Monthly Archives: April 2012
Here’s a couple of tricks you can use to eek a bit more life out of your old battery between recharges.
1. Turn off the keyboard backlights by pressing F5.
2. Turn off Bluetooth in the menu bar.
3. If you’re not using the Internet, turn off Wifi in the menu bar.
4. If you are using the internet, but you’re not expecting or bothered about receiving mail for a time, quit Mail or any other email client app. If you still want to check your email and you use a web-based mail service like GMail, you’ll use less battery power if you quit Mail, and open GMail directly in your browser window.
5. Reduce the hard disk drive sleep time (formerly known as ‘spindown’). By default, your Mac will power down the hard disk after 10 minutes inactivity on battery power. You could try setting that to 5 minutes (any less, and you’ll probably lose what you gain as the the HD will end up having to power up more often than necessary).
To do so, open Terminal, and copy/paste this command:
sudo pmset -b disksleep 5
After pressing ‘Return’ on your keyboard, you will need to enter your password, which will be invisible when you type it (so type carefully).
If you want to change it back to its default anytime in the future, just use the same command but change the ‘5’ to ’10’.
This doesn’t affect the spindown time when you’re on mains power.
If you find deleting a file deletes it immediately without sending it to the Trash first, you may need to fix permisssions on your Trash folder.
Open Terminal (Applications > Utilities > Terminal.app) and type
Scroll up if necessary to the beginning of the list and you should see a couple of folders whose names begin with a dot.
Ignore .Trashes, but look at the permissions on .Trash, they should read like this (also see the pic above):
drwx- – – – – – <your_username> staff (size) (date) .Trash/
Ignore the numbers, but if the permissions are different or the username is not your account username, then do the following:
At the Terminal command prompt, type the following, replacing ‘your_username’ with (yep, you guessed it…) your username.
sudo chown -R your_username .Trash
For example, if my user name is ‘SnowLpd’ I would type
sudo chown -R SnowLpd .Trash
Then press ‘Return’. You will need to enter your password, which will be invisible when you type it (so type carefully). Now go and test your ‘delete’ function to see if the problem is cured. 🙂
If you need to flush the DNS cache in Mac OS X, be aware that the commands for this have changed through successive OSs, including Lion.
Flushing the cache is sometimes a good idea if you are unable to reach a site that you know is live but keeps returning an error (you can check whether a site is live for others by typing its address here: Down for everyone or just me?).
You can download my free app FastTasks that will do this (and a whole lot more! 🙂 ) for you without you needing to mess around on the command line. However, if you want to do it manually, then open Terminal (Applications > Utilities > Terminal.app) and use the appropriate command for your operating system:
In Leopard / Snow Leopard
In Lion and Mountain Lion
sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder
With Lion, you’ll have to follow the command with your Admin password, which will be invisible when you type it.
FastTasks – a utility for common terminal tasks
Generally, I like to keep browser extensions down to a minimum, but here’s an essential one if you are tired of all those ‘Clean your mac’ / ‘Speed up your mac’ ads on every website you visit. Download and install the Safari adblock extension from here:
What I like about this particular adblocker is that, if you go with the default filters, not only does it load your pages faster but it also reformats the page as if the ads were never even there, rather than leaving unsightly, blank placeholders in the page as some other ad filtering services do.
The extension is free, though you’re encouraged to donate if you appreciate the work done by the developer.
how to uninstall MacKeeper
Among all the confusing posts and scare stories on offer this week about the flashback trojan, a lot of people seem to have missed the instructions for dealing with it.
Here’s F-Secure’s removal procedure:
Here’s Rich Mogull’s general advice for securing your mac in light of this new threat:
It’s also worth emphasizing that, for technical reasons, if your mac has Microsoft Office 2008 or 2011 or Apple’s XCode installed, this particular trojan will not have been able to infect your computer.