Monday, 31 October 2011

OS X Daily: Set the Default PDF Viewer in Mac OS X Back to Preview

OS X Daily: Set the Default PDF Viewer in Mac OS X Back to Preview

Link to OS X Daily

Set the Default PDF Viewer in Mac OS X Back to Preview

Posted: 31 Oct 2011 04:44 AM PDT

Set the default PDF viewer in Mac OS X

If you’ve downloaded Adobe Acrobat on the Mac you’ve probably discovered that it takes over Preview as the default PDF viewer in OS X, which is annoying because Acrobat is slow to load and a fairly bloated application. There’s little need to use Acrobat Reader as the way to view PDF files, so here’s how to change it back to Preview.

Change the Default PDF Viewer in Mac OS X

  • From the Mac OS X desktop, find a PDF file and hit Command+i to “Get Info” on the file
  • Click on the arrow next to “Open with:” to expand and access the default application list
  • Click the pull-down menu and choose “Preview” from the list, or if it’s not visible, navigate to it by choosing “Other”
  • With selected, click on the “Change All” button

This will restore the leaner and very capable Preview app as the default PDF viewer in OS X and prevent the lengthy launch of Acrobat anytime a PDF is opened. This tip will be of less use if you need the full functioned Acrobat version, but for the average person just looking to quickly open pdf docs this can be a significant time saver.

If you want a quick PDF file to use for this tip, you can grab the Apple history book “The Macintosh Way” for free (direct PDF link).

How to Check For an LG Display in a MacBook Air and Make it Look Better

Posted: 30 Oct 2011 08:41 PM PDT

MacBook Air 2011

If you have a newer MacBook Air you should pay attention. Some of the MacBook Airs are shipping with Samsung displays, and some are shipping with LG displays, both are quality displays, but the LG’s default color profile is lighter and a bit flat. Most users probably won’t notice this, but if you sit a MacBook Air with a Samsung display next to one with the LG display, you can see the difference. This is easily remedied by using a custom color profile that has better gamma. This post will walk you through how to check which manufacturers panel you have, and also show you how to add a custom color profile that makes the LG display just as gorgeous as the Samsung.

Check for an LG Display with the MacBook Air

Using the same command to check the make and model of an LCD that works on past Macs, you can check the manufacturer of the display panel of the MacBook Air.

  • Launch the Terminal (/Applications/Utilities/)
  • Copy and paste the following command onto a single line and hit return:
  • ioreg -lw0 | grep IODisplayEDID | sed "/[^<]*</s///" | xxd -p -r | strings -6

  • Read the output, you are looking for an “LP” prefix to numbers reported back:
  • LP133WP1-TJA3
    Color LCD

  • If the prefix is not “LP” then you have a Samsung display and there’s no need to use the color profile or to follow the rest of the instructions, if it does start with LP (like the example shown), then proceed

Add a Custom Color Profile for the MacBook Air’s LG Display

A user on MacRumors forums put together a custom color profile that really sharpens the display of the LG displays in some 2011 MacBook Air machines. Again, if you don’t have an LG display then you shouldn’t use this profile. Adding this color profile is reversible and you can always go back to the default if you don’t like it.

Placing a custom ICC color profile

  • Download this .icc profile to the Desktop
  • Hit Command+Shift+G and enter the following path:
  • /Library/ColorSync/Profiles/Displays/

  • Copy the downloaded .icc profile to that displays folder, you’ll need to authenticate
  • Open “System Preferences” and click on “Displays”
  • Select the “Color” tab and uncheck the box next to “Show profiles for this display only”
  • Click on the second “Color LCD” profile in the list (the top-most Color LCD profile is the default)

If you have the LG display, you’ll see a difference immediately. Contrasts are sharper, whites are whiter, and there is a much more clear differentiation between minor shades of colors and greys.

Select MacBook Air custom display profile

If you decide you don’t like the modified LG profile, just select top-most “Color LCD” in the list. You can also put the color profile into the user home library folder instead of the system library directory, but you’ll probably have to make the folder yourself.

Thanks to Erlend for sending in this tip from!

