Category: OS X

An easy way to encrypt sensitive folders

by Jane February 22, 2011

Many of our laptops containing sensitive information — proprietary proposals, student grades, a secret plan to take over the world through speckle interferometry.  We all know the security risk of stolen laptops and thumb drives.  But many of us don’t want to encrypt our entire home directory. Here’s an easy way to encrypt just the […]


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The Mac App Store and You

by Planck January 20, 2011

The new Mac App Store debuted a few weeks ago as Apple’s new centralized location for finding, purchasing, and installing Macintosh applications. (Don’t forget, we have a centralized list of useful Mac apps on the AstroBetter wiki.) It is modeled on the very successful iOS App Store, and works as its own, new, application that is […]


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Mac OS X Hints for 10.6 Snow Leopard

by saurav January 13, 2011

As we look forward to the days of Mac OS 10.7 Lion (Summer 2011) and a flood of hints on how to take advantage of new features in Lion at Mac OS X Hints, I thought it would be a good idea to share the list (from my bookmarks) of my favorite hints  since 10.6 […]

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Scripting big jobs for multi-core processors

by Jane January 12, 2011

What is the best way to solve the following problem?  Say you have a long list of individual tasks, each computationally intensive.  For example, you need to run one hundred photoionization models covering a grid of parameter space.  Or you want to perform psf-fitting photometry on a thousand separate images.   Your computer has multiple CPUs […]


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Macworld on the Mac of the Future

by Planck December 6, 2010

Macworld has published an interesting series of stories on the future of the Mac. Anand Lal Shimpi (of Anandtech fame) writes about the Mac of the future: the CPU. One aspect I found interesting was Apple’s desire for powerful Graphical Processing Units (GPUs), which they are using not just for games and 3D graphics, but for more […]


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Java and Mac OS X

by Planck October 25, 2010

Apple Outsider has a good piece on Java on Mac OS X. If you haven’t heard, Apple has announced that the current version of Java has been deprecated. This means that Apple is not going to keep creating their own Java VM for OS X. Apple is relying on Oracle/Sun to make a VM for […]


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Command-` to switch between windows of current application

by Kelle October 19, 2010

For awhile, I’ve been looking for a keyboard shortcut to switch between multiple windows of one application. I’d even been trying out Switché, but really couldn’t get used to it. I prefer the native Application Switcher. The one thing I liked about it was command-‘ to switch between windows of the current application. Suddenly, I […]


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Customizing your xTerm and Terminal: I. Color

by saurav August 25, 2010

As our eyes spend most of our days looking at the xTerminal (xTerm, xgTerm, uxTerm, or any relief is always welcome. Unfortunately, the default for the xTerminal (or most applications) is black text on white background which means you are staring at white, i.e., light, most of the time. In addition, your eyes have […]


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Snow Leopard and Cisco VPNs

by Tom November 30, 2009

One of the subtle but very useful additions to MacOS 10.6 (a.k.a. Snow Leopard) is the built-in ability to connect to Cisco Virtual Private Networks (VPN), which many organizations have adopted. In MacOS 10.5 and earlier, one had to download the Cisco VPN client, which doesn’t quite fit in to the ‘sleek mac app’ category […]


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Let Snow Leopard Roar

by Eli October 29, 2009

For those who use Snow Leopard you have probably noticed how much snappier the OS is than its predecessor. Much of the optimizations in Snow Leopard is thanks to several new and emerging tools called LLVM, Clang, and OpenCL. What’s more is that we can use these tools to speed up some of our basic […]


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