Fixing Mac OSX Mountain Lion

Usually Mac OSX updates are great – tons of useful new features and incredibly cheap compared to any new version of Windows that comes along, however with Mountain Lion it looks like Apple have broken a string of successful OSX releases with one that would be only okay, if it were not for some glaring issues that are annoying loyal customers. Below are a couple of the issues we’ve faced since upgrading and how we’ve fixed them up – although some have come at a cost.

I now get a GrowlMail Plugin disabled message on Mail

GrowlMail was a great piece of software that allowed the mail program to send alerts so I could spot easily when I had a new email. With the new Mountain Lion, Apple have their own Notification Centre built in that takes care of this kind of functionality, unfortunately in doing this they have removed the ability to disable the GrowlMail plugin within the Mail application, resulting in an annoying warning every time you start Mail.

How to fix it

To fix it we need to delete the GrowlMail bundle manually which is pretty easy. In Finder go to:

/Library/Mail/Bundles

And delete the folder:

GrowlMail.mailbundle

The RSS reader functionality in Mail has disappeared

This disappeared without warning causing a bit of a stir, and so we now have to rely on third party apps to read RSS feeds, at least for now.

How to fix it

Google Reader seems to be accepted as the best RSS reader replacement. They provide a web based interface that allows you to read, subscribe and organise RSS files for free. If you are used to having a client application and want to stick with that way of doing things, a good choice is Reeder, they have Mac (£2.99), iPhone (£1.99) and iPad (£2.99) versions and they all stay synced with each other thanks to the web based Google Reader account.

There is no way of finding out what feed URL’s you had subscribed to previously in Mail

The RSS functionality is gone lock, stock and barrel and that means that if you aren’t sure what feeds you had subscribed to when populating your new Google Reader account, you may miss a few.

How to fix it

Use Finder to visit the following folder: /Library/Mail/V2/RSS

Here you will find a bunch of .mbox files that are named in the same way as the feeds were in the previous Mail app. If you click on these you will find a file called Info.plist in each. Open it in TextEdit and you should see something like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
	<key>DisplayInThreadedMode</key>
	<string>no</string>
	<key>MailboxHasBeenImported</key>
	<string>Yes</string>
	<key>MailboxName</key>
	<string>Apple Hot News</string>
	<key>RSSFeedURLString</key>
	<string>http://images.apple.com/main/rss/hotnews/hotnews.rss</string>
	<key>RSSMailboxDisplaysUnderInbox</key>
	<string>YES</string>
	<key>SearchSortDescending</key>
	<string>YES</string>
	<key>SearchSortOrder</key>
	<string>rank</string>
	<key>SortOrder</key>
	<string>received-date</string>
	<key>SortedDescending</key>
	<string>YES</string>
</dict>
</plist>

The part with the feed URL you will need to add to Google Reader is underneath RSSFeedURLString. In this particular case the URL would be http://images.apple.com/main/rss/hotnews/hotnews.rss.

Airplay Mirroring is restricted to newer Macs

A highly awaited feature for those with Apple TV was the ability to mirror their display wirelessly to a TV, however what wasn’t made clear before launch was that this would only be available on the much newer Macs, older ones apparently don’t have the necessary chipset to run it according to Apple.

How to fix it

Thankfully some clever developers have a software workaround available that works fantastically called AirParrot. Once again the full version will cost you ($9.99 USD) however there is a free version so you can try for a limited time before you buy to ensure it works as well for you as it does for us.

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