notes.husk.org. scribblings by Paul Mison.

2014-03-21

post/80291952798

photo 21:17:30
Google search autocomplete for .

Google search autocomplete for .

2011-08-03

post/8435053113

photo 19:19:19
I don’t have that long by waferbaby on Flickr.

2010-12-14

post/2313278709

photo 16:12:03
One of the first things I do when setting up a Mac is change the following setting, which I expect very few people know about. It’s great if you like to keep a machine muted, or listen to music, or leave headphones plugged in when you’re not wearing them.
In System Preferences → Universal Access, go to the Hearing pane and switch on “Flash the screen when an alert sound occurs”. That’s it. Personally I also then turn down the alert volume, and also switch off the volume change notification sounds, which means I can listen to music without the computer interrupting, or leave headphones off and still find out that my bash prompt is “beeping” at me.
(I did mention this previously, but thought it worth being a bit more informative about how to do it.)

One of the first things I do when setting up a Mac is change the following setting, which I expect very few people know about. It’s great if you like to keep a machine muted, or listen to music, or leave headphones plugged in when you’re not wearing them.

In System Preferences → Universal Access, go to the Hearing pane and switch on “Flash the screen when an alert sound occurs”. That’s it. Personally I also then turn down the alert volume, and also switch off the volume change notification sounds, which means I can listen to music without the computer interrupting, or leave headphones off and still find out that my bash prompt is “beeping” at me.

(I did mention this previously, but thought it worth being a bit more informative about how to do it.)

2010-08-25

post/1009199176

photo 16:17:00
 
I’ve been using Autostitch iPhone a lot this summer. It makes it easy to combine shots and so makes wide-angle panoramic photos a possibility, despite the fixed field of view of the phone’s camera. (You can see an cropped example, of Tromsø from the Hurtigruten coastal steamer, on Flickr. Above is the raw image that the phone produced.)
However, not all of my photos are with the iPhone, and so I need a desktop equivalent too. So I downloaded four Mac panorama stitchers and ran some photos I had previously stitched on the phone together.


Annoyingly, despite all costing at least ten times as much, they (with one exception) all performed far worse. Calico Panorama at least managed to get everything in the right place, and smoothed out the variations in exposure (which are unavoidable without manual controls). AutoPano Pro was also competent, but that UI is eyebleedingly awful. PTgui also did fairly well, but DoubleTake was clearly completely confused.


I also tried PhotoStitch, which was bundled with the Canon PowerShot S90 I recently bought. It needed to be told what the alignment was, and crashed after producing a version that was worse even than DoubleTake’s attempt. Poor show.
I suspect I’ll try a few more sets of images in Calico before deciding whether or not to stump up the cash, but there seems to be a wider lesson here. A piece of $2 software with barely any UI feels more able to do its job than a variety of desktop applications costing anywhere from $20 to $80, and it’s making me consider rethinking my workflow just to take advantage of it.

I’ve been using Autostitch iPhone a lot this summer. It makes it easy to combine shots and so makes wide-angle panoramic photos a possibility, despite the fixed field of view of the phone’s camera. (You can see an cropped example, of Tromsø from the Hurtigruten coastal steamer, on Flickr. Above is the raw image that the phone produced.)

However, not all of my photos are with the iPhone, and so I need a desktop equivalent too. So I downloaded four Mac panorama stitchers and ran some photos I had previously stitched on the phone together.

Calico

Annoyingly, despite all costing at least ten times as much, they (with one exception) all performed far worse. Calico Panorama at least managed to get everything in the right place, and smoothed out the variations in exposure (which are unavoidable without manual controls). AutoPano Pro was also competent, but that UI is eyebleedingly awful. PTgui also did fairly well, but DoubleTake was clearly completely confused.

I also tried PhotoStitch, which was bundled with the Canon PowerShot S90 I recently bought. It needed to be told what the alignment was, and crashed after producing a version that was worse even than DoubleTake’s attempt. Poor show.

I suspect I’ll try a few more sets of images in Calico before deciding whether or not to stump up the cash, but there seems to be a wider lesson here. A piece of $2 software with barely any UI feels more able to do its job than a variety of desktop applications costing anywhere from $20 to $80, and it’s making me consider rethinking my workflow just to take advantage of it.

2010-02-11

A short list of Chrome issues (beta 2)

text 21:43:00

An update on the issues listed in December:

  • You can’t invert open behind - on Safari command shift click opens in a new window behind the current one with command click opening in a new window in front/focus, whereas Chrome is hard-wired to do the opposite (and with tabs to boot)
  • Tab moves between all link and form elements, not just form elements (Gmail does this on Safari now too. Boo!)
  • There are no command key shortcuts to open bookmarks in the toolbar
  • The combined text/title/URL completion in the “Omnibox” means you have to go too far into a URL to easily work around the lack of command key shortcuts
  • You can’t set a default font size, so sites that honour relative fonts (like delicious, and (in places) Twitter) now have Huge Idiot Typefaces
    • fixed, in Preferences > Under the Hood
  • While Chrome sensibly uses the keychain (so, like Camino, it can share usernames and passwords set up in Safari) it doesn’t offer to complete the username part, meaning more typing
    • this seems to be fixed too
  • Crashes on pasting a rich text post from Tumblr back into Tumblr
  • Crashes on importing my (admittedly huge) Safari history

On the other hand, I am pleased to see that a request for the zoom button to instead maximise has been rejected as “Invalid”.

