Bob Nedved

Ramblings from the original Web Geek

In this two part video I show how to disable all facets of "resume" in Apple's latest iteration of OSX - Lion. Resume is a novel idea on a cell phone, but I find it rather annoying on my desktop and laptop PCs. Per app resume usually means that I am opening copies of apps in a cluttered state that isn't necessarily productive, and reboot resume means I can't even reboot to get back to a clean workspace. If I want to leave my computer in a state of suspended animation, I can use Sleep - I don't prefer it to automatically treat every scenario like sleep.

 

In part one of this two part series, I show how to disable per-app resume functionality:

 

 

In part two, I demonstrate how to disable full system resume on restart/reboot:

 

 

This second method involves updating a system file. It's relatively low risk, but as always - you assume all risk involved with updating settings on any system files. I've been using this for a few weeks now with success - your mileage may vary - don't shoot the messenger :)



So, for the past couple weeks I have been baffled - every time I try to update apps on any of my Macs, the update fails and I am presented with a dialog box that says "To update this application, please sign in with the account you used to purchase it".

One big problem - I already was.  I only have one iTunes account.

So.. yesterday, I decided to monitor the console - in doing so, I noticed that each time I tried to update, I saw an error with mds - a spotlight derivative.

Interestingly enough, all of my mac machines use SSDs.  Because they use SSDs, I have made several enhancements to my machine to prevent excess drive writes (to prevent un-necessary wear on the SSD).  One of the common "Enhancements" I make is to completely disable spotlight, and also add my main HDD to the list of locations NOT to index.

So, I wondered if this could be causing the issue.  I re-enabled Spotlight, and removed my drive from the blocked locations.  I waited for a while to allow spotlight to finish indexing (the magnifying glass icon in the upper right corner of the finder will have a "dot" in it while it's indexing".  Once it finished, I reopened the App Store and guess what - everything worked fine.

Apparently, the app update process requires spotlight.  Maybe this is done to "find" apps in the event that the user has moved it from it's original location?  Not sure, but - for now I'll leave it enabled I guess.  

If you're having trouble, too - follow these steps and things should start working again!



So I just ran software update on my macbook pro, anxious to check out the new app store.  Looks like what we are very familiar with in iTunes and in the app stores on iOS devices - with one exception.  For me, it wouldn't let me download jack squat - it just kept popping up "Error 100" over and over whether it was a free app or not.  Fortunately, fixing this is simple - here's what I did:

  • I ensured I was signed out of the Mac App store by using the "Sign Out" menu option on the "Store" menu.
  • I quit out of the App Store completely.
  • I loaded iTunes and went to the iTunes store.  I picked a free app for my iPhone and downloaded it.  If you're looking for free apps - there are several from my company, GeekUtils (click here).  You can download a paid app too, doesn't matter what you download - the key is to force iTunes to pop up the new "Terms and Conditions" so you can click agree.
  • Once you've agreed to iTunes new terms and conditions - exit iTunes and restart your computer
  • When your computer restarts - load the Mac App store.  You should be good to go.  If not - try clearing cookies from your safari cache, which appear to be shared to this app.  Then, reboot again and reload the app store.
Apparently, it looks like Error 100 may be caused by your agreed "Terms and Conditions" being out of date.  In iTunes and on the iPhone/iPad/iPod, this condition prompts the terms and conditions window to appear for your approval.  It seems like the App Store must not be able to pop terms and conditions for you to agree and continue.  

In any case - these steps should get you up and running - worked like a charm for me.  Enjoy!

 



There appears to be a ton of hubbub on the internet regarding the 27" iMac, Snow Leopard, and terrible performance when using Flash.   As with most reports, this has begun to spin out of control and it seems like the blogs of the world like gizmodo and macrumors are jumping on the story.

Well...  one thing the "informed" reader would notice is that NOT everyone is having this problem.  Being a software developer, the computer geek that I am, and also the skeptic that i am, I don't believe in one-off issues.  Usually, there is a repeatable pattern that leads to widespread issues - if everyone isn't having the problem, it's more unlikely that it's the hardware causing the issue (barring manufacturing defects).

