Tag Archive: “mac”
I like it! It’s like operating a computer console from an eighties cartoon.
I am now intimately familiar with the assembly and installation of the delicate plastic scissor switches that give the MacBook keyboard its delightful clicky feel. Actually, the scissor pieces are surprisingly sturdy. There are five scissor types: large keys (spacebar, shift, etc.), medium keys (control, option, etc.), normal keys (numbers and letters), function keys, and arrow keys.
I’d wanted to repaint my keyboard for some time, but was only inspired to act after reading Josh Carter’s keyboard painting guide, even though there’s not much similarity between his keyboard and mine. I used cheap model paint instead of the Krylon Fusion paint Josh recommends, so we’ll see how long it lasts.
Posted on Sunday, September 12th, 2010.
Here’s what I wrote on Flickr to explain this picture:
The source code for MacPaint and the QuickDraw graphics library is now available, as is their story, at the Computer History Museum. To celebrate this news, and to illustrate that great tools retain their utility even as they age, I used MacPaint to paint a portrait of MacPaint programmer Bill Atkinson.
Gruber posted a link to this image yesterday. It’s been viewed over 20000 times in the day since.
Prompted by some of the comments on Flickr, I posted some other nostalgic Mac Plus software pictures.
Posted on Friday, July 23rd, 2010.
Machine’s fan has occasionally been emitting some unpleasant noises. Fearing a dust buildup that could lead to overheating problems, I took apart the computer and did my best to dislodge and disperse the dust. So far, so good – I don’t think I’d realized how hot and noisy it’d become, because it seems quite cool and quiet now. (Well, relatively speaking; it wouldn’t be a MacBook if you couldn’t flip it over and fry an egg on the bottom.)
Thanks to iFixIt for the excellent step by step disassembly guide. Without it, I’d probably have removed many screws I didn’t have to remove.
Posted on Thursday, June 24th, 2010.
I don’t have an iPad, but I got to play with one for a while today.
Posted on Wednesday, June 9th, 2010.
Timely follow-up to yesterday’s multi-colum readability teaser: today, among other announcements, Apple released Safari 5, which includes a built-in Reader feature very similar to Readability. (Update: as Prashant Vaibhav points out in the comments on the Arc90 blog, Safari Reader is in part based on Readability.) Here’s what it looks like:
Swanky. I like some aspects of this reader, but I’m not crazy about the fully justified text. Here’s what the same article looks in McReadability:
Which layout you prefer is, of course, a matter of taste. My stylesheet scales down images, if necessary, to fit the column width. Tofu was my inspiration for McReadability. Here is the Amar Sagoo’s argument in favor of the multi-column format (Amar created Tofu):
Text is usually very wide on the screen, which makes going from the end of one line to the beginning of the next difficult. That’s why newspapers have narrow columns: It makes them faster to read.
So why not just take a normal window and make it narrower, scrolling down as you need? Well, there are usually a lot of lines in a text, and all look more or less the same, so if they move past your eyes vertically, they are difficult to keep track of. The text doesn’t feel stable, and you get lost easily.
Posted on Monday, June 7th, 2010.
Here’s an article from the New York Times as it appears on my 1920 × 1080 display. There are lots of distractions, but only about one and a half paragraphs of article text are visible.
Here’s how it looks with Readability, a great bookmarklet that filters out the crap and presents the content in a simple, elegant, format:
I created an alternate stylesheet for Readability that formats the text in multiple columns, newspaper-style. (NEW! Compare to Safari Reader.) You scroll sideways; in this format, it’s easier to consult more of the article without scrolling.
This modification was inspired by a desktop app called Tofu.
All Readability configuration options are supported, including footnote links. Margin width is interpreted as the inverse of column width (wide margins yield narrow columns). Some column width tweaking and cross browser debugging remains to be done. I know it works in Webkit and Mozilla (Safari and Firefox); implemented with CSS3 Columns.
That’s hot, Jim. I want it.
First I want to check if it’s feasible or worthwhile to submit it as a patch to the original bookmarklet, although there are valid concerns that the column format isn’t appropriate for all types of content that may be viewed with Readability.
