Some tips to make Mac OS X Finder easier to use

Making the switch from Windows or Linux to Mac OS X is not without pain. The extra CMD key plays havoc with muscle memory, and the “Windows Explorer” of Mac OS X, Finder, is quite a different beast to what you might be used to in the Windows or Linux worlds.

About two weeks ago I decided to make the switch again to Mac OS X and I lamented the difficulty in using Finder to do simple tasks. I’m still not 100% happy with Mac OS X it but the tips on the following pages made things easier:

  • Home and End keys work on a line, not a document, silly.
  • Disable natural scrolling.
  • Switch CMD and ALT if you’re using a PC keyboard. I have a lovely split keyboard but the default configuration hurt my fingers.
  • Change the keyboard layout if your keyboard doesn’t work the way you’re used to. I still haven’t got this set up exactly as I want it to. In my terminal some keys act differently I think but I haven’t set aside time to work out which. I need to swap ” (shift-2) with @ (key to the top/left of right-shift). My muscle memory gets them mixed up all the time.
  • Automount SMB drives automatically. I haven’t been able to get the fstab method to work yet because my password has spaces but the “User Login” one works well enough.
  • Change Finder search so it searches the current directory by default.
  • Type the path into Finder.
  • 9 tips to improve Finder.
  • Sorting and arranging in Finder.
  • Right click on the directory name in Finder and show a dropdown of the path to that directory.
  • Install Mac Ports to get a working copy of Rsync and a better ls that lets me put parameters after the filename.

There are still oddities. When Mac OS X mounts an SMB share it does so with permissions that only allows the current user to edit files in the share. That’s perfectly understandable but it messes things up for Rsync when I’m syncing directories with a remote host. I’ve had to resort to using the “–size-only” parameter of Rsync so it won’t attempt to sync every file each time. I need to figure out if that can be fixed somehow.

I’ll update this post from time to time as I come across more oddities.

Windows screenshots on a Macbook Pro laptop

Creating a screenshot in Windows is normally simple. Press Print Screen, fire up paint and paste it in. However what do you do when you have a laptop keyboard without a PRT SCN button?

It’s rather simple actually, thanks macrumors people.

To create a screenshot on a Macbook Pro laptop press either fn+shift+F11 or fn+ALT+F11. The latter one grabs a single window. Fire up paint and CTRL-v those pixels in!

Crash Different

An oldie, but as they say, “a goody”. For all the Mac fans who are sick and tired of their computers crashing. (Hey Mark!)
Found this on a CD while sorting through my CDRs and music collection. Most are now ripped to MP3 and the physical media is heading into the attic for safe storage.

Why is it that most of my compilation CDs are from about 10 years ago? Does music become less relevant the older you get? I’ve never bought music online but if I do, Blue Lights on the Runway by Bell X1 will probably be the first album I buy. Love “The Great Defector”, their current single.

Mac OS X Leopard and Nokia N73 Bluetooth Problems

When I got my new Macbook a few weeks back I thought I could use the Bluetooth functions to browse and copy files from my Nokia N73. It worked just fine on my previous Macbook, an old 2 year old machine destroyed by a cup of tea, so I wasn’t expecting any problems.

Unfortunately it seems that Mac OS X Leopard and the latest firmware of the Nokia N73 just do not like each other. No matter what I did, I could not get the Macbook and N73 to pair. The configuration tool stopped every single time on the “getting more information” part of the wizard. I’m not the only one experiencing problems. There’s a long thread on the Apple website. Both Apple and Nokia have been informed and are aware of the problem but I suspect it’s something in Nokia’s latest N73 firmware.

I have a card reader, now to find the SD sleeve that came with my Sony Ericsson phone. Nokia didn’t include one with their phone.

PS. does anyone else find the keyboard of their Macbook isn’t as responsive as it should be? I have to really hit the y and Enter keys to make sure. It is very annoying!

Macbook Porn

After I destroyed my Apple Macbook I thought I’d never get to put stickers on a Macbook again. Luckily the machine was insured and the replacement Macbook came this morning.

Compared to the previous machine this one is a huge upgrade! The new Macbook has 2GB of RAM, a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, 160GB drive and comes with Mac OS X Leopard installed!

Now, where did I put that Ubuntu install disk ..