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#869: Verbose Mode, Installing Apps Correctly, Celebrate Moms, Dads & Grads!

 
     
 

Hello all!

One day it’s winter, the next, summer. This last week has been seriously gorgeous in the weather department. Cool nights, warm days, and everything went from grey to green in just a few days. I have ferns in my yard a foot or more tall that simply were not there last week. Along with the warm weather, we have a few occasions coming up, the closest one being Mother’s Day.

I never got this one growing up, but as a parent, I have to say there is not much better in life than getting something heartfelt from your kid. I had a birthday recently and got a gift from my five-year old daughter that she was very happy to give since she felt it was perfect and exactly what I wanted (to the point where she said she could cry because she knew I wanted it so much): my very own Flyboy.

Until that day, I had not known that I wanted a ceramic merman airline pilot exotic dancer, but when I saw it, I certainly knew it was perfect and that it was indeed exactly what I wanted because she loved giving it to me. So do your best, grin and bear it…if your kids are older they probably don’t realize, and if they are young all they want is for you to be happy. Have a good week, and thanks for reading.

Liam
liam@smalldog.com

 
   
     
  Installing Applications: What, Where and How  
   
 

One of the most persistent “misunderstandings” I see as a technician is when applications are installed improperly (Skype and Firefox, I’m looking at you!). The Mac doesn’t include a guide for how to install software from third parties, and as such, a lot of users are left fending for themselves.

First, let’s take a look at what a Mac application looks like. Generally, it shows as a single file, with icon and name. Most of these are in the Applications folder. This single file is in fact a package with most, if not all, of the the resources that program needs. Unlike in Windows, where one needs to dig through a ton of related files just to find the application file, with Mac applications, you need only double-click on this package to open the software.

When we download a Mac application, it’s often stored within something called a “Disk Image”, in which it cannot be modified. This is to keep the original software intact and unmodifiable by others.

Open this disk image, and it will “mount” on the computer, much like any USB drive or DVD disc would. It can be opened from a new Finder window. Now the downloaded application is sitting in the mounted and open disk image. But it’s not time to use it yet, this is the key step. It needs to be copied to the Applications folder on the Mac. Just dragging and dropping it is enough. Once this is done, we “eject” the disk image just as we would any other disk. Now the new software may be opened from the Applications folder.

The important distinction is that the Application shouldn’t be opened from the disk image, as it may need to make changes to itself or store temporary files within itself, and it’s being opened from a disk that cannot be modified. Opening a copy from the Applications folder is highly preferred.

 
   
     
  Up Next?  
   
 

While browsing the internet the other day, I stumbled across an article saying that Apple had submitted a patent for a hybrid tablet/laptop designed machine. My curiosity was piqued because I personally was interested in the Android tablets that had the dockable keyboard and provided touch pad and USB ports as well as another battery to extend your use time, but ultimately I decided against it because it was Android.

So now I read this article that Apple may be making this very product! Will it have OS X on it or iOS 6/7? Will there be a Retina Display? And again, will there finally be an Apple tablet with OSX on it finally when Windows has been doing it for years? This is all speculation and rumor but the possibilities for the next big technological trend is always exciting to think and dream about.

There is still talk about the ‘SmartWatch,’ and what it will entail. The iPod nano can be considered Apple’s ‘first’ smart watch, with FM radio, Nike run tracker, music, photos and such. What the nano is lacking is Wi-Fi, the ability to be a smaller version of an iPod touch and to acquire music wirelessly without connecting to a computer. Wireless headphones would be nice, too; if only the nano had Bluetooth…

With all the accessories out there (like the armband for the iPod touch or the iPhone), what’s to stop you from wearing the armband on your forearm, and wouldn’t that technically be a “smart watch” since it does everything that salivating consumers are hoping for? Since the armband and an iPhone are pretty much anti-stylish for everyday wear, it gets knocked out of being classified as a smart watch. The iPod nano previous generation had the perfect size for a watch, but can you really imagine typing on a keyboard on that tiny 1.5” screen?

 
   
     
  Verbose Mode  
   
 

Verbose mode is a diagnostic function built into all Macs. What this allows you to do is witness the behind the scenes processes that run while your machine starts up. One way to enable this for a single boot session if you just want to see it is hold “command” and “v” keys during boot.

It can be fun to look at occasionally or for diagnostics, and the next time you start up, your machine will boot normally. During extended diagnostics we sometimes set machines to start up in verbose mode by default, and of course you can do this to for fun if you’d like.

First thing you need to do is open the application Terminal. Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once running terminal enter the following command:

sudo nvram boot-args= “-v”

Now if you want to see the effects of this, close Terminal and restart your machine. This is a tool that most people will not need to use, but comes in handy if you are having issues during boot, and want to see what errors are presented.

If you do this, and you want to revert to the normal graphic boot, open Terminal again, and enter this command:

sudo nvram boot-args=

This will disable this, and bring your computer back to normal Mac OS X boot.

 
   
     
  Hey, Moms, Dads & Grads!  
   
 

It’s that time of year again when we come together to recognize achievements and honor our parents. Like we have done in years past, we have some great deals that will help you save when you are picking out he perfect gift for your mom, dad or grad to commemorate the occasion. Here is the full breakdown of what we have going on:

Up to $100 Off Any New MacBook Pro or Air
Purchase any new MacBook Pro or MacBook Air with AppleCare and you can save $100 on the 15-inch models and $60 on every 11 or 13-inch. But the savings don’t stop there. We are also including one of our Hammerhead Neoprene Cases (a $29.99 value), absolutely FREE!

Up to $100 Off Any New iMac
Purchase any new iMac with AppleCare and you can save $100 on the 27-inch models and $60 on 21.5-inch. Not only do you save cold hard cash, but, we are tossing in a Hammerhead Dual Port AC Adapter (a $14.99 value), absolutely FREE!

Buy Any iPad & Get Free Accessories
Purchase any new iPad or iPad mini and receive your very own Hammerhead Accessory starter package absolutely FREE! The starter kit includes your choice of either a Capo Case for iPad mini or Folio Case for iPad, a screen protector and a stylus, a value up to $79.99! Due to our restrictions from Apple you’ll have to call in or stop by one of our stores to cash in on this special.

Save 10% on Select Hard Drives
Purchase any external hard drive from LaCie, Seagate or G-Tech and save 10% right off the bat! Due to our restrictions from these manufacturers you’ll have to call in or stop by one of our stores to cash in on this special.

BoGo Chill Pills
Everyone loves our Chill Pill and now you can share the love with our buy-one-get-one special. Choose any color Chill Pill for you and someone else — they never need to know theirs was free.

$10 off Select Headphones
Purchase any headphone made by Sennheiser or Urbanears and instantly save $10! Choose from our more popular models like the Urbanears Plattan or go with something more portable like the Sennheiser CX310 earbuds. Due to our restrictions from these manufacturers you’ll have to call in or stop by one of our stores to cash in on this special.

Save Up to 60% Select Altec Lansing Speakers
Purchase the Altec Lansing BXR1321 and save 60% or get the VS2621 and save 40%!

70% Off Matias Keyboard & Mouse Combo
Purchase the Matias Folding Keyboard & Mouse 2-in-1 combo and save 70%, a $70 value!

Save 10% on All iPod, iPhone & iPad Cases
Every single case that fits an iOS device is 10% off, and we mean every one we have from Otterbox to Hammerhead — take your pick! Due to our restrictions from these manufacturers, you’ll have to call in or stop by one of our stores to cash in on this special.