Third monitor on your MacBook Pro? Sure!

March 16, 2012

This morning I had a sudden urge to find out about adding a third (or fourth) external monitor to my MacBook Pro. I’ve been a multiple monitor user off and on since the early 1990’s – I do find the extra screen real estate very useful.

I’ll assume you can add a second monitor – that just requires the appropriate dongle (cable) from Apple for your model.

All of this will be dramatically simpler once more Thunderbolt devices are around – the latest Macs now hav this super high speed port to connect multiple monitors, external drives and so on. For the rest of us slumming it with slightly older gear :

Here’s a few notes on what’s happening with multiple monitor setups these days:

Now I just need a spare monitor or two and a long weekend to try some of these out!

Note: some of these links are affiliate links and could result in me being paid.


Looking into the ‘Paperless Office’ – or, How to organise all your documents

July 24, 2008

This all started with an archive deleting session at my father’s business. Currently under Australian law most documents need be kept for around five years. Since he’s been in business for over 15 now, there’s an annual culling of old documents. Until now that has meant a couple of weeks of shredding documents in the quiet times in the business.

There just might be a better and cost effective way to do this. Enter (drumroll please) the Paperless Office!

Yes, IT people have been on about this for a very long time. In fact I remember this coming up when I was at Uni, which was longer ago than I care to remember 🙂

Without further ado, here are some of today’s tools of the paperless office trade.

EagleFiler: Collect, Organize, and Search Your Information – For Mac OS X

Organize, search, and archive mail, Web pages, PDFs, RTFs, and more.

Organize your life · ReceiptWallet · GGT Enterprises, LLC

ReceiptWallet is a Mac OS X program that allows you to scan in and manage your receipts and documents. When you scan in each receipt or document, you enter a few pieces of information about it and then you can quickly and easily locate your receipts and documents.

What is Evernote? | Evernote Corporation

Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere.

Software to get my house organized – MacTalk Forums

I was wondering how others set themselves up to manage all their electronic/paper bills, council documents, contracts and agreements (ie. for utilities), even manuals for whitegoods or a new tele

Vox Pop: Workflow for the Fujitsu ScanSnap? | 43 Folders

I know at least a few of you are ScanSnap studs who have come up with workflows that are really happening for you (hint: looking at you for a blog post here, Mr. Norbauer). In the absence of a more detailed report from me, I’m hoping a few of you can chime in here.

So that’s a few references for you so far … any thoughts from you lot?


iPhone to launch in Australia end of June confirmed!

April 9, 2008

Now I am excited! Read this and see if you don’t get excited as well 🙂

Australian iPhone Release Info Given to Resellers by Apple Australia – MacTalk Forums

Today however, Apple have been informing resellers of their iPhone strategy for Australia. Resellers have been informed of the following things:

  • Last week of June release
  • More than 1 carrier
  • No contract lock in
  • Current resellers will be able to sell iPhones

Kenbushi?

May 30, 2007

What is Kenbushi?

a powerful Media Server with full-screen media control (like Apple TV) and integrated support for Quicktime and VLC (so plays avi, divx, H264, flash, etc.), built-in cross-platform file sharing, web server and data backup over LAN/Internet. Perfect for building your own home media server. Many home users, developers, media consultants and businesses use Kenbushi.

Wow. This looks like an amazing tool – but then don’t they all before you use them? 😉


Twitter from QuickSilver on Panther solved – avoid keychain scripting

March 28, 2007

Phew. Finally I’ve made it through and (having re-learned a few things on the way) can now Tweet (is that the verb to use in this case?) from QuickSilver.

You may remember, from last time, that the principal stumbling block was Apple’s Keychain Scripting application – which frankly is unusable for those of us with more than a few items in our keychains.

The Textmate blog then put us on the trail of Apple’s command line tool for maniplulating the keychain. Further investigations turned up a recent posting from Extra Pepperoni on the topic, with a very informative first comment that is a must read. That comment then pointed to an Apple mailing list, CDSA (Common Data Security Architecture.)

So what, exactly, is the solution? Well at the moment it is a bit on the hardcoded hack side of things, but it does work for me. The calls to the app “Keychain Scripting” are replaced by a shell script :

#!/bin/bash
security -q find-internet-password -gs twitter.com 2>&1 | grep password | \
  sed -e "s/password: \"//" -e "s/\"//"

Save that into a text file, perhaps in ~/bin (which you’ll probably have to create.) I chose to call it ‘twitpass.’ Remember to set it to executable …

chmod 755 twitpass

will do the job nicely. Now you can call that script from the AppleScript to get your pasword. Unfortunately I still can’t seem to parse the bulk of the output from security, so you’ll have to hard code your account name or email address into the AppleScript, replacing the tell application “Keychain Scripting” block with something like this:

set twitter_key_account to “user@domain.com”
set twitter_key_pass to do shell script “~/bin/twitpass”
set twitter_login to quoted form of (twitter_key_account & “:” & twitter_key_pass)

So using the above components in the mix of yesterday’s solution and you can Tweet to your heart’s content, without leaving the application you’re working on.


Keychain scripting letting the Twitters down

March 23, 2007

So posting to Twitter from Quicksilver is great and all, except when keychain scripting times out on you – “event timed out”. Again and again. Sheesh. Off to look for another way around …

Red Sweater Blog says :

Obviously, Keychain Scripting is freaking useless. I decided to take a stab at writing my own […]

Which is just what he did – in that article you can find a Scripting Addition (of sorts) that is way faster than Apple’s one. However it is 10.4 only, which may be the straw that broke this holdoff-on-upgrading-a-while-longer’s back.

Looking further afield leads us to the Textmate blog, where a shell based approach is used to interact with the keychain :

The command to access the keychain is security and it has a manual page. But let me save you some time and give you the gist of it […]

Aha! That may be the solution. Now all I have to do is find out how to parse the output to just grab the password – the solutions on that page aren’t working for me and my shell scripting is more limited than I would like.

Still diggin!


The internet is all a Twitter

March 22, 2007

Latest fad or long term tool? I have no idea, but with all the talk about Twitter I finally caved in and registered.

http://twitter.com/aDogsBreakfast

Perhaps it was Dave Winer jumping in that tipped the balance, or perhaps when I learned that people were posting from QuickSilver that did it. No matter really, now I am in. What next?

Well I had to get th QuickSilver posting working, and as I’m still running Panther (10.3) that means I’m also on a legacy version of QuickSilver (b36) – and that means the Tweet script as modified wasn’t quite going to work the same.

Whoa – slow down. The problem was that my QuickSilver install didn’t have the ‘Actions’ folder there under /Library/Application Support/Quicksilver – so I just created the folder, dropped the Tweet script in and everything is working.

A happy side effect is that I have now had my first ever successful scripting experience with the keychain application – I just never managed to get the syntax correct until now. That is the challenge I always have with Applescript 🙂

[edit : I’ve changed my Twitter name to be more sms-friendly follow my tweets now at twitter.com/aDB]