Apple’s latest operating system update, OS X 10.9 Mavericks, is out. If you own a Mac that supports the OS update, you should get it. Now. You certainly can’t beat the price: free!
While Mavericks is a stable release, it’s not bug-free. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. No operating system can ever make that claim. If you search Apple Support Communties, you’ll find a typical assortment of “1.0” problems. Most are minor and affect only a very small subset of OS X users (sometimes just the one person posting the report). A few items appear more serious or affect a wider range of users. These have often been picked up by the Apple news media. In a few cases, reported problems are not really bugs; rather they represent confusion over how new or upgraded features work. The confusion typically stems from Apple neglecting to document the changes (another common aspect of OS X updates). Incompatibilities between Mavericks and some third-party software represent yet another source of problems. After combing through the pile, I've put together a round-up of what’s been making the rounds:
Text Expander. If you use Text Expander and find that it no longer works after upgrading to Mavericks, there’s an easy, although not obvious, fix. Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Accessibility. From here, in the list of apps that you can allow to “control your computer,” enable the Text Expander items. You’ll find more details in a Smile blog posting.
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A concerned reader writes:
The other day you said that once you open and edit a Pages ‘09 file (or another kind of iWork ‘09 document) that file becomes irrevocably linked to the newest version of the application. Is that really true?
No. As has been pointed out to me by a reliable source, there is a way back. I’ve updated that article to explain how, but it’s an important enough bit of information that I want to give it its due.
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Reader Chris Watkins, like some other people, has a couple of bones to pick with Pages. He writes:
I downloaded the new version of Pages and I discovered that when I opened an old Pages document and made a change, I could no longer open it with the old version, which I find more capable. Also, I can’t seem to send these file through Gmail. Can you offer any help?
Some. As has been widely reported, today’s Pages differs from the Pages of old in significant ways—most troubling to many people is that features found in the previous version are missing in this year’s Pages (the other iWork applications have received the same criticism). And, as you’ve discovered, when you open an old Pages file in the new version and make even a single change to the document, the file format likewise changes and you seemingly can’t open that document in Pages ’09. What to do?
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Reader Arlen Andrews has a concern about his movie files. He writes:
I recently upgraded to Mavericks and now when I attempt to preview a movie file I see only a window telling me that the movie is zero KB in size, which I know isn’t true. When I double-click on the movie, it opens in QuickTime Player X but then immediately converts. What’s going on?
This appears to be another under-the-hood change designed so that the Mac OS better mimics the iOS. If you have one, find a movie file that ends with .m4v. Dollars-to-doughnuts, if you select that file and press the space bar, Quick Look will behave exactly as it should and show you the movie. Now try it again with one of your .mov files. No dice, right?
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Reader James Edlund is a movie maven with a mission. He writes:
I’d like to convert my DVD movies to digital form and then play them from the Mac mini connected to my TV. The problem I have is that the Mac I use to rip DVDs is in my office and the mini (which lacks a DVD drive) is in the family room. Is there some way to easily move these movies from one place to the other over the network?
It’s a reasonably simple thing to do. First, configure your Mac mini so that you can share files with it. Do this by launching its copy of System Preferences, select the Sharing preference, and enable File Sharing. On that same Mac launch iTunes and keep it running for the rest of that Mac’s natural life.Read more »
If you have a Hewlett-Packard all-in-one (AIO) printer, and you’re having trouble getting some of its scanning features to work, take heart. HP’s printing software offers a collection of settings that will likely provide the solution. The only problem is that HP keeps these settings so hidden that even some of their tech support employees don’t know about them.
I first became aware of these settings when I was unable to resolve a scanning failure with my Hewlett-Packard OfficeJet 8600 Pro. I had no trouble initiating a scan from software on my Mac. In fact, there are multiple ways to do this. HP’s printer software includes two separate scanning utilities, Scanner and HP Scan. The former is accessed from the printer’s Print Queue or the Print & Scan System Preferences pane; the latter is found in the Applications folder. Additionally, OS X provides Image Capture. These all get the job done.
However, I was more interested in initiating scans from the printer itself. Doing this comes in handy when scanning material, such as pages from a magazine, where it is more convenient to stand by the scanner (to turn pages and hold down the material) rather than sit by the Mac.
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Reader Enid Hartman has recently obtained her first ebook reader and has a question. She writes:
I recently purchased Amazon’s latest Kindle Paperwhite. It’s my first Kindle and I’m really excited about putting ebooks on it. I’ve visited Project Gutenburg and downloaded some Kindle-compatible ebooks but I can’t figure out how to transfer them to my Kindle. What’s the secret?
Bundled with your Kindle is a USB cable (regrettably these new Paperwhites don’t additionally include a charger, though you can use your computer’s USB port or an iOS device’s charger). String this cable between your Mac and the Kindle. In short order you’ll see a Kindle volume mount on your Mac’s desktop. (If you don’t see it, choose Finder > Preferences > General and enable the External Disks option.)Read more »