10 Cool AppleScripts You Should Try

The scripting language built in to the Mac’s OS is referred to as AppleScript. It uses an English-based language to automate tasks on the Mac. AppleScripts are located in your Library/Scripts folder and the Script Editor can be launched by double-clicking a script where it describes what the script does and you can run it by clicking Run.

Here is a list of 10 cool AppleScripts that you should try.

1. Add to Folder Names

With Add To Folder Names you can add something at the beginning or end of all folder names on the front-most Finder window. Items on the desktop will be used by the script, if no Finder windows are open. This saves a lot of time as you don’t have to go through a large group of folders one by one just to add something to the folder name.

2. Add to File Names

Similarly, Add To File Names changes files in the front Finder window, instead of folders.

3. Trim Folder Names

The next two scripts are the opposite of the two mentioned above. Trim Folder Names lets one trim the text from the beginning or the end of a folder. This helps in altering the folder names that you want to change or shorten.

4. Trim File Names

Trim File Names is similar to Trim Folder Names, except that instead of folder names, this can cut the start or end of file names.

5. Finder Windows- Hide All

All the Finder windows that are open can be minimized into the dock by using the Finder Windows – Hide All script.

6. Finder Windows-Show All

Finder Windows – Show All will do the exact opposite, and bring all Finder windows that are in the Dock back out onto the Desktop.

7. Crazy Message Text

On running Crazy Message Text, a dialog asks the user to type the text to create the “crazy” mail message with. After entering text and on hitting OK, a Mail message is created, on which the text is pasted with each letter in a different size, font and colour.

8. Create New Message

The Create New Message Script is useful to browse the Web or RSS feeds. It lets you make a Mail message from whatever application you’re in at the moment. A small dialog asks the receiver’s name, address, the subject, content, signature, and the “from” address. After clicking OK, Mail opens and the message that you entered can be sent.

9. iTunes Remote Control

The iTunes Remote Control is the perfect substitute for an iTunes controller. On running the script, a dialog pops up and you can make iTunes “pause”, “play,” or “stop” among other commands.

10. Clipboard Viewer

The Clipboard Viewer script shows a dialog with whatever is on the clipboard. If you have a file copied, the filename will be displayed.

The Scripts folder contains tons of other cool Applescripts. And what’s more, You can even customize or even write your own AppleScripts!

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How to Use FileVault

Found on Mac OSX 10.3 and later, FileVault is a great tool to make sure all your data is completely safe at all times. FileVault encrypts the files, as in it stores them as a Sparse Disc Image, which is essentially one large file and uses a key derived from the user’s password.

It is always safe to take some extra precautions for your Mac and FileVault will help you do just that by allowing you to encrypt your drive.

Encrypt the entire home folder into one file

The entire home folder can be encrypted into one big file. If iTunes, iPhotos and movies are all moved out of this, the file size can be kept small and this helps improve the reliability. By going to Preferences in iTunes, you can go to Advanced and allocate where your iTunes library need to be kept. Then by going to Consolidate Library in Advanced, your files will be moved by iTunes. The same can be done for iPhoto by just moving the iPhoto library.

Create a maintenance user account

By clicking on Accounts in System Preferences and adding the user there, a maintenance user account can be created. It should be ensured that it is an Administrator account to allow unhindered access to system privileges. This account is critical, as without it the FileVault gets corrupted.

Create a complete backup of the Mac

By logging into the maintenance account, a complete backup of the Mac’s contents can be made into an external drive. This saves everything on your Mac and a restore will return your system to its exact current condition.

Create a backup of all your files

After logging out of the maintenance user account and logging in the normal user account, a backup of all the files on the Mac can be made using the Retrospect solution.

Create a whole-drive backup solution

Creating a backup solution of the entire drive is optional, but it is advisable to do so. The SuperDuper software and an external drive can be used for this. It is always safe to have a bootable backup of all the files as you never really know when your system decides to take a walk on the wild side.

Set a master password

A master password can be set by going to Security in the System Preferences option. It is recommended to write down the master password in a secure place in case you forget it.

Request password to wake computer

The settings on the bottom can be changed to request a password to wake the computer, whenever it is on sleep mode. Automatic login can be disabled as it leaves the system open to anyone and everyone while you are away or busy….not a very good idea if you have confidential material on your Mac.

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The Mac Aqua GUI

The Macintosh, commonly known as the Mac, is a range of personal computers developed by Apple Inc. The Graphical User Interface (GUI) of the Mac’s Operating System version 10.4 is referred to as Aqua. It is the successor of Platinum which was used in Mac version 8 and 9. As is suggested by the names, Aqua GUI is based on the theme of water. It makes use of droplet-like-elements and also avails of reflective and translucent effects. In the words of Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc., “One of the design goals (of Aqua GUI) was when you saw it, you wanted to lick it”.

The water themed user interface first made its introduction at the January 2000 Macworld Conference and Expo, San Francisco. The debut appearance of the Aqua GUI in a commercial product was during the July 2000 release of the iMovie 2. In that the scroll bar and the buttons had the Mac Operating Systems’ all-new Aqua look. Its second appearance was in the Mac OS X Public Beta in September of the same year. This was followed by a feature in iTunes in January the following year. Aqua was made Mac’s official graphical user interface after the release of the Mac OS X. The two basic colours which highlight Aqua’s style are blue and white.

