Mac & OSX

HOWTO: Re-Index the Spotlight Index on a Mac

Image of Spotlight search tool

The file search tool Spotlight on Macs is a fast flexible way to find files, except when it isn't.  Occasionally Spotlight does not find files I know are on my Mac and the index needs to be repaired.  

To force Spotlight to delete an old index and create a new one:

  1. Click the Privacy tab.
  2. Drag the folder or disk that you want to index again to the list of locations that Spotlight is prevented from searching. Or click the Add (+) button and select the folder or disk to add.
  3. Choose Apple menu () > System Preferences, then click Spotlight.
  4. To add an item to the Privacy tab, you must have ownership permissions for that item. To learn about permissions, choose Help from the Finder menu bar, then search for “permissions.”
  5. From the same list of locations, select the folder or disk that you just added. Then click the Remove (–) button to remove it from the list.
  6. Quit System Preferences. Spotlight will reindex the contents of the folder or disk.  This can take a long time.
 

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How to Free Up Space Used By Time Machine’s Local Backups on Your Mac

Time Machine doesn’t just back up to external drives. Enable Time Machine on your MacBook and it will create “local snapshots,” too — potentially taking up over 100 GB of disk space on its internal storage.
 
These local snapshots appear as “Backups” when you look at the visual overview of storage in the About Your Mac window.CHRIS HOFFMAN has written a good article about  how you can free up that space and get more room on your Mac.
 

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Boosting Performace of Older Macs

Older MacBook Pro computers made between 2009 and 2012 are routinely retired because they seem slow or will not hold a charge.  These models can have several more useful years with some simple and inexpensive upgrades.  The newer models - like the mid 2012 has a CPU almost as fast as the 2015 models.  Apple has made major improvements in battery life and the beautiful retina display however the perceived speed hasn't changed much.  If you bought your son or daughter a shiny new Mac when they started college in 2012, that computer, with a few upgrades would be a perfect computer for their high school sibling.  

3 Simple Upgrades for about $250 can save you from buying a new $1,800 Mac.

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Protecting Macs from Viruses and Malware

March 11, 2016

For many years, computer viruses and malware were mostly the concern of Windows users.  Mac users faced very few threats. This has been atributed to the Mac's sibgle digit market share and, some have argued, a more secure product.  One common misconception was that Macs were somehow imune from viruses and malware.  While the number of threats may pale in comparrisln to Windows, Macs are indeed suseptible to attack and more and more are appearing.  The time has come for Mac users to make secutity a priority.   

In the last few weeks, researchers have found the first Mac Ransomware malware in circulation.  Ransomware is software that encrypts the files on a computer making them unuseable to the owner.  The person controllling the malware then demnads a ransom to unencrypt the files.  In most cases, the victim has only 72 hours to pay or the ransom or the malware author threatens to eraswe the key that is needed to restore the files.  Regardless of the size of your business, the loss of data can be davastatiung.  

Add these new threats to hardware failures and theft and the need for a well thought out and executed computer protection plan is more important then ever.

You can find my Mac security recomendations here.

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GPG Suite for Mac - Privacy for People

GPG Tools Logo
The GPG Suite for Mac provides everything you need to get started with secure communication and encrypting files in one simple package.  While no longer free unless you compile the code yourself, it is still worth the cost  ($24 per major relase) untill Apple builds encryption into Mac Mail.  
 

Use GPG Suite to encrypt, decrypt, sign and verify files or messages. Manage your GPG Keychain with a few simple clicks and experience the full power of GPG without too much hassle.

One shouldn't need to set up sophisticated encryption tools to protect their private mail, documents and records.  Amendment IV to the U. S,. Constitution reads:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
 
 

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A Fix for Mac OSX Archiver Hanging Up -Update

A few years ago I experienced problems with Mac Archiver under Mountain Lion and posted a fix related to permissions.  Today Archiver again would not function and just hung when called.  The following fixed the problem and is much faster.  Start Activity Monitor from the Utilities folder in the Applications folder.  Sort the list alphabetically by process by clicking on the process name column heading.

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Fixing the "ACL found but not expected on ..." error during OSX Volume Repair

logo of OSX Disk Utility

Symptom - Running the OSX Disk Utility program and selecting Verify Disk permissions results is multiple error of ACL found but not expected on [filename]”  While these errors can be safely ignored (ACLs are Access Control Lists) it does make reading the results of the disk verify difficult.    Fix - Fletcher Tomalty has written a python script that can be run from the command line to remove these unexpected ACLs.  The script uses the OSX Disk Utility to find the files and then does a sudo chmod -h -N on each of them.

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Recording Interviews using Skype and Audio Hijack Pro for Mac

A good tutorial on setting up Skype and Audio Hijack Pro to record telephone interviews.  Includes detailed port forwarding to eliminate use of super-nodes and practical stereo channel setup for easy post processing.  By Doug Kaye and Paul Figgiani on Slideshare.

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