os x programs I cannot live without

  • Apr. 13th, 2006 at 12:24 PM
cali: (microsoft)
Of the free and, they will nag you but not charge you variety:

Acquisition. For p2p file sharing, good for music downloading.
Adium. A good instant messaging program, works with AIM, MSN, Jabber, Yahoo, and more.
Azureus. for bittorrenting.
CharCounter. A nifty, no frills little app that counts characters and words when you cut and paste into it.
Cocktail. A general purpose maintenence utility. os x has a set of maintenence scripts set to run at like 4 or 5 am but most people shut their computers down or put them to sleep at night so cocktail will let you choose when to run them (and more.)
Firefox. Great web browser; useful extensions: flashblock, tabs mix plus: saves your sessions in case of crashes and more.
igetter. A good download manager for os x.
mplayer. A nice, simple media player for avi files.
Quicksilver. The best thing to happen to os x ever. especially if you're on a laptop and you're completely reliant on your keyboard and track pad. This tutorial might be helpful.
Smultron. A really nice, non processor intensive html and text editor (unlike dreamweaver if all you want to do it edit html.) I love this app a lot.
vlc media player. Another media player, much like mplayer but it can sometimes be useful to have both just in case one doesn't want to play a fil and another one does.
xjournal. My favorite of the available downloadable livejournal clients.

Lastly, it's not free but it is a good ftp application: transmit.

Do you guys have any other os x program recs? I'm always looking for new nifty computer programs.

recs of the book and mac program variety

  • Apr. 4th, 2005 at 3:12 PM
cali: (bittorrent to the rescue)
One of my favorite things about going on vacation is the fact that I always seem to have time to read books. My trip to New York was no exception and I ended up reading the first volume of Neil Gaiman's Sandman Series Preludes and Nocturnes which is brilliant (as expected) and deliciously creepy and moody.

I also read Jonathan Lethem's Motherless Brooklyn for the first time. I've read some of his other books, The Fortress of Solitude and Amnesia Moon are both great books but there was something about Motherless Brooklyn that just blew me away. It's a play on the typical crime novel/murder mystery/detective story in that the narrator is completely unexpected and Lethem used an amazing blend of humor with the more typical crime novel drama. First off, the main character has Tourette's syndrome and the book, written in his voice, is both hilarious and fascinating as a result. Seriously, everyone should read this book. Jonathan Lethem is a literary God. an excerpt: )

I was just compiling a list of useful programs and info for people new to Macs (and osx in particular) and thought some of you might find it useful as well so here's my list.

Best bittorrent program: Azureus

Good bittorrent websites:
torrent reactor
torrent spy

best video player (plays all forms of video files): mplayer

peer2peer downloading (for mp3s and whatnot): Acquisition

best web browser (has tabbed browsing!): Firefox

best random utility programs:
Windowshade (lets you do all sorts of cool stuff with your open windows)

Quicksilver (the BEST program EVER helps you open applications/folders/songs in iTunes/whatever using only a few keystrokes)

Notational Velocity (much better than the sticky notes program)

Konfabulator (a program that uses tiny miniprograms called widgets which do any number of useful things) and the kofabulator widget gallery.

Growl (a notifier program (ex. it pops up a small info box whenever a new song starts in itunes that lists the song title and artist.))

useful keyboard tips and shortcuts:
Pressing the command key (the one with the apple and pound sign on it) and the tab key at the same time pops up a window with all of your open applications in it. If you continue to hold down the command key and press and release the tab button, each program will highlight. It allows you to switch programs without using the dock or your mouse by tabbing over to whatever program you want to switch to and then letting go of both the tab and the command key.

Pressing command and the h key will hide any program you have open.

In firefox command t will open a new tab and command w closes either a tab if you have multiples or the window if you don't. Actually command w will close whatever window you have open in all mac programs.

Also, pressing the command key and the key directly above the tab key (I forget what those symbols are called) will switch you between multiple windows in any one program.

comic geekery and Orlando Bloom pictures

  • Jan. 23rd, 2005 at 11:47 PM
cali: (Default)
Bought Astonishing X-Men vol. 1 today, and eee! the nice comic book lady gave me a flier about Wondercon and Joss Whedon along with cast members of Serenity and Kevin Smith are going to be there! Dude I am so going. And two of my friends who love Firefly are going to come too, very exciting. You Northern California people should think about going!

