Tagged With mac osx leopard

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Mac OS X Leopard only: One of the nice things about Stacks—or annoying things, depending on how you look at it—is that the topmost document icon appears on your Dock, instead of an indicator of which folder contains it. To solve this problem, the icon designer at Optica Optima's offering a set of icons for download that add a drawer-like image to your Stacks. The screenshot above displays the Downloads, Applications, and Documents folders as Stacks sporting the drawer icons. Pretty! To add the icons to your Stacks, just download and unzip the package, and move the appropriate icon to the folder. For more fun along the same lines, here's how to add custom icons for your Mac hard drives.

Stacks Overlays

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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If the high price tag for Apple hardware has kept you from buying a Mac but you're willing to roll up your sleeves and get adventurous, you can build your own "Hackintosh"—a PC that runs a patched version of OS X Leopard. What?!, you say. Apple's move to Intel processors in 2006 meant that running OS X on non-Apple hardware is possible, and a community hacking project called OSx86 launched with that goal in mind. Since then, OSx86 has covered major ground, making it possible for civilians—like you and me!—to put together their own Hackintosh running Mac OS 10.5. Today, I'll show you how to build your own high end computer running Leopard from start to finish for under $800.

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Mac OS 10.5 only: With VNC built right into Leopard, you can remote control your Mac from any other Mac via iChat or the Screen Sharing client—OR any PC using the right VNC client. Apple doesn't advertise this, but since Screen Sharing is just regular old VNC (albeit with a much more grokable name), our favourite Windows VNC client, TightVNC, works with it just dandy—with one small catch.

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While some of us are still waiting to get our hands on the new Apple OS, the guys over at APC mag have been putting the cat through its paces. They've published a couple of useful articles looking at the state of play with application compatibility and Leopard, as well as an interesting article looking at the features which Apple seems to have dumped from their new OS.

Logitech mouse and keyboard users will hopefully already be aware that one piece of software it installs, Unsanity's Application Enhancer, needs to be uninstalled before installing Leopard to avoid a system "bluescreen of death"  at start up. On the plus side, there's a growing list of newly updated apps which are Leopard compatible, including "Filemaker, EyeTV, BBEdit, Newsfire, Transmit, XTorrent, Parallels (Beta, Build 5540) and Audio Hijack Pro."

David Flynn's article looking at what's been cut from Leopard is an interesting read. Apparently its new version of Address Book no longer lets you "use Bluetooth to dial your mobile and send SMS messages from the Address Book, and then to read and reply to incoming SMS messages on your Mac". The article looks at a third party app which will help, and looks at other features which have gone MIA. 

Leopard Giveth and Leopard Taketh Away

Leopard Compatibility: The Story So Far

 

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Leopard only: Another handy new set of features in Mac OS 10.5 that didn't get much attention arrived in Preview.app, that trusty utility that opens images and PDF files. In Tiger, Preview was mostly a file viewer, but in Leopard, you can edit images, rearrange and merge PDF files, as well as perform batch actions on a set of files. Let's take a look.

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Mac OS X only: When 300 new features get added to a new operating system revision, chances are it's built in functionality that was only available in third party applications before. When it came to building a fresh Mac with Leopard, we left out quite a few installations in favour of the built-in enhanced versions, like iTerm (Terminal), SilverKeeper (Time Machine), VirtueDesktops (Spaces) and SharePoints (System Preferences' Sharing panel). Macworld revisits their catalog of "Mac gems" software and lists the ones Leopard includes features from, too. What favourite Mac app of yours does Leopard make obsolete? Let us know in the comments.

Leopard's Gems replacements, Part 1

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Mac OS X only: Hate the new reflective Dock in Leopard, or the little blue dots that indicate open programs? Wired's How To Wiki details what it takes to get the old Tiger-style Dock back (a simple Terminal command) and replace the glowing blue dots with Tiger's old black triangles. You can also customise Leopard's startup background image for booting and login.

Tweak Mac OS X Leopard's User Interface

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Mac OS X only: If you run any kind of server on your Mac with Leopard, you'll dig its revamped Sharing and Network System Preferences panels, which offer new features in a reorganised interface. One huge drawback in Tiger is that unless you install extra software, you can turn on Windows Sharing for your home folder only. No more. Using Leopard, share any folder on your Mac via FTP, Samba, or AFP (Apple Filing Protocol), from a single, easy interface. Take a closer look after the jump.

