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Mac OS X – BootCamp CD Eject for Windows

Mac OS X – BootCamp CD Eject for Windows
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When running Windows on your Mac through BootCamp, you might be searching for the CD/DVD Eject button every now and then, and back in the day (2009) I wrote a little application for that for my own use: BootCamp CD Eject.
This application works with all Windows version as of Windows XP – and you can use this without BootCamp as well.

This little application lives in the Windows Systray and allows you to eject a CD/DVD from a menu or through a key combination. There is also a key combination to quickly put your Windows in standby.

I’m posting the application (free!) since I recently ran into some users that actually had a use for it even 7 years after developing it.

MacOS X – How to take Screenshots and add Annotations

MacOS X – How to take Screenshots and add Annotations
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I’ve been asked several times in the past, on how to take screenshot and annotate them afterwards, or how to do a so called “print-screen” to a printer for a hardcopy.

Some users, use screenshots for illustrating manuals, or articles for their website. Some use it to print error messages or odd things happening on their screen. And as with regular paper, some of us would like to annotate the images – add notes, comments, arrows, numbers or circle the important part of the image.

Annotating images is relatively easy, once you know where to find the tools to do this.

So in this article, for Mac OS X users: How to take screenshots, how to add annotations, and some additional related tips and tricks.

Quickly connect Network shares on a Mac with ConnectMeNow

Quickly connect Network shares on a Mac with ConnectMeNow
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In this day and age we are more network connected than ever before – at home and at work. Some of us have network shares on their computers, want to access company network shares, or have a dedicated file server or NAS (Network Attached Storage) to store our shared information or make our backups.

Unfortunately, at times anyway, it can be rather cumbersome under Mac OS X to connect to those “shares” (also known as the so called mounted “Volumes“). In Finder, a server doesn’t always appear right away, we need to go through a list of shares on a given “server”, get confused if we need SMBCIFSFTP, SSHWebDAV, NFS or AFP, and I’m not even mentioning the need to enter a username and password on protected shares.

Additionally, Wake On Lan is being supported as well.

I do have a NAS and I do have several shares on that device and … I just got freakin’ tired of going through each step over and over again. So, instead of complaining, I started looking for an application that would just that – and didn’t find one to my liking. So I just created one … free for all … enjoy!

High-Speed Data Transfers between two Macs with Thunderbolt

High-Speed Data Transfers between two Macs with Thunderbolt
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Back in the day, when Firewire was a standard for any Mac, we could use Firewire to directly connect one Mac to another and transfer files at a very respectable speed – the so called “Target Disk Mode” or “IP over Firewire”.

This did not only help us in sharing files between 2 Mac’s, it even allowed you to boot one Mac from the DVD or CDRom drive on the other Mac, which is great when you have only one Mac with a CD or DVD drive.

Unfortunately, Firewire has gone out of the graces of Apple and has been replaced with Thunderbolt (and USB 3.x), and the trick to connect 2 Mac to each other over a Firewire cable have been lost and forgotten.

Please keep in mind, in case you’re having old Mac’s that have Firewire: this works exactly the same as with FireWire, you’d just use a Firewire cable instead. The firewire trick works under Windows as well (see this old WeetHet.nl Article).

In this article, I’ll show you how you can have a very fast data transfer between two Mac’s, using a Thunderbolt cable.

How to record the screen of your iOS device in Mac OS X

How to record the screen of your iOS device in Mac OS X
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You probably will not need this every day, and I admit that goes for me as well. Today however I needed this: screen recording things I’d be doing on my iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod).

In the past we’d need to JailBreak our iOS device, but with the arrival of Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10) and iOS 8, we can do this straight on our Mac without any extra tools or tricks – just with the build-in tools from Mac OS X and iOS, in this case QuickTime.

In this article I’ll show you how you can make a screen recording (make a video of the screen of your iOS device) with a well hidden feature of QuickTime.

Mac OS X SMB Fix, or How to install SMBUp

Mac OS X SMB Fix, or How to install SMBUp
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If you’re a Mac user, and you’re enjoying the newer MacOS X versions, then you might have noticed that Apple’s own implementation of SMB simply sucks … it just doesn’t work and for a company like Apple to just leave it this way is beyond me.

SMB is a network protocol, commonly know as “Microsoft Windows Network” or Samba, which allows sharing of files and devices over a network. Most of us use this on our Windows computers and theoretically (it seems) MacOS X should support this as well.

For me it’s to share files with family, friends, or to share media files with my XBMC/Kodi setup.

In this article, I’ll show you how to quickly get started with a working Samba implementation, instead of using Apple’s broken implementation – for this we will make use of SMBUp.

MacOS X – How to use a XBox 360 Controller on Mac

MacOS X – How to use a XBox 360 Controller on Mac
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I honestly had zero use for a XBox 360 Controller on my Mac, since I’m a keyboard/mouse gamer … but I was toying with another article (Kodi on Amazon Fire TV) and was looking for a Game Controller for the Amazon Fire TV.

