Posts Tagged ‘OS X’

postheadericon Thoughts: Life Span of OS X Versions vs. Windows Versions

This is not a long analytical piece but just an observation I felt I had to write down. Please keep this in mind when you want to comment on these thoughts.

OS X updates may be much cheaper than Windows updates, but OS X versions have a much shorter lifespan than Windows versions. Add to that the costs for updates of other software you use on your Mac and suddenly you are paying way more than Windows users.

Take Windows XP for example. This version of Windows was launched in 2001. More than eleven years later it’s still used by many people and a lot of new software you can still run on XP. As a contrast, take OS X 10.5 Leopard. Launched in 2007. A lot of new apps and software don’t run on 10.5. The minimum OS X these days is often 10.6 Snow Leopard, but sometimes apps already need at least 10.7 Lion to be able to install them.

Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon First Major Outbreak of Mac OS X Trojan: a Turning Point?

Last week the blogosphere nearly exploded (see here, here, here and here for only a few examples) with the news of the Flashback trojan, creating a botnet of nearly 600,000 Apple machines. Getting your machine infected is as easy as surfing to a bogus website containing the malware, which installs itself using an exploit in Java. This technique is called a drive-by download. There is no need for you to enter your admin credentials. It’s even worse: the malware will install itself without you noticing it at all. Pretty scary if I may say so.

If you want to know if your Mac is infected with the Flashback trojan, then check out this page on F-Secure’s website to find out and follow the removal instructions if you do find it on your machine.

To make your Mac less vulnerable for this kind of malware attack, I recommend checking out Khürt Williams’ post who explains how to turn off Java in Safari and on OS X level. This makes very much sense when you are not a software developer who has to deal with Java on a daily basis. If you use an other browser like Google Chrome or Firefox, then check out this page for instructions. Khürt also advises to uninstall Adobe’s Flash plugin. This is one bridge too far for me at the moment, but it certainly is a good idea.

A lot of people consider the outbreak of Flashback as a turning point for the Mac platform. Mac users should face it that they are not ‘forgotten’ anymore by malware writers and should install anti-virus protection, just as the majority of Windows users does nowadays. Check this post on AskDifferent.com for a list of anti-virus solutions for the OS X platform.

Update April 11th, 2012: Apple works on software to release the Flashback malware from infected Macs and is working with ISPs worldwide to bring down the botnet’s command & control servers. Read more about this on arstechnica.com.

postheadericon OS X Tip: Prevent iTunes from Opening when Pressing Play/Pause Key

People that own a Mac and use Spotify must have noticed the same annoying behavior of iTunes as I did. When you press the Play/Pause key on your keyboard, not only will Spotify start/stop playback of your music, but iTunes will open and start playing music as well. I don’t know if Apple sees this as an intended feature of iTunes but what I do know is that it’s incredibly annoying to say the least.

After looking around for a while on the Internet for a solution I found a workaround that is very elegant and does not need any additional programs to be installed or any scripts to be run.

Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon iTunes Tip: Keyboard Shortcut for the Search Field

As long as I have been using iTunes on the Mac I have been looking for a keyboard shortcut that puts the cursor in the search field in the upper right corner of the iTunes window. There is absolutely no mention of this shortcut key in the help files or in the menus. Even the official keyboard shortcuts overview for iTunes on Apple’s website does not list it.

After googling for a solution numerous times, trying out lots of key combinations and asking questions on Twitter a couple of times I finally found the answer on a forum:

Command + Option + F

Terrific!

Update January 8th, 2011:
In the Windows version of iTunes, use

CTRL + ALT + F

(Kudos to Stefaan for mentioning this in the comments)

postheadericon TotalFinder for Mac OS X: Tabs and Folders Always on Top

Update September 27th, 2010:
As of today TotalFinder launched commercially. You may try the tool for free for 14 days. After the trial period you can buy a license for $15.

About four months ago I switched to a Mac after using a Windows machine for more than 15 years. I did this for a couple of reasons. The most important ones are the outstanding hardware and software for home studio recording that are available for the Mac and the fact that OS X is the only platform that can be used for app development for the iPhone, iPod and iPad, which I am putting a lot of effort in to learn. (More on that subject later in an other post.)

One thing I still find hard to get used to is the Finder application on OS X. Not that it is bad software, but because the folders are sorted alphabetically together with the files. This is a real pain in the ass since I am used to having the folders displayed first and the rest of the files below the folders in Explorer on Windows.

Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon TeamViewer: My Program of Choice for Remote Access

Ever needed to connect to a different PC in your network for a remote session or to transfer some files? Or wished you could control the computer of a family member over the Internet without too much fuss because they called you for the umpteenth time for your much needed support? There are numerous applications to choose from that can support you doing these kind of tasks. One of them is TeamViewer, and I like it very much. It runs on all the major platforms: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and even on your iPhone or iPad.

Read the rest of this entry »