Sunday, April 29, 2007

The QuickSilver Files: Grabbing the Universe

The first of many, many posts on the subtleties of QuickSilver.

When you have something (anything, really) focused on the screen (i.e., a folder in Finder), you can drag it into the QuickSilver universe by hitting the CTRL-ESC keystroke. That opens QuickSilver with the selected object ready for action.

QuickSilver: pb2au

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Speaking of iTunes

One the examples of serendipitous non-browser mashups from my Data Integration talk features this gem. allows you to specify persistent queries to be exposed as RSS feeds. Now that iTunes supports podcasts and enclosures, you can set up your own free video content (e.g. Quick Time movies tagged as being funny).

Find out how, here.

iTunes + = iConcertCal

I mentioned a new iTunes visualization plug-in to Neal today at the Reston NFJS show. He got very excited so I thought I would post a link for other folks as well.

There is a visualization plugin called iConcertCal that looks to your iTunes music library for artists that you like and then searches for events with those artists. It goes a couple of months out and does a great job. I've found all kinds of shows that I wouldn't have otherwise known about.

For peripathetics like Neal (that's a pretty good nealogism[sic] for Mr. Ford), this would be a fantastic way to survey shows in the area of wherever you find yourself. It didn't get my address *QUITE* right, but once I fixed it, it has kept up.

It apparently works for the Windows version of iTunes as well.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

What the Hell is This?

I was thinking the other day about consolidating all my Mac OS X downloads, tricks, tips, etc. on a wiki somewhere so that I could remember this stuff. I know that Scott Davis and Brian Sletten already have web pages where they have their list of Cool Mac Stuff. It's nice to have when you re-install or move to a new machine. Then, I started thinking "Wow, I'll bet Venkat would like to contribute to that", since we love to pass around Mac goodies. Then, I thought "It would be cool if all the Mac guys I know could contribute, then send me notification when new stuff got added." Then, I realized: I'm talking about a blog!

Welcome the The PragMactic OS-Xer. This is the place where I'm going to post all the cool stuff I find out about a Mac. And I'm inviting others. Anyone who wants can join the posters on this blog and make their own entries. I'm trying to create a nice public forum where all the OS-Xers I know can put cool stuff. And, because it's here, I can get to it when I need to remember all the stuff I need to install on my next Mac.


I was just in the process of writing a Mac OS X automator to delete all the files in my downloads folder if they are over a week old (one of the Productive Programmer samples) when I found this: Hazel. It's a cheap-ware preference pane plug in that allows you to set up rules (kind of like a mail reader) for folders and maintenance tasks. I just set up a rule that deletes all downloads that are over a week old (I'm terrible about downloading stuff, unzipping and installing it, but forgetting to get rid of the downloaded archive).

Looks pretty cool, costs $16, and has some nice configuration options.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Keyboard driven Right Click

Go to Universal Access and turn on Mouse Keys. This the the accessibility option that allows you to drive the mouse strictly from the keyboard, using the embedded keypad. Once you turn that on, you can use the FN-I key to click the mouse, which means that you can use FN-CTRL-I to right click. It's not perfect (it clicks where the mouse current resides, not where the keyboard focus lives) and it precludes using the embedded numeric keypad for doing 10-key entry (which I never do anyway). You can turn it on and off by clicking the OPTION key five times (this is a setting on Universal Access as well).