So... I decided to test this issue.  Guess what - at first I thought I had a problem...  In fact, I noticed that typing in any application could be downright slow, and sometimes would lag many characters behind what I had typed.  Looking at my handy dandy iStat monitor - I saw that the finder was spiking up and down in processor usage... as low as 0.2%, as high as 104%

So then I think to myself... what the hell could be causing this?  Being the pragmatic fellow that I sometimes am - I decided to start disabling some of the handy dandy utilities that I had running in my menu bar, and anything else that I have installed that might be running in the background.

One by one I shut off utilities - smcFanControl, my DropBox menu bar icon, etc.. etc... But performance still suffered.  So then i did it - I shut off and uninstalled iStat.  Guess what, shortly after shutting off iStat - my computer seemed to speed up.  I popped up a terminal window, ran "top" and sure enough - finder usage returned to normal (less than 1%).

The moral of the story... if you're having problems with your new 27" iMac - look at the software you have installed and running.  Chances are you're using something that might have worked fine in Leopard, but is not ideal for Snow Leopard.  Now... I was using the latest version (2.0) of iStat - which says it works for Snow Leopard - but.... something tells me this is not the case.

I am assuming that for many, this is the same case.  Many people are saying "Well, my 20" iMac works Great" - but chances are their 20" iMac ran Leopard, and they installed all of their leopard tools on their new Snow Leopard based iMac....  which is not a 1:1 so far as compatibility is concerned. 

Until they can prove to me otherwise, my beloved iStat is not installed on my iMac - and everything is running wonderfully.

The moral of the story here - If you are suffering from performance issues on new hardware, test again on a bare environment before you go blaming the hardware.  I'm not saying that there definately are no problems with the new iMac - but I do believe there is enough "different" about it's config and it's O/S that perhaps something you are doing is causing the issue....   Unless everything is constant, "It always worked on my old machine" is not a valid statement.

 



So I've added a couple more scenarios to my testing from my previous blog post on this topic and wanted to take a second to post the results.

 

  •  iMac running and booted into Snow Leopard, MacBook Pro connected via display port and powered off.  Turning the MacBook Pro on seemed promising, as the boot screen breifly flashed the iMac into display mode.  Once the MacBook pro began booting, however, the iMac switched back to internal video and the MacBook pro was unaware of it's presence.
  • iMac shut down, MacBook Pro connected, running, and booted into Leopard.  Turning the iMac on at first seemed to be uneventful.  Once Snow Leopard began running, however, the iMac quickly switched to display mode and the MacBook pro recognized it.  DING DING DING - we have a winner.
 
The moral of the story:  If you are going to leave your iMac connected to be used as a display to another machine - make sure you boot the primary machine completely into it's operating system first.  Once boot is complete, flip on the iMac - it will boot into Snow Leopard, but then will instantly switch into display mode.
 
Another item - as I've discussed in my previous post - and contrary to what the geeks at the Apple store told me - the iMac does *NOT* go to sleep when it's operating as a display.  A couple of you have asked me if it is possible to remote desktop into the iMac while it's operating as a display.  The short answer is .... YES.  I have verified that you can remote into it and use it as a display simultaneously.
 
Another question that came down the pipe was whether there was a way, in software, to switch to display mode.  As far as I know, this is not (yet) possible.  The only way I have found other than what I mentioned above is to unplug/replug the cable to get it to switch. 
 
UPDATE! Apparently there is an undocumented feature that allows you to hot-switch the iMac between internal and external display mode by pressing COMMAND-F2 on the iMac's keyboard.  Thanks, Apple - could have saved me tons of wasted time by simply including that in the frickin' user manual!
 
Happy 27" iMac-ing Cool 

 



About the author

Entrepreneur, computer enthusiast, all-around-geek ;)  In my most current role, I am the founder of GeekUtils, a small company specializing in mobile application development.

I have over 20 years of experience working with All flavors of Windows, DOS, several varieties of UN*X, and, most recently, Mac OSX.  I love to tinker with hardware, build kick ass systems, optimize performance, and develop new solutions.... come join me, won't you?

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