Friday, 4 November 2011

OS X Daily: Get a Calendar in the Mac OS X Menu Bar with Day-O, a Date & Time Replacement

OS X Daily: Get a Calendar in the Mac OS X Menu Bar with Day-O, a Date & Time Replacement

Link to OS X Daily

Get a Calendar in the Mac OS X Menu Bar with Day-O, a Date & Time Replacement

Posted: 03 Nov 2011 04:10 PM PDT

Day-O Clock and Calendar Menu Bar Replacement for Mac OS X

One of my longstanding peeves with Mac OS X is the lack of a pull-down calendar in the menubars default Date & Time settings. If you click on the time, instead of seeing something useful like a calendar or more date/time details, you just have options to set an analog clock or open Preferences. I’ll stop complaining, because now a little app called Day-O solves that problem. Day-O offers an attractive and functional replacement to OS X’s Date & Time, plus it’s free to download.

Download Day-O now (direct link) or visit the developers site

For best results, I’d recommend disabling the default clock and just using Day-O, here’s how:

  • Open “System Preferences” from the  Apple menu
  • Choose “Date & Time” under the ‘System’ group
  • Click on the “Clock” tab and uncheck the box next to “Show date and time in menu bar”

Now you won’t need to open up iCal every time you just want to see what day of the week a certain falls on. And yes, you can disable the little miniature date icon too.

Day-O is a free menu bar calendar and clock replacement for Mac OS X

Random trivia: the app is named after a Harry Belefonte song. Nice find by DaringFireball

Fix “This device isn’t eligible for the requested build” Error in iTunes When Updating iOS

Posted: 03 Nov 2011 12:06 PM PDT

Fix Device isn't eligible build iTunes error

If you’re trying to update iOS to the latest version on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and you get an error in iTunes saying:

The iOS Device “Device Name” could not be updated. This device isn’t eligible for the requested build.

You’re encountering one the following problems: either you are using an old version of iTunes, you are using an incorrect version of the firmware for your device, or you have re-routed in your hosts file.

If you know you’re on the right iTunes and iOS version and you’re familiar with editing a hosts file, just throw # in front of the “” entry and you’ll be good to go. If you have no idea what that means, read on and it’ll be explained easily. First let’s cover the iTunes and firmware aspect, then explain hosts modifications. Try these in order, one of them will certainly fix the ineligible build error:

1) Update iTunes

This is easy, just open iTunes and update to the latest version. This is required because the newest version of iOS require the newest versions of iTunes. Easy to resolve.

2) Use Proper iOS Firmware

The next thing you need to do is make sure you’re using the proper firmware IPSW file for your iOS hardware. You can download any firmware files from these links:

A fair amount of confusion regarding IPSW seems to be in the difference between GSM and CDMA downloads, in the USA this is easiest to determine based on the cellular provider: AT&T is GSM, Verizon is CDMA. If you’re not sure what to do with an IPSW file, you can read our walkthrough of how to use them.

If you’re certain you have the correct firmware file and you’re still getting the “device isn’t eligible” iTunes error, it’s almost certainly a result of being blocked in the hosts file.

2) Remove the Hosts Block

This usually comes from users who have jailbroken an iOS device at some point on their computer, or did the error 3194 fix, and as a result have a line in their hosts file blocking Apple’s servers. There’s two ways to fix this, the first is the easiest:

Easy: Using TinyUmbrella
TinyUmbrella prevents you from having to use the Terminal to edit system files, instead you can just launch the app and quit it.

After you’ve downloaded and installed TinyUmbrella, here’s how to use it to remove a hosts block:

  • Open TinyUmbrella and click on the “Advanced” button tab at the bottom
  • Uncheck the box next to “Set Hosts to Cydia on Exit”

Remove Hosts block to fix Device isn't eligible error

Now quit out of TinyUmbrella and the app will modify the hosts file in the process to remove the block, allowing you to connect to Apple’s servers again. Before you try though, be sure to turn the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch on and off again, and relaunch iTunes as well.

