Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright

Apple has finally announced a ship date for OS X 10.4 and 10.4 Server; it’ll see its official release on April 29th.

It’s honestly rather strange, now that we’re four years into OS X, how Apple manages to keep cramming in new useful features into each major OS revision. My appreciation for Apple’s engineers grows with each OS revision as they refine and enhance the interfaces I see so much over the course of a day. Just as often, my forehead wrinkles in confusion when menu items move, key commands change, and functionality disappears – but as they always say, “Adopt, Adapt, Improve”.

One of the key reasons I’m both dreading and cheering on Tiger is the b40 release of Quicksilver. The developer [dropped a few notes](http://forums.blacktree.com/viewtopic.php?t=1956) on the forum a short while ago; a synopsis:

– B40 will be released around the same time Tiger is; it will be a Tiger only build.
– B36 will be released at the same time as B40; it will be the last Panther build and have no expiration code (as all the previous betas have).
– Features in Tiger that will probably be leveraged include “*Core data for the catalog storage and used in a few of the plugins (iTunes). Core image for Superflous Visual Effects once i can figure out how. New XML tools for the plugin management. Spotlight for a new catalog sources and some additional functionality. Automator for workflow actions, and (hopefully eventually) individual action*”
– It will have a shiny new icon.

It speaks a lot to the power of Quicksilver that one of the key reason I’m excited for a whole new operating system is not the incredibly useful Dashboard, not the thousand-times-better Mail.app, not the wizzy services I’ll get to use on 10.4 Server, not even Spotlight. No, it’s that Quicksilver will again be moving forward and enhancing my day-to-day work in new and exciting ways.

(The reason I’m dreading it? Because I know I’m going to have to overhaul my tutorials for the fifth time.)

Quicksilver: From A Better OS X To Even More

This is an intermediate Quicksilver tutorial, to help people who went through my first tutorial and are looking for a little more in-depth information about how to tweak Quicksilver. While there are a few nifty things to do in here that are spelled out verbatim, most of this should be taken as a launching pad into your own self discovery about Quicksilver.

Before going through this article, please make sure your copy Quicksilver is up to date (including plugins), you know how to invoke the hotkey and do basic Quicksilver actions, and can find the preferences window.

This is current through b51 (3800).

You are going to rock and roll. And you can hardly wait for the music to begin. When it happens, you will become a part of that music. You are there. You are going on a musical trip. The highest, happiest trip that you’ve ever been on. Enjoy it, and get into it. Loosen your seatbelts, let’s rock and roll.

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Quicksilver – A Better OS X In Just 10 Minutes

Note: This tutorial is also available in O’Reilly’s OS X Panther Hacks.

Further Reading: I have also published an intermediate tutorial, with 10 steps to leverage more power with Quicksilver. There’s also Gold Trigger, which helps you understand the trigger system.

This isn’t Ronco. I’m not an excitable friend from across the ocean with red hair and a bowtie and a British accent. You’re not watching Amazing Discoveries.

But I swear, if you give me 10 minutes and you follow my simple directions, you can go from merely using Mac OS X to owning it.

This probably sounds like bullshit, I know. I wouldn’t have believed it myself had I not tried this app and felt my jaw drop over and over again for the last year. So standby to win.

Before you start, you will need to have:

  • A Mac running Mac OS X 10.4 or better.
  • Data, in any of the following forms – iTunes library, iPhoto albums, Address Book entries, bookmarks in any browser, whatever.

Got all that? Let’s begin.

Please note this was originally written using Quicksilver Beta 19, and has been updated repeatedly. The information contained within is currently up-to-date through b42 “Corgi”. As development goes rapidly on Quicksilver, things may have changed since I last updated this.

Continue reading “Quicksilver – A Better OS X In Just 10 Minutes”