Airmail 2.0 screenshot

Change the default email application on OS X (to Airmail 2 in this example)

The latest version of the  versatile email client, Airmail 2.0, was released recently. I’ve been considering switching from Apple’s default mail app for some time now, and with this new version of Airmail I decided to jump ship.

The problem is, every time you click on a web link in your browser, Mail.app automatically fires itself up. Very irritating! So how do you set up Airmail (or an alternative email client) as your default in Mac OS X? Continue reading “Change the default email application on OS X (to Airmail 2 in this example)”

Fix Screen Sharing between Mac OS X and Ubuntu

A little while back, Ubuntu made a subtle change that broke Desktop Sharing to Mac computers. I keep a headless server upstairs to serve media files across my network, so screen sharing is essential to manage the server. However, when Ubuntu made their change – requiring encryption on the VNC connection – Macs lost the ability to connect.

Continue reading “Fix Screen Sharing between Mac OS X and Ubuntu”

How to disable Facebook's video autoplay on iPhone and Android

Facebook logo squareFacebook introduced their long-awaited video autoplay feature a few months ago, and apparently it’s been wreaking havoc with mobile data plans ever since. Autoplay is switched on by default, so when a video appears in your feed and you pause momentarily on it, the video will start to play.

Here’s the kicker: It’ll do this regardless of whether you’re on 3G or connected to wi-fi.

The fact is, if you’re downloading lots of video content over 3G, you’re going to very quickly hit the limit of your data plan. If you’re on a contract, you most likely won’t discover this until you get your next bill. Let me predict your next thought: how do I switch this autoplay feature off?

Continue reading “How to disable Facebook's video autoplay on iPhone and Android”

How to decompress .gz files in Linux

Ubuntu LogoI’ve been struggling this morning with a compressed SQL file – it had been given a .gz file extension, and I was trying to use the tar command to decompress it. Apparently this is stupid – there’s a dedicated utility to decompress a .gz file – gunzip.

It’s as simple as this:

$ gunzip big-database-dump.sql.gz
$ ls big-database-dump.sql

(The ls command simply lists the extracted file, by the way)

If you’re using Ubuntu, there’s a very easy way to extract the file using the GUI – simply browse to the .gz file you want, right click on it and choose the Extract here command.

However, the time to use the tar command is when you’re opening up a file like drupal-6.15.tar.gz

tar -zxvf Drupal-6.15.tar.gz

Hope this helps out other Ubuntu/Linux newbies who’ve struggled with file decompression!

Disable autoplay on your Mac to stop DVDs playing automatically

Mac OS DVD autoplay settings

One annoying aspect of Mac OS X is the way is automatically launches the DVD player whenever you insert a DVD in the drive. You might not be ready to watch the movie right away or you may be planning to make a backup of the disc using Handbrake or something else.

You can easily disable the autoplay feature on your MacBook. Follow these simple step-by-step instructions:

  1. Click the Apple icon at the top of your screen and open the System Preferences applet. Browse to CDs and DVDs.
  2. In the When you insert a video DVD section, set it to Ignore. This will stop the MacBook autoplaying media, leaving you to choose which application to launch.
  3. Alternatively, if you want to use a different programme to view DVDs, drop down the menu and choose Open other application. Browse for the application you want.
  4. Close the System Preferences applet when you’re finished. Job done.

While you’re browsing the DVD and CD settings, you can also play around with the settings for music and photo discs. But does anybody actually use those things anymore?

1 quick trick to use Spotify with the Nike+ or Runkeeper running apps

spotify-logo

No matter how good you think your music collection is, it’ll never be Spotify good. They estimate that they have a collection of over 20 million songs…and growing every day. That’s a hell of a lot of tunes.

Which brings me to the next question any smart runner will ask: how can I listen to Spotify when I’m running? Continue reading “1 quick trick to use Spotify with the Nike+ or Runkeeper running apps”

5 reasons you should join a fitness class

Insanity 600If you’re one of those people who struggles to establish a fitness routine, joining a class might get you on the right track. Whether you’re just getting started on your fitness journey, or you’re a gym veteran, joining a fitness class can bring you some major benefits.

Over the past few months I’ve experimented with a variety of classes, from circuit sessions to Tabata right up to the plyometric craziness of Insanity. Here are some of the biggest reasons to join a class and watch your fitness levels go through the roof: Continue reading “5 reasons you should join a fitness class”