fixed : animated GIFs not playing in

Question :

For my work I regularly get animated-GIF for online advertising campaigns send to me offline. As it turns out I can only view them in the Finder’s preview, but when I double-click on them, they open in as a static picture…

What can I do ?


Answer :

As any .gif-file is considered as a picture by OSX, both static and animated GIFs will be opened in by default. Too bad, but can only display static pictures, no movies, nor dynamic pictures…

The solution is simple ; just make OSX by default open all .gif-files in an application that can handle animations, like your web browser.

to do so :

  • locate and select any of your animated .gif-files in the Finder
  • then press the [cmd]+[i] key-combo on your keyboard (a.k.a. “get info”)
  • in the info-window that opens, scroll down to “Open with:”
  • make sure the triangular arrow in front of “Open with:” is pointing down
  • if the triangular arrow is pointing to the right, click on it
  • just below “Open with:” you will see “Preview (default)”
  • click on that, and change it to “Safari” (or any other application that can handle animated GIFs, if you don’t see the application you’re looking for listed, select “Other…” and select the one you prefer from you Applications folder)
  • then, don’t forget to click on the “Change All…”-button also

…that’s it, from now on, any .gif-file on your Mac will be opened in Safari (or your chosen alternative) by default, and you will see all animated-GIFs opened as animations when you lick on them.

enjoy !


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tip : OSX’s built in password generator

Question :

It seems like I have to come up with a new password for each new device and each new  web service I’m using. My inspiration for new passwords has dried up. Can you help me ?

Answer :

There is a random password generator already built into OSX that is free for you to use.

It’s called Password Assistant and you can access it by opening the Keychain Access app and clicking on the ‘+’-icon in the lower menu bar, then in the pulldown window that appears, click on the ‘black key’-icon ; that will open up the password generator window of Password Assistant.

In Password Assistant, you can choose from 5 types of passwords : Manual, Memorable, Letters & Numbers, Numbers Only, Random or FIPS-181 compliant. Then it will tell you the quality (strenght) of your password in a colored status bar, and if your not satisfied with the suggested password, you can click on the ‘black triangle’-icon and you will be shown some alternative suggestions.

If you’ve found your ‘ideal’ password, select it and copy (press ‘CDM’+’C’) and paste it onto the desired location.

When you’re done, click the CANCEL-button to exit and close Keychain Manager.

but… since this very helpful function is rather hidden within OSX, someone called CodePoet has written a FREE launch script (back in 2006) that you can install and use just like a regular application. Too bad that for some reason CodePoet’s website has stopped working, so all download links you will find will get you nowhere.

Luckily, a Dutch website called is hosting a mirror of the download (and they’ve added Dutch language support) – Thank you apple ! Since there was no icon, I’ve added one myself and renamed it into OSX Password Assistant Launcher, a name that better suits what the script actually does (but you can change that yourself if you don’t agree). And now you can download it here also :


Note : the file will have a .zip.doc-extension after you’ve downloaded it, please change that into a regular .zip-extension manually and then unZIP the file

tip : Mac games that will no longer run under OSX Lion

Question :

I’m thinking about buying some Mac games for my children to play with. But I’ve noticed that some of the games we played under OSX 10.6 “Snow Leopard” do no longer startup under OSX 10.7 “Lion”. How do I know if a Mac game will work under OSX 10.7 “Lion” before I buy it ?

Answer :

Since OSX 10.7 “Lion”, Apple does no longer include the “Rosetta” engine that enabled software that was originally developed for PowerPC/PPC-Macs to run on Intel-Macs. That is why a lot of ‘old’ software that used to run fine even under the Intel-only OSX 10.6 “Snow Leopard” do no longer startup in OSX 10.7 “Lion”.

In “Lion” the game’s icon will have a grey ‘no entry’ sign over the icon to indicate that the software is not compatible.

