OS X Update 10.9.4

Apple release a Mavericks update today – OS X 10.9.4 today. While this update ended up being problem free for my Mac Mini, it had it’s scary moments. The update failed to display anything on my screen after the reboot for what seemed like eternity, but was probably more like 90 seconds to two minutes. Then it intermittently began to display what looked like the Apple logo but mostly shifted off screen, this lasted for another minute or two. Finally it displayed the typical updating message. The progress bar moved in spurts, rather than smoothly.

But eventually it finished and my Mac Mini seems normal.

When I went to update my MacBook Pro this evening the download was so slow, estimates alternated between 8 and 10 hours for the 283MB download, that I canceled it. So my laptop remains unpatched.

The update contains a startup screen fix. While I’d never seen it before, maybe this was the problem I saw, or the fix being applied. It also contain a wi-fi fix although I haven’t had any wi-fi connectivity problems. Safari was also update to version 7.0.5 and there’s a wake from sleep fix.

There’s not the typical “additional stability fixes and updates” clause and this update was quit small, only 283MB for me. The security bulletin doesn’t list anything for this update although since this bulletin usually lags behind the update it’s hard to know if it’s a lack of content or just the usual delay. Although no doubt Safari has security fixes.

Screenshot of the 10.9.4 update

Maestro Monday: Macro Libraries

The macro library is a great resource in keyboard Maestro. It was immediately obvious to me since there’s already macros loaded into the Keyboard Maestro main window.

Selecting Windows -> Macro Library from the menu displays a popup window of dozens of pre-built macros that are ready to use. Just double click the one(s) you want and they’ll be added to your active macro library where you can use it as-is or edit it to meet your needs.

The Macro Library window
The macro library window (left) is shown next to the active macros window. The “Automatically Resume Safari‚Äôs Last Session” macro has just been added from the library

Maestro Monday: Paste as Plain Text

Many Mac apps have a command “Paste and Match Style” or “Paste as Text” while many others don’t, or if they do they keyboard shortcuts are different. I paste as plain text a lot. So I have a Keyboard Maestro macro assigned to take care of it, and I assigned the macro to the <Command>-<Option>-<V> key combination.

It’s a very simple macro but one I find is a huge time saver.

Screenshot of the Paste as Plain text macroThe macro is triggered only by the key combination and used the Keyboard Maestro variable %CurrentClipboard% to get the current contents and the set them right back as plain text.

Maestro Monday: Syncing Macros

I have two Macs, a Mac Mini desktop and a laptop. Keyboard Maestro makes it easy to sync Macros between these two Macs. You’ll need a syncing service such as Dropbox. There’s no technical or compatibility requirements, it’s just a simple file sync. I use Cloud Station from my Synology NAS.

To set up Syncing first pick the Mac that has all the Macros that you want to sync. Start the Keyboard Maestro editor and pick File -> Start Syncing Macros… from the menu.

Syncing setup dialogFor the first Mac select “New”. For future Macs select “Open Existing…”. The difference is fairly obvious. For “Create New…” you’ll pick the sync file location and the existing macros will be saved to it. For “Open Existing” you’ll browse to the existing file. For “Open Existing” all existing macros will be replaced with the ones in the sync file.

That’s all there is to it, syncing will occur automatically. Syncing, in my experience, is nearly immediate and does not wait for a new macro to be completed.

Since there are differences between my two Macs I don’t want every macro to run on them both. While the macro can be written to recognize the computer it can run on, the easiest way is to create macro groups and disable the group for the Mac it should ignore.

Macro group settings screenshot

Maestro Monday: Activate an App

Another simple, easy macro for Keyboard Maestro this week. I have several apps I want to quickly switch to during the day. And I want to do this without having my hands leave the keyboard or tab between many apps. So Keyboard Maestro is used.

It’s simply a macro assigned a hot key trigger which then switches to the app. OmniFocus is the example used.

Screenshot of the activate app Keyboard Maestro macro

Maestro Monday: Keep Required Apps Running

My Mac Mini is an always on machine and there’s some apps I always want running, even when I’m not home. Keyboard Maestro makes this happen rather easily. The macro below keeps Mail, OmniFocus and Evernote open. There’s nothing difficult here.

Macro to keep required apps running

Since the macro checks for the app to be running before doing anything I’m not interrupted if I’m working at the computer, unless of course one of the apps has closed down. In that case I wouldn’t mind the interruption.