This hint descrbies a method I've developed for converting high definition (HD) video captured by my Hauppauge HD-PVR into a high-quality standard DVD format using a series of Automator workflows and additional software.
The combination of the Hauppauge HD-PVR video capture and conversion device and Elgato's EyeTV 3 software provides the only method of which I'm aware for capturing high definition video (1080i resolution) from any compatible source.
I do it this way because the issues of cost and portability for routinely preserving video captured at HD resolution make standard DVD format the best choice for me. I also believe that this method gives me a higher quality result, in terms of time and effort spent, than any I could achieve through exporting to iDVD or Toast or anything else that I can afford. Also, I don't believe there's any other way to preserve 5.1 audio when converting video with these specifications to standard DVD format.
I've written a set of detailed instructions for this process. The instructions cover downloading, configuring, and installing the open source software tools needed to make the workflows work, in addition to the Automator workflows themselves.
[robg adds: This hint ran last year, with all the detailed instructions posted here. However, the workflows and process are constantly-evolving, so rather than have an out-of-date method posted here, I've decided to simply link to the instructions. While this means that if the source site vanishes this hint is useless, it was pretty much that way already, given the updates to the workflows that weren't reflected in the hint.]
I have a few applications launch on start up that include menu bar icons (Delibar, Dropbox, Adium, etc). I noticed their placement in the menu bar related to their on-boot order. Even when ordered them in my preferred order in the Login Items tab of the Accounts System Preferences panel, I couldn't get the icons to come out in that order due to application launch times.
Tonight I created a simple Automator script that adds a pause (the Pause action in the Utilities (10.6) or Automator (10.5) Library) before launching an application. For example, I added a seven-second pause before launching Dropbox, so that it's menu bar icon would load after that of Delibar.
I then call the delayed launcher(s) in the Login Items panel to control the load order.
[robg adds: Another alternative, as covered in this hint, is to put all of your login items into an AppleScript, and use timing and order in that AppleScript to control launch order.]
The Apple Menu's Recent Items menu has a Clear Menu command, which clears out all the entries in that menu. But what if your want to clear just one category -- just Documents, for example?
You can clear just one type of Recent Items by going to System Preferences » Appearance, and temporarily setting the 'Number of recent items' for the category you want to clear to None. That category will be cleared out, and then you can reset it to the number of items you usually keep (the items previously there will not reappear). This works for in 10.6 and probably earlier, but I never discovered it before.
(If you have the Recent Items Stack in your Dock, and you clear the category that the stack is currently showing, it will disappear, although it will still take up a Dock space. In other words, it's a Stack with nothing in it. If you click on that empty-looking space, your Dock may restart -- at least mine does. Don't be alarmed; no harm is done.)
I'm surprised I couldn't find this anywhere on the site yet, but it seems to be the easiest way to hide files or folders from the Finder. This is particularly useful, for example, for hiding a user's Library folder from a less computer-savvy user, as you're afraid they might mess something up in there. To hide a user's Library folder, just type the following code into a Terminal window:
chflags hidden ~/Library
Of course, you can replace the path to the Library folder with any other folder or file you would like to hide. This will only make the folder hidden from the Finder under normal browsing; it can still be accessed through the Terminal or by using the Finder's Go » Go to Folder menu option.
If you want to unhide the Library, type the following code into a Terminal:
chflags nohidden ~/Library
[robg adds:chflags hidden was discussed in this hint about hiding Time Capsule. The other way to hide files and folders is to use SetFile, as explained in this hint. Note that SetFile requires the Xcode Developer Tools be installed.]
I have read several forums which discuss the "Could not set indexing status for volume" error message from mdutil, but none of the responses explain why this happens. There are several reasons for getting this error message from mdutil, the tool for changing Spotlight settings. Here are a few of the reasons, and the remedies...
I upgraded my system to Snow Leopard from Tiger, and noticed that Snow Leopard adds a date and time stamp to screen shots' filenames. I really don't care about this new feature, and wanted to remove it. After a bit of a search, I found the solution.
After you type your password, TextEdit will come up and it will open a text file (Localizable.strings) with root editing powers. Search for these lines:
/* Format screencapture file names */
"%@ %@ at %@" = "%1$@ %2$@ at %3$@";
Between the quotes on the right side of the equals sign is the date and time addition. Just edit it, something like this:
/* Format screencapture file names */
"%@ %@ at %@" = "Screen Shot";
Make sure to not leave this empty! Using the above example, the first screen shot file will be named Screen Shot, and then Screen Shot 1, Screen Shot 2, etc.
