Enable NTFS read and write in your Mac

CES 2013 - OWC Mac mini external storage - min...
CES 2013 – OWC Mac mini external storage – miniStack Max (Photo credit: the JoshMeister)

I was confronted with an old issue, that had not been an issue for a while: writing to an external hard drive that was formatted with Windows (NTFS) from my mac. I used to have NTFS-3G (together with MacFUSE) installed and that used to be fine. However, I guess something when a bit eerie with Mavericks as I was not able to get my old solution to work.

So, here is what I did (you will need superuser powers, so be prepared to type your password):

Open a Terminal (Terminal.app) and create a file called stab in the /etc folder. For instance you can type:

$ sudo nano /etc/fstab

You can now enter some information in your newly created file telling MacOS information about your device. If your external drive is called mydevice enter the following:

LABEL=mydevice none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse

Use tabs between the fields listed above. Save your file and you are now ready to plug your device.

There is a small caveat: Once you do this, your hard drive is not going to appear in your Desktop. But do not disappear, you can still use the terminal to access the drives mounted by going to /Volumes folder as follows:

$ sudo ln -s /Volumes ~/Desktop/Volumes

et voilà!

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Disabled bundles for Mail in Mavericks

I have just updated a previous post with some of the UUIDs for using some plugins with Mail.app. The correct strings for Mail 7.0 in Mavericks are:

<string>0941BB9F-231F-452D-A26F-47A43863C991</string>
<string>04D6EC0A-52FF-4BBE-9896-C0B5FB851BBA</string>

For instructions on what to do with the strings above, please refer to this post.

Mail icon
Mail icon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fixing disabled bundles/plugins for Mac Mail

Mail icon
Mail icon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I confess (not that you might not know, but still…) that I am a mac user. I have been for some time now and I quite like it. As such I have got used to using Mail.app for checking my email although I am well aware that it is by no means the best email client ever. Nonetheless, I do use it, and I do in conjunction with some useful plugins such as TruePreview and Universal Mailer that help improving the experience. TruePreview lets me scan an email without marking it as read, whereas Universal Mailer removes some annoying ATT00001.htm files that recipients get and correctly formats messages with attachments and inline images. They both work quite well… until Apple decides to upgrade the Mail.app and disables the plugins. One thing that you can do when this happens is to shake your fist in the air, curse a bit and wait until the plugins get updated. Or… you can try this and hope that the plugin starts working by adding the correct Universally Unique Identifier, or UUID, to the plist file. Here is how and please note that the UUID values quoted are valid for Mail.app 6.6 (OS X 10.8.5):

  1. Quit Mail
  2. Open Terminal
  3. Type: cd Library/Mail
  4. If you request a list of the files (using ls) you should see a folder like “Bundles (Disabled)”
  5. Type: cd Bundles (Disabled) – Note that the folder may be numbered, so check the contents…
  6. If you are trying to fix TruePreview then type: cd TruePreview.mailbundle/Contents
  7. If you are trying to fix Universal Mailer then type: cd UniversalMailer.mailbundle/Contents
  8. This may also work for other plugins… so check the correct folder.
  9. Once you are in the correct folder for the plugin, type: open -e Info.plist
  10. The command will launch a text editor and you will be able to edit it. Go towards the end of the file and add the following lines:

<string>2B98D2DD-000B-4521-83EB-7BFCB9B161C8</string>
<string>DAFFB2B4-77BC-4C25-8CE1-2405E652D54B</string>

UPDATE
With the recent release of Mavericks, the Mail.app application is currently version 7.0. The correct strings to use are as follows:

<string>0941BB9F-231F-452D-A26F-47A43863C991</string>
<string>04D6EC0A-52FF-4BBE-9896-C0B5FB851BBA</string>

Please note that although the above strings make Mail accept plugins such as TruePreview, the functionality does not work. 
In the case of Universal Mailer, there is an update for Mavericks here.
Once that is done, save the file and close it. Back in the Terminal
  1. Type: cd ../..
  2. Now we need to move the “Disabled” plugin to the working folder. For TruePreview type: mv TruePreview.mailbundle ../Bundles
  3. A similar command can be used for other plugins
  4. Finally, launch Mail
  5. And Voilà

So, what happens next time that the Apple gods decide to update Mail? Well, you can obtain the correct UUIDs as follows:

defaults read /Applications/Mail.app/Contents/Info PluginCompatibilityUUID

defaults read /System/Library/Frameworks/Message.framework/Resources/Info PluginCompatibilityUUID

Each of them will return a two different strings that are the new UUIDs for Mail.app running under. You then need to add those strings to the info.plist file as explained above.

This may come handy when Mavericks is finally out… Then again, things may have changes a lot behind the scenes…

Let me know if you have found this tip helpful!