very top right corner of the screen with your cursor opens Notification Center.
To do so, open System Preferences > Mission Control, then click the Hot Corners button. Choose the dropdown at the top right in the dialogue box that appears, and select Notification Center.

2/ Instant Do Not Disturb — Hold down Option (it may be called Alt on some keyboards) and click the Notification icon at the top right of the screen. The icon will go grey to indicate its in Do Not Disturb mode. Alternatively, open Notification Center, ensure Today is selected, and with the cursor in the Notifications area, swipe down with two fingers on your trackpad or scroll down with your mouse’s scroll wheel (using the down arrow key will not work). A Do Not Disturb switch will appear at the top, which you can click.

3/ Find compatible apps — Lots of built-in apps feature Notification Center widgets and there are a handful of other widgets built-into OS X too, but several third-party apps come with their own add-ons.
To see a list, open Notification Center, ensure Today is selected, and click the Edit button at the bottom (you may need to scroll down to see it). Then click the App Store button. This opens the App Store (main picture) to show a specially-curated list of available apps.

4/ Change individual app settings — Although global notification settings can be configured in System Preferences, several apps have their own specific settings. You can access these setting in each apps preferences. (An easy way to open an apps preferences is to tap Command+, while in the app.)
For example, in Mail you can configure which inboxes trigger notifications.

5/ Key-jumps — By tapping the number keys when the Notification Center is opened to the Notifications view you can instantly switch to notifications of a certain age.
For example, tapping the 2 key will switch to you the first notification in the list from two days ago. Tapping the 3 key will do the same for the first notification from three days ago, and so on.
Note that sometimes you have to press the number keys a few times for this to work, and sometimes it doesn’t work at all.

Five Tip Friday ~ Yosemite and the Photos app

Lots of extra features lurk under Photos' Adjust button
Lots of extra features lurk under Photos’ Adjust button

1/ Photo adjustments on Mac — This new program Photos might take a bit of getting used to. With Photos, we’ve got a lot of the same control of image editing we had in iPhoto, but it’s a bit more difficult to get to. As with iPhoto, you’ll double-click an image first, and then select the Edit button in the upper-right (or press Return).
The tools that appear should be pretty familiar. Most work the same way that they did under iPhoto, though the filters are now the ones included in recent versions of iOS.

2/ Finer edits with ‘Adjust’ — When you choose Adjust though, there is little slider under each one. To access the more advanced adjustments, you’ll hover over any of the categories, and when the drop-down arrow appears in the upper-right, click it to reveal more controls.

3/ Add more Adjustments — There are additional adjustments you can add with the Add button: if you often need Noise Reduction or White Balance, just add in those controls, then click Add again and choose Save as Default. Afterward, you’ll have your choices within the adjustments panel for every picture you edit.

4/ Advanced adjustments — Note that at the bottom of the list of adjustments you can add, there’s an Advanced section. Here are the precious Levels and White Balance controls.

5/ Undelete photos — With Photos on the Mac, the Recently Deleted album doesn’t seem to show up unless you know the trick to accessing it, that is. It’s hidden under File> Show Recently Deleted. Choose that, and you can either restore images you’ve removed or delete them permanently by selecting items and clicking the buttons in the upper right. Photos stay in this file for 30 days after you press that Delete key.

15 tip Friday …

I know, I know: I missed two Five Tip Fridays in a row. The first one was both Good Friday and my birthday so I took the day off, and the second I was overseas with terrible internet.
So I’m making up for it today.

1/ Lock your iPhone camera’s exposure — You can force the Camera app to ‘keep’ an exposure setting, say if you want a certain part of the picture to be perfectly exposed but then you want to move your composition  without the camera auto-refocusing/exposing. Hold your fingertip down on whatever object you’d like to focus on instead of tapping on it (tapping sets your exposure/focus point). If you hold for a couple of seconds,’AE/AF Lock’ appear at the top of your camera window in yellow.
No matter where you move your device, the app will keep the same exposure and focus that you set (and won’t attempt to adjust for, say, changing light conditions) until you tap the screen again to turn the lock off.

