How to avoid manually typing your password into OS X’s password dialog box

When mounting an encrypted disk in OS X for the first time, you’ll be presented with a dialog box that doesn’t allow you to paste in the password. This can be troublesome, especially if you’ve used a long, high-quality random password. Here’s how to get around having to manually enter your password into OS X’s password dialog box.

A. Get the logical volume UUID

First get the universally unique identifier (UUID) for the drive using diskutil. Open a terminal window and enter the following command:

$ diskutil corestorage list

Look for the Logical Volume for the disk. Ensure that you copy the Logical Volume UUID, not the Logical Volume Group or Logical Volume Family UUID.

diskutil to get the disk's Logical Volume

B. Save a Keychain Access password item

Now we need to save a Keychain Access password item for the disk. Open Keychain Access and create a new password item:

  • Keychain Item Name: Name for your disk
  • Account Name: Name for your disk
  • Password: Password to unlock the disk

We’ll need to save more information into the item so once it has been created, search for it in Keychain Access and open.

OS X Keychain password item

Edit the password item to make sure it contains the details for your encrypted drive:

  • Name: Name for your disk
  • Kind: encrypted volume password
  • Account: Name for your disk
  • Where: UUID for the volume copied found using diskutil
  • Show password: checked

The important part for this step is to make sure you enter the UUID for the volume in the Where field.

Save the password item and OS X will no longer ask you to enter a password when you mount your drive.

How the web can help you thrive during a recession

David Armano, from the interactive services firm Critical Mass, suggests 10 Ways Digital Can Help You Thrive in a Recession. It’s a US-focused slideshow presentation but also applies to British small businesses.

I share it because several points correspond with our approach when building sites:

  • Small companies and start-ups don’t have the luxury of time and money. Trying to create the prefect site before launching squanders both with very little guarantee that you’ve covered all the bases. Instead, launch quickly, test it on your target audience and use the feedback to improve.
  • Building from scratch is expensive so use ready-made tools and software when possible. For example, we use the Drupal content management platform as the foundation for most of our sites. It gives us lots of built-in functionality so we can focus the areas that are unique to a particular project.
  • Head straight for the prototype. For some products, spending time—literally—on the drawing-board creating documentation and schematics is essential if you want to avoid costly mistakes. The web is different. The technology means that it’s more efficient to simply build a working demonstration of your ideas.

See below for David’s slideshow.

How to get more ink out of your printer

Have you ever been presented with a premature ‘change cartridge’ warning by your printer? This scenario should be quite familiar: your printer is happily churning out pages with no sign of fading when suddenly the low ink indicator lights-up. The thing then becomes useless until you pop in a brand-new (and probably expensive) cartridge. You might suspect that there’s still more ink and you’re probably right. It’s been widely-reported that printer manufacturers’ cut-off system is a little too eager.

Thanks to an article from Slate, an online magazine, I came across The site has a forum offering tips on how to squeeze every last drop of ink out of your cartridge. Although Slate’s article focuses on laser printers, also covers many brands of ink-jets.

Here’s a summary of the tips from the article:

Be warned though. These procedures will almost certainly invalidate your warranty and might even break your printer. Still, they may be worth a try since—with some printers—it can cheaper to buy a newer model than replace the ink.

Those interested in the inner-workings of inkjet printers might want to see this video:

The Dirty Little Secret of Inkjet PrintersThe most popular videos are here

A web technology blog for small-business owners

This blog will be about helping small companies use the internet more effectively.

As a small-business owner or entrepreneur, you know that reaching a wide audience is vital. You’ve heard that the internet can play a big part in a successful business but perhaps don’t know where to start. You have enough on your plate just keeping things running smoothly. There’s no time to become an expert and there’s no budget to hire an expensive consultant. Besides, who can you trust? There are charlatans out there who’d happily run away with your hard-earned savings.

Sound familiar? If so, this blog is for you. It will help you apply technology to your business, spot new ideas that might otherwise go unnoticed, and find ways to make your life easier. As a result, you’ll be able to use the internet to improve your business.

OK, this sounds good. But at this point, you’re probably expecting the sales pitch for my book or seminar. Of course, there is always an ulterior motive and it would be foolish of me to think you’re not intelligent or savvy enough to realise this. So here’s what I’m trying to achieve with this blog:

  • I want to convert readers to customers by proving that we’re useful to their business.
  • I want existing customers to get to know us a little more.

It’s all about building trust. The more people know you, the more likely they are to spend money on you. And this leads me nicely to my first internet tip for small businesses.

Blogs are a proven way for companies to reach a wider marketplace. But some companies take the wrong approach, using it as a glorified press-release section, publishing nothing but “why we’re so great” articles. In reality, people aren’t that interested in a constant stream of spin and new project wins.

A personal blog is, by definition, about you and it’s OK to be self-absorbed; your family and friends are a natural audience who want to know what you’re up to. Company blogs are different. Readers need a reason to keep coming back so articles also have to be relevant to their lives. Two ways to do this are:

  • Including helpful information.
  • Generating discussion that engages them.

I will aim to do both.

Future articles

Future articles will explore this topic in more detail. Other themes will include explanations about technology without the geek-speak; tips to make your life online easier; and news in my industry that may affect you. Once in a while, I’ll indulge myself by telling you about developments at Another Cup of Coffee, how we work, and the method behind our madness.

Since blogs are also about creating dialogue, please feel free to post your opinions and questions. No doubt, other readers will find your input valuable. If you’d like me to cover a specific topic, drop me a note and I’ll try to fit it in.

About the author

If I’m to make claims about helping you, you’ll probably need to know a little more about me. As a quick introduction, I’m Anthony Lopez-Vito, founder of Another Cup of Coffee. Rather than use up space writing about myself here, I’ll direct you to my LinkedIn profile. Other members of the team may also contribute at some point. In the near future, I aim to present guest authors who are clients, partner companies, or suppliers.