How to Back Up from One Drobo to Another

Problem to be solved:

  • Back up one Drobo to another using a Mac that is normally asleep when the scheduled backups need to be run.


  • One Mac has to control the backups.
  • Our desire is that the Mac needs to be able to wake up to perform its duties.
    • These instructions assume you have an Airport router or at least one AppleTV which will enable the Mac to be awakened by the application:
  • We’ll be using Chronosync from
    • Full version of Chronosync for $40 will support waking up the Mac to run the backups
    • If you don’t need to wake your Macs up for the scheduled backups, you may be able to get buy with Chronosync Express for $30 from the Mac App Store

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How to Recover Your Voicemails from an iOS Backup on a Mac (for free)

After the move to an iPhone 6/6+ many people lost their voicemails. If you have a backup made from your previous phone, this quick technique will bring them back.  Mike Reyes figured this out and wrote short Terminal only instructions, so for people a little less comfortable in the Terminal, here’s a visual guide.  Mike’s original explanation is here: if you’d like the short and concise version!

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How to Disable Auto-Play Videos in Facebook

Recently Facebook decided that we wanted our feeds littered with auto-playing videos.  The only saving grace is that the audio doesn’t also play but it’s still distracting and annoying to many of us. Luckily, there’s a switch to turn it off from the web-version of Facebook, and in a completely different place to turn it of for iOS.  This quick tutorial will show you how to stop the madness!

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Use Custom Fields to Tell Your Contacts Apart

The Apple Contacts application isn’t really designed to handle how many different ways we have of contacting people these days. In particular it’s awful at handling couples in a single card entry.  Let’s say you’re friends with Bob and Sally Schwinkendorf.  You send them a holiday card every year so you want both of their names in the same card.  But then when you go to call one of them, you’re faced with two mobile numbers and you can’t tell which one is which.  

Most people create three cards, one for Bob’s cell, one for Sally’s cell and a third with them together for the holiday card.  It’s a mess! This quick tip will help you keep them in one card and yet still tell them apart.  You can use this tip in OSX or iOS and of course it works in both when you’re done.

Full credit goes to Steve Sheridan for this awesome tip.

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Activity Monitor for iOS Using Instruments in Xcode

Activity Monitor is a great utility on the Mac to monitor what applications and services are chewing up CPU cycles, energy hogs, and other things that might slow your Mac down. in this tutorial, I’ll show you how to engage a version of Activity Monitor to track your iOS device. My particular interest in using Instruments was to see if I could figure out why my iPhone was chewing up battery while it was asleep. With Instruments I was able to monitor my device and it’s processes while it was sleeping.

Prerequisite: Download and install Xcode first from the Mac App Store:

Note that this download is more than 2GB.

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How to Show User Library on Remote OSX Volumes

Problem to be Solved

You’ve got a great backup of your OSX computer, and you need to get something back from the Library folder, say something in the Application Support subfolder. These instructions will show you how to do unhide the User Library folder on the external drive or even on a second Mac.

Credit goes to Steve Davidson for teaching me how to do this.

Let’s Start with a Remote Mac Because the Syntax is Simpler

On the remote Mac, enable Remote Login ( and use the ssh command to Secure Shell into the remote Mac. In this example, our local machien name is Podfeet-rMBP, and our remote Mac’s name is Core-i7-4.local.

I have the same user account on both but I used the allison@ the beginning to show you how to enter your user name if it’s different on the other Mac.

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How to Remove Noise With Audacity

Download Audacity

You’ve got your recording finished and realized there’s a hum or hiss on one half of the recording. This quick tutorial will walk you how to import your audio into Audacity, split the stereo track and remove the noise.

Start by downloading Audacity from for your operating system (Mac, Linux or Windows).

Open up Your Stereo Recording in Audacity

In this case we have an mp3 that was recorded from Skype via Piezo from Rogue Amoeba. It records your mic on one channel, and the Skype caller on the other channel.

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How to Make iTunes Refresh Podcasts on a Schedule

The problem to be solved here is that it’s a hassle to remember to tell iTunes to update your podcasts before you sync your iPod or iPhone to get the latest shows. The easiest thing to do on iOS is to use a podcatching client like Downcast, which lets you skip iTunes altogether but if you’ve got an iPod Nano or Shuffle, you don’t have this option. iTunes sort of has it’s own little schedule it decides on for updating podcasts, which seems to be related to some time you asked it to do this before.

In this very easy tutorial we’ll use some tools that you may not have used before but I assure you it IS quick and easy and reliable. The basic idea is that we’re going to create a calendar event using Automator, and we’re going to stick an AppleScript into it which will tell iTunes it to refresh your podcasts.

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How to Encrypt a File or Folder in OSX

You need to email a file or folder of files to someone, but the information is sensitive. These slightly geeky but easy to follow instructions will show you how to do it.

We’re going to compress the file(s) into a single zip file that’s encrypted by issuing one single command into the Terminal.

When you email the zipped file to a Mac or Windows user, all they will have to do is double click the file and enter the password you used to encrypt the file. Please after doing this do NOT put the password in the body of the email! Call them, text them, direct tweet them, just don’t put it in the email.

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