In a recent hint it was mentioned that you could use your laptop as a lightbox for tracing artwork. Even better, you can trace on an iOS device, such as an iPad, with apps like Photoshop or Illustrator, if you want to trace something.
Using a screen forwarding utility like Air Display, you can use your iOS device as a secondary monitor for your desktop Mac. Simply drag your Illustrator/Photoshop/whatever window to that display, and you can walk around and trace whatever artwork you have displayed on the iOS screen. It servers as both the lightbox and the source artwork in one.
[kirkmc adds: I would be much more likely to do this with an iPad than a laptop, because of the iPad's glass screen. I guess you could even do this on an iPhone, if your art is very small.]
In Lion, you can drag windows between desktops without going in to Mission Control.
Create a few new desktops in Mission Control if you don't already have them. (Launch Mission Control, then move your cursor to the top-right corner of the screen and click in the big +.)
Go to a desktop where there is an open application window.
Drag that window to the edge of the screen, and the screen will slide to the next desktop. You can keep dragging it through your desktops if you keep it against the edge; it will shift one desktop per second.
When you've reached the desktop where you want to put that window, release it and position it as you want. Note that this won't cycle through to the beginning or end of your desktops. In other words, if you have three desktops, and move a window to the right-most desktop, you can't bring it back to the first one by moving it to the right again.
[kirkmc adds: I had never noticed this, because I invoke Mission Control using a hot corner, and move windows like that. This is similar to the way you move app icons on iOS devices]
The /etc/authorization file in Mac OS X can be used to control access to the various panes of the System Preferences amongst other things. It's used by some of us Mac Sys Admin's to give Standard Users access to System Prefs panes that only admins could otherwise unlock. It can also be used in the reverse to lock down panes you don't want users messing with. An example by Apple was about allowing non-admin users to change the time zone setting. Often the panes can't be controlled to the exact level you may want via MCX (Local or Managed) or defaults write/plists. Nor do you want to give users admin rights in a large business/university setting.
With 10.6 and now 10.7 the following Preference Panes are locked by default. Meaning you need an admin username and password to unlock them: Security & Privacy, Print & Scan, Network, Sharing, Users & Groups, Parental Controls, Date & Time, Software Update, Time Machine and Startup Disk. As a 'Standard User' you can't unlock these panes.
In 10.6 we could do the following to the /etc/authorization file, to give a standard user semi-admin access to the Preference Panes.
<string>Checked by the Admin framework when making changes to certain System Preferences.</string>
<string>everyone</string> * Changing this from 'admin', to another local group. i.e. staff,
everyone, or a custom group you created yourself.
This unlocks the majority of the preference panes above, the downside being you probably don't want them all unlocked. (i.e Startup Disk) For some this was acceptable and used. Some of us however just wanted a few unlocked, i.e. Date & Time for laptop users who travel a lot. Time Machine, so staff could connect to a Time Capsule or USB Hard Drive at home. Energy Saver so they could adjust the settings to their liking. etc…
With Lion the /etc/authorization has undergone some changes and has much more granular control available in it. Which makes locking or unlocking individual Preference Panes possible.
Before you start make a copy of the authorization file. If you make a wrong edit your machine will get stuck and the spinning cog on boot. You can restore from your backup by booting into Single User mode (Command + S on boot) and trashing the messed file and renaming your backup. You can also edit the file from this mode, use sudo mount -auw then, cd etc, sudo pico authorization at the command line. Find the bit you messed up fix it and save and reboot.
So open up the /etc/authorization file (Finder, Go to Folder, /etc), I'd recommend using TextWrangler to edit it. In general you are going to be searching for a <key> key-name </key> and then editing the very end section of the key/dict entry. From this, to this:
<string>admin</string> ** Change admin to another local group that your user is in. i.e. staff, everyone etc...
Standard Users when created are automatically put into the 'staff' group. 'Admin' users are in the 'staff' and 'admin' groups
Sometimes, people contact me because software of mine, such as Find Any File, crashes mysteriously at launch. Often it turns out that this is caused by an incompatibility or bug in some other software that tries to enhance general Mac OS X functionality. The difficulty is to figure out which software is the culprit, in order to disable it and/or notify its maker and ask to get this resolved.
Sometimes, one can get a hint by looking at the detailed Crash Report one can find when opening the Console app. It will contain a long list of 'Binary Images,' listing which software components are loaded along with the app that crashes.
Many of those components are so-called Frameworks and 'libs' provided by Apple as part of OS X; but they're usually not the culprit. Then, there are other parts, installed by other apps or even installed explicitly by you for a particular purpose.
However, analysing these reports is difficult and may not lead to success, either. Instead, I'll try to give you some pointers that are often helping and do not require to understand the Crash Report contents.
