May 2006

Indent code in bbedit / textwrangler [solved]

I will be posting a lot of bbedit / textwrangler tips in here. Some may be obvious, others may be not.

I was looking for a way in textwrangler to indent a section of code without having to individually hit the tab key for each line.

The answer is simple: Highlight the block of code you want, then hit command ] to indent right or command [ to indent left. (Undent?)

The equivalent menu commands are text > shift right and shift left.

I love you textwrangler!

Toast spanning an utter failure in 7.0.0 and 7.0.1 [solved]

I was extremely psyched to discover toast 7 had a disc spanning utility. If you drag a bunch of data into the data window and choose Mac only for the disc format, toast will automatically span the data into separate discs, put an index of all of your files on each disc, and put a program on each disc that will extract whatever files you need from your library, prompting you for each disc you need.
Great, this will be great for that 48 GB old PC hard drive image I have on my current hard drive! Except that 7.0.0 and 7.0.1 had a NASTY bug where if it encounters an error with one disc, it just skips it and moves on to the next disc! So my 11 DVD project only burned 9 DVDs.
THEN, I find out that there is no option to re-burn the DVD you want! You have to start back from the beginning!
Toast 7.0.2 fixes a bug that allows you to re-burn if your DVD fails, but still offers no option of burning the DVD you want! So many hours and useless DVDs later, I’m still left high and dry. I rant about it here:
Thanks a lot toast!

I managed to salvage my collection by doing two things:
1. using a DVD-RW that I could just erase with another program and re-insert for the discs I had already burned, to jump to the ones I wanted.
2. When that got too tedious, I just scratched the heck out of DVD-Rs so that it would detect it as a DVD-R but would fail burning to it. This still wasted DVD-Rs but saved me some time. One time I scratched in the right place where it could detect it as blank but didn’t burn at all, detecting it again as a blank DVD-R and allowing me to reuse it!
Also, two addendums: 1, it looks like toast’s restore program has been updated too, so be sure to grab toast 7.0.2. 2, toast failed on one of the DVDs because it was a Sony DVD-R instead of a maxell DVD-RW, claiming it was a different size. I was able to burn on to different media for this library (such as dynex DVD+Rs) but beware that toast may choke when spanning if you don’t use all the same media.

Repetitive arrow keying in linux [solved]

So, who knew that a lot of the keyboard shortcuts you miss in windows and mac are actually possible in the linux command line too. This digg story links to a great article on Bash shortcuts. Mac users and other SSH users, if the alt shortcuts don’t work, try hitting escape instead (don’t hold it down).
My favorites:
Ctrl + a – Jump to the start of the line
Ctrl + e – Jump to the end of the line
Ctrl + l – Clear the screen
Alt + ? – Show current completion list
“2T” means Press TAB twice:
2T – All available commands(common)
$2T – All Sys variables
/2T – Entire directory structure including Hidden ones

Extra tip:
In mac terminal, open terminal > window settings, and choose emulation. Choose ‘option click to position cursor,’ and click ‘use settings as defaults.’ Now when you hold down option and click, your cursor jumps to where you clicked! No more repetitive arrow keying!

read more | digg story

“You have new mail” in OS X [solved]

Lately I’ve been opening terminal and getting this message:
“You have mail.”

Huh? doesn’t show any mail, and OS X doesn’t come with pine, so how the heck to I check this?

I found the answer here:

You can type ‘mailx’ in terminal to read your mail. It lists your messages and you can type the message number to read it.

Like I thought, I was getting bouncebacks from my PHP mail function, because I’m running a PHP development environment (MAMP) and was testing php’s mail function, and then denying the outgoing smtp connections with lil’ snitch. I knew that the messages were there but I just didn’t know how to check them! Cron can also email you errors, so this is useful info to have.