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Computer security firm publication Heise criticizes Mac OS X Leopard for shipping without its firewall enabled by default like Windows Vista and advises users to turn it on. To do so, in System Preferences' Security area either block all incoming connections or set explicit exceptions for services that can communicate through the firewall, like file or screen sharing, as shown. (More on that in an upcoming post.)

Holes in Leopard's firewall

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While it's still no where near the powerful file explorer that the shareware alternative PathFinder is, the new and improved Finder does include several feature enhancements that—though they might seem superfluous and superficial at first glance—are actually pretty fantastic. Not only do new features like Cover Flow and Quick Look rank high on the snazzy scale, but they—along with a few other feature enhancements—make it that much easier to find the file you're looking for as quickly as you can.

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Mac OS X 10.5 only: Command line-lovers who've upgraded to Leopard will also love its new tabbed interface and fine-grained window control. To create a new tab, hit Cmd+N Cmd+T, and to cycle through tabs, use Cmd+} and Cmd+{. You can also drag and drop an existing tab into its own window, configure and save window groups, and skin Terminal windows using prefab or custom themes. After the jump, see the theme options ("Pro" pictured here.)

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Mac users who picked up a copy of the new OS, Leopard, over the weekend may want to appraise themselves of some teething issues reported by early installers. It was also brought to my attention over the weekend that Apple's own FileMaker won't run on Leopard - more on that below.

Apple's put up a support page for Leopard installation issues and so far the top support topic is how to deal with the "blue screen of death" phenomenon reported by CNET.

Hopefully FileMaker users are already aware that it won't run on the new Mac OSX, Leopard.  

According to the Australian FileMaker site, FileMaker Pro 9 and FileMaker Pro 9 Advanced generally will not run on Leopard in a number of countries outside the US, including Australia. They haven't confirmed when there will be a fix for this, but the site says they are aiming to have a downloadable update available on November 19. But that's just for the latest versions of FileMaker - they won't be updating older versions:

"We have not tested earlier (pre-FileMaker 9) versions of FileMaker software on Mac OS X Leopard and do not intend to release updates for earlier versions of FileMaker."

I haven't gotten to check out Leopard yet, but if you've installed it successfully (or not!) let us know your thoughts in comments.

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Mac OS X Leopard only: If you tried installing our favourite password manager for Mac, KeePassX, on Leopard, you already know it doesn't work. (When you launch it, it crashes, without ever opening.) Apparently someone who knows more about KeePassX than we do figured out it's a problem with the Qt development package installed with it. Here's how to get KeePassX working on Leopard.

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If you're running Leopard and you've got an external hard drive, you will back up your data, even if that wasn't your intention when you bought the drive or plugged it into your Mac. That's because Leopard's system snapshot mechanism, Time Machine, is dead simple to enable—and Leopard prompts you to turn it on the moment you plug in your FireWire drive. You'll think, "why not?" and why not indeed.

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Those of us who ran out to buy the newest version of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard this weekend had a choice: piggyback the upgrade on top of your current installation of Tiger and keep all your data and applications, or wipe the hard drive and start sparkly clean and fresh (but without any apps or data). As a Windows user, I tend towards a clean install, but Mac commentator John Gruber says:

Arguments that there is something mysteriously dangerous or deficient about the default upgrade procedure—and that you should do a clean install instead, followed by tedious hours manually migrating software and data and preferences from your old installation—are voodoo.

Adam just jumped right in and did the default upgrade, but I hit that Options button to head down the erase and install route. What about you?

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Virtual desktops have been popular amongst geeks for years, but they're just starting to catch on with the consumer desktop crowd; in Leopard, Spaces be thy name. Previously Mac users had an incredible virtual desktop application called Virtue Desktops as their desktop management option, but with the announcement of Spaces, development on Virtue Desktops was dropped. I'm a huge fan of Virtue Desktops, so in my eyes, Spaces has some pretty big shoes to fill. So how does Spaces stand up?