If you still run into problems, you may need to flush the DNS cache as well. Quit out of iTunes and open the Terminal in OS X Lion, then type:
dscacheutil -flushcache
Now relaunch iTunes and you’ll be good.

Advanced: Manually Editing Hosts

  • Quit out of iTunes
  • Go to the hosts file. For Mac OS X this is located at: /etc/hosts or /private/etc/hosts and in Windows it is located at: c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
  • Open the hosts file with Administrative privileges so that changes can be made and saved (eg: sudo nano /etc/hosts)
  • Look for a line that resembles something like this:

  • Put a # in front of that to comment it out, making it now look like this:
  • #

  • Save the hosts file
  • Flush DNS cache and restart iTunes

Whichever approach you took, this fixes the “eligible build” error and the iOS device will update as intended.

Get the Old Pop-Up Style Alert Notifications Back in iOS 5

Posted: 03 Nov 2011 10:45 AM PDT

Go back to pop-up alerts in iOS

Many users are thrilled about the new iOS Notification Center and easily dismissed alerts, but some still prefer the old style of pop-up dialog notifications.

You can enable the old pop-up alert style again, but you have to do it on a per-application basis with iOS 5:

  • Tap onto “Settings” and go to “Notifications”
  • Tap on an application that you want to have the old alert style
  • Under “Alert Style” select “Alerts” rather than the default, ‘Banner’

In the same settings screen, you can also choose to show or not show items at the Lock Screen and Notification Center.

Sync Files Between Macs with iCloud

Posted: 03 Nov 2011 09:58 AM PDT

Sync files between Macs with iCloud

You can sync files across iCloud-equipped Macs by using an unofficial feature tied to a little known folder hidden in OS X. We’ll walk you through exactly how to get this set up, allowing you to sync files and folders across Macs seamlessly, but first make sure you meet some basic system requirements.


After you’ve sure you have the latest version of OS X installed and iCloud configured to use the same account on all Macs you want to sync between, you can proceed. This is a great little trick that was first noticed by a reader submitted tip to a sister publication of MacWorld, but oddly they didn’t bother to test the tip to make sure it works. Nonetheless we and others did test it and can confirm it syncs files and folders perfectly.

Share & Sync Files Using iCloud Between Macs

Complete the following steps on all Macs you intend to sync files with:

  • Open “System Preferences” on all Macs from the  Apple menu
  • Click on “iCloud” and be sure the checkbox next to “Documents & Data” is checked
  • iCloud File Syncing in Mac OS X

  • Go to the Mac OS X Desktop and enter into ~/Library/ either by holding Option and clicking on the “Go” menu or using another method to access user library
  • Locate the folder named “Mobile Documents” and right-click on it, choosing “Make Alias”
  • Create alias of Mobile Documents for Easy File Syncing with iCloud

  • Copy the alias of that folder to the OS X Desktop
  • iCloud file syncing with Macs

  • Test iCloud syncing by dragging a file into that directory

Wait a few seconds, and check the same directory on the other Mac, you should see the files.

Officially Unsupported
Keep in mind this is currently an unsupported feature of iCloud and Mac OS X, so you shouldn’t rely on this 100% to sync files reliably. You’ll want to keep a copy of files elsewhere and then copy them into that folder so you can prevent any potential data loss. It does work, but until it’s officially supported you should be wary of depending on the feature.

Syncing with GoodReader & iOS
Testing was also done by MacStories, who discovered a variation of the trick can be used to sync things between Macs and an iPhone or iPad with the iOS app GoodReader. If that interests you, check it out.

DropBox Competitor?
This whole thing was initially noticed after Yahoo/Business Insider found it and went on to assume that Apple might be prepping a competitor to DropBox. This is a possibility, and Apple did attempt unsuccessfully to buy DropBox years ago, but more likely this is just a feature of iCloud that hasn’t found it’s way into an official feature list yet, for whatever reason.

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