Alas… there’s no definite way to be sure about any game before you buy… even games with indications like “Mac”, “X”, “Mac-compatible” or even “MacOSX-compatible” can turn out incompatible with Mac OSX “Lion”…

But you have some options :

1- if the info on the game says “Mac compatibility : Mac OS 9.x and Mac OS X 10.x” or something like that, rest assured that this game won’t run under OSX 10.7 “Lion”

2- if the info on the game says “Mac compatibility : Mac OSX 10.6 or newer”, you can be sure that the game will run under OSX 10.7 “Lion” (too bad though that even now very few games have this indication…)

3- if the game is available in the Mac App Store, it is compatible with Mac OSX 10.6 “Snow Leopard” and Mac OSX 10.7 “Lion”, as the Mac App Store is not compatible with earlier versions of Mac OSX (this does however say nothing regarding the compatibility of the game itself with earlier versions of Mac OSX…)

4- look up the game on the website of the publisher (not on any other site) to see if they have any info on Mac OSX 10.7 “Lion” compatibility in specific before you buy, in that case you are 100% sure that if the game still turns out not to run, you can have the problem solved or the product refunded

Note : info on a resellers website is often incorrect (and never 100% surely accurate), and user reviews are a always an interesting general indication (but they’re never 100% accurate either…)

5- search on the internet to find any info on compatibility, but keep in mind that even though “incompatible” will mean it won’t run with about 99% certainty, the opposite is NOT TRUE ! “not incompatible” does never mean “definitely compatible” !!!


I’ve made this list of games that I had running under MacOSX 10.6 “Snow Leopard”, but will NOT run under MacOSX 10.7 “Lion” any longer :

3D Cartoon Studio

Airbust Extreme

Atomic Betty – Het Kosmos Complot (Atomic Betty – Intergalactic Conspiracy)



Dora the Explorer – Backpack

Dora the Explorer – Lost City

Engie Benjy – Kom op Team! (Engy Benjy – Time For TeamWork!)

Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo

Laura’s Ster (Laura’s Star)

LEGO – Star Wars (demo) * [ a.k.a. “LEGO Star Wars 1” ]

Matchbox – Crosstown Heroes

Noddy (Noddy and the Toyland Fair)

Noddy en de Magische Klok (Noddy and the Magic Clock)

Pluk van de Petteflet

Disney/Pixar’s The Incredibles

Disney/Pixar’s The Incredibles – Rise of the Underminer

Disney/Pixar’s The Incredibles – When Danger Calls

ToySight Game (demo)

Traffic Jam Extreme

* Note : LEGO Star Wars 1 was published by Aspyr, contrary to all later similar LEGO games that were published by Feral Interactive (these include LEGO Batman, LEGO Star Wars II, LEGO Star Wars III Clones Wars, LEGO Star Wars Complete Saga, LEGO Indiana Jones The Original Adventure, LEGO Indiana Jones 2 The Adventure Continues, LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4, LEGO Harry Potter 2 Years 5-7, etc.)  – to my knowledge, all LEGO Games by Feral Interactive are compatible with Mac OSX 10.7 “Lion” and most of them are even available on the Mac App Store 

Some games that used to run fine under Mac OSX 10.5 “Leopard”, but haven’t tested under either Mac OSX 10.6 “Snow Leopard” or Mac OSX 10.7 “Lion”, so they might or might not run… :
Burning Monkey Solitaire 4
Disney/Pixar’s Cars (a.k.a. “Cars racing game”) [ note : the installer won’t work, but the game will run ]
Disney/Pixar’s Cars – Radiator Springs Adventure
Mac Donald’s Dragons
Kung Fu Panda (demo)
Disney/Pixar’s Ratatouille [ note : the installer doesn’t work, but the game will run ]
Disney/Pixar’s UP
Disney/Pixar’s WALL•E
Note : if you need any info on how to install any of the above games under Mac OSX 10.6 “Snow Leopard” or earlier (which in some cases is not straight forward)… please ask 😉

fixed : how to delete undeletable files

Question :

I have recently cleaned up my Mac by putting a lot of old and unused files into the Trash (after backing them up to an external hard drive). But now, when I try to empty the Trash, some files remain, they seem undeletable… I even get a warning I can’t delete them… even a Forced Empty-ing of the Trash doesn’t work… but I’m completely sure I want to get rid of these files…

Isn’t there any way to delete them ?

Answer :

Yes – there is.

These ‘undeletable’ files are so-called “system immutable”, which basically means they cannot be changed or deleted even by the Root (super user) in the Terminal. Even switching to “Single User” mode and attempting to remove them won’t work.

