Tag Archives: geek

My Art Direction Is Immaculate

About 5 minutes ago:

Mikey Watson: hurp halo 3
Dan Dickinson: Hurp burp durp
Dan Dickinson: I need to eat my pizza first
Mikey Watson: bullshit
Mikey Watson: eat it on the run, soldier
Dan Dickinson: Not sure if I can. This is some legendary pizza. The stuff of two hands, possibly three.
Mikey Watson: You are a goddamned coward, Marine.
Dan Dickinson: The guy who made it, he’s like some sort of master chef.
Mikey Watson: Sounds like one elite slice.
Mikey Watson: Almost brute-al. Do you grunt when you pick it up, because of its girth?
Dan Dickinson: I’m certainly mauling it.
Mikey Watson: We have to stop this.
Mikey Watson: Finish the slice.
Dan Dickinson: Oh fuck you.

Another Quicksilver Tutorial: Gold Trigger

By this point, Quicksilver is a staple in the must-have applications for most OS X power users. It’s a feature packed, robust application with almost limitless potential to help you streamline your day to day computing tasks.

But even with the thousands and thousands of converts and evangelists, it’s hard to introduce someone new to Quicksilver. It’s difficult to describe, and even harder to train someone in. I learned this the hard way when I was showing the app to a fellow geek friend who, despite having heard a lot about QS, just couldn’t get her head around it.

The solution I found most effective is to latch onto a feature that based on my user sampling is woefully underused. It’s incredibly useful, so you’ll feel the effects of it immediately in your workflow. Best of all, it’s built on top of the subject-action-target model that QS is based on, so playing with it will grow your understanding of how Quicksilver works.

With that said, it’s time to fire up your copies of the [latest version](http://getqs.com/) and get ready to learn all about triggers.

Continue reading Another Quicksilver Tutorial: Gold Trigger

“Like A Gay Porn Site With A Mac Bent”

Oh dear. This one is going to haunt me for years.

Google recently introduced some neat free stats for webmasters, and being the eager webmaster I am, I decided to sign up and enable myself.

What I found is that while many of my top search terms are reasonable (“quicksilver os x”, “play asia”, “ny1”), my #5 Top Search Query and my #1 and #2 Top Search Query Clicks are, in the words of Rob Huebel, “un-savory”. And the problem is, I know why – at least partially.

This one is potentially not safe for work. You’re going to have to click through for the rest of the story.

Continue reading “Like A Gay Porn Site With A Mac Bent”

Direct IM Compatability

Just a quick note, as this happens a lot:

When it comes to IM, there seem to be two groups of people. One use official clients (iChat, AIM) – they’re convenient, they’re pretty, they’re well supported and sanctioned by the services involved. The other group tends towards third-party clients, either due to hatred for the official clients or, more frequently, because the official clients lack functionality they need.

I fall in the latter group, for a bit of both reasons. iChat, originally, was a huge RAM hog, was unbearably slow, and clutters up my display with a new window every time I get an IM, making conversation tracking a bit painful. I switched back to [Adium](http://www.adiumx.com/) because it solved all of these, and added some nice new features before iChat did, like a Jabber client. I can’t live without tabbed IM; the number of conversations I have to hold open with coworkers are countless, and I have [NADD](http://www.randsinrepose.com/archives/2003/07/10/nadd.html).

The downfall is, unfortunately, that as Adium is based in open source goodness like libGaim, it is not fully supported, and as such, falls short on a few features. File transfer was notably one that, for years, was particularly painful – it’s a little better now, but still not quite there. The feature that currently is painful, and the cause for this post, is Direct IM.

Direct IM is one of the AIM technologies that a lot of people don’t know they’re using, but can invoke without realizing it. Direct IM enables a tunnel from one client to another; previously, this was the only way to get “user is typing” notification before AOL added it to the proper AIM spec. These tunnels get invoked whenever you try and drag and drop an image onto an AIM conversation, especially in iChat.

I have a lot of iChat users that try and send me images. This is what happens:

– User drops image onto IM conversation.
– iChat demands a Direct IM conversation.
– Adium prompts me for it – there’s no auto-accept. This prompt is easily lost.
– iChat gets really baffled by the connection, as does Adium. As such:
– All the IMs I send to the other person are lost.
– All the IMs and pictures they send me are lost.
– The only way to recover is for both of us to disconnect from AIM and start chatting normally (and this is hard to coordinate when you can’t IM each other).