2/ Set recurring alarms on iPad and iPhone — Open the Clock app on your iOS device, and then make sure you’re on the Alarm tab at the bottom. Now tap Edit at the top and touch an existing alarm, or select the plus button to configure a new one.
Here you can make changes as you see fit: rewrite the label to something that makes sense to you, switch up what sound (or song) plays when the alarm goes off and so on. But for this tip, tap Repeat. Here you can pick as many days as you want, and the app is smart enough to spell out what days you’ve chosen properly.
Now  when your alarm goes off and you slide on your device’s screen to shut it up, it’ll wake you again the next time it’s configured to (rather than turning the alarm off completely, as will happen when it’s not set as recurring). So you shouldn’t have to turn on your alarm each day, but if you’re paranoid, a quick swipe down on your screen to access Notification Center will confirm that it’s ready to go.

20150410_Password_Settings3/ Disable password requirements for free Apps — One of the new settings in iOS 8.3 is the option to not require a password for the “purchase” of free apps in the App Store. This means even with a passcode set you don’t have to bother with a password in iTunes for updates or free apps, only if it will actually cost you money. This is another convenience of the App Store that makes it easier to use, once you turn it on.
If you have Touch ID enabled, none of the settings will show up at all, so you need to go to Settings>Touch ID & Passcode to disable Touch ID. This is only temporary. Once Touch ID is off, go to Settings>iTunes & App Store>Password Settings (it’s right under your Apple ID) and you’ll see a new section on that page called Free Downloads. If you haven’t walked through these steps already, the option is likely green (for on) but also faded since you don’t have access to change it.
There’s a toggle there that says ‘Require Password’ and the text below it points out what the setting does. If you have it on, it says your free downloads will use the same password restrictions as purchases and In-App purchases (usually that means a password is required). If you turn that off, it says you won’t be asked for your password when you are downloading a free item. Yes!

4/ iOS Action buttons — When you’ve shared a web page you’re reading on your iPad with your Facebook friends, or zapped out an iPhone snapshot via iMessage, your first tap has probably been that little square button with the upward-pointing arrow – this is the Action button, and it comes in handy whenever you want to share, print, save, or otherwise interact with something on your iPhone or iPad, from photos to Notes to PDFs or click-worthy articles.
You can also choose which sharing and “actionable” buttons you want to appear. If you’re not interested in, say, Reading List you can easily tuck the Add to Reading List button out of sight.
Scroll a bit further on either row, though, and you’ll see an additional button: More. Tap it, and a new window will slide into view, displaying each Action button in a list.
To the right of each button, you’ll see a handle (it’s the button with two short horizontal lines). Tap and hold a handle, then slide it up or down to rearrange the buttons in the list—perfect for, say, scooting the “Add to Reading List” button to the very end of the row.

5/ Turn Action buttons on or off — Also under the More button, look for Action buttons with little switches next to them. Flip off a switch and that button disappears from the Action menu. Or flip on the switch for a button you haven’t discovered yet – for example, Save to Dropbox in the Photos app. (Not all Action buttons have switches, unfortunately.)

6/ Context-Sensitive Action buttons — The more apps you have, the more Action buttons are added to your Share Sheet. Dropbox users, for example, won’t see a Dropbox button when they tap the Action button in Safari because that’s irrelevant to Dropbox.

7/ Assign photos to contacts — When you receive a phone call from a friend or relative, why not see at a glance who is who’s calling? In your Photos app, tap the Share button at bottom left, and select Assign to Contact. Your contact list appears – just tap the name of the person you want to assign the contact to. Not you can spread your fingers apart to zoom in to some extent and, which your fingers,  ‘move around’ in images to pick individual faces out of group shots.
You can change this in the Contacts app at any time: tap the Edit button at upper right, and tap Edit Link just below the image.
(By the way, any images you assign to contacts will also be picked up and displayed by your Apple Watch, should you end up with one.)

