Category Archives: Mac Desktop

Create a Folder from Multiple Selected Items in Finder

New Folder with Item Screen Shot
You can create a folder from a selection of files, instead of creating a new folder first, then moving files in.

Here’s how: In the Finder, select any files you want to put into the same folder. (sleet multiple files by holding down the command button and clicking files to ad) You can do this in any Finder window, including the Desktop or from the results of a Spotlight search (not the Spotlight menu itself).

Right-click on any one of the selected files, and the top menu item is New Folder with Selection (number of Items). When you choose that, a new folder will be created, and the files literally leap into the folder. The new folder is called New Folder With Items, and you can change its name.

(This isn’t technically new, it was added in Lion. But it’s a nice feature to be aware of) I use this daily.

Works for:

  • OSX 10.7 Lion
  • OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion

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Assign a Launchpad Keyboard Shortcut

Launchpade OSX Screen Capture
After installing Mountain Lion on my mid-2011 iMac i realized that the launchpad key (F4) that my MacBook Air has, didn’t exist on my Apple wireless keyboard. No worries, you can assign a keyboard shortcut to open it.

Click on the Keyboard in System Preferences, then choose Keyboard Shortcuts tab along the top.

Keyboard System Pref Screen Capture

Click on Launchpad & Dock on the left side of menu. Click Show Launchpad, press Enter or Return, and enter your shortcut. Once you’re satisfied, you can click OK and close all windows.

Keyboard Prefs Screen Capture

All done. I set mine up to use F4, same as it is on my MacBook Air. Force of habit since I use it often.

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OS X “Mountain Lion” Preview

Mountain Lion IconIf you just got used to OS X Lion and how it works, get ready to expand what you’ve learned, Apple has released a developer’s preview of the next cat-themed operating system for the Mac; “Mountain Lion”. Just like the previous version, this new version has taken more bits out of iOS in appearance and functionality. Features included in this revamped OS will include iMessage, Game Center, Reminders and even Notifications right into the operating system.

Starting today, Mac developers are able to begin testing this latest version with an expected public release in the second or third quarter of 2012 – I’m going to guess it will be available in the summer 2012. While price has not yet been established, you can expect this to be readily available for download from the Mac App Store. Considering the OSX Lion was available for $30, I’m going to assume that the upgrade price will be fairly reasonable, if not free for those that already paid for the Lion update seven months ago.

In case you were paying attention in October 2011 when Tim Cook took centre-stage at the keynote address which unveiled the iPhone 4s, he was serious when he said that iCloud will be the company’s strategy for the ‘next decade’, and that’s clearly more evident with the iOS integration of this desktop OSX release.

Mountain Lion on Mac Devices

Here’s a short list of features you can expect from Mountain Lion:

Built-in iCloud integration. Setting up iCloud will be the second thing you do after setting up a new Mac with Mountain Lion. The big new thing in this version will be the ease with which you can access Documents in the Cloud, which will allow your documents created in Pages (or some other third-party apps) to be available on any Mac OS or iOS device.

iMessage on Mac. Many people have been asking for this, and finally we’re going to get it. The Messages app, which will appear very familiar to iOS users, replaces iChat. It’ll let you start a conversation on a Mac and continue it on a different device, like your iPhone or iPad.

Notes and Reminders. Any notes you make on a Mac or iOS device, along with any reminders you set for yourself, will show up on any of your Mac or iOS devices. Both apps can be searched and look easier to navigate with the additional screen space of a desktop. Notes can be “pinned” to your desktop.

Mountain Lion Notification CentreNotifications. Just like the drop-down Notification Center on iOS, the Mac is getting its own version in the top right corner of the screen. All reminders, app alerts, calendar appointments will appear there. And just like iOS, Mountain Lion Notification Center has its own swipe to bring up the window — two fingers right to left from the right edge of the trackpad.

Mountain Lion Sharing OptionsSharing from apps. That sharing arrow that appears in iOS apps? Apple has inserted it in many Mac applications and dubbed it Share Sheet. That button will let you share web pages, notes, videos, Quicktime files, docs and photos via email, Messages, AirDrop, Twitter or post photos or video to Vimeo or Flickr.

Twitter integration in the OS. This is kind of a big deal for Twitter. When you share something via Twitter in Mountain Lion, a Tweet Sheet pops up, which looks like an index card with whatever it is you’re tweeting attached via paper clip.

GameCenter. Apple’s social gaming network comes to the desktop, and brings with it a new opportunity for developers. With a new set of GameKit APIs, game creators can develop games for both Mac and iOS, so players can compete whether they’re on an Apple desktop or mobile device. Current Game Center-compatible iOS games will have to be converted to appear in the Mac App Store.

