August 20, 2012

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion gripe list

To be sure, I think OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion is the best OS Apple has ever released. It feels like a completed version of what Mac OS X 10.7 Lion should have been. It’s fast, it’s clean, it melds some iOS concepts to OS X and, for the most part, it just works.

That being said, no OS is entirely perfect and there are some gripes my colleagues an I have about Mountain Lion. We’ve compiled them into the list below. Now, most of these gripes are minor and they’ll probably be corrected in future updates like 10.8.1 — at least, we hope so.

After reading through the list (which may grow) feel free to add your own gripes in the comments. And please, don’t let this list of minor gripes put you off the OS. It really is the best one Apple has ever released.

Mail

  • Wobbly scroll on external monitor.
  • No “Reply to sender.”
  • Signature sticks when changing accounts (Exchange only).

Calendar

  • Accepts invitations in the top calendar, not the default Exchange calendar (and not the account that received them).

Displays menubar

Notification Center

  • @metion tweets don’t show from people you don’t follow.

Notification Center/Mail

  • Clicking on an email message in Notification Center should take you to that specific email’s inbox in Mail, NOT the universal inbox for all your different email accounts.

Safari

  • Under Safari>Preferences>Passwords the list of websites and your usernames should probably be hidden until you enter your administrator password. The passwords are already hidden by default but it seems like a security problem when anybody using your computer could see what websites you go to and what your usernames for the websites are. Knowing your usernames gives them one less thing to hack. Not to mention it tells people exactly which sites they should target you at since they know you’re a member of the sites by looking in Safari’s preferences.
  • Safari JavaScript bugs render some websites unusable.
  • Loss of RSS button in Safari means users have to jump through several hoops to subscribe to feeds. They also have to spend money to buy Reeder for Mac (or another RSS reader).

Stock Widget

  • You can no longer rearrange the order of stocks.
  • Stocks don’t sync with Stocks app on iOS devices (they never did, but they should).

General:

  • Numerous graphical “tearing” issues throughout the OS on the MacBook Pro with Retina Display. Most prevalent in TextEdit and Mail.
  • “Open Recent” has disappeared from opening dialog splash box in many apps, most notably iWork apps.
  • No “share” button in TextEdit.
  • “Save As…” behaviour is completely contrary to how it worked pre-Lion.
  • MacBook Pro with Retina Display has serious wake-from-sleep issues. Requires hard reboot more than 50% of the time.

3rd party apps:

  • Microsoft Office apps refuse to hide.
  • Sandboxing (or something else) seems to be preventing the iStat Menus Dashboard widget from delivering data on CPU processes.



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Public Release Of Mountain Lion 10.8.1 Draws Near With New Developer Beta

Public Release Of Mountain Lion 10.8.1 Draws Near With New Developer Beta

Public Release Of Mountain Lion 10.8.1 Draws Near With New Developer Beta

Apple has seeded yet another OS X 10.8.1 developer beta today (build 12B17). The update contains no known issues, and developers are still asked to focus on specific areas like Active Directory, iCal, and Microsoft Exchange in Mail.

The first 10.8.1 developer beta was released one week ago, and this second minor update indicates that the public release is right around the corner.

Apple released OS X Mountain Lion to the public on July 25th, 2012 for $ 20 in the Mac App Store. The first 10.x.x update to a major OS X release usually comes with many bug and compatibility fixes that were discovered in the first release. Expect it to drop soon.

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Alex HeathAlex Heath is a news contributor at Cult of Mac. He also covers jailbreak news and reviews. He previously served as an editor for iDownloadBlog. You can find out more about him on his personal site and also follow him on Twitter.

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Bring Activity Window Functions Back To Mountain Lion – Sort Of (OS X Tips)

Bring Activity Window Functions Back To Mountain Lion – Sort Of (OS X Tips)

Bring Activity Window Functions Back To Mountain Lion – Sort Of (OS X Tips)

Reader Chris M asked us yesterday about finding a way to see the source media files in Safari now that the Activity Window has been retired in OS X Mountain Lion. He writes:

A while back you showed a great feature. If you were using Safari watching a video, you could go to WINDOW—-ACTIVITY—and it would show everything on the website and you could Option click on the video file and automatically download it. That feature went away in Mountain Lion. Will you PLEASE write an article and show if there is any way to access this feature any more.