How to avoid this? I beseech you, iChat users – if you see me on IM, and you want to send me a photo, and you **do not see a microphone or a camera next to my name**, ask me to switch to iChat. Adium doesn’t do AV communications, and I always have a microphone or camera on every machine I sign onto AIM with. This is a clear sign about which client I’m using.

Thanks for your understanding.

Analyze: iTunes 6.0 Video Files

I had some change to blow from a previous gift certificate on iTMS, so I decided to buy an episode of Lost and see what interesting stuff I could find.

First, the main summary in iTunes:

I think the listed bitrate means jack (see below QT screen); very notable is that this has FairPlay version 2 DRM. Also, file type is `.m4v`.

Nothing terribly surprising here, although it’s nice to see proper track numbers on a per-episode basis. I wonder if we’ll lose the “Album” and “Artist” labels for TV shows in the near future, they seem a little inconsistent.

“Remember playback position” is checked by default, so they act as bookmarkable files. The “Video Kind” field is interesting; I obviously can’t select a value here, but on the two videos I did have in my library (both episodes of Teen Homicide), I can only pick from “Movie” and “Music Video”. It would be nice if I could choose “TV Show” for, you know, if I add my own TV shows.

Now, going outside of iTunes:

The path is unsurprising given the metadata (I use `~/Music/` for my music directory), so no tricks there. Failing to find fun here, I pulled it open with Quicktime Player:

Here we can see the proper bitrate (693.96 kbps), dimensions and framerate, and most amusingly, the metadata for the description of the track – which is totally unexposed in iTunes once you buy a show – or at least a chunk of it, anyhow. (This data IS available in the store, as the description.)

Above all else, I am fairly impressed with the quality, although like everyone else, I wish the video was a touch larger.

Saving The Day One Day Too Late

The big Apple news today was news that many people took as hell freezing over: [the no-button mouse is dead, long live the no-button mouse](http://www.apple.com/mightymouse/). Just over five years after the introduction of the “Apple Pro Mouse” (the white, lozenge-like mouse), Apple finally joins the modern input device revolution and introduces the [Mighty Mouse](http://www.apple.com/mightymouse/), a sort of four-button-plus-scroll-nub thing, retailing for $49.

A handful of dear readers put two and two together and pointed out to me that this could be taken as a timely divine intervention to solve my [busted mouse issue](http://vjarmy.com/archives/2005/07/role_reversal.php). And I would agree, except for two problems.

One, it’s a corded mouse. Now I can use a corded mouse – at work, where I’m striving to keep my desk clean on a regular basis. At home, I frequently have to deal with debris, spindles of disks, and most of all, a certain cat who loves to sit on my mousepad. The slack always ends up getting pinched, and this drives me up the wall. As such, I’ve switched to USB cordless mice and have no desire to look back for my home use.

Two, along these lines, I just purchased a new Microsoft Standard Wireless Optical Mouse yesterday at Best Buy. It ran me, after various discounts I had accumulated, a whopping $15. This is well under half the price of the Apple mouse. I’m not against spending money when there’s functionality to be had, but I get the bulk of the functionality I need out of this mouse for less than a third of the cost.

For the Mighty Mouse to win me over, it really needs to come in Wireless, and I really need to see some really worthwhile functionality or neat hacks for it. Otherwise, it’s just yet another Apple peripheral for me to ignore.

Poor IRC Jokes Just Happen Naturally

First off, apologies about the Blosxom tutorial being delayed. It’ll be up soon – today was a bit kooky.

After an oddly-timed work day, I took off this afternoon for JFK, making my first ride on the Airtrain to get to the JetBlue terminal. Not that I was flying – I was merely meeting up with Suw for the short layover duration she had before she had to fly off back to London.

Having some time to kill when I got there, I logged onto IRC through my Sidekick so I could keep mutual friends up to date on her arrival. Now, IRC over the Sidekick requires going through SSH, and the signal in the baggage claim is lacking at best. Still, it managed to hold for most of the time I was waiting before arrival.

A bit after Suw appeared (the silly girl snuck past me, and then had to double back to find me), and we were waiting for her suitcase, I checked my Sidekick and noticed I had been knocked offline. I shrugged, not really caring to keep the connection open at this point.
But apparently I missed an unintentionally funny quit message, given my location:

[17:22] *** RemyAtJFK quit ("Lost terminal")