How to remove Spotify’s notification badge from the Mac OS X dock

Are you also annoyed and tired by Spotify’s notification badge in the dock of Mac OS X? I totally was and found a simple list of instructions on apple.stackexchange.com and want to show you how to remove this „feature“.

If correctly used, notification badges are a cool thing. They notify you when an app wants your attention. Spotify abuses this feature and shows the number of pending notifications inside its app. That means: If you ever subscribed to somebodies playlist and this playlist is updated, you will be notified. Same goes for stuff like new tracks of your favorited artists. You have no control over these notifications and will always be notified. Other users are also annoyed by this misbehavior but nothing changes 🙁 Thats why my Spotify is mostly minimized to the background and when opened it shows this ugly notification badge in its UI:

Spotify in app notification badge

Its annoying and always tries to steal my attention. Same goes for the Mac OS X dock icon:

Spotify Dock Icon with 99 notifications

Normally, you can open the system preferences and can disable the notifications. However, Spotify isn’t listed (although it uses the notification APIs of Mac OS X).

The instructions from stackoverflow write this missing entry into the notification database, so that it shows up in the list. Only after that you are allowed to disable Dock notifications:

Disable Spotify Badge App Icon Here’s the code of Ryan Patterson’s stackoverflow entry, in case it ever gets deleted:

 

Update Windows 8.1 Pro to Windows 10 – my experience

As I’ve written in my last blog post, I’m one of the guys who likes to test the newest and latest software versions. In this case, Windows 10. So I’ve updated my gaming system with the tool from Microsoft I’ve mentioned.

The setup tool of Windows 10 warned me about two things:

  • All your apps will be removed and only your personal data is kept.
  • Your language pack will be removed (english) and will be reset to german.

The first one was really misleading: All apps? What defines an app? Isn’t that only the one from the market place? Apparently not, because I’ve lost all my installed applications as promised. The update wasn’t able to reuse the installed applications, which is really sad for an update imho.

The language pack is reset to german: well, that’s somehow ok, although I’ve installed an english Windows 8.1 pro and only enabled the german keyboard layout and date/timezones. I would have assumed that it continues to use english as the system language, but it seems that you need to install one of the language packs again.

This left me only with one possible choice: restore Windows 8.1. Open start, type „update“ and open the update settings. Select „restore“ from the left menu and select „return to Windows 8.1“.

This option exists only for 31 days after your update and will ask you for the reasons why you want to restore your system. A few restarts later and your system is thankfully restored to its previous state: All apps are working, your Windows 10 reservation is still active.

So if you ask me: It’s too early to update to Windows 10. At least with this media creation tool which seems to support only the creation of new installations of Windows 10.

Office Mac 2011 cannot open files from network folder with home in its name

It’s unbelievable: Microsoft Office Mac 2011 cannot open files from network folders when the share name contains „home“. My Synology NAS uses shared folders for each of its users. The user folders can be reached under the „home“ share and are automatically mapped to the user’s home folder on the Synology. This is the default setting for every new standard setup of Synology NAS.

I’ve tried recently to access an Excel file from my home folder. After double clicking in the Finder, Excel opened with this error message:

Excel File cannot be opened

So it cannot find the file. This is due to a known Office bug that exists now for several years and appears to be still unpatched.

It’s inexplicable how an error of this severity is still unpatched. All my search results suggest me to stop using the home folder and use instead a different name. That’s working for my user, because it has admin rights and can open the „homes“ share with a subfolder to my username. However, not all of the users on my network should have this right.

I only hope that the new Mac Office will address this issue. The currently available preview is pretty unusable and tends to crash when I’m working with network volumes.

VMWare Fusion 4.1.3 does not accept Bootcamp installation

I’m currently switching from Windows 7 to Windows 8 and I wanted to make a clean install. Therefore I completely removed the Bootcamp Partition with the Bootcamp assistent of Mac OS X. However, it could not remove the partition. I’ve decided to delete the partition manually and to recreate the partition.

The Mac OS X disk utility only allows me to create exFAT or FAT partition, because NTFS is not natively supported. I’ve decided to use ExFAT and deleted my old Windows 7 installation. After installing Windows 8, I wanted to use my Bootcamp installation on Mac OS X. So I started VMWare 4.1.3 (The latest version is 5, but I’m not willing to buy the upgrade, the old version works fine under Mountain Lion.), removed the old entry for my Windows 7 Bootcamp installation and wanted to create a new one.

