As first pointed out by OS X Daily, Mountain Lion's built-in screen savers cycle through a couple dozen awesome photos, across several categories, with images of space, nature, and more. The images are huge—and thus make great desktop backgrounds.
To find the images, use the Go To Folder command in the Finder (from the Go menu) and navigate here:
There, you'll find four folders full of high-resolution imagery. You can copy them elsewhere, or even access the images from right where they are. Simply fire up the Desktop & Screen Saver preference pane, click the Plus (+) icon at the left, and add the folders—or individual images—as desired.
You already know that you can use Siri to ask for directions. You might say, “Give me directions to 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino, California,” or you might say “Take me home” when you’re out and about.
But there are a few other things you can say to Siri whilst your iOS device is helping you navigate, and you might not know about these options.
Ask Siri, “Are we there yet?”—or similar, less obnoxious incarnations of that query—and you’ll get an update on your estimated time of arrival. You can get more specific, too. Ask, “When is my next turn,” and Siri will give you the number of minutes until you should encounter it.
Tank running low? Ask Siri where the nearest gas station is, and you’ll get suggestions for fill-up spots along your current route. If you tap one, though, you’ll cancel your current navigation in lieu of the new destination instead.
Quite some time ago, I needed to create a script which would mount a network volume. I did not want to hardcode username and password into the script, so I kept looking for ways to accomplish this using OS X’s built-in Keychain. The following example uses a script to mount a network volume, using variables for the currently logged-in user, and fetches its password from the Keychain. Of course, you can do other things with this approach, so I figured it might be of use to someone out there.
This script gets the password for the currently logged in user and pulls its password from the Keychain. It then mounts a share using the variables without hardcoded username/password. The mount point is not in /Volumes on purpose, because mounting the volume would not work for User B when Fast User Switching is in use and User A remains logged in without having unmounted the volume.
echo $USER gets the username of the currently logged in user. $(get_pw) contains the password retrieved from the user’s keychain.
In this case I am mounting an AFP volume, but it could be any other protocol, as well as something completely different which has nothing to do with mounting volumes.
Before running this script you have to create a new entry using Keychain Access with the username and its (server) password.
The steps are as follows:
Manually create a Keychain entry for the AFP user account. To do so open Keychain Access.app and hit cmd+n. Keychain Item Name does not matter, but Account and Password have to be filled out with the user’s username+password. That is the login info of the AFP account on the server!
Then create a shell script the way you prefer. I usually use pico, but there’s also a "run shell script" workflow in Automator if you want to use it. The script is shown above. Here’s a short explanation of what’s happening in the script:
We issue the security command which itself is able to read info from the keychain. It fills the variable $get_pw with the password it retrieved from the keychain. That’s why you need to create the keychain entry mentioned above. Instead of hardcoding which user’s password to get we use another variable called $USER. This always represents the currently logged in user (try echo $USER in Terminal as an example). In the next step we create the mount point, but instead of the default location (/Volumes) we use ~/ to ensure the mount point is inside the user home. This prevents the mount point from being already in use when using Fast User Switching. The last step then mounts the desired share using both variables. In my case that is the share Data on the server 10.0.77.3 which will be mounted at ~/Data.
In order for this to work you need to use network user accounts (Open Directory, LDAP, Active Directory, etc.) OR have to use the exact same username (password does not matter) for the local account and the account on the afp server. That is because $USER will always return the currently logged in user’s name which will be the local account if you are not using network accounts. In my case it was perfect that way, because I use network accounts anyway. You could always replace $USER in the script with jon.doe while losing the flexibility of the solution. I wanted a script without hardcoded usernames or passwords which could get the needed information dynamically from the keychain, which is exactly what this does.
ReadKit (http://www.readkitapp.com) is an RSS reader that synchronizes with multiple RSS services. It supports sending articles to read-later services such as Instapaper, Readability and Pocket. However, out of the box there is no way to send an article to Safari's Reading List (aside from manually copy-and-pasting the URL into Safari).
Reading List (RL) is very handy if you have multiple iOS devices, since articles in RL are automatically synchronized and downloaded on each devices. Below, I will describe a simple service that import the currently selected article in ReadKit into RL.
Open Automator and create a new Service. Call the Service "Add to Reading List"
Select Service receives: "no input"
Click on the next drop-down box, select "Other..." and find ReadKit in the Applications folder
On the left-hand side sidebar, select "Utilities" and then double-click the action "Run AppleScript"
Copy and paste the content of this script into the window
Save the service and quit Automator.
To add a keyboard shortcut, go to System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Keyboard Shortcuts and select "Services"
Find the "Add to Reading List" service and add your preferred shortcut.
Google's recent update for the Maps app introduced a variety of new features and improvements. One of those is the ability to save map data for offline access.
If you use Google Maps on a Wi-Fi only iPad, or if you'll be traveling somewhere where cellular data is spotty, knowing how to enable offline caching of map data is pretty important. CNet explained the trick recently.
First, you'll need to zoom in a bit; you can't cache a widely-zoomed-out map view. Then, when you're at the spot you'd like to cache, type OK maps into the search box, and then tap Search.
When you do that, a Google Maps icon will appear briefly, followed by a message indicating that your map data was saved. Now, even when you're offline, if you navigate to your cached areas, the map data will appear.
Sometimes, an old hint is so good, it bears repeating. Years ago, we shared a hint involving the Recent Items section of the Apple menu.
Next time you're looking at that particular section, hold down the Command key. The names of your recent apps and files—which you could otherwise select to launch as desired—will change. For example, if your Recent Apps list included Acorn, that item would change to Show Acorn in Finder. And yes, this works with documents, too.
So if you very quickly want to find specific files in the Finder that you know you used recently, the Apple menu's Recent Items section, in tandem with the Command key, can help you out in a jiffy.
Sure, IMDb’s advanced search tools can you help find occasions when two disparate actors appeared in the same film. But navigating IMDb when you want to play offshoots of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is no fun. If you have a Siri-capable iOS device within reach, you can find movie star overlap using only your voice.
Give Siri an instruction like, “Show me movies with Jason Biggs and Woody Allen,” and the virtual assistant should suggest Anything Else a moment later. And in cases of overlap—“What movies have both Susan Sarandon and Tim Curry”—Siri provides a list of all the matching films. (In that case, it’s both Rugrats in Paris and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.)
Tap on a matching movie to see more information about the film.
We’ve previously shared a Terminal-based approach for customizing the behavior of All My Files in the Finder. But in Mountain Lion, customizing All My Files’s search criteria—or the criteria of any other similar Finder sidebar entry, is deliciously simple:
Simply right-click (or Control-click, or two-finger click with a trackpad) on the sidebar entry, and choose Show Search Criteria. You’ll see the Smart Search characteristics that power the entry in question, and you can tweak and re-save the search factors you prefer.
Full disclosure: You can’t save over the existing All My Files saved search with this approach; you’re really just saving a new search instead. But it’s quick, painless, and non-destructive.