iOS8.1On October 16th at the end of the press conference, iOS 8.1’s release was firmed up as being Monday the 20th, iOS 8.1 is thought to bring with it a myriad of bug fixes – including the case of the notification bar that blankly refuses to disappear and a hand full of new features which should please iOS fans who also own OS X based hardware.

There are three features in particular which are causing the most buzz on the news networks – those features are as follows:

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OS X YosemiteUnlike Microsoft Windows, by default OS X hides system files from end users. There is a perfectly reasonable explanation for this. Some of the files which are hidden, are important and damaging them could prevent your system from booting all together.

However – on the flip side, there is often a valid reason for needing access to those files. Anything from needing to change a system setting to removing files an unruly application has left behind.

There are several ways to show hidden files in OS X, the easiest would probably be to follow this tutorial on how to build an Automator script. This will give you an icon that you simply have to double-click on to show or hide the files.

Alternatively, if you are just looking for something in your Library folder, did you know that if you click “Go” in the menu bar whilst in Finder, then whilst the menu is expanded click the Alt key on your keyboard the Library menu will appear.

Another method would be to run a command in a terminal window to change the system setting. To do this all you need to do is:

  1. Open Finder
  2. Open the Utilities folder
  3. Open a terminal window
  4. Copy and paste the following line in:
    SUDO defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles YES; killall Finder
  5. Press return
  6. Enter your administrator password when prompted
  7. Press return

You should find the finder window will disappear, along with the icons on your desktop. However, if you now launch a new finder instance you will now be able to see any hidden files or folders. Once you are done, perform the steps above however, replace the terminal command in step 4 with:

SUDO defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles NO; killall Finder

If the above is not working for you, you may want to try switching YES/NO to TRUE/FALSE .. Beware that this is case-sensitive!

defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

If you are experiencing issues using the examples above, please post a comment using the comments system below.



BlueStacksIn todays device rich world, many of us get frustrated being locked into using one device for a particular application, and although emulators have been on the market for sometime now, few are as powerful as BlueStacks.

BlueStacks AppPlayer is an Android application emulator which allows Android apps to be used on OS X and Windows machines. The supported catalogue is far too large to list, but it would seem if you can name it BlueStacks supports it.

The AppPlayer works by connecting to your GooglePlay store account, once connected there’s a small application to install on your Android device to enable 1-click app syncing then your done.

The application features a PlayStore search engine which returns results from the PlayStore and enables you to run applications as if you was using an Android device.

As with all emulators (and more importantly Android apps) some applications work better then others. In fact, some applications don’t work at all.. However, if you are looking to connect to the Whatsapp network using the BlueStacks app, this seems to work pretty well.

So if you are looking to run Android Apps on OS X you can download BlueStacks by clicking this direct link



OS X comes with somewhat of a hidden feature straight out of the box. That’s the ability to fire AppleScripts on folder actions. Those actions could be anything from files being added, changed or deleted from a folder.

This can be handy if you need notification of when a file has finished downloading or need to rotate log files etc.

AppleScript is a powerful language, which to the beginner may even seem quite daunting. Luckily there’s a script all ready and waiting which notifies you of folder changes.

To switch on this feature, navigate to the folder you’d like to monitor. Now pull up the context menu (right click) and select folder actions setup.

Folder Actions

 

From here select the ‘add – new item alert.scpt’

Add Item

Once added, you have the opportunity to modify the Apple Script should you wish. If you are happy with the notification popup, simply close down the open windows and wait..

That’s all there is to it really, if you need something a little more advanced, you’ll have to break open the AppleScript editor. Or post a response below, and I’ll post a tutorial on how to do what you need!



3D men chattingThe built-in OS X Messages app really is a powerful communication tool, handy for staying in touch with friends and family across a range of chat type technologies.

By default the application supports connecting to:

  1. AIM
  2. Google Talk
  3. Jabber
  4. Yahoo Chat

A lesser known fact is that Facebook chat is actually based on the Jabber platform, which means you can connect to and use the service using nothing but the OS X Messages app.

To add your Facebook chat account to the Messages app:

  1. launch it from your applications folder or spotlight,
  2. Click on the ‘Messages’ menu bar option and then click preferences or CMD and , on your keyboard
  3. Click on the ‘Accounts’ tab, and then click the + symbol at the bottom of the screen
  4. Enter the details as per the screenshot below, replacing the stars with your Facebook profile name and your Facebook account password.
    Facebook chat settings
  5. Then click the Create button.

You should now find you will have an extra list of ‘friends’ showing on your screen. This window is actually named ‘Buddies’ and has lists of contacts from networks outside of the iMessage network.

To start a chat with someone on the Jabber network, simply double-click on their name, or type it in as you would a normal iMessage.

The Messages app comes bundled with OS X Snow Leopard and isn’t available in older versions of OS X.

 




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