AppleBlog Roundup 3

Posted on The Distress Signal | apple

Over the last couple of weeks (OK.. so more like months, I’m a bit of a slacker) I’ve written a few posts over at TheAppleBlog and I just wanted to include them here for the sake of completeness. A few of these are on Google Quick Search Box which, while being a great little app, has frustrated me a bit with it’s lack of forward progress in Beta. I’ve recently switched over to Launchbar5 for all my GUI Ninja Tricks and I have to say I think it’s far better at the moment than QSB. If you’re into doing a lot of stuff very quickly from the keyboard, you might want to check it out.

QSB Video Walkthrough: I was playing around with Google Quick Search Box recently and was really surprised by all the functionality it provides. Once I got it fully set up with plugins and services, I realized it can give me just about everything I used to rely on Quicksilver for.

Creating Services for QSB: I’ve been playing around with Google Quick Search Box lately and am especially enjoying this services plugin from Martin Kuhl which lets you activate and pass input to OS X services right from within QSB.

Enable Expose and Spaces for Magic Mouse: So you’re loving your brand new Magic Mouse but are missing the ability to activate Expose and Spaces right from the mouse? Not to worry, we’ve got you covered. Using SIMBL and a neat little preference pane called MultiClutch, we can map our own custom shortcuts to the left and right swipes coming from the Magic Mouse and have them activate Spaces and Expose instead of navigating forward and back.

iTopoMaps: Like a lot of tech enthusiasts, I end up spending a lot of time sitting in front of my computer. When I do find a chance to break away I like to get out into the wilderness for a little backpacking. Nothing clears the mind like a nice long walk up a mountain and a night spent out in the open and of course, as with most things these days, there’s an app for that. iTopoMaps makes getting around in the wilds easier than ever with downloadable USGS topographic maps, waypoints, range and bearing tracking and more.

Enable CSS3 Support in CSSEdit: Chances are if you do any kind of front-end web development on a Mac you’ve heard about CSSEdit, a very popular tool for editing .css files in OS X. I use CSSEdit pretty much all day long at my day job and while I absolutely love it and have a hard time imagining doing my job without it, its lack of support for all the new CSS3 properties is becoming more and more problematic.

Replicating Coda’s Reference Books in QSB: I recently made the switch to the newest version of the web development application Espresso. After having used Coda for all my previous web development needs, I’m naturally making some comparisons between the two. I’ll leave the blow by blow evaluation to others but thought it worth noting that the one feature I find myself really missing the most from Coda is the ability to quickly search through reference books.

Blocking Flash in Chrome: I’m cuckoo for Chrome. It’s super fast, it’s Webkit, it’s got some nice developer tool options that aren’t available in Safari and it’s combo Search Box/Address Box is so intuitive it’s completely ruined me for any other browsers that still split up those two elements.

OS X Hidden Gems: Have you ever noticed that little dark circle that appears within the close button of a document window in OS X when you have unsaved changes? Yeah, me neither. After years of diligent Mac use, this subtle little element somehow escaped me until now. I guess I remember noticing it at times but never realized it was telling me to save my work. It’s a nice touch and got me wondering about what other subtle elements I might have missed over the years.

Syncing NewsFire Over the years I’ve tried out a number of different feed readers including NetNewsWire, Google Reader, Fever, and on and on. Each time I switch though, I always find my way back to NewsFire. For me it’s just the perfect balance of form and function. Well, it’s almost perfect. To paraphrase Churchill I’d say that NewsFire is actually the worst RSS reader, except for all the other RSS readers. The major gaps in my mind are its inability to sync across multiple machines and the lack of an app for the iPhone. As with all things in technology though, there are a lot of ways to skin that cat.

Searching Trash in OS X: At the moment I’ve got 1,303 items in the trash bin in my OS X Dock — not that much compared to the usual pile that accumulates there when my normal maintenance has me only cleaning it out once every couple of months. Usually, it’s not a problem. Occasionally, though, I’ll throw something away by mistake, at which point I’m reminded that you can’t just click on the bin and search through the trash like you can with other folders in your Dock.

Pimp your iPad Safari: Quix lets you create and manage bookmarklets for doing all sorts of cool things from within the browser. Want to find text within the current page, send the current page to services like Pinboard or Tumblr, search the current domain with Google, load Firebug lite to peek at a sites markup, shorten an URL with Bitly, or do anything else you can imagine? Quix is the answer.