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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Upgrades and Overclocks

After about two months of using my new Hackintosh without any custom modifications, I decided I wanted to overclock my 3.3GHz Intel Core i5-2500K processor a little bit to see if I would notice a performance increase. However, in order to do this, the horribly inadequate stock Intel CPU cooler needed to be replaced. After a brief search online, I settled on the Cooler Master Hyper 212+ as a suitable replacement for my CPU cooling needs. After an excruciating two-day wait, the part finally came in and I began the installation process of this gargantuan new cooling unit that just barely fit into my case. The new heatsink offered easily 10x more surface area for heat dissipation, which drastically increased the cooling efficiency of the running CPU. With the stock cooler, I saw the CPU idling around 45-50C. In stark contrast, the overclocked system now idles around 35C.

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The Hackintosh

In the weeks leading up to my winter break from classes, I decided I was going to build a gaming computer since I was tired of playing on my laptop. While I was originally planning on just building a beastly Windows machine, I realized it was now ridiculously easy to throw together parts to make a “Hackintosh,” or a computer running Mac OS X minus the Apple hardware and price. I spent several weeks researching the viability of the Hackintosh build, predominately on TonyMacX86, and selecting the components for my system. I ended up settling on the following list of hardware, rocking a SSD for my operating system and a regular HD for everything else.

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