How to re-enable the Apple-provided Java SE 6 web plug-in and Web Start functionality.


If, after installing Java for OS X 2013-002 and the latest version of Java 7 from Oracle, you want to disable Java 7 and re-enable the Apple-provided Java SE 6 web plug-in and Web Start functionality, follow these steps.

Note: You must be logged in as an administrator. If prompted for your administrator password after a command, enter it and then press the Return or Enter key.

  1. Open Terminal, located in the Utilities folder.
  2. Enter this command, then press the Return or Enter key:
    sudo mkdir -p /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/disabled
  3. Enter this command, then press the Return or Enter key:
    sudo mv /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/disabled
  4. Enter this command, then press the Return or Enter key:
    sudo ln -sf /System/Library/Java/Support/Deploy.bundle/Contents/Resources/JavaPlugin2_NPAPI.plugin /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin
  5. To re-enable Java SE 6 Web Start, enter this command, then press the Return or Enter key:
    sudo ln -sf /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Commands/javaws /usr/bin/javaws

How to Move your iPad Backup to an External Hard Drive


Post taken from:


Note: Moving the iTunes iPhone/iPad/iPod backup folder to another drive requires that external drive to be connected in order to backup or sync future iOS devices properly.

  • From the Mac OS X Finder, hit Command+Shift+G to bring up the “Go To” window, type the following directory in:

~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/

  • From this folder, copy the “Backup” folder to a new location on the external harddrive, for the sake of this guide we’ll choose a folder called iOSBackup on a drive named “External”
  • Before trashing the origin folder, rename the existing Backup folder to something else for backup reasons, like Backup2
  • Now we need to create a symbolic link between where the original Backup folder was, and the new location on the external drive. Launch Terminal and type the following command, referencing your new backup location:

ln -s /Volumes/External/iOSBackup/ ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync/Backup

(That command needs to be on a single line, formatting may look otherwise.)

Verify Symbolic Links
To double-check that the symbolic link has been created, open ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/ in the Finder and look for the Backup folder, it should now have an arrow on the corner representing the symbolic link (think Aliases in terms of Mac OS X Finder), like the picture below:


Prevent Automatic Syncing of iOS Hardware
Next you’ll want to disable automatic syncing of your iOS devices, because there are probably times when you’ll be plugging iOS hardware into your Mac without the external drive connected. Doing this is easy, just open iTunes > iTunes Preferences > click on “Devices” and then select the checkbox next to “Prevent iPods, iPhones, iPads from syncing automatically”


Test a Backup & Remove Backup2
Finally, before removing the “Backup2? folder and saving the disk space, you’ll want to complete a backup and sync of your iOS device to verify that everything is working as intended. There shouldn’t be any problems, but if there are, retrace the steps to make sure everything was done correctly. If the backup is fine, go ahead and remove the Backup2 folder and you can rely on the link to the external drive when it is connected.

That’s it!

Can I undo this? How do I move the iTunes Backup back to its default location?
Yes of course! If you ever want to undo this, simply remove the “Backup” symbolic link (the one with the little arrow icon) from ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/ by deleting it, and then moving your iOSBackup directory from the External Drive back to its original location. It’s that simple.

Will this work for all iOS devices?
Yes it should work fine with any iOS device including the iPhoneiPad, and iPod touch. If you use multiple iOS devices, they’re all stored in the Backup folder, which could make this tip even more useful since more backups = more space taken up locally.






I recently went to a conference at The Washington International School in DC where a session was run on various assistive learning tools by Jeff Sisk, the Assistive Technology Integration Specialist for the Fairfax County Public System.  One tool stood out over the rest and I wanted to share it with you.

Chrome is my browser of choice and while I have used Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and countless others it continues to remain streamlined, fast and fairly intuitive.  When Google allowed third party companies to create chrome extensions I was extremely happy, and optimistically cautious that some wonderful tools would be made available to the general public.

An extension is a piece of software that provides additional functionality to the Chrome browser.  For example, the Clearly extension by Evernote allows the user to strip away all of the extraneous pictures and video from a website and just display the text in a clean page free from media distractions. While one should always be leery of plugins and downloads that access your “private” information I was confident that Google would at least provide a first line of defense of weeding out harmful add-ons to my browser and computer.

Jeff demonstrated a new, free extension called Read & Write by a company called TextHelp.  Read & Write puts a little button on your Chrome browser that adds accessibility features to Google Docs such as Text To Speech with Dual Synchronized Highlighting and Study Skills tools.  It was fantastic!  One of the current limitations we are experiencing with the Kurzweil software is it’s inability to be used directly in Google Docs.  Currently, our students have to copy their work out of Google Docs and either paste it into Kurzweil directly or into Microsoft Word to be imported into Kurzweil.

Read&Write works right in Google Docs.  It also allows our students to look up textual or pictorial definitions of words they might not understand.  I urge you to take a look at it at the link I provided or visit the Google Chrome Store at  Be sure to click on Extensions at the bottom of the index that’s on the left side of the web page and then type in  Read&Write in the search bar.

Installing MacBook Pro trackpad drivers for Windows 8


It will help to plug in an external USB mouse until you get the drivers installed.

1.  Navigate to device manager (Right click on Windows 8 Start Screen and choose All Apps)

2.  You will see two devices (they might be called TrackPad) with yellow symbols next to them under Human Interface Devices

3.  Right click one of them and click properties

4.  Go to Driver section and click update driver

5.  Click browse my computer for driver software

6.  Click Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer

7.  Choose USB input device.  It will install.

8.  Do the same for the other device

9.  Go back to update driver (for two devices) and choose search automatically for updated driver software.  This changes USB input device to the correct hardware and enables multi-touch.

10.  Do the same for the other device

You shouldn’t have to restart but it never hurts.  Your trackpad should work fine.



Forcing Windows to make the network drives available to both the standard and administrator accounts automatically.


All you need to do is run Registry Editor (regedit.exe), locate the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Policies/System, and create a new DWORD entry with the name EnableLinkedConnections and value 1


Kinect Paint


The first application I explored for integrating the Kinect into our curriculum was Kinect Paint.  Kinect Paint is a fairly simple to use paint program that allows the user to use one arm to select different brushes and colors and control the cursor.  When you want to draw all you have to do is raise your other hand.  Once you have finished you have the option to save or start over.  Definitely something I would introduce to our ES kids.

Kurzweil 3000 Tutorials


Kurzweil Educational Systems was founded in 1996 and is recognized as the leading developer of reading technology for people with learning difficulties and those who are blind or visually impaired.

The following is a list of Kurzweil 3000 tutorials linked straight from the Kurzweil website.


Free, online graphing calculator


The amazing people at Desmos have created a free, online graphic calculator for teachers and students.

How to Make Windows 7 Require a User Name and Password in Log On Screen


This is a quick tutorial to show you how to make Windows 7 require all users to type in their user name and password in the Windows log on screen rather than selecting their user icon and entering their password.  This login better suits an environment that has multiple users authenticating off of Active Directory.

1.  Open the Start Menu, then type regedit in the search box and press enter.

2.  If prompted by UAC (User Account Control) dialog, click on Yes.

3.  In regedit, navigate to:  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

4.  In the right pane, right click on dontdisplaylastusername and click on Modify.

5.  Replace the 0 with 1 and Click on OK.

6.  Close regedit

7.  Log off and log on to see the change.


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