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.


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.


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.