Over the last few years OS X has got progressively more intuitive memory management, however – it’s still not completely flawless. This is obvious when using Virtual Machine technologies such as VMWare Fusion, OS X is not overly quick ‘mopping’ up memory once fusion is closed down. Which is where the terminal command PURGE comes in.

The purge command cleans out the memory and disk caches, and by doing a purge you are essentially replicating a system reboot.

To perform a purge, follow the instructions below:

  1. Open Finder
  2. Open the Utilities folder
  3. Open a terminal window
  4. Copy and paste the following line in:
    sudo purge
  5. Press return
  6. Enter your admin password
  7. Press return

This one is worth a shot if you’re busy opening/closing applications and you feel performance slipping.

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Hands on: xScope

On November 5, 2013, in Blog, by

Back in October this year a StackSocial bundle offer landed in my mailbox. Since I started receiving these bundle mails they have never ceased to amaze me with some of the software they contain.. Most of the bundles include a piece of popular ‘flag ship’ software, and all of them contain smaller pieces.. Generally pieces I have never heard of before, and often on first glance I look at them and think – “I’m not sure I could make use of that” however I generally install them anyway, because … Hey – you should never judge a book by its cover!

One such item was xScope by Iconfactory .. xScope is a collection of 8 tools in one easy to use utility, primarily aimed at developers – the tool makes it unbelievably easily to achieve the perfect design and layout of pretty much anything on-screen. It’s ideal for aligning and measuring images, divs, tables, forms, controls and much much more.

The tool floats on top of all other applications and uses a simple “grab and drag” control on the ruler to make measuring as easy as possible.

Screen Shot 2013 11 05 at 11.58.13 Hands on: xScope

But it doesn’t stop there.. You can also use xScope to check out what your design/application/site will look like on screens of various sizes with a simple click of a button!

Screen Shot 2013 11 05 at 12.11.53 Hands on: xScope

When I first downloaded the tool, I didn’t think I’d ever really use it.. How wrong was I, it soon became an important part of any design and development tasks! It even sports pride of place on my super clean minimalistic dock!

So to recap:

The good:

I am a big fan of anything that makes tasks around design and development easier and more streamlined, this certainly goes a long way to help with this. I think the price for such a powerful little utility is just right, even more so if you manage to bag it in a bundle.

The bad:

This is a tough one, as the tool doesn’t really have any downsides.. When I first started using it, reading the ruler correctly was a bit of a challenge – but once I got used to over stretching it slightly I quickly worked out that quirk.

The bottom line:

I am really please StackSocial decided to include this in their bundle, and I am pretty positive I will be upgrading to later versions as and when they arrive. This tool easily bags a 5 star rating from me.

Rating:

5.0 star big Hands on: xScope

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MacKeeper v2.61 Review

On August 11, 2013, in Blog, Review, by

Screen Shot 2013 08 11 at 10.06.21 300x236 MacKeeper v2.61 Review

MacKeeper v2.61

As a daily OS X user, I know just how important it is to keep your Mac running as good as new. There’s nothing worse than having to sit and wait for your Mac whilst it processes the most basic of commands and requests.

OS X is a complex beast, and if you don’t do regular maintenance you’ll soon find it grinding to a halt. Sure, there’s hundreds of terminal commands and finder tweaks you can do to clean things up. But with applications such as MacKeeper available to download there’s really no need to fumble around in the terminal.

Launching MacKeeper automatically starts the ‘Fast Cleanup’ scan, which even on my packed 500GB ‘spiny disk’ hard drive takes about 3 minutes to complete. Once done the fresh, easy to use GUI outlines everything MacKeeper is able to clean using it’s “one click” clean process. During the fast cleanup, MacKeeper cleans unused application binaries, empties system and user cache locations, removes unused language files from applications and clears down log file locations.

So what does this mean

By default, when you install applications they also install the required language files to service every possible language. (Which have been packaged with the app) So for example if your Mac OS X is installed with only the UK language packs, chances are you are not going to need the bulk of German, French, Spanish etc language files in each of your installed apps. As you can imagine, these can quite rapidly start taking up storage space.

Equally the cache locations can also become packed out with cache files for each of your used applications. Sure, cache’s are great for speeding up the launch of often used apps. However, no doubt your frequent app use changes every now an then. So it’s always a good idea to regenerate the cache now and again.

Also – log file rotation is often set quite low with some applications, so some log files can be kept for weeks, months or even years. Generally when investigating an issue you would only need a hand full of log files, and would rarely need to go hunting through older logs.

I generally run clean up operations (after a full system backup of course) on a monthly basis and generally clear down between 500mb to 1GB’s worth of accumulated ‘junk’. So imagine if you’ve never performed a cleanup on your two-year old mac!

But wait! There’s more..

Where MacKeeper stands out from the crowds of other system maintenance tools is with its plethora of other built-in utilities and tools. Such as; Duplicates file finder, Disk Usage mapper, Smart Uninstaller, update tracker, data encryptor, file shredder, deleted file recovery, Internet security and theft recovery to name but a few!

That’s a total of apps worth £410.00, that you get bundled with MacKeeper for only £34.95!

The Good:

MacKeeper makes it extremely easy for even the mac novice keep their mac running as good as new, and utilise as much space as possible on the stock hard drive. The utilities are easy to use, and give excellent feedback and detailed instructions of what’s going to happen when you push the buttons etc. Whats more, each tab of the application has the ability to connect you to the MacKeeper support team.

The Bad:

MacKeeper performs tasks that could be done using terminal (if you are brave enough, and have to time to research and practice the commands) although that could be dangerous if you are not a confident terminal user..

The Bottom Line:

This app get’s 5 out of 5 for its ease of use and all round collection of system utilities. With this installed there’s nothing more you will need to keep your mac in ‘tip-top’ condition.

Rating:
5.0 star big MacKeeper v2.61 Review

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Screen Shot 2013 06 04 at 19.09.50 150x150 Disable OS X application persistence
One feature which seems to divide the masses is OS X’s ability to relaunch your applications on startup/reboot. This feature is know as Apple Persistence, which is personally a feature I am not really a fan of. It’s very rare for me to want the same applications on each use of my MacBook, asides from the obvious email and unified comms clients of course.

So – to disable to ‘persistent’ application mode simply follow these simple steps below

  1. Open the Utilities folder
  2. Open a terminal window
  3. Copy and paste the following line in:
    sudo defaults write -g ApplePersistence -bool no
  4. Enter your password and press enter

Now the next time you reboot, you’ll be greeted with your beautiful desktop wallpaper, and not the plethora of apps and browser windows.

If you decide you miss the feature, all you need to do is switch the boolean value back to yes:

sudo defaults write -g ApplePersistence -bool yes
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Screen Shot 2013 06 04 at 16.51.41 150x150 OS X & Google Chrome NTLM AuthenticationGoogle Chrome for OS X generally doesn’t play well with proxy servers, especially those that require NTLM authentication. Those who have tried to use it in the past will be greeted with a constant barrage of proxy authentication prompts, each successful entry of credentials loads a tiny little bit more of the site..

However, there is a way to resolve this. Using a simple command in OS X terminal you can enable NTLM authentication in Chrome, and only have to enter your credentials once.

  1. Open Finder
  2. Open the Utilities folder
  3. Open a terminal window
  4. Copy and paste the following line in:
    Sudo /Applications/Google\ Chrome.app/Contents/MacOS/Google\ Chrome --auth-schemes="ntlm"
  5. Enter your password and press enter
  6. Now quit and relaunch all Chrome windows.

That’s it. You should never be prompted again, at least not until you change your password.

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