How to set Mac OS X default startup volume from boot screen

We have a Mac running Snow Leopard that is not ready to upgrade to Mac OS X Lion. In order to test out Lion, we create a second volume on the hard disk and install Lion into this new volume. Once the Lion setup is completed and upon reboot, Mac OS X Lion becomes the default OS that the system boots up.

To select to boot from a different volume, hold down the Option key while the Mac starts up. The boot volume menu appears on the screen showing all bootable volume on the Mac. Select the volume that you want to boot from, and click on the up arrow to start booting.

boot

The above picture shows the boot screen on our Mac. The Macintosh HD holds the Snow Leopard, Lion HD volume is the newly installed volume for Mac OS X Lion, and the Recovery HD is created as part of Mac OS X Lion install for recovery purpose.

boot2

You can set a volume to be the default boot volume from the same screen. First select the volume to set as default boot volume. Hold down the Option key. The up arrow turns into a circular arrow. Click on the circular arrow to start booting. This will setup the selected volume to be the default boot volume.

How to identify PowerPC applications on Mac OS X

PowerPC chip became the primary CPU used in Mac in the nineties. Apple began its transition from PowerPC to Intel Mac with the first generation Mac in Jan 2006.

Apple remove the support of PowerPC apps starting with the release of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard on Aug 2009. However running PowerPC apps is still possible under Mac OS X Snow Leopard by installing the optional Rosetta system software. With Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, the transition from PowerPC to Intel architecture is completed as Apple removes all support of running PowerPC apps.

Older applications such as Appleworks, Office 2004, Quicken 2007 and Photoshop CS4 are build for PowerPC processor only thus are not able to run under Mac OS X Lion. With the impending release of Mac OS X Lion later this month, it helps to identify if any of your apps are PowerPC apps before you start the upgrading.

To find out which are the PowerPC apps on your Mac, run the System Profiler utility under Applications->Utilities folder. Before running System Profiler, lets look at the four kind of applications under Mac OS X:

  • Classic: These are applications build for 68k processor, the predecessor of PowerPC.
  • Intel: These are Intel CPU native applications.
  • Universal: These are applications build for both PowerPC and Intel processor.
  • PowerPC:  These are applications build for PowerPC only.

We are looking for applications of “PowerPC” kind. Start the System Profiler utility app. On the left pane, click to select Software->Applications. System Profiler will now search for all applications in your Mac and list down the info for each app. It might take awhile for System Profiler to complete this task.

powerpcapp

The application kind is listed under the column “Kind”. Look for “PowerPC”. You might want to click on the “Kind” column title to sort the display by kind type. Select the app to display the app details such as its location. Check if any of the essential apps you use are PowerPC apps before you plunge into the Lion upgrade.

Intel and Universal apps most likely will run fine under Mac OS X Lion. As with each major OS upgrade, it pays to check if your essential apps are compatible with Mac OS X Lion.

Missing features in Mac OS X Lion

Apple is slated to release Mac OS X Lion 10.7 later this month. Mac OS X Lion boosts over 250 new features such as Mission Control, Launchpad, Versions, FaceTime HD, AirDrop, Multi-Touch Gestures, Resume, Auto-Save, Full-Screen Apps etc. At just $29.99 for the upgrade, Mac OS X Lion is a no brainer upgrade for Mac users.

Apple also drops some features out of Mac OS X Lion compared with Mac OS X Snow Leopard. These ‘missing features’ will be kept intact If you’re upgrading from Snow Leopard. If you install Mac OS X Lion from scratch, these tools will be gone.

iSync

iSync is the utility that allows you to sync the information on your Mac with Bluetooth devices. For example, iSync plug-in software is used in order to sync calendar and contacts info on your Mac over to your Nokia phone. Apple uses iTunes for its content sync, iSync is meant for supporting third party hardwares and it meant little for Apple to support iSync further.

Front Row

Front Row is the TV-oriented media center playback app for your photos, music and movies in iTunes. Front Row was released in 2005 together with an IR remote to control its functionality. Apple has stopped bundling IR remote with iMacs and other models, signaling a lack of interest in Front Row.

It is not a surprised that Front Row is dropped from Mac OS X Lion. AppleTV is the device of choice for streaming iTunes content, and Front Row functionality is now the interface for AppleTV.

Rosetta

Rosetta is the piece of system software within Mac OS X that enables software compiled for PowerPC processor to run on Intel Macs. Rosetta is not supported in Mac OS X Lion, thus PowerPC software such as Appleworks, Office 2004, Quicken 2007, Photoshop CS 4 etc will not work under Mac OS X Lion.

Java runtime

Java runtime used to come preinstalled in Mac OS X, but it is no longer the case with Mac OS X Lion. Apple no longer maintains and supports its version of Java runtime for Mac, instead Java for Mac will be part of OpenJDK going forward.

When you attempt to run a Java app, Mac OS X Lion offers to look online for a version it can install.

