Did you know you can (sometimes) shrink the size PDF files by apply lossy compression to images? This is a built-in capability with macOS - no third party tools required. Read on...

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I sometimes need to search a huge CSV file (13 MB), containing 21,000 rows and roundabout 40 columns, which Numbers takes half a minute to open. All I need to do is search and display the results of a few columns only... so I wrote a bash script to do this for me - and I was quite specific in that I wanted the results in color!

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19 May 2018

Crunch PNG optimization

macos png    

I recently tried Crunch, an open-source tool for PNG image file optimization, currently on version 2.0.2 at the time of writing.

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I got a new 2 TB external disk - "yay" - and wanted to use it for both on my Windows desktop and for Time Machine backups. Immediately thought to format it as exFAT but quickly came to realize Time Machine does not support exFAT! Fortunately, there is a workaround...

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I've been experiencing this problem for a while - when presenting using Microsoft PowerPoint for Mac 2016 (version 15) on an external monitor (or LCD projector), PowerPoint used to both the presentation slide show and the Presenter View on my notebook display, instead of Presenter View on the notebook and the full-screen slide show on the external monitor. Recently, I found the solution!

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Recently I needed to analyze some JSON data. Now, I'm no data scientist, so I wanted to convert my JSON data to comma separated (CSV) and "flatten" the data... just so I could use the data in Excel.

And Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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When macOS High Sierra was released around 25th September, I tried to install it in Parallels Desktop Lite. However, both a clean install in a Parallels Virtual Machine (VM), nor an in-place update did not work (the High Sierra VM would refuse to boot). I discovered the High Sierra installer converts the VM file system to Apple File System (APFS). However, Parallels does not support APFS, so here's how to disable the conversion and get High Sierra running in a Parallels.

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Microsoft PowerPoint 2016 for Mac (aka version 15) has a strange quirk - when I copy and paste images from Preview or most other applications, the image gets copied in Tagged Image File Format (TIFF). The image is practically uncompressed (or possibly minimally compressed), resulting in very, very huge PPTX files! Plus: Removing unwanted font references.

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I recently had the "opportunity" to perform some text manipulation to get data from a huge log file into a spreadsheet. I had done this sort of work a long time ago as a developer, but had forgotten over the years. So I decided to compile a text manipulation cheat-sheet for macOS.

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There are many open source packages that require the "AMP" stack comprising Apache, MySQL and PHP (hence "WAMP" for Windows-Apache-MySQL-PHP and "MAMP" for macOS-Apache-MySQL-PHP). Since macOS 10.12 Sierra already includes Apache 2.4 and PHP 5.6, here's how to add MySQL 5.7.

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Some time ago, I posted about starting Apache automatically when macOS 10.12 Sierra starts, using the launchctl command to add Apache to the launchd Launch Daemon/Agent Manager. For those familiar with Windows, this is akin to managing Windows Services.

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Following up on my posts, Compiling Wine 1.9 from scratch on macOS with Retina mode and Creating a wine.app bundle manually, here's my script to automatically download and compile pre-requisite libraries, then download and compile Wine 2.9 32-bit, build the .app bundle, and even include a registry tweak to enable Retina Mode.

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You have have read that CheckPoint, a cyber security research company, has identified vulnerabilities that may allow an attacker to compromise your computer using malicious subtitle files downloaded by popular media players including Kodi and VLC. It's not clear if this affects macOS too, but in light of this threat, here is a summary of how I further "lockdown" any apps I'm unsure of...

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I recently downloaded an update to VLC, an open-source media player. The VLC download page, displayed it's SHA-256 checksum - here's how to quickly validate your download by comparing the checksum using the built-in macOS tools.

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I have experienced a couple of issues printing with the Ricoh printer drivers for macOS - at one location, I simply couldn't print, and at another, I couldn't get it to print "two-sided" (despite the correct duplex settings). In both cases, I reverted to the standard macOS driver, i.e. "Generic PostScript Printer" or "Generic PCL Laser Printer". This post details the steps to set printer defaults like duplex via CUPS.

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If you are a developer or someone who likes to try lots of software, head over to the App Store and get Parallels Desktop Lite. It's free for macOS and Linux guests! (Windows support is an IAP)

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So I got a new MacBook for work and I didn't realize upon next reboot, the enterprise profile had mandated FileVault encrypt the start up disk, and Apple had recommended an upgrade to macOS Sierra at the same time! You can imagine triggering both simultaneously upon reboot didn't go well at all!

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Remember the time I waxed lyrical about using Google Sheets to track my stock portfolio? Well, it's going to be a "standard feature" of spreadsheets soon, with the introduction of the capability to retrieve stock data with today's update of Numbers on iOS (3.1) and macOS (4.1).

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Since 2012, all apps on the Mac App Store must run in an app sandbox, which restricts access to system resources unless explicitly required. The secure sandbox isolates the app and defines access controls, protecting users from malicious code with undesired behaviour.

Here's how to setup a sandbox for an app downloaded from outside the Mac App Store.

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Want to extract files from a macOS installer package with a .pkg extension?

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