I'm waiting for the Desperate Housewives torrent to be posted, in the mean time I'm downloading the pilot of Numb3rs, who knows if it's any good.

[livejournal.com profile] edie22 says that today is Tony Lucca's birthday, so a big happy birthday to him!

Orlando and Johnny Depp at the Golden Globes! So cool to see them chatting!

1 more )

EDIT: to round out the geekery in this post: Mac users? If you haven't ever heard of Quicksilver you must go check it out, it's a launcher that allows you to open applications, webpages, files you name it using the keyboard. It's ten trillion times better than the Launcher that comes with 10.3, it's free, and it learns from the commands you use most often. Seriously, go check it out rightthissecond!

Along with Quicksilver you should also go download Windowshade for os x, it's a nify program that lets you customize your windows allowing you to minimize them as a bar (a la os 9), to the dock, make them transparent or, coolest of all: make a window stick to the front of the screen while still being able to use the windows behind it. Very useful for say, quicktime windows playing something in the forefront and browsing the internet in the background. It's a very cool program.

firefox geekery, and movie thoughts

  • Nov. 29th, 2004 at 12:23 AM
cali: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] ashlle1 posted about this the other day and it's by far the coolest thing ever if you're into computer geekery and awesome Firefox tricks. So, we all know that Firefox (and Camino) are the coolest browsers out there, right? Well, they just got that much cooler, check this out (completely copy-pasted from [livejournal.com profile] ashlle1):

The TIP is for Firefox users. I don't know if this works in Mozilla or Netscape, and it likely doesn't work (the same way) for any other browser. But! Ye olde Firefox users, hear me! Have you learned the magic of the special bookmark keywords? Here's how it works:

You bookmark something, as normal. Let's say the LJ Update page, for giggles. Then you go up to the Bookmarks > Manage Bookmarks option. Click on the entry of the page you just bookmarked, and click on properties. It should give you a dialogue giving you options for name, location, keyword, and description. You can name it however you like, but hey, typing in the HTTP address is too hard. Soooo, let's give this a keyword. Mine is "lj.update", but yours can be whatever you want (and will remember). Type it in, press okay, and go back to the main browser. Now anytime you want to make an LJ entry, you simply type "lj.update" or your keyword of choice in the address bar, and bam, there you are.

Too hard to get to your friends page as it is? Save time! Bookmark it with a keyword of 'fl', and in no time you can be hitting the refresh key, waiting for updates.

Let's make this a step more advanced. Oftentimes I like to look up things on Amazon or the IMDB, but entering from the main page just takes far too long. Granted, you can download a plugin (at least for Amazon.com) that'll allow you to search the site, but what about the other sites? Let's use IMDB as an example.

Go to the IMDB site, and perform a search for anything. Let's say Adam Brody. [note: just search for adam for this example] When the search page comes up, bookmark it, and follow the same procedure as before to get to the properties of the bookmark you just made. Now, look in the location string. You should see, somewhere in that HTTP, Adam. Replace Adam with %s. No quotation marks anywhere. Then give it a keyword - 'imdb', say. Now say okay, and go back to your browser. In the address bar, type in 'imdb Viggo Mortenson' or who/whatever you'd like to search for. You should immediately be taken to your search results - no extra steps necessary.

A similar process applies for any site you like. %s refers to the text string you enter after your keyword. For example, I have http://www.livejournal.com/users/%s bookmarked with the keyword 'lj', and from there, I can go to any LJer's journal (lj ashlle1) or their friendslist (lj corialis/friends) or their friendsfriends list (lj ashlle1/friendsfriends) or their archives (lj lestrange/calendar) or what have you. I have a similar search string at Half.com, Amazon, IMDB. You could do it for Schnoogle, where you'd simply have to type in the author name. Basically, any site that has a regular search string or hierarchical structure can have this applied to it.

In other news, I saw movies this weekend:

Finding Neverland is a wonderful movie. I loved Johnny Depp; and the movie was really well shot. Also, Dustin Hoffman played the least Hoffman-like character I've ever seen. So yeah, go see it, it's a great story.

I also saw National Treasure this weekend. It was, well, not necessarily a good movie, but it was damned entertaining and good fun. Sean Bean was wonderful as always. And if you can ignore the historical innaccuracies and concentrate on the fun, you'll enjoy it. Then again I'm a huge sucker for psuedo-archaelogical, adventure stories.