Adobe Flash

Similar to Java runtime, Mac OS X used to come preinstalled with Adobe Flash and plugins. Starting with Mac OS X Snow Leopard for MacBook Air, users are advised to download Flash software from Adobe website if required.

Retail box

Mac OS X Lion will be available only from Mac App Store. There is no retail box that you can buy.

Mac OS X Server

There is no separate Mac OS X Server for Lion. Lion Server will be an add-on to Mac OS X Lion. There will be a $49.99 download of a software bundle of server components directly from the Mac App Store. The pricing is a sharp contrast with $499 for Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server.

Core 2 Duo 64-bit processor required

Mac OS X Lion requires 64-bit CPU, with a minimum Core 2 Duo processor. Any Mac bought within the last 5 years should have the Core 2 Duo CPU minimum. Snow Leopard is able to run under older Core Duo.

USB 3

There is no official USB 3 driver under Mac OS X Lion. Understandably as there is no Mac with a USB 3 port yet as Thunderbolt is the next-gen device interface for Mac.

Mac OS X Homepage

WWDC 2011 promises preview of future of iOS and Mac OS X

WWDC

Apple announced the detail for its annual event for developers. The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2011 will be held at Moscone Center in San Francisco from June 6 – 10.

The tagline for WWDC 2011 is “Join us for a preview of the future of iOS and Mac OS X”. This is unlike last year’s event where the focus was solely on iOS. Apple is expected to unveil more detail to its developers for the upcoming Mac OS X Lion and iOS 5, in order for developers to get their apps ready for the launch.

Apple has released a developer preview of Mac OS X Lion on February 24. Mac OS X Lion is scheduled to release in the summer. Apple is likely to unveil a feature complete Mac OS X Lion during WWDC.

For the past major releases of iOS, Apple typically held its developer preview during March/April and release it right after WWDC together with the launch of a new iPhone. This year will be a break of this release pattern. iPhone 5 is now expected to release in June without a new major iOS release. iOS 5 is rumored to be cloud based and contains major changes, and is predicted to release during fall.

“At this year’s conference we are going to unveil the future of iOS and Mac OS,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “If you are an iOS or Mac OS X software developer, this is the event that you do not want to miss.”

WWDC conference ticket is on sale now for the price of $1,599. Judging from past years’ trends, the event will be sold out pretty quickly. Visit the Apple WWDC site below to buy the conference ticket.

Update: The event is sold out in less than 12 hours. For last year, it took 8 days.

Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2011

Apple releases Mac OS X 10.6.7

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Apple today released Mac OS X 10.6.7, the seventh maintenance update for Snow Leopard.

The 10.6.7 Update is recommended for all users running Mac OS X Snow Leopard and includes general operating system fixes that enhance the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac, including fixes that:

* Improve the reliability of Back to My Mac

* Resolve an issue when transferring files to certain SMB servers

* Address various minor Mac App Store bugs

For detailed information on this update, please visit this website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4472.

For information on the security content of this update, please visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222.

 

Apple releases Safari 5.0.4

Apple releases Safari 5.0.4, the latest update to its browser for Mac OS X and Windows. The last update to desktop Safari was in November last year.

This update contains improvements to stability, compatibility, accessibility and security, including the following:

– Improved stability for webpages with multiple instances of plug-in content
– Improved compatibility with webpages with image reflections and transition effects
– A fix for an issue that could cause some webpages to print with incorrect layouts
– A fix for an issue that could cause content to display incorrectly on webpages with plug-ins
– A fix for an issue that could cause a Screen Saver to appear while video is playing in Safari
– Improved compatibility with VoiceOver on webpages with text input areas and lists with selectable items
– Improved stability when using VoiceOver

How to remove Flash Player from Mac OS X

Starting with the recent revised MacBook Air, Apple no longer ship Flash Player with Mac OS X. If you dislike Flash Player as much as Apple, then you might want to remove it from Mac OS X for your existing Mac. By removing Flash Player, your Mac will run cooler as Flash Player on Mac OS X is famous for driving up CPU usage thus temperature.

To remove Flash Player, open Finder and move the following three files out of “/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/” folder:

  • Flash Player.plugin
  • flashplayer.xpt
  • NP-PPC-Dir-Shockwave

Once the above three files are out of the folder, log out and log in back to your user account. And you can check that Flash content are not displayed on Safari or Firefox browser. If you require Flash Player to visit certain sites, one option is to use Chrome browser which has Flash Player built in. Or just head down to Adobe.com and install Flash Player plug-in again. Installing Flash Player from Adobe.com is the recommended way as you will receive the latest update and security fixes directly from Adobe.

Adium 1.4 adds Twitter and IRC support

Adium

Adium, the open source multi-service IM client on Mac OS X, has reached a new milestone with a 1.4 release. New in this version includes Twitter and IRC support, improved group chat and bookmarks, updated to use libpurple 2.6.6 library, tons of bug fixes. Adium 1.4 now requires Mac OS X 10.5.8 or higher.

Besides Twitter and IRC, Adium supports other popular chat networks such as AIM, iChat, MSN, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, Facebook Chat etc. Download Adium 1.4.