But this failed with several error messages, indicating that the Bootcamp disk could not be configured. After a short Google search, I’ve found the problem with the exFAT format of the Bootcamp partition: VMWare Fusion only supports NTFS formatted partitions.

 

The lessons learned from my experience:

  • If you create the Bootcamp Partition with the Mac OS X assistent, you will get a 32GB large Partition in the correct useable format.
  • If you delete yourself old Bootcamp partitions and want to reinstall, make sure you format the partition with NTFS instead of any other offered formats. Instructions for this can be seen here.
  • If you use Paragon NTFS4Mac or if you use MacFuse, you could preformat the partition with NTFS. But Windows 7 and 8 want to create a small boot partition for themself, so I would not recommend to go this path. Format the partitions from Windows setup.

 

A small update:

I was not able to use VMWare again with Bootcamp. Therefore I decided to delete the partition with the Bootcamp assistent, which crashed during this operation. I had to enter the recovery mode of Mac OS X and had to recheck and repair the complete HDD and its partition. I’ve then changed the size of the HFS+ Volume on the HDD back to its original size and created a new Bootcamp partition using the assistent:

Creation of a  Bootcamp partition on Mac OS X 10.8
Creation of a Bootcamp partition on Mac OS X 10.8

 

Next Update:

No good news to report… Windows was finally recognized correctly by VMWare, but I couldn’t add the Bootcamp installlation. The setup wanted me to reboot into Windows and reboot into Mac OS X, because it thought the Bootcamp partition was not cleanly unmounted:

Bootcamp partition is not prepared - VMWare Fusion 4.1.3
Bootcamp partition is not prepared – VMWare Fusion 4.1.3

 

So I decided to try the new VMWare Fusion 5.0.1 version and suddenly my problems were all gone… It’s sad to see, that you always need a newer software version to work correctly. Especially when Windows 8 runs just fine inside a normal VMWare VM, but not when you are using Bootcamp. My guess would be that you could install Windows 7, configure Bootcamp correctly in VMWare Fusion and then upgrade to Windows 8. But this takes awefully long, so I’ll stick to the newer Fusion version. You can test it 30 days for free and after that you have to buy it for 44,99Euro 🙁

 

Umstieg von Apple Safari zu Google Chrome

Nachdem Safari mich in den letzten Wochen immer mehr aufgeregt hatte, habe ich mich jetzt an Google Chrome gewagt. Da ich in meiner Bachelorarbeit bereits in den Browser reingeguckt hatte, war ich umso mehr überascht, was sich alles seit Version 2 bzw. 3 getan hat.

So hat mich ein erhöhter Ramverbrauch von Safari dazu gebracht, mir mal Chrome anzuschauen. An sich ist der Browser nett und schnell, aber dennoch nicht das Beste am Markt.

An meinem Google Chrome Umstieg
rockten:

  • Der Browser ist unheimlich schnell, wobei ich mich da auf das Tab Öffnen beziehe. In letzter Zeit ist er dann in der Benutzung aber auch langsamer geworden
  • Updates werden ohne Neustart eingespielt, man bekommt vom dem Update Prozess gar nichts mit und ist dennoch auf dem neuesten Sicherheitsstand
  • Flash Videos laufen in einem Tab einfach weiter, wenn man den Tab in ein eigenes neues Fenster zieht

nervten:

  • Es gibt keinen genauen Überblick über den verbrauchten Ram, da es nur einen Chrome Prozess gibt (etwa 60MB Ram), und jeder Tab einen Chrome Worker Prozess aufmacht mit unterschiedlicher Auslastung
  • Ich suche noch immer das Suchmaschinen Extrafeld (abgekürzt über Command+L und einmal Tab drücken), sicherlich nur eine Gewöhnungssache
  • Es gibt keine 1Password Extension, die den gleichen Funktionsumfang besitzt wie die Safari oder Firefox Extensions
  • Der Browser stürzt trotz einzelner Tab Sandboxen beim Übersetzen von Webseiten ohne Fehlermeldung komplett ab, kann ein Einzelfall sein, aber nervte schon
  • Es gibt keinen integrierten RSS Reader. Feeds werden einfach als Text dargestellt. Es gibt somit auch keine einfache Möglichkeit, auf Seiten ohne expliziten RSS Link den Namen des Feeds zu erfahren

Wie man sieht, alles nicht ganz so perfekt und rosig. Mal weiter beobachten.