Operating System

Using Disk Utility for OS X

The disk utility for Mac OS X is very powerful. It allows for the control of storage drives attached to the computer. For example, the main internal hard drive can have permissions repaired, or the drive can be partitioned to allow for another operating system to be installed on the computer.

This is located in Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.

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Disk Utility has some very useful features. On the left are drives are mountable images. The picture to the right has this computer’s hard drive, named “Macintosh HD”, and a bootable image named “Mac Installer.dmg”.

The most important section is the area with the hard drive. This area has a list of volumes currently connected to the computer, such as the internal hard drive or usb devices.

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Volumes can be unmounted from the computer (read: unusable to the user and not visible in Finder) to allow for First Aid on a drive and for partitioning the drive into parts. Note: These actions cannot be performed on Macintosh HD because I am not currently an administrator.

The volume can also be verified, the system can run a check to make sure that data is in its correct state. If at some point it is not in the correct state, Disk Utility will tell the user what to do, which usually involves running repair disk. This is a very powerful function as it allows the user to run checks and repair the computer without reinstalling the operating system.

Screen Shot 2016-10-08 at 1.37.58 PMUsually, nested inside of each volume is at least one partition. In the case of the image above, the volume “Macintosh HD” also has a partition with the same name. Partitions can also be verified, as well as have their disk permissions verified.

Disk permissions can change because of applications installing incorrectly or a failing drive. Checking if these have changed or the general state of these permissions is very important to IT professionals. Between the ability to check permissions and verifying the disk, it is possible to tell if a disk needs to be replaced, wiped and re-imaged, or is doing fine.Screen Shot 2016-10-08 at 1.39.55 PM

In the above menus, there are the options for encrypting drives, for journaling, and in other versions of Mac it can manage RAID. There is the option, for partitions, to open in Finder, if the partition is mounted.


Screen Shot 2016-10-08 at 1.41.30 PMLastly, there is a nice console that shows the history of what has happened to the drive. It also shows the result and the suggested further actions for the drive, like sometimes Mac will suggest to reboot into recovery to fix the drive.

Disk Utility differs from Windows computers, computers that often need to have the operating system at least partially reinstalled, rather than just repaired. Windows even goes so far as to make this easy for users to access.

In all, the Mac Disk Utility is a very useful application. The user can check the condition of their drive and potentially fix it, without needing a reinstall or a replacement.


Operating System

Google Nexus: Smart Phones and Tablets

Never heard of Google Nexus? You are not alone. Most people have never heard of it because Google is not big into advertising the Nexus or making deals with cellular companies. However, if you meet someone who has heard of it or has a Nexus, chances are they are extremely loyal to it.


The Google Nexus is a line of phones and tablets that are sold by Google and made by various companies. The Nexus is superior to other tablets and phones for several reasons. The software is pure Android, the hardware is advanced, and the price is always very low compared to similar technology on the market. There is also a certain amount of pride to be an owner of a Nexus.

The operating system is Android, however, most companies take the operating system and change it to include the company’s (i.e. Verizon and Samsung) proprietary applications. You know those annoying apps that you never use and cannot delete? Those are not present on pure Android. Every app, except those essential to the operating system, is deletable and fully in control of the user. Most importantly, it is a lot harder to run out of space on your phone or tablet. Pure Android is fast without the extra software.

The Nexus phones are also guaranteed operating system updates for two years, and security updates for another year. The Nexus owners are the first to get the new Android versions, which makes their device the most up-to phones and tablets in the market.

The hardware for the Nexus devices is, in many ways, superior than any other similar device from the same year. The Galaxy S4 came out the same year as the Nexus 5 2013. They are similar in size, weight, and screen quality. They are some of the first phones to obtain wireless charging. The S4 has a slightly better camera and the Nexus 5 has a slightly better processor. They’re hardware specifications are essentially the same. However, the Samsung costed $699 (MSRP) and the Nexus costed $350. Two great phones at very different prices. More about the specifications are at:,Samsung-Galaxy-S4/phones/8148,7597


Almost every fall includes a new Nexus phone or tablet. If you are looking for the latest technology with software and hardware, look no further than the Nexus that comes out every fall. Looking for a phone or tablet that is the most up-to-date with security at a reasonable price? A Nexus is very likely to have what you need. Many companies use the phone to test their apps and use it as a model on their websites. This goes to show that this phone is the ideal environment for most Android apps. Pure android matched with good hardware and a good price makes for my favorite smart phone on the market.