Here’s what to do :

– restart your Mac in “Safe Boot” mode (press the SHIFT-key during startup ; as soon as you notice it takes a lot longer to boot than usual, you can take your finger of the keyboard, but even then it may take some time for you Mac to completely startup, so be patient…)

– now, log in as an administrator (i.e. using the/an account that has Administrator-rights)

– then, empty the Trash…

…that’s it. Done !

Thanks to SpiderJay for sharing this solution (he also found this solution somewhere on the internet), he originally posted it on his blog :

…but that link doesn’t work anymore, that’s why I’ve now posted it here 

fixed : installing a new hard drive (option 2)

here’s another way of installing a new HD in a Mac :

in this example a new HD was placed in a MacBook Pro (end 2008) running OSX 10.7 Lion

1- prepare

– put OSX Lion installer on a 4GB USB stick ; for instructions, look here :

make sure you have a new DVD-writable or a completely empty 4GB USB-stick, download Lion Disk Maker and follow the instructions that come with it :
– printout the instructions on how to replace a HD on a MBP 2008/2009 from iFixit

– make a TimeMachine backup

2- replace the HD

– shut down and completely unplug
– use the directions from iFixit to get your current HD out, and the new Momentus XT in

3- install a fresh versions of MacOSX and add your data from TimeMachine

– plug in the USB stick
– startup pressing the ALT key and choose the “EFI Boot” (USB installer) to boot from
– then install the basic OSX EFI
– continue and open Disk Utility
– select the new harddisk and Erase to a “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” format (to get a one-partition OSX HFS+ formatted drive)
– install a new version of OSX Lion
– during this installation, you are asked to migrate from a TimeMachine ; do that (and make sure you’re connected to your TimeMachine backup-disk through a cable – Ethernet/UTP, USB or FireWire)
– when the install is done, restart normally (booting from your new internal harddisk)
– then update your mailbox (this will be asked and done automatically)
– then goto Software Update (under the Apple logo in the upper left corner) and install all available updates
– restart and boot from the USB stick (“OSX EFI”)
– open Disk Utility and Repair Disk Permissions on your new internal harddrive
– restart normally (booting from the internal drive)
– again, run Software Update to install all available updates (in my specific case, there was a ‘rather important’ EFI update a this point)
– repeat Software Update once more to make sure there are no extra updates
– shut down
– restart normally ; done !

Note : if you’re looking for an other way to upgrade your harddirve, look here : ‎

fixed : installing a new hard disk (option 1)

Here’s a simple 3-step way of replacing a HD in a Mac :

[ in this example a new HD is put into a Mac mini (version mid 2007) ]

1- clone the internal HD directly onto the new HD
These instructions assume you have another Intel-Mac and a USB-enclosure for a SATA-harddisk (that you will afterwards use to turn the old internal HD into an external one) available :
– put the new harddrive into the USB-enclosure
– connect the USB-cable to your other Intel-Mac
– connect the Mac mini to the Intel-Mac using a FireWire-cable
– (temporarily, just during startup) connect a USB-keyboard to your Mac mini
– startup the Mac mini while pressing the T-key on the keyboard (“Target Mode”)
– both the Mac mini and the USB-connected new HD will now show up in your Finder (on the Intel-Mac)
– open Disk Utility
– click on the Erase-tab
– select the USB-connected HD list on the left, and erase it in MacOS Extended (Journaled) format
[ BEWARE : do NOT format your HD in MacOS Extended (“Case-sensitive” Journaled) mode ! As that will prevent some applications to run ! e.g. Adobe Photoshop 10 Editor ]
– click on the Restore-tab
– from the list on the left drag the partition of your Mac mini onto the “Source”-field
– then drag the new partition from your new HD onto the “Destination”-field
– click the Restore-button, and wait

2- replace the HD
– open the instructions on how to replace the HD from the iFixit-website (or print them out) and read them

– get the new HD out of the USB-enclosure
– now gently open the Mac mini enclosure
– blow the dust of the interior using a compressed air blower [ do NOT use a hair dryer ! ] or using a vacuum cleaner with a piece of thin cloth (e.g. a napkin) tightly fit to the suction tube (to prevent anything from actually being sucked in)
– replace the HD (make sure the connectors are clean and fit thight)
– while you’re at it, you might also check the AirPort-card connector
– and finish up (all using the iFixit-instructions)

3- test the new HD
– restart

Note : if you would like an alternative procedure for replacing a hard drive in a Mac, look here :