Q & A: MacFixIt Answers

MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which I answer questions related Mac e-mail to our readers.

This week readers wrote with questions about the possibility of false positive results range from Apple Hardware Test, how to locate the lost files in the iTunes library, and how to script a Mac to get repeated presses a button keyboard. I look forward to readers, so if you have suggestions or alternative approaches to these problems, please post them in the comments!

Question: false positives with the following Apple Hardware Test
MacFixIt reader Javier request:

    Is it possible to get errors on these tests HW? I get an error motherboard, but I feel that this is not the logic board that is wrong with my Mac Mini ...

Testing equipment as mentioned in this article can detect a number of problems that can be found on the logic board or another component of the system.

Most tests just check the status of various sensors in the system, so even if an error probably indicates a problem with the equipment, if a sensor is faulty, it could indeed give a false positive result. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to check this.

Even in cases where a system seems to work well, if the Apple Hardware Test displays a problem, be sure to keep a complete backup of your computer and restorable (Apple's Time Machine would work great for this) in the case when a problem occurs.

Question: The inability to locate the downloaded music on iTunes
MacFixIt reader Vince asks:

    I have a program called TuneUp is supposed to clean songs, remove duplicates and other things. I also have a number of old iTunes libraries. While purchases have in my collection, when I go to play they are missing. What is really weird is that I can find in the download page and read from there. I start to panic because I do not know basically what happens.

Try going to the Advanced section of iTunes preferences and see what the path is for "iTunes Media folder location." This should be the place where iTunes is storing your downloaded music, and can not be a standard default location. Go to this folder in the Finder to see if you can locate the files inside. You can also try to locate files by searching with Spotlight, and if they appear then hold down the Command key when you click to open the Spotlight search, and the system should appear in a Finder window for you. This will help you determine where the songs are.

Question: Automating keystrokes in OS X
MacFixIt reader Brian asks:

    I try to understand how I can record and repeat buttons. More recently, I needed to repeat the following schedule for 2800 project data entry "arrow to the right to remove, delete, left arrow, left arrow, left arrow, left arrow, delete (enter a single digit ), the down arrow again ... "

    I would do it in batches of 100, where the figure is the same and I'd love to create a simple, editable script. I tried Automator, Terminal, and some third-party applications, but failed to make it work.

You may find the best option is to use AppleScript which supports command "key code" and "hits" to invoke a button is pressed on the keyboard. The option key code assignments using AppleScript code key (you can see the list here) and the option strike uses the key character.

To implement this, open the AppleScript Editor Utility (in Applications / Utilities) and use the following command at the command keys and breed them:

tell application "Finder" to activate
repeat 2 times
     say "System Events" to key code applications 124
     say "System Events" to key 51 application code
     say "System Events" to key 51 application code
     say "System Events" application 123 key code
     say "System Events" application 123 key code
     say "System Events" application 123 key code
     say "System Events" application 123 key code
     say "System Events" to key 51 application code
     say "System Events" to application keys "a" change with down
     say "System Events" to key code applications 125
repeat end

Note that this is a relatively crude and I'm sure there are other approaches more efficient and thorough, but it should work. You can refine targeting a specific document or perform checks to ensure that the keys are made in the desired application.

The above script to activate the Finder, and then execute the sequence press twice in the Finder. For the "figure" it enters the letter "a" in uppercase (with Shift - This option modifier can be changed to whatever you want, or be removed).

The script can be saved in a script file that opens and runs in the editor, or as an application that can be run independently and launched as part of another script (such as a shell script). You can also implement in Automator using the Run AppleScript.
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