Mac-OSXBuilt on a rock-solid UNIX foundation, OS X is engineered to take full advantage of the technologies in every new Mac. It delivers the most intuitive and integrated computer experience. And it has iCloud built in, so you can access the content you use every day across all your devices.

Hardware and software made for each other. Since the software built into every Mac is created by the same company that makes the Mac, you get a fully integrated system in which everything works together perfectly. OS X works with the processor in your Mac to deliver the best possible performance. It works with the Multi-Touch trackpad in Mac notebooks so they feel natural to use. Power Nap takes advantage of the Mac hardware to keep the entire system up to date while it sleeps.1 And OS X gives you long battery life by working with the computer’s built-in sensors to dim the screen in low-light conditions and even regulating processor activity between keystrokes.

Main website: OSX

Here some Mac OSX Tuning examples:

Stop the .DS_Store and ._ creation

Open a terminal session and type:

defaults write DSDontWriteNetworkStores true

Restart the system to active the new settings.

Time Machine

Making a backup using Time Machine on a network drive. When you start Time Machine, it is looking for a Time capsule, but what when you don’t have one? The following information tells you how to configure this.

Enabling Time Machine for network drives

So how do you enable backing up to network drives? Open a terminal window and paste the following in (then hit return, of course)

defaults write TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

Mounted network drives will then show up in the list of destinations available for storing backups.

Getting a working disk image

Unfortunately this is not always enough. Often, after doing this, Time Machine will appear to start preparing a backup then fail with a cryptic error code. The error I have seen is.

Time Machine could not complete the backup, the backup disk image “/Volumes/backups-1/Wall-E.sparsebundle” could not be created (error 45).

“Error 45”? What’s that. If I try to create a sparse image myself in the same location I’m told, “the operation could not be completed”. This is not much more helpful. If you google there are many references around to these errors – mostly in forums. Many of them are not terrible helpful, or require a lot of knowledge and/ or patience. I still don’t really know what the problem is, although I suspect it’s something to do with permissions and/ or attributes. Either way the solution generally seems to be to create the sparse image manually using a command called hdiutil. If you get this right then Time Machine will think it created it and just start using it. Simple eh? Well, it’s not rocket science – but it does involve piecing a few things together. The name of the sparse bundle has to be something very specific which is made up from a few pieces of information unique to your set-up. I’ll now take you through how to find those pieces of information.

Finding the Computer Name

We’ll start with the easy one. The computer name. Specifically this is whatever the computer is named in the Sharing preferences. So open System Preferences, select “Sharing”, and copy the name from the “Computer Name” section at the top.

Finding the MAC Address

This is the physical address of your network card (not your IP address, which is a logical address. Also the term “MAC” here is nothing to do with your Mac as a computer – it stands for Media Access Control address). Now you have to be careful here. Most macs these days have at least two network cards! You will probably have an ethernet port (for a network cable connection) as well as wifi. You may also have a USB based device, such as a mobile broadband device. Regardless of which one you use to connect to the network drive you’ll be backing up to, the address we need is of the first network card (usually the ethernet port). If this seems a bit odd at first, consider the case where you usually connect over wifi, but to do an initial backup you connect by cable. If the backup name was dependant on the network connection used this wouldn’t work. The address is only used to identify your computer. Anyway, it turns out there is an easy way to obtain this. Back in the terminal window, type the following.

ifconfig en0 | grep ether | awk '{print $2}' | sed 's/://g'

What’s that doing? The short answer is “don’t worry, it works”. The slightly longer answer is that ifconfig dumps all the information it has about all it’s ethernet ports. The first port is called en0, so the command ifconfig en0 dumps information about just that one. The pipe character, |, is the unix instruction for sending the output of one command to the input of the next. So we send the information from en0 to “grep ether”, which filters out just the lines that have the word “ether” in them – which in this case happen to be where the MAC addresses are shown. To get that line into the form we need for our filename we pipe it to another command, awk, which just picks out the second part of the string, then finally to sed, which removes the colons. Phew. Like I said, it just works. Trust me.

Creating the sparsebundle

Now we have the information we need to create the name of the sparsebundle. Following is the instruction you need to issue to create it. Replace the and placeholders with the information we obtained above. You may need to change the size parameter (320g here) if you have a large drive to back up. The disk image doesn’t take up that space to start with, but will grow up to the size you specify here, so use it to set an upper limit. Also you will be prompted to enter your admin password (sudo runs the command as SuperUser)

sudo hdiutil create -size 320g -type SPARSEBUNDLE -nospotlight \
-volname "Backup of <computer_name>" -fs "Case-sensitive Journaled HFS+" \
-verbose ~/Desktop/<computer_name>_.sparsebundle

Note that this will create the sparsebundle on your desktop. Once there you can copy it to the desired location on your network drive (then delete from your desktop). This seems to be more reliable than creating it in place. Once you’ve done that you can start Time Machine and point it at the drive where the sparsebundle resides and it will find it and start using it. If this still fails, check that the name is exactly right and that you followed all the steps above carefully. Now sit back and relax, knowing that all your hard work is being backed up.