Monthly Archives: June 2012
‘Red’, ‘Green’ and ‘Yellow’ aren’t particularly meaningful ways to categorise messages, but changing the names to something more useful can make the ‘Flags’ feature a handy tool.
The procedure is quite simple, but the first thing you have to do is actually flag a couple of messages:
4. Type in a new name and press ‘return’ again:
5. Of course, you can change the flag names at any time:
If you see a screen with a progress bar (something like the shot above), your Mac is starting up in Safe Mode. This shouldn’t happen unless the user intentionally wants to do so for troubleshooting purposes. However, if you find that your Mac is defaulting to Safe Mode when you try to start up normally, try the following tips.
1. Stuck Shift key
Check that the Shift key is not accidentally being pressed down or stuck. If you suspect the keyboard may be faulty, plug in a different keyboard.
2. Use Terminal to reset boot-args
Allow the machine to finish booting into Safe Mode, then open Terminal (Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app) and copy this command into the Terminal window:
sudo nvram boot-args=""
press ‘return’ on your keyboard. Enter an Admin password (type carefully as it will not be echoed to the screen) and restart the Mac.
3. Do a PRAM reset.
In this case, a PRAM reset effectively does the same as No.2 above. However, if No.2 didn’t work, it’s worth trying this way of doing it in case for some reason the boot memory failed to hold the preference setting. You can also do this step instead of Step 2 if you are not comfortable with using the Terminal.
The PRAM reset is done like this:
1. Power down the machine.
2. Locate the following keys on your keyboard in preparation for Step 4:
3. Press the ‘power on’ button.
4. Immediately – and before the grey screen appears – hold down ‘command-option-P-R’ all together.
5. Keep them held down until you’ve heard the start-up chime twice. After you release them you should hear it again, and hopefully your Mac will boot up as it should normally.
(Note: If you’ve just installed Mountain Lion, be sure to run ‘Check for Updates’ by clicking on the Total Spaces icon in the menubar)
Yes, it’s possible to bring back most of those beloved Snow Leopard features that Apple unwisely did away with in Lion, and – if you get them now – for free with 3rd-party apps. I’ve been hunting down a way to get rid of all the Mission Control behaviour on my trackpad, to return the app-switcher trackpad gesture, the 2-dimensional Spaces grid and, of course, Expose.
OK, so here’s how I finally got all those lovely Snow features back to Lion. You’re going to need two free tools (free for now, so don’t hang around…), namely:
Once you’ve downloaded these you’re half way there, but you’ve got to complete the job by setting them up properly. In the remainder of this post, I’ll walk you through how I’ve got them set up. Try it this way first, then once you’ve got the hang of it, you can tweak it to your own style.
1. Total Spaces > Preferences:
In BetterTouchTool Preferences:
Finally, disable the Mission Control hotkeys in > System Preferences > Keyboard | Keyboard Shortcuts:
With this configuration, you change spaces by holding down ‘option’ and any of the arrow keys to move round a grid of 9 spaces (you can have more or less if you want in TotalSpaces prefs).
You see all spaces (like the screenshot at the top of the page) by holding down ‘command-option-left_arrow’.
You bring up Expose with a 4-finger downward swipe on the trackpad (note: Expose is unavailable while an app is in Full Screen mode), and the App Switcher with a 3-finger tap.
Oh, and Mission Control? Drag it off the Dock to about centre screen and release. Should you ever need it you can always go and double-click on it in your Applications folder, but otherwise you’ll soon forget it ever existed.
And that’s it — proper Spaces, Expose, and Trackpad functionality restored!