Having searched the web, I could not find any reference to playing 1080p videos on the 2nd generation Apple TV (fully updated with the latest firmware). The Wikipedia entry, for example, states that it is 720p only. But my experiments show that 1080p movies can play just fine. The problem comes when downloading 1080p movies from the iTunes store. This hint shows how to quickly play such downloads.
Prior to purchasing a 1080p movie from the iTunes store I ran many experiments with self-created videos (Blu-Ray rips) to ensure that such HD files could be played.
So I completed my experiments by purchasing a 1080p movie (Vertigo to be exact). iTunes downloads two versions when making such purchases: the HD version and a SD one. Both are stored in the same iTunes folder and iTunes itself shows an HD:SD badge. The problem here is that the 2nd generation Apple TV only shows the SD version and therefore only plays the SD version.
To play the HD version, locate the files in the Finder, then delete the movie from iTunes, opting to keep the files. Then add back just the HD version and the 2nd generation Apple TV shows it as HD and plays as HD. There was a very small pause at the start of the film as I was watching, but I have a fast network, so the download to the Apple TV was soon a few minutes ahead of the play position.
I think I will actually go back to purchasing the 720p versions as my eyes are not quite what they were and I cannot really tell the difference. This was just an experiment to prove a point.
[kirkmc adds: I don't have a 2nd generation Apple TV to test this…
Update: It turns out that the Apple TV 2 can only output 720p, so it must be downscaling the 1080p videos. However, according to the poster, it is playing these videos, so you can have only 1080p videos in your iTunes library and play them through this device, apparently, instead of it defaulting to SD versions. But I still can't test this to see what's really going on.]
You can add tags to iCloud e-mail addresses, to be able to sort messages with Mail rules, for example. To do this, use an address with your name, a plus sign (+), then a tag. For example: firstname.lastname@example.org. This also works with mac.com and me.com addresses.
With these tags, you can set up rules in Mail or another e-mail client to sort or redirect messages as desired.
You can now share lists of reminders from the iCloud web site (not individual reminders, however). To do this, hover your cursor over on a list in the left-hand column of the Reminders interface, then click in the little round sharing icon that displays at the right of the list's name. Enter an e-mail address for the person you want to share the list with, then click Done. You can add several people if you wish. Any of the users of these shared lists can add or delete reminders, or mark them as completed.
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.]