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MacOS – How to create bootable macOS install media

MacOS – How to create bootable macOS install media
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In this article, I’ll show you the steps to create macOS install Media …

As most Mac users will know; each new macOS version comes with a few challenges. For some it’s nothing, for other it’s a disaster.

Catalina is one of the latter, a disaster for quite few amongst us, due to changed security rules and the lack of support of 32 bit applications.
Some of my favorite tools simply no longer work, and as a developer this makes me nervous when considering switching to the latest and greatest.

For this purpose I always create a virtual machine in VMWare Fusion, running the macOS version that I ran before the update.
This comes with challenges though, since Apple, in their infinite wisdom, does not simply provide macOS install media (eg. a DMG or ISO file) so you can install another version of macOS. We have to create our own.

Note: Here I describe how to create macOS install media, either as a bootable USB stick to do a fully clean macOS install for your Mac, or a DMG file, for example to setup a virtual machine.

MacOS – ToggleTheme – Single click Toggle Theme

MacOS – ToggleTheme – Single click Toggle Theme
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As a hobby developer, when testing dark theme vs light theme under MacOS X, I have those moments where I have to switch back and forth between both themes quite often.
Going into the System Preferences to toggle theme, choosing the Appearance option, and then selecting the desired theme, does indeed work, but I wanted just a “one click” theme toggle.

To help myself with that, I created a small application that does exactly this: it toggles to “the other” theme, with just a simple click.
So when Dark Theme is active, it switches to the Light (Aqua) Theme. If however the Light Theme is active, it switches to Dark Theme.

The application is super simple, and has no interface. Just start the App and it changes theme and then closes itself.
Normally, this App would just sit in your Applications directory, with the optional shortcut in your Dock or even on the Touch Bar (if your Mac has one).

MacOS – Organize your Dock – Stack Overlays

MacOS – Organize your Dock – Stack Overlays
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Apple has done a pretty good job with the Dock in MacOS. There is just one thing that I do not like though; the way it stacks icons when you add a folder to your Dock.

A smart guy from Japan (2007 – Yasushi Chida) actually came with a neat idea for that, by introducing “buckets” (or better said: Stack Overlays) placed over the folders in your Dock. All that without the need to install any extra applications!
Unfortunately, his website at Yahoo!/Geocities has been gone for quite a while now.

The few steps you have to take can be a little bit challenging for MacOS beginners (even though it is pretty easy – as usual; once you know how it works). So in the article I’ll show you how to use buckets (a.k.a. Stack Overlays) in your MacOS Dock. This seems to work as of MacOS X Leopard and still works in Mojave (and I do expect this to work in future versions as well).

MacOS – Create a “Sleep” Keyboard Shortcut on a Windows Keyboard

MacOS – Create a “Sleep” Keyboard Shortcut on a Windows Keyboard
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Some of you may be familiar with the problem … no sleep button on your keyboard.

You have a really nice Mac, but you’re using a Windows keyboard since there is no MacOS keyboard that you really like.
I’m using a keyboard from Havit (you can find it here).

One of the things I hate about this setup is that I have no key or key-shortcut to put my computer to sleep.
When you look at the Apple reference, you’ll only find keys that cannot be found on your Windows keyboard, like the Eject key, or the Power key.

So in this article, I’ll show you, without the use of special software, how I have created a keyboard shortcut to put my Mac Pro to sleep, using a Windows keyboard.

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).

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