The first apps I install on a new Mac

When you get a new mac or do a fresh install there are some applications which you install almost immediately. These might not be my most used or in favourite applications but they are part of my initial set up.

  1. NTFS Support (for writing to USB’s that are shared with Windows
    Paragon NTFS for Mac or Tuxera NTFS for Mac
  2. Little Snitch
  3. Chrome
  4. Dropbox
  5. KeePass
  6. Divvy
  7. iStat Menus
  8. Transmission or uTorrent
  9. UnRarX
  10. Toast Titanium

Any application that I should have up there instead? Do you have a better alternative to something I use?

Left 4 Dead 2 – Massive Player Increase

If you read my Christmas post and were taking a look at the steam sales you may have noticed Left 4 Dead 2 was free!


Thanks to you can see the player base increase dramatically! It has gone from 5,000 to 10,000 players to a spike of 134,000 and 163,000! The servers are full, being filled all the time and users are having to create their own servers to play a game. Any dedicated server that get put up normally has it filled.


If your a veteran to the game, make sure you help out all the new guys and don’t rage at them as this can be a huge boost in your community. The people playing the game has to be a great thing.

My Predictions? This is a clever marketing technique! Give a game an old game out for free, release L4D3 a few months later. I haven’t heard anything about L4D3 and I for the record, I haven’t looked either but I suspect we will see L4D3 come out in 2014 of the back of this give away.

Android Support vs iOS Support

I come across a great article which outlines iOS Updates and support for their devices versus Android.


Some of the major highlights for me are:

  • Some devices on day one, were a major release behind
  • All phones aside from the Nexus range were being sold with an out of date OS

If you which to read the full article and how everything was caluclated take a look over at Would be great to see it include tablets in future updates/revisions.

How to get a linebreak in Microsoft Excel (Mac & PC)

I’ve only recently come across a keyboard short cut to get a linebreak within a cell using Microsoft Excel which proved to be fairly useful.

A linebreak being carriage return, new line, break, ‘enter’ type of character (now I’m sure someone will correct me and say that they are all different things… but within excel… is it really?) or whatever you want to call it isn’t that hard to do. You can open up notepad/textpad and simply ‘Copy’ and ‘Paste’ the carriage return in excel and it will work, it just isn’t the easiest solution.

So how do you do it? Well depending on if you are using Windows or an Apple machine it is slightly different so find some simple instructions below.

PC \ Windows:

Press ‘Alt‘ + ‘Enter/Return

Mac \ Apple:

Press ‘Control‘ + ‘Option/Alt‘ + ‘Enter/Return

SOPA Blackout Summary

Well the SOPA Blackout went as planned. A fair portion of the internet participated, however had one of the best blackout pages I saw on the internet. Mainly due to the below animated gif.

Other than that, for a summary of what happened sent out a nice summary e-mail. See below:

Today was nuts, right?

Google launched a petition.  Wikipedia voted to shut itself off.  Senators’ websites went down just from the sheer surge of voters trying to write them.   NYC and SF geeks had protests that packed city blocks.

You made history today: nothing like this has ever happened before.  Tech companies and users teamed up.  Tens of millions of people who make the internet what it is joined together to defend their freedoms.  The free network defended itself.  Whatever you call it, the bottom line is clear: from today forward, it will be much harder to mess up the internet.

The really crazy part?  We might even win.

Approaching Monday’s crucial Senate vote there are now 35 Senators publicly opposing PIPA.  Last week there were 5.   And it just takes just 41 solid “no” votes to permanently stall PIPA (and SOPA) in the Senate.  What seemed like miles away a few weeks ago is now within reach.

But don’t trust predictions.  The forces behind SOPA & PIPA (mostly movie companies) can make small changes to these bills until they know they have the votes to pass.  Members of Congress know SOPA & PIPA are unpopular, but they don’t understand why–so they’re easily duped by superficial changes.  The Senate returns next week, and the next few days are critical.  Here are two things to think about:

1. Plan on calling your Senator every day next week.  Pick up the phone each morning and call your Senators’ offices, until they vote “no” on cloture.  If your site participated today, consider running a “Call the Senate” link all next week.

2. Tomorrow, drop in at your Senators’ district offices.  We don’t have a cool map widget to show you the offices nearest you (we’re too exhausted! any takers?).  So do it the old fashioned way: use Google, or the phonebook to find the address, and just walk in, say you oppose PIPA, and urge the Senator to vote “no” on cloture.  These drop-in visits make our spectacular online protests more tangible and credible.

That’s it for now. Be proud and stay on it!

–Holmes, Tiffiniy, and the whole Fight for the Future team.


Protect IP / SOPA Blackout

This site will be participating in the SOPA Blackout. For more information read below, visit the links, watch the videos and help stop the change.

On January 18th, 2012 the internet is going on strike to stop the web censorship bills in Congress! Now is our moment— we need you to do everything you can, whether you have a website or not.

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

Tell Congress not to censor the internet NOW! –

PROTECT-IP is a bill that has been introduced in the Senate and the House and is moving quickly through Congress. It gives the government and corporations the ability to censor the net, in the name of protecting “creativity”. The law would let the government or corporations censor entire sites– they just have to convince a judge that the site is “dedicated to copyright infringement.”

The government has already wrongly shut down sites without any recourse to the site owner. Under this bill, sharing a video with anything copyrighted in it, or what sites like Youtube and Twitter do, would be considered illegal behavior according to this bill.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, this bill would cost us $47 million tax dollars a year — that’s for a fix that won’t work, disrupts the internet, stifles innovation, shuts out diverse voices, and censors the internet. This bill is bad for creativity and does not protect your rights.

Motorama – iStock Photo Marketing Fail

I’ve received a lovely marketing e-mail from Motorama today. The feature picture has clearly been taken from iStock Photo.

What is so bad about that you ask? Well nothing much, but normally if you use photos you purchase them. You don’t leave the watermarks on a pre-purchased image in your marketing material. I’m also not to sure how the guys at iStock Photo feel about it either.

Take a look at the e-mail below or use their friendly link here:

For those of you who are after some more detailed information

from:  Motorama via
sender-time:  Sent at 11:53 AM (GMT+10:00). Current time there: 6:45 PM. ✆
to:  me :)
date:  Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 11:53 AM
subject:  Jingle your way to a new car this Christmas!

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Secure Empty Trash on Mac OS X Lion

Perhaps a little known fact but you can ‘securely’ empty the trash on Mac OS X Lion. You can do this from the finder menu.

Finder > Secure Empty Trash

Now while this is a simple tip for documents you are more concerned it about it does take a performance hit in the overall amount of time to do it. In fact if you had a few GB of trash you wanted to ‘securely’ remove I personally wouldn’t use the built in feature as it would take to long for my patients.

Now if you were inclined to always use this feature by default you can make this change to your preferences.

Final thought – I would of expected this to be found under security settings somewhere but it is not.

If you wish to permanently or by default make the trash automatically ‘Secure Empty Trash’ than you can find this through the finder preferences window.

Finder > Preferences > Tick the ‘Empty Trash securely’ box.


When this feature is enabled you can not delete the normal way, you will need to go back to the ‘Finger Preferences’ and un tick the box if you want to revert.

So perhaps if you want the best of both worlds, simply leave it un ticked and use finder to securely remove the trash when you desire it.