When most programs in OS X save preferences and settings, they do so by using standard property list files (.plist), which are either ASCII or binary-encoded XML files that have a naming convention of "domain.developer.application.plist" (e.g., "com.apple.iTunes.plist") though some subcategory preference files may exist such as "com.apple.iTunes.eq.plist" for the iTunes equalizer settings. These files are generally stored in the Preferences folder that is within the user's library, but may also be stored in the global library at the root of the hard … Read more
Apple has released a small update to its popular iWeb Web site creation software. The update is a small bug-fix release that addresses iSight movie widgets not working properly on some Mac systems, and fixes problems with uploading Web sites via FTP.
The 177.12MB update is available for download from the iWeb 3.0.3 update page, but should also be available through Software Update for those who have iLife or iWeb installed. The size of the update may be different when downloading through Software Update.
The update requires at least OS X 10.5.8 or 10.6.… Read more
OS X and its included programs are fully localized to a variety of common languages, allowing for full translation of the OS to these languages right out of the box. Language preferences can be set up in the Language & Text system preferences if not done when the initial OS X setup assistant runs, and should work when the system is next started; however, sometimes odd problems may happen with the incorrect language showing in some situations.
Language support? Even if the system is set to a specific language, that language will only be used if support for it is … Read more
Depending on your Web uses, you may have multiple browser windows open, and if you make use of tabbed browsing you can easily find yourself having multiple tabs on multiple windows, resulting in a large number of pages being loaded at once. While this can potentially make your browser hog RAM and CPU cycles, overall having numerous pages loaded should not be a problem for the browser or system. It does, however, pose a problem if the browser is quit or unexpectedly crashes, since opening and organizing all the windows again can be an exercise in frustration.
To get around … Read more
If you are like me, you have terabytes' worth of photographs on many drives, taking up valuable space. Of course, even if you aren't a professional photographer you may still have a lot of photographs on your machine and wish you had more space for other media like videos or music.
One tip that could get much of your valuable space back is simple, but not entirely obvious. Most Mac programs will delete files fully from your machine when you delete them from the program (or at least ask you if you want to delete the program completely, as … Read more
In the past, file sharing between computers took a little configuration to get done. You had to set up and properly configure your network ports, then enable file-sharing services, select files to share, and connect to an IP address for the desired system if you could not locate it with various discovery tools like the Classic Mac's Network Browser or Windows' Network Neighborhood.
These days a lot of the same configuration and setup has to be done to get the system on the network, but once on the network there are new zero-configuration protocols, such as Apple's Bonjour, … Read more
Our utilities update report is a list of updates for Mac utilities that have been released in the past week. Though a utility can be any tool that helps you perform a routine task (including image manipulation and synchronization), our focus in this column is on bringing you those tools that help in troubleshooting Mac hardware and software problems. This week we have had updates to a couple of maintenance tools, a few process management tools, a number of filesystem and file management tools, and a benchmarking suite.
By default the network settings in OS X are set up to dynamically adjust to different network environments. All ports on the system are enabled, so when activated either by plugging in an Ethernet cable or turning on the Wi-Fi receiver, the system will configure an available network connection through these ports. Sometimes, however, network configurations may hang during this initial setup. This might happen when a port is enabled, or when the system refreshes the configuration after waking from sleep or booting up.
If this happens, one of the easiest approaches is to create a new network location for … Read more
Some people are reporting an issue with iTunes 10 in which the screensaver starts while they are using iTunes' visualizer in full-screen mode on connected devices like HDTVs. Prior to iTunes 10, the visualizer would take precedence on the screen display, not allowing the screensaver to start when playing, similar to a full-screen video. Apple Support Discussions user "megadot" writes:I have my Mini connected to my flat screen TV. I have my screen saver set to come on after the minimum time to protect my plasma panel. Since upgrading to iTunes 10 my screen saver starts … Read more
Configuring the OS X audio settings is quite simple and should be pretty straightforward; however, there are times when odd mishaps can occur and the system will not play sounds, or will not play alerts. In addition there may be instances in which it will only play these sounds through odd sources, such as only through the internal speakers, only through headphones, or only through a third-party audio device.
The first step if audio stops working is to restart the system to see if a basic reload of the current configuration will fix the problem. However, if this does not … Read more