Mac OS X Lion supports full-screen mode for most apps, something extremely useful.
You can enter and exit the full-screen mode by pressing command-shift-f (at least that works for Google Chrome, check the first comment after the post), or look for the arrows icon on the top right corner of your app window.

Terminal app supports full-screen as well, however the keyboard screenshots do not work as expected. Upon entering the full-screen mode, there isn’t an obvious way to exit it.

You will have to move your mouse/cursor to the top, wait for the menu bar to appear, and click on the arrows icon. Easy, ain’t it, if you just know where to look at!

** Edit:  command-option-f also does the trick, thanks johnie.


One of my first customizations after installing Mac OS X Lion was to remove the annoying login – username option from the top menu bar. And to explain “annoying”, I find it quite too long displaying my Name Surname, and an option that I would never need to use, as there’s only a single user on my Mac.

Removing it is quite easy: hold command button and drag it off the menu bar.

If you really want to keep it, you can reduce its length to the username or to an icon:

System Preferences -> Users & Groups -> Login Options -> (Click on the bottom left lock if everything is greyed-out) -> Show fast switching user menu as… -> Check/uncheck to show/hide it, or use the drop-down menu for the various options.

Mac OS X Lion doesn’t include a Java runtime environment on the default installation.
However Apple has immediately released Java as a separate download.

The first package of Java for Lion can be found on the following link: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1421

The download size is 62.53MB and installs Java SE version 1.6.0_26.

Mac OS X Lion by default is mimicking the scrolling experience of iOS touch devices, such as iPhone and iPad.
For desktop users I find it quite hard adjusting to the inverse scrolling, especially when using mice devices.

Don’t panic, it’s just a simple option on the System Preferences, so:

System Preferences -> Trackpad -> Scroll & Zoom -> Remove check from “Scroll direction: natural”

Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 5 delivers improved compatibility, security, and reliability by updating Java SE 6 to 1.6.0_26. Please quit any web browsers and Java applications before installing this update.

See http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4593 for more details about this update.
See http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222 for information about the security content of this update.

The 10.6.8 update is recommended for all users running Mac OS X Snow Leopard and includes general operating system fixes that enhance the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac, including fixes that:

  • Enhance the Mac App Store to get your Mac ready to upgrade to Mac OS X Lion
  • Resolve an issue that may cause Preview to unexpectedly quit
  • Improve support for IPv6
  • Improve VPN reliability
  • Identify and remove known variants of Mac Defender

For detailed information on this update, please visit this website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4561.

For information on the security content of this update, please visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222.

Everyday more and more developers are switching to a Mac for development. For instance take a look at photos taken from the recent Google IO 2011 event, MBPs are everywhere. I am writing this post to help future or current Mac developers, so here is the list of my coding tools of the trade on the Mac. Please leave a comment if you find one of the following apps useful, or have alternative apps/solutions!

1. iOS (iPhone/iPad) and Mac development
For iOS and Mac coding Xcode is the ultimate tool. Xcode 4 has a really intuitive interface, compacts everything (code editor, UI editor etc) on a single window, supports tabs, and lot more. If you enrol on an Apple developer program, then you can get it for free, else you can find it on the Mac app store for 3.99€.

2. HTML/PHP/JavaScript/jQuery

For HTML/PHP/JavaScript/jQuery web projects I prefer Komodo Edit. Komodo Edit is a cross-platform (runs on Mac, Linux, Windows) editor, offering autocomplete syntax, project management, integrated file browser. I really enjoy the fast search (or search and replace) functionality. Hardcore users can even use VIM shortcuts. Have I mentioned that it is completely free? Yeap, and you can even code in Python, Ruby and more.

3. Java

For Java projects I choose Eclipse over NetBeans. I am not going to compare those two on this post, I am just more comfortable with Eclipse, Google provides official plugins for Eclipse (GWT, App Engine, Android). Both of them are free, and come in lots of flavors depending on the type of projects you want to develop.

4. Single file code viewing/editing
Sometimes you just have to quickly view or edit a single file. For this purpose TextWrangler  always comes in handy. I have previously reviewed TextWrangler as the best alternative to Notepad++ for Mac OS X. TextWrangler is free and available on the Mac App Store.

5. Source control

Every coding project should be under source control. I am a Git fan, managing it only via the terminal. Git is a free and super fast distributed source control system. You can also find valuable open source projects online at GitHub.

6. Apache/MySQL/PHP environment

For setting up an Apache/MySQL/PHP environment, the easiest solution is to install MAMP. Although you can individually setup Apache, MySQL, and PHP on the Mac OS, MAMP keeps everything in a single place. MAMP allows you to single-click start Apache/MySQL services using a widget. Of course you have full access to the httpd/php/mysql configuration files, you can install plugins, tweak etc. MySQL can be directly managed from the bundled phpMyAdmin. MAMP behaves like a regular app, meaning that you can uninstall it via a single drag and drop operation.

7. FTP/S3 file transfers
For  FTP/S3 file transfer purposes I have recently switched to Transmit. Transmit provides fast and reliable file transfers, easy favorites/bookmarks site management, and a dual-pane interface. You can buy Transmit via the Mac App Store for 26.99€, or purchase additional licenses via their website.

8. SQLite manager
SQLite databases can be accessed via a Firefox plugin called SQLite Manager.  SQLite Manager has a simple UI for running SQL queries, importing/exporting data, and managing your database. Free.