Mail's Gear icon is the key to figuring out how big Mailboxes are
Mail’s Gear icon is the key to figuring out how big Mailboxes are

8/ For OS X: Get the size of Mailboxes — One of the downsides of email is that, if you’re not diligent about keeping your mailboxes tidy, you end up with a lot of old stuff. Those emails take up space both on your computer if you’re using Mail, and on the server (at your Internet Service Provider) that your messages are passing through. However, Mail has a pretty handy way to see which mailboxes are using up the most space.
Open Mail and then click the gear icon in the lower-left corner. Choose Get Account Info from the menu that appears.
In the subsequent window, you’ll see a drop-down menu at the top. By default, the account chosen will be from whatever server-side mailbox you had selected in the sidebar in Mail  before clicking the gear icon. I find it’s easier to just choose the correct one from this dialog box, so swap that drop-down to the account you’d like to get the sizes for, then select the Quota Limits tab (or Messages on Server if you’re using Exchange).
You’ll get a neat list of the mailboxes associated with that account and their sizes. You can click the headers at the top of the list to sort by name, size, or number of messages, too.

Woa, nearly a GB of Mail in my iCloud account! Since they're backed up in Time Capsule, I'm just going to delete half of them starting from the oldest.
Woa, nearly a GB of Mail in my iCloud account! Since they’re backed up in Time Capsule, I’m just going to delete half of them starting from the oldest.

9/ See OS X Messages delivery times — As you may know, you can tap, hold, and pull to the left within Messages under iOS 7 and iOS 8 to see what time any specific text was sent. If you also use the Messages app on your Mac, though, there’s a way to get your dates and times there, too: simply hover your cursor over any text within Messages and a tiny tooltip appears with the info.

10/ Sort Messages conversations manually — Choose Sort Conversations from the View menu and you can change it to Manually instead of By Time. Once chosen, you can just drag the conversations up and down in the left Conversations pane of Mac OS Messages. Now you can keep your Messages threads from jumping around and arranging themselves by date, and keep the most important conversations at the top.

11/ Numbers — A great Numbers feature (apart from that it can both open and write Excel files) is being able to select cells and see stats on my selection at the bottom of the window. Numbers, in  case you didn’t know, is Apple’s spreadsheet app and it’s already on every new Mac produced in the last year.
You can customise what functions appear by clicking on the gear icon at the bottom of the window and choosing from the menu that’ll appear.
You have to have more than one cell selected to see this option, so if the bottom of your window appears blank, click-and-drag to select a few cells first. One thing you can do with those quick calculations is pick them up and drop them into cells to add the chosen formula there.

12/ Customise your Finder icons — Icons in OS X can be anything you want. Do you want famous race cars to represent all your folders? No problem. Have a research project where each file should be represented by celebrities? OK. Once you’ve found an icon you’d like to use, here’s how to use it on your Mac. These instructions work in all recent versions of OS X, including Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion, Lion, and even earlier.
First, find the image you want to use and open it in Preview. Go to Edit>Select All (the shortcut is Command-A), then Edit>Copy (or Command-C). Now that image is on the clipboard (you can also choose part of the image by ragging, then choose Command C to copy).
Next, switch to the Finder and click once on the folder/app/file you want to change. Go to File>Get Info and the info panel will pop up, displaying the icon in the top left corner of the panel.
Click on the small icon at top left, and then go to Edit>Paste. Your icon will be updated. This works on folders, files and even drives.
But where to find those icons? Actually there are a lot of sources. Notable is the icon section of Iconfactory.

13/Colourise folders really easily — This is more a cheat than a tip, as it requires buying an app, but I really like the little, cheap, easy-to-use Folderol app (NZ$4.99) which lets you colourise folders behind the limited Finder Tag selection. You just drag-and-drop a colour onto a folder, and you can customise the colours.

14/ Apply filters in the new Photo app — Open Photos, double-click on an image, and tap on Edit button at top right. Amongst the tools that appear you’ll see the Filters option. Click the filter form the list at right that appears and click Done. Done.

15/ Previewing Safari links — If you’re using a trackpad on your Mac and you have System Preferences>Trackpad>Point & Click>Look Up toggled on, you can use a three-finger tap on a link to preview it in Safari. This is handy in Google searches, as you can preview the site results to figure out how relevant they are before you navigate away from the search page.
After you check out the preview window, just click it to open the page in a new tab, or click away to dismiss it and move on to something else.

