Author Topic: Macintosh / Apple tips  (Read 9187 times)

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #50 on: March 27, 2012, 06:49:02 pm »
Finally, my MacBook is here.

I'm still undecided about the advice above to create a regular user account for myself in addition to the admin account.

Haven't switched it on yet  :)

I still wouldn't bother. I've never and calamity has yet to strike. My policy is never to make things more complicated than they need to be.
!nataS pihsroW

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #51 on: March 27, 2012, 06:51:17 pm »
Finally, my MacBook is here.

I'm still undecided about the advice above to create a regular user account for myself in addition to the admin account.

Haven't switched it on yet  :)

I still wouldn't bother.

What?

Switching it on, or creating a regular user account?

I can see the sense in one, certainly  :)

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #52 on: March 27, 2012, 07:46:21 pm »
Finally, my MacBook is here.

I'm still undecided about the advice above to create a regular user account for myself in addition to the admin account.

Haven't switched it on yet  :)

I still wouldn't bother.

What?

Switching it on, or creating a regular user account?

I can see the sense in one, certainly  :)

Good point. I meant switch it on, of course. I'm content to stroke the silky aluminium case. It's so smooth.
!nataS pihsroW

Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #53 on: March 27, 2012, 07:52:03 pm »
Fear not, I'm getting on fine with it and in due course I'll work through the advice above. I haven't bothered with additional accounts as yet and probably never will.

First impressions - most excellent, although I am somewhat surprised at all the requests for authorisation as I set everything up.

Wonky

  • Not exactly straight or narrow
Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #54 on: March 27, 2012, 08:09:03 pm »
They will settle down and go away. You only see that when installing/ upgrading stuff

Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #55 on: March 28, 2012, 11:55:51 am »
Very pleased with my MacBook, I must say - it's genuinely portable, very quick, and I'm getting to like OS X. It's all quite whizzy and fab - the track pad is excellent. I bought a magic mouse too, and while it is an excellent design, the trackpad is so good that it is redundant really.

One thing though: I re-ripped all my music to .flac (using dbpoweramp) as a sort of reference source that I keep on my external drive. All album art etc was fine. I then use this source to convert to smaller mp3 etc as needed. For the Mac I used Tunesify to convert the .flacs to Apple lossless (('m still undecided about that, maybe I should just have converted to mp3). In iTunes some of the albums have not maintained their folder structure - albums appear to be split into several "albums" of the same title with one song each. A lot of the album art is missing even for albums that converted correctly.

Is that problem due to my choice of file type? What is the best way to resolve this? I don't really plan to buy much from iTunes (I prefer to buy a physical CD) so are there any better media players?

I also cannot get iTunes Genius to work as it does not recognise that I am signed in.

Valiant

  • aka Sam
    • Radiance Audio
Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #56 on: March 29, 2012, 04:00:13 pm »
There's a a setting in preferences that says something along the lines of "allow itunes to manage my folders", untick that and it should be all good.

Do you have an itunes/app store login already?
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be misquoted, then used against you.

Support Equilibrium

Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #57 on: March 29, 2012, 04:02:36 pm »
Do you have an itunes/app store login already?

I'll try that setting later.

Yes, I have an iTunes / Apps log-in. So when I am in iTunes, logged in, and try "turn on Genius" it then says that it cannot log me in  ???

Re maintaining the album folder structure, would I be better off just dragging my folder of music into the itunes window and letting it sort it out that way, rather than doinhg "add to library" then navigating to the folder?

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #58 on: March 29, 2012, 04:10:51 pm »
...

One thing though: I re-ripped all my music to .flac (using dbpoweramp) as a sort of reference source that I keep on my external drive. All album art etc was fine. I then use this source to convert to smaller mp3 etc as needed. For the Mac I used Tunesify to convert the .flacs to Apple lossless (('m still undecided about that, maybe I should just have converted to mp3). In iTunes some of the albums have not maintained their folder structure - albums appear to be split into several "albums" of the same title with one song each. A lot of the album art is missing even for albums that converted correctly.

