You may have seen the news that Google Reader is shutting down as of July 1, 2013. If you use Google Reader, you may want to save your feeds to be able to import them into another RSS reader.
Go to Google Reader, then click on the gear icon at the right of the page and choose Settings. Click in Import/Export. In the Export your information section, click on Download your data through Takeout. Follow the instructions to download your data.
When you download the data, you'll get a ZIP archive. Double-click it, and look in the Reader folder for a subscriptions.xml file. You can use that to import your feeds into other RSS readers.
If you are jealous of the Roku 3's new, very cool "private listening" feature (headphone jack is on the remote) and would like to achieve the same on your AppleTV, here's a way to do so:
• AppleTV 2 or 3, running AppleTV software 5.2 or newer (need not be jailbroken)
• iOS device (iPhone, iPod touch or iPad)
• Any one of the following apps to make the above device act as an "AirPlay Speaker"
- AirView, AirFloat, or something similar (previously downloaded from App Store, as these routinely get pulled from the App Store)
- Airfoil Speakers Touch, with in-app upgrade for direct AirPlay feature already purchased (also no longer available for purchase.) This feature can be manually added via jailbreak and manual hack (or via app preference editor Flex, though)
- Jailbreak, and installed via Cydia, any one of the following: AirServer, AirFloat, airplayspeaker, AirCrack, perhaps others?
• Enable the app/feature/function that turns your handheld iOS device into an AirPlay Speaker.
• Plug in headphones into your iOS device.
• On the AppleTV, go to Settings > AirPlay > Speakers and select your iOS device. This will be the speaker to which audio is routed. (This can also be selected or changed while playing video content, by holding down the Select button on the remote, moving to the "Speakers" tab and selecting your iOS device from the list.)
• Start playing a video content on AppleTV.
You're now "private listening" to the AppleTV! Be amazed by the perfect audio/video sync, while your bed mate sleeps soundly. You can even use the Remote app to control playback too, and the audio should continue playing in the background.
[kirkmc adds: Interesting. I don't know why Apple doesn't offer this possibility. Personally, I don't have a TV in the bedroom, so I wouldn't use this, but I can imagine sometimes in the living room wanting to watch something when someone else wants to be in the living room and not hear it.]
The ability to control Time Machine from the Time Machine preferences in System Preferences is quite limited. You can choose exclusions, turn Time Machine on or off, and force backups, but that's about it. Fortunately, a command-line tool, tmutil provides much more control over Time Machine. The man page for tmutil says the following:
"tmutil provides methods of controlling and interacting with Time Machine, as well as examining and manipulating Time Machine backups. Common abilities include restoring data from backups, editing exclusions, and comparing back-ups."
For example, you can compare backups to see what has changed from one backup to another, inherit a backup (which you can do from the Time Machine menu, when you set up a new Mac and want to use a backup from an older Mac), or set up fixed-path exclusions (excluding items at a specific file path).
Check man tmutil to see all that you can do with this command.
If you ever accidentally delete a contact, you can go to the Dropbox website and find older versions of your Contacts database.
[kirkmc adds: Obviously, this hint is useful only for those who don't use Time Machine. But it also suggests a way to store backups of other key files.
In the AddressBook folder, you'll find the entire Contacts database (AddressBook-v22.abcddb), which you can restore, but, while it may include contacts you've deleted, it might not have new contacts you've added. There's also a Metadata folder, which contains cards for your contacts, which are used when you search with Spotlight. You can browse through these cards and, if you find a contact you've lost, double-click it to add it to Contacts.]
I have to agree with Erica Sadun, at TUAW, who writes that Basso, the sound used by Notification Center, is horrid. It makes me cringe, and, because of this, I don't use sounds with Notification Center.
But Sadun found that you can change the Notification Center sound with a bit of a hack. If you go to ~/Library/Sounds and place a sound in AIFF format there, and name it Basso.aiff, Notification Center will use that sound. You'll need to run the following Terminal command to relaunch Notification Center (or restart your Mac):
You'll have a much better sound for notifications. I really think Notification Center should not only allow users to change the default sound, but also choose specific sounds for different applications, the same way you can choose a specific ringtone for different callers on iOS.
Let's face it: ringtones are boring. And annoying. How many times do you want to hear the refrain from your favorite song when someone calls? And do you realize how annoying it is to others to hear a blasting bit of the latest Lady Gaga song.
On the other hand, using a default iPhone ringtone means that, if you're in a crowded area, lots of people will check their phones, thinking that they're getting a call, since they use the same ringtone.
The iPhone's Do Not Disturb setting (in Settings > Notifications) is a way to turn off rings, alerts and other sounds on your iPhone; it's great when you're in meetings, or in the movies.
However, you may want to not be disturbed and still want to be notified when you get calls from specific people. There's a way to do this, but it's a bit complex; a Stack Exchange member explained how to do it.
It involves creating a group for the person or people you want to "disturb" you in Contacts (either on your Mac or on iCloud.com; you can't do this on the iPhone), and selecting that group in Settings > Notifications > Do Not Disturb. You can choose to allow calls from Everyone, No One, Favorites, or specific groups. So you might have a few people set as Favorites, so you can call them quickly from the Phone app, but if you want to limit the rings to just one or two people, it's easier to create a group for them.
You may be familiar with App.net, a service designed to be an alternative to Twitter. Originally a subscription-only service, App.net now has free tiers on an invitation-only basis.
App.net has an open API which allows developers to do interesting things. One of these is Project Amy, by Steve Streza which allows you to use Messages in OS X to send and receive App.net private messages. If you use App.net, you can download Project Amy here.
This hint updates this hint which provides an AppleScript that changes the sound input or sound output device selection.
I use Control Plane to manage various preference differences among the different locations (work, home, travel) where I use my MacBook. Control Plane uses various criteria (e.g., IP address, WiFi network name, etc.) to determine your location. Control Plane offers a lot of built in capability to change settings on your Mac based on arriving or leaving a location, and I recommend it highly if you regularly move your Mac among different working environments.
One capability that is not available in Control Plane is the ability to change Sound preferences when you move your Mac from one place to another. In my case, I have a Thunderbolt Display at work, which has built-in speakers and a built-in microphone. At home, I use my MacBook without a second display. I wanted to be able to change the Sound preferences back and forth using Control Plane.
Control Plane does offer the capability, however, to run any application when it detects that have arrived at or have left a particular location. So, you can run any AppleScript.
Relying on the hint comments here, I have updated the scripts in that hint to address my desire for changing sound preferences. My updated script should work on Lion and Mountain Lion. I cannot say whether it will work on earlier versions of OS X.
tell application "System Preferences" to activate
tell application "System Preferences"
reveal anchor "input" of pane id "com.apple.preference.sound"
tell application "System Events" to tell process "System Preferences"
tell table 1 of scroll area 1 of tab group 1 of window 1
select (row 1 where value of text field 1 is "Internal microphone")
quit application "System Preferences"
Note that this script hard codes the name of the Sound preferences pane tab to select and the sound input device to select. To set an output device, you would change "input" to "output" in the 3rd line of the script and then change the device name in the 7th line. I created separate scripts for sound input and sound output for each location where I work. I then simply created a Control Plane rule for each location for sound input and sound output separately.