Archive for the ‘mac’ Category

Quick Tip : X-Ray Finder

I just finished listening to The MacCast Ep. 295, and Adam had this great tip for QuickLook on Snow Leopard. So, credit where it’s due, thanks Adam!

Anyway, this will require you to do a little bit of Terminal work, but it should not pose a problem to power users. If you want to try this but would prefer a GUI, head over to the BlackTree for a prefPane that can do this and loads of other cool stuff.

What does this tip do? You presumably know that you can hit space when in the Finder and bring up QuickLook to have a look at PDF’s, Word documents etc. without having to open an actual program. Well, when you do this with folders you just get a boring picture of a folder and some info about it. Wouldn’t it be cool to sort of see what’s inside? Well, that’s what this hack does! It gives an animated view of the content flowing by in sort of a Front Row style. It looks very cool, and could be useful at times.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Bring up the Terminal
  2. Type defaults write QLEnableXRayFolders 1
  3. Hit Enter
  4. Restart the Finder (Hold down Command+Alt and click the Finder icon in the Dock, choose Restart Finder)
  5. You’re done!

Now, choose a folder, hit Space, and voilà!

See you soon!

Useful Caffeine

We’ve all been to lectures with slide shows. Be they PowerPoint or Keynote, there is still one problem that seems to come up every single time. Automatic sleep mode or dimming. It’s not an obvious problem at all times, but if you run on battery power, you will know what I mean.


That’s where this small, free, and utterly useful little app comes in: Caffeine from Lighthead Software. It’s an app that places a small icon in your menu bar, click it and you computer won’t go to sleep nor dim the screen. This is, as I said useful in presentations. But you know what, it works wonders on a laptop when playing YouTube or Google Videos as well. See, full screen flash for some reason, does not register as full screen video to Mac OS X (Tiger at least), and there for dims the screen when no mouse or keyboard use is detected.

Anyway, just thought I’d pass this gem along!

Sleep is a symptom of caffeine deprivation.

~Author Unknown~


Mapple & Steve Mobs…

Brilliant!Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Mapple & Steve Mobs…“, posted with vodpod


via Macenstein

Not choosing Vista hell!

As some of my readers may know, I’m in the beginning of the processes of getting a new laptop. This old iBook G4 was bought used some years ago, had seen rough use at the hands of a pre-teen, then saw different, though still rough, use with me for a number of years with me. It is old, slow and 30 Gb of HD really isn’t enough anymore…

Now, granted, I am a ‘Macisti’, but since I will have to rely on a loan from my Nan for to buy my next machine, I thought maybe I should go the PC rout this time. That’s when my uncle visits from France with his brand-spanking new Sony Vaio BZ11-Series. It’s black, with a very nice screen and Windows Vista. I’ve heard the complaints no doubt, and I’ve also heard that Microsoft are supposed to have fixed most of them. Well, after having installed one printer, one 3G modem and just tried to get the thing to run without hickups, I can safley say: I will NOT buy a Vista machine. Ever!

Even the Sony Vaio let me down. How can such a nice looking machine be so crappy? It’s heavy, got loads of ugly stickers, and also a tendency to shut down at the most inconvenient times. Presumably this is a hardware fault Sony France will fix as soon as my uncle goes back home.

So back to the decisiton making. A Mac it is then. To some peoples horror I am not thinking Linux. Linux is great, but if it’s a long step from a Mac to Windows, then my friends, the step to Linux is even further. But which Mac? I’ve gotten so far as to decide for a MacBook. It makes the most sense in my situation. I write and will need to run Photoshop and InDesign. But, the cheaper MacBook White, or the new MacBook Al? Again, borrowed money. But I think I will go with the more expensive one, for three reasons.

  1. It is easily expandable with more RAM and bigger HD.
  2. It is very rigid and stainresistant, being made from aluminium.
  3. The new NVidia chipset. I hate Intel GMA.

Also, I’ve been a Mac fan for a long time, but never actually had a new one. I’m not going to start by messing it up with the “old” model. So, by late December when they’ve hopefully worked out all the kinks in the building process, I will place an order for a MacBook, in shiny aluminium.

Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.
~ Steve Jobs ~


Infect Different

As it is Halloween time, I intend to post a few aptly themed posts. In this video we all get to see how the VIRUS finaly got to the Mac. Beware! Beware…!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Infect Different“, posted with vodpod


Count words in TextWrangler

I tend to write my texts, at least for blogging, in a text editor and then cut & paste them into where ever. The editor I tend to use nowadays is TextWrangler from Bare Bones Software. Why? Well, I find that a text editor lets me focus on the task at hand much better than a word processor, and TextWrangler happens to be free. It is the conceptual child of BBEdit Lite which I used to use under System 7 and OS 9. Other excellent apps would be BBEdit, TextMate or Tex-Edit. Tex-Edit is an old favourite I just discovered exists in an OS X version! And it is extremely AppleScriptable and has great Automator support as well. Switch coming on?

The problem is though that most text editors do not have a word count feature.* This is not a problem for coders, but for us knowledge workers it can be of utmost importance. Enter the glory of AppleScript!

Over at Nabble I found the base of this script, and added the display function my self. It is simple, it is not the second coming, but it is highly useful to a particular sort of person. Feel free to use it as you wish.

tell application "TextWrangler"
count words of selection
display dialog "Number of words in document: " & result giving up after 1
end tell

I would like to ask that if you add to this script, especially Growl support or live updating, please notify me.

TextWrangler – It doesn’t suck… either!


Edit: For those who do not know how to use this code, I recommend that you read this newbie guide.
* Update: However, Bare Bones TextWrangler does have a word count function, and I failed to mentioned this. Why? Well, call it a slip of the keyes… I missed it, I can’t say anything but: I am sorry, and I apologise if I misled anyone with this.

** UPDATE 2: It’s been pointed out that I don’t tell you HOW to count words in TextWrangler, except with this AppleScript above. Here is how to do it, courtesy of amateur6.

“For the record: go to View -> Get info (or simply press Command-i from within the document). You’ll get Character, Word, Line and Page counts.

Or if you want to be fancy, do a Grep search using “([^\W\r\n]*)\w|([^\W\r]+)\r|([^\W\n]+)\n ” without the quotes (although this generated one false positive for me, so I’d just go with Get info).”


It may not be a very well known fact to people, but along with several other fetishes, I have a huge one for typography and fonts. Because of this I spent roughly one and a half hours this evening watching a documentary about a font… Specifically about Helvetica. In spite of all that was said back and forth, pro and con of this modernistic font, I have to say I like it. I do not subscribe to the two to three fonts for everything mode, but I still think Helvetica can be put to very good, and beautiful use.

One interesting theme I did pick up in this documentary was that everyone, both yay and nay sayers, kept on pointing out how neutral Helvetica is. And yet, they are all very passionate about using, or not using, it. I tend to think that neutral things do not invoke such a passion in people. But I think that is some of the magic that is Helvetica.

If you have even a fleeting interest in typography and design I highly recommend this film. As an added bonus to us Mac fans, all the machines showed in the movie were Macs! Not by placement, but because everyone used theme as their tool of choice.

When using Helvetica you’re never wrong, but also never right.”