Using International Characters On A US MacBook

Sure, you can use the little Special Characters feature of the Edit menu. Or you can launch Google translate and use the pop-up keyboard.

But it’s a lot faster — and I think easier — if you just learn how to access these characters directly from the keyboard. Fortunately, the most commonly used characters — like à, é, ç and ô, etc. — are intuitive and easy to remember.Continue reading

Adding a COM port to a Windows Fusion VM on Mac OS X

This article applies to the following:

  • Mac OS X 10.8.2
  • VMWare Fusion 5.0.2
  • Windows XP SP3
  • RadioShack USB-to-Serial Adapter
  • Macbook Pro Retina

Install the Mac OS X drivers:

  • Download and unzip to a temporary directory.
  • Open a terminal window and execute the following commands:

  • cd /path/to/osx-pl2303.kext
    sudo cp -R osx-pl2303.kext /System/Library/Extensions/
    cd /System/Library/Extensions
    sudo chmod -R 755 osx-pl2303.kext
    sudo chown -R root:wheel osx-pl2303.kext
    sudo kextload ./osx-pl2303.kext
    sudo kextcache -system-cache

  • Launch System Preferences and verify the drivers loaded properly. Under Network, you should see a device labeled PL2303.

Since Mac OS X and Windows can’t use the device at the same time, you’ll need to unload the kext. Open a terminal window and execute the following command:

sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/osx-pl2303.kext

Note that you’ll need to repeat this command if you reboot your MacBook.

Install the Windows drivers:

  • Download the 260-0183 RadioShack driver from the RadioShack support site. Extract the files to a temporary directory.
  • Use the VMWare menu to connect the Radio Shack USB Device to the VM. Windows will launch the New Hardware applet. When prompted, instruct Windows to install the driver from the temporary directory containing the extracted driver files.
  • Launch Device Manager and verify the RadioShack device appears under Ports (COM & LPT).

Mac OS X Mountain Lion

I’ve only had it a few hours, but I’ve already discovered two things I love…

Safari: I can now navigate to a web site or start a search from a single field. Google Chrome has always been that way and it’s so much a part of how I work, I had pretty much given up on Safari. That one feature makes me more likely to make Safari my default browser again.

Notifications: Love it. Entourage’s My Day app has been banished from my dock.

Bonus: Immediately after the upgrade, I got an update that fixed the retina display glitch I’d been experiencing.

Can’t wait to find out about other improvements lurking in the shadows.