Monday, June 26, 2006

Keyboard v. Mouse

After many years of loyal DragThing use, I finally gave in and installed Quicksilver. Documentation for all the little key commands is hard to track down, but I already find that for me, the keyboard is a lot faster than hunting for an icon in a dock. Even if my hands start from off the keyboard, it feels like zero effort to hit control-space (to bring up Quicksilver) and type i-c-a, enter, to launch iCal.

This definitely has something to do with visual vs. verbal proficiencies, so YMMV. My hands are clumsy at most things, but not at operating a keyboard. There is probably some way in which the linguistic centers in the brain can get in the driver's seat to operate my fingers so long as I am using them to manipulate abstract symbols, instead of, say, a hammer. I wonder if anyone has done any research around this?

Amazon's Mechanical Turk: someone tell Thomas Friedman

"What if... a computer program could ask a human being to perform a task and return the results? What if it could coordinate many human beings to perform a task?"

Well, um, I think that would be The Matrix.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Note to self: defaults write

restarting the finder, and logging out and back in, so far seem to be two methods to force manually updated plist files to take effect. Random example from macosxhints:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles 1

Afterwards restart the Finder and all hidden or system files/folders should be visible. Now copy the "~/Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist". Finally, enter this command to hide hidden/system files again and restart the Finder:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles 0

(better option, man killall)

note to self: applescript syntax for catching multiple errors

This is from the AppleScript-Users mail list...

display dialog "enter the file name" default answer "text.txt"
on error msg number num
if num is in {-1, 25, -128} then
-- respond in the same way for any of the above
-- do something else
end if
end try

Note to self: Plists

Mac OS X stores all (text) styles for all (cocoa) applications in the hidden file "~/Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist"