Posts Tagged 'Tutorial'

Copy your Entire DVD Library to your Mac

Too many DVDs scattered all over the house? Friends borrowing your DVDs forever? Little ones scratching up your favorite DVD? You can alleviate all this by copying all your DVDs to a hard drive. I’ll show you how using a Mac.

This is idea for those who are using a Mac as a HTPC. My current HTPC setup consists of a Mac Pro connected to a 32″ Toshiba Regza LCD with 2.1 sound system and a Logitech diNovo Edge wireless keyboard. Most of the time it’s playing Disney movies.

If you have Netflix, you can copy all the DVDs they ship to you and return them the same day without having to watch the DVDs right away.

Or if you have a Mac notebook, you can just go to your friends house who already has a vast DVD library and start copying to your hard drive without having to borrow the DVD.

With all your DVDs on a hard drive, you have your entire library at your fingertips. No more opening a DVD case with the wrong DVD inside, browsing through spindles or binders, or building shelves to hold all your DVDs. You can use all those discs as ammo for a CD gun or use them as coasters.

If you get truly prolific with your DVD copies, you might want to consider getting this baby and a bunch of hard drives. You’d have to number the hard drives and catalog what’s on them to keep track of your epic collection. You can also setup a RAID system if you’re savvy enough and have the extra cash.

Also, with your DVDs on your hard drive, you can easily burn another copy, convert to formats that play on your PMP, or you can stream any movie in your library to any device with an internet connection. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, those will be for future posts. Right now, view the screencast below to learn how to copy a single DVD using your Mac.

--- # Checklist:
– Leopard
– Roomy Hard Drive
– Your favorite DVD

--- # Overview:
– Insert DVD
– Quit any players that open automatically
– Remount DVD with FairMount
– Create image with Disk Utility
– Play ISO with VLC


Google Apps as Default Email Client in Ubuntu


I have a vanilla install of Ubuntu Hardy Heron. In Firefox, when I click someone’s email that uses the mailto link, it opens up the Evolution email client. This is the suck if you don’t use a desktop email client which more and more smart people are doing these days.

I use an email with my own domain, hosted on Google Apps for all my email needs. With a little inspiration from this page, I got Google Apps to be the default email client instead. Here’s how…

– Fire up your favorite text editor
– Copy and paste the following code:


firefox "`echo $1 | sed 's/mailto://'`"

Replace “” with your hosted Google Apps domain

– Save the file with the “.sh” extension (example: “”)
– Use a terminal to make the file executable with the following command:

$ chmod u+x path_to_file

The path_to_file is the location of the script. (example: “~/”)

– In Firefox, go to Edit > Preferences > Applications > mailto > Use other…
– Browse to and select the file you just created earlier

Woohoo! Now when you click a mailto link, it should compose a new email in the browser using Google Apps. Test it out by emailing me if it worked

Thanks to this comment, there’s a more elegant way to do this.

  1. In Firefox’s address bar, copy and paste the following and hit enter:
  2. Click “I’ll be careful, I promise!” when the warning appears
  3. In the “Filter:” field, copy and paste:
  4. Double click the found result to change the boolean value from false to true
  5. In the address bar, copy and paste the following:
    javascript:window.navigator.registerProtocolHandler("mailto","","Google Apps")
  6. Replace “” with your own Google Apps hosted domain and hit enter
  7. Click “Add Application” when it asks you a question
  8. go to Edit > Preferences > Applications > mailto
  9. Choose “Use Google Apps”

That’s it! Test it out by clicking my email,

I wish Firefox had it as a default option instead of the craptastic Yahoo! Mail.

VirtualBox Shared Folders between Ubuntu Guest and Mac Host

You’ll need the latest version of VirtualBox (1.6) with Guest Additions installed in Ubuntu.

  • With the Virtual Machine powered off and selected in VirtualBox, go to:
    Machine > Settings… > Shared Folders
  • For “Folder Path”, click the icon to browse for the folder you want to share.
  • For “Folder Name”, enter a name to describe the share.
  • Click “OK” and start the virtual machine again.
  • Create a mount point which is basically an empty folder.
  • Fire up the terminal and type:
    sudo mount -t vboxsf folder_name path_to_mount_point
    folder_name is the name you typed in earlier to describe the share
  • Woot! You should be able to browse the shared folder now.

Ubuntu Resolution Fix using VirtualBox on MacBook

I recently installed Ubuntu Hardy Heron via VirtualBox on my MacBook. Everything worked great except I only had the option of 800×600 and 640×480 for screen resolution. However, my MacBook’s resolution goes up to 1280×800. To get the maximum resolution, edit xorg.conf and restart. See the code below for the edits.

To edit the xorg.conf file. Fire up the terminal in Ubuntu and type:

$ sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Then find and replace the following:

Section "Device"
	Identifier	"Configured Video Device"
	Driver		"vboxvideo"

Section "Monitor"
	Identifier	"Configured Monitor"

Section "Screen"
	Identifier	"Default Screen"
	Monitor		"Generic Monitor"
	Device		"VirtualBox graphics card"
	DefaultDepth	24
	SubSection "Display"
		Depth		24
		Modes		"1280x800" "800x600" "640x480"

– Finally, restart Ubuntu and enjoy!