Hacks

Use QuickBoot to restart with Windows and Boot Camp

QuickBoot is a free utility that fixes that annoying problem of forgetting to hold down the Alt key when you restart your Mac to boot into Windows via Boot Camp. It sits in the menu bar and let’s you restart your Mac and boot into Windows with a mouse click.

(more…)

How to change the ‘Today’ highlight colour in iCal

iCal 1I love Mac OS X iCal, but there’s one thing that bugs me — the pale blue highlight that denotes ‘Today’ in the month view is all but invisible.

There’s no way to tweak this colour in iCal and the best the internet could suggest was to tilt the monitor back a bit… In fact, looking at the screen from a lower angle does make the pale blue more obvious, but not obvious enough.

While hunting around for a hack to fix this, however, I stumbled upon a partial fix. (more…)

How to upgrade a Mac OS Time Machine drive

20090329time-machine-step-0Since it’s wholly automatic and completely transparent, it’s silly not to make use of the Mac OS Time Machine utility — as long as you’ve got a large enough external drive for it to work with, of course. I’ve been using it with a 320Gb Seagate FreeAgent Pro external USB drive, but this only gave a backup history of about a month with my 320Gb MacBook Pro drive (which has about 90Gb in use).

So, since I also had an old 500Gb Western Digital MyBook drive lying around, I thought I’d use that for backups instead — not only would its greater capacity offer a few more weeks’ backup history, but its FireWire 800 port should make Time Machine a bit quicker to work with, too.

Rather than simply plug in the MyBook and use it as a new Time Machine drive though, I wanted to transfer my old backups and simply add to them. There’s no obvious way to do this, but it can be done easily enough — here’s how. (more…)

Safari 4’s hidden preferences

The WordPress 2.7 bug makes the Safari 4 beta useless to me, but if you’re a Safari fan who wants to stick with it, but don’t care for the cosmetic changes, head to the Random Genius blog. It has a whole list of hidden preferences for Apple’s new web browser, including one to put the tab bar back where it should be. It’s all done via Terminal commands, so they only work on Mac OS, though.

Or if you think Safari 4 is a pile of shit that you want to jettison from your Mac immediately, Mark Wheadon explains how to do it. Windows users just use Add/Remove Programs (or whatever passes for this option in Windows Vista), of course.

Where does iTunes keep its iPhone backups?

Whenever an iPhone is synchronised with iTunes, iTunes makes a backup of (most of) the iPhone’s data. You can view the iTunes’ backup history by going to Preferences > Devices.

picture-7iTunes maintains some kind of history for successive backups, but I have no idea of the underlying logic. You would imagine that three or four backups would be queued and older backups retired as new ones are made. But no, that doesn’t happen. Instead iTunes seems to purge its backup history on a schedule of its own devising — I’m guessing maybe daily, but I haven’t yet bothered to try and find out.

The problem is that when something goes screwy with your iPhone or iPod Touch (like erasing your contacts during a Google Mobile Sync…) and you fire up iTunes to restore it from a backup you now to be good, you can bet that the backup will have been purged. (more…)

This site uses cookies. Find out more about this site’s cookies.