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Mountain Lion installation on home built Fusion Drive System 10.8
Inspired by an Jinx's article about building your own fusion drive I've decided to take it one step further and brew my own with full OS X installation on it.

First, I needed to put two drives in my Mac. I already had a Crucial M4 SSD and 500GB HD so I a bought hard drive caddy and put my 500GB Momentus XT in it.

That was the easy part. Now how to make them work? In Jinx's article you can read that GUI Disk Utility does not offer needed functionality. It's available only in command line version, diskutil. But from my previous installation I remembered that there is access to terminal in OS X's recovery mode.

It was downhill from there. Create a logical volume group, get the UUID and create the volume. The OS X Installer recognized the volume and installed nicely. After the whole process was over, I did tests similar to those that Jinx mentioned and the drive does, indeed, behave like a fusion drive - files used more often end up on the SSD and less used are shuffled to the HDD.

You can see screenshots and more information here: Mountain Lion on home made Fusion drive

[kirkmc adds: I don't usually run hints that don't explain things, but the first article linked above goes into great detail. I'm tempted to try this out, as my Mac mini has both an SSD and a 750 GB HD, but I'd need to move all the files - my music collection - from the HD to an external drive. I might try and get to it this week.]
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Use Emoji in file and folder names System 10.7
It is possible to use Emoji in file and folder names. When typing a file or folder name, you can choose Edit > Special Characters, click on Emoji, and add the symbols you want to use. They will display in the Finder as part of the item’s name. If you use them at the beginning of a file name, they sort above numbers but below spaces.

[kirkmc adds: We had a hint last year about using Emoji in LaunchPad. I felt it was also interesting to point out that you can use Emoji in file and folder names. Personally, I wouldn’t want to put smileys on file names, but adding symbols can make certain folders stand out. You can even add folders to the Finder sidebar, and the Emoji will add some color to that drab gray area (whereas custom folder icons don’t display in the sidebar).]
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Use HTML signatures with Mail on iOS 6 iOS devices
With iOS 6, you can now add different signatures for different e-mail accounts, but you can also add logos, links and styled text.

If you have an HTML or styled signature in Mail on OS X, do the following:

1. Send an e-mail to your account with the signature from OS X.
2. Open the e-mail on your iOS device, then tap and hold the signature text.
3. Select all the text and images of your signature, and then copy it.
4. Go to Settings > Mail, contacts and Calendars > Signature. In the text field, tap and hold again to display the Paste menu and paste your signature.

Only styled text (bold, italic or underlined), plus images and links will be copied. Text colors or font sizes will not.

[kirkmc adds: We had a hint giving a much more complex way of doing this back in April. This is very easy to do, requires no third-party software or futzing around with backups. Though, to be fair, think carefully if you really need images and logos in your e-mail signature…]
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Reduce CPU usage by removing video files from the Desktop System 10.6
I was working on my iMac recently when I noticed the hard disk was working overtime. I checked Activity Monitor and found out the Finder was eating into my CPU, from 40% to over 100%. I decided to take everything off my Desktop and enclose it in a folder. Doing so reduced the CPU to nothing until I opened the folder containing the documents. I narrowed it down eventually to an MKV file I had. I can only assume it was QuickLook rendering the movie.

Reduce the files on your desktop, especially movies as these seem to eat into CPU even though you are not using them. Even normal files need rendering every time your Mac launches, so there's no need to leave them there.

[kirkmc adds: The idea isn't new; we covered this back in 2005, and it's pretty well known that files on the Desktop can slow down Macs. The reason I'm posting this is because I have seen the same thing since Mountain Lion. (The hint was submitted as a 10.6 hint, but I've only seen this excess activity since 10.8) I have some video files on a network volume, and if I open a folder containing the files, I can see the network traffic and see in Activity Monitor that QuickLook is working very hard. So not only can this slow down your Mac because of CPU usage, but it can also cause a lot of network activity, if you have such files on a network volume.]
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Easily enter different e-mail addresses in Safari on iOS iOS devices
I've recently needed to fill in an e-mail address in Safari on my iPad for a number of sites. I have multiple e-mail addresses and they're not trivial to type. I kept thinking "why doesn't Safari let me pick one of my addresses to fill in here?" While I couldn't find a way to make that happen, I realized I could do this by creating shortcuts for my commonly used email addresses and get a very similar result.

To do this, go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Shortcuts. Tap on Add New Shortcut, enter a "phrase" - this can be a single word, an e-mail address or a longer text - then enter a shortcut. For example, to enter, enter a shortcut such as "myn."

[kirkmc adds: I've been using shortcuts for some user names that aren't e-mail addresses, since I generally use the same address on most websites, but this is a good way of easily entering any kind of text. If you don't know about them, you should.

One interesting thing to point out: shortcuts sync across devices via iCloud, as long as you have Documents & Data syncing turned on in the iCloud settings. So set up a bunch of shortcuts on one device and they'll propagate to others.]
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Enable AFP Server Activity log on OS X Server OS X Server
Apple has published a technical note explaining how to enable the AFP Server Activity log on OS X Server; this log is not enabled by default.

Run the following command to enable this log:
sudo serveradmin settings afp:activityLog=yes
To disable the log, run this command:
sudo serveradmin settings afp:activityLog=no
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View tweets made by your contacts System 10.8
If you have Twitter handles for your friends and colleagues in your Contacts, you can easily view tweets those people have made. Just open a card in Contacts, click on Twitter, then choose View Tweets. If you have the official Twitter app installed, it will open displaying tweets from that person. If not, a web page will open on the Twitter web site.

You can also tweet to someone from OS X by clicking on Twitter, and choosing Tweet, as long as you have set up your Twitter account in the Mail, Contacts & Calendars pane of System Preferences.

While viewing tweets is nice, it would be even better if they could open in one's favorite Twitter client. But that would presumably involve hacking Contacts. Anyone interested in trying to figure it out?
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Access file attachments from iCloud Notes
You can add certain types of files as attachments to Notes by dragging and dropping them. They'll sync via iCloud, so this can be an easy way to share files across two Macs. You can also access attachments you've added to notes from the website; to download an attachment in a note, just double-click it.

[kirkmc adds: You cannot, however, access file attachments on iOS devices; they just show up as paper clips. Surprisingly, even photos don't show up in notes on my iPhone. Note syncing is abysmal, as is much of iCloud syncing; notes don't update correctly, or at all, some notes can't be saved from the web interface, and on iOS, it's a crap shoot whether notes display or not.]
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Take screenshots of sheets with Command-Shift-4 System 10.8
I'm not sure when this became available, but I don't seem to remember it happening before 10.8. You can now take screenshots of sheets within a window by pressing Command-Shift-4.

A sheet is a dialog that drops down from a window, but is attached to that window. To take a screen shot of one, press Command-Shift-4, then press the space bar, which displays a small camera cursor that you use to select the window to shoot. If you want to take a screenshot of a sheet, press the Command key, and you can select only that sheet, and not the entire window behind it.

You can try this by going to the Finder and pressing Command-Shift-G, or choosing Go > Go to Folder; what displays is a sheet.

[kirkmc adds: I certainly didn't know this, and don't find it anywhere on the site.]
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Partition a Fusion drive Other Hardware
This is less of a hint than a heads up. I was chatting with Rob Griffiths yesterday, the creator of this web site, wondering if one can partition a Fusion drive. It turns out that you can, but only the hard drive part of it. This, and many other questions, are addressed in this Apple technical note, which is worth reading. The Fusion drive is a new technology, and has certain limitations because of the way it works, but it can be useful to see what these limitations are.
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