How to create links to Apple iTunes, App Store and Mac App Store

Filed under: iPhone iPad iOS, Mac Tips | Tags: |

Writing about various apps means I often have to create links to the product. However, finding links to Apple App Store or iTunes pages is difficult. I would think there would be a button right on the product page or an option to share the product on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or other social networks. But, no. It’s not there.

Fortunately, there is the iTunes Link Maker. While it is not the easiest solution, it provides a way of creating a link music, movies, books, and apps in iTunes, the iOS App Store (iPhone and iPad) and the Mac App Store (desktop).


Fixing “Windows created a temporary paging file” error message

Filed under: Mac Tips | Tags: , |

my mind is blown

I am a Mac user primarily. However, I still need to use programs like Quickbooks to run my law office. This brings virtualization into the picture. Personally, I use VMWare Fusion. Note: I am not knocking Parallels; I simply moved to Fusion a few years ago to take advantage of the multi-core functionality in Fusion. Time has passed and both programs are quite good.

Since I virtualize, I want to run Windows in a lean environment. So, I set up a small 20 gb maximum for Windows to run in.

Recently, I started getting an error message every time I started Windows  7:

Windows created a temporary paging file…

Whenever I got this message, Quickbooks would have trouble running and particularly backing up to a shared drive on the Mac side of my computer. I did not find a solution despite reading various articles.

What was the problem? I simply ran out of room. Derr! Even though I save most everything on the Mac side, updates and other files had slowly eaten up the small virtual drive Windows was running on. So, wham-bam, no room to work and paging file errors.

Fortunately, this is easily remedied. Just run Disk Cleanup (click the Start menu and start typing “cleanup”). Check all the boxes for maximum cleanage. You will get some room back which should get you back up and running without the error message.
Creative Commons License photo credit: stallio

How to choose where files save in OS X Lion with “Save As” gone

Filed under: Mac Tips | Tags: , , |

«This is what I think about you!»In another of Lion’s magical, revolutionary, and mandatory changes to your workflow, the “Save As” option and hotkey are gone from many Apple apps such as Pages.

As a lawyer who has gone all-in on the Mac bandwagon and is generally happy with dropping M$ pricey and bloated office application, I am nonetheless less than thrilled with the removal of the “Save As”  functions.

  • I get that saves happen in the background.
  • I get that I can duplicate files.
  • I get that I can export files.


“Don’t worry about it, the OS will take care of all that” is NOT an acceptable answer when I want to save files into a client’s folder.

Fortunately, like many things in Lion, the functionality in there, it’s just magically hidden from you. Or at least until you learn the new and funner way of doing it. And then you will just feel stupid for not realizing the new way Apple wants you to do things.

What’s the secret? Just use Cmd+S (or Save from the File menu). And you get a save dialog. Want more options? Press the disclosure triangle next to the filename and you can select where the file is saved.

In short, “Save” is the new “Save As.”

You know, learning the quirks of Lions feels a LOT like playing Portal 2. Cave Johnson, we’re done here.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Tambako the Jaguar

Adding new voices to OS X Lion

Filed under: Mac Tips | Tags: , |

Apple’s OS X 10.7 adds new voices for text-to-speak, including a passable GladOS impersonation.

In the control panel, select the “Speech” icon.

Click the “Text to Speech” tab.

Select the pull down menu, and choose “Customize”.

Then select some new voices. I recommend adding Jill & Samantha. Also give Sangetta (Indian English), Fiona (Scottish), and Serena (United Kingdom) a try. Just keep in mind that each voice added has to be downloaded and is about a gig in size.

Ok, if you want your computer to sound like GladOS, get the Jill voice and then have her read the following:

There was even going to be a party for you. A big party that all your friends were invited to. I invited your best friend, the Companion Cube. Of course, he couldn’t come because you murdered him. All your other friends couldn’t come, either, because you don’t have any other friends because of how unlikable you are. It says so right here in your personnel file: “Unlikable. Liked by no one. A bitter, unlikable loner, whose passing shall not be mourned. Shall NOT be mourned.” That’s exactly what it says. Very formal. Very official. It also says you were adopted, so that’s funny, too.

Have fun!

