Posts tagged Mac OS X Lion 10.7.2
The Finder’s abilities to copy files is usually adequate, but sometimes when managing large data transfers it can introduce some burdensome quirks. While in OS X people often copy individual files or small groups of files between locations using the Finder, there are times when you might copy hundreds if not thousands of files at a time, especially for the purposes of backing up or migrating data from one drive to another. For the most part, the Finder’s copying process is perfectly adequate for moving these files; unfortunately it does have some drawbacks that can hinder the copying process.
When the Finder copies files, it first catalogs all files to be copied and then treats the copy process as one all-or-nothing copy routine. Because of this, if you copy multiple files and there is an error in accessing one, then the system will cancel the entire process and revert the system to its state before the files were moved. This setup is good from some standpoints since it ensures that all files were copied properly; however, it can be frustrating if you are trying to recover as many files as possible from one location such as a hard drive with bad sectors.
One approach to overcoming errors that prevent a full copy process is to copy in smaller batches, but this can be time-consuming and impede on organization. Another approach that may be more successful is to use the OS X Terminal to perform the copy. There are several commands that can be used to copy files from one location to the next in the Terminal, and using them is fairly straightforward.
First ensure that you have both the source files and your copy destination mounted and available on your system so you can see them in the Finder. Then open the OS X Terminal and perform the following steps:
- Enter your copy command and options.
There are many commands that can copy files, but the three most common ones are “cp” (copy), “rsync” (remote sync), and “ditto.” As with any terminal command, each of these is a separate program that can take optional flags to tailor its behaviors for your needs, such as allowing it to preserve permissions on the copied files, or allow it to copy recursively into directories, and so on. These options can be looked up in the manual pages for each program, which can be done by typing “man cp” or “man ditto” in a Terminal window (or doing a Google search), but for most purposes the following options should be adequate:
- Specify your source files
With one of the above commands and flags typed, continue by typing a single space and then drag the parent folder of your source files to the Terminal window. When you do this the full path to the folder will be input at the cursor along with a single space. Remove this space by pressing the delete key once, and then type “/*” to tell the command to specify all items within the parent folder (otherwise the parent folder itself will be the target). At this point the command should look similar to the following:
rsync -av /path/to/source/*
- Specify your destination folder
After you have entered the slash and asterisk characters, enter a space and then locate the folder where you would like to copy the files and drag it to the Terminal window. As with the source folder this should enter the full path to the destination folder. This time instead of adding a slash and an asterisk to the end, only add a single slash so the command looks like the following:
rsync -av /path/to/source/* /path/to/destination/
This command now tells the computer to run the “rsync” command (or other copy command you’ve chosen), and use the “a” and “v” options for this command (in this case they are for “archiving” and “verbose” mode to ensure all files are copied as-is and list them as they are being copied). It then tells the system to target all files within the source directory and put them within the destination directory. At this point, pressing Enter will run the command, and copy the files.
Unlike the Finder’s copy process, if an error occurs, then these commands will leave the successfully copied files and likely output a warning or other reason why the error occurred, and also provide an active list of the files that were copied so you can both determine what was successful and what caused any errors, and be able to address the problem only for the faulty files instead of having to copy everything over and over again.
Apple’s annual developers conference kicks off Monday morning. Tune in for CNET’s live coverage to get the scoop. Apple once again takes over San Francisco’s Moscone center for its annual developers conference next week, and CNET will be there to bring you the news live. The tech giant is expected to show off a new version of iOS, spruce up its Mac lineup, and offer a little more information on Mountain Lion, the next major version of OS X due out this summer.
The show runs the whole week, but the real action is Monday’s keynote at 10 a.m. Pacific. will have live news and photos as the event unfolds, including a pre-game show that starts at 8 a.m. Pacific. We’ve also made a handy reminder to add to your calendar. You can also check out what time that is in your time zone, right here. For Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is 01:00am – 03:00am. At last year’s show, Apple showed off iOS 5.0 for the first time, which came four months later with the iPhone 4S. That show also brought iCloud and iTunes Match (Apple’s Latest Web-Powered Services), and a price and release date for OS X Lion.
What was notably missing from the 2011 edition was any sort of hardware. Instead, Apple spent the majority of its time on stage focusing on new software features in iOS and OS X, its two operating systems. That’s not expected to be the case this time around, at least on the Mac front. Intel’s got a brand new crop of chips all ready to go, and PC vendors have already beaten Apple to the punch there. Rumors have also swirled about Apple switching to higher resolution “Retina display” screens on some of its Macs, to match what can be found on the latest iPhones, iPads and iPods. All of this to say, there’s plenty to look forward to in the way of news. Be sure to tune in.
Apple offers graphical window management options such as Expose and Mission Control, but keyboard shortcuts can sometimes be quicker.
If you extensively use your Mac, you might regularly end up with many windows and tabs open on your screen at once, and organizing your workflow around these windows can sometimes be a chore. To help in this process, Apple has included its Expose and Spaces features in OS X, and in Lion has implemented a combination of these two options called Mission Control, but these graphical approaches have limitations.
If you have too many windows open, sometimes you might need to preview them before closing them, and while you can use Mission Control and similar tools to browse through the windows on your screen, with many open this may be rather difficult to do. A further frustration in previewing the windows you would like to close is that as you close them their locations shift around in Mission Control, so if you select one and close it, the next time you invoke Mission Control others that were in one location will be in a different place.
In this respect, Mission Control and other graphical approaches to managing windows do have their limits, so the best option to manage them might still be to use keyboard shortcuts.
This key command is an age-old option that is available on most computer systems. By pressing Command-Tab you will switch among open programs on the system. In OS X the tab order is based on the last programs used, so if you have just switched from Safari to Pages, then pressing Command-Tab will take you right back to Safari. Holding the Command key and pressing Tab multiple times will select other applications.
While Command-Tab moves between programs, Command-tilde (the symbol key right above the Tab key) will switch between the open windows in the current program. This in combination with Command-Tab will easily allow you to locate windows within a program and quickly preview them all as they pass by, so you can get a good look at them before closing them, all without having them zoom in and out multiple times as you invoke Mission Control or Expose.
The last option for managing windows is to switch among the various tabs in programs that support them (mainly Web browsers). In OS X you can do this by pressing Control-Tab, and if the current window contains more than one tab you will swap around among them.
Using these three options, you can instruct OS X to quickly display different windows on screen at their full view, and when you see one you no longer want, you can press Command-W to close it. These options in conjunction with Expose, Spaces, and Mission Control can greatly help you take control over your open windows and close them, especially in OS X Lion where the resume feature can result in a program constantly opening many windows whenever opened, resulting in you needing to thin them out a bit before you next quit it.