January 30, 2005

Removing Safari's "Quit" keyboard equivalent

It doesn't happen often, but once in a while I hit Command-Q ("Quit") instead of Command-W (close tab/window) in Apple's Safari browser. I thought there was an option (hidden or otherwise) to require confirmation of a Quit command in Safari, but I can't find it. A decent alternative, however, is to enter the following in the Terminal

defaults write com.apple.Safari NSUserKeyEquivalents -dict-add "Quit Safari" "nil"

Relaunch Safari and viola! Command-Q no longer quits the program! Got the idea from this tip: "Remove shortcuts from applications"

Another helpful tip for Safari is this: scripts to save and restore Safari windows. Run the first script to save all of your open windows and tabs, the second to restore them all.

Posted at January 30, 2005 04:33 PM, Categories: Computing

TV and DVDs

I thought for sure I had mentioned the Buffy The Vampire Slayer obsession I developed last summer, but I can't find it anywhere in the blog. After catching an episode or two on TNT and realizing that an entertainment gold mine slipped by me for years, I discovered that Netflix had seasons 1-6 on DVD. Which was great because viewing TNT's versions is painful: bad color/levels adjustment, commercials in the wrong place and, as it turns out, some edits for time. Before long, they couldn't send the disks fast enough. I'd never watched a TV show on DVD before, and it's a particularly satisfying, if dangerous experience. A good, long-running hour-long show like Buffy can entertain you for (I estimate) 103 hours.

Given the abundance of Buffy web sites out there, I thought I was safely within the margins. Until I found these two today:

http://www.restlessbtvs.com/
http://buffyology.johnhorner.nu/

After about 20 minutes of obsessively clicking around ("Oh yeah, what did happen to Miss Kitty Fantastico anyway?") I started to consider the possibility that I have a problem. Sure, there are people worse off than me, and I've been sick with an awful cold for the last few days with little to do besides rewatch Buffy DVDs. Then I got 95% of the answers right on two Buffy quizzes. I would say it's time to take a break from all of this, but TNT just started showing Angel season five, which isn't quite yet available on DVD (and which Netflix doesn't plan to stock).

Anyway, other great TV shows to see on DVD include the first season of Arrested Development, Curb Your Enthusiasm. If you haven't seen these, you owe it to yourself to give them a try. You already know about The Office, so I won't bother mentioning that.

Before this summer, I'd become somehow convinced that there was nothing good out there anymore, that all the gems were in the past or on BBC. Thankfully, discovering TV on DVD has renewed my interest in good shows. Before the start of the fall season I solicited Jake's recommendations, listened to what public radio was talking about, plotted the prime time layout, and picked a few shows to try. So far, Lost and Arrested Development are the only clear winners. There are other good shows out there, but I only have time, or am willing to make time, for a few shows at once. Maybe that's due to Cindy's influence: she's been living happily with nothing but a VCR (no TV tuner) for months now...except for the tapes of ER that I send her every few weeks.

By the way, you probably don't want to know what happened to Miss Kitty Fantastico. But google will tell you if you quote her name and get "lucky".

Posted at January 30, 2005 10:59 AM, Categories: Blog

January 10, 2005

Do we want a cheap cheap Mac?

Lots of predictions of a new $500 Macintosh being announced tomorrow, and Cringely goes so far as to suggest that Apple should cut the price and lose $100 on each one to gain market share.

I'm certainly not the first to ask this, but why do we want more Macs out there? Sure, I wouldn't mind buying new desktops for $700, but other than that there's really not much lacking in my Mac experience. Mac OS X has ushered in a new era of Mac enthusiasm amongst the geeky, so even when major manufacturers don't support their products on the Mac, someone fills in the gaps with home-brewed software. And better than that are the dozens of indispensable freeware and shareware programs offered by dedicated Mac developers. The only decent argument I can think of for wanting more market share is to get more games developed.

One of the best parts about using Mac OS X is that it just works and your worries are few. I never contemplate viruses, my hardware and software are stable, and my three-year-old machine is plenty fast for my needs. The limited scope of the Mac world ensures that crappy products won't be tolerated, older machines will be supported, and virus writers will mostly ignore us.

Being a public company, I'm sure Apple has to do what they can to expand their market share. But let's not get too carried away here: being part of the elite few definitely has its privileges.

Posted at January 10, 2005 10:43 AM, Categories: Computing

Google's usenet timeline

Google's usenet timeline is fascinating.. If you haven't used usenet groups, they're kind of the original internet bulletin board. Google compiled a timeline of firsts on usenet groups, such as:

  • Aug 1981 First review of the IBM-PC
  • Sep 1989 First mention of The Simpsons
  • Aug 1991 Tim Berners-Lee's announcement of the World Wide Web project

It really puts the rapid change in technology in perspective..

Posted at January 10, 2005 09:53 AM, Categories: Computing

January 08, 2005

POTD 2004 Wrapped Up

Picture Of The Day 2004 is all finished! Now, to get on that resolution to take more pictures...

Posted at January 8, 2005 02:07 PM, Categories: Photography

Smart Bacon

This stuff is so disgusting. I can't believe I thought $2.39 was a reasonable investment on the off chance that it would taste good.

It's not all Light Life's fault, though: I also made an omelette with chili in it. That too was a bad idea.

Posted at January 8, 2005 11:03 AM, Categories: Food

January 07, 2005

DiscWarrior and advice in general

OK, I know I said I wasn't going to make a habit of promoting software here, but I have to add this. You can't see it now, but I've added some categories to this blog, so in the near future you might be able to happily avoid computer-related entries.

Anyway, my brother was having some trouble with the hard drive on his PowerBook. It was so corrupted that he couldn't even get it to mount to be repaired, even when he used it as an external disc in Target Disc mode. I recently went through a similar problem with an external Firewire drive I had been using in Mac OS 9 (OS 9 + firewire drive = big trouble in my experience), and while I couldn't remember the sequence of steps, I did remember that Alsoft's DiskWarrior saved the day again. We figured out the steps:

  1. Boot your computer with the DiscWarrior CD-ROM.
  2. Open the DiscWarrior application.
  3. Connect and power-up the external hard drive.
  4. The drive will now show up in DiscWarrior's popup menu of available drives.

If you don't follow this order, the OS 9 Finder will "see" the disc first and complain that it's unreadable, then force you to initialize (don't!) or eject it. Only when DiskWarrior is the active application will it intercept the newly-mounted disc.

DiskWarrior has saved my butt a few times now, and I consider it one of my most valuable software purchases. They even let you mail order the disc, but download a version to use right away if you need to get at your data.

 

The reason I decided to post this is because I have this dream of creating a single database of miscellaneous, reader-moderated advice. On everything. The web is great, and google is a big help, but sometimes it's hard to find an answer to a really silly question. For example, wouldn't it be nice to get all the tips on LAX terminal 3 before you went there? Which is the best bathroom? Where are the most convenient power outlets? Is there any good food there?

Maybe this database exists out there. Let me know if you find it.

Posted at January 7, 2005 10:27 AM, Categories: Computing

January 06, 2005

MacJournal

I'm normally not THIS nerdy, but Dan Schimpf's wonderful MacJournal finally hit 3.0 today. It's one of the most useful programs I've ever used. I just wish it could synchronize its contents between two computers.

Posted at January 6, 2005 06:39 PM, Categories: Computing
Nearby Entries
Removing Safari's "Quit" keyboard equivalent (Jan 30)
TV and DVDs (Jan 30)
Do we want a cheap cheap Mac? (Jan 10)
Google's usenet timeline (Jan 10)
POTD 2004 Wrapped Up (Jan 8)
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