If you are using a system language other than English, change the Terminal command as needed. For example, French.lproj, German.lproj, etc. When you are ready, use Save (not Save As) in TextEdit and quit. If you want to see the result immediately, restart the SystemUIServer in Terminal:
Note that I tested this only on Snow Leopard.
[robg adds: I imagine this will break code signing on the SystemUIServer app...but I'm not sure what impact that may have on daily use. I have not tested this one myself.]
In the Spotlight (last page) article in the January 2010 issue of Macworld, John Gruber briefly mentions that he has many friends who have improperly installed applications by dragging the disk image (DMG) file directly to the Dock. However, the Spotlight article did not mention how to fix this problem.
My brother in-law had this problem, and was totally confused why, every time he clicked on his Dock icon, OS X mounted the disk image and showed him the install folder, and then moved on to open the program. For those new to the platform, here's how to solve the problem. (Be sure to back up any program-specific files you'd like to keep before doing this.)
The first thing to do is to remove the Application's icon from the Dock. This is done by dragging it off the Dock until it disappears in a puff of smoke. Now do a Spotlight search (Spotlight is the magnifying glass at the top right of the screen) with the name of the specific troublesome application, and then click on the Show All option at the top of the list.
I think that most of you know that some volumes, like the OS X Install DVD or downloaded disk images, automatically open a Finder window when mounted. I use an external FireWire drive with lots of different partitions on it, and one of them holds a clone of the OS X Install DVD for faster installations. Since it's cloned, it acts the same way as the DVD: it auto-opens in the Finder.
After quite some time, I got annoyed by this enough to seek a solution -- I didn't want to see this window every time I connected the drive. So I asked on the forums here for help, and user biovizier pointed me in the right direction. Thanks!
I save dozens of web pages every week as PDFs. This allows me to store the information locally, keep the source URL, eliminate any risk of the site disappearing and me losing access to the content, and the saved documents are searchable. The issue I've been mulling for a while is how best to tag and organize the files I've accumulated.
I've looked at all the tagging and organizing applications I could find (Yojimbo, Tags, DevonThink, etc.). For my tastes, they all suffer from one of a few common limitations, all of which ruled them out for me: some applications duplicate files, some require a background process, and some had an interface I simply didn't like. Perhaps worst for me was how the applications stored tag metadata. The most common methods are an application-specific database or, worse, Spotlight Comments. The database method means all my tagging is dependent on one file, and the Spotlight Comments method has numerous instances when the metadata doesn't transfer if files are moved, such as when e-mailing files.
Snow Leopard, like Leopard before it, allows you to add keywords to a PDF when using the Print » Save as PDF feature. The big advantage of this method is that the metadata is stored in the file. Snow Leopard, though, adds a new feature that's very helpful. It now remembers previously-used keywords. If you use Print » Save as PDF to add the keyword macosxhints to a file, the next time a PDF is being saved with the Print » Save as PDF button, this keyword will be an autocomplete option if the text being entered matches. Note, though, that the autocomplete feature only seems to be available in the Print » Save as PDF dialog, though keywords added using any method in one application (e.g., TextEdit) will be available in another (e.g., Safari).
Keyword tagging can also be applied in Microsoft Office documents via the File » Document Properties dialog. TextEdit can have them added via the File » Show Properties dialog. Photoshop also allows this via the File » File Info command. InDesign and Illustrator do, too, but this metadata is not accessible by Spotlight. There are probably other applications that work, but that's what I've tested so far. Note that for any file which has keywords which Spotlight can read, the information can be seen in a Finder Get Info window by looking in the More Info section.
A little while back i started noticing that my MacBook Pro's display wasn't going to sleep. My Energy Saver settings were configured to put the display to sleep after 15 minutes, but it wasn't happening, even after hours of idle time.
After quite a bit of hunting and head scratching, I finally figured out what was going on. I'd been working on the website for my iPhone game (HexaLex), and I'd opened the Convertbot website in a Safari tab as a source of inspiration.
The Convertbot site has an embedded QuickTime movie demonstrating their user interface. It turns out that this QuickTime movie was preventing the display from sleeping, even though it wasn't in the frontmost tab. Closing that tab solved the problem.
So if your Mac's display isn't sleeping, be sure to check your browser tabs for embedded movies!