AirPlay Mirroring to Apple TV. Just like an iPad or iPhone 4S, you will be able to mirror your Mac desktop on your TV via an Apple TV (as long as your Mac has an Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 processor).

New security features. Gatekeeper lets users select settings to control which apps can be downloaded to a computer. You can choose to allow all apps, or only apps with a developer-signed ID program (run by Apple) to be downloaded. Or, for the most conservative choice, only apps from the Mac App Store.

Mountain Lion on IMac and MacBook Air

As you can see from all the feature seeing added, the heart of this newest OS X will be iCloud – it doesn’t matter where you start a game or save a document or note, it will be available for you anytime, on any device. Sounds a lot like the iPad or iPhone, now in desktop form. And why not? … This is strategically the way Apple plans to get more and more non-Mac users to make the switch and come on over.

Siri App IconOne glaring omission on this latest release is Siri; the personal assistant unveiled as an iOS standard app for iPhone 4S users, hasn’t been announced as part of this release. Likely since Apple feels like Siri is still in beta mode on the iPhone. I’m going to say that while Siri isn’t ready for a release in OS X yet, she will be making an appearance in the near future.

There you have it. Get ready for all this to be officially announced in March and/or June at Apple’s annual WWDC.

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How-To: Install iMac Memory

If you’re like me and really don’t appreciate a sluggish machine, then this walk through is for you. There’s instructions on Apple’s site on how to replace memory on any model iMac, but people usually have questions about how to do, was it hard, how long did it actually take, what memory did you end up with, etc. so I’ve summed it up with pictures and a how-to if you feel like you want to upgrade your iMac too!

27 inch iMac 4 GB MemorySo first off you need to check what you have – and then where you want to be. My iMac is Mid 2011 model (purchased in August 2011) but you can also check what model, by clicking on the Apple icon in the top left of your desktop and choosing About this Mac from the drop down menu. It’s also important to take notes on the speed and memory type from this menu before heading to a store and buying a few sticks of ram. Also read up on how much ram your machine can handle (per slot) and then you’re ready to buy. Mine started off at 4GB 1333 mhz DDR3 SDRAMM. (2 sticks of 2GB). If you need help figuring out what you have, tweet me and I’ll help you out.

Corsair 4GB Memory for iMacAfter researching that my iMac maxes out at 16 GB of ram, and that each slot can take up to 4GB, I was ready to purchase. Found Corsair at CanadaComputers at $19 CDN per 4 GB. I bought 4 sticks and headed back home. It’s also important to note that the memory you’ll be looking for is marked on the package as “Laptop Memory”, and as long as it’s the 204 pin (for my Mac) you’re ok to use. The 244 pin ram isn’t compatible and won’t fit if your specs don’t ask for it.

What You Need

  • 4 x 4 GB Corsair 204-pin memory sticks
  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Flat Surface
  • Towel/rag/shirt/blanket

Step 1
iMac Flat Memory SlotAfter you shut down your iMac, unplug the power cord and lay your iMac flat, screen-down, on a towel/blanket/rag. You don’t want the screen to get scratched while you’re working on the ram. Lift the stand out to the highest position so that it’s out of the way and you can easily access the memory port along the bottom of the screen.

Step 2
Unscrew Memory Cover from iMacUse your Phillips screwdriver to unscrew the 3 screws holding the memory cover in place, and remove. *Make sure you use the correct size Phillips and be sure it doesn’t slip and/or strip the head on the screw. They’re not changeable. If you strip the head, you’ll need to get a new cover.

Step 3
Memory Tabs on iMac
As soon as you have the memory cover off, you’ll notice there are 2 sides of memory slots and there is a film-like ribbon covering them. You pull down the ribbon from the top (it’s attached at the bottom) Pull the ribbons back to get access to the memory. This is the trickiest part of the old memory removal; Pull the tabs gently and firmly towards you. Make sure your fingers are dry and don’t worry about ripping the ribbons out from the iMac. They’re secured to the bottom of the ram pockets, and the only way to unseat the old ram is to pull on these tabs until you hear the memory click and it will slide out. *DO NOT use pliers or tweezers or any other tools to pull out the old memory, you will scratch the surface of your computer and could risk damaging the ram sticks. Patience is key when removing the old ram. It will come out – take your time.