Is that problem due to my choice of file type? What is the best way to resolve this? I don't really plan to buy much from iTunes (I prefer to buy a physical CD) so are there any better media players?

...

iTunes isn't always 'sensible' with how it shows 'albums'. Possible causes could be:

* Different capitalisation or spacing of the album titles on each track  e.g. Belle & Sebastian vs. Belle and Sebastian
* Some but not all tracks being marked as 'part of a compilation'
* Different values in the Album/Artist field

It can take a bit of patience to fix but what I do is select all tracks that I want to belong to the same album; press Apple - I to edit the details; ensure that 'part of a compilation' is unchecked; make sure that Artist, Album and Album Artist are all the same. Usually if the values are different (spelling etc.) the Album field will be blank, if they're consistent then it will be populated.

Does that make sense?

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #59 on: March 29, 2012, 04:19:05 pm »
Not read the whole thread so apologies for repetition. Had a 2011 spec MBP since a week or two after the launch. More than happy with it, and the experience generally is much better than I've had with Windows. There's far more chance of stuff 'just working' IME.

On the running legacy windows apps, I got by without mostly, but I've been very disappointed with the GPS software available for the mac. I can't stand the mac basecamp app for the simple reason that waypoint names must be unique across all projects. This is unbelievably asinine, do the people who write this software ever actually use a GPS?

So I decided eventually that I wanted to run Tracklogs Digital Mapping, and invested in a copy of Parallels. I used the migrate mode, basically you install Parallels on the mac, and a small application on Windows and they talk to each other. Parallels then sucks off your Windows installation from the PC and re-creates your set-up inside the virtual machine. Then you have everything you had in Windows, integrated onto the mac. Your desktop and documents folders can be combined so file sharing between windows and mac is trivial. Performance of Windows in the VM is good apart from the usual slow start-up and such.

The coherence mode of parallels is nice - you basically treat apps in Windows as just another app on your mac. They launch in their own window. Or you can run windows in a window, or in full-screen mode. When you plug in the GPS it offers to connect it to your windows or your mac, and you can make it remember that choice. Before I did the migration, I did a big clean-up on windows, reducing the hard disc space used to about 28G from 75G. I only use windows for basically the GPS stuff. I don't have office, and I can't see the point of it with Google docs.

One thing you might find useful is an app called smartsleep, because it has a plugin you can download which gives 'insomnia mode'. This prevents the laptop sleeping on closing the lid. So if you are doing something time consuming (e.g. defragment your windows virtual hard drive) then it's nice to be able to shut the lid.

Since iOS5 I've been using the readling list feature of safari a lot. If I see a link on twitter on the phone, I open it in safari then add it to the reading list. This is synced via icloud to the mac which I can read the articles on better. The reader mode is also useful for reading articles in a more clear layout. Works with most major sites I've tried.



Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #60 on: March 30, 2012, 11:12:28 am »
Really useful advice, PaulF and simonp, thanks!

OK, so the music / iTunes end of things is all resolved.

Next question: I have an external drive that I'd like to use for Time Machine. Is it possible to partition the drive so it can be used with a Windows machine when required - i.e. part formatted for Mac, and part for Windows?

Valiant

  • aka Sam
    • Radiance Audio
Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #61 on: March 30, 2012, 01:18:52 pm »
Yes it is :)
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be misquoted, then used against you.

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Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #62 on: March 30, 2012, 04:02:36 pm »
In that case I'll investigate further  :)

I can see already that mapping / GPS is going to be a bit of pain. simonp, is it not possible to use web-based mapping / tools to do what is needed?

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #63 on: March 30, 2012, 04:14:41 pm »
Well I manage with this fine, using Bikehike or Bikeroutetoaster or whatever on my Mac, but I don't do complex Audaxy-things.

What I can recommend (think Jaded may have already done so!) is investing £30ish in Ascent software which takes Garmin GPX tracks that you have laid down and gives you lots of nice graphs and general information, including calorie burn (accurate if you wear your HRM, non-accurate without) and more. It's great to have a good backup of all my rides (apart from MyCyclingLog) and it's good to be able to see where I've been on satellite or maps as well. I recommend it.

