Alternative Scenarios to the new MacBook Pro

I think there’s been enough rant about the new MBP. For me personally, I’ve been waiting patiently, and am always open to be convinced. I’m not this time, and have hence explored, and implemented, some alternatives. They may not be useful for you, but if you use a 2013 MacBook Air, and if you’re running out of disk space, and look moreover for a solution to have versioned backups all the time – this post may be for you.


By mnott on 2016/11/14 | General | 3 comments

How to stop iTunes from reverting to the local disk

I don’t have enough disk space on my MacBook Air. So specifically I don’t want iTunes to occupy lots of it. I’ve my iTunes library on an external disk, which is fine until I happen to start iTunes without having that disk attached. In that case, iTunes will silently revert to using its default, internal storage location, and next time I import music, I’ll just not notice – and end up with a complete mess. For example, the media library location I am using resides on a server that is also used by my Sonos installation – and I’ve ended up swearing at Apple for making things easier than necessary when importing a CD and then still not seeing it in my Sonos library – because I had really imported it into my local music library which iTunes had reverted to at some point.

So here’s how to fix that.


Update for the PDFKit Problems (and some other workflow)

While this thing was seriously not working, I have actually found out that I’m going to prefer non-Skim annotations now.


How to workaround the fucked up PDFKit in Sierra

OK, so it appears that Apple this time really blew it with PDFKit. In Sierra, it appears to be seriously broken, and the most important outcome of that is that Skim no longer appears to work.

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By mnott on 2016/10/28 | Computer, Hacks | 4 comments

Workaround for Lync Issues opening the Skype for Business application on IOS

I’ve been struggling with Lync (Skype for Business) issues this morning. Both iPhone and iPad suddenly no longer opened the Skype for Business application when clicking on a Lync link. So for example, a calendar invite may contain something like this:

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By mnott on 2016/10/26 | Computer, Hacks, SAP | A comment?

How to run a SuperDrive on a USB Hub – MacOS Sierra Version

Over here, I described how to run a SuperDrive on a USB hub. The issue is that Apple normally disallows you to do so since it thinks the SuperDrive needs to be powered – something that a USB hub can perfectly be able to do. Before, it was sufficient to change a system file in order to fix the issue; now, that change is disallowed (actually, since two versions of the operating system, but I don’t use CDs that much, so I didn’t even notice). The fix still works. Here is what you need to do:

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By mnott on 2016/10/06 | Computer, Hacks | 2 comments

Potential solution for adding a Thunderbolt Display to a 2016 Apple Macbook Pro

Should Apple come up later 2016 with the new MacBook Pro, it is likely that they will not contain a Thunderbolt 1 port. The question hence arises, how you would connect an existing Thunderbolt 1 Display. Of course, Apple is also reported to come up with new (5k) displays, but why would you replace yours if it still works fine.

Following up a kind reference of user jeeva on the Heise forum, I’ve been on the chat today with Startech who make this product, also available via Amazon. We also know that the current MacBook (not Pro, the slim one) does not support the Thunderbolt display, as it does not have Thunderbolt 3. So I went on Startech’s chat and spoke to Brandon, one of their support engineers. Below is the transcript.

TL;DR: If Apple does not reduce Thunderbolt 3 functionality in their upcoming MacBooks, it should work fine, including daisy chaining. StarTech will also undertake tests on their end once the new hardware becomes available from Apple, and publish them, so that you’ll be able to verify ahead of time whether this is a solution for you. If it is, it might meet a large user base (basically, all owners of Apple Thunderbolt displays).

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By mnott on 2016/09/29 | Computer | A comment?

How to get Weather on the Mac Console

Here is a simple way to get the weather from the console.

For this we need a very simple shell script:

If you don’t pass a parameter, it uses LocateMe which you’d have to download separately. LocateMe makes available the current location of the computer on the command line.

By mnott on 2016/07/29 | Code, Computer, General | A comment?

How to stop Safari downloading .pdf as .pdf.lspdf

There may be an issue that arises, apparently rarely, if you have once installed the Livescribe Echo application. Safari, when downloading a .pdf, will appear to keep adding a second extension, .lspdf, to the file name. Searching on Google doesn’t really return anything useful, and removing etc. doesn’t help either. This article reports a way to solve that problem, which to the best of my knowledge has not been solved before.

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By mnott on 2016/05/25 | Computer, Hacks | A comment?

Update Airport Firmware by running Airport Utility 6.5.1 on El Capitan

I just came across an interesting situation where the Airport Utility showed a red alert with a „1“ in it, indicating some sort of message or update, but not detailing what it was about – and actually no apparent possibility to do anything about it:


A quick search on Google brought up the idea to use an older version of the Airport utility, which identified a newer version for the Airport to be available, and allowing to update it.

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