Step 4
New iMac Memory InstalledWith the old ram out, unpack your new ram and remember to place it in label-side up (or follow the old memory orientation). In order to seat the ram correctly, you press in firmly until you hear the memory click. *Remember to hold the removal tab so that you don’t crush it when installing the new ram. Repeat this step for all of the memory sticks you want to install. My mac has 2 slots on each side. It’s important to note that you should stick the same brand and size of memory for every pair of sticks. Don’t mix and match. Install memory in even numbers of two.

Step 5
iMac Memory Tabs ReplacedNow that you’ve got all your memory in and seated, make sure you put the tab ribbons back into their original position, and tuck on top of the stop memory stick. The tabs shouldn’t interfere with the installation of the memory cover at all. See my pic for an example of how it should look before you attempt the re-install of the memory cover.

Step 6
Replace the memory cover using the Phillips, and remember not to over tighten. If you strip the head of the screw or tighten too much, it won’t hold. Hand tighter is good enough.

Step 7
You’re now ready to re-connect your iMac to a power source and power it on. If you hear the standard start-up mac sound, you know that your memory was received and read correctly – and the computer will power up normally. If you don’t hear a sound while power up and the screen doesn’t come on, you have to go back and check that you seated the memory correctly and that it’s pushed it all the way. Done.

Let’s Check
iMac 16 GB Memory InstalledAfter your iMac boots up, click on the Apple icon in the top left and choose About This Mac from the drop down menu, and you should now see the GB of ram as per what you installed/wanted.

If you want to go deeper, click on More Info and then choose Memory tab along the top. You’ll now see how many slots have been used and how much memory is in each slot. Any questions or comments, leave them here or tweet me.



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Install OS X Lion on Multiple Machines

OS X Lion IconIf you’re a diehard Apple fan, like I am, you’ll likely have to install OS X Lion on more than one Mac. Since I just picked up my 27″ iMac on Friday, I figured it was time to update the OS on it and my MacBook Pro at the same time. I downloaded Lion through the Mac App Store, but then thought about how I didn’t want to pay another $29.99 when I installed it on my MacBook.

Lucky for me, I didn’t have to.

So I did a little digging and found out that as long as you have the Mac App Store authorized with the same Apple ID on each of your machines, you only need to pay once. Here’s how:

1. Download Lion

Launch the Mac App Store on the first machine. Buy the app and confirm your purchase by entering your Apple ID and password, then just wait for it to download the 3.5 GB installer.

OS X Lion Install Option

2. Install

After the download is complete, follow the instructions and begin the install process. (It took about 25 minutes on my i5 2.7 GHz iMac)

OS X Lion Install Progress

3. Download on Another Machine

Launch the Mac App Store on the second machine that needs the update and make sure you’ve logged in with the same Apple ID as you used for the first one. Follow these steps:

Click “Purchases” along the top of the App Store browser window

App Store Purchases Screen Shot

You’ll see a complete list of all Apps that have been purchased in the App Store with this account and the option to download each of them. In this case, choose OS X Lion and let the download begin (Again the size of the download is 3.5 GB)

Purchased List App Store Screen Shot

4. Install

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Once You Go iMac, You Never Go Back

I write this entry with the great news that MacAddiction author, me, has finally made the switch and I am now 100% Apple!

A lot of my friends ask me what took me so long? – and the real answer is money. Since I don’t get any breaks on pricing or discounts, I had to save up enough money on my own to buy the next big Apple product, and as of Friday, September 2, 2011, I added a 17″ iMac to my collection. Let me just start off by saying… WOW!

I use a 21.5″ iMac at work that’s at least 4 or 5 years old and it treats me good, so I figured it was just a matter of time until I’d get rid of my cheap PC at home and get something better suited to my needs at home. After going back and forth on whether I should get the 21.5″ or the 27″, I posted out a question to friends on Facebook asking “Does size really matter” – poking fun at a sexual innuendo that would get people responding – and respond they did.

After being made fun of the fact that I wasn’t already all Apple, they choice was clear that 27″ would be the only choice I wouldn’t regret in a few months. They were right! I love my iMac! So much, that I’ve spent a chunk of my weekend just working on it. It’s actually renewed my love for sitting at my desk at home and using my computer.

The setup couldn’t have been easier. From unboxing to use, it was a matter of 5 minutes. Network setup was a breeze. Getting MobileMe sync was quick. The only place I spent most of time was getting my iTunes transferred from my old PC into the new iMac.

I was so excited I figured I’d walk you through my un-boxing. First is the box arriving at my home office.

iMac Arrives At Home

Cracked open the first tabs and notice that everything is neatly packaged inside and that there’s only three elements in the box; the iMac, power cord, keyboard/mouse/software box.

