Automator

Free Workflow Included


In a pinch Apple’s Automator, already installed on you Mac, is still a great option to optimize images. In some cases Fireworks and Photoshop will not batch compress images for one reason or another. This is were Automator comes in handy to optimize images:

Automator

  1. 1. Open a new window in the finder and navigate to your Applications Folder.
  2. 2. Double-Click on Automator.
  3. 3. In the first dialog you will see select a starting point for your new workflow. Click Custom.




Automator

  1. 1. You should already have your images in a primary folder called Backup.
  2. 2. Create a second and call that “Batch”.
  3. 3. Next you will need double-click on the Backup folder and Select All (Apple + A) the images in the folder and drag them into Automator.
  4. 4. Once you have moved them a dialogue will appear asking you if you want to create a additional backup folder. You can dismiss this since you already created a backup folder.

All this sets up your batch process so that you have a folder of original files and a folder to hold your optimized images.

Automator

  • 1. Next, go to the Library > Photos.
  • 2. Select Scale Images.
  • 3. The dialog asks to create a second folder so that you can duplicate all your images before batching them. Click Add.
  • 4. Select the Batch folder on the desktop.
  • 5. Set To Size (pixels) and type in 500 in the text box.

  • Automator
    HINT: If you want to change the type of images from TIFF to JPEG you will have to Select in the same Library > Change Type of Images. Dismiss the Dialog since you already have copied the files to the Batch folder. Set the type to you desired output.

    When ready, click Run. You can Save your workflow as a Workflow, Application or Plug-in. I am including a sample file to help you get started on your own Batch Optimize and Resize in Automator Workflow. To use the Application simply create a Batch folder on your desktop and then run the app. That’s it!


Power Macintosh G3 (Yosemite)
I still have a series of older Blue and White (Yosemite) G3 computers that we use to provide data recovery service for files that were left on either 3.5 inch disks, Zip Disks or even Syquest. One of my most reliable G3’s died on me late last week and I was concerned that it might be a power supply related issue. I remembered that the in most cases resetting the PRAM ( Parameter RAM ), PMU ( Power Management Unit ) and the NVRAM ( Non-volatile RAM ) usually resolves most issues when you think it might be something larger. In case you’re a long time users and forgot what the PRAM controls here’s a run down on how to reset Mac PMU:

  • Video and display setting associated with the screen resolution, number of colors and refresh rate.
  • Volume choice at Startup.
  • Default speaker volume.
  • Current or recent Kernel Panic information.
  • Default DVD region settings.


To reset the PRAM you simply:

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Locate and hold simultaneously the Command (Apple), Option, P, and R keys.
  3. Turn on your Mac and hold the key combination before the gray screen appears.
  4. Only release the keys after the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for a second time.


If this doesn’t fix your issue you can take the next step which resets the NVRAM.

  1. Restart your Mac.
  2. Locate and hold down the Command (Apple), Option, O, and F keys.
  3. Your Mac will boot into command line prompt.
  4. Type the following, hitting return after each line:

    reset-nvram
    set-defaults
    reset-all




If all else fails (and in my case it did) I went for the PMU, also known as the “Cuda button” in these older models. The PMU is located inside the computer and has its own memory, firmware, software, CPU and in/outputs. Its functions include:

  • Telling the computer to turn off, on, wake, sleep, idle.
  • Managing system command line resets.
  • Maintaining the PRAM.
  • Managing the real time clock.
  • Mac not turning on.
  • Not waking from Sleep.
  • Devices plugged into the USB and FireWire ports not connecting.


Over time, the settings in the Power Manager may become unusable, which can result in operational anomalies with the computer. Examples include:

  • Not powering on
  • Not waking from sleep
  • Not charging the battery


My issue was related to it not turning on again and resetting the PRAM and the NVRAM didn’t cut it so resetting the PMU and replacing the battery was my best bet. To reset the PMU:

  1. Turn your Mac off if its on.
  2. DISCONNECT ALL CABLES from your computer to eliminate the possibility of getting shocked. This means all power and peripherals.
  3. If possible Apple recommends that you move it where it is not standing on carpet.
  4. Open the side door on your Mac and ground yourself by touching metal. (You can use the inside frame of the computer.)
  5. Find the Cuda Switch / PMU button. (Please see images below for PowerMac G3, G4 and G5)
  6. Press the button ONCE only. Do not press it more than that before starting the computer up again.
  7. Wait 10 seconds, then reconnect the primary connections first, leaving peripherals for a second startup.
  8. The computer should start up again, if it doesn’t then you might need a new system battery – or even worse a new power supply.

