Whether you’ve given a computer to your child or just want to keep things clean on your own machine, blocking sites that serve malware, porn, social networking, and gambling en masse is useful. And while there’s lots of third party software out there for the job, the hosts file is a built-in option for every major operating system.
You’re listening to music, but then you click a video. Now both things are playing at once, and you have to pause your music manually like it’s the dark ages. There has to be a better way.
The Internet can be a horrible place, but there’s a lot of beauty out there. Beautiful paintings and photos can remind you of that, and the right program can deliver them to you automatically.
You’re scrolling through Activity Monitor when you notice a process you’re not familiar with: launchd. Should you be worried? No: this is actually a core part of macOS.
Some stories are simply too good not to be true. It’s an old adage in the media, something reporters knowingly say to each other when something is too fun, too good of a story, and too likely to go viral for anyone to fact check. You don’t want to be that guy, killing everyone’s buzz.
If you’re still a dedicated RSS user, you’ve no doubt noticed some sites no longer go out of their way to cater to you. Where once an RSS logo would be prominently displayed, now it’s nowhere to be found. How are you supposed to find RSS feeds?
There’s an Intel sticker on basically every PC, generally impossible to remove without leaving some nasty residue. Macs also use Intel processors, so why don’t they have stickers?
Twitter threads are the worst. Don’t make them.
The macOS cursor isn’t tiny, but some people have trouble seeing it. If you’re one of them, you might want to make it bigger, and it’s not hard to do so.
Want to quickly check the speed of your current Internet connection? With speedtest-cli you can run a test in the command prompt, on any operating system.
There are a lot of transparency effects in macOS these days. You can see it twice in the Finder window above: the colors from the desktop wallpaper show through the left sidebar, and the pictures I’m scrolling past bleed through the top of the window. You can even see this while scrolling.
You know that flash drive full of kitten pictures you carry at all times? Of course you do: we all have one. Sometimes you want to free up some space on your kitten drive, so you drag a couple gigs of old pictures to the Trash on your Mac.
You’ve seen it in screenshots: a black menu bar, and a black dock. How did they do that?
If you spend any time at all poking through Activity Monitor, you know that loads of processes run on any macOS system. But what do they do? Is it safe to force them to quit? We’ve got some answers for you.
You’re looking through Activity Monitor when you notice a process called blued. Should you be worried that this is running? No: it’s the process that powers Bluetooth on your Mac.
Sometimes you want to quickly run a Windows program, without restarting your Mac. Sometimes you need access to all your Mac’s computing power for a Windows program or game. All of this makes it hard to decide whether you should dual boot with Boot Camp or use a virtual machine.
Thanks to the switch from PowerPC to Intel many years ago, a Mac is just another PC. Sure, Macs come with macOS, but you can easily install Windows alongside macOS using Apple’s built-in Boot Camp feature.
Sharing files over the network is convenient, but not without risks. If you leave permissions open, anyone on the network can see all of your files, which isn’t ideal on large networks. But if you lock things down you’ll have to share your Mac’s user account with anyone who needs access to the files. That’s not ideal for all sorts of reasons.
It’s a time-honored hack: editing the hosts file on your computer to block websites, create local re-directs, and otherwise change what happens when you type particular domains into you address bar.
So you’ve decided you want a Roku, but there are so many choices. There are currently six different models (not including full TVs with Roku built-in), and it’s not at all clear what the difference between them is. Which one do you want?
Excited about High Sierra, but don’t want to wait until autumn? The public beta is now available to try; here’s how to install it.
Your Mac’s fans probably aren’t something you think about very often—until something goes wrong. Maybe you hear the fan too often, and it’s driving you nuts. Maybe you’ve stopped hearing your fan altogether, even when you Mac feels hot. Either way, you should probably look into that.
While checking the Activity Monitor, you noticed something called WindowServer occasionally taking up a bunch of CPU power. Is this process safe?
Let’s be honest: Siri for Mac isn’t as exciting as we thought it would be. There’s no really fast way to trigger the virtual assistant, and for some reason she feels slower to respond on a Mac than she does on your phone.
Your Mac is acting funny, and you’ve tried everything: restarting your computer, resetting the NVRAM, and all the tricks that speed up a slow Mac. You even ran 50+ diagnostics at once to see what’s going on, and yet you find nothing. What’s the next step?