Mac sales up, Aperture and iPhoto gone, NVMe for SSD in Yosemite

If your Mac can handle it, NVMe for SSDs reduces latency by 50 percent.
If your Mac can handle it, NVMe for SSDs reduces latency by 50 percent.

Apple’s Mac bucks negative PC market trend, gains 9% in US — According to the latest estimates from Gartner, Apple’s Mac made gains in the PC market over the first quarter of 2015, bucking a wider negative trend that saw overall shipments drop 5.2 percent worldwide.

Aperture, iPhoto disappear from Mac App Store following Photos debut — Aperture and iPhoto were removed from the Mac App Store and are no longer available for download, checks of the storefront showed on Friday, signalling an end to two long-running product lines.

Apple enables NVM Express protocol for faster SSD performance with OS X 10.10.3 — Looking to take full advantage of PCI Express solid state drives found in the latest Mac models, including the new 12-inch MacBook, Apple built support for the NVM Express SSD Interface into its most recent OS X 10.10.3 Yosemite update, which  brought a host of backend upgrades to bring parity between software and cutting edge hardware. NVMe is optimized for lower latency operations afforded by solid state media, or non-volatile memory. Compared to AHCI, NVMe reduces latency by 50 percent.

Yosemite 10.10.3 update, Photos, iTunes

Photos arrived with OS 10.10.3 ... iPhoto is now dead.
Photos arrived with OS 10.10.3 … iPhoto is now dead.

Update your Mac: Apple fixes major flaw in OS X Yosemite, but won’t patch Lion, Mountain Lion or Mavericks — A serious vulnerability present in every iteration of Apple’s desktop operating system since OS X 10.7 — one which allows any user process to gain root privileges — was disclosed to the public on Thursday following the release of OS X 10.10.3, which addresses the issue, and users are urged to update as older OS X versions will remain susceptible to attack.

Photos for Mac launches with OS X 10.10.3, replaces iPhoto and Aperture — With OS X 10.10.3, Apple’s new Photos app, meant to replace both iPhoto and Aperture for people managing photos and video clips on their Mac, is now available to all Yosemite users.
The app is organised primarily into Photos, Shared, Albums, and Projects tabs. Users can narrow down content further through Moments, Collections, and Years views, which group files according to date and location metadata.

iTunes Update improves Mac Photos compatibility — Apple released iTunes 12.1.2 on Thursday following Wednesday’s release of OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 and the new Photos app for the Mac. Apple’s release notes say the iTunes update improves import and syncing support from the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch into Photos.

Mac OS X — hidden features

Your Mac can listen to your words and type them out.
Your Mac can listen to your words and type them out.

1/ Dictate your words instead of typing them — Your Mac can take your dictation and turn your words into text (you no longer need to buy Dragon Dictate). But it’s disabled by default. To enable it, launch System Preferences; select Dictation & Speech; and then click the Dictation tab.
Now click the On button. Enable the Use Enhanced Dictation checkbox if you want to use dictation without an Internet connection. Choose a language, if you need something other than English and your language is supported (but a lot are, from Catalan to Vietnamese) but even with English, you can choose US, Australian, UK or Canadian accents.
Add a keyboard shortcut to toggle dictation on and off without revisiting System Preferences’ Dictation & Speech pane. I made mine Control-F15 by selecting Customise (sic).
Finally, choose a microphone by clicking the little inverted caret below the microphone icon and selecting the mic you want to use if you have more than the internal one each Mac has.
The mic icon becomes your audio level meter; make a loud noise like a clap or a whoop and watch it bounce up and down.

Now, to dictate to your Mac, launch your favourite word processor and turn on dictation using the keyboard shortcut you created and just start talking. The words appear on in your word processor document like magic– especially if you have one of the supported accents, anyway.