The back side of the 27″ looks really nice. There’s 2 thunderbolt ports, 4 usb ports, ethernet, firewire and the optical drive on the side and an SD card slot.

iMac From Behind

And then the front is just so big!

iMac From The Front

And then finally how awesome it looks once all powered up, with Apple’s wireless keyboard and Apple’s magic track pad (sold separately).

iMac Powered On

Now I’m going to try and get OS X Lion loaded up on this machine as well as my MacBook pro. Wish me luck.

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Thunderbolt: The Port to End All Ports

Thunderbolt Icon LogoWhen Apple refreshed its MacBook Pro line of notebook computers, they introduced a new I/O port called “Thunderbolt” in combination with the new devices, based on Intel’s Light Peak specification. It makes a lot of sense, since Apple worked with Intel in developing Light Peak. But why do devices need this port, and what might Apple have planned for it in the future?

Let’s look a little into Light Peak, how it works and what it can do. Light Peak is an optical cable interface designed by Intel with a bandwidth of 10 Gbps currently, with the potential to ultimately scale to rates of over 100 Gbps over the course of its life. The main benefit of Light Peak is that it provides enough bandwidth to both replace data connectors such as SCSI, USB, SATA and FireWire, while at the same time handling the duties of higher performance ports like eSATA and DisplayPort (or Mini DisplayPort, in the case of Apple computers).

Put simply, Light Peak is designed to cover all the bases. In theory, that means it could allow Thunderbolt-equipped MacBook Pros to connect to an Apple Cinema Display, for instance, with just one cable, providing both A/V and multiple data stream connections between the two devices simultaneously. It’s the ultimate single-cord solution.

Getting people to use new port standards isn’t easy, however. USB is firmly entrenched, and even its successor, USB 3.0, hasn’t made much headway yet. But I think Apple has very ambitious long-term plans for Thunderbolt, because in theory at least, the Light Peak-based standard could eliminate the need for port differentiation altogether. Since Light Peak’s capacity ceiling is still a long way off, and because of its versatility, it’s the perfect way for Apple to begin the gradual transition to an utterly wireless future, since in theory, it should be able to satisfy even power user demands for years to come.

Imagine a future where every port running down the side of your MacBook is the same, and all of your devices can connect to any one of them in order to perform their intended function, including data drives, external displays and even your power adapter. It seems utopian, but Light Peak offers the potential to make that future a reality, and with Apple’s ever-growing market share (and influence), it’s in a better position than ever to help usher that future in.

Apple could throw even more weight behind Light Peak or Thunderbolt adoption by using its considerable leverage as a mobile device maker. Rumors suggest it may already be doing just that, if it’s indeed building a Thunderbolt port into a future iPad. The iPad has an entire cottage industry dedicated specifically to making peripherals for just one device, so it wouldn’t be terribly hard to get some of them onboard with creating Thunderbolt-capable accessories. And if said accessories are cross-compatible between iOS (iPhone, too, down the road?) and OS X devices, it shouldn’t take long before we see a healthy cross-section of peripheral manufacturers adopting the standard.

A video demonstrating transfer speed of Thunderbolt ports:

In the bigger picture, with advances in NFC and other wireless communication standards like Wi-Fi Direct, hardware ports and connections are slowly becoming less and less important. Eventually, if technological development continues at its current pace, we may do away with them altogether. But before that happens, I think we could see Apple make a serious move toward a hardware I/O standard that allow it to further simplify its minimalist design principles. After all, this is the company that once famously said of the iPad, “you already know how to use it.” Why not embrace a port that works the same way?

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Faster and Cheaper Mac Mini Arrives for 2011

The 2011 Mac Mini DesignIn case you missed it. Apple unveiled a brand new (revised) Mac Mini at the same time it was launching OS X Lion through the Mac App Store. The best about about this mini, besides the quicker processor, easy internal access and HDMI ports, is the price tag; starting at $599 US and then going upwards to $799 and $999 configuration.

Now comes the bad news; No more optical drive. (Look again, I know I did) So if you used your Mac Mini to watch DVDs you’ll need to buy an external drive. This major design overhaul also makes installing older software on this mac mini a little more difficult, but not impossible. (It has USB ports so if you’re a pirate you’ll be able to still install your stuff) If you own the discs, you’ll have to create external DMGs and then load them through USB.

The new Mini comes pre-loaded with Apple’s latest OS X Lion (v10.7) and even though it has a few USB ports for using standard peripherals, you’ll likely want to buy Apple’s Magic Trackpad so you don’t have messy wires laying around.