Two of the main features of the Aqua GUI are:

  1. The gel-like buttons that control wind, which come in red, yellow and green colours.
  2. The dock which helps to launch and navigate between applications. David Pogue, a technology columnist for the New York Times, described the scrollbars as “lickable globs of Crest Berrylicious Toothpaste Gel”.

The brushed metal windows and the standard pinstriped are the two basic types of windows that come with Aqua. Both these styles seem to have the navigational button embedded into the window but in versions of Mac before 10.2, the buttons appear on top of the pinstriped windows.

As newer versions are released, the Aqua GUI has been made increasingly subtle. For instance the pinstripes have been made fainter. Also the menus as well as the system dialogs have been made more translucent. Even the appearances of the buttons and the widgets have been made softer.

Quartz Compositor which handles the underlying graphics management of the user interface powers Aqua.

To find out more about the Mac, as well as tips, downloads and reviews, visit: http://www.macintosh-tools.com

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iPod Error – ‘Firmware Update Failure’

iPod is the Apple provided brand of portable media players that supports a line of digital file formats. To support file transfer from iPod devices from computer systems using Macintosh or Windows operating systems, iTunes is used. iTunes can transfer photos, email settings, calendars, Web Bookmarks, contact information and other data. But sometimes iTunes report that it cannot read or write information from iPod disk. One of the typical reasons for such behavior to occur is disk structure damage, which requires iPod to be restored. But this leads to data loss and hence you should recover lost data from backup. If you don’t find it feasible to recover from backup, use iPod Data Recovery tools for this purpose.

While trying to update or restore your iPod, you might receive the below error message:

“Firmware update failure. Disk write error”

This error message suggests that iTunes cannot read/write any information from/to iPod.

Cause

Possible reasons for this error message are:

• You are using an outdated version of Windows or Mac OS X operating system
• You computer is not updated
• You are using some software that are interfering with iTunes
• One or more music files are damaged
• If you are using Windows, unregistered .dll files could be the issue
• Damaged iPod photo cache
• Connection is lost
• Damaged or incompatible hardware
• iPod disk structure is damaged

Solution

Try resolving this issue using these steps:

• Make sure that you have installed all latest updates of your Windows or Mac OS X operating system, including device connections updates
• Ensure that you have the latest updates available for your computer
• Try uninstalling any software and disabling add-ons that might be interfering with iTunes
• Check for damaged music files and delete them
• Register the unregistered .dll files, if any
• Delete the corrupted iPod photo cache
• Check the system for valid connection
• Diagnose your system for damaged and incompatible hardware and replace or remove them
• Restore your iPod using latest version of iTunes. Restore lost data from backup or alternatively use iPod Recovery tools if you face backup concerns. iPod Data Recovery applications perform safe and effective lost data recovery.

Stellar Phoenix iPod Recovery is a complete iPod Reocvery solution to recover lost data. Available for both Windows and Mac operating systems, this non-destructive tool supports iPod generations like iPod Nano, iPod Classic, iPod Shuffle and iPod Mini. It comes available with advanced features like File Mask, File Filter etc. It can restore all music files, pod casts, audio books, documents and graphic files.

Simpson has 6 Years of Experience in the Software Technology field working as a freelancer with Stellar which offers data recovery services, ipod recovery and unixware data recovery software for more than 10 years.

How to Backup Your Mac Data With Time Machine

Mac is a line of personal computers developed by Apple Inc. and the Time Machine is the state-of-the-art-automatic backup built into the Mac’s Operating System. It keeps a copy of any kind of file that has been saved on the Mac including photos, movies, music, documents and everything else. It enables one to ‘go back in time’ and recover anything that he/she has lost or needs, hence the name.

Installing the Time Machine to the Mac is pretty simple. On connecting an external drive, Mac asks the user whether the drive is meant to be for backup and on saying yes, everything else will be taken care of by the Time Machine. After installation, all the back up will be done automatically and the user won’t have to worry about this anymore.

During installation, the software copies the Mac’s entire contents to the backup drive. Without compressing anything, all files are copied as it is. After the initial backup, only periodic backups are done and that too only for files that have been modified since the previous backup. Time Machine also creates links to all the files that are unchanged so that you can see the entire contents of the Mac on any given day.

Like every other backup software, the Time Machine also copies every file on the Mac, but there is something that sets the Time Machine apart from all these other softwares. It not only keeps a spare copy of all the files but also remembers exactly how the Mac looked on a particular day.

By searching on the Time Machine browser for missing files, the user can find long-lost files which you might have lost ages ago, but still need. You can also find the most recent changes by specifying the precise date or you can even do a Spotlight search to locate exactly the file you are looking for. As per the user’s requirement, the Time Machine can restore the entire folder or just the required files. Even the entire computer can be restored using Time Machine, if need be.

