The Quicksilver Apple Forgot To Mention

•12 February, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Many fans of productivity would have no doubt come across the utility Quicksilver by now.

I first heard of it in 2006 and was suitably impressed by its speed as a launcher.
A number of competitors have risen in its wake, notably LaunchBar and Alfred. However since OS X’s earliest days there has been a way to setup a similar launcher. That’s right, its nearly been there all along. No, I’m not talking about Spotlight. That can be a bit, shall we say, wacky with the search results. At least until recently, at the moment you had found what you wanted it would substitute some random result and you’d be launching a half-buried text file. This is much more stable and by that I mean predictable.

Want to give it a try? You already have everything you need. No need to install anything. This is for people who don’t like installing any utilities on their macs.
First, get all the applications you’d like to be able to launch quickly into your Dock.
Now, visit System Preferences ➔ Keyboard ➔ Keyboard Shortcuts ➔ Keyboard & Text Input
Have a look at Move Focus to the Dock. What’s “Focus”? Is that that crazy Swedish prog rock band? No, it’s just what receives input from the user— you.
It should be enabled, but by default the keyboard shortcut is set to control-something. Who the heck wants to use that? Too awkward.
Make it Command- or control- space if you like that sort of thing. Mind that you don’t clash with Spotlight. In my example I’m using “F1″ because I like a single keystroke. Maybe you’d like to employ the services of the Caps Lock key, as you don’t do much SHOUTING. For that you’d need Keyboard Maestro or KeyRemap4MacBook which is beyond the scope of this post.

Now try it. Hit F1 ,or whatever you set — the Dock appears if hidden, or is ready to act if you have it showing.

Don’t touch the mouse!

Start typing a few letters of the app’s name. Boom*! It’s selected. Who knew, all this time? Press return or space. Boom! It’s launched or brought to the front if it’s already running. Not quite the app you wanted? Tab through all the Dock items. Shift-tab to go backwards. Or use the left and right arrow keys. To me, this is hardly different from using the down arrow key to advance through the Quicksilver search results.

Press the up arrow to see the contextual menu— you would have normally right-clicked with the mouse.

What about the documents? I like keeping my favourite documents in the Dock too. I know, it’s weird.

No problem. Control-Tab jumps you over to the Dock’s document section, where you can type a few letters of the document you wish to launch.

So what about the folders I have in this Documents section? OK, once you have a folder selected, press the up arrow key to invoke the contextual menu. Start typing the first few letters of the item you wish to select. Press return or space to launch it. Unless it’s a folder, in which case space doesn’t do anything. Pressing return or command-down arrow gets you into the folder, the same as the standard Finder shortcut. Pressing Command-up arrow lifts you up one level.

Not the folder you were after? Press escape to dismiss the menu.

When finished with all this Dock goodness, press escape to dismiss and return the focus to whatever app you were in.

OK, so it doesn’t do everything that Quicksilver can. It won’t learn, so you’ll have to do the learning for it. Rearrange the apps in the Dock so the favourites are on the left or top if you use the Dock vertically.


*- I originally had “bang” here, but then I remembered that “boom” was more Jobsian.

Further Reading
Additional features of the Dock

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2307

Not Free In My Store!

•7 October, 2013 • 1 Comment

Not Free In My Store!

I see a link saying that an app is free. I go to my local Store, and it isn’t! Why the hell does this happen? Is it the Developer? Is it Apple? Someone tell me now!

My first Drafts Action

•10 July, 2013 • Leave a Comment

If you haven’t already tried it, Drafts for iOS can be quite cool. Write a bit of text and then send it somewhere. Send it multiple places, if you are clever enough.

I’m not really, but I can understand URL schemes  enough to knock one out.

What with the NSA in the news lately, I thought you might want to throw more traffic in the direction of ixquick who claim to have privacy as a strong suit.