CUDA / PMU IMAGES

Power Macintosh G3 PMU Button

Power Macintosh G3 PMU

iMac G3 PMU Button

Resetting the PMU: iMac G3 500Mhz (2001) “Indigo”

Power Macintosh G4 PMU Button (Graphite)

Power Macintosh G4 PMU

Power Macintosh G4 PMU Button (Mirror Door)

Resetting the PMU: Power Macintosh G4 1.0Ghz Dual Processor (Mirrored Drive Doors)

Power Macintosh G4 PMU Button (Cube)

PowerMac G4 Cube PMU

Power Macintosh G5 PMU/SMU Button

Power Macintosh G5 PMU

iMac G5 PMU/SMU Button

iMac G5 Reset SMU: No longer termed iMac PMU reset button


Macintosh Problems Finding Results

I recently came across two completely unrelated installations of Mac OS X 10.5.6 where Spotlight had failed to index any new searches and was either holding onto a previous index or contained nothing at all. If you’re encountering Mac Spotlight problems, you might find the following useful.

The two macs I was dealing with were a 24 inch iMac – Intel Core 2 Duo 2.93GHz with 4GB RAM and 640GB hard drive installed. Spotlight seemed to be working properly with the iMac. You could perform a search and find a file, BUT if the file was newer it would not find it. The other was a Xserve with two 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon Nehalem with 3GB RAM, 160GB Hard Drive installed and had a Promise VTrak E-Class RAID subsystems attached via Fiber Channel. I installed this Xserve out of the box with Mac OS 10.5.5 installed and updated it to Mac OS 10.5.6. Once the XServe was configured I attached it to the Promise VTrak subsystems and began transferring the companies archive files to it. After this was complete I began searching with Spotlight to see if I missed anything. I found that spotlight worked locally on the first and second Hard Drive but failed when asked to search the Promise VTrak.


There are two ways of handling this type of problem, either through the System Preferences or Terminal. Before starting either option please remember to always REPAIR PERMISSIONS before starting. The System Preferences route is mainly for those who have not used Terminal before and want to use something that is already part of the Mac OS 10. Simply launch System Preferences and Click on Spotlight. Once open, click on the Privacy Tab and then on the “+” (plus) button and add the volume you are trying to index. Wait a few minutes (5-10) and select the volume again on the Privacy Tab and click on the “-” minus button to remove it again. This will force Spotlight to perform a clean re-index of the volume.

In both cases I used the mdutil command in Terminal to resolve the issue. If you are not familiar with mdutil, its the command used to manage the metadata stores of mounted volumes that are used by Spotlight. The mdutil options include:

-p Publish metadata.

-i (on|off) Turn indexing on or off.

-E Erase and rebuild index.

-s Print indexing status.

-a Apply command to all volumes.

-v Display verbose information.

To perform this command you will need to launch Terminal and type the following to turn off indexing:

username$ sudo mdutil -i off /Volumne
Password: (your password here)

With Terminal still open, type the following to get an index of the volume you are trying to repair spotlight on.

username$ cd/
(This gets you into the volumne structure)
username$ sudo ls
(This give you an index of all the hidden files on your Hard Drive)

You should see something similar to the following:

.DS_Store      Library      home

.Trashes      mach_kernel

.fseventsd       Shared Items      mach_kernel.ctfsys

.hotfiles.btree     System      net

.vol       Users      private

Applications      Volumes      sbin

bin      tmp      cores      usr

dev      var

Groups      etc

The two files you are after here are the .metadata_never_index and .Spotlight-V100. In one of my cases the .metadata_never_index was missing as in the example above. Don’t freak out if it is. The next two commands will remove these two files.

username$ sudo rm -r /.Spotlight-V100
username$ sudo rm .metadata_never_index

the sudo rm of the .metadata_never_index might return the following as mentioned about. Not to worry – that’s why we are working through these steps to get everything up and running again.

rm: .metadata_never_index: No such file or directory

Now let’s get everything back up and running. Type the following:

username$ sudo mdutil -i on /
/:
Indexing enabled.
username$ sudo mdutil -E /
/:
Indexing enabled.
username$ exit

That should do it. You will see the Spotlight icon in the upper right corner start pulsing a small dot in the center and if you click on it you can find out how long it will take to re-index.

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