Tag Archives: Mac

Missing recipients when emailing group in OS X

Sometimes when emailing a group from the contacts application in OS X El Capitan one or more of the addresses will be missing from the recipient list in the mail application. The missing recipients can be added manually to the recipient list but they will be silently dropped when the mail application expands the group into its members.

It is very unclear why this happens but a workaround seems to be to delete the mail addresses from the failing recipient and add them again. After that, the group expands to the full list of members.

Access Windows servers from OS X

After a hiatus of a couple of years I have recently come back to working with Windows servers – besides OS X and various Linux distributions, which have been my usual working tools lately. I realised that my old tools to access Windows servers would no longer do the trick. The Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac was never really very good but I had become used to Cord and it, too, would no longer work.

RDP problem

Apparently the problem is due to a difference in protocols between the client and the server and the two couldn’t negotiate properly on what protocol to use. I first tried to modify the server to default to the old RDP protocol and not try TLS. I even kept a virtual Windows client at hand to run whenever I felt a need to connect to a remote Windows server.

It turns out the absolutely best solution in these cases is to use the Microsoft Remote Desktop app, available on the Mac App Store for free. It is truly a great application for this purpose and allows the user to keep a list of servers and connect to them quickly and easily. For the ultimate in user experience, run the Windows terminal full screen and use the three finger swipe to quickly switch between the remote server and the local OS X system. Sweet!

Git and Textmate

Since I started using git (and when using svn before that) I have always typed commit messages on the command line using the -m switch. While that works the usability is not exactly fantastic. The funny thing is that it is very easy to change. I do all my development on OS X and my text editor of choice is Textmate. With that combination it is just a matter of issuing the following command:

git config --global core.editor "mate -w"

This will also make it easier to abide by best practices about how to write commit messages.

Create bootable Ubuntu USB stick

I don’t create bootable USB sticks that often but every time I do it I think that it’s harder than it really is and start to search the web for walkthroughs.

This post could also simply be written: Look at the Ubuntu download page.

Here is the process for OS X:

  1. Download ISO file of the operating system you want to put on the USB stick
  2. Open the terminal
  3. Convert the ISO file using the convert option of hdiutil: hdiutil convert -format UDRW -o /path/to/target.img /path/to/source.iso
  4. Run diskutil list to get the current list of devices
  5. Insert the USB stick
  6. Run diskutil list again to determine the device node assigned to your USB stick
  7. Unmount the USB stick: diskutil unmountDisk /dev/diskN
  8. Write the image to the USB stick: sudo dd if=/path/to/disk.img of=/dev/rdiskN bs=1m
  9. Eject the USB stick: diskutil eject /dev/diskN

Cyberduck crash report question

Cyberduck is a great application for FTP/SFTP/WebDAV use on the Mac which I use daily to manage files on various Linux and Windows servers. It also works rather well together with TextMate, my favourite text editor on Mac (or elsewhere for that matter!) although I lack the ability to open a set of files and get them in one TextMate window.

With the latest version of Cyberduck (3.0.3) I received the message “do you want to report the last crash” every time I started the application. There was no option to remove the alert on future application launches.

To remove the warning when the application is started, just remove the files ~Library/Logs/CrashReporter/Cyberduck*.

Completely remove U3 from Sandisk Cruzer on Mac

My collection of USB memory sticks is constantly growing. Some USB sticks I have bought, others were given to me as giveaways. The nicest ones from a physical perspective are a couple of Sandisk Mini Cruzer but unfortunately they came with U3 which I utterly dislike. U3 means that there is a small CD partition on the flash disk which is used to hold the U3 software. Since I am mainly using a Mac that is of no use to me and is just causing more clutter to my desktop. Even when I am running Windows it feels like a nuisance. The extra CD partition also meant that I couldn’t install a live USB OS on them. As a consequence they haven’t been used much.

For the longest time I thought it was impossible to fix this issue. But then I found an article on the Sandisk forums. So, if you want to remove the U3 partition to gain access to the full USB memory (or for whatever reason), just download and install this file.

Run the Launchpad Removal Utility for Mac application from within the SanDisk Cruzer folder in the Utilitites folder inside the Application folder.

Create ISO on Mac OS X 10.4

On Mac OS X 10.5 it is possible to create ISO files directly from the Disk Utility application but on Tiger, this is not supported. A quick solution is to use the terminal and realising that an ISO file is nothing more than a binary dump of the contents of the disk:

Start by opening a terminal window and insert the CD or DVD you wish to make an image out of. Then type “drutil status” to get information on the CD/DVD reader.

Unmount the disk by typing

$ diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk1
Disk /dev/disk1 unmounted

Create the ISO file by using the dd command:

$ dd if=/dev/disk1s0 of=image.iso bs=2048

Note: It appears that the device should be stated as above for CDs but similar to /dev/disk1 for DVDs. YMMV

Partition USB disk with FAT16 on Mac OS X

A previous article explained how to upgrade the BIOS on an Eee Box by using a USB memory formatted with FAT16.

As far as I have found, formatting with FAT16 can not be done through the GUI on Mac OS X. Instead one has to use the terminal.

First type “diskutil list” to see the devices on your system, making very sure that the following command is applied to the USB flash drive and not to a drive with important data. You have been warned!


diskutil partitiondisk /dev/disk1 1 MBRFormat "MS-DOS FAT16" "Data" 512M

The arguments have the following meanings:

  • /dev/disk1: The disk device to be partitioned and formatted
  • 1: The number of partitions
  • MBRFormat: The partition format
  • MS-DOS FAT16: The partition type
  • Data: The partition name
  • 512M: The size of the partition