On another note, it’s hard to see everything that’s going on in your system. I realized yesterday that someone could SSH, FTP, windows file share, run PHP scripts, timbuktu exchange, have mail, and get web content from my macintosh without me ever knowing. It would be nice to have some kind of utility to watch all of the sharing activity on my machine. I remember windows’ ‘sharewatcch’ for XP that would allow me to watch file sharing on my PC. Sure, I could stare at my logs, but I should do more research on monitoring this activity live.

Click to Activate and Use This Control [solved]

A Windows Update made IE stop activating activeX controls automatically in websites, including flash documents, which is a horrible inconvenience for users and web designers everywhere. None of my flash rollover buttons worked anymore, flash navigations now require you to click twice, etc.

At first I was ready to blame microsoft for releasing yet another security upgrade that downgrades their product, but it turns out microsoft lost a lawsuit regarding a patent dispute with Eolas technology.

For web users, if this bugs the crap out of you, there’s a system fix here:

For web designers, there is a javascript fix here:
And a more throuogh fix from macromedia here:

What a pain, but at least it’s a fierce legal battle that’s causing us all to lose, instead of someone thinking that this was an improvement. Somehow that makes me feel better?

OS X and Windows XP Wishlist: Unsolved

Here’s a list of things I wish these OS’s, or programs for these OS’s, did.
Safari/Explorer/Firefox: Email me the URL & Title of all open URL’s, then close all windows and quit in one function.
Toast: Delete source files after burning. I’m trying to free up space the majority of the time I’m burning anyway, it’d be nice to have a ‘delete source files after burning’ option.

Finder: When viewing in list view by date modified, update the list before I start clicking. I try double clicking on a file that I just modified but is still buried in a list, and the first click updates the file to the top of the list, and the second click opens up the file that is in its place, opening up some other file instead of the file I wanted! Drives me nuts.
For some reason, sometimes it treats me as if I was holding shift while I did this, so it selects several files from the top, and opens all of them! If the file was really buried, it can crush your OS opening hundreds of videos, mp3s, documents and web sites. What a pain!

OS X in general: Stop treating a quick right-click left-click as a double click. For instance, in photoshop, I’ll click on a layer to select it, then right click on it to rasterize it. But I left-right clicked too fast, so photoshop thinks I double clicked the layer, lagging and bringing up the layer blending properties! Boo, that’s not what I wanted, and it happens all the time, in other applications as well.

Windows XP: Get better at file sharing. OS X handles windows samba/smb file sharing better than windows does. I transfer files to my mac first because I’d rather do that extra step than deal with transferring files directly with windows.

Windows XP: Just let me drag the icon into the application’s taskbar representation, instead of making me wait for it to maximize, then drag into the application. In fact, get better at drag and drop in general, like letting me drag folders as paths into the terminal, into open/save dialogs, and stop trying to embed other files into an open document instead of just opening it with the running application.

Mac OS X: Have a right-click option to play a DVD with the DVD player. Better yet, have that be the default option when you double click on a DVD-ROM, and have a secondary option be to browse it, similar to your launch application / right click to view package contents paradigm. Macs are supposed to be easy, but new users are supposed to know to go to the applications folder and launch the DVD player app just to play their DVD when it’s already in the computer? Ejecting the DVD and putting it back in is easier, and that’s silly.

Mac OS X: Make a shortcut to terminal in some menu or something, don’t bury it in applications/utilities. You’re running this whole OS on unix, yet if I delete this application buried in a subfolder I can’t access it?

Windows XP: Track aliases better like mac OS X. I don’t know how it does it, but if I make an alias in mac os X, and then move the source application to another folder, the alias KNOWS and will still work. Windows won’t do that and freaks out even when you change the drive letter of a drive.

Mac OS X: Make an add/remove program app like windows. It’s really easy to install applications in mac OS X, and impossibly difficult to uninstall them if they don’t come with an uninstaller. Yes, I’ve tried OS X package manager, and still had extreme difficulty uninstalling packages. Windows machines are particularly bad with the amount of crap software you have to load just to get it to behave in some of the nice ways OS X does, but half of learning and growing with computers is trying different software you load onto your computer, and some of that software is going to suck. There needs to be a way to easily uninstall software that’s slowing your computer down or macs will fall victim to the too-much-crap-in-the-registry black hole problem that ate up windows 98.

