Tag: Guide

Keeping your Papers Library Synced

As a graduate student, one of the most important tools I use practically every single day is a citation and bibliography reference manager. I’ve gone through several (Endnote, Mendeley, Zotero, etc.) over the years before finding one I truly liked: Papers. Initially a Mac-only client, Papers seemed like a native extension of the OS X environment, akin to that of iTunes or iPhoto. With the ability to search online databases, import articles into a “library” for organization, and cite papers and assemble bibliographies, Papers does everything I needed and wanted from a reference management program. Over the course of its development, numerous features have been added including an iOS app and Windows counterpart.

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Prevent Bootcamp Partition from Mounting

If you’re on a Mac with Windows installed via Bootcamp then you’ve no doubt noticed that the Bootcamp partition mounts as another drive when using OSX. I rarely needed access to the contents of my Bootcamp installation so I thought it’d be nice to prevent the partition from mounting at all on the Mac side of things. There’s a relatively easy way to achieve this using just a little bit of command line fiddling. The only thing you need is administrative rights on the computer.

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Getting MATLAB to work on Mac OS X 10.8 ‘Mountain Lion’

One of the biggest risks of immediately upgrading to a new operating system is the loss of functionality for vital programs. While developers will scramble to get their apps ready for the sweeping changes oft accompanied by an upgrade to an operating system, it is inevitable that bugs/quirks/errors will surface. As an engineering graduate student, one of the programs I use quite frequently is MATLAB, which is built upon the X11 window system for the Apple OS environment. In the latest update to OS X, Apple decided to remove X11 in favor of an open-source development called XQuartz. What this means is that if you upgrade to Mountain Lion, MATLAB cannot run because X11 is no longer included in the operating system. While I’m sure many will complain about Apple’s apparent lack of support for one of the most commonly used technical programs, they did not truly abandon X11. Rather, they have provided development support to the XQuartz project which is effectively an updated version of X11 which was first included in Mac OS X 10.5.

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Upgrading to Mountain Lion

The release of the latest Apple computer operating system OS X 10.8 ‘Mountain Lion’ has been a resounding success with over 3 million copies sold in less than four days. As with any system update, the Hackintosh community anxiously starts refreshing their favorite websites (TonyMacx86) in hopes of reading tales of successful installations before attempting it themselves. After installing the $20 update onto my laptop, I finally decided to give it a whirl on my Hackintosh. I used the Unibeast tool from the aforementioned TonyMacx86 community to create a bootable flash drive with the Mountain Lion installer. A typical installation would then simply require booting off the flash drive, selecting the installation drive, and then enjoying the new OS. Unfortunately, my graphics card (ATI Radeon HD 6870) has had issues with the installation process and requires a few extra steps to get everything working. Without these additional modifications, the installer hangs at the launch screen indefinitely. This fix should work for any ATI Radeon 6XXX card but I have only tried it on the 6870.

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