2009-12-08

A short list of Chrome issues (beta 1)

text 21:40:00

… most of which are actually due to me being stuck liking the way Safari does things, or a consequence of it being a beta.

  • You can’t invert open behind - on Safari command shift click opens in a new window behind the current one with command click opening in a new window in front/focus, whereas Chrome is hard-wired to do the opposite (and with tabs to boot)
  • Tab moves between all link and form elements, not just form elements. (I can’t remember if Safari picks this up from the system-level preferences or not, but it does what I want, and Chrome doesn’t.)
  • There are no command key shortcuts to open bookmarks in the toolbar¹
  • The combined text/title/URL completion in the “Omnibox” means you have to go too far into a URL to easily work around the lack of command key shortcuts
  • You can’t set a default font size, so sites that honour relative fonts (like delicious, and (in places) Twitter) now have Huge Idiot Typefaces
  • While Chrome sensibly uses the keychain (so, like Camino, it can share usernames and passwords set up in Safari) it doesn’t offer to complete the username part, meaning more typing.²

It’s been a nice evening, but despite being rock solid, Chrome goes back in the “for emergency use” box for a while. Sadly, given the team’s approach to customisation, it might be quite a long while indeed.

¹ Camino also gets this wrong, in a very odd (yet explicable) way: if the bookmark bar is visible, it works, but if it’s not, it doesn’t. The developers seem to believe that an invisible option is confusing. I believe that twenty vertical pixels on a laptop display are more precious than feedback. Sorry.
² Probably this is sensible from a security point of view but it’s annoying me, so I’m listing it anyway. I’m sure you’re sensible enough to make your own decision.

2009-10-05

Rename files while they’re open

text 17:34:00

minimalmac:

finermac:

I was re-naming a Pages file in Finder when I realised I had it open. “Damnnit,” I thought, it wont let me do that… but I committed the change anyway, and what did I find? Not only could I change the file name, but Pages had updated the name of the file that was open to it’s new name.

This is more than a little bit amazing and, if my memory is serving me correctly, the first time you have been able to do this since the Mac was created.

Edit: Minimal Mac has been updated with a strikethrough. Therefore, the rest of this article is now mocking something that has been retracted. Therefore, the rest of this article shall now also be rendered in strikethrough. Feel free to copy it somewhere without styling if it’s too hard to read.

Man, I love all the post-Mac OS X users, who discover something after a new OS release has come out and then say “wow, look at this Snow Leopard feature!”

Meanwhile, those of us with a sense of history shake their heads, note that the way HFS and HFS+ address files means that file renaming has worked this way since at least System 7.5.3 (and probably before that) and that any app that uses proper (ie, not Unix path) methods to address their files (effectively, by inode) should do the same thing. Hell, you can even move a file (as long as you don’t cross volume boundaries) and the file reference will still work.

Still, good to see you’ve discovered that. Maybe I can interest you in aliases (ie symlinks done right) next?

2009-08-26

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photo 12:58:15
teflon:

A comparison of the new Apple font Menlo with DejaVu Sans Mono. Menlo replaces Monaco as the default monospaced in Mac OS X Snow Leopard, released this Friday.
Font changes coming to Mac OS X Snow Leopard - Ars Technica
Apple “Menlo” font - Typophile

I’ll still be using the lovingly tended pre-8.5 copy of Monaco 9 (complete with one-pixel full stops, not the horrific four-pixel version they introduced way back when) that I keep in ~/Library/Fonts. Anti-aliased type for programming? Thanks, but no thanks.

teflon:

A comparison of the new Apple font Menlo with DejaVu Sans Mono. Menlo replaces Monaco as the default monospaced in Mac OS X Snow Leopard, released this Friday.

I’ll still be using the lovingly tended pre-8.5 copy of Monaco 9 (complete with one-pixel full stops, not the horrific four-pixel version they introduced way back when) that I keep in ~/Library/Fonts. Anti-aliased type for programming? Thanks, but no thanks.

2008-10-29

Want windows? Use windows

text 16:39:00

Chris Clark:

Camino jumped on the “Hey Guys! We could totally make it look like Exposé” bandwagon. 


… you know what’d be even more useful? Tabs that work with real Exposé.

Peter Bright:

All applications get thumbnails, but applications with explicit support for 7 will be able to add thumbnails on a finer-grained basis. IE8, for instance, has a thumbnail per tab (rather than per window).

Me:

As Matt Jones put it: You’re kidding, right? If you want tabs that behave like windows, just use bloody windows.

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