Mac OS X dictation has improved  a lot with Yosemite
Mac OS X dictation has improved a lot with Yosemite

2/ Advanced dictation tricks — You can enable advanced dictation commands to do even cooler stuff like edit text and control other functions on your Mac using only your voice.
Launch System Preferences again, but this time select the Accessibility pane.
Click Dictation in the list on the left. Click the Dictation Commands button, and check the Enable Advanced Commands checkbox.
Now you can speak advanced commands such as: select the next or previous word, sentence, or paragraph.
Go to the beginning or end of a word, sentence, paragraph, or document.
Undo; Redo; Cut, Copy, or Paste
Switch to or launch applications. It’s not as powerful as, and lacks many advanced features of, a dedicated speech recognition program like Dragon Dictate, it still works well enough.


Customise your toolbars
Customise your toolbars

3/ Turn icon labels on in the toolbar — Hold the Control key on your keyboard down and click in the grey area at the top of a Finder window – this area is called the Title Bar. This triggers a ‘Contextual Menu’ that lets you turn on Icon and Text instead of the default Icon – now you can tell what those icons actually stand for. (This works in many programs, like Apple Mail for instance.)
A Control-click is a right click, if you have that feature turned on for a mouse or trackpad. You can also choose Customize from the pop-out list to do what we talk about next …

4/ Customise Mac OS X’s Finder toolbars — In the Finder, go to the View menu and choose Customize [sic] Toolbar or initiate it with a Control-click as above.
Now you can add or remove items by dragging and dropping for the range such as Dropbox, Connect (to remote locations), Get Info, Quick Look, Path (my personal must-have) and more. Adjust them in the order you want, and you can finally have something useful up there to help with Finder file navigation and management.

5/ Spotlight’s Privacy feature — You might have a folder full of embarrassing or otherwise private (banking, for example) files. You might have buried that folder 10-deep in an obscure place, but a Spotlight search will uncover those files in a jiffy.
Luckily, Spotlight has a built-in way to exclude certain folders – or even entire external hard drives – from its searches.
Open System Preferences, choose Spotlight, select the Privacy tab, and then click the plus button at the lower-left to add a new folder to the list or just drag items into that white box from the Finder. The folders you add and their contents are then excluded from your searches.

Five Tip Friday ~ some Mac OS X ‘Yosemite’ clarity.

Spotlight does more than find things
Spotlight does more than find things

Mac tips today:

1/ Spotlight does more than search; including converting from US dollars — By clicking on the magnifying glass in the upper-right corner of your screen (or press the keyboard shortcut ‘Command-Spacebar’), you can do conversions of many different types, from currency to cooking. For example, if you type in a dollar amount, Spotlight assumes US dollars but knows where you are and immediately displays the NZ equivalent (above). Or start with the British pound symbol (Shift-3).

2/ Convert more than currency — Some other conversions available are temperature (by typing in something like “85F” or “650K”); weight (“540oz,” “25kg,” or “23 stone”); and measurement (“54yd” or “567mm”). If there’s a specific conversion you’re looking for, you can try typing that in instead (ie 6 yards to centimetres’ or even “6yd to cm”, as this works with either abbreviations or with the typed-out words.

3/ You can merge Calendars — Sometimes you end up with too many calendars,l but you don’t want to lose any events. Assuming you have your Mac backed up, as we’d hate anything to go wrong (or at least that you have your Calendar backed up), Open the Calendar program. From the list on the left, select the calendar you’d like to export the events from to merge together. From the menus at the top, choose File>Export>Export (shown below).


Save the resulting file out somewhere on your Mac. Now, within Calendar, choose File>Import, and then pick the .ics file that you just saved out. A pop-up window will appear, asking you which calendar you’d like to import the events to. Select OK afterward, and you’re done – the events from your exported calendar will merge with whichever one you chose, and then you can safely delete the original calendar by selecting it from the sidebar and pressing Command-Delete.
(In older versions of OS X, this process would duplicate events onto the calendar you imported them to. Under Yosemite with iCloud, however, this now moves the events to the new calendar, so you’ll see them disappear from the original. To make sure you’ve gotten the events where you want them to go, you can deselect all but one calendar from your sidebar and examine them each in turn.)

