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#838: Hide Your Windows Volume, Change Time Machine Intervals, Password Resets, 17-Inch MBPs (SALE!)

 
     
 

Hello readers,

Fall is on us. It’s not getting quite as warm as it did two weeks ago, and it’s getting colder at night. We have apple brown betty, apple pie, apple cider, apple cobbler, fall raspberries, hot cider and more on tap for the coming months…really any excuse to put ice cream and brown sugar on top of something warm and delicious is good with me.

We do also have to deal with squash and gourds of all kinds sitting there knowing their chance has finally come to be eaten since we have exhausted all other possibilities for nutrition…for me, that includes rocks and grass (which I will happily eat instead of spaghetti squash). No wonder the Pilgrims wore so much grey and black—the knowledge of what was facing them each fall must have weighed them down. But hey, the circle of life keeps rolling.

I do have to apologize—I did not have time to write a Terminal-related article this week, but Jon mentions a way to reset passwords using Terminal. (I’ll be writing next week about a very powerful command called ssh which is used to remotely log into and communicate with other computers.) Carl has a tip about how to hide certain volumes and RJ offers up a Time Machine backup scheduler.

Please enjoy this week’s offerings. See you next week—thanks for reading!

Liam
liam@smalldog.com

 
   
     
  Hide Your Boot Camp Volume  
   
 

A little while ago, Apple decided to hide hard drive icons on your desktop as the default setting for the Mac OS. I happen to prefer having my internal and external drives visible on my desktop, but having my Windows partition visible bugs me. It may be that it’s a reminder that I have Windows on my Mac, or maybe it’s because I never really have to access that volume—either way, I want it gone.

The problem is that you can’t choose which drives to have visible—it’s an all or nothing deal. However, there is a way that will enable you to sort of trick your system into hiding it from the desktop. Log into your Windows partition and change the name of the C: volume so that it has a period at the beginning of the name. Mine is .BOOTCAMP.

When you log into the Mac side, the OS will see it as a hidden file and hide it on your desktop. It will still show up in the sidebar of a Finder window if you have Devices enabled. I am still working on how to hide it from there as well!

 
   
     
  Changing Time Machine Backup Intervals  
   
 

For a lot of regular Time Machine users, hourly backups are not completely necessary. Unfortunately, there is not an option to change the time between these increments within Time Machine, so it is usually just accepted by the user. If you have added any large files to your computer in the past hour, backing up these newly added/altered files can take some time, and ultimately slow down your computer’s performance.

Obviously, one work-around is to eject the hard drive being used with Time Machine, and then plug it back in when you would like a backup performed. This can lead to some issues, however, like if you forget to mount the drive right before your internal hard drive crashes and possibly lose all that unbacked-up data.

A much more efficient and convenient solution is available, however. It is a little utility called TimeMachineEditor. With this utility, the user can easily schedule his or her backups, or just set a longer interval between them. I personally prefer to do daily backups late at night, when I’m finished using my computer.

TimeMachineEditor is a free download and easy install for Macs running 10.5, 10.6, or 10.7 (no word from the developer on 10.8 compatibility yet). It’s available here.

 
   
     
  Password Reset in 10.7 and 10.8  
   
 

In OS versions as early as 10.3 (and possibly later incarnations of 10.2.x), there was an application on the CD installer disc that enabled you to change your password. This was still the standard method to reset passwords on Macs through 10.6. With the release of machines running Lion and subsequently Mountain Lion, Apple no longer includes restore media as part of the accessory kit. How do we now reset passwords?

In Lion, 10.7.x and Mountain Lion, 10.8.x, the password reset is not an obvious utility when booted from the Restore partition of the drive, but the functionality still exists on these machines. The same password reset utility is available on your Mac via the Restore partition and it does not require a lot of digging.

When booted from the restore image, do not select any of the default options (Safari, Disk Utility or Restore), but rather, click on the Utilities option in the menu bar and select Terminal. In Terminal, simply type passwordreset at the prompt and the familiar password reset application found in 10.2.x through 10.6.x install media will launch and provide the same support as what existed before.

The same caveats still apply—you will have to create new keychains for your account. Accounts using FileVault will still be completely inaccessible as they need the original password to open the encrypted user folder image.

 
   
     
  TT SPECIAL | Refurbed 17-inch MBPs: Up to $900 Off  
   
 

Plus, get free shipping on Apple refurbished 17-inch MacBook Pros — and don’t forget that factory refurbished MacBook Pros are eligible AppleCare, too.

 
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  TT SPECIAL | Save $10 on Canon ImageCLASS Laser Printer  
   
 

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A great laser printer for an office or home environment — save $10 this week on the Canon ImageCLASS LBP-6000 USB Laser Printer!

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  TT SPECIAL | Sonix iPhone 5 Cases In Stock  
   
  Sonic iPhone 5

We’ve gotten our first shipment of cases for the new iPhone 5, so check out the line of protective cases from Sonix:

Sonix cases for iPhone 5.