Posts tagged “OS X”.

How to Disable Auto Log Off on Mac OS X

August 31st, 2015

So your Mac keeps logging you off automatically? After about 30 minutes?

My work iMac, running OS X 10.9.5 Mavericks, kept logging me off after a period of a half hour or so. I would leave my desk for a meeting, say, and come back to find me logged out and all my applications closed. Grindingly frustrating.

After lots of searching, I finally found the solution – almost by accident.

Pref pane on Mac OS X

Head to Preferences, and the Security & Privacy pane (above).

Advanced tab in Security & Privacy

Go to the fourth tab at the top, “Privacy.” Hit the “Advanced…” button at the bottom of the window.

Uncheck the automatically log out

UNCHECK THIS BASTARD.

And done.

Hope that helps!

Newton Poetry First-Ever Software Giveaway™: OneThingToday

December 7th, 2011

OneThingToday screenshot

Last fall I heard about a to-do app, OneThingToday, with a simple premise: get just one thing accomplished each day. Simple, straightforward — and something I thought any worthwhile text file junkie could do on his or her own.

OneThingToday’s developer, Mike Sykes, looked through his referral logs and found my post from last year. He dropped me a note to say he appreciated the mention, even if I showed how to do the whole thing yourself.

“You are absolutely correct when you say it’s nothing that can’t be done via many other methods, but I like to think there’s a little less friction with a dedicated app,” Sykes said. “Also for me iCal is for reminders, not tasks – that’s just how my mind works.”

He’s absolutely right, of course, especially if you work under David Allen’s GTD system. The calendar, so it goes, is sacred — and reserved for time-sensitive appointments or obligations. Sykes system takes your to-dos off the calendar and into a seamless system where the goal is modest (but appropriate): just do something today.

Sykes was nice enough to offer a few promo codes for people to try out OneThingToday, both for OS X and iOS, for free.

To get one of these promo codes, simply drop me an e-mail at newtonpoetry [at] gmail.com with the subject line, “OneThingToday Giveaway,” and tell me if you want the OS X or iOS version of OneThingToday. And while you’re at it, tell me a bit about yourself: how long you’ve been reading, if you still use your Newton, what else you’re interested in, etc. I’ll give a few promo codes out to the first couple of e-mails.

Thanks again to Mike Sykes for the chance to try out his software. He has a few other titles you can try out, too, at his Line Thirteen site.

Navigating the filesystem

January 28th, 2011

Thomas Brand over at Egg Freckles:

Yesterday’s Mac trained users on how to navigate the filesystem, while modern operating system like Mac OS X discourage its use. The gap between the abstraction of user space, and system space is widening. As computers become more like appliances the underlying operating system is becoming harder to access.

The question – is this a good thing or not? – can largely be answered depending on what type of person you are.

Geeks have been talking about Apple products as appliances since the beginning. To Apple, it’s part of their philosophy: computers for the rest of us, whereby “rest of us” means “those of us who aren’t willing to dive into the nitty gritty.”

I feel Brand’s apprehension about operating systems, with the iOS devices and with the new version of OS X, moving away from the ability to navigate the file system. I’m a folder-and-text-file kind of guy, too. When I got my first OS 9 Mac, it was a joy to dig into the System Folder and poke around at what was in there. This is probably why people ask me to help them work out software and hardware problems at work and at home. My brain is comfortable in a file system environment.

But golly, I’m surely in the minority. And so is Brand. We navigate the file system because it brings us the joy of discovery. For most people, they recoil in horror.

“Where did that file go?”

Brand says OS X provides too many options to find that file:

On Mac OS X Apple has hidden the Hard Drive icon and replaced it with a pre established list of shortcuts that offers speed of access at the price of user confusion. Should I go to the Dock, or the Finder’s sidebar to launch my application or open my file? How about a Spotlight search? With so many possibilities it is no wonder Mac OS X users are often confused about where their files are located.

But maybe the problem is that, either way, you’re forcing them to think about a certain file in a certain place in a certain folder. Right now, OS X fails to make that file easy to find, no matter how many UI schemes Apple introduces. People don’t care about where the file is, because they aren’t interested in organization or structure. They just want to work.

This is what makes iOS devices so popular: you don’t think about where the file is, you think about which app you’re going to use. And with iOS, apps couldn’t be easier to find.

Maybe it’s about expectations. I didn’t expect to go anywhere near the file system when I bought my iPhone. But I bought a Mac expecting that tinkering is a part of its operation. As long as Mac OS X has it both ways, where you have dashboard-style navigation cues for regular folks and the geekiness of the file system for the rest of us, I won’t put up too much of a fight.

Newton development marches on

November 24th, 2010

Newton wizard Eckhart Köppen on developing for the Newton OS post-OS X 10.5 Leopard:

I’ve been trying to put together simple compiler based on NEWT/0 and the DCL to allow at least some sort of text based development.

So far my experiments are actually quite successful, and it seems that developing Newton applications with just a text editor is not that impractical. It is in fact easier when it comes down to version control management. Some things are still missing for developing larger apps, like the ability to split the code into multiple source files, and a way to embed resources into the final package, but for simple applications (and even auto parts), we might have a way forward.

He’s wrapping up a compiler project, with scraps up on SourceForge right now. Pretty sweet.

NEWT/0 is an open source NewtonScript compiler for Windows, Linux, or OS X 10.3 and above. So Köppen’s version will be a compiler for newer versions of OS X. Can’t wait to see it.

[Via Newtontalk.]

