Archive for the ‘Random Nonsense’ category


August 19, 2008

It’s odd to see even very smart people who seem to believe that .zip is a PC archive format and Stuffit is a Mac archive format. This is clearly not the case, at least not for the last (oh, say, about) ten years. Zip is pretty much universal, and Stuffit archives can easily be opened on a PC. You just download the right utility, and you’re set, which for many years was the same situation you’d be in with a Zip file. (Until, of course, Microsoft Windows started to offer some limited .zip support built-in.)

Whenever I see this sort of thing, I always download the Stuffit format, just so that anyone who is comparing stats won’t think there are no Mac users out there.


Add Journalists to the List of Things Unreliable

May 15, 2008

Apparently a reference was made to an iPhone-like tablet as the sort of device that could benefit from Intel’s new CPUs, and ZDNet took this as a claim that such a thing existed. Read about it at

The secret is out!

March 21, 2008

For all the millions of people reading my blog, I have a secret to share: the much-anticipated changes in Hobo, that were promised for the end of the month, are now mostly available in Hobo version 0.7.3.

Okay, okay, they didn’t really promise it, but publicly set that as a goal.

And okay, okay, it’s not really a secret—they posted it on their web site, but only in the forums, so only the dedicated few would find it.

And while you’re pinning me down with technicalities, there might not be quite a million…

Everyone knows “Open Source Code Contains Security Holes”…

March 20, 2008

as does all software, but “one security exposure for every 1,000 lines of code“!? Whew!

A total of 7,826 open source project defects have been fixed through the Homeland Security review, or one every two hours since it was launched in 2006

What makes software awesome?

March 13, 2008

Awesome software anticipates your needs, and is ready to help you, but doesn’t necessarily advertise everything it can do using the equivalent of the <blink> tag.

OmniWeb, like almost everything from OmniGroup, is great software. (OmniOutliner is also fabulous, OmniFocus is something you must get, and OmniGraffle is just run-down-the-street-screaming-with-joy good! But that’s another story.) Unlike any other browser (to my knowledge) OmniWeb allows you to edit <textarea>s by opening a resizable sheet. This was before Safari allowed you to resize them, and before Mootools made it easy for developers to make their <textarea>s resizable. So is OmniWeb’s feature now passe? Nope! I just discovered, as I was editing my last post and needing to remove several characters from each of several lines, and not feeling like cutting and pasting it into TextMate, that OmniWeb has columnar selection! The feature was just sitting there quietly waiting until I needed it and thought to myself I wonder if this will work?, and it did! This, ladies and germs, is awesome.

If you’ve held off on buying OmniWeb because it costs money, and you feel that browsers want to be free, then you’re being merely penny-wise. OmniWeb has features that are worth paying money for.


March 12, 2008

While reading something of why’s on meta-programming, and looking at some of his example code

class MailTruck
  attr_accessor :driver, :route
  def initialize( driver, route )
    @driver, @route = driver, route

I thought to myself “why don’t we have something as DRY as attr_accessor for meta-programming the initialize method? Why not something like

class MailTruck
  attr_accessor :driver, :route
  initializer :driver, :route 

In other words, why write “driver, route” three times?

A project for a rainy day…

Plugging Ruby into Your Brain, revisited…

March 6, 2008

Jesse Newland has an interesting post about how to use Ruby one-liners from QuickSilver, but it wasn’t working reliably for me. Also, I wanted it to show the result in large type, rather than replacing the text of the QuickSilver command prompt. So I tried my hand, even though it relies on passing the Ruby code through AppleScript, and I’m definitely not an AppleScript programmer.

Here’s my version:

using terms from application "Quicksilver"
  on process text ruby
    do shell script "ruby -00 -e '" & ruby & "'" returning result
    show large type result
  end process text
end using terms from

I don’t have any basis for this but an irrational hunch, but I’m hoping that changing the way it returns the result will also help with the reliability. The example one-liner he gave on his page didn’t work for me with his version… let’s see if it works with mine…

(imagine progress bar here)

Whoohoo! It works. It’s possible that I mistyped it when I tried his version, so let me do it again, now that I have a proven snippet in my clipboard.

(imagine another progress bar here)

Whoops! It worked. OK, it must have been a typo on my part… So mine doesn’t really solve anything, it just changes the way the result is displayed.

Come to think of it, although its less flashy, his version has the advantage of making it easy for you to copy the result to your clipboard. Oh well, now we have two versions to choose from. I saved his as “Execute Ruby” and mine as “Execute Ruby–Large Type”.