The Retina MacBooks are fabulous machines. They’re super thin, powerful, and just plain sexy. But have you ever opened your Retina MacBook and watched the screen just sit there in limbo for a few seconds before it actually comes alive again? It’s frustrating that you can see the password box, but you can’t actually type anything until the MacBook fully wakes up.
Apple has baked a feature called “standby mode” into the Retina MacBook Pros and the post-2010 MacBook Airs. Standby mode is the reason newer MacBooks sometimes take a little longer to wake, and there happens to be a simple terminal command you can enter in OS X to change the timing.
There are a handful of apps that I have to have on every Mac I use, or things quickly start to get annoying. Launchbar is one. Dropbox is another, and TextExpander is one more. TextExpander is sold as a way to expand a short string of text into a longer string of text, so I can just type, say, “aadd” and my address magically appears. I use it all day long on both Mac and iOS for adding Markdown and HTML code to my Cult of Mac posts, and even to the the name Cult of Mac (shortcut: ccom).
But there’s a lot more in there, as this example will show. BEcause TextExpander can run scripts, it can query all kinds of neat stuff — including finding out about your Mac.
One of the cool things I loved about Apple’s Mail.app was the way it provided a visual preview of the attached files that came in my email. It was nice to be able to see exactly what was sent along with the email.
Some folks, however, might not dig this feature, and might want to turn it off. Maybe it helps them feel better, or they don’t need the visual preview. For whatever reason, if you’re one of those people, here’s how to turn it off.
Used to be that when you shared photos from iPhoto via email, iPhoto would open up Mail app, drop the photos in as attachments, and let you send from there. Nowadays, iPhoto uses an internal email routine that mimics the iOS way of adding photos to email, but many folks just plain don’t like it. If you fall into this camp, and want to disable this iPhoto “functionality,” this tip is for you.
Quicklook is Mac OS X’s way of letting you see any file up close with just a tap of the spacebar. When you’re in the finder, for example, and you click on a photo, you can hit the spacebar and see the photo large and up close, making it easier to figure out which images to toss, and which to save. You can do the same with any supported text file, like an rtf, doc, or pdf file to see what’s in it at a glance.
But what if you want to copy a quick bit of text to paste somewhere, like an email? Instead of opening the file, waiting for the associated app to load, and then copying the bit of text, give this trick a shot.
The default black type on white screen window that comes as default in OS X Terminal is functional, but it’s really not that fun to use. Adding in color and some contrast is a good way to keep your aesthetic sense engaged, as well as make Terminal a bit more useful. In fact, there are many other themes built right in that do just that, and several you can download and install from the web.
Here’s how to change to one of the built-in Terminal themes, and a bit more on how to install third-party ones to boot.
Tired of right-clicking (control-click or two-finger click on trackpads) on a file and seeing a ton of duplicates in the Open With… contextual menu pop up? Not only is it aesthetically annoying, it takes up valuable real estate on smaller screens, and makes you move your mouse cursor more than you should, which could lead to repetitive-stress injuries. Or, you know, a tired finger or three.
Anyway, if you want to get rid of those duplicates, try the following.
Terminal app can be daunting at first, but it’s really the best way to hack into your Mac’s configurations and preferences to customize things to work for you rather than against you. With the right Terminal commands, you can tweak the Finder, mess with the user interface, build a more private and secure Mac, and even enable features that aren’t officially supported on older Macs.
We’ve passed along information on using Terminal, the most useful app on your Mac, to tweak the Finder, change up some User Interface features you may not want or like, and to keep your Mac more secure and your data more private.
Today, let’s look at the Dashboard, with its widgets and things, and see what we can do to hack it a bit.