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!
You may know about the Aero Snap feature of Windows 7 which allows a user to "resize to half" a window by dragging it to the left or right side of the screen, or to maximize it by dragging it to the top edge of the screen (or by using shortcuts).
With a few AppleScripts and the shortcut manager Spark, you can get this feature in Mac OS X -- at least via shortcuts, though not by dragging to a screen edge.
This hint is about touching files from the Finder to update their mod time, much as you can do in Terminal with the touch command. Here's how:
Select files to be 'touched' in the Finder.
Press Command-Option-I to open the multiple item info inspector window (File » Show Inspector).
Toggle/activate the Open With pop-up menu. You needn't select anything, just click to activate the menu.
The file's modified timestamp will be updated to now time; tested in 10.6.2.
[robg adds: In my testing, I didn't have any luck with the time changing just by merely activating the menu; I had to select the currently-active option for the chosen files. If I selected files with different Open With settings (such that the pop-up menu reads Not Applicable), I couldn't change the modification timestamp at all via this method.]
First download and install the Perian QuickTime codec package, if you haven't done so already. Then download NicePlayer, and drag it to your Applications folder. Once that's done, launch NicePlayer and then quit it. Now open a new Terminal window and type the following to reload the Quick Look server:
Once you've done that, you should be able to open any MKV file in Quick Look. At this point, you can delete NicePlayer if you want, as it's already served its purpose. I've only tested this in Snow Leopard, but I assume it would work for Leopard as well, as NicePlayer only requires 10.4 or higher. On the off chance it doesn't work, though, you can try this QuickTime hack.
When I first set up Time Machine over the network, I realized that I didn't want the backup to happen using my regular user account, so that I could change my personal password at will. This hint quickly lists the steps you need to go through in order to make the change to an existing sparsebundle, so that you can keep doing incremental backups. It avoids the pain of a full backup after changing the user.
This setup assumes the following: Mac Pro with connected FW800 external drive and MacBook Pro laptop. Mac Pro backs up locally along with the MBP storing a sparsebundle over the network onto the same disk.
First, turn off Time Machine for the device associated with the sparsebundle you are changing. At a high level, the steps are:
Create a new user on the Mac Pro called backup.
Recursively change the permissions on the sparsebundle to include backup.
Check whether the mount works correctly from the MBP.