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Install OS X 10.9 Mavericks Developer Preview on a virtual machine System
If you have an OS X developer account, and want to work with OS X 10.9 Mavericks, you may prefer to do so using a virtual machine, in Parallels Desktop or VMware Fusion. However, you won't be able to create a new virtual machine in either of these programs using the Mavericks installer.

John Martellaro, on The Mac Observer, posted an article with links to Parallels knowledge base articles explaining how to do this. You'll need to update Parallels Desktop, then create a snapshot of an existing virtual machine and install Mavericks on that.

For VMware Fusion, the process is quite simple: take an existing virtual machine, running 10.7 or 10.8, duplicate it in the Finder, then launch VMware Fusion. Choose File > Open, then select the duplicate virtual machine. Rename it, then launch it. Fusion will ask if you moved or copied the virtual machine; click I copied it.

After you've launched the duplicated virtual machine, run the Mavericks installer from within that virtual machine.

Note: as always, we will not be publishing hints about using OS X 10.9 until its release.
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How to repair damaged disks that crash Disk Utility and DiskWarrior Apps
Some damaged disks do not show up with Disk Utility and DiskWarrior, and may hang and crash such repair utilities. Yet, there is a trick to repair such broken disks using Disk Arbitrator.

1. Open Disk Arbitrator and select "Activated - Block mounts." This prevents the damaged disk from crashing the repair utilities and allows such disks to be displayed by these utilities.

2. Connect the damaged disk.

3. Open Disk Utility or DiskWarrior. The damaged disk should show now and it should not crash the repair utility.

4. Deactivate Disk Arbitrator (uncheck the Activated box). This allows the repair utility to handle the damaged disk properly (mounting it once repaired).

5. Run Disk Utility or DiskWarrior.

Then, the utility should repair the disk, or at least, mount a Preview disk (DiskWarrior), allowing you to inspect and even copy or backup some files or the full disk, reformat it and restore it.

[kirkmc adds: Well, I guess I'm fortunate that I can't test this. If anyone has any severely damaged hard disks around, and wants to try, feel free to post in the comments whether or not this works.]
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Another Dropbox permissions errors problem, and fix Apps
Some time ago, I posted a hint about fixing Dropbox Permissions Denied errors. This fix works in many cases, but I came across another, similar issue this weekend which Dropbox couldn't fix.

In addition to using Dropbox to sync files across two Macs, and access them from iOS devices, I back up my home folder (with the exception of my media files). I have a selected of folders in my home folder that back up: these include my Documents folder and others, and only parts of my Library folder. I back these up because of settings that would be useful to have in case of local data loss.

Recently, I found that there were some files that couldn't sync. The Dropbox menu showed a Permissions Denied error, so I tried the solution in the above-mentioned hint; it didn't work. Not only were these files not syncing, but Dropbox was in an endless loop trying to sync them.

After much searching, I finally found the culprits. I use Acorn for image editing, and this app creates a folder in ~/Library/Application Support with a number of files. in the ~/Library/Application Support/Acorn/Acorn Actions folder are several aliases to iPhoto, Mail and Preview. It turned out that these were not syncing, because Dropbox follows aliases to copy the original files. Apparently the apps were getting sent to Dropbox, and the permissions issues were caused by this.

The moral of the story, then, is to look for any app aliases that may be getting synced. But it's also worth noting that Dropbox doesn't sync aliases, but rather their targets, and this could also lead to issues in the amount of space you use in your Dropbox folder.
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Access old Dropbox menu with Option-click Apps
You can access the older version of the Dropbox menu by Option-clicking the Dropbox icon in the menu bar. This saves you an extra click, because with the newer version, you have click on the gear icon on the lower-right corner of the new menu to access the same information.

[kirkmc adds: I do find myself accessing that information at times, and it's nice to know that there's a one-click way of doing it.]
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Send selected text to Evernote Apps
A colleague asked if anyone knew how to migrate his vast collection of Mac Stickies notes to the cloud. I suggested he get an Evernote account while I did some quick research. I didn't find any existing solution, so and I came up with an Automator workflow that copies the selected plain text into a new Evernote note.

Launch Automator, and create a new Service. Set "Service receives selected" to TEXT in "any application". Drag the Run Applescript action into the main part of the window. Paste this code in that window:
on run {input}
	tell application "Evernote" to activate
	repeat with selectedText in input
		tell application "Evernote"
			if (not (notebook named "Stickies" exists)) then
				make notebook with properties {name:"Stickies"}
			end if
				create note with text selectedText notebook "Stickies"
			end try
		end tell
	end repeat
end run
Save as Send selected to Evernote.