Apple Airs Three New iPhone 4S TV Commercials: Siri, iCloud, and Camera

Posted: 30 Oct 2011 01:12 PM PDT

Apple has started to air three new iPhone 4S TV commercials. The first, titled “Siri, Snow Today”, is similar to the last Siri iPhone 4S commercial and features people asking Siri a variety of questions and getting responses.

The next commercial is titled “iCloud” and shows an iPhone 4S automatically syncing and uploading documents, changes, music, and pictures to an iPad, MacBook Air, and iMac through the iCloud service:

Finally, the last commercial focuses on the iPhone 4S’s 8MP camera and the new additions to iOS 5 that allow for simple photo editing, like red eye removal and cropping, as well as demonstrating Twitter integration:

You can catch most of these new TV ads tonight during primetime. Apple has typically started to show new ads on Sunday night, and as usual 60 Minutes is a good bet to catch the latest Apple commercials.

Steve Jobs’ Final Words Revealed by His Sister, Mona Simpson, in a Moving Eulogy

Posted: 30 Oct 2011 12:18 PM PDT

Steve Jobs & Mona Simpson

Mona Simpson, an author and the biological sister of Steve Jobs, wrote a wonderful eulogy to Steve that was delivered on October 16th at a private memorial service.

I want to tell you a few things I learned from Steve, during three distinct periods, over the 27 years I knew him. They're not periods of years, but of states of being. His full life. His illness. His dying.

The eulogy is moving and a must read, in it, Steve’s final words are revealed for the first time. No spoilers, just read the article on the New York Times:

Mona Simpson: A Sister's Eulogy for Steve Jobs

Siri on iPhone 4 & iPod Touch Demonstrated to Work

Posted: 30 Oct 2011 11:38 AM PDT

Siri on iPod touch

Siri, the intelligent virtual assistant that is currently exclusive to iPhone 4S, has been effectively ported to iPhone 4 and iPod touch. More importantly, it actually works this time around and there are two videos demonstrating the two devices taking voice commands and Siri reporting back.

In a discussion between the iOS developer Troughton-Smith, who completed the port, and 9to5mac, who first published it, is a warning that files from an iPhone 4S are required, in addition to a jailbreak:

… It does require files from an iPhone 4S which aren't ours to distribute, and it also requires a validation token from the iPhone 4S that has to be pulled live from a jailbroken iPhone 4S, and it's about a 20-step process right now.

This suggests the mod will be limited to individuals who own an iPhone 4S in addition to other compatible hardware, making them responsible for copying their own Siri files over. Regardless, that is likely against Apple’s EULA with iOS and Siri, but the importance of the port functioning is the proof that Siri does work on older iOS hardware, although some devices run into complications. On the iPhone 4, Siri appears to be working fine and with the same fluidity as that seen on the iPhone 4S, but apparently the iPod touch’s microphone isn’t as sharp as the iPhone models, forcing the user to speak slower and louder for Siri to pick up voice commands. The latter example could also impact the iPad 2, which has seen the port too, and this could be why Apple did not release Siri to other hardware with iOS 5.

Here are the videos showing Siri working on an iPhone 4 alongside an iPhone 4S:

And a video of Siri working on the iPod touch 4th gen:

There is a walkthrough claiming to show people how to install Siri on iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad, but Troughton-Smith on Twitter warns against anyone following those guides:

I’d recommend you stay away from any instructions teaching you how to ‘install’ Siri; they missed a ton of steps and completely break the UI …not to mention, it doesn’t work in the slightest. It’s a fake port based on early temp work I did

If a legitimate walkthrough comes available, we’ll be sure to look into it. The other side to this news is the evidence of an impending jailbreak for iPhone 4S and iPad 2, or else the port wouldn’t be possible. There is no ETA on that release however.

Gizmo's Freeware: Freeware Game of the Week

Gizmo's Freeware: Freeware Game of the Week

Link to Gizmo's Freeware: Top selections

Freeware Game of the Week

Posted: 31 Oct 2011 01:20 AM PDT

"Halloween is at your door step and what's better than having a horror survival adventure game to play on your PC? This is the best time of the year to give yourself the spooks, with a game that is extremely atmospheric, immersive, bizarre and scary to make you scream your lungs out!"