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Posts tagged ‘Mac OS X’


Mac, Lion and the Lost Installer

Imagine you have an older Mac (like my Mac Book Pro 15” from 2005), you have Lion installed (last OS that it takes) and then you want to give this one to someone else.
Now the first thing that you for sure want to do is to erase the entire content of your hard disk and then re-install Lion from scratch to be sure that the new owner does not have access to your data.
If you have a Lion Installer Thumb Drive you can now reboot your Mac while holding the Option key. Then you select the ER Built (USB Icon) drive.
After the Installer comes up you can go to the Tools menu section, select the Disk Utility and format your boot drive. After this is done restart, hold the Option key and select again the Installer Thumb Drive.


If you were unlucky like I was then you will see a dialog that says:

There was a problem installing Mac OS X. Try reinstalling

What the ….?

First I thought the thumb drive is bad, then I doubled checked that both the Thumb Drive and the Mac’s boot drive are OK. Finally, just before giving up, I googled the problem and found an Apple Discussion that discussed the problem and had a solution.


It turns out that I had to reset the PRAM in order to be able to Install Lion again. As much as I love the ease of use of OS X sometimes it comes with a huge price tag. I would never have thought of this and I was spending a considerable amount of time to try to resolve it before I searched the Internet. It would have been nice if the Mac could give a hint of what is the problem and not just displays this somewhat useless Dialog.
Especially considering that this is rare but still possible scenario for a regular Mac user.

At least I got passed that issue and could installed Lion again.

Cheers – Andy


Alfred Powerpack: Bad Business Model?

Today I got an email from Alfred (Mac OS X app launcher) that Alfred is now two years old and to celebrate they offer the Powerpack with a 10% discount. I was thinking about buying it and it sounds reasonably priced but not with the limitations.

If I buy the current version it will run with 1.x release of Alfred which just turned two. That said I have no idea when they will release version 2.x. This prevents me from actually buying it or let’s say it this way it makes they price rather unreasonable. I paid more for software but all of them do more like Omnifocus, Omnigraffle, Pixelmator etc.

To make it work for me the Alfred team either needs to give us an idea how long 1.x is the current version or limit the time the license is valid like 2 years.

Finally the mega-support license is great but then how long will be Alfred around so that my investment is worthwhile.

For now I use the free but limited Alfred without the Powerpack.

– Andy


Which Version of BBedit

Today I decided it was time to finally buy BBedit because I have a lot of HTML documents to edit and so this seemed to be the perfect time to do so. But then I had to decide if I buy the regular version or the Mac App Store version. Normally I would prefer the App Store version but then I checked out the most critical reviews and saw that BBedit is sandboxed and so I cannot edit files that need superuser rights. This is the same reason why SuperDuper will never be sold on the App Store and a few other applications. So I decided to go with the regular version and I works great so far.

For now I have a little bit of a problem with MarsEdit where I can only edit the 1st document with BBedit as external editor (Edit with BBedit) because in any subsequent edit MarsEdit will not recognize the end of the editing session and so I’ll lose any changes. I reported that to Red-Sweater and hope that I can fix that soon because that would be a great combination.

– Andy


Wrong Mac OS X Lion’s App Store Purchase List

During my migration to Lion using multiple installation on my Mac Pro using different hard disks. This had some wired side effects on the App Store because Lion is using Spotlight to find installed Apps and is not limited to the boot disk but rather takes all attached disks. This let to a wrong Purchase list in the App Store. For example I had Daisy Disk installed on my first Lion installation but on my current installation I did not. Now the App Store would report the App as installed and so I could not install anymore. The bad thing was that I could not just copy over the App from the other Lion installation because DaisyDisk needed some additional libraries which are only installed during the installation process (I guess).

The trick to fix it is to the following:

  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Select Spotlight
  3. Click on the Privacy tab
  4. Add all partition that have App Store Apps installed on it to this list

This is how it could look like:

As far as I can tell you can remove the partition from this list again as soon as you installed the Apps but your milage might vary.

System Preferences Spotlight Privacy

BTW, I also noticed that any partition with Apps from the App Store will interfere with your purchase list even if that partition is a Snow Leopard installation.

– Andy


Missing Spaces in Mac OS X Lion

Since Lion came out I slowly moving over to it and for now my Laptop and my Development box (Mac Pro) are slowly migrating over. I like the full screen mode which I currently use with MarsEdit to write this blog entry. But I definitely miss Spaces. I know they weren’t perfect and sometimes one could loose a pop-up dialog between spaces but it helped a lot to work efficiently. Unfortunately not all Apps are support full screen mode and even the ones that do I cannot directly jump to the desired App. For example I use IntelliJ to develop Java application but that does not support full screen mode. Yes, I could move that to another desktop and blow it up to the maximum size which is similar to what I had before but that still does not solve the issue of the direct jump to my App.

So let’s have a look how this worked in Snow Leopard. I had all my developers on Space 4, my terminal on 5 and email on 6. With a simple ctrl-4 I was on the Space with my developer tools, with ctrl-5 I saw the terminals and when an email arrived ctrl-6 just moved me there. Now these shortcuts are gone. For mouse oriented users that might now be a big deal but for me this is annoying. I want to take my fingers of the keyboard as little as possible. Gestures are great but slow when typing is involved.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want Mission Control to go but I want to have a way to define a shortcut that automatically brings me to the full screen view or the desktop where the App is.

But there are other issues with it. For example MarsEdit supports full screen mode (with an annoying different shortcut) but it doesn’t do it well. Now MarsEdit has a Main Window where it displays the registered Blogs and the current posts. This main window does not go in full screen mode. Only the post editor can go in full screen mode. This means that when I select the MarsEdit in the context switch (Command-Tab) it either goes to the post editor or if I am in the desktop that has the main window it brings up the main window. Now I cannot use Command-Esc to go to the post editor but have to use the mouse instead or jump away from the desktop.

– Andy


That’s smoking fast

Today I started to work with the CQ from Day (Adobe) and started upload some content. Then I saw this in the Activity Monitor:

Activity Monitor with CPU max out completely

I achieved this by finally started to develop on my Solid State Drive (SSD) which I did not do so far because I had stability issues in the past.

In the past I only saw the system so maxed out when an application was going berserk  but this time the disk is churning along:

Activity Monitor with Disk Activity

Finally it seems that I can take advantage from the SSD and that may also means that I will install one in my Mac Pro desktop machine.


Cheers – Andy