Tag Archives: Mac

Mac OS X and other Apple related fixes!

How to: Initiate a Timed Shutdown

On Friday I was downloading some files on my Netbook (running Ubuntu Remix 10.04) and was not planning to stick around for the downloads to finish (it was already close to 7pm, I needed to get home for the weekend). I didn’t want to leave it running all weekend and I still had another hour to go before my downloads finished…
What to do?

Well I decided to initiate a delayed shutdown of my system. Since the downloads had about 1hr and 15 minutes left, I decided to be extra safe and set the shutdown for an extra 30 minutes after that… Here’s how I did it:

In your terminal, run the following command:

sudo shutdown -h 20:45 "See you on Monday!"

you can change the time to fit your needs and change the message (between the quotes) to whatever you like or leave it out as the message is optional.

You could also set it to shutdown by using a slightly different format, like this:

sudo shutdown -h +120 "Shutting down in 2hrs -- or 120 minutes"

This works on Linux and Mac. If you want to do this on Windows you could try something like this (if you are an admin):

at 20:45 shutdown /l /r /y /c

But I cannot vouch for how effective this will be (on Windows I mean) as it may only shutdown the OS not the machine/computer…

Response to Reader Question: How to Archive Facebook Chats

Pidgin and Facebook Chat
Howto: Add Your Facebook Friends to Pidgin (via The Linuxologist)

One of my readers (and friends) asked:

“Is there a way to retrieve your facebook chats somewhere on your computer?”

While I personally do not use the Facebook chat (or any chat, seriously. I just don’t have time), I don’t get questions from my readers very often so I thought I’d look into it.

Here is what I’ve found…

The Basics

Facebook chat — as it is when you are logged in to Facebook.com — is nothing more than an HTML/AJAX “chat”… I’m trying to keep this in as plain of terms as possible for the sake of time and to save you the headache of technical details (I assume if you could understand the technical stuff, you probably already know how it works ).

So basically the chat functions as part of the Facebook website and is maintained between your browser and the Facebook server. This means there is no external “Chat” or “IM” client to manage it.

What You Can’t Do

Facebook does not currently provide an Archiving feature for its website-contained chat. This means if you want to archive your chats you are basically out of luck. All you could really do at this point is manually copy/paste your chats into a text file for archiving — this is the manual way, very nasty!

What You Can Do

Facebook does provide access to the “Facebook Chat” outside of their actual website. However, they do not offer an official “Facebook Chat” Client/IM. The good news is there are free chat/IM clients out there for all operating systems and you can use Facebook Chat (through one of these clients) to chat with your Facebook friends outside of the actual Facebook website (and without a browser at that).

Assuming you choose a chat/IM client that allows archiving, you should be able to chat with your Facebook friends and automatically archive the chats through the client.

So HOW Do You Do It?

First, check out this page and look at the supported chat clients. Pidgin is cross-platform (you can use it on Windows/Mac/Linux) and is the one I would choose, but you do as you like. Pidgin allows archiving and also has plugins that allow you more control over the settings (for advanced users).

Once you have Pidgin (or whatever chat/IM client you chose), you need to setup the client to work with Facebook Chat. Each client is a little different, but here is a quick guide to setting it up with Pidgin.

Next you will need to turn on the archiving/logging features and adjust the settings. It’s not as bad as it sounds. Here’s a quick guide for doing that in Pidgin also.

Conclusion

While you can’t easily archive Facebook Chat from within the browser/website, you can use an external client for that purpose. It is fairly painless and if archiving your chats is important to you, this is your best option for now.

If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment below and I will try to help out as best I can.

Links (same as above, just verbose)

http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=297991732130

http://www.facebook.com/sitetour/chat.php

http://www.pidgin.im/

http://www.bukisa.com/articles/331046_facebook-chat-a-complete-tutorial

http://www.ehow.com/how_5858426_archive-pidgin-instant-messenger.html

Using a Multi-Button PC Mouse on a Mac

SteerMouse 4.0.2
SteerMouse 4.02 (via Apple Downloads)

I have been using a Mac Mini at work now for several months. I use a PC mouse and keyboard (for several reasons, namely i have big hands and fingers so using those tiny Apple keyboards is out of the question, and I like my multi-button mouse too much to give it up). If you are curious of the model, I use a Logitech Cordless Desktop LX710 Laser (keyboard/mouse combo).

As is expected, both the right and left mouse buttons work correctly “out of the box” on OS X, but the extra buttons and the horizontal scroll do not work! This has annoyed me for far too long and it was time I did something about it:

The Failed Attempt

First I tried searching Logitech’s website for drivers and/or software to fix the problem. I had done this before, but figured I’d give it another go. Nothing… So I tried Google… Oddly enough Google supplied me with a link to Logitech’s website — apparently they have a “Logitech Control Center” just for Mac’s.

I was excited that it could be so easy to fix, so I quickly downloaded the program, installed it, rebooted, and… LCC told me that no compatible mouse/keyboard found. I rebooted again… Same result… I did some more in-depth searching and discovered that this program is for the Mac versions of the Logitech devices only (which explains why when I registered my product the actual model I have was not to be found in the drop-down).

The Successful Attempt!

I decided I had enough and searched Apple’s download page under the “Drivers” section. I had read about a utility called “SteerMouse” when trying to troubleshoot the LCC (funny…in those searches it was SteerMouse people complained about as it apparently interfered with LCC — obviously not the case for me lol), so I thought I’d see if it still existed or if perhaps there were other options.

Sure enough, there was SteerMouse. I downloaded, installed, rebooted. Then I started up SteerMouse and was surprised to see that it did not detect a compatible mouse, however it knew enough to instruct me to remove the LCC as that was interfering! I uninstalled the LCC and rebooted.

I was pleasantly surprised to see SteerMouse now detected my mouse and allowed me to change settings for every feature. And the best part? Not only did it work flawlessly, but it already had my preferred settings set as default from the start!

You can download SteerMouse 4.0.2 here: http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/drivers/steermouse.html

You can download the Logitech Control Center here (wont work with PC models): http://www.logitech.com/en-us/494/3129