Technical specs of the 2011 Mac Mini:

The 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 CPU inside the $599 model we tested helped the system to feel quite snappy in anecdotal testing. And in our CPU-centric Cinebench test, which stresses all of a computer’s processing cores to measure raw CPU performance, the 2011 Mac Mini’s score of 8,741 was a fair bit ahead of last year’s Mini, which came in at 5,072.

Let’s take a look at the backside and see what kinds of connectivity it has.

2011 Mac Mini Connections

The standard, power, USBs are all there, but there’s new stuff too. The single HDMI port so you can hook this up to an HDTV and skip out on buying a monitor. A Thunderbolt port which allows you to chain up to 6 peripherals and boasts transfer speeds that are up to 20x faster than USB 2.0. And the card reader slot. For getting stuff off your SD cards.

Inside 2011 Mac MiniThe size is incredibly small at just 7.7 inches square and 1.7 inches thick. Ease of accessing the internals makes upgrading memory a breeze. The Mac Mini will come with a standard 500 GB hard drive, but you can opt for a bulkier 720 GB hard drive at extra cost. And you’ll either have 2 GB or 4 GB of 1333 MHz DDR3 ram pre-loaded but you can max out at 8 GB, should you need all that.

If you’re into burning CDs/DVDs and need that option you can buy the external USB-based MacBook Air SuperDrive for $79 US.

You can see that it stacks up nicely against the new MacBook Air and the revamped iMac. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly Mac this would be the one you’re after, but keep in mind of the added expense of wireless peripherals to get the most from the new OS X and likely upgrading the RAM so that it doesn’t get bogged down with heavy web browsing.

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OS X Lion Arrives in the Mac App Store Today

OS X Lion Banner
Today is the day! Long-awaited and talked about OS X Lion (Version 10.7) update has finally arrived. Available for download through the Mac App Store. And guess what? – It’s only $29.99 if you already own Snow Leopard.

I went into detail about what will be available with OS X Lion a while back, but today it’s officially released and ready for the public to dive into head first.

If you’re keeping track this will be the first ‘true’ test of just how simple the Mac App Store really is and how it will pave the way for Mac users to be able to get large programs/full applications without having to go out and buy the boxes and multiple discs at the Apple Store, which they’re discontinuing anyway.

OS X Lion IconsComfort, speed and ease! No lineups, no busy malls, nothing. To upgrade your Mac to OS X Lion, you don’t need to drive to a store, bring home a box, and install a bunch of discs. All you do is click the Mac App Store icon, buy Lion for $29.99, and your Mac does the rest. Just make sure you have what you need to download Lion to your Mac, so before you head over to the download, make sure your system meets the minimum requirements.

To upgrade today, you’ll need to:

  1. Make sure your Mac can run Lion.
    Your Mac must have an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor to run Lion. Find out if your current Mac has one of these processors by clicking the Apple icon at the top left of your screen, then choosing About This Mac.
  2. Make sure you have the latest version of Snow Leopard.
    Get up to date with the latest version of OS X Snow Leopard to purchase OS X Lion from the Mac App Store. If you have Snow Leopard, click the Apple icon and choose Software Update to install Snow Leopard v10.6.8, the latest version.
  3. Download OS X Lion from the Mac App Store.
    Open the Mac App Store from your Dock to buy and download it. Then follow the onscreen instructions to install Lion.

If you’re already using Lion, let me know how you’re liking it in the comments or on Twitter @mac_addiction and let me know your initial thoughts.

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Left Handed Mac User? No Problem

Most lefties have adapted to the righty-centric world of computing, but not necessary when using a Mac. Apple’s wired and wireless mouses and most third party mice have symmetrical designs, so they can be left-hand friendly with the adjustment of a few settings in Mac OS X.

Change Mouse Button Setting to be Left Handed
The main thing you want to do is change the “Primary mouse button” to be on the right button instead of the default left:

  • Launch System Preferences
  • Click on “Mouse”, look for “Primary mouse button:” and select the bullet box next to “Right”

This reverses the behavior of the right-click (alternate click) so it becomes a left-click, and therefore a lefty’s pointing finger becomes the primary button.

Left Hand Setting Screen Cap

Change Trackpad Settings to be Left Handed
Using a MacBook or Apple’s magic trackpad? – You can adjust the right-click to a left-click instead:

  • Go back to System Preferences and click on “Trackpad”
  • Next to “Secondary Click” select “Bottom Left Corner”

Track Pad Screen Capture
The literal right and left clicks are a little less necessary for trackpad users though because, regardless of which is your dominant hand, you can always just use a two-fingered click to activate the ‘right-click’ or secondary click anyway.


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