Office 2011 to take advantage of OS X Lion features

Microsoft have released news of an up and coming software update for Office 2011 for Mac, the update is due to bring some of OS X Lion’s new features to the top selling Office package. Users will benefit from full screen functions, version history and auto save functionality.

The update has not yet been released but when it is it will be available to all Office 2011 users through the built in software update functionality.

Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac is available from PC World for only £99, and is a must have for all Ms Office Fans

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{Advanced} LaunchPad App Removal – OS X 10.7

EDIT: There is now an even easier way to control Launchpad contents! <- Click

Frustratingly the current implementation of the ‘LaunchPad’ in OS X Lion (10.7) seems to have one or two fairly major pit falls. One of which really frustrated me until now. On day of released I downloaded and installed Parallels Desktop 6, which the LaunchPad decided it would try and help and ‘dump’ all of the Windows App’s in the LaunchPad. Which would have been fine, however after I removed Parallels Desktop 6 trial all the Windows app’s where left orphaned on the LaunchPad.

Now users of the LaunchPad will already be aware that removing apps from LaunchPad isn’t easy unless the apps where installed via the AppStore.

But – if you are willing to dip your toe’s in SQL water you can remove the apps ‘manually’

First of all you will need a good SQL database editor. I have been using SQLite Database Browser for my iPhone app development. So grab a copy of that – and pull up your socks!

For the next part, you will either need to unhide the hidden folders and files, or open finder and use the ‘Go To Folder’ menu option to launch the hidden Library folder..


Once inside the folder locate the ‘Application Support’ folder, then inside there the ‘Dock’ folder. You should see a file with a pretty random name, and a .db extension. Create a backup of this file and copy the file into another folder such as you desktop, or your documents.

Now, launch the SQLite Database Browser you downloaded earlier, and open the .DB file from your documents folder.

The database contains a collection of tables, the important one we will be working with are:

  1. Items – Each item on the LaunchPad is listed in this table
  2. Apps – Each application(parent) is listed in this table
Now, click on the ‘Browse Data’ button and change the table name to ‘apps’. Navigate down the table and find the title of the application you would like to remove from the LaunchPad, once you have found it make a note of the value in the ‘bundleid’.
Now, select the Execute SQL button and copy and paste the SQL below into the window.

DELETE FROM items WHERE rowid IN (SELECT item_id FROM apps WHERE bundleid LIKE ‘bundleidhere‘);
DELETE FROM apps WHERE bundleid LIKE ‘bundleidhere‘;

Replace the green bundleidhere text in the pasted code with the value you made a note of earlier. So for my example I wanted to get rid of anything Parallels had left behind, so my SQL code looks like:

You may notice the % symbol in my code, this essential means remove an apps who’s bundleid starts with com.parallels.winapp – which captures all of the Parallels apps.

Once you have made the required changes, click the ‘Execute Query’ button. If all is well the ‘error message’ filed should read ‘No Error’. Now you can press on the Save button and close down the SQLite app.

Copy the .db file back into it’s original location (~/Library/Application Support/Dock), making sure you keep a copy of the original, just in case.

You will now need to relaunch the Dock in order for the changes to take effect. You can do this by either logging off and back on again, rebooting, force quitting or using the killall dock command in the terminal.

That’s it.. All being well your LaunchPad should now be free of the offending applications! Hopefully in the next OS X update this issue will be addressed and will be slightly more straightforward.

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OS X Lion is here!

Well… Ok, it’s actually here…. That’s right, after what seems like months (really only weeks) of waiting, OS X Lion has just hit the download shelves of the Mac App Store!

OS X Lion boasts 250 new features, never before seen in any previous OS X version. Some of the main features include the LaunchPad, where iPad users will feel at home. Many new multi-touch gestures, the new file sharing technology called AirDrop – and many many more!

The download will cost a measly £25, and should be around 3.5GB. However, for those of you who would prefer assistance with your OS X upgrade, or who’s internet has download limits/is too slow you can (apparently) also visit your local Apple store and have then assist with the download/install. You may want to check with your local store first of all before packing up your things and heading over there

Using this link you should be whisked over to the Mac App Store, where you should find OS X Lion listed to buy/download.

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FIXED: Do you want the application “iTunes.app” to accept incoming network connections?

If you are a keen believer in protected device usage (which you should be) and you employ a strict security regime including a strict firewall policy, you may find yourself constantly having to allow access to stock applications such as iTunes. This is because these applications are ‘codesigned’ to ensure the firewall only lets them through if, they have not been modified in anyway. So if you have installed any iTunes plugins, or modified iTunes in anyway, you will find this pop up will appear each time despite which option you choose.

To stop this for coming up, you will either need to reverse the modifications to iTunes or obtain a self sign certificate and sign it yourself.

If you’d rather reverse the modifications (Recommended) launch a terminal window (/Applications/Utilities/Terminal) and type in the following:

This will return one of the following results:

(Which actually suggests iTunes has not been modified, so if you get this at this stage – this tutorial will not help you)

Or you will get the following (particular files may vary):

So as you can see, the codesign application suggests the signed version of iTunes has been modified, therefore it’s no longer ‘signed’

To resolve this issue, launch a finder window location iTunes in your Applications folder, right click on it and click show contents. Now remove each of the files listed in the terminal window. It’s worth noting that removing the wrong files from this folder may well prevent iTunes from working all together. So you may want to either back them up somewhere or simply leave them in the ‘Trash’ until you are happy.

If you would prefer to leave iTunes in it’s modified state, then you will need to follow the Code Signing Guide over at Apples website

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MobileMe turns into iCloud

All of you lucky ‘MobileMe’ members (me included) will be pleased to see this arriving in their inboxes over the next few days…

Dear MobileMe member,

We’d like to share some exciting news with you about iCloud — Apple’s upcoming cloud service, which stores your content and wirelessly pushes it to your devices. iCloud integrates seamlessly with your apps, so everything happens automatically. Available this fall, iCloud is free for iOS 5 and OS X Lion users.

What does this mean for you as a MobileMe member?

When you sign up for iCloud, you’ll be able to keep your MobileMe email address and move your mail, contacts, calendars, and bookmarks to the new service.

Your MobileMe subscription will be automatically extended through June 30, 2012, at no additional charge. After that date, MobileMe will no longer be available.

When iCloud becomes available this fall, we will provide more details and instructions on how to make the move. In the meantime, we encourage you to learn more about iCloud.

Sincerely,

The MobileMe Team

Personally – I can’t wait for this to arrive… Along with my copy of OS X Lion of course 😀

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