Break-up broken heart

Damn. Break-ups suck. You know what makes them suck 200% more? Having to update your relationship status on Facebook.

We’ve all seen those awkward updates, when a love affair goes from full-blown to “It’s complicated”. If you’re anything like us, you’ll want to avoid the rubberneckers and the sympathisers and mourn your break-up privately. Changing your relationship status on Facebook is the equivalent of walking into a crowded street with a bullhorn and announcing your situation to the world.

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Apple LogoDo you use your iPhone to make business calls? Sooner or later, you’re going to need to store a telephone number that includes an extension number for your contact.

Rather than fumble around adding spaces and even brackets around the extension (which we tried initially!), we thought we’d show you the correct way to add extension numbers to your iOS contacts.

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Exclude directories from Spotlight

Your Mac’s Spotlight application might be one of the most underrated part of the OS X ecosystem. Spotlight indexes all the content on your Mac, making it simple to find documents and data that might be buried deep within your file system.

It’s so fast, I’ve started using it to quickly pull up contact cards. It’s so much more efficient than starting up the Contacts app and digging through people’s names.

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Airmail 2.0 screenshot

The latest version of the  versatile email client, Airmail 2.0, was released recently. I’ve been considering switching from Apple’s default mail app for some time now, and with this new version of Airmail I decided to jump ship.

The problem is, every time you click on a web link in your browser, Mail.app automatically fires itself up. Very irritating! So how do you set up Airmail (or an alternative email client) as your default in Mac OS X?Continue reading

A little while back, Ubuntu made a subtle change that broke Desktop Sharing to Mac computers. I keep a headless server upstairs to serve media files across my network, so screen sharing is essential to manage the server. However, when Ubuntu made their change – requiring encryption on the VNC connection – Macs lost the ability to connect.

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Ubuntu LogoI’ve been struggling this morning with a compressed SQL file – it had been given a .gz file extension, and I was trying to use the tar command to decompress it. Apparently this is stupid – there’s a dedicated utility to decompress a .gz file – gunzip.

It’s as simple as this:

$ gunzip big-database-dump.sql.gz
$ ls big-database-dump.sql

(The ls command simply lists the extracted file, by the way)

If you’re using Ubuntu, there’s a very easy way to extract the file using the GUI – simply browse to the .gz file you want, right click on it and choose the Extract here command.

However, the time to use the tar command is when you’re opening up a file like drupal-6.15.tar.gz

tar -zxvf Drupal-6.15.tar.gz

Hope this helps out other Ubuntu/Linux newbies who’ve struggled with file decompression!

Mac OS DVD autoplay settings

One annoying aspect of Mac OS X is the way is automatically launches the DVD player whenever you insert a DVD in the drive. You might not be ready to watch the movie right away or you may be planning to make a backup of the disc using Handbrake or something else.

You can easily disable the autoplay feature on your MacBook. Follow these simple step-by-step instructions:

  1. Click the Apple icon at the top of your screen and open the System Preferences applet. Browse to CDs and DVDs.
  2. In the When you insert a video DVD section, set it to Ignore. This will stop the MacBook autoplaying media, leaving you to choose which application to launch.
  3. Alternatively, if you want to use a different programme to view DVDs, drop down the menu and choose Open other application. Browse for the application you want.
  4. Close the System Preferences applet when you’re finished. Job done.

While you’re browsing the DVD and CD settings, you can also play around with the settings for music and photo discs. But does anybody actually use those things anymore?

Gmail logo

You might be shocked to learn that Gmail doesn’t offer an official way to block senders. So, what are you supposed to do when you find yourself on an annoying mailing list or circular and there’s no easy way to unsubscribe?

Luckily, Gmail’s filtering system gives you the power to block a sender with a simple rule. Today, we’re going to show you how to do that in a few easy steps. You’ll discover how to set up the rule the first time round, then add additional email addresses that you want to block. Let’s get started:Continue reading

SASS is an amazing CSS preprocessor that allows you to rapidly code websites using nested rules and variables and a lot more.

However, one thing the basic SASS instructions won’t tell you about is how to handle pseudo selectors when you’re nesting your rules. I’m talking about :hover, :before, :after and :visited states. Do you create a whole new CSS rule for a pseudo selector, or is there a way to nest them?

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Apple LogoIf you’re a terminal warrior like me, you’ll occasionally need to reboot the OS X network interface. There’s a quick way to do this through the command line – but first you need to know the identity of your network interface.

Run the ifconfig command in your terminal and find the interface with an IP address attached to it. On my MacBook Pro, the ethernet interface is en0 while the wireless interface is en1.  Yours may be similar.

Shutting down the network interface

Now that you’ve identified the interface, shutting it down and restarting it is a breeze. Run this command:

sudo ifconfig en0 down

And to start things back up again…

sudo ifconfig en0 up

That’s it. It’s a simple command that’s worth remembering – or bookmarking!