Safari: Stop auto-completing sites that aren’t even real, like .
Explorer: Auto-complete based on frequency visited last visited, like Safari, for faster web browsing, or both of you, auto-complete based on frequency visited.
Safari: Allow easy deletion from auto-complete field by simply hitting the down arrow and hitting delete.

Firefox: Don’t be so slow.
Firefox: Catch keystrokes from from the very start of launch so that I can start typing in a URL right away, like google and explorer do.
Firefox: In versions 1.5 and higher, when the cursor is on the right, and I select all and then hit left, move the cursor to the left of the selection and deselect, don’t deselect and move the cursor one character left.

Safari: Support the contentEditable tag so that online WYSIWYG editors like FCKeditor will work in your browser.

Internet explorer: Have consistant find and find again fields. Good lord, do I really have to use this window that covers the content I’m searching for with my mouse to find what I’m looking for? If you’re not going to support control G, at least support F3 for find again, the same shortcut you use in word and notepad, and stop bringing up the stupid web search sidebar.

OS X: Have better keyboard shortcuts. Yes, you’re getting better at even having them to begin with, but it’s time to redo some of them. Control eject to shut down? Some keyboards don’t even have the eject. And what other apple shortcuts use control and not command? Command period to stop? Not the easiest thing to remember. But the absolute worst: in the finder, enter renames a file or application, and command-O opens it??? Yes, because I need the default action to accidentally rename all of my files, and I’d prefer opening them to be much more difficult. That was a brilliant move.

OS X Mail: Have a better advanced search function. I have to admit, outlook express has you beat. I want to search for emails with attachments from such and such date from so and so containing the word blah in the body. It’s impossible in OS X mail without saving a smart folder, which I don’t want to do. Also, why default to showing search results by rank? It’s useless. Save me the time of clicking date received and just default to it.

Windows XP: Get better at searching. Searching shouldn’t take an hour and make my processor scream. Get better at indexing too; your indexing process takes days and is processor intensive. Get like google search or apple’s spotlight. And don’t dumb down my search options where I have to click three times to choose any type of file.

OS X: Speed up your widgets. I love my weather widget, my CPU temp widget, my tada-list widget, my MAMP, widget, etc., but do you have to load them all before I can start typing in the calculator? Do you really have to deactivate the calculator until you’ve contacted all of the other widget servers and loaded them?

Photoshop: Have more keyboard shortcuts. I would recommend command-control-shift-S for show/hide slices, command-control-shift-F for flatten image, command-control-shift-I for image size, and command-control-shift-C for crop, which is what I’ve mapped my keyboard shortucts to. While it’s nice that you can customize keyboard shortcuts, it’s annoying to use computers that don’t have them customized. These suggested shortcuts are complex, but aren’t taken, so why not. I’d also be up for easier shortcuts, like command I doing image size (or a combined get info with image size and canvas size at once) instead of the default invert layer (how often do you use that?).
Also, give me a command to switch between layers with the keyboard, like command up or down or something. Shift-command-N is nice for making new layers, but all I need now is a way to switch between layers quickly. Also, on mac, get like windows and let me click on a blending mode and use the up and down arrow to switch between blending modes in the layers mode, it’s a pain to keep re-click and dragging. And PC, get like a mac in the image size window and only let me tab between width and height fields and DPI. Yes, it’s annoying that macs don’t let you tab to dropdowns to change them, but in this case it’s easier to only tab between 5 fields which I frequently use instead of having to tab 13 times or whatever to get to DPI.

Safari, can you tab to a submit button yet? I can’t remember, because I turned on universal access long ago because that was driving me nuts. But if you haven’t fixed that yet, make all your form elements tab accessible.

Photoshop for PC: Give me the little plus button that macs have that resize the window to the image at whatever level it’s zoomed in at. A very nifty feature!
More later.