Thursday May 23, 2013
OS X includes a large number of apps and utilities that can make it easier to use your Mac. One app that is often overlooked is Automator.
Screen shot courtesy of Coyote Moon, Inc.
Automator lets you create custom workflow automations that can take the drudgery out of repetitive chores by turning the whole process into a basic app. On the surface this sounds like a nifty utility, but even if we've heard about what Automator can do, most of us never get around to trying it out. In many cases, this is because Automator sounds like it involves learning a programming language, a task that isn't high on most people's to-do list (or even on the list at all).
Not to worry. Automator creates workflows with drag-and-drop ease. Just pick the tasks you want to perform and connect them to create a workflow; that's all there is to using Automator.
To help you get started with Automator, we've put together a guide. With the help of this guide, you'll use Automator to create a simple workflow, one that automates the process of renaming a large collection of files and folders. This type of workflow automation is a great introduction to Automator, and to how easy it can be to make your daily tasks more productive.
Using Automator to Rename Files and Folders
Wednesday May 22, 2013
I received an email today from a reader who is having problems getting file sharing to work between OS X Mountain Lion and a Windows system. Unfortunately, he didn't mention which version of Windows he's using, but the problem he described seems to indicate that the workgroup names on the Windows system and the OS X system don't match.
Screen shot courtesy of Coyote Moon, Inc.
Setting up a Workgroup name on the Mac seems to be easy; just enter a Workgroup name in the appropriate place and you should be ready to go. But there is one step that is often overlooked.
If you need to share files, printers, or other resources between a Windows machine and a Mac, you will probably need to set up or at least confirm the Workgroup names on both systems.
Configure OS X Mountain Lion's Workgroup Name
Tuesday May 21, 2013
Apple CEO Tim Cook, along with CFO Peter Oppenheimer and Phillip A. Bullock, testified today at the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The Senate committee is currently looking into U.S. tax policy and took the opportunity to attack Apple "for exploiting an absurdity that we have not seen other corporations use." Chairman Carl Levin was referring to loopholes in current U.S. tax laws, which of course were created by the august Senate body.
Cook pointed out that Apple pays U.S. taxes on all U.S. profits, as is required by the tax system. Cook went on to say that Apple doesn't send any U.S. derived profits overseas.
Apple set up an Ireland-based corporation to handle European sales in 1980, when Ireland was recruiting tech companies. Apple was able to negotiate a 2% tax rate for its European sales. Because the company's European profits (and profits from other countries) aren't held in the U.S., they are not subject to U.S. tax rates.
MacRumors has a transcript taken from the Senate's live video feed of the testimony today if you would like more details of the event.
Monday May 20, 2013
Rumors about new MacBook Pros at WWDC aren't new; they crop up before every WWDC. However, this year DigiTimes forecasts a 20% rise in orders for components used in the anticipated MacBook Pros.
Courtesy of Apple
But before you start looking at your current MacBook Pro with thoughts of replacing it, consider the rest of the report. According to DigiTimes, the upgrades will mostly be speed bumps, in the form of new Haswell-based Intel Processors and graphics. There won't be any big surprises, such as an all-Retina lineup, or new connectivity options, such as faster Wi-Fi or Thunderbolt ports.
The other thing to take into account is that the Retina versions of the current MacBook Pro are fairly new; they were introduced in October 2012 and refreshed in February 2013.
The non-Retina MacBook Pros, though, are a bit longer in the tooth; they haven't been updated since June 2012.
The question in my mind is, will Apple release another non-Retina version of the MacBook Pro or will we have to wait for Apple to release an all-Retina lineup of the portables?
What do you think? Please leave a comment below.