Tag: mac os x

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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Mounting USB drives on an Ubuntu VirtualBox guest on Mac OS X host

If you’ve come across this already then this might be obvious, but in order to mount a USB external drive on an Ubuntu VirtualBox guest running on a Mac OS X host, you need to unmount the drive in Mac’s Finder first. Then using either click the USB icon in the status bar in your Ubuntu guest and you’ll see the drive un-greyed out (when it’s mounted on the Mac it appears greyed out and you can’t select it) – click it and it will mount automatically. Or you can do the same thing from the VirtualBox menu, Devices/USB.

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Mac OS X: Adding to your PATH

If you install an app that runs from the shell and you want to add the path to the executable to your PATH env var, just add it to PATH in a .bash_profile file in your user’s home dir – this will be run every time you start a new terminal session:

export PATH=$PATH:your_path_here

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Writing an SD card disk image for the Pi on Mac OS X

The last time I installed a new disk image on an SD Card for the Pi I had to use the Win32DiskImager util on Windows. Since I primarily use a Mac that took a few additional steps to get a working SD Card.

Looks like now though someone has scripted the steps to make this easier on a Mac. I used the RPiSDCardBuilder util and this seems to work fine.

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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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Unmounting Bootcamp to use as a drive for Virtual Box

Part of the instructions for setting up Virtual Box to boot from your Bootcamp drive on Mac OS X walk you through setting up a permanent approach to unmounting your Bootcamp drive. I didn’t follow those instructions, instead created a script that I can use to run manually to unmount and open the permissions when needed, i.e. when I want to boot from VirtualBox:

diskutil umount /Volumes/BOOTCAMP
sudo chmod 777 /dev/disk0s4

The instructions on some sites also assume that your Bootcamp drive is partition disk0s3, but on my machine it’s disk0s4. If you run ‘diskutil list’ you can get a list of your partitions to work out which is your Bootcamp partition.

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Booting your Windows Bootcamp partition in VirtualBox

I have XP in my Bootcamp partition which I occasionally boot to run apps that I don’t have on Mac OS X, usually it’s for a Windows game. It annoys me to switch between Mac OS X and booting Windows from Bootcamp, as it takes a while to switch back and forth. The only reason I’ve ever considered buying Fusion or Parallels is to be able to boot from the Bootcamp partition and avoid having two Windows installs – one in Bootcamp and one on a virtual disk. Sometimes it’s fine to boot in a virtual machine, but othertimes you really want to boot natively to make full use of the graphics card and DirectX etc. Turns out you can set up VirtualBox to easily boot from a Bootcamp partition, and avoid having two installs.

I followed the instructions here, and after a bit of fiddling with with VirtualBox settings for my new VM, it booted fine. The instructions are for booting Windows 7 from Bootcamp in VirtualBox, but it works the same for XP too.

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