Tag: mac

Mac OS X Yosemite

Ars Technica has a fantastically detailed review (25 pages) of the latest OS X release, Yosemite. I’m browsing though the article as my 5.1GB download is slowly coming across the tubes. Maybe sometime tonight it will have completed and I’ll be ready to install :-)

In the meantime, I’m wondering whether I like the ‘flat’ UI look, and prefer the 3d style icons and shadows in my dock, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it.

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Java 7 & 8 install location on Mac OS X

Somewhere between Java 6 and 7 it seems I lost track of where your JDK gets installed on Mac OS X. Prior to Java 7, it seems it was installed to:


with symlinks pointing to the exact locations.

I was just setting up a new Eclipse install and was looking for where my 8 was installed – it was clearly installed as ‘java -version’ was telling me I was running 8, but it was no longer in the above location.

/usr/libexec/java_home (which I’ve mentioned before here) was telling me the following:


Hmm, so there you go. Looking in /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/ I had multiple versions of 7 and 8. If you need to point Eclipse to a JRE location for your installed JREs, then from 7 onwards I think this is what you need.

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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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