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avoiding autosave applications

If autosave is slowing you down, there may be nothing else for it than to switch from your favourite Apple app to an alternative that doesn’t use the feature. Here’s a rundown of some of the main autosave-enabled apps and some possible non-autosave replacements.

Preview –> Skim (for pdfs)
Skim is a great little free program that is based on Preview but adds some extra functionality, especially useful if you do a lot of annotations and note-taking. All the basic controls are familiar from Preview, including trackpad zooms and rotations. There’s two limitations: it’s pdf only, and it doesn’t have the ability to create hyperlinks.

Preview –> Graphic Converter (for images)
Old standard beloved by many Mac users. Note that the latest version does support autosave, but unlike native Apple apps, gives you the option to turn it off. Available on the app store. Main drawback: it’s not free (current price about $40).

TextEdit –> Tincta
Love this free program, and you can find it in the app store. Does everything TextEdit does and more. If you do any sort of coding, you’ll love Tincta. Everyone should have this!

Terminal –> iTerm2
You’re not really going to notice autosave in Terminal if you only use it for the odd command. If you’re doing anything more than that, well, you should be using iTerm2 anyway. Free, powerful, essential.

Pages & Numbers –> Office/Libreoffice
The only real answer to these outside of the MSOffice suite is the free Libreoffice.

Keynote –> Powerpoint/OpenSong

Well, sometimes it’s just the devil you know. Yes, you can’t really beat MSPowerpoint, but of course that’s a heavy investment. A free option that might be worth giving a try is OpenSong.

Tried any of these, or found your own alternative to autosave-apps? Let us know in the Comments below!


turn off Resume – the definitive solution!

Finally, someone’s come up with the definitive – and as far as I know only – successful solution to turning of the OS X Lion Resume feature. This little trick from poster billearl will stop your Mac opening all the apps that were still running when you shutdown/restart.

1. Close all windows and quit all apps.

2. In Finder, hold down the Option key and click ‘Go’ in the menu bar at the top.

3. Choose ‘Library’ (you have to have the Option key held down to see Library in the menu).

4. Navigate to Library > Preferences > ByHost >[xxxxxxxxx].plist

The [xxxxxxxx] represent some interminable string of numbers and letters. Don’t mistake it for the similarly entitled Unix executable file. What you need to check is that its ‘loginwindow’ and ‘.plist’ at the end.

5. When you’re sure you’ve identified the right file, select it and press Cmd-i to show the ‘Get Info’ window. Click the ‘Locked’ option.

6. Now, test that it works. Close the ‘Get info’ window and the finder window. Open up Safari, Preview and a couple of windows. Do a restart and behold — if you followed the instructions correctly — a clean desktop!

Now, a small word of caution. One thing this trick won’t do is stop your apps like Safari and Preview from re-opening the last page/file when you manually fire them up after restart. In order to get them to forget your last opened page/file, you also need to do this:

7. Go to the ~/Library/ Saved Application State folder.

8. Select all the contents inside and send them to Trash.

9. Right-click on the Saved Application State folder’s icon and choose ‘Get Info’ (or press cmd-i).

10. Click the ‘Locked’ option. If it’s greyed out, go down to the padlock at the bottom, click on that and enter your password. You should now be able to check the ‘Locked’ option.

And finally, after those ten (phew…) steps…no more Resume!

Time Machine – anywhere, anytime!

One of the nice new features of OS X Lion is that you can access your Time Machine backups even when you are disconnected from the drive such as on the commute to work or even while on holiday. The downside is it takes up a chunk of your HD that you might not want to give up. Fortunately, you can turn this feature on or off (it’s on by default in Macbook’s, but off by default in iMac/Mac Pro).

When the feature is on, local snapshots of the last few days’ Time Machine backups are stored on a local drive called MobileBackups. If your time machine backup disc should get corrupted for any reason, these can also serve as a second line of defence. Be careful though, these backups get replaced and updated without warning, so don’t rely on them for anything more than the last couple of days saves.

You can access these from the regular Time Machine icon. Alternatively, find them by clicking on the computer name at the bottom of the left-hand column in any Finder window, and then navigating to the MobileBackups drive.

If you want this option on your iMac/Mac Pro, you’ll have to enable it through Terminal. Open the Terminal application and paste in the following command:

sudo tmutil enablelocal

followed by your admin password and a return-key stroke (don’t expect to see anything when you type the password).

If Terminal returns to the prompt you should be good to go. Check by opening Time Machine preferences, which should now display the message that “Time machine keeps local snapshots as space permits and…” followed by the Time Machine backup schedule. If it hasn’t worked, it’ll just say “Time machine keeps:” and then the schedule.

If you wish to disable local snapshots to save disk space (mine takes up about 8GB), then just type:

sudo tmutil disablelocal

followed by your password. Don’t forget to quit Terminal straight after you’ve verified everything’s working. Enjoy!

Time Machine Preferences:

turn off Resume – updated

NOTE: this post has been superceded. See the definitive guide to turning of Resume for good >>here!<<

This is going to be a major pain for a lot of people, including me!

One of the main reasons I do Cmd-Q (Quit command) is precisely because I want the app to open in a default mode and not to re-open what I was just doing. This is particularly the case if an app goes a bit squiffy or is just not doing what I want it to do.

One way to avoid Resume is to use the option key when you quit. Use the hotkey combination

Opt + Cmd + Q

or chose Quit from the application menu while holding down the option key. That will both quit the program and discard all current windows. However, if you want to turn off Resume completely, here’s how to do it:

1. Go to the Apple icon in the top left and choose ‘System Preferences’.

The first icon at the top is ‘General’. Choose that, then look down the bottom for an option that says ‘Restore windows when quitting and re-opening apps’. You need to UN-check that box to turn of Resume.

However, that’s not the end of Resume, as epbernstein kindly pointed out in the Commments below. Lion will still re-open all your un-quitted apps if you do a restart. In order to avoid this, you need to make sure you un-check the dialogue box in the close-down/restart menu:

By default, this will always be checked, so you’ll have to remember to un-check it every time. Alternatively, you can install and run a script to make this dialog box ineffective (it’ll still show it’s checked, but it won’t work). This is not an ideal solution since it means that if you forget (or someone else using your machine doesn’t know), there’s no indication that the feature is ‘off’. However, if you’re desperate to make sure this feature is off, this looks like the best option so far.

In case you didn’t see the note at the top of the page:😉
NOTE: this post has been superceded. See the definitive guide to turning of Resume for good >>here!<<

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