Tag: mac

Final Cut Express 4 notes

I rarely use Final Cut Express, usually iMovie does everything I need. Whenever I come back to FCE though, I always forget how to do some of the simplest tasks. A few reminders for myself:

  • To add a transition between clips you need in and out points set first to define where the transition should start/end (on both of the clips between which you are adding the transition)
  • Double-click a clip in the timeline to load it into the viewer to edit it’s properties
  • Overlay videos by dragging each clip to a track in the timeline. You can resize, move and clip each overlaid video in the ‘Motion’ properties tab in the viewer
  • To use the Chroma Key effect to overlay a video, drag the Chroma settings tab out of the viewer, then use the ‘dropper’ to select the background color in the video clip

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Browsing (and deleting) old Time Machine Backups from another Mac

In general, most things on the Mac are pretty intuitive and easy to find/use/work out. Now and then though I come across some feature that seems to have been buried and only find it via someone else talking about it online. for example, how to browse Time Machine backups on an external drive from an older Mac.

I have an external drive that I use for my Time Machine backups, and used it from my older MacBook Pro, and also use it for my newer MBP. The drive filled up, so I was trying to work out a) how to browse my older backups, because by default they weren’t browsable via the Time Machine UI, and b) how to delete some of them.

Turns out, thanks to these tips, if you hold Option while the Time Machine dropdown menu is displayed from your toolbar, the option ‘Browse other backup disks…’ appears – from there you can select the Time Machine backup from another Mac.

While in the Time Machine UI, to delete a whole backup from a prior date, click the ‘cog’ icon and you have the option to delete backup.

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2007-2008 Macs will be oldest models supported by OS X Mountain Lion

For the next upcoming Mac OS X release, Mountain Lion, the oldest models supported (depending on type) will be those released around 2007-2008.

I have an Early 2008 MacBook Pro which I use as my daily machine, and it’s still going strong. I’ve maxed out the memory and replaced the HDD but other than that I don’t have any immediate plans to replace it. Looks like I just squeezed in under the wire though to get Mountain Lion support, so an upgrade maybe on the cards sometime in the next couple of years.

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Setting JAVA_HOME on Mac OS X

Some time ago I had set JAVA_HOME in my .profile on Mac OS X to the following:

JAVA_HOME=/Library/Java/Home; export JAVA_HOME

To some extent this works, but it doesn’t apparently pick up your preferred JDK version that you can set via the Java Preferences app in /Applications/Utilities (you set your preferred version by dragging your choice to the top of the list).

To set JAVA_HOME to be set to your preferred version, use this instead:

JAVA_HOME=`/usr/libexec/java_home`; export JAVA_HOME

This post here talks about the first approach, but there’s a comment in response to the post that points out the second point.

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