Simonp, I had no idea that Reader synched with the Cloud. I suppose that's because I use Firefox and not Safari on my desktop machine (because of Adblock Plus). Sounds good though!
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


Valiant

  • aka Sam
    • Radiance Audio
Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #64 on: March 30, 2012, 04:15:42 pm »
Disk Utility or Drive Genius will do what you want. The former is is in the App/Utilities folder.
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be misquoted, then used against you.

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Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #65 on: March 30, 2012, 04:24:23 pm »
I don't use any garmin software, apart from the drivers to access the devices drive. I use Bikehike to plan routes, and, as Auntie Helen says, Ascent to log and interpret my rides after the event.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #66 on: March 30, 2012, 04:59:57 pm »
In that case I'll investigate further  :)

I can see already that mapping / GPS is going to be a bit of pain. simonp, is it not possible to use web-based mapping / tools to do what is needed?

Many people seem to manage to use web-based solutions. These will work fine on a mac, as far as I am aware. I prefer the Tracklogs software because it's OS map based, has a good user interface, and works offline. I also have been told by people that when they upload my gpx files to the websites the websites muck it up - they can't handle the workflow I use, in other words. The Garmin SW I just use to do some final tweaks to the gpx before I download, that Tracklogs can't do for me. I could write a python script to do that and automate that stage. The other use for the garmin stuff is I can select and download the maps just for the area I am cycling in, though if I do a one-time download of the entire UK again, that becomes redundant. Since PBP last year where I replaced the UK map with northern france I've never got around to doing that though. :)

The garmin basecamp sw can't cope with the way I work either. I persevered for a while, but the work-arounds are just too painful.

Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #67 on: March 30, 2012, 06:05:16 pm »
What I can recommend (think Jaded may have already done so!) is investing £30ish in Ascent

Indeed he did. I was planning to re-read the thread anyway :)

Ascent does look good and I've downloaded it.

Disk Utility or Drive Genius will do what you want. The former is is in the App/Utilities folder.

Done. That was all rather easy, although I'd have preferred to be able to make the Windows partition smaller. Thanks!

Next question: in Safari, is there an equivalent to Gmail notifier?

Valiant

  • aka Sam
    • Radiance Audio
Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #68 on: March 30, 2012, 07:16:25 pm »
Growl is a good app for notifications. You should have been able to drag the partition to any size you wanted.
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be misquoted, then used against you.

Support Equilibrium

Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #69 on: March 30, 2012, 07:28:33 pm »
The window representing the Windows partition was fixed in size with no drag handle. The Mac partition had a drag handle but could not be dragged past 50%. Anyhoo it's fine for now.

I don't use any garmin software, apart from the drivers to access the devices drive. I use Bikehike to plan routes, and, as Auntie Helen says, Ascent to log and interpret my rides after the event.

I've got really out of practice with all this - how do you transfer the .gpx or whatever files you have generated on Bikehike to your GPS - via Ascent (haven't looked at it yet)?
 

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #70 on: March 30, 2012, 08:07:44 pm »
Once you have the drivers for garmin installed Bikehike will download the gpx file direct to the garmin. If you have a 705 then download the routes as gpxx, not gpx.

With ascent you just plug the garmin in, then hit cmd + L on the mac and it will sync the garmin to Ascent's database, ignoring any journeys already downloaded.

If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #71 on: March 30, 2012, 08:24:03 pm »
I find it quite annoying when I download a file that I then have to click on the downloads folder on the dock and then scroll right to the top of a very long list of files to open the file I just downloaded. Does anyone have any suggestions for streamlining this process? Sorry for the thread hijack.
Stropping rocks

Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #72 on: March 30, 2012, 08:31:49 pm »
In chrome, you can open it from the bottom of the browser.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #73 on: March 30, 2012, 08:39:20 pm »
In old Safari, open the Dowmnloads window from the window menu.
In lion safari click on the rightmost icon in the toolbar. Which is tooltipped "show downloads".

If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #74 on: March 30, 2012, 08:42:56 pm »
....In lion safari ...

So, you've gone over??