Mac Tips – Load music with Quicksilver

September 30, 2006

Here’s a simple use for Quicksilver. Create a new trigger with the first pane set to your music library. Set the second pane to “Search Contents” and now you can load any song while working in any application. Shouldn’t iTunes come with this feature built in?


Another way to do this is with the iTunes plugin for Quicksilver. Invoke QS and start typing “iTunes”, then right arrow in to see a list available options like browsing artists, tracks, genre etc. This is a pretty nice interface as well.

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10.4.8 Goodness

September 29, 2006

Those busy little coders over at Apple have whipped up an update for Tiger. That puts it at 10.4.8 for those that aren’t keeping count. They are still giving us sweet lovin’ even when the Leopard release is just around the corner.

I was reading through the release notes to see what to expect and came across this:

Resolves performance issues that could occur when connecting to a Comcast network.

Wow, and I just thought that Comcast was screwing my bandwith with packet shaping. I would say thanks for fixing this, but I haven’t noticed any difference in my internet speeds.

So far, it all seems pretty much the same. I still appreciate the effort. It’s way better than having to install security patches every tuesday. Just think how much better Windows would be if Microsoft didn’t have to spend all of their time making security patches.

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Mac Tips – Keyboard surfing

September 29, 2006


If you’re not using keyboard shortcuts and tricks, you are wasting precious time that could be better spent on YouTube. Here’s a couple of my most used keyboard shortcuts for the mac.

Safari Specific shortcuts

key_combo.phpto switch between tabs in Safari

key_combo.phpto jump to the search field in Safari

command and ‘+’ or ‘-‘ to change the size of text in Safari

General tricks

Hold down the ctrl key while scrolling the wheel/ball on your mouse to zoom your display in and out (I wish my PC had this)

key_combo.php to lookup a word in the built in dictionary

cmd and tab to bring up the application switcher

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Some quality time

September 29, 2006


Parallels has just released RC2 of Desktop for Mac. While the Mac Pro received some love a few weeks back with a beta release, Parallels has put some real quality into this release candidate. Not only is it compatible with Vista and developer builds of Leopard, but there is no longer a RAM restriction. Parallels was only recognizing 3GB before.

I have to ask myself though, are there people out there with $2K of RAM in their Mac Pro that do not have a PC sitting under their desk to run windows on?

Here’s the FAQ sheet for this release:

No RAM limitations

No hardware reconfigurations

while using Windows and it’s critical applications on new 64-bit Mac Pro towers and iMacs.

Other improvements & fixes that make Parallels Desktop even easier to use:

New! Compatibility with developer build of Mac OS X 10.5, code-named “Leopard”

New! Experimental support for Windows Vista

Solaris guest OS no longer hangs after suspend/resume

An improved Parallels Tools package

Full support for OpenBSD 3.8 as a guest operating system

G4U hard disk cloning tool now works in virtual machines

Better video output improvement and acceleration

Added multi interface USB devices support (including Windows Mobile 2005 devices)

Added isochronous USB devices support (including WebCam devices)

Keyboard support improvement: Eject CD key support, left/right Shift/Ctrl/Alt (Option)/Windows keys difference support

Added virtual disk cache policy option: Mac OS X performance optimized or guest OS performance optimized

Image Tool fixes

Optimized disk cache policy for Suspend/Resume feature

Windows ME Suspend/Resume fix

Shared Folders first time access acceleration

Clipboard synchronization tool fixes (unreadable symbols sometimes added during copy and paste)

Sound playback and recording improvement

“Unable to allocate virtual memory” during virtual machine power on fix

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Quicksilver Tip – File Tagging

September 28, 2006


Remember back when Steve Jobs introduced us all to Spotlight. He did a demo that seemed like magic. He typed in a word and Spotlight found audio, video, photo and text documents related to that word. I was amazed and rushed to get Tiger installed on my mac. What a let down when I realize that this only works if you have tagged your files with Spotlight comments. That can be tedious to do. Normally you have to select the file, get info on it, then type in the tags and close the info box. With some basic Quicksilver skills, you can automate this process. Here is the documentation for the Tagging plugin of QS.

The only modification to this tutorial is to select some files to tag and then invoke Quicksilver. You can do this by navigating in the finder and selecting the files you want tag. Invoke Quicksilver (ctrl-space) and hit that super secret key combo cmd-g to bring them all into Quicksilver. I’m pretty sure that this is the fastest and easiest way to add Spotlight comments.

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Objective C #3 – Structures

September 27, 2006


It’s been awhile since I posted about my journey into Objective C and Cocoa programming. It’s going a lot slower than I had hoped, but I up to page 260 in “Programming in Objective C” so at least I’m not a complete slacker. It doesn’t help that most of the really basic material is as exciting as a wet shoelace. But today on my commute to work I read about Functions and Structures. This is pretty darn cool stuff. Functions are really just quick and easy methods, but Structures are where it really gets interesting. A structure is a way to group related variables together and then assign or recall values really quickly. Here is an example from the book:

struct date


int month;

int day;

int year;


This bit of code intializes a set of variables named month, day and year which comprise the variable called date.

struct date today;

Now we have declared a new date named “today.” Here’s the cool part. It’s really easy to set the day and year of your date as follows: 21

today.year = 2003

That’s it. Now your date variable contains a day and year that can be recalled and reasigned as needed. The period simply says to access the sub variable “day”

You can even set the entire date like this

struct date today = { 7, 2, 2004 };

I’ll try to add some more later this week. The other thing I found pretty interesting is the use of Definitions (#define).

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Aperture upgrade

September 26, 2006

In case you’ve been on a deserted island talking to a volleyball and playing dentist with an ice skate, Apple released Aperture 1.5 this week. They had sent out a not so mysterious invite card that displayed the same camera lens from the front of Aperture’s packaging. The coolest feature is the integration with iLife, which seemed an obvious omission in previous versions. Aperture feels less like a “Pro” application and more like an add on for serious iPhoto users. You can check out my comparison with Lightszone here.


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