So tap these words while browsing on the iOS device of course to install the following action:

drafts://x-callback-url/import_action?type=URL&name=Search%20ixquick%20mobile&url=https%3A%2F%2Fixquick.com%2Fdo%2Fm%2Fmobilesearch%3Flanguage%3Denglish%26cmd%3Dprocess_search%26lui%3Denglish%26query%3D%5B%5Bdraft%5D%5D

All The Mes

•29 May, 2013 • Leave a Comment

about.me — semisocial site which lets you create a one-page web business card

join.me — Remote viewing site run by the Logmein people.

unroll.me — Bacn digest management site.

visualize.me — Automatically create charts of Quantified Self data.

channel.me — Collaborative web surfing

just.me — send text, photos, voice and video

blip.me —”a fun, useful way to turn your mobile phone into a voice broadcast network.”

flavors.me

isup.me — short URL for downforeveryoneorjustme.com a site to check if other sites are down.

I think they should all get together under one unified Me site. It works in my mind!

Dropbox secret revealed

•17 April, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I don’t know much about how these things work, but you pick up a little here and a little there. Recently, I had an occasion where I needed to restart the Finder. It didn’t restart by itself, so I had to give it a little push.

Curiously, I saw a Terminal window open with this inside:

/System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app/Contents/MacOS/Finder ; exit;
Dropbox: Entered INJECT_pthread_entry
Dropbox: Installing event loop timer
Dropbox: proc: 0x10d24ee62
Dropbox: upp: 0x10d24ee62
Dropbox: InstallEventLoopTimer: 0x7fff9118451b
Dropbox: GetMainEventLoop: 0x7fff9112daeb
Dropbox: timer installed!
Dropbox: Loading /Library/DropboxHelperTools/Dropbox_u501/DropboxBundle.bundle/Contents/MacOS/DropboxBundle
Dropbox: dlopen returned: 0x7fad43c15440
module initializer in main thread?: 1

So that’s how it works! (Sort of)

FaceTime on Mountain Lion not working!

•13 August, 2012 • 3 Comments

Damn, Apple is getting sloppy. What exactly have I done wrong? Got a decent Macbook Pro, 2.2Ghz i7. It came with 10.6.8 but I upgraded it to 10.7 Lion almost immediately. Mountain Lion has been on it for a little while now, and I can’t get FaceTime to work. Here is my error:

“The server encountered an error processing registration. Please try again later.”

I checked discussions.apple.com and tried ensuring my Time Zone was set to automatic. Didn’t work.

My console is saying this:

imagent[1022]: [Warning] *** Listener ID: com.apple.FaceTime does not have capability: (Status), not allowing request

Not much on the goog about this.

This version of application Mail cannot be used with this version of Mac OS X.

•19 April, 2012 • 1 Comment

By now you’re thinking “What? How the Hell™ did this happen? I never touched my copy of Mail. I never did anything to it besides install the updates that you offered me!”

Alas, whatever you did or didn’t do, Mail wont launch.

Some of you may have thought “Run Software Update”. That may not work.

Some of you may have thought “Re-apply last Combo Updater and let Installer work it out for you.” Well, I didn’t think of that. But I did try copying just the Mail.app from a known-good mac across to the non-working one. That also didn’t work. Why? The version seems to be correct— in my case it was Mail 4.5 on OS X 10.6.8.

Let’s get to the nitty-gritty.

Here is where the file lives that has gone south:

/System/Library/Frameworks/Message.framework/Versions/B/Resources/Info.plist

I have Developer Tools installed so I used Property List Editor to open it. It’s just an XML file so you could use your favorite text editor.

Screen capture of contents of Info.plist

So what we are looking for is Bundle version, string, short. The faulty one was 4.3, I replaced it with 4.5. The Bundle version and ExpectedMailVersion were both at 1081, so I changed them to 1084.

This file must be edited as root. So, either login as root, or use the sudo command if you are using the Terminal to launch your favorite editor, which is of course vi and definitely not emacs.

Voila! Mail launches now.

 
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