Friday, February 03, 2017

Help! Stuck in OVR mode running Windows on a Mac in Bootcamp!

Another useful tidbit for those using Windows on a Mac via bootcamp - it's all too easy to get your keyboard stuck in OVR (overwrite mode) rather than the standard INS (insert mode) - the apple keyboard doesn't have a button to switch it out (at least my wee wireless keyboard doesn't) but it is easy to switch back and forth between the two modes but typing the following incantation:

fn + enter

It could possibly be different for different programs but that certainly worked for my in MS Visual Studio

Hope that saves some of you some stress!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Maximising windows in OS X Yosemite

It has been a LONG time since i've posted anything here but i found this little nugget today while playing around with the OS X Yosemite Beta and I'm sure this is going to drive existing Mac users insane for a while!

When you click on the green zoom button on the top-left hand corner of a window in Apple's new Operating System, it defaults to bringing the window in question into full screen mode rather than simply filling the available screen real estate minus the dock and menu bar. This is ANNOYING! However, it is possible to get the traditional behaviour of the green button by doing one of the following:

1 - Holding down the alt/option key while you click the green button
2 - Not clicking the button at all and instead double clicking on the title bar

Heres hoping that Apple allow users to change this behaviour somewhere easily like they did with the 'natural' scrolling in OS X Lion which was equally annoying and unnecessary :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Showing the desktop with OS X Lion

Have you been frustrated with how to clear away your open applications in OS X Lion (and now Mountain Lion) so you can see the desktop? I used to have a key mapped on my keyboard to do just that with earlier versions of OS X but it changed with the king of the kitties. However, it is still possible to do just that with the following handy key combination:

CMD + F3

Watch as your applications fly into the corners of the screen :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

More hash key fun: The hash key when using RDP on a Mac with a UK keyboard

Following on from the continuing fun of trying to find the hash key codes when using a UK Mac, here is a tip for anyone needing to write a # when using Microsoft RDP on a Mac with a UK keyboard - use the following combination:

CMD + \

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Keyboard shortcut to turn on Mirroring of displays

I got a projector as a christmas pressie this year and I love it! I found this useful little tip in my travels which is very convenient when you have settled yourself in with a wireless keyboard only to realise that you haven't turned on mirroring of your displays, doh! You can easily turn on the mirroring of displays in OS X by using the following command:

cmd + f1

(this assumes you haven't changed the configuration of your fnumber keys, in which case, i imagine the command would be):

cmd + fn + f1

However, i don't know about that last one!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Problems emptying the Trash folder after deleting Time Machine backups

Yesterday i found that my 1.5TB external drive was running short on space so my first thought was that the i might have some old backups that could be deleted - I have used the drive also as my Time Machine backup for the last year. What i did next was bad i recommend you avoid! I went to the 'Backups.backupdb' folder, saw a bunch of timestamped folders going back into last year and dropped them into my trash folder - i didn't realise how unwise this move was until i tried emptying said folder - after 2 hours of trying to delete it's content, i was still getting nowhere so i had to turn the machine off, stopping the trash emptying didn't cut it. I tried fixing the problem by putting back the backups and deleting them individually but the machine wouldn't let me do that because the files were backup files and they apparently couldn't be put back. I then did some rummaging and found an article that proved to be useful:

Emptying the trash: an epic journey

Here, Dave let the machine take it's time - 13 hours later he was done...

there needed to be another way, surely? In the blog post, Dave mentions that using the terminal to trash items takes ALOT less time, i did some more digging and found this invaluable article: (Trash problems in OS X? Reset it!)

I found that the following command soothed my woes:

sudo rm -rf /Volumes/insert external disk name here/.Trashes

PLEASE read all of the cnet article before you try this though - it notes a word of warning that if you put a space before '/.Trashes' in your command, you'll nuke all the data on the disk so be careful but it does seem to have done the trick for me!

Note, if you need to delete individual things from Time Machine in the future, follow this path instead of deleting it directly from the Finder!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Viewing EXIF Data in iPhoto '09

I was tearing my hair out, trying to find where I could see the EXIF Information (Shooting Data) about pictures in iPhoto - thanks to this blog post by Kevin Carter on the MacCreate website, i found it (

1. Choose a photo in iPhoto
2. Go to Photos -> Show Extended Photo Info

I had been rummaging in the get info menu with no luck but it is available - just not where I expected it :)