4/ Swap files between user accounts — Some people have several ‘User Accounts’ set up on their Macs. That means several people (a couple, kids etc) can use the same Mac but keep their files separate, since you have to sign in to each account to see them. But how, if you don’t know each other’s passwords? Apple provides a Shared folder inside the Mac’s Users folder (found at the root level of the startup drive).
The Shared folder’s permissions are Read & Write, across the board.  Anyone can put (or copy, by Option-dragging) a file into here, and any other user can see and open it. This saves all that messing about with USB drives.

5/ Hide others — Often, you have so many things open, you can get a bit confused as to what you’re working on or even looking at. I love this simple command combo that hides everything except the ‘frontmost’ app – in other words, the app that’s running and using resources immediately, which you can see by looking at the app name next to the Apple menu at top left of your screen. This is it: Command-Option-H. In other words, while you are holding down Command and Option together, which I can do with my left thumb, press the H key. Instant clarity. This doesn’t quit anything else, it just removes them from view.

The ‘now’ look of 1984, OS 10.10.2, Peerio email encryption

High tech clothing available soon is modelled on the clothes in Orwell's '1984' and features pockets that take your iPhone off the grid.
High tech clothing available soon is modelled on the clothes in Orwell’s ‘1984’ and features pockets that take your iPhone off the grid.

Apple Matters: Apple, 1984 and excellent clothing — 1984 was the year Apple introduced the Macintosh computer with the infamous Super Bowl ad by director Ridley Scot (Blade Runner etc). This Apple Matters blog links that to some brand new 2015 clothing.

Apple seeds OS X 10.10.2 Yosemite beta to developers — Apple on Wednesday issued a fourth beta build for an upcoming OS X 10.10.2 Yosemite maintenance update, requesting developers test Wi-Fi, Mail, VoiceOver and Bluetooth functionality ahead of public release.

Peerio hands-on: This secure messaging suite packs dead simple end-to-end encryption — The brain behind Cryptocat and miniLock is back with yet another tool designed to make your day-to-day life more secure. Peerio, Nadim Kobeissi’s latest creation, is a cloud-based, end-to-end encrypted communications suite that lets you send messages and share files as easily as you use Gmail or Skype’s IM tool.

5 Tip Friday x2 — Mac and iOS double dose

It’s been a while, since I have been travelling, so here’s a double dose to help make up for it.

You can always boost your icloud storage, but remember the prices are monthly
You can always boost your icloud storage, but remember the prices are monthly

1/ iCloud Drive — iCloud has been vastly improved in Yosemite, turning it more into a Dropbox and Google Drive competitor. iCloud Drive is in the Finder, and it works in a very straightforward way: drag a file into iCloud Drive and it’ll be available on other iOS devices, as well as via the web. Make changes to a Pages document on your iPad and it’ll be there when you get back to your Mac.
You get 5GB of free storage, but for NZ$1.29 per month you can bump that up to a decent 20GB. For NZ$4.99 monthly you’ll get 200GB, and 500GB will set you back NZ$12.99 a month, and for NZ$24.99 a month, 1TB. (To buy more, which I never do, preferring to manage my storage, open System Preferences, select iCloud and click Manage Storage.)
This Apple Insider post takes you into more detail on iCloud Drive across all devices.

2/ Turn Dashboard back on — By default, Dashboard, the area widgets where used to sit, is turned off in Yosemite. But it’s easy to turn it back on. Open System Preferences, then Mission Control and flick Dashboard to ‘on’.

3/ Get Enhanced Dictation — Apple still hasn’t built Siri into OS X, but the Dictation tool is handy for taking down quick notes with your voice. In Yosemite, not all the Dictation features come pre-installed; you have to download them. It’s simple enough, though – open System Preferences, click the Dictation tab and tick the Enable Enhanced Dictation box. The 422MB download allows offline use, plus continuous dictation.

