Wednesday, August 13, 2008

ProjectPlus for TextMate

I installed ProjectPlus for TextMate a few days ago and I already can't live without that handy plugin. I mainly fell in love with the SCM status features it has to offer (e.g. shows the status of files being handled by Subversion).

Friday, August 8, 2008

Shell Scripting Primer

I guess I should have a look at the Shell Scripting Primer by Apple. Maybe they write about some tricks or hints I don't know yet about. Will be a good time waster during waiting periods reading it on my iPhone. Added it to my @Read/Review bookmarks.


yes, you guessed right: 2008-08-08 :-)

Inspired by powerbook_blog

Location of iTunes backups of the iPhone

Since the backups of the iPhone always take a long time, I started to wonder how big they actually were, when they finally got stored on my computer. So first a needed to find out where the backups are stored, which was answered by a forum post on everythingiCafe.

The backups are stored in:
~/Library/Application Support/Mobilesync/Backup/

Since this folder was only about 126 MB large, I stopped worrying about how much gets actually backup'd but started to wonder why it takes such a long time to backup such a small amount of data via USB. Hopefully Apple will accelerate the iPhone Backup in a future update of the iPhone or iTunes software.

Run Log in XCode 3

I haven't been using XCode for a while, but when I had time to play again with it, I was missing the window where you could see your @NSLog outputs. Before XCode 3, I remember that it was visible in a dedicated "Run Log" window. Luckily Mikey-San on came to the rescue:
The "run log" is no more in Xcode 3. What you want is the debugging console.
Xcode > Preferences > Debugging > On Start: Show Console
You can also show the console with:
Run > Console

Open bundle menu (⌃⎋) in TextMate not working

I recently had the problem that the "open bundle menu" shortcut (⌃⎋) did not work in TextMate. After a bit of research in the web I found a post on the TextMate WiKi about the problem. It is caused by Apple’s Remote Desktop application. To fix it, just disable ARD in "System Preferences" → "Sharing" ("Remote Management" in Leopard).

Mac OS X shortcuts

A good and nicely presented collection of Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts can be found at Dan Rodney's blog.

By quickly looking at it again, I found something I didn't know before. You can right-click (or ctrl-click) the title of a some windows and in return you will get a path-selection of the current file (e.g. in Finder or TextMate) or the current and basic URL of a webpage (in Safari).

Speed up navigation in Finder column view

I found a post at The MacTipper regarding fast navigation with the Finder. Mainly it talks about the different behavior wether a folder is selected (indicated by a white arrow) or wether you are active in the whole column (indicated by a outlined arrow). Selection of a folder (without selecting the first item inside the folder) can be done by clicking on a folder or hitting the Tab key (⇥) when navigation around the columns. When a folder is selected, jumping to a folder using the alphanumeric keys occurs inside the selected folder, while when a folder us "unselected" jumping occurs in the active column.

Evening before "to prepare" list

Inspired by the 10'O Clock rule I made myself an "evening before to prepare" checklist:
  • Check upcoming events for the next day in iCal
  • Transfer files from and to USB stick
  • Pack bag for work (USB stick, read/review stuff, wallet, ...)
  • Write a note about what still needs to be done in the morning
  • (trash, dishwasher, ...)
  • Prepare and if necessary iron clothes for the next day 
  • Prepare the table for breakfast
  • Plug the iPhone into the charger
  • Set the alarm
I don't  do it exactly at a specific time in the evening, but try to always take some time during the evening to prepare for the next day.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

MacFuse and MacFusion SSH mount problems with TextMate

In order to mount remote file-systems I started to use MacFuse. Before using MacFuse, I have been only mounting remote file-systems via AFP or Samba, but it was always slow and didn't work very well when using different user names for the same server.

With MacFuse and the nice GUI wrapper for SSH mounts called MacFusion it is more convenient and very flexible. But I had some problems when mounting a file-system from an old Solaris server. When I edited some HTML files and saved them frequently with TextMate, I started to have some strange behavior with misplaced characters in the displayed webpage in Safari.

I added the following lines to the "Extra Options (Advanced)" field for the different favorites stored in MacFusion:

-o sshfs_sync -o workaround=truncate

So far I didn't encounter anymore problems and I hope this fixed the issue.

More about the possible Extra Options can be found at Jannis Hermanns' place.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Elgato Turbo.264

I just posted a comment aver at Macsimum News about the Elgato Turbo.264:
I bought myself a Turbo.264 recently. It is about 25-30% faster than my iMac 24” C2D 2.33 GHz using Quicktime (roughly a 400 MB XVID of 45 minutes playtime takes about 15 minutes instead of 20 minutes to encode). On the other hand the CPU usage is only about 10-15 % when I use the Turbo.264.
Encoding with subtitles is though a completely different story. The moment a srt subtitle file is present, the encoding slows down significantly, the CPU usage goes up to 50% or even more. It seems that with subtitles the Turbo.264 does not really improve the encoding time anymore and also the CPU usage is not that much different when using Quicktime with or without the Turbo.264 plugged in.
I mainly bought the Turbo.264 to re-encode videos with subtitles to be watched on the iPhone. I was a bit disappointed about the performance with subtitles at first, but then just switched to watch the movies without subtitles (it’s a good training to improve my English). I’m very happy with the easy handling of the Turbo.264, just drag the movies you want to re-encode to the Turbo application, select in which format you want them to be (iPhone, iPod, AppleTV) and hit start. One notice though, the files seem to be about 20-30% bigger than compared to ffmpegX, but also the bit-rate of the produced videos is higher with the Turbo.264, which results in an excellent quality for a 1-pass encoding.
Overall, despite the fact that the Turbo.264 does not really improve anything when you want to have subtitles, I am really happy that I bought it. I can now re-encode videos in the background while working without any noticeable performance-decrease using other applications aside.

GTD "morning arrival at work" checklist (Update)

I'm assembling some GTD related worklists for my daily and long term work-flows and perspectives.

This is my "morning arrival at work" checklist:
  • Make yourself tea and get something to drink (water)
  • Start all programs (use Script to start all applications)
  • Check calendar for upcoming events (today & tomorrow)
  • Check OmniFocus for due tasks
  • Check and collect/process/organize "Inboxes"
    • Check and collect/process/organize emails
    • Check and collect/process/organize physical in-basket
    • Check and collect/process/organize @Inbox folder on Mac
    • Check and collect/process/organize @Inbox/@Office folder on USB-Stick
    • Check and collect/process/organize @Inbox folder on Safari Bookmarks
  • Start "doing"(highest priority in context depending on time/energy available)
  • At the end of the day check upcoming events in calendar
UPDATE 29.07.08: added handling of Safari Bookmarks in the @Inbox folder, related to my post about Safari Bookmark taming with GTD

UPDATE 05.08.08: added handling of @Inbox/@Office folder on USB Stick