If you use top in Terminal, you may occasionally see apps with hugeVSIZE values. I know this because Witch, one of our apps, is an example of such—it's VSIZE can exceed 11GB.
In trying to figure out why this was so (short answer seems to be: we can't control it, but it's not a problem), I ran across an interesting command, vmmap. This command will spew out a ton of detail about virtual memory usage. Stringing a couple Unix commands together, though, you can extract just the summary portion of the report.
If you use Pages, you may occasionally want to put a border and/or colored background around some text. There are a few ways to do this; you can insert a graphic object and put text in it, but this then requires positioning, and you can't easily edit it with your other text.
You can also use the More tab of the Text inspector to add borders and background colors; for borders only, this method works great (as long as you want a full-width box). But if you add background color (to the paragraph, not characters), you'll find it's not quite right–the color doesn't fill to the edges, and spills out slightly at the top and/or bottom.
So what's the solution, if you don't want a full-width border, or you want a background fill in your box? Select the text to be boxed, and choose Format > Table > Convert Text to Table.
You'll get a one-column-wide table, over which you have complete control of colors, borders, spacing, etc.
It is possible to send an SMS command to your Mac using an AppleScript. I've made one which takes a picture when I send the command /photo to iMessages on my Mac.
The script is very simple; it must be set up Messages' Alerts preferences. Choose Event > Message Received, then check Run an Apple Script. This will check each message you get for the command; in this case, /photo.
The script will turn the volume all the way down (and up again) before taking a picture with PhotoBooth so it does not make any noise.
Then you can make a symbolic link from the PhotoBooth folder to your Dropbox so you can check the photos from your mobile device.
Here's the script:
using terms from application "Messages"
on message received theMessage from theBuddy for theChat
if (theMessage begins with "/") then
if theMessage begins with "Photo" then
set volume 0
tell application "Photo Booth"
tell application "System Events"
tell process "Photo Booth"
tell application "Finder"
set visible of process "Photo Booth" to false
tell menu bar 1
tell menu bar item "File"
tell menu "File"
click menu item "Take Photo"
tell application "Photo Booth"
set volume 3
end message received
end using terms from
[kirkmc adds: Note that this only works with iMessages (I tried for a while to get it to work with regular chats, and it wouldn't). It's worth noting that the ability to send a text message and set off a script is something very useful, and I can imagine plenty of scripters figuring out other types of remote commands they can send to their Macs. Feel free to submit them as hints.]
I was adding a Smart Playlist to iTunes (10.7) and could not find the option to add nested rules... until I held down the Option key and the plus icon became an ellipsis which then provided the ability to add a nested rule.
[kirkmc adds: This isn't new in iTunes 10.7, but rather iTunes 10. However, I see that it's not on the site, so it's worth mentioning. Apple has a technical note about smart playlists, and they call the ellipsis button the "Nest" button.]
When viewing Spotlight search results, there are a number of shortcuts you can use to quickly perform actions or your search or its results. Simply move your cursor over an item, or use the arrow keys to navigate, to select items.
View the search term in Dictionary: Command-D
View the search term in a Quick Look "look up" dictionary window: Command-L
View the search term in Wikipedia: Command-W
Perform a web search for the search term: Command-B
View a selected result in a Quick Look window: hover cursor over an item
Reveal selected result in Finder: Command-R
Open the Top Result: Command-T
Open a selected result: Command-O, or Enter, or Return
Display a Finder Info window for a result: Command-I
[kirkmc adds: Any others? I listed this as 10.7, but I'm not sure they all work in Lion; I know some of them do.]
I've occasionally seen issues where Mac App Store downloads failed, with a message saying "The product distribution file could not be verified. It may be damaged or was not signed." Topher Kessler writing at CNET showed a way you can resolve this issue.
When this download problem occurs, it is generally the result of a corrupted file in a cache folder. If you run this command in Terminal:
a folder will open in the Finder showing a number of cache folders for different applications. Delete the com.apple.appstore folder, then quit and relaunch the App Store application and try the download again.
Apple recently published a technical note explaining how to enable the adaptive firewall in OS X Server. This is a type of firewall that automatically creates temporary rules according to certain events. For example, a number of failed login attempts will cause the adaptive firewall to create a temporary rule to block the IP address attempting to log in.
To do this, run the following commands as an administrative user:
Apple recently published a technical note about a problem saving photos from Mail to iPhoto in Mountain Lion. I actually came across this problem recently, and there was no feedback suggesting that the photos were not saved. Fortunately, I had a Time Machine backup of the email containing photos in question.
The fix is simply this: launch iPhoto, then drag the photos - one by one - from the e-mail onto the iPhoto icon in the Dock.