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Tag Archives: howto

Reclaim Your Contacts, Calendars, and Tasks

June 6th, 2016 by ‐ No Comments

Baikal LogoMany people entrust their data (emails, contacts, calendars, todos) to service providers like Google, Yahoo!, Apple’s iCloud, Microsoft’s Office 365, and many others. There are also a considerable number of services which “hide” behind an app. Install it, and the first thing you’re force to do is to “sign in with your X account”, where “X” is the name of the app or company. All these options are utterly convenient because most of them are free, and easy to set up. The downsides are equally obvious: (more…)

Debugging a System Preference Pane With Xcode 6

August 31st, 2015 by ‐ No Comments

SystemPrefs iconThis may be an exotic topic for most, but sometimes you want to develop a preference pane for the System Preferences app. Of course NSLog() is your friend, but sometimes print debugging just won’t cut it. Especially when it comes to fixing crashes or timing problems. Well, debugging a preference pane from Xcode is no problem – if you know how to set it up. (more…)

Using Cisco WebEx with Opera 26 on Your Mac

January 21st, 2015 by ‐ No Comments

After Opera has become a Chrome offspring, one might think that all Chrome tricks would work out of the box. Well, most of them do. But as Murphy’s law predicts, those that don’t have a contender or two among those you need most. Recently, Cisco WebEx meetings stopped working in Opera. I got it working again, and here’s how. (more…)

Help! I sound like a robot!

August 7th, 2014 by ‐ No Comments

image of a robotAs our IPS connection was force-upgraded to fibre optics, we are now enjoying the beauties of VoIP phone service. This includes missing calls, temporal inability to make calls, and all the other enjoyments of Internet telephony. Glad I kept the scabby old DECT phone and connected it to the router. That’s the only one that works reliably. I then installed a SIP client software and made my first call. But I sounded like a robot from outer space; nobody understood me. But don’t despair, I figured out the solution. (more…)

Shock and Awe! My Emails are… – Gone! (sort of)

February 24th, 2014 by ‐ No Comments

No Mail HereOn Friday I received my new Retina MacBook Pro (13-inch). I love the “More Space” display resolution setting. Gives me the extra real estate I have sometime been missing so badly on the MacBook Air. Still looks stunning. Fired the new machine up with the Time Machine backup disk from the old machine attached, and had all my data transferred. Ready to go on the new system in less than two hours. Thank you Apple! After wasting some time with finding a new and cool desktop backdrop – the shock! All the smart mailboxes in were — empty.


Creating To Do Items for Email Messages

September 5th, 2013 by ‐ No Comments

Automator_IconDuring the OS X Lion days, there was a subtle difference in how To Do items would be handled compared to how they were handled before, and how they are handled now. In Lion, To Do items started appearing in This created some confusion (see here and here) since the two UIs would behave subtly differently. All of this is gone again since Mountain Lion, as To Do items have disappeared from since.

There is however one aspect that I missed about Lion: it was possible to just highlight some text in an email, and hit the “To Do” button, fix a deadline and you’re done creating a To Do item that would be linked to the email message. So for full details, you could just click on “show in email” in the To Do item, and it would open the email message for you. Unfortunately this convenience feature disappeared together with Lion.

So I have set down for an afternoon, and made an automator workflow that provides a system service to do just that: highlight some text in an email, right click it, and choose “ToDo for Email” from the Services menu. It will let you edit the text, choose a ToDo list, and finally open the To Do item in so you can fix a due date or location. It will auto insert a link to the original email message to give you the “show in mail” link.

To install, just download the ToDo for Email workflow, unzip it, and double click it. If you have any suggestions for improvements, please feel free to drop us a note. If you like it, please tweet about it.

Title Case in Pages

September 4th, 2013 by ‐ No Comments

If you are using Pages as your text document creator (note we didn’t say “word processor”), you have probably bounced your head against some of its limitations (e.g. no auto-numbering of figures and tables, no auto-insertion of bookmark text when creating cross references). One of the things that can be fixed relatively easily, is the lack of a text transformation to adjust upper/lower case to Title Case as needed for headings. To achieve this, just use this little shell script, and wrap it into an automator service that receives the selected text from Pages.

lowerwords=$(echo -n $* | tr '[[:upper:]]' '[[:lower:]]')
numwords=$(echo -n $* | wc -w) # in Automator $# is always 1
for word in $lowerwords ; do
   wordcount=$(( $wordcount + 1 ))
   if [ $wordcount -gt 1 -a $wordcount -lt $numwords ] ; then
      case $word in
         a|an|the|and|but|or|for|nor|in|on|of|upon|to|as|at|by) echo -n "$word "; continue; ;;
   firstletter=$(echo -n $word | cut -c1 | tr '[[:lower:]]' '[[:upper:]]')
   otherletters=$(echo -n $word | cut -c2-)
   echo -n "$firstletter$otherletters"
   if [ $wordcount -lt $numwords ] ; then
      echo -n " "

Of course this is easily adapted to convert to all lower and all upper case, and can also be saved as an Automator service under a calling name.

Opera and Java on OS X

November 23rd, 2012 by ‐ No Comments

opera_javaMany say it doesn’t work. But it does. All you need is a 64-bit version of Opera, because Java comes as 64-bit only on the Mac. The 64-bit Java plug-in will just silently fail in a 32-bit version of Opera. But Opera does offer a 64-bit version for Mac. Why Opera don’t distribute the 64-bit version by default, or query the client platform to find out which version to offer? I guess, we just don’t know. Here’s how to install the 64-bit version. (more…)

Generating Localized XIBs Automatically as Part of Your Xcode Build

August 23rd, 2012 by ‐ No Comments

As often, Apple’s documentation is rather terse on how to use their most elegant solution for localizing user interfaces. The two example command lines in the developer documentation kind of get the point across. But beware – of course there is zero support for this scheme in Xcode. If you don’t have an extremely complex setup, there is a simple solution. So we thought we’d best share it.  (more…)

The Annual Email Certificate Problem

February 29th, 2012 by ‐ No Comments

Image (c) 2012 by Apple, Inc.

If you’re – like me – trying to use secure communications as much as possible, and don’t want to spend much effort (or money) on it, you are probably also using an email certificate from one of the many sites that offer them for free. The downside is, that these certificates are usually only valid for a year.