Classic icons for your customizing needs

November 9th, 2010

Mac software geniuses Panic posted some quick little notes about Transmit 4 on their blog, and one of those little ditties was how to customize the icon for each connection. They provide 16 icons to get you started, but also offered a tip on an Iconfactory set.

Here’s what my customized Transmit icons look like:

Customized!

Pretty cool, especially considering The hello Show is a classic Mac podcast (sort of), and the Newton Poetry icon is a little eMate. These come from the excellent World of Aqua icon set by Dave Brasgalla, dating from 2001. The set includes all kinds of great semi-classic (G4 era) hardware, along with a few Newtons:

World of Aqua

Brasgalla made a whole series of these, some including the best hardware Apple’s made, and they all take you back to the early days of OS X.

I’ve never been a big icon customizer, but playing around with Transmit and setting some custom icons for things like my USB thumb drive and even Automator and AppleScript applications has been a lot of fun.

Revisiting the desktop metaphor

November 1st, 2010

Macintosh User Manual - Desktop

Peter Merholz reminds us the the dominant computer metaphor for the last 40 years has been the desktop, and it was Apple that brought that idea – files, documents, a trash can – to the masses.

Since 1984, we’ve seen other metaphors come along. The Newton operated on a kind of notepad metaphor – or an electronic personal organizer and day planner. Now, OS X 10.7 Lion, by way of iOS, gives us another way to interact with our files and windows: Launchpad.

From there to here, the desktop has been a good transition metaphor. Take what people know (working in an office, dealing with folders) and put it on a screen. Now we’re getting more abstract as the PC industry matures, and as we add more functionality to our machines.

[Via Daring Fireball.]

iMac G4 ad insert from 2002

April 8th, 2010

imacg4guidewired

Drool.

Here we see a great switcher message, and a kick-off to the “digital hub” strategy Steve Jobs laid out at Macworld the year before.

[Via David Kendal's tip.]

Snow Leopard leaves classic Mac OS behind

November 11th, 2009

twitteros8

Here’s a call out to all my classic Mac using friends.

From what I’ve read here and here, it’s not looking good. All the updates Apple threw into OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, and with the abandonment of PowerPC Macs, things like networking with OS 8 and 9 Macs and AppleTalk have been put out to pasture.

I was trying to network my PowerMac G3, running Mac OS 8.6, to my new Snow-Leopard-powered iMac over my Airport hub. No luck, despite some handy how-tos here and here.

After a half day spent trying to figure this out, and a bunch of forum list reading, I’ve just about given up. I thought it would be a fun rainy-day project for those with new and old Macs, especially for you, the people, who have OS 9/8 Macs still sitting around collecting dust.

Any suggestions, drop me an e-mail.

Newton connects with Snow Leopard

November 5th, 2009

Newton connects with Snow Leopard

Newton users may wonder, with the release of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, whether their MessagePads and eMates would still play nice with the new operating system. You get a new Mac (as I did) with the latest install, and you might worry – is it going to work?

I’m here to report: everything works fine.

Keyspan USA-28x

I started by download the Keyspan USA-28x driver to my new iMac for the serial-to-USB adapter. Things got weird when Snow Leopard recognized the Keyspan adapter as some sort of dial-up device (above). This wasn’t the case, obviously, but I pressed on just to see if it would work.

Newton Connection (NCX)

I went with Simon Bell’s excellent Newton Connection for Mac OS X (NCX) for the software connection, using a Newton eMate 300.

Since I’m working through the serial connection via USB, I select “serial” in the Newton’s Dock app and – whala. NCX and the Keyspan adapter give me a connection on Snow Leopard.

NCX screenshot function

First, I wanted to try the new screen shot function on NCX – something that was only possible before in a few roundabout ways, like with Newton Toolkit.

In NCX, head to File > Screen Shot, then press the little camera (above) and wait a few seconds.

eMate screen shot

And bam, you get a little window pop-up with a screen shot of your Newton. Pretty handy.

NCX package install

Next, I tried doing what every Newton user does at some point: install a package file. In this case, I picked a periodic table app from UNNA.

Newton package install

This worked exactly as before.

snowlep_keyboard

So everything, from the screen shots to the keyboard function – which, for me, worked faster than on previous Macs – works great with OS X 10.6.

Trying NewtSync on Snow Leopard

The real test, and the one I’ve had issues with on my eMate since forever, is syncing Address Book and iCal names and dates to the Newton. I’ve had no luck at all so far, besides a few to-do items syncing from iCal to the Newton’s Dates app, and I don’t guess it’ll get much better on Snow Leopard. I tried using NewtSync (above), but had no luck syncing anything.

The important message to take away is that, with software like NCX, it’s possible to connect your Newton, install packages, and do a few other tasks no matter which version of Mac OS X you’re using.

This may not always be the case. There could be some future OS X release that cripples any potential Newton-to-Mac connection. I would think it’d be in the areas of data syncing or unavailable drivers for serial adapters. But the newer MessagePads and eMates allow for Bluetooth compatibility, which shows no sign of going away.

Same-day update from Apple on iTunes 9 mini player

September 17th, 2009

See Apple’s support article.

It was modified September 15, 2009 – the same day my giant discussion on the broken-ness of the iTunes 9 mini player and OS X’s zoom button inconsistencies appeared.

Coincidence? Enough people bitching about it? Who knows. But Apple must’ve realized that some iTunes users were unhappy about the mini player change – enough so that they wrote the shortest support article I’ve ever seen at support.apple.com.