You’re in luck, Chris, as we found just the thing. It’s not quite a full “bringing sexy back” fix, but it should serve the purpose you used the Activity Window for – finding media files in web pages.

To do this, launch Safari in Mountain Lion, and then choose Preferences from the Safari menu, or just hit Command-comma on your keyboard. Click on the Advanced tab and check the Show Develop menu in menu bar option at the bottom.

With that menu enabled, you can use it to choose Show Page Resources… on any web page you’re browsing to. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Option-Command-A. This will bring up the Page Resources window, which will have all the page’s media listed for your perusal. There’s even a search bar at the bottom to help you find things more specifically.

Hope that helps, Chris, and anyone else who was looking for this functionality in OS X Mountain Lion of Safari 6.

Got an OS X tip? Need help troubleshooting OS X? (sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)or leave a comment below.

Rob LeFebvreRob LeFebvre is a freelance writer and editor living in Anchorage, Alaska. He contributes to online tech, gaming and iOS websites around the net, including Cult of Mac, 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. He owns and operates GamesAreEvil as well, so it’s surprising he finds time to have two amazing kids, a disco band, and (yes) a day job. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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Pinch To View Or Select Tabs In Safari Mountain Lion [OS X Tips]

Pinch To View Or Select Tabs In Safari Mountain Lion [OS X Tips]

Now here’s a slick new way of interacting with tabs in Safari. When you open a bunch of tabs in Safari, it gets a little hard to figure out which tab is which, right? You can, of course, use Command-Shift-Arrow (right or left) to move between tabs, but that’s only reliable if the site you’re tabbing over to doesn’t auto-focus your cursor to a search field, like YouTube or Google does.

Luckily, it urns out that Apple has again made things a bit more iOS like in its flagship Mac operating system, OS X Mountain Lion. To check this tip out on your own, launch Safari on your Mac (be sure you’re running OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion) and open a few tabs.

Now, while in Safari, browsing one of your open tabbed windows, use a pinching in gesture on your trackpad, either on your Macbook or desktop Mac using the Magic Trackpad. See how all the tabs sort of squish in? You can now swipe left or right to move to the tabs on either side of the currently active one.

To select a tab you just navigated to, simply pinch out and Safari will zoom the tab in front out to fill the entire browser window. Repeat as needed, zooming in and out with joy. You can also just hit the return key on your keyboard, as well, but might as well stay with the pinching gestures, right?

This is a great way to see what’s in your tabs when using Safari, and I hope that Chrome comes out with a similar implementation soon, as well.

Rob LeFebvreRob LeFebvre is a freelance writer and editor living in Anchorage, Alaska. He contributes to online tech, gaming and iOS websites around the net, including Cult of Mac, 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. He owns and operates GamesAreEvil as well, so it’s surprising he finds time to have two amazing kids, a disco band, and (yes) a day job. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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Thunderbolt + Lightning = Fast And Easy Mountain Lion Installs For Business, Education [Video]

Thunderbolt + Lightning = Fast And Easy Mountain Lion Installs For Business, Education [Video]

FileWave launched a new free app called Lightning this week. The new app makes quick and easy work of deploying Mountain Lion (and Lion) to multiple Macs, particularly recent Macs with Thunderbolt. It can be used to roll out existing master images that a business or school has already created as well as a base OS X install that can be customized with a range of files and applications.

Mass deployments of new Macs or deployment of a new OS X release to existing Macs can be one of the more challenging projects that Mac IT professionals need to handle. For many large organizations, mass deployment can be accomplished pretty quickly if multicast network tools like Apple Software Restore can be used. The downside to using multicast for deployments is that data being streamed to Macs over the network will flood the local network or subnet with multicast data packets and can overwhelm any other devices trying to connect to resources over the network.

Point-to-point network deployments are also an option and they won’t flood a network with multicast data. The challenge with these types of deployments is that they can be significantly slower the multicast deployments. Even worse, because each Mac uses a discrete connection to the server or device hosting deployment data, there comes a point where the entire process for all Macs begins to slow down as additional Macs connect.