Now, when you highlight text in any app (including Stickies), right-click and select Services > Send Selected no Evernote, it will copy the plain text into a new note (with a title of "Untitled Note") in the Stickies notebook in Evernote.

The nice thing about this Automator service/action is that it will work with plain-text in any application.
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Peek inside zip archives from Terminal UNIX
Have you ever wanted to see what's in a Zip archive without unzipping it? Well, it turns out that there is a Terminal command you can use to do so: zipinfo. Just run zipinfo [filename] to get a list of files in an archive.

There are a number of interesting options to this command. The default behavior is to list the files in a short "ls -l" format, but you can also use the -m or -l options to have medium or long lists. You can use the -1 option to only show file names. And there are other useful options in the man zipinfo page.

One other useful item is the amount of space the archive takes up, and the amount of space saved. For example:

12 files, 10587791 bytes uncompressed, 9400060 bytes compressed: 11.2%

It's worth noting that this command has been around for a long time, and I was surprised to find that it's not mentioned here.
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Peek inside zip archives with Quick Look System
Following yesterday's hint about a Terminal command to look inside zip archives, I was informed that there's a Quick Look generator called BetterZip that can do the same thing, but from the Finder. Install BetterZip in either /Library/QuickLook or ~/Library/QuickLook (you may need to create the folder), then log out and log in again, or relaunch the Finder.

When you select a zip archive in the Finder, and press the Space bar, the BetterZip QuickLook generator will show a graphical display of the contents of the archive. If you don't want to use the command line, and want to see what files an archive contains, this is a great way to do so.
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Access Wireless Diagnostics app in OS X 10.8.4 or later Apps
New to OS X 10.8.4 is a Wireless Diagnostics app, which you can access from the Wi-Fi menu extra in your menubar (press the Option key, click the Wi-Fi menu extra, then choose Open Wireless Diagnostics), or by double-clicking the app in /System/Library/CoreServices.

Apple provides information about this app, which generates an archive of log files for troubleshooting. Wireless Diagnostics also features a number of informational sections. After you've generated a log, a Summary screen offers you information about Wi-Fi Best Practices, and provides information about any issues you may have.

A Utilities window (accessible from the Window menu) provides more information about your Wi-Fi network. It lets you scan all available Wi-Fi networks, offers a performance log, and much more.

This is a powerful tool, which can be very helpful if you are having Wi-Fi problems.

[kirkmc adds: I found, after posting the hint, that this isn't new. It's been available at least since Mac OS X 10.7. I didn't find it when searching the site because it used to be called Wi-Fi Diagnostics. OS X 10.8.4 brings version 2 of the app, a "major revamp," according to my Macworld colleague Dan Frakes.]
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Easily update Mail plug-ins for new UUIDs Apps
Yesterday's hint about finding new UUIDs, to re-enable Mail plug-ins after an OS X update, featured some information in a comment that's worth highlighting. There's an app called MailPLuginFix which claims to be able to fix disabled plug-ins by setting the new UUIDs with a few clicks:
Just start the application and you will see a list of all incompatible plugins for your current installation. Just select the ones you would like to fix and press the start button in the toolbar. All selected plugins will get patched with the UIDs of the current version and also all disabled plugins will be enabled again.
I haven't tested this, since I already updated my plug-ins, but if you get irked each time Apple updates Mail and your plug-ins stop working, it's worth checking this out.
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Re-enable Mail plug-ins in OS X 10.8.4 Apps
With OS X 10.8.4, Apple has updated Mail, which means that plug-ins that are not up-to-date won't work, and will be placed in a ~/Library/Mail/Bundles (Disabled) folder. In order to get any plug-ins to work, you'll need to find the new UUIDs and add them to the plug-ins' info.plist file.

We ran a hint about this back in 2010, but it's good to remind people how to do this. You want to run two commands in Terminal to get two different UUIDs:
defaults read /Applications/ PluginCompatibilityUUID

defaults read /System/Library/Frameworks/Message.framework/Resources/Info PluginCompatibilityUUID
For OS X 10.8.4, the UUIDs are:


Look inside your plug-in's folder, and find the info.plist file, in a Contents sub-folder. Double-click the file to open it with Xcode, or use a text editor. If using Xcode, click the disclosure triangle next to SupportedPluginCompatibilityUUIDs, then click + to add each new UUID.

If you're doing this with a text editor, you want to add the new UUIDs in the end section of the file, which looks like this:
Move the plug-in back to the ~/Library/Mail/Bundles folder, quit Mail, then relaunch it, and the plug-in will get loaded. However, this doesn't mean that the plug-in will work; there may have been changes to Mail which require further updates to the plugin. YMMV.
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