Tag Archive for 'OS X'

Pukka: Simple. Delicious.

Despite recent crit­i­cism, I use and love del.icio.us almost every day. Fre­quently, I’ll quickly book­mark a page that I want write a longer post about later, when I have the time. (A lit­tle short­cut tool helps to stream­line this.)

Pukka: Simple. Delicious.Del.icio.us pro­vides a few ways to expe­dite the book­mark­ing process – there are exten­sions, but­tons, and book­marklets – but, I pre­fer Justin Miller’s Pukka, a native OS X app that greatly speeds up the post­ing of bookmarks.

With Pukka, you don’t have to wait for any­thing to load – just high­light some text on a page, and click its book­marklet. Up pops the appli­ca­tion with the URL and high­lighted text already inserted. Type a few tags (auto-completes from exist­ing tags), hit return, and you’re done. Pukka recedes to the back­ground to do its thing, and you’re back in your browser, and on your way.

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Two essential iPhoto Plugins

There are two iPhoto plu­g­ins that I couldn’t live with­out – Flick­r­Ex­port, and Key­word Man­ager.

Flick­r­Ex­port

If you like pho­tos, Flickr, and OS X, and don’t know about Flick­r­Ex­port, then shame on you. It’s a nice lit­tle plu­gin that will let you eas­ily export pho­tos from iPhoto to Flickr. It con­verts your assigned iPhoto key­words to Flickr tags, enables you to add titles and descrip­tions, and choose to either add the pho­tos to a new set, an exist­ing set, or none at all – all within the dia­log window.

The one rub is that it is made by an inde­pen­dent devel­oper, Fraser Speirs, who has to feed his fam­ily – so, he charges about $25. A nom­i­nal price for some­thing that has saved me hun­dreds of hours, and enriched my Flickr experience.

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Leopard Upgrade

I finally man­aged to upgrade to Leop­ard (OS X 10.5), and over­all it seems like a nice update. Time Machine is still doing its ini­tial backup, but I can’t help get­ting a lit­tle excited by its super­flu­ous ani­ma­tions… I know that I’m sup­posed to hate it, but who could fault Apple for mak­ing some­thing so hor­ri­bly bor­ing, like back­ups, and inject a lit­tle fun?

Weather.com Web ClipOne inter­est­ing lit­tle tid­bit that I dis­cov­ered, is that iPhone web apps make very nice Dash­board wid­gets. In about 10 sec­onds, I cre­ated a Web Clip in Safari of weather.com‘s iPhone app. It pro­vides a lot more infor­ma­tion than the stan­dard OS X Weather wid­get, and it looks nice.

Keep in mind that not all iPhone apps will work well for this – Pock­et­Tweets, for instance, will only load in Mobile Safari. And, because of the higher screen res­o­lu­tion on the iPhone, some apps’ font sizes might be too large to be of much use in the Dash­board. But, I think that this exam­ple illus­trates nicely the power and sim­plic­ity of Web Clips in Leopard.

My only real gripes thus far are the translu­cent menu bar, and that Camino’s book­marks bar looks like a franken-monster. I can’t seem to find a cure for this yet, but it’s not jar­ring enough to make me go back to Safari.

Airfoil 2

Airfoil 2Rogue Amoeba released ver­sion 2.0 of Air­foil, one of my absolute essen­tial mac appli­ca­tions. If you own an Air­port Express, and are less than impressed by iTunes’ trans­mit­ting capa­bil­i­ties, plunk down $25 now.

The first ver­sion of Air­foil let you trans­mit audio from any appli­ca­tion, but this new ver­sion has some great new fea­tures:

  • Sup­port For Mul­ti­ple Air­Port Express Units – Send audio to mul­ti­ple units
  • Audio Effects – New effects built into Air­foil allow for enhanc­ing audio with a 10 band equal­izer, vol­ume adjust­ment includ­ing vol­ume over­drive and bal­ance controls
  • Full Apple­script­abil­ity – Con­trol Air­foil with AppleScripts

And, to top it off, the UI has been much sim­pli­fied. Nice job!

UPDATE: Ver­sion 3.2 was released in May 2008. See Rogue Amoeba’s web­site for more information.

Pantherized

Mac OS X 10.3I got Pan­ther (OS X 10.3) this week, and finally found the time to install it on my newish 12-inch Power­book. No prob­lem, right? Maybe if I weren’t such a retard.

11pm. I loaded the disk, and nav­i­gated through setup with­out a prob­lem. Of course, as soon as I fin­ished, I for­got that what I really wanted was to par­ti­tion my gigan­tic 80GB drive into a Sys­tem disk, and a Scratch disk.

After Pan­ther was up and run­ning, I went to the disk util­ity, and when I clicked on “par­ti­tion”, it told me that I couldn’t par­ti­tion the HD because it was the “boot vol­ume”. Oh, right. That makes some sense, I guess.

So, I inserted the Pan­ther install CD again, and rebooted. Then I ran the disk util­ity in the Pan­ther setup. This let me par­ti­tion the drive as I liked—though it would erase every­thing, which was OK by me.

Since every­thing was erased, I then tried to com­plete the Pan­ther install again—but it told me it couldn’t do it, because no ver­sion of OS X was found on the com­puter. ::huh?:: It can’t install Pan­ther on a blank for­mat­ted drive?

So, I loaded up my Apple restore disk, installed Jaguar, (which takes about 20% longer) on the new sys­tem par­ti­tion, restarted with the Pan­ther Install disk once again inserted, and finally I was able to then erase the Jaguar install, and install Panther.

3am. I think it was worth it…

  • The Finder seems very respon­sive and quick.
  • Switch­ing between Pro­grams seems fast and more intu­itive (if not more Windows-intuitive)
  • Expos? is HOTT.
  • Font Book, the new type man­age­ment soft­ware fills a huge hole left by Jaguar. A must-have for graphic designers.
  • Win­dows Friendly! Sup­port for Win­dows Net­work­ing, includ­ing print­ing to a shared Win­dows printer & VPN access.

Apolo­gies for being so clutter-minded this morn­ing, but all of this kept me up well past my bed time!

I’ve Made the Switch!

My new (old) G4This is old news to any­one who speaks with me reg­u­larly, but I’ve finally made the switch—to a Mac.

Yes, I know, apolo­gies go out to my par­ents and every­one that I berated over the years for fool­ishly buy­ing Macs – I just couldn’t resist any longer. I’m now the proud owner of a G4, with a diminu­tive 350mhz chip, new 80gb drive, 896mb RAM, OS X 10.2, and all the open source soft­ware I care to install. I was relieved to see that all my periph­er­als were eas­ily installed, and I’m get­ting bet­ter at nav­i­gat­ing the OS.

A cou­ple of peeves, that I’m sure I’ll get over:

  • + How do I min­i­mize all win­dows to the desk­top with a key­board shortcut?
  • + Work­ing with files in direc­to­ries is a bit weird—though I’m get­ting used to the col­umn view.
  • + It’s con­fus­ing dis­tin­guish­ing between “home” and “computer”.
  • + win­dow focus: why do you have to click on an inac­tive win­dow first, and then select an item? That’s 2 clicks! In win­dows, you can click on a file in an inac­tive win­dow, and it will select as it sets the win­dow focus.
  • + Safari ren­ders type really really small—i don’t mind, but it wor­ries me that my web­site has such tiny type.

With the com­plaints out of the way, I have to say that I’m beam­ing with pride… some­thing new to evan­ge­lize on. And I’m not the only one.