Sync Google Contacts on Mac OS X with Two Factor Authentication

So you want to synchronize your Google contacts with the contacts in Mac OS X, but you have done the smart thing and enabled two factor authentication for your Google account. Not a problem, here’s how to do it.

Open up and go to Contacts > Preferences… (⌘-,) and go to Accounts, there you will see “On My Mac” as an account option.


Click the “Configure…” button, and you will be prompted for your Google account and password. This is where the two factor authentication trick comes into play.

Visit the Google two factor authentication settings page and scroll down to Application-specific passwords. There you will need to supply a meaningful name to your new key (e.g. “Mac OS X Contacts Sync”) and click Generate password. This will create a random string of characters that you will then copy and paste as your password into the preferences screen.

Once you fill that in, proceed with the prompt on the preferences screen. You should see a symbol in your task bar now which only the option “Sync now”. This will pull all your contacts from your Google account, and you’re set, securely!

Make Desktop Background from Screensaver Defaults in Mac OS X

There are photos in the Mac OS X screensaver that are nicer than those in the default desktop background choices. Naturally, one might want those nice National Geographic photos as their desktop background, and it’s pretty simple to get at them.

Open up the Terminal, and type in the following:

Then just navigate to Change Desktop Background… and add the Wallpapers folder in your Pictures directory.

Change desktop background screenshot

How to install Python pandas Development Version on Mac OS X

The pandas data analysis module is quickly becoming the go-to tool for data analysis in Python. Certain features, such as in memory joins and sorts, become extremely powerful when dealing with in-memory datasets. Often times, operations that take hours in Excel to execute take only seconds using pandas.

As the recent re-covert to Mac OS X, I wanted to get setup with the development version of pandas on my new machine running Mac OS X 10.8.

To begin, we need to have a few things installed, particularly pip and homebrew.

If you have not yet installed pip, and have a valid Python installation on your machine, simply run sudo easy_install pip in your terminal.

Once that’s done, we need to install a few libraries before trying to install our Python libraries.

This will bring in all the compilers and libraries that we’re going to need to build our stuff later on.

Assuming that you want the following libraries installed at the global Python install level, rather than a virtual environment, you can install the requirements to build pandas in a single line.

With that, you should be able to clone the latest pandas repository and install the latest development version.

That’s pretty much it, if you have any problems, feel free to leave a comment.