Expand text on iPhone using Shortcuts

Filed under: Mac Tips | Tags: , , , , |

| apple-command | iOS 5 comes with text expansion. You can type “omy” and your iPhone and iPad will type out “On my way.”

Sure, you could use the widely available Text Expander app. However, one benefit of iOS “Shortcuts” – what Apple calls its expansion system is that it is system wide. This lets you use snippets, er shortcuts anywhere on your iOS 5 device.

Turn on Shortcuts in Settings > General > Keyboards. Click the “Add New Shortcut” button to add a snippet.


Type in the full phrase you want your iOS device to type, and the shortcut (the abbreviation).

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How to turn on Emoji in iOS5 for iPhones

Filed under: Mac Tips | Tags: , , , |

Emoji, those Japanese pictograms, are built in with iOS 5. So, you no longer have to buy a separate app. However, they are not turned on by default and they are pretty well hidden in the iPhone or iPad settings.

Here is how to turn on Emojis on your iPhone:

1. In Settings, click the “General” button

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How to use Google for Voicemail on iPhone

Filed under: Mac Tips | Tags: , , |

Red Public Phone Boxes -  Covent Garden, London, England - Thursday September Thirteenth 2007Instructions on setting up the iPhone to use Google Voice’s voicemail for iPhone messages were all over the web a few years back. However, when I tried to find them so I could set up my iPhone 4S, a lot of the original sites were gone. So, let’s review how to make this happen.

I am using the instructions originally found on Lan Bui.

To forward missed calls, rejected calls, and calls when the phone is off or in airplane mode to Google Voice, dial the following into the phone application keypad: Read the rest of this entry »

Mac Tip: Removing files from Favorites side bar in OSX 10.7 Lion

Filed under: Mac Tips | Tags: , |

Among the changes in Apple’s OS X 10.7 is how to remove files and folders from the Favorites sidebar in Finder.

I recently noted that I had accidentally dragged a file in to the Favorites folder.

No problem. I’ll just drag it off.

Except that dragging an item off the Favorites sidebar doesn’t work any more in Lion. Thanks Apple!

Thanks to a bit of googling and other users with the same problem, I found the trick.

Hold down the “Command” button while dragging the file. 

The file comes off with and vanishes with the regular puff of smoke when you let go of it outside of the Finder window.

How to encrypt hard drive with Mac Lion OSX 10.7

Filed under: Mac Tips | Tags: |

Over 800,000 laptops are lost or stolen each year. Now that OSX 10.7.x has whole disk encryption built into the operating system, you can encrypt your entire hard drive. If your laptop is lost or stolen, you will have piece of mind that all the data on the drive is encrypted.

1. Open “System Preferences”.

2. Click the “Security and Privacy” icon.

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Using a Bluetooth Headset with Google Voice

Filed under: Mac Tips | Tags: , , , , |

Skype and Google Voice are great ways to stay in touch. However, sometimes you don’t want to sound like you are talking on a speakerphone, nor do you want to deal with the headset wires. The big problem is that, unlike in Skype, Google Voice does not let you send the phone ring to one device (the computer speakers), and the call to the second device (a headset). So, if you have a headset plugged in, but are not wearing it, you may miss a call because you don’t hear the ring in the headset speakers.

Of course, you could just start the call in speakerphone mode (using the computer speakers and mic) and then plug in. However, in practice, this does not really work: dealing with a headset is an unnecessary distraction while taking notes or looking up case information.

Why not go wireless with your VOIP?

You probably already have a Bluetooth headset for your mobile phone and are used to wearing it. Why not use you Bluetooth headset with your VOIP system (Skype or Google Voice)?

The headset I’m using is a Plantronics Voyager Pro+ based on Don McAllister’s ScreenCastsOnline episode on Dragon Dictate with a Bluetooth headset.

I remember reading a few years ago that Macs were terrible, to the point of being unusable, at Bluetooth audio. So, I was prepared for a simple pairing not to work and downloaded the programs Don McAllister recommended for getting a Bluetooth headset to work with Dragon Dictate: SoundFlower and LineIn.

However, I thought I should give the simple method a try first. And, what do you know? Pairing went off without a hitch. A Skype test call worked just fine! Instructions for pairing a Bluetooth headset with your Mac below the fold: Read the rest of this entry »