A working workaround when losing audio in OS X Mavericks ;)

After plugging out the headphones again, Mavericks decided to rather do without audio output for the rest of its runtime. As none of the usual approaches worked to convince it to obey and I wasn’t quite willing to reboot it, I did a web search and found the following hint:

sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/AppleHDA.kext

sudo kextload /System/Library/Extensions/AppleHDA.kext

I can hereby confirm that this worked in my case (with a 15″ MacBook Pro Retina 2014 model), Mavericks finally obeyed.

via Losing Audio in OS X Mavericks? Here’s what you can do about it! | iMore.

Turn off drop shadows on Mac OS X screenshots

Philip’s post about More OS X Leopard Tips & Tricks is quite dated, but basically, all the valuable tips there are still valid.

Among them also the tip how to get rid of the (usually annoying) drop shadows that Mac OS X adds to screenshots (enter the commands in a terminal window):

defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool true
killall SystemUIServer

Adding shadows again:

defaults delete com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow

Automatically install any downloaded updates on Mac OS X

Check the recommended answer in this thread on superuser.com. For example, to autoinstall the updates at 8 PM daily, you basically need:

1.) Create /Library/LaunchDaemons/some.meaningful.name.plist

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
    <key>Label</key>
    <string>some.meaningful.name</string>
    <key>ProgramArguments</key>
    <array>
        <string>softwareupdate</string>
        <string>-i</string>
        <string>-a</string>
    </array>
    <key>StartCalendarInterval</key>
    <dict>
        <key>Hour</key>
        <integer>20</integer>
        <key>Minute</key>
        <integer>00</integer>
    </dict>
    <key>RunAtLoad</key>
    <false/>
    <key>KeepAlive</key>
    <false/>
</dict>
</plist>

2.) Execute the following in a terminal:

sudo launchctl load /Library/LaunchDaemons/some.meaningful.name.plist

Essential Mac OS X tools: NoSleep extension

macosx-nosleep-extension – The MacOS X kernel extension, preventing sleep when you close the lid. – Google Project Hosting.

Very useful, especially when watching a movie on a projector using HDMI directly, instead of using AirPlay with an Apple TV. Thanks to NoSleep, you can close your MBA’s/MBP’s lid but still stream the movie to the projector.

If I were Apple, I’d be a bit embarrassed that such a setting is not already built-in.

macvim – Vim for the Mac

When using Mac OS X, I used to use the CLI vim by the excellent Homebrew package manager.

Now I’ve just stumbled over macvim, which is kind of a “deluxe vim” for Mac OS X, including adjusted key bindings for the Mac and a GUI menu, supporting Cocoa file dialogs, among others.

It’s highly recommended if you want to have the best of both the CLI and GUI editor worlds.

Download

Using IRC on the go

Running the console IRC client weechat (not to confuse with the wechat messenger) in a screen or tmux session on a Linux (or Mac OS X) server and accessing it trough mosh is a great way to use IRC on the go, i.e. with a unsteady Internet connection.

P.S. Thanks to Devaux and rmeyer for the hints

Mac OS X: Reduce/increase workspace switching delay

Does dragging windows to the adjacent workspace in Mac OS X feel sluggish? Try lowering the according delay, e.g. to 0.1 seconds. For a persistent change, enter the following in a terminal:

defaults write com.apple.dock workspaces-edge-delay -float 0.1; killall Dock

If you’d like to have a longer delay, try setting a value of 1.0 or even 2.0.

How to compile Textual (open source IRC client) on Mac OS X

Textual is a heavily modified fork of LimeChat and looks and feels more native and light-weight than most other IRC clients for Mac OS X. Further, it doesn’t seem to have problems with window refreshing as observed with XChat Aqua/Azure (App Store link) and XChat for X11 (installed/compiled using ‘brew install xchat’).

Though Textual is also available in the App Store for 4.99 USD, I wanted to compile it from sources myself.

Here’s how to build Textual from sources (tested on Mac OS X Mountain Lion):

  1. Download and install Xcode 4 from the App Store.
  2. Download/checkout the latest Textual sources from https://github.com/Codeux/Textual
  3. Open the file Main Project (Textual).xcodeproj in Xcode.
  4. In Xcode’s Preferences -> Downloads -> Components, install the Command Line Tools.
  5. In the opened project in Xcode, disable code signing:
    For the target Textual, navigate to the tab Build Settings. In the “Code Signing” section, set “Don’t Code Sign” for “Debug” and “Release”.
  6. On the top left of the Xcode IDE window, select the scheme Textual (Standard Release) -> My Mac 64-bit
  7. Click on the “Run” button to start building the project
  8. The “Textual” app will be built in the subfolder “./Build Results/Release/” of your Textual source directory