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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 …
TIP: For those of you who are trying to get this to work with an XBox One Controller, please read the “Bluetooth XBox One controller on a Mac” article as well.

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.

UEFI – Dual boot Windows 8.x and Ubuntu 14.x …

UEFI – Dual boot Windows 8.x and Ubuntu 14.x …
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I usually work on a Mac, and when working under Linux or Windows, I resort to Virtual Machines (VMWare Fusion / Parallels Desktop).

Sometimes however, a virtual machine is not up to the task. For this purpose, I have a cheap Acer laptop that came with Windows 8.1. But that is just Windows. So how do I make this laptop dual boot Windows 8 and Ubuntu using Ubuntu 14.x and Windows 8.1?

These are the few easy steps I took to make my laptop dual boot Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu 14.x.

The described method can also be used to run Ubuntu from a USB stick, which works very well when using USB 3.0.

How to use xRDP for remote access to Ubuntu 14.04

How to use xRDP for remote access to Ubuntu 14.04
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To remotely control my Windows machines, I always prefer to use RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) as it performs much nicer than VNC (Virtual Network Computing). VNC has this streak of “JPEG” quality and slow behavior, whereas RDP is fast and crystal clear.

RDP is however a proprietary protocol from Microsoft. So how can we use RDP to control our Ubuntu box remotely?

This is where xRDP comes in play, an open source remote desktop protocol (RDP) server. It actually runs VNC protocol over RDP as far as I understand, yet if behaves much better than VNC by itself (possibly because of the used desktop manager). Since Ubuntu 12.10 (if I’m not mistaken), xRDP doesn’t seem to work with the Ubuntu desktop anymore … unless you use an alternative desktop manager. This seems related to 3D acceleration and nobody seems to care (since 2011, according to bug reports).

Note : if you really need Copy/Paste functionality between the two machines, then please use Ubuntu’s default installed “Desktop Sharing” instead (MacOS X users read this forum post).

MacOS X Image Resizer – Right click images to resize and/or email

MacOS X Image Resizer – Right click images to resize and/or email
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For those of us coming from the Windows platform, that have used the Image Resizer PowerToys for Windows XP (yeah I know: from way back in the day), here a free application for MacOS X users to have that same functionality as well.

Simply right click an image, choose the desired size and your images will be resized automatically without modifying the original file.

I’ve expanded the functionality a little bit, by adding the option to convert a Retina image straight to “classic” (50% size reduction) and after resizing the option to automatically attach the resized images to an email, ready to be send to friends and family …

How to convert PDF to ePUB documents

How to convert PDF to ePUB documents
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Most mobile devices can display PDF documents just fine. Some mobile devices, or at least the apps on these devices, show things just tad nicer when the document is formatted in the ePUB format.

In this article, for Windows, MacOS X and Linux, we will show you how to easily convert a PDF document to a ePUB document for use with your mobile device (Android, iPhone, iPad, etc) or computer.

Note : The tools used in this article also support other formats (Kindle, Doc, TXT, HTML, MOBI, etc.).

Raspberry Pi – ChameleonPi or how to run Classic Computers, Consoles and Arcade Games

Raspberry Pi – ChameleonPi or how to run Classic Computers, Consoles and Arcade Games
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The Raspberry Pi is one fun little computer perfectly capable of emulation Classic Computers like the Commodore 64, ZX-81, ZX-Spectrum, Apple ][, Atari ST and even DOS/Windows 3.1. Emulation on the Raspberry Pi however is not limited to classic computers. Emulation of Classic Game Consoles like the Atari 2600, SEGA Genesis, Super Nintendo, Nintendo Entertainment System (or: NES) and Gameboy handheld work great as well.

My favorite in this however remains the emulation of classic Arcade Games with MAME.
Unfortunately, I did not find an emulator for one of my childhood consoles, the Magnavox Odyssey² (a.k.a. Philips VideoPac G7000).

In this article an introduction to CHAMELEONPI, an awesome distribution by Carles Oriol, which can be downloaded for free. It offers all of these emulators, with a beautiful interface and an easy way to upload ROMs and applications for the Classic Computers, Game Consoles, and Arcade Emulator (MAME).

MacOS X – ApplePi Baker – Prep SD-Cards for IMG or NOOBS

MacOS X – ApplePi Baker – Prep SD-Cards for IMG or NOOBS
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After writing the article on “How to get an Operating System on a SD-Card“, I realized that the existing methods and tools were not to my liking. Of course the existing tools are most certainly not bad and work just fine. I just didn’t like how they worked.

So instead of complaining, I decided to write my own program: The ApplePi-Baker 

This application is for MacOS X only and allows you to prepare an SD-Card for use with Raspberry Pi’s NOOBS, and it allows you to “flash” and IMG file to an SD-Card. ApplePi-Baker can now also be found on AlternativeTo.net and eLinux.org.

Note : This application is also very suitable for creating or restoring an IMG  backup of USB drives!

Update : ApplePi-Baker v2 has been released, you can get it here.
The new version offers a lot options including shrinking and expanding of IMG’s, writing to multiple disks, a better speed and improved stability compared to the old version (1.x) mentioned in this article.

MacOS X – How to play Retro Arcade Games with MAME

MacOS X – How to play Retro Arcade Games with MAME
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MAME, the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator, has been around for a while and is readily available from the MAME website for Windows users.

MAME is an emulator that allows you to run the ROMs (games) of the old Arcade Hall machines, like Pac-Man, Out-Run, Scramble, Donkey Kong, etc.

Installation on MacOS X is unfortunately not very obvious. There are some precompiled MAME versions out there and in this article I’ll show you how to install and use MAME under MacOS X Mavericks (will probably work for older and newer Intel based MacOS X versions as well).

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.

How to put your signature on PDF documents …

How to put your signature on PDF documents …
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In this article I will demonstrate how to put your signature on computer documents (PDF) without the need to print the document first, sign it with a pen, and scan it back to a PDF file.

Most modern PDF readers actually allow you to add a digitized image of your signature and common PDF readers even assist you with the scanning, either through a scanner or webcam.

For this purpose we will use Apple’s Preview (MacOS X), Adobe Acrobat Reader (MacOS X, Windows) or Xournal (Linux). All these applications are of course available for free.

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 …

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 …

Create an installation disk (USB or DVD) for MacOS X

Create an installation disk (USB or DVD) for MacOS X
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Mac OS X Lion is the first version of the Mac OS X Operating System that can be downloaded through the App Store application.

On itself great, and the price (as usual) is definitely not a reason to not do it ($29.99).

But if you’re like me, then you really want a installation disk … for whatever reason (you don’t want to download it again for your other machine, you’d like to have a backup, installation through the App Store didn’t work, etc).

So here a short and quick explanation on how to do just that.

UPDATE: This trick works for other Mac OS X versions as well, even with MacOS X Maverick (free!)!

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