Tag Archives: Mac

How to set an animated background in Microsoft Teams without third-party software

You probably already tried to add a new background with a .mp4 or .gif extension, but soon realized that Microsoft Teams will only allow you to select from .jpg, .jpeg, .png, and .bmp files.

I thought to myself: what if I uploaded a .mp4 or .gif to wherever Microsoft Teams stores those custom uploaded backgrounds?

A quick search lead me to ~/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds/Uploads.

I copied an animated.gif, which is the file I want to use as my background, and an animated_thumb.jpg to match, which is the little thumbnail I will click on to select the animated background. That said, while I could select the thumbnail, the background was still not applied.

My last hope was to rename animated.gif to animated.jpg to see if Microsoft Teams could be fooled into thinking it’s a static image, and low and behold, after selecting the thumbnail, the GIF actually played in the background.

Animated Microsoft Teams background

So if you have a MP4, just convert it to a GIF, because MP4s won’t work.

Volume grayed out in Finder on Mac

Every now and then I’ll be connected to a server on my Mac with a very specific volume mounted, but then it doesn’t appear anywhere in Finder. When I try to reconnect to it, it’s grayed out, as if I was connected after all.

For a while, the only way I knew how to fix it was to restart, but that’s obviously most inconvenient.

Turns out, there is quite a simple solution, and that is to unmount the volume via the command line.

Open up Terminal and type in the following:

sudo umount -f "/Volumes/NameOfVolume"

Replacing “NameOfVolume” with your volume’s name. After you hit ENTER, type in your Mac’s password when prompted.

Once that’s done, reconnect to the server in Finder (COMMAND + K), select the volume that was previously grayed out, mount it, and now it’ll be in Finder again for you to browse.

Increase space on fixed VirtualBox VDI disk containing Windows 7 on Mac

I use VirtualBox on my Mac to have other operating systems at my disposal. One of my appliances contains a copy of Windows 7 with a fixed, 25GB disk. I’ve run out space and was looking for an easy way to increase it.

I came across the modifyhd command, which in theory let’s you increase the disk space, but it only works on dynamic disks. I opted for performance (fixed disk) when I set up the appliance, and this minor inconvenience is the price.

There are several tutorials out there, but many of them require third-party applications, either on the Mac or in Windows side. The thing is, even without those utilities, it’s fairly easy to increase your disk space.

What we’ll do is create a bigger disk, clone the contents from the small disk to the big disk, and then increase our Windows partition.

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Permanently share a folder between host (Mac) and guest (Linux) OS using VirtualBox

This is mainly for my own reference, but here it goes.

1. Share a folder on the host OS

  • In VirtualBox, click your OS on the left and click on Settings.
  • Click on the Shared Folders tab.
  • Click on the folder with the plus on the right.
  • Browse to a folder of your choice in the folder path.
  • Enter a folder name with no spaces e.g. “Share”.
  • Check Auto-mount and Make Permanent, if available.
  • Click on OK.

2. Mount the folder in the guest OS

  • Create a folder in your guest OS that you want to share.
  • Open up Terminal.
  • Type in id and press ENTER— remember that ID.
  • Switch to the root user using sudo su and enter your password.
  • Browse to the etc folder using cd /etc.
  • Edit the rc.local file using vi rc.local.
  • Move your cursor right above exit 0 and press the letter “i” on your keyboard to insert text.
  • Type in the following: sudo mount -t vboxsf -o uid=1000,gid=1000 Share /home/username/Documents/Share
    • 1000 should match the ID you noted down earlier.
    • Share should match the folder name from step 1.
    • username should match your Linux username.
    • /Documents/Share should be the absolute path of the new folder you created.
  • Now hit “ESC”, type :wq and hit ENTER to save and quit the file editing.

After you restart the guest OS, your shared folder will be automatically mounted.