In any case, the hard part is always that the crash happens only on someone else's computer and I can't reproduce it to find out what's going wrong. On Mac OS before X, there was the great Conflict Catcher software sorting such problems out, but there's no such thing for OS X.
Hence, I'm trying to give a little guidance to users who experience such crashes in the hopes it'll make their system more stable.
I've posted the article on my web site, where I might be improving it over time, based on feedback I hope to receive.
[crarko adds: The author suggested, and I considered, posting the text of the article here. But the page he's put up is heavily and well-illustrated, and is also evolving based on feedback. I don't think I can do any better than to refer you all to the original article.]
The MacDrifter site posted a helpful tip: Messages works well as a shared clipboard between your Macs and iOS devices. Either device type can be used for sharing text or images, but files can only be shared from Macs to iOS devices.
It works well and it seems easier than any of the third-party solutions I've tried.
Here's the two steps:
Copy a link, photo or text and paste into iMessage on Mac, iPhone or iPad.
Send a message to yourself.
[crarko adds: Simple things are brilliant things.]
I just upgraded my iPhone 3GS to iOS 5, and played around looking for improvements.
Exploring the assistive touch panel, I found the 'rotate screen' options work also when portrait orientation is locked. Effectively, we can select any of the 4 possible orientations, and it will stay locked while moving and rotating the device. Switching apps will cause a reset to default portrait orientation.
While a bit complicated to reach, this will still be useful. I'm hoping for a shortcut or dedicated way to activate, like quad-clicking the Home button to rotate right, for example. I like the triple-click to activate white-on-black, for a basic night mode.
All of these and more options are available under Settings » General » Accessibility and enabling 'AssistiveTouch.'
[crarko adds: There are indeed a lot of useful settings in there. Explore them. It looked slightly different on the iPad, and the 3GS may have different settings from iPhone 4.]
I wanted to sync my Address Book on my MacBook Pro running Mac OS X to an Android device. The problem is that I use iCloud for syncing between my Mac and my iDevices (iPhone, iPad) via the iCloud service.
I found a solution for syncing between Mac OS X and Android with some tweaking. Download SyncMate and install it on the Mac. The free version handles Address Books. Then download SyncMate from Android Market on your Android device and install it.
Start the SyncMate.app on your Mac and select 'Add Connection.'
Select 'Android Device.'
Select Wifi, assuming you use Wifi on the Android device.
Enter the IP address of the Android device.
Start the sync.
Open Address Book on the Mac.
Select Groups under the View menu.
Click on 'All iCloud' and then select all the addresses you want to copy to the Android device.
Drag the addresses to Contacts group.
Starts the sync again in SyncMate.
Now all the addresses in Contacts groups are copied to the Android device. When you add new addresses on the Mac you have to copy them manually to the Contacts group and resync.
[crarko adds: It looks like the free version may also handle calendars. If anyone out there with an Android tries this out, please post your results.]
Installing Windows XP through Bootcamp on a Sandy Bridge Mac is not easy. Apple decided to limit the Sandy Bridge version of Bootcamp to Windows 7, so no XP drivers are available. There are ways of tricking Bootcamp into installing XP, but they all fail for the lack of a decent video driver. The default video driver is flakey, and crashes on boot up.
There is a way to have XP on a Sandy Bridge machine. Get a copy of VMWare's Fusion 4 and install it. Fusion can do a clean install of XP or work from your Bootcamp partition. I used the Bootcamp option which took about 10 minutes to set up. XP boots and runs flawlessly. There are no missing drivers in device manager. Windows boots faster in Fusion than it did from the Bootcamp partition, probably because it's not searching for drivers.
I know, I know, XP is ancient and over a decade old, but some of us need it to run old software. If you have a new Mac and need XP this is the way to go.
[crarko adds: I presume you could do the same with Parallels. I admit to never being a huge fan of Bootcamp, with good VM options available. Now Apple, please let us install Snow Leopard legally in a VM on Lion (or Mountain Lion).]
I was typing in Pages today, and forgot that I had turned my laptop's special F-keys off so I could play a game, and discovered something interesting.
If you are typing a word in any supported apps (Pages, Keynote, Numbers are what I have tried, there are probably others), and then press F5 (at least on a laptop) in Lion, then a menu will pop up with any other words in the Mac's dictionary that what you have already typed could be included in.
To expose this option, go to System Preferences » Keyboard and check 'Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys.'
For example, when you type the word world, then press F5, the menu will show 'worldly,' 'worlds,' etc.
[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described. F5 is the standard Cocoa Text System 'Complete current word' function, that's often masked by the alternate uses of the function keys.]