Looking around I noticed that the Microsoft XBox 360 wireless controller for Windows should work with the Amazon Fire TV and with MacOS X. Since I do play the occasional game on my Mac (yes: that is possible!) with Steam, I figured why not give it a try. The controller, with receiver, isn’t all that expensive.

So in this article: How to connect and use an Xbox 360 Controller on MacOS X …

MacOS X – Determine WiFi Connection Speed

MacOS X – Determine WiFi Connection Speed
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While working on my DD-WRT project for my NetGear R7000 router, I ran some tests to see what the ideal connection setup for my router would be.

During the testing you’d typically want to see the speed of your WiFi connection, possibly including noise, RSSI, channel, country code, used frequency, etc. and initially it can be a bit daunting where to find this information. But … surprise: this info is readily available on your Mac, no extra software is needed, you just need to know where it’s hidden …

Therefor in this article 4 methods to figure this out on your Mac, without the need to install specific software for the task.

MacOS X – Give your Mac Multiple Desktops with Spaces

MacOS X – Give your Mac Multiple Desktops with Spaces
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I didn’t realize how few users really know about “Spaces”, a MacOS X built-in desktop management feature, until a friend was looking over my shoulder and was surprised how fast I switched between desktops.

Spaces, even in Mavericks, allows you to have multiple desktops. With my Logitech Performance MX mouse, switching between these desktops is super easy and super fast. Other mice with extra buttons can do this as well, and in this article I’ll show you how. This option, virtual desktop, is of course nothing new, specially for Linux users. But it is still amazing to see how few people actually use it.

Give it a try, especially when you’re a multi-monitor fan, you’ll LOVE this feature to keep your work environment clutter free.

MacOS X – How to add Facebook Chat to Messages …

MacOS X – How to add Facebook Chat to Messages …
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Messages in MacOS X has the ability to combine multiple chat services. Facebook Chat however does not seem to appear in the list.

This trick will probably also work for other Jabber capable clients on different Operating Systems as well, simply use the same settings.

With this little guide, I’ll show you how to add Facebook Chat to Messages so that you do not need to open the Facebook website every time you get a message.

MacOS X – Fix slow Mavericks – Finder Speed Improvements

MacOS X – Fix slow Mavericks – Finder Speed Improvements
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With the arrival of MacOS X 10.9 (Mavericks) users might run into some speed and high CPU load issues, and quite often they are related to the Finder, specially when you upgraded from 10.7 or 10.8 (not yet seen in clean 10.9 installs).

In this article a two tricks to fix slow Mavericks and get the speed back that you’re used to when it comes to using Finder and Open/Save Dialogs that are slow (specially for those who use network shares).

How to Format the Apple USB Restore stick …

How to Format the Apple USB Restore stick …
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Certain Apple models, like the MacBook Air, have been delivered with a convenient 8Gb USB stick for a system restore.

Obviously, after upgrading to a newer Mac OS X version, this stick has become kind off useless.

When trying to format the Apple USB Restore stick however, you’ll notice that it’s a Read-Only stick, so how can we format this USB stick for normal use … Or to store the image of your current Mac OS X version on?

How to edit Crontab under Linux, MacOS X, QNAP, etc.

How to edit Crontab under Linux, MacOS X, QNAP, etc.
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In this article I’ll show you how you to edit the schedule of the job scheduler (Cron) on of your Linux/Unix based computer or NAS, for running certain tasks unattended.

Cron is a job scheduler and uses crontab, a relatively simple plain text file, as it’s configuration file.
In this file you can add, remove, or edit tasks you’d like to have run at particular dates, times, or intervals.

Please be aware that you’re doing this at your own risk …

Best VNC Client for MacOS X … or how to remote control a computer!

Best VNC Client for MacOS X … or how to remote control a computer!
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VNC, a tool that allows you to remotely access the desktop of a computer, has a long history and has been available in many shapes and forms. Not entirely surprising, plenty of free VNC Servers and VNC Clients are available for Windows and Linux, but the selection for MacOS X appears rather limited.

Sure, there are a lot of VNC clients for MacOS X … but hardly any of them are free,… but why install yet another application when you already have a VNC Client and Server installed?

In this article, we will use the build in VNC Server and VNC Client … it comes with your Mac … for free!

MacOS X – How to remove pre-installed applications

MacOS X – How to remove pre-installed applications
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MacOS X Lion (and other MacOS versions up to MacOS X El Capitan) come with few preinstalled applications like “Chess”, but you cannot remove/uninstall them the conventional way …

A waste of diskspace when you don’t really need the application (especially when you’re running low on space on your snappy SSD drive) …

A short article on how to remove these guys …

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