1. Technology

DIY Guides & Projects

Step-by-step guides for a wide variety of DIY projects, including upgrading memory, installing hard drives, and building your own application workflow tools.
  1. Mac Upgrades (10)
  2. Seasonal (47)

Guide to External Drives for Your Mac
Adding an external drive is an easy way to upgrade a Mac's storage. This guide takes you through the ins and outs of buying an external storage solution.

Setting Up a Fusion Drive on Your Current Mac
Although Fusion drives are a new option for the Mac, they aren't limited to newly purchased Macs. You can create your own Fusion drive on almost any Mac, using the Terminal app that's included with OS X.

Increase Storage With an External Drive for Your Mac
Adding an external drive to a Mac to increase storage is an easy task. What you may find a bit trickier is making sense of the available options.

Create a Menu Item to Hide and Show Hidden Files in OS X
By combining the Terminal commands for showing and hiding files and folders with Automator to create a service that can be accessed from contextual menus, you can create a simple menu item to show or hide those files.

Create Your Own Jabber-Based Server That Works With iChat or Any Jabber Client
If you use iChat, you probably already know that it has built-in support for Jabber-based messaging. That’s the same messaging scheme used by Google Talk and many other similar services. Jabber uses an open source protocol called XMPP to initiate and talk with messaging clients. The upshot of an open source framework is that it makes it very...

Create Your Own iChat Smiley
Create Your Own iChat Smiley: Creating your own iChat smiley isn't a difficult process, but it does require a bit of time, some creativity, and a few tools you may not have, unless you happen to be a Mac developer. But don’t let the phrase 'Mac developer' scare you off. All you need is one of the free tools included in Xcode, the freely...

iChat Smileys - Modify an Existing iChat Smiley
Modify an Existing iChat Smiley: iChat, Apple's instant messaging system, comes with its own set of iChat smileys, or emoticons, for you to use. But the number of available smileys is small; Apple only provides twenty-eight. You can add more, but that may not get you that one specific iChat smiley your heart desires. Luckily, if you don’t mind...

Guide To Using Your Mac As A HTPC (Home Theater PC)
Your Mac can be the center of your home theater, essentially turning your Mac into an HTPC (Home Theater PC). Once you have your Mac, your TV, and your multi-channel receiver all hooked up, you're ready to share all of the multimedia content stored on your Mac. You can watch your home movies, check out your iTunes video collection, or just...

Move Your Mac's Home Folder to a New Location
Move Your Home Folder to a New Location: Your home folder is always located on the startup drive, the same one that houses the OS. This may not be an ideal location for your home folder, however. Storing the home folder on another drive may be a much better choice, especially if you want to increase the performance of your Mac by installing an...

Using Automator to Rename Files and Folders
Using Automator to Rename Files and Folders: In this guide, we'll introduce new Mac users to the Automator application, and then use it to create a workflow that renames files or folders. Why this particular workflow? Well, it's an easy task for Automator to perform. In addition, my wife recently asked me how she can rename folders full of...

Getting Surround Sound From Your Mac to Your AV Receiver Using VLC
Surround Sound and Your Mac: Let's start by settling one question right off. Can your Mac make use of surround sound in movies and TV shows? The answer is, it sure can! Your Mac can pass AC3, the file format used for Dolby Digital, directly to its optical audio output.

How to Copy DVDs to Your Mac Using HandBrake
Copying DVDs to your Mac using HandBrake can be a great idea for many reasons. First, DVDs can be easily damaged, especially if a DVD is one your children like to watch over and over and over. By creating a copy that can be loaded into your iTunes library, you can easily use your Mac to watch a DVD without any wear or tear on the DVD itself.

Macs and Home Theater: Connect Your Mac to Your HDTV
That big-screen HDTV is just begging to be connected to your Mac. This guide will take you through the process of connecting your Mac to your HDTV.

Using OS X as a File Server for a Network
Using OS X 10.5 as a File Server: File servers come in many forms, from dedicated computer systems like Apples Xserve, which has a base sticker price of $2,999, to NAS (Network Attached Storage) hard-drive-based systems, which can be found for as little as $49 (you supply the hard drives). But while buying a preconfigured solution is always an...

Create an Emergency OS X Boot Device Using a USB Flash Drive
A bootable copy of OS X on a USB flash drive is a great emergency backup tool to have on hand. It allows you to be ready to go almost immediately should anything happen to your existing startup drive. These step-by-step instructions will show you how to turn a USB flash drive into an emergency boot device.

Build Your Own External Hard Drive
Building an external hard drive is an easy project that anyone can undertake. All you need is an external enclosure, a hard drive, and about 10 minutes of your time.

Hook Your Mac Up to Your HDTV
Your new big-screen HDTV probably has more video connections than your old TV. Why not use one of them to hook your Mac up to your new HDTV?

Folder Actions - Get Notified When a File Is Added to a Folder
Use OS X's Folder Actions feature to automate recurring events. In this example, it will notify you whenever a new file is added to a specific folder.

Install an Internal Hard Drive in Your Mac Pro
Adding an internal SATA (Serial ATA) hard drive to a Mac is a fairly simple task under any circumstances, but it's particularly easy with a Mac Pro, because it doesn't require any special tools. The Mac Pro's hard drive sleds are easy to pull out and then pop back into place.

Split Your Fusion Drive Apart
With the help of Terminal, you can split a Fusion drive into its individual drive components. This can be helpful when you need to replace or upgrade a drive.

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