Category Archives: Tech

Daft Terminal Tricks

Google Maps? Apple Maps? pfffft, I say nae nae!! how about ASCII maps. launch terminal type telnet  (will work on any telnet client that uses xterm)

Ascii Map Europe

Ascii Map Europe

– use A & Z to zoom in and out

Ascii Map Scotland

Ascii Map Scotland

How about the weather?

Still in terminal, use the command finger – example finger

Ascii Terminal Weather

Ascii Terminal Weather

To much time on my hands? maybe! 😉

Banner Terminal Command

Another, probably somewhat useless command,  is ‘banner’ this will output a banner of inputted text. I can’t really imagine a use for this.

you can change the width with the -w switch,  here I used banner -w84

Banner Terminal Aye

Banner Terminal Aye



Updating macOS / OSX Terminal

You can Update macOS / OSX – I recently had a iMac that refused to update from the App Store.  It would appear to download the updates, reboot the system but the updates were not installed.   After some troubleshooting, I found that I could install these from terminal.

After opening run the command softwareupdate -l
The -l switch will list all available updates

Mac Software Update Terminal Command

Mac Software Update Terminal Command

This will check and list any available updates that are available for the system.
the next command must be run as root, sudo softwareupdate -iva

-i switch installs updates.
-v switch is verbose, and will display a percentage as they are installed
-a switch is for all available updates

you could use -r to install only recommended updates

Mac Software Update Terminal Reboot

Mac Software Update Terminal Reboot

Once downloaded and installed you will be prompted to reboot the system, while in terminal why not reboot with sudo reboot

Obviously while using sudo be careful, a wrong command can do a lot of damage!
other that broked systems, this could be useful writing scripts / SSH to remote systems…..

perhaps its just me, but it seemed a wee bit faster than using the App store. maybe 🙂
This command should also work an all revisions of macOS / OSX

Windows 10 Technical Preview

Windows 10 Technical Preview is available, lets give it a go.

Windows 10

Windows 10

It installs without any hitches on VMware Fusion 6, obviously there is no option for Windows 10, so lets go with 8.

Good to see the start menu back, still have those pesky tiles.
Lets see if we can make this thing crash! 😉  if I find anything interesting I’ll post it, or you could look at a reputable tech site… in fact do that, its probably so much better than the rubbish posted here 🙂

But what happened to windows 9?   (7 8 9 – or seven ate nine) sigh! aye its bad…..

Shrink Linux VMware Fusion Disks

you can shrink Linux VMware virtual disks in VMware Fusion, its not available in the GUI but accessible via the terminal

authenticate as root

sudo -s

vmware-toolbox-cmd disk list

vmware-toolbox-cmd disk shrink /

This seems to have worked in Linux Mint 14 and Ubuntu 12 ..


OS X: Shortcuts Core Apps

Keyboard Navigation in Mac OS X Core Apps.

Expose, Spaces
tab (Expose) cycle through Expose’d windows
tab (Spaces) cycle through Spaces
number (Spaces) focus specific space
c (Spaces) collect all windows in space 1
escape clear search field (press again to close menu)
tab select current search term (equivalent to command-a)
command-enter show selected file in Finder (equivalent to command-R or command-clicking an item)
command-up arrow move to the first result in the previous category
command-down arrow move to the first result in the next category
spacebar quicklook selected item
spacebar when dragging file onto folder it will spring open without the usual delay
option-spacebar fullscreen quicklook selected item
command-option-i multi-item Inspector for all selected files
command-delete send to trash
command-shift-delete empty trash
enter edit filename, escape cancels, enter accepts the changes
Finder – Column View
command-3 Switch to Column View
type anything Find As You Type within the focused pane (FAYT)
tab Focus contents of selected directory in a new pane
left go one pane back
Finder – List View
command 2 switch to list view
type anything Find As You Type (FAYT)
tab cycle through contents of folder, wrapping around
shift tab
command-up change working directory to parent
right open selected folder
left (on a file) jump to parent folder, if that folder is visible
left (on folder) close that folder, if open
option-right open all children of all selected folders
option-left close all selected folders and children
open…, save…, browse…
/ go to… dialogue, allowing one to specify full pathnames from root file. w/ Tab Autocomplete
command-shift-g Go to folder… dialogs. w/ Tab Autocomplete
tab space activate disclosure triangle



OSX: Shortcuts With Global Scope

As I need to get some decent content back, here we have some OSX key shortcuts. (useful, aye, but more of a reminder for myself)

Shortcuts With Global Scope

command-option-esc force quit
control-eject show shutdown dialog
command-option-eject sleep now
command-shift-Q log out
command-shift-option-Q log out without confirmation
command-control-eject restart
control-shift-eject sleep displays
command-option-control-eject shut down
command-tab cycle between open applications
command-` *after* having pressed command-tab, it will cycle between open applications in reverse
command-shift-tab cycle between open applications in reverse direction
command-` cycle between open windows in the selected application
command-shift-` cycle between open windows in the selected application in reverse direction
control-F4 cycle between open windows in all applications
control-shift-F4 cycle between open windows in all applications in reverse direction
F8 Spaces (Leopard only)
F9 Exposé for all windows (Panther and newer)
F10 Exposé for all windows in selected application
F11 Exposé to reveal desktop
F12 Dashboard (Tiger and newer)
control-# Jump to a space (10.5+)
control-arrow Cycle through spaces (10.5+)
command-space activate Spotlight (Tiger) or switch between keyboard layouts (pre-Tiger systems)
command-option-space open a Spotlight search in a finder “Find” window
shift-volume Change volume without sound effect
option-shift-volume Fine-grained volume control (10.5+ ?)
option-volume Sound Preference Pane
option-brightness Display Preference Pane
command-decrease-brightness Change display mode (only on revised fn keyboard layout on Alu. keyboards, newer MBP/MBs?)
opt-“Empty Trash” Empty trash, including locked items, without any alerts
command-escape open front row (Press any F key (except F2) or Escape to exit)
hold shift while performing action slow down any animation (exposé, time machine, minimize, etc)
option-drag scrollbar smooth scrolling