Friday, December 17, 2010

iTunes and AirPort Updates

I found two updates from Apple this evening. One is for iTunes and another is for AirPort Utility.

The following is the comparison of the used space difference between before and after:

Command: df -lakUsed(Kilobytes in 1024-blocks)
Before ...26,148
Difference (A-B)54,240

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mac Apps: Glims Plug in for Safari and TimeMachineEditor

I found two great and long waiting Mac applications. One is a plugin for Safari to load previous tabs on start: Glims. Safari, unlike Chrome or FireFox, does not restore the previous tabs on start. I have tried to figure out a way to do that for long time. Now Glims does what I want.

The second one is to add TimeMachine backup intervals. By default, the TimeMachine does backups at about one hour interval and there is no configuration to change it. This frequent backups are not suitable for MacBook Air. I would like to schedule backup in a daily base. I think I found this app information from Mac Geek Gab podcast 300. This was an around table talk with several geeks. During the talk, each one mentioned his favourite apps. TimeMachineEditor got my immediate attention.

I really like this tool. Basically, it is a UI tool for backup schedule. In order to do the backup in the schedule way, the TimeMachine has to be turned off. I think that TimeMachineEditor is a script based app. It generates a script to schedule TM job.

Today I verified that my TM did have a backup as scheduled:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mac App for MacBook Battery: coconutBattery

Battery usage hours and battery life are critical specs for laptop computers. Based on the information from Apple, my new MacBook Air 13" is supposed to have 7 hour usage. I am going to test out how good the battery is. One way to test it is to use it and keep eye on its battery hours. Another way is to use application to monitor and record battery hours.

I found one free Mac app related to Battery specs. It is coconutBattery. Here is the current status of my battery:

However, it does actually provide information about my MacBook usage history, such as when is the last charge time, and how many hours are in sleep mode and active mode since the last charge. It may be a good case for a Mac app.

The Mac OS does provide a tool to show the battery status. It is an icon on the right top side the system menu bar. It provides different way to show batter status such as time left, and access to Energy Save Preference.

Yesterday I noticed from this icon that my battery reached to a very low point. Then it displayed a warning message saying that my MacBook Air would be in sleep mode in a few minutes:

I waited for the moment. In a few of minutes, my computer went to a black screen. There was no respond for any key pressed. After that, I plugged in my power and the screen came back. It was very nice experience. I think the battery status icon does provide accurate status. This provides me a chance to save my data and turn off my computer if no power is available.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

MacBook Air Setup

I got a MacBook Air 13" base model last Black Friday(Nov 26, 2010). The price was abut $100 off the regular price, or $50 less than the education price. 11" did have special. That's why I did not hesitate to pick up this modal. Another reason is that I will take this laptop with me during my Christmas vacation back to Beijing.

Since the Air model has limited HD space, 112GB, I cannot migrate all my account from my iMac27 to this one. The basic I need are iTunes music, podcasts, and some applications. What I did is to use Migration Assistant app to only migrate my iTunes music and uncheck all the others. After that, I installed XCode from my iMac CD as shared, and simply copied some my favourite apps from my iMac 27 to Air's Public->Drop Box.

All works fine; however, I realized that all most of all the music contents, videos and podcasts are not available:

I thought that I may not do it correctly. I tried three times. What I have in my iTunes are all the icons and items only, but most of the contents are not there. In iTunes, for each item, there is one Show in Finder menu item in its context menu. This is what I had in my Air:

At my iMac 27, I can find out where the music file is. Actually, I realize that my iTunes at my iMac 27 has sharing turned on for all the contents. As a result, all the music, podcasts and videos are in my Public->Music folder. I did not check the Public folder in my Migration. The Migration does not show further detail under the Public. I could not turn Public as checked since the size was too big.

Fortunately, all my music are organized by albums, and each album is a folder. I first copied the albums I am interested from my iMac 27 to my Air's Drop Box. Then I moved the files from my Drop Box to the same location on my Air. After that, all the music I want are there in my iTunes.

One thing I realize that copying a group of music or video files in large size takes long time to complete. The communication between my iMac and Aire is in WiFi mode. There is no wire connection. I have placed an order of ethernet to USB cable and USB male to male cable from Monoprice. When I receive it, I give it a try again with 4.11GB in size again.

By the way, to get the summary size of group files, select a group of files in Finder first. Open its context menu, control+click. Then hold option key, the menu "Get Info" will change to "Get Summary Info". "Get Summary Info" will display one info window, while "Get Info" will display a group of Windows.

Update: today (Dec 16, 2010) I received my USB to Ethernet adaptor. I gave it try again. With 400MB video file, it took about 14 minutes with the USB-Ethernet wire connection:

while Wifi took about more than 20 minutes for the same file:

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Free App: EasyFind

I found a great tool for finding files, EasyFinder by DEVONTechnologies. This is a supplementary tool for Mac Finder. I could not find figure out a way to find a file by matching file patterns. EasyFinder provides a nice UI with a lots of features in addition to what I need.

The UI is a Finder like window. To search for files, for example "black friday", type in the word in search box, and click on Find button on the right. The result will be displayed in the main area with detail information by columns. The UI supports quick view, open, reveal in Finder, and delete.

Be careful with delete, there is no warning for delete. By default, the deleted file will be in Trash. Unfortunately, if the deleted file in a long path somewhere hard to remember, you cannot restore it back from Trash. The restore feature is a long demanded feature from Mac users. Therefore, I removed the Delete button from toolbar and add Info instead:

I found out that Control+C copies file names with whole path if one or more files are selected. This may be a way or good habit to take a note of files before you delete any files.