I'd come across this before, and it was very annoying. Last night, I downloaded a zip archive of freely-distributed MP3 files, and when I double-clicked it to decompress it, all I got was a .cpgz file. This is apparently a zipped CPIO archive file. Double-clicking that file just created the zip file again, and this was an endless loop
Searching on Google, I saw that plenty of people had come across this problem, and offered a number of suggestions, none of which worked for me. Some articles suggested that the download might have been corrupted, but as this was a very large file, I didn't want to try and download it again.
The solution for me was to use the free The Unarchiver, which has turned out to be a Swiss army knife for decompressing many obscure types of archives. Opening the file with The Unarchiver decompressed it correctly.
I didn't think of it at the time - and I have since deleted the archive - but the cpio command would probably have worked via Terminal as well. In any case, if you encounter this odd archive decompression loop, here's an easy way to solve the problem
The other day on Twitter, Macworld senior editor Dan Frakes mentioned that he had accidentally discovered an undocumented keyboard shortcut to delete messages in Mail. My guess is that he just leaned on his keyboard, but he figured out, after deleting a number of messages, that this shortcut is Control-H.
This makes sense, as this is the Unix keybinding for the Backspace or Delete key (see this Wikipedia article), and OS X uses these shortcuts, at least in Cocoa applications; you can use the Control-H shortcut to delete text in those applications that use the Cocoa text input framework. But its use to delete messages in Mail is interesting. If anyone discovers other apps where this works, post them in the comments.
The latest update to Google Earth for iOS, version 6.2, can open .kmz or .kml files on websites, but you can also e-mail these to yourself to use on your iPhone or iPad. If you're in the desktop version of Google Earth, right-click on a link and choose Email..., and a new message will be made with the .kmz file as an attachment. When you receive this on your iOS device, tap and hold, then open the file with Google Earth.
[kirkmc adds: This works as described. I have to say, the only time I ever open Google Earth is to follow the route of the Tour de France...]
Apparently, there are cases when exporting a song from GarageBand to iTunes results in a time-out. Apple has published a technical note explaining that this may occur if there are any open dialogs in iTunes. Make sure to close all such windows in iTunes - such as the Preferences or Info windows - before exporting songs from GarageBand.
iTunes 10.6, just out, has a new feature that some music lovers will appreciate. In the past, you could auto-convert music files when syncing them to an iPod or iOS device, but only to 128 kbps. Now, with iTunes 10.6, you have three options: 128, 192 and 256 kbps. This is available in the Options section of the Summary tab for an iPod.
[kirkmc adds: While not strictly a hint, but rather a heads up for a new feature, this is a one that many iTunes users have been hoping for. I blogged about it, but thought it would be useful to have it here as well.]
Apple recently announced that iTunes in the Cloud was extended to include movies purchased from the iTunes Store. A post on the Tech of the Hub website points out that not only can you re-download or stream iTunes Store purchases, but that some "digital copies" of movies, which you get on some Blu-Ray discs, are also recognized.
So if you have any Blu-Rays with these digital copies, and you haven't bothered to put them in your iTunes library, you might want to do so. If they are matched, you can access them from other devices more easily.
Note: as the blog post points out, not all the movie studios are on board with this yet. So you will certainly find movies that don't match from digital copies.
While the Mission Control preference pane allows you to map common keyboard shortcuts to Mission Control actions, its interface doesn't allow you to map more esoteric keys like F19. Here's a quick way to assign an unlisted keyboard shortcut to one of the Mission Control actions.
Go to the Keyboard preference pane, then the Keyboard Shortcuts tab, select Mission Control and enter your keyboard shortcut there. It will automatically be reflected in the Mission Control preference pane. No need to muck around with Terminal commands!
[kirkmc adds: This is a good reminder that other features that offer a limited set of keyboard shortcuts may be available to change in the Keyboard Shortcuts pane of the Keyboard preferences. For example, the Spotlight preference pane offers a number of shortcuts, but you may want something other than what's in its menu. You can set any shortcut you want in the Keyboard preference pane.]
I discovered a bug in Logic Pro by missing the last movement of a symphony recording: if you unplug your headphones, Logic stops recording. I'm assuming this is because it switches from line out to speakers.
The solution is to route the output of Logic to Soundflower. Launch another audio application (e.g., Amadeus Pro), set its input to Soundflower, the output to headphones or speakers, then launch any operation that allows monitoring the signal. (In Amadeus, open a real-time sonogram window and select Play Through.) Unplugging the headphones now no longer interrupts recording in Logic Pro.
[kirkmc adds: I haven't tested this; I don't use Logic Pro.]
I use Dropbox to sync files across my Macs, but also to collaborate with others on several projects. One day, I woke up to find the disk space on my MacBook Air had dropped substantially. I started poking around, looking for large files, swap files and the other usual suspects. I eventually found a hidden folder inside my Dropbox folder: .dropbox.cache.
Looking inside this folder, I found that it contained three dated folders, for the past three days. (For example, 2012-03-01.) Inside this folder were a number of files, and since on one shared project we use a standard versioning system, I was able to see that there were subsequent versions of these files, with names indicating that they had been deleted.
All in all, I recovered 8 GB that day, because there were two projects where people had change a lot of files. On a desktop Mac, this won't usually make much of a difference, but if you have a MacBook Air, in particular, without much disk space, you may suddenly find yourself out of room. So, if you see a sudden decrease in disk space, you can check this folder. If you use Terminal you know how to get there; if not, you can open it from the Finder. Choose Go > Go to Folder, and enter ~/Dropbox/.dropbox.cache (assuming that your Dropbox folder is at the default location at the top level of your home folder; change the path if it is not). You can delete the folders with no worry of losing files.
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.]