The remaining deployment option is to deploy OS X locally. This is often done using a series of external hard drives that are bootable. Connect a drive to a Mac, boot from the drive, start the deployment tool of choice. Then move on to the next Mac… and the one after that… and the one after that and so on – effective as a workflow but tedious.

Lightning changes up the local deployment option a bit. The typical workflow, shown in the video below, is to build image sets using the Lion/Mountain Lion installer app as a base. After adding the installer app, you can drag additional apps and package files into Lightning. Those apps and items contained in your selected package files (apps that require support files, software updates, and packages of user documents or configuration files that you’ve created) are added to the image set. You can also create a local user account with username and password as part of the image set. Lighting will store configurations for later editing and use.

Once you’ve got everything added to one or more image sets, you simply use Target Disk Mode to connect other Macs to the Lightning host Mac. Lightning supports deployment to Macs connected by Thunderbolt and Firewire, though Thunderbolt is preferred because of its faster performance. It can also deploy to internal and external hard drives. The process can be somewhat automated through an option to deploy automatically to any drive (or Mac in Target Disk Mode) that is connected.

Lightning is a great tool that is incredibly easy to use. It isn’t ideal for larger enterprises that need to deploy thousands of Macs, but is a viable options for small to mid-size companies and schools, particularly if the majority of Mac systems are notebooks and thus easy to connect to a host Mac. It’s also worth considering in larger environments that are predominantly Windows based and have a limited Mac population.

Cult of Mac

Get Rid Of Notification Center, Menu Bar Icon And All, In Mountain Lion [OS X Tips]

Get Rid Of Notification Center, Menu Bar Icon And All, In Mountain Lion [OS X Tips]

Tired of OS X Mountain Lion notifying you of things? Sick of the little menu bar icon in the upper right corner of your Mac’s screen? Do you not even use Notifications at all on your Mac? You might, then, want to get rid of the entire thing, disabling it completely and removing the icon from the menu bar.

We’ve got two ways to show you, one that’s more permanent than the other. Check it out.

For a more temporary fix, launch Terminal app from the Utilities folder, which is in the Applications folder. Once it’s open and ready, type or paste in the following command (be sure to copy the whole command, from launchctl to .plist):

launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.notificationcenterui.plist

This will get rid of Notification Center only for you as the current user; it does not need admin access. Next, to restart the process, type or paste the following:

killall NotificationCenter

Go ahead and quit Terminal app, and the Notification Center icon should be gone from the menu bar. To put it back together, open Terminal app one more time, and type or paste the following:

launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.notificationcenterui.plist

Get into your System folder, then open the Library folder, then open the CoreServices folder (or hit Command-Shift-G and type in /System/Library/CoreServices/ to get there super fast). Find Notification Center in there and double click to launch it again.

For a deeper solution, get into the CoreServices folder as above, and find Notification Center.app. Rename this to “Notification Center-disabled.app” with a click on the file name, and be sure to type in your admin user name to authenticate the change in the Finder.

Next, launch Terminal app and type the killall NotificationCenter command to restart the process. Quit Terminal when done, and Notifications will be so far gone from your system that you won’t see them at all, and any hot corner or multitouch gesture to invoke it will just give you a blank sidebar on your screen.

If you want it back, though, just re-rename your file back to Notification Center.app, and double click to launch it. All will work again as it did in the first place, menu bar icon and all.

Rob LeFebvreRob LeFebvre is a freelance writer and editor living in Anchorage, Alaska. He contributes to online tech, gaming and iOS websites around the net, including Cult of Mac, 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. He owns and operates GamesAreEvil as well, so it’s surprising he finds time to have two amazing kids, a disco band, and (yes) a day job. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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Add Default Fonts To Notes In OS X Mountain Lion [Video How-To]

Add Default Fonts To Notes In OS X Mountain Lion [Video How-To]

If you’re a fan of the new Notes app in OS X Mountain Lion as I am, you’re probably annoyed by the sparse list of three default fonts included with the app, just like in iOS. Sure, you can choose a different, note-specific font with a little work, but until now, there’s been no easy way to set a good default font for all of your notes.

Thanks to the easy little workaround I’ll show you in this video, you’ll finally be able to ditch Marker Felt once and for all, and choose the font of your choice within Notes.

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Michael SteeberMichael Steeber is a student who is obsessed with everything Apple. He enjoys making videos and runs the MSComputerVideos YouTube channel in his free time. You can follow him on Twitter as well.

