Mac 

Reminders app is so buggy 

Reminders is one of buggiest apps Apple has ever made. Sometimes it forgets to remind, sometimes it reminds twice. It cannot sync anything between Macs, iOS devices and the watch. And now, it decided to remind me of five things:

Reminders app

Thanks, I guess.

   
Dec 27   bugs   iPhone   Mac   software
2016   Mac

Spacing separates, lines join 

People often draw lines to separate things. They should, instead, move the things apart.

Here is the Mac menu bar:

If you “separate” the items with lines, the effect will be the opposite:

   
2014   design   Mac   user interface

The stupid “Compose New Message” Mail.app menu item 

Let’s say you’ve right-clicked the Mail.app’s dock icon and want to write a new mail:

Why, why is the menu item called “Compose New Message”? Why does it say “Compose”? No sane person would ever say: “Honey, I need to compose a message”.

In every other app on Earth there is no verb before “New”. Just “New Window” in Safari. Just “New Event” in Calendar. Heck, in iMessage it is just “New Message”. Who does Apple make me spend several seconds trying to find the line I need in Mail.app? This is one of those things you cannot get used to.

   
2014   Mac   rants   text   user interface

Steve Jobs demos the Mac in 1984 

Watch this video. I am almost as excited about the stuff they show as the audience:

   

I think the 2007 iPhone demo will look impressive even in thirty years.

   
2014   Apple   iPhone   Mac   video

Fix sudo on a Mac 

Sometimes the sudo command stops working for reasons beyond human understanding. When you try to sudo anything, it says: “no valid sudoers sources found”.

It happened to me twice. The first time it happened to a MacBook. I tried to make some changes to the sudoers file, but it didn’t help, and I gave up. After adding an SSD drive to my Mac Pro and moving the system to it, it happened again. Mac Pro is my main working machine, so I had to fix it this time.

Turned out the problem was with the permissions on the root directory. Presumably I’ve somehow broken them while moving my system.

I found a working solution on MacRumors forum. Here’s what you do:

  1. Restart your Mac is a single-user mode (press and hold ⌘+S during boot until you see command prompt).
  2. /sbin/fsck -fy
    check the filesystem integrity (not sure it’s necessary, but I did it anyway).
  3. /sbin/mount -wu /
    mount the root filesystem.
  4. /bin/chmod 1775 /
    fix the permissions.
  5. /bin/sync
    commit the changes to filesystem.
  6. exit

After booting to the normal Mac environment, you may also need to repair permissions with the Disk Utility.

   
2012   Mac   solution

Some details in Mountain Lion 

  1. Launchpad no longer displays all the Adobe’s crap “apps” (the likes of “Uninstall Adobe Flash Extension Manager Help Center Updater”). Somehow it learned to distinguish between real apps and this useless stuff.
  2. Apple for some reason decided that Launchpad should have not eight, but seven icons in a row, which broke all my logical page arrangements. Oh well. Had to reorganize it. I hope in ML it will at least remember the positions well and don’t shuffle them unexpectedly. By the way, search in Launchpad is great.
  3. When you delete a file in Finder, it no longer moves selection to parent directory. Huge win (via Aleksander Karpinsky).
  4. Many have already pointer out that the battery icon in the main menu no longer has an option to display time remaining, only the percentage. But what’s more important, when you ask it to display percentage, it now displays it to the left of the icon (iOS style) and doesn’t enclose it in the stupid, useless and noisy parentheses. I wonder what made them use those parentheses in the first place. Anyway, I don’t want to see the percentage anyway.
  5. In Calendars, when some of the day’s events are out of view (i. e. you are viewing a schedule from noon to midnight, but you have an event in 9 am), they are still shown as small “tails” on the edges, so while you don’t see what event or events are there, you least know that there is something.
  6. In Mail, if you put a folder (e. g. “Projects”) in the bookmarks bar, it no longer behaves like a pull-down menu. Instead, it takes the name of the form “Projects — The TTP Project” using the name of the subfolder you last opened and opens that folder immediately. To see the whole list of subfolders, you need to click the little triangle on the right.
  7. When you right click a mail and select “Move To”, Mail no longer displays the whole mailbox hierarchy for you to pick a folder. Instead, it shows just the top-level folders, any of which you can hover to reveal a submenu of its subfolders and so on. This made the “Move To” command almost impossible to use, because the menu structure is just too fragile to use confidently. This turned out not to be true. In reality Mail displays each folder as a menu of its own if it is collapsed in the mailbox sidebar and as a list of subfolders if it is not. And it does the same in Lion. The reason for my experience is that in Lion I had all my hierarchy expanded and in ML it was not.
  8. You can now drag a file from somewhere to an app icon in Launchpad to open with. Start dragging, then press your Launchpad hotkey (it’s ⌘Esc for me) and drop a file on an any icon that would accept it. Cool.

What else?

   
2012   Mac

Button text in Mountain Lion 

John Siracusa in the review:

Creating a new document and then immediately closing without saving now shows a dialog box whose far-left button is labeled ”Delete” rather than the milder ”Don’t Save”. The same button in the dialog that appears after selecting the ”Duplicate…” command and then immediately closing the duplicate window is now labeled ”Delete Copy” instead of ”Don’t Save”.

Nice touch.

   
2012   Mac   user interface

Two stupid windows on a Mac 

There are two stupid windows on a Mac that annoy the hell out of me.

This one appears on my main machine in a couple of minutes after I close the lid of my notebook:

It tells me that the remote volumes are no longer available, which I well know and don’t give a shit about. What am I supposed to do with this information? If I were using the volumes in any way, like copying a file, I would have noticed the problem long ago (as the file would stop copying, obviously).

Additionally, it has two buttons that do exactly the same thing: nothing. No matter what I press, the volumes are no longer available and I can’t do anything about it. What do you mean “Disconnect All”, it’s been disconnected several minutes ago, and we both know it. This window should be killed.

This second one appears one in ten times when I change something in iCal:

Now what is that? Not only are they dumping some cryptic server messages onto me, they are also presenting me with a choice. What am I supposed to do here? I don’t want to go offline, because why would I, and I don’t want to “Revert to Server” because I have no idea what it means.

“Revert to Server” is the default one, so it feels like it’s safe to choose it, but I’ve learned that it actually undoes my latest change. There’s no excuse for that: I’ve made my change for reason. Why would you even offer me the choice to undo it, let alone make it the default one? And “Go Offline” actually saves my edit and syncs it to iCloud (when it’s in a better mood later). Someone in iCal department should read Raskin and learn that user’s input is priceless, and it should always be saved by default.

Just change the button names to “Save and sync when possible” and “Forget what I’ve just done”, and it would be ridiculously obvious that this window, too, is useless and should be removed.

   
2012   bugs   Mac   user interface

Quickly convert any text to plain text 

Some apps don’t have “Paste unformatted” or “Paste and match style” command. So you want to convert your text to plain text before pasting. What’s the quickest way to do it on a Mac? Here’s what I do:

  1. Control+Space (Spotlight, it may be ⌘Space on your machine).
  2. ⌘V.
  3. ⌘A.
  4. ⌘C.
  5. Control+Space again.

Now whatever you had in your clipboard is converted to plain text.

   
2012   lifehack   Mac
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