4/ Use Dictation Commands — With this feature, you can control quitting programs, selecting words, and moving your cursor around with just your voice.
First, enable Enhanced Dictation as above, since the commands won’t work without that on. Now in System Preferences choose Accessibility and scroll down to click on the ‘Dictation’ tab from the left-hand list. You will see the ‘Dictation Commands’ option in the right-hand pane. Click on that to see what choices you’ve got.
Whenever you invoke Dictation under Yosemite (which you’ll do by pressing the shortcut for that, listed under System Preferences> Dictation & Speech> Dictation), you can speak those listed commands to do things like select text, copy and paste, undo an action, and so on. And if you tick the checkbox labeled “Enable advanced commands” at the bottom of that window, you can switch between apps, quit programs, minimise windows, and more!

You can change the sound your Mac makes when your iPhone rings
You can change the sound your Mac makes when your iPhone rings

5/ Change your Mac’s Facetime ringtone in Yosemite (OS 10.10x)— Yes, it’s possible! With 10.10 on your Mac and iOS 8 on your device, your Mac now ‘rings’ when your iPhone does. Open FaceTime (if it’s not in your Dock, it’s in your Applications menu) and from the menus at the top of your screen, choose FaceTime> Preferences.
In the Preferences window, the ‘Ringtone’ drop-down is near the bottom of the ‘Settings’ tab. Switch that to whatever you like, there are loads to choose from.
If you’ve set specific ringtones for any of your contacts, they will override this default preference, but everyone else will trigger the sound you picked here.

5 iOS tips …
1/ Since you’re now dictating with your Mac, here’s how with iOS — Here’s a visual guide to the current dictation shortcuts in Siri. (If you’ve used voice recognition software before, a lot of these will be familiar.)

2/ What’s playing? Apple integrated Shazam into iOS 8, which means that you can have your iPhone name tune (most tunes, anyway – it’s not so good with stuff like Captain Beefheart) you hear playing.
Start up Siri (press and hold the home button) and say something like ‘What’s the name of this tune?’ or ‘What’s playing?’ – and let Siri listen. Provided the tune is clear enough, and there’s not too much foreground chatter, your iPhone should establish what’s playing and provide a link to the iTunes listing.

3/ Siri can direct you home — Boot up Siri by holding in the Home button for a few seconds, then say ‘Take me home,’ and it’ll use Apple Maps (which is totally fixed and useful now, please note) to get turn-by-turn directions back to your house.
You’ll need to ensure you have an address listed for Home in your Contacts app, but even if you don’t, Siri will offer a shortcut to do so.

4/ Photos before and after — When editing photos in the Photos app (choose a photo and tap the Edit button at top right) , tap and hold the image to see how it looked originally. Release to snap back to your current edit – a great way to compare and contrast what it was to what it will be.

5/ Quickly complete web addresses in Safari — Press and hold the full stop key on the keyboard in Safari when inputing an address and you’ll bring up a list of internet address suffixes, like .com, .co.uk, and the like. Release your thumb over the one you want to insert it into the address.

—Business-boosting tips — Do you want your business boosted by giving your workers greater productivity? Book me for my 60 Mac tips in 60 minutes, or 60 iOS tips in 60. It’s a fun presentation, it’s over in 60 minutes and everyone walks away with a tip sheet they can refer back to. Groups up to 50, no problem. This will revive workplace productivity and make your devices more fun, less threatening and raise the knowledge of your staff.

Yosemite, developer money, Super Cookies, North Korea, RAM disk

Apple Mac OS 10.10 'Yosemite' is available now for free – choose Software Update in the Apple Menu.
Apple Mac OS 10.10 ‘Yosemite’ has the fastest OS adoption rate so far.

About half of all macs are now running OS X Yosemite, making it the fastest growing OS X yet — OS X Yosemite is now installed on approximately 50 percent of Internet-connected Macs, according to data from both GoSquared and Net Applications (via Computerworld). The free operating system reached the 50% adoption mark faster than any previous version of OS X.

Apple has seeded OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 beta with focus on Wi-Fi, Mail and VoiceOver — Apple on Wednesday issued a new beta build of its upcoming OS X 10.10.2 maintenance update, once again asking developers to focus on Wi-Fi, Mail and VoiceOver alongside general system compatibility testing.