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Use Your Keyboard To Filter Launchpad Apps Super Easily In Mountain Lion [OS X Tips]

Use Your Keyboard To Filter Launchpad Apps Super Easily In Mountain Lion [OS X Tips]

Use Your Keyboard To Filter Launchpad Apps Super Easily In Mountain Lion [OS X Tips]

Launchpad tries to bring an iOS-style apps interace to OS X. Whether you like it or now, it’s here to stay. Introduced in OS X Lion, Launchpad arranges the apps you have installed on your Mac in a grid array, much like the apps are arranged on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Of course, your Mac has a much bigger screen than these iOS devices (hopefully), so there’s even more of a need to filter out the apps you don’t want so that you can find the apps you do want to find.

In iOS, as you get more and more apps installed on your device, you’re gonna end up swiping to the right of the home screen at some point and typing the name of an app into the Search field there. Prior to Mountain Lion, there was no way to do this in OS X. Now, however, there is, and I sincerely hope they bring this concept back to enrich iOS itself.

Start Launchpad, either with a keyboard hotkey (mine is set to F4), a hot-corner you’ve defined, or by clicking on the app icon in the Dock. Heck, you could even go to the Applications folder and double click on the Launchpad app in there. Though, why?

Anyway, once it’s launched, you’ll notice a search field at the top. It’s more of a filtering field. Type in the letters just by typing – there’s no need to click into the field there. Launchpad will then filter down all the apps it has to those named with the same text string as your typing. For instance, I typed in “ga” and got GarageBand, Game Center, Game Manager, and Game Fly. It will only match the start of the app name, so if I typed in “ame,” I wouldn’t get any of those apps.

Oddly, Launchpad will find apps that even sort of start with the letters you type, if they are capital letters. In other words, if you type in “w” you’ll get iWeb; type in “p,” and you’ll get iPhoto. Type in “iw” and “ip,” and you’ll also get these apps in your filtered list. Weird, but good to know.

Are you using OS X Mountain Lion? Got a tip you want to share with us? (sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)or leave a comment below.

Rob LeFebvreRob LeFebvre is a freelance writer and editor living in Anchorage, Alaska. He contributes to online tech, gaming and iOS websites around the net, including Cult of Mac, 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. He owns and operates GamesAreEvil as well, so it’s surprising he finds time to have two amazing kids, a disco band, and (yes) a day job. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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Apple Releases First Beta Of OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.1 To Developers

Apple Releases First Beta Of OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.1 To Developers

We told you earlier this week that Apple was preparing to release its first beta build of OS X 10.8.1 to developers, and the 10.8.1 beta has now been seeded for registered developers in the Mac Dev Center. Apple hasn’t noted any known issues or added features, and developers are asked to focus on compatibility with Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange in Mail, PAC proxies in Safari, SMB, USB, and Wi-Fi and audio when connected to Thunderbolt display.

This new version (build 12B13) is the first developer beta to be made available after Mountain Lion’s public release in the Mac App Store last month. Apple should be pushing out 10.8.1 as an official update for non-devs in the coming weeks. The current shipping version of Mountain Lion is 10.8.

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Alex HeathAlex Heath is a news contributor at Cult of Mac. He also covers jailbreak news and reviews. He previously served as an editor for iDownloadBlog. You can find out more about him on his personal site and also follow him on Twitter.

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Set up Mountain Lion’s text expansion options

Lifehacker has a simple look at how to set up Mountain Lion’s built-in text expansion (or, as Apple calls it, “substitution”) options. In System Preferences, under Language and Text, you can go in and set up any number of text shortcuts that will expand into commonly-used phrases and words.

There are a few built-in already — typing “(c)”, for example, will give you a copyright symbol. But you can put anything in there, so you can use a few quick keys to punch out your email address or phone number, or use some other phrase for anything you happen to type often.

Developers know how helpful this can be while writing code. Not only can you use text expansion to help reuse bits of code, but a text expander can remember the exact wording or form of something that you might not always remember.

Third-party apps have handled this task well, but with the new restrictions on sandboxing, which is preventing a lot of apps from working on a system-wide scale, it could be helpful to set up your text expansions in the OS.



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