By default, a backup of everything is saved by the software, but files can be excluded by going to preferences and changing the Options. Files that are to be skipped can be set here. The user can also delete files whose backup has already been made by selecting the files he/she wishes to delete and then by choosing ‘Delete from all backups’ from the action menu in the Folder toolbar, all unwanted backups are eliminated instantly.

Eventually the program is bound to run out of space, as no matter how large the backup drive is, it will one day be filled. Hence, the software will start deleting the files, oldest first, but before doing so it informs the user. Moreover, before deleting anything, the software copies files that might be required to completely restore the user’s disk for future backups.

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Speed Up Mac OS X

The MAC computers run on the operating system X known commonly as OS X. In this article we shall discuss some tips that can help you to speed up the OS X of your MAC computer.

Clear the Cache.

Most MAC systems either use the web browser Firefox or Safari. Both browsers have a fairly large capacity to store the names and addresses of the websites visited. As this list of records grows longer and longer with the passage of time, the performance of the web browsers starts to get negatively affected. This also slows down the performance of the OS X. Hence, it is advisable to regularly clear the history of the web pages visited every few days to keep the browser working at optimal rates.

Disable Apps & Effects you can do without!

Many people use programs that automatically update their desktop settings from time to time. This involves shifting the wallpaper by automatically picking from the stored files or downloading a new one each month. Even though such functions are a great way to jazz up your computer and seem very attractive because they are extremely convenient, the truth of the matter is that they use up a lot of the computer’s memory space in order to be able to function. This again slows down the working of the computer. Hence it is important to remove any applications that change the desktop settings on their own on a regular basis. It might take some effort on your part, but it’s hardly anything compared to the space and time that you will be saving.

Another attractive function that causes you to use up unnecessary space and thus interfere with the working of the OS X is that of animated desktops. While animated wall papers and folder icons and function buttons might seem like fun and are certainly a great way to jazz up the computer screen and bring it to life, the energy used to sustain these adversely affects the operating system in the form of extra space and battery power, thus resulting in slowed performance.

Minimize the use of Memory-intensive programs.

For those who like their favorite applications to be used, to open up each new file, for example, opening up image files with Photo shop each time, here is a word of caution: resetting the default settings and adjusting them so as to use a more complex application for a relatively simple task each time involves using up more of the computer’s performance power. If you specifically want to work on a file then right click and select the desired application using the ‘Open With’ tab, but for the default settings allow programs like Picture Preview for opening images to function regularly. This way the application takes less time to open and the work is done, without involving extra effort on the operating system to load up all the complicated tools and functions associated with the advanced program.

The Speed Recognition software is an attractive feature of the MAC system but if you do not use it on a regular basis or are not currently employing it then go to the System Preferences option and click on Speech Recognition and turn it off to save disc space and speed.

For more Macintosh tools, resources, articles and freebies visit: Macintosh Tools

Top Five Mac Tweaks

The Mac (short for Macintosh) is a wonderfully versatile system by Apple Inc. The Mac enjoys a huge fan following worldwide due to its high customisation options as well as a freakingly high style quotient. However, Mac’s aren’t the cheapest gadgets on the block and many people cannot afford to upgrade them and some simply don’t know how to get the best out of their Mac. The following is a list of tweaks to help you get the most out of your Mac:

Mac tweak number one: handle your auto start programs and applications well.

Whenever you log into your Mac, come programs open up automatically, taking up a lot of time and memory space in the process. Therefore, it would be a good idea to remove those programs that you do not need or are not keen on using immediately after logging on. Some of these programs are Quicksilver, iTunes helper, Geektool, Twitterrific, Instantshot! and Magical. In system preferences, go to the Login Items tab and disable the programs you don’t need immediately to open up upon logging in.

Mac tweak number two: enabling and utilizing the tab key.

Go to System preferences, and then to the keyboard and mouse pane. At the bottom of this pane, click the ‘all controls’ radio button. This will enable the Tab key to move between the controls apart from and in addition to moving between text boxes and lists. Saves a ton of time and is really simple too!

Mac tweak number three: allot custom icons for the hard drive components.

This is a great way of easily and quickly differentiating between several application icons. Xcode has an Icon Composer software. This is usually available in your OS x install disk. If not, you can easily download it from Apple website. Icns2Rsrc converts the icon into a proper file format and creates your chosen icon to be assigned to whatever component you want to assign it to. This is another way to make your drive area both user friendly as well as well organized.

Mac tweak number four: a new addition to finder’s toolbar – the Path Button.

This is a smart tweak which helps you save a lot of time and agony in the long run. Have you ever noticed that in the path finder, the chain of command of the programs is usually difficult to estimate? Does this bother you? Wish you could change it? Well, you can. All that you have to do is drag and drop the Path button. To help you out, the Path button resembles a set of steps which clearly differentiates each level.

Mac tweak number five: application shortcuts added to the Finder’s toolbar.

This will allow you easy access to your applications as well as save considerable time while searching for the relevant applications. You can add application shortcuts to the sidebar also. To do this, simply assign drag and drop to useful and helpful accessories and applications on your system. This will enable you easy access to your favorite applications in a click while all the time making the whole process a stress free affair.

Use these tips and enjoy your Mac’s hidden capabilities!

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