Otherwise, I’ll definitely make it available here – although I’ll have to investigate what’s permissible. (I have difficulty understanding the terms of many open source software licenses.) Fortunately, since all my changes are confined to the stylesheet, a normal Readability bookmarklet can be edited to point to a copy of the multi column stylesheet.
Update: Now available.
Posted on Monday, June 7th, 2010.
Steam is is like an iTunes Store for computer games. It was recently released for the Mac, and Torchlight was among the first “Steam powered” Mac games available. It’s a dungeon-crawling action RPG reminiscent of Diablo – and that’s a good thing. I have to admit I’ve been playing it quite a bit since buying it as an early birthday present for myself. (I’m also pleased to report that, unlike many other modern games, it runs well on my first-generation MacBook, at least with the “Netbook Mode” setting enabled.)
Torchlight provides a built-in screenshot function to save snapshots of your adventures. The keyboard command is Shift-F9. The screenshots are supposed to be saved in
~/Library/Application Support/runic games/torchlight/screenshots/. However, presently they are written to the
torchlight folder with a filename like
screenshots\05222010_081129195.png. If you look in
~/Library/Application Support/runic games/torchlight/local_settings.txt, you’ll see that the
SCREENSHOT PATH variable includes a backslash, so the path gets misinterpreted as part of the filename on Mac OS X. Fix it to read as follows and your screenshots will be filed appropriately:
SCREENSHOT PATH :screenshots/
I’m sure that was bugging you.
Posted on Saturday, May 22nd, 2010.
A common concern among LDraw users is how to add new parts to their libraries. Often, “in-progress” versions of desired parts are available in the LDraw.org Parts Tracker (get involved!), but downloading and installing them manually can be tedious. If you don’t want to download every unofficial part, you can let LDView download and install the parts you want for you.
First, identify the number of a needed part. Let’s suppose it’s this brick:
It’s not yet in the official part library, but an unofficial version of 60475 is in the LDraw.org parts tracker. You can download the unofficial part and its prerequisites manually, or you can create a dummy model that requires it, and let LDView retrieve the files you. Here’s how.
Create a file consisting of a single reference to the desired part, 60745.dat:
1 71 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 60475.dat
Let’s call it download.ldr. Next time you want to download a new part, just change the highlighted part number (or add a new line for the new part; it doesn’t matter how the parts are positioned):
LDView can download missing parts automatically. First, make sure “Automatically check ldraw.org for missing parts” is checked in the “Updates” tab of LDView Preferences:
Next, open download.ldr in LDView. If it’s already open, reload it. (This will happen instantly if you’ve selected “Auto-update immediately” from the File → Polling menu.) When LDView loads the model, it will attempt to retrieve any missing parts from the parts tracker. After a moment, your new part should appear:
The new part (and any prerequisite sub-parts or primitives) will be added to your library:
To use your new part in Bricksmith, click “Reload Parts” in the “Parts” tab of Bricksmith Preferences:
The new part will now be available in the Bricksmith Parts Browser:
So, the point is that if you want to use a part that’s not yet in your library, just paste the part number in download.ldr, open it in LDView, and reload your parts library in Bricksmith.
Posted on Saturday, April 24th, 2010.
The screenshot above shows exactly how to set it up. So, if you’re cleaning up a lot of old LDraw files, now you can do it with nothing more than a right-click on the file or files of interest.
Posted on Sunday, April 18th, 2010.
I use NetNewsWire as my newsreader. I like it, but I wish that it would display a list of posts (or even just unread posts) from subscriptions in a folder when that folder is selected. This is how Google Reader works, and it is a sensible behavior. Perhaps I’d like to read all bike-related news, instead of opening the folder to look at items blog-by-blog.
Is there an option I have overlooked that enables this sort of behavior?
Clarification: NetNewsWire does this with unread posts – all new items from subscriptions within a folder appear together when you select the folder – but I’d like to be able to browse all items, whether or not they’re new.
Posted on Friday, April 16th, 2010.