Entries Tagged 'System Preferences' ↓

No internal speakers OS X Lion

I upgraded to Lion recently.  It screwed up a lot of things on my Macbook Pro 2010 15″ i7, so I clean installed Lion.  All has been going smoothly until today, when I came home from work and woke my laptop.  Fired up Spotify, and there was no sound.  Then I realized there were no internal speakers recognized.  Oh boy.

It’s late so I will cut to the chase.  I followed many posts in the Apple forums about permissions (always the first thing to try when something is amiss), PRAM reset, rename a plist key from false to true, etc.  You can read about that stuff here:

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3192295?start=0&tstart=0

Nothing worked.  So I have an old Core2Duo 2007 mini, still with good ol’ Snow Leopard installed.  I grabbed the com.apple.audio.coreaudiod.plist file from it, copied the contents and pasted them into the Lion’s com.apple.audio.coreaudiod file.  Saved the file (you must do this from a sudo TextEdit session) and it worked.  Probably deleting the file and rebooting would also work but I didn’t try that.

Here are the commands in Terminal to type (thanks to Chaindler from AD), followed by my contents of the working file:

1. Open Terminal

2. Type this “sudo /Applications/TextEdit.app/Contents/MacOS/TextEdit"

3. enter your password

4. In textedit open /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.audio.coreaudiod.plist

5.  Copy all of the contents with command-a, and then paste them into a new file.  Save that file as a backup.

6.  Paste the following(everything between the start and end markers, but not the markers themselves):

******Start Marker—Do not copy this line**************************
<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC “-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN” “http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd”>
<plist version=”1.0″>
<dict>
<key>EnableTransactions</key>
<true/>
<key>Label</key>
<string>com.apple.audio.coreaudiod</string>
<key>ProgramArguments</key>
<array>
<string>/usr/sbin/coreaudiod</string>
</array>
<key>KeepAlive</key>
<false/>
<key>MachServices</key>
<dict>
<key>com.apple.audio.coreaudiod</key>
<dict>
<key>ResetAtClose</key>
<true/>
</dict>
</dict>
<key>UserName</key>
<string>_coreaudiod</string>
<key>GroupName</key>
<string>_coreaudiod</string>
</dict>
</plist>

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?><!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC “-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN” “http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd”><plist version=”1.0″><dict> <key>EnableTransactions</key> <true/> <key>Label</key> <string>com.apple.audio.coreaudiod</string> <key>ProgramArguments</key> <array> <string>/usr/sbin/coreaudiod</string> </array> <key>KeepAlive</key> <false/> <key>MachServices</key> <dict> <key>com.apple.audio.coreaudiod</key> <dict> <key>ResetAtClose</key> <true/> </dict> </dict> <key>UserName</key> <string>_coreaudiod</string> <key>GroupName</key> <string>_coreaudiod</string></dict></plist>

******End Marker—Do not copy this line**************************

7. Save

8. Reboot

Good luck!

OS X and Reading Text

Apple’s OS X allows you to zoom in on your screen in a number of different ways.  It also can read text to you, if you are so inclined.  There are many ways to do this, depending on which hardware choice you made.

If you have a track pad on your Mac, and it supports gestures (all Intel versions do, and some late G4 PowerBooks) you can simply spread two fingers apart on the track pad to have it zoom text.  To accomplish this with a mouse, If you’d like to zoom in on the entire screen rather than just make text bigger, hold down the control key (two keys left of the spacebar) and slide two fingers from the track pad’s button toward the screen.  A third option is to hold down command (⌘) and hit + to make text bigger.  Alternatively, command (⌘) – makes it smaller.

Even better, you can easily set up OS X to read selected text for you, using a keystroke combination that you define.  It comes in handy to select some text, and then let the computer read the selected text to you as you continue to browse around a site.  Naturally, if you cannot see the text to begin with, or have trouble reading from a screen for any number of reasons, this built in feature is priceless.

First, open System Preferences by clicking this icon in the Dock:  Screen shot 2010-03-14 at 12.18.27 PMIf it’s not in the Dock, open Finder, and find your Applications folder.  Navigate to System Preferences and double-click to open.  Once open, click the Speech icon, as shown below on Snow Leopard, it looks like a microphone:

Screen shot 2010-03-14 at 12.20.46 PMOnce there, check the box to “Speak selected text when the key is pressed”, then click on the Set Key button to create a keyboard shortcut to have the computer read text you have selected.  This allows you to also deselect the text, while the computer keeps reading it, which is a pretty nice feature.  You can then even navigate way from the page or text, and look at something else while you are listening to the text being read.

Screen shot 2010-03-14 at 12.26.21 PM

Typing Special (Unicode) Characters in Snow Leopard

[You can find the hex code for common symbols here if you already set up your Unicode Keyboard layout. ]

Wondering how to make special characters, such as the Command (⌘) Symbol in OS X Snow Leopard?  Maybe you want to add the Euro (€) symbol? It’s not as hard as you may think.  They are Unicode characters, and there are a few simple steps to make them easy to type on screen.

System Preferences Window

System Preferences Window

First, open System Preferences.  I like to use LaunchBar, so I type ^Tab, press”sy”, and hit enter.  For those of you who like the mouse (gasp!):  System Preferences is in your dock by default, or it’s found in your Applications folder.

Once there, click the flag icon “Language & Text”.  Next, click “Input Sources”:

Input Sources Tab

Input Sources Tab

Scroll down until you find Unicode Hex Input, and check the box.  I also like to have the option shown in my menu bar by the clock, so I leave the “Show Input menu in menu bar” box ticked:

Unicode Hex and US Layouts Checked

Unicode Hex and US Layouts Checked

In the same window, click the “Keyboard Shortcuts” button.  In the next window, click “Keyboard & Text Input”:

Keyboard & Text Input

Keyboard & Text Input

Here is where you decide how to switch between your normal keyboard and the Unicode Hex keyboard layout. The options are called “Select the previous input source” and “Select next source in Input menu”.  To change the option, click where the keys are to the right of the name of the shortcut, select all of the keys in the box, and then input your new keystrokes.  I chose to hold down Control, Option, Command, and Space Bar (daunting I know.)

Holding down your shortcut gives you this window where you can arrow key through your options:

On-screen Input Selector

On-screen Input Selector

The key difference between Unicode and US is the function of the option key.  In Unicode layout, you hold down the option key and enter the Hex code for the symbol you’d like to type on screen.  For example, holding down option and pressing 2 in a US keyboard layout gives you the trademark symbol, ™.  Whereas in the Unicode Hex layout, you need to hold down option and type four keystokes to make a symbol.  ⌘ is Option and then 2318.

To find the Unicode “code” for your symbol, open the Character Viewer by pressing option-command-T (⌥⌘T) or by clicking the flag near your clock in the menu bar, and then clicking on Show Character Viewer:

Input Menu

Input Menu

Looking at the Character Viewer (⌥⌘T), you can attempt to find your symbol with the search field at the bottom.  Clicking on a symbol will tell you which four keys to type while holding down option (and being in the U+ keyboard layout):

HexCode Location

HexCode Location

I chose the Euro as an example, and you can see in order to type the symbol, I hold down option and press 20ac (caps not necessary, although it is shown that way): €.

The keyboard viewer also helps identify the keymap of a new language layout. Although there isn’t a noticeable change between US and Unicode, you may see quite a change picking something like Canadian French or Dvorak.

Hex Keyboard Layout

Hex Keyboard Layout

Good luck and happy character typing!

PS– To type the apple () symbol, in a US keyboard layout, hold down Option+Shift, and press k. No special keyboard required!