Apple’s App Store paid out more than $10 billion to developers in 2014 — Apple has released 2014 numbers for the company’s App Store, revealing that more than $10 billion in revenue was paid out to developers during the year, a record that brings the cumulative total to $25 billion since the store’s launch in 2008. Also, the company revealed that 2015 is already off to a good start, with New Year’s Day taking the single-day App Store sales record.

‘Super cookies’ can track you even in private browsing mode, researcher says — If there’s one thing websites love to do it’s track their users. Now, it looks like some browsers can even be tracked when they’re in private or incognito mode. Sam Greenhalgh of UK-based RadicalResearch recently published a blog post with a proof-of-concept called “HSTS Super Cookies.” Greenhalgh shows how a crafty website could still track users online even if they’ve enabled a privacy-cloaking setting.

Don’t Download this OS X Themed North Korean Operating System  North Korea has a custom Linux-based operating system that’s been skinned to look just like OS X, and now you can download and install it yourself. Don’t! [Surely that’s a no-brainer?]

Speed up a New Mac Pro by more than 5x with a RAM Disk — Jim Tanous has revisited the use of a RAM disk on two new Macs, a 2013 Mac Pro and a 2014 MacBook Pro. He reports “The 2013 Mac Pro features extremely fast PCIe-based flash storage, but it’s no competition for the speed of a 32GB RAM Disk. The internal flash storage hits around 1200MB/s reads and just shy of 800MB/s writes, but the RAM Disk peaks at 4800MB/s reads and 5100MB/s writes. 5.1 Gigabytes per second. Nice.” Of course, the RAM disk eats into the available RAM so it’s geared for specialized applications that can really use the boost. But it’s also volatile, so reboot or lose power and it goes poof. Even so, check out TekRevue’s tantalizing tutorial and amazing benchmark tests. [Seems so retro!]


Five Tip Friday ~ Mac OS 10.10 tricky stuff

See all the images attached to Messages conversations with the Details button
See all the images attached to Messages conversations with the Details button

1/ Launch apps in OS X using Spotlight — Using Spotlight to search for files etc is handy, and can also search for apps. Not only that, but as with search on iDevices, you can also use it to launch apps.
First, launch Spotlight. For most people this is Command-Spacebar (that’s the default).
When you get to Spotlight, start typing the name of the app you want to launch. If it appears at the top,  just hit the Return key on your keyboard and it opens.

2/ Launch apps using a single letter — Once you have your list, you can also type the app’s first letter (like you can in Finder windows). Except in Spotlight, once you’ve typed the letter and your app’s selected, press Return and it launches.

3/ View all messages in a Messages conversation — Apple’s Messages app in OS X Yosemite borrowed from its iPhone and iPad cousins, so now you can do more in your conversations, like view all of the images and attachments you sent and received in a chat.
To see all of the photos and attachments in a Messages conversation, just click Details in the upper right corner in every conversation. You can click and drag anything from the Details view to your Desktop or folder; double-clicking an image opens it in Preview.

4/ More from Details — The Details view also lets you mute notifications for specific chats, start phone calls and FaceTime calls, and screen share. This is a handy way to see images that otherwise would take a ridiculous amount of back scrolling in long conversations. Grouping in calling features, too, as a bonus.

5/ Make sense of Safari’s new Favorites bookmarks — The new Safari look can throw you almost as much as the new iTunes. But don’t panic: choose View>Show Favorites Bar. When you drag an icon to a new location in this view, its location in the Favorites Bar change too.
If you don’t like this view, you can eliminate it. Open Safari’s Preferences, click General, and configure the New Windows Open With and New Tabs Opens With options.
To organise and edit bookmarks the old fashioned way, the shortest way to do it is to choose Bookmarks>Edit Bookmarks (Command-Option-B). This fills Safari’s window with all the bookmarks it has. Alternatively you could click the Show Sidebar button in the menubar, select the Bookmarks tab, and then click the Edit button at the bottom of the pane.
Now you can rearrange their order, rename them, edit their URL, create folders, and drag collections of bookmarks into those newly created folders. [There’s more on this from Macworld.]