Thursday, March 29, 2007

Automator Action to Rename Photos by Date Taken

Order Photos with Automator Screenshot
Problem: I had a directory of 115 photos which I wanted to upload to my picture gallery in the order they were taken but they were taken with three different cameras so the filenames meant nothing. With the Firefox/Apple finder you are unable to order by Date Created very easily in the dialog that pops up when you click to upload a photo to the web.

Solution: I created an Automator Action to first take Selected Finder Items then copy them just in case, then order the items by Date Taken, then rename the files in that order to 1-115.jpg. I also added a string so I could use this script for multiple directories I needed to order like this. You can download the action: Order Photos Automator Action.

To use this Automator Action, first select your photos in the finder, the double click on the Automator Script (after unpacking it from the ZIP). You will need to edit the location to save the copied items to to fit your needs and edit the filename settings if you don't want _nc in your name.

This script is nothing special or perfect but hopefully it gets you thinking about harnessing Automator to quickly perform menial tasks on your Apple.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

CoRD Remote Desktop for Mac

I recently downloaded and installed CoRD (A Cocoa Remote Desktop Client) for my Mac Book Pro and I have been extremly impressed with this remote desktop app. CoRD remote desktop for Mac

It was a simple OS X drag and drop install and it was running smoothly with no crazy configuration. My only complaint is that there is no documentation so I was actually super suprised and happy when it worked so well.

Setup: to setup CoRD on my Mac I started the app and then entered the IP of the Windows XP computer I wanted to connect to and hit the Green Plus button to start the Remote Desktop session. That was it! Really! I have no idea how my XP box is set-up as it predates me so I could have gotten lucky but anyways that would be a Windows XP issue not a CoRD issue.

I have been using CoRD for about a week now and would recomend it for any Mac users who need to be able to remotely connect to a XP box.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sharing My Documents folder between OSX and Parallels

After having receintly installed Parallels software on my Mac Book Pro I quickly realized that I needed to be able to share files between my OS X OS and the Parallels / Windows XP Pro OS if it was to be of any use. I found a couple of ways to accomplish this but my favorite by far is detailed below.

Step 1: Install Parallels

-This one is a no brainer. Just follow the installation instructions included with Parallels to install the app and then Windows XP.

Step 2: Install Parallels Tools

-Here is a quick how-to install Parallels Tools

Step 3: Stop the Parallels VM

-Click on the Red Square on the right side of the screen if Parallels is running.

Step 4: Enable Shared Folders in Parallels

Enable Shared Folders in Parallels
-First Click on Edit at the bottom of the screen to edit your current Parallels VM
-Second Click on Shared Folders in the left view (if you don't see Shared Folders, click on the add at the bottom of the screen and add that item in)
-Third Click the check box to enable shared folders and then add in your shared folder by click on the plus at the bottom of the box.
-Fourth select the directory you wish to share. I chose the full home directory but you could just use the Documents sub directory depending on your needs.
-Finally, Click OK.

Step 5: Map the Windows My Documents Folder to the Parallels Share

Map My Documents in Parallels to OS X
-First start the Parallels VM (Click on the green play button on the right)
-Second right click on the My Documents Folder in Windows XP
-Third change the Target of the My Documents Folder to the Parallels Share to map the Windows My Documents to any folder you wish in your OS X directory.


-Some initially had problems with the Parallels Shared Folders but they have adressed those and I have had no issues.
-Windows WILL create its own directories for My Music, My Pictures, My Movies etc in whatever directory you map My Documents to.
-I kept everything simple by mapping My Documents on XP to Documents on OS X but that decision is up to you.
-You can set up Parallels to show your share on the Desktop or make sure the share is running through Parallels Tools, that you installed in Step 2 above.
Parallels Tools : Shared Folders


-You have now opened up your previously protect OS X files and directories to Windows XP. This means any viruses and spyware you may get now can potentially cross the Windows OS X barrier and cause unplesant issues. Proceed with Caution.
-It was my decision that without those files being accessible in Parallels, I had no real use for Parallels, so I set it up. Just remember to use protection ;-)

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Eliminate VirtueDesktops Change to Desktop Notification

Problem: The most recent release of VirtueDesktops for the Mac now displays "Changed to Desktop Browsing" or "Changed to Desktop Mail" or "Changed to Desktop Code" or "Changed to Desktop Main" notifications on the right side of the screen whenever you switch desktops.

Solution: Disable the VirtueDesktops Growl Notification in the Growl Preferences pane.

1) Click on the Apple Icon in the upper left of your screen
2) Select System Preferences from the dropdown menu
3) Click on Growl in the Other section of the System Preferences Pane
4) Click on Applications in the top Horzontal Menu
5) Unclick the checkbox next to the VirtueDesktops Application

Growl automatically recognizes and registers applications which have its interface. So, if you ever find messages mysterously appearing in the right side of your screen or you want to adjust the display of your Growl messages check the Growl Preferences pane.

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Friday, August 04, 2006

How to install Ubuntu on an Intel Mac under Parallels

Screencast how-to install and run Ubuntu x86 on an Intel CoreDuo Mac as a Parallels VM.
Video is about 21 minutes (no cuts) from starting Parallels to having Ubuntu working after installation. The only tricky part is using the Live CD and click the install icon on the desktop to get Ubuntu installed in Parallels.

View the Install Ubuntu Screencast | digg story

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Monday, July 24, 2006

Apple-X Keyboard Shortcut to Move Files in Mac OS X Finder

Problem: The Mac OSX finder does NOT support the Ctrl-X (would be Apple-X) functionality to move files as does Windows XP. Really Control-X in Windows does not Cut Files it just in initiates a Move File command. Apple decided in OSX that mapping Apple-X to Move File would be confusing so they just left it out. Well that is annoying to all of us Switchers whose fingers are hardwired to hit Control-X to move files to have to learn to hit the moved Command key (Apple) - X just to have it do nothing!

The solution is two fold. The first step is to use Automator to create a move automator finder plugin. This is really easy and involves just a few steps:
  • Open Up the Automator Application
  • Drag over the "Get Selected FInder Items" element
    Automator Get Selected Finder Items
  • Drag over the "Move Finder Items" element
    Automator Move Files Finder Plug-in
  • Save as Finder Plug-in Named "...Move" or something similar
  • Control (Right) Click on a file or group of selected files and choose whatever you named your plug-in in the step above
    Automator Move Finder Items

Now you have a finder plugin but you still can't Apple-X to move files. For this you will need to map Apple-X to your new Automator function using a freeware or shareware software program.
  • To use a keyboard shortcut (Apple-X) to move files you need to save the automator action as a Plugin for the Script Menu (same method as saving for Finder Plugin just use the dropdown to select Script)
  • Download and InstallFast Scripts Lite
  • Click on the Fast Scripts Icon in the top toolbar and Select Fast Scripts Light and then Preferences
  • Expand the top Tree Element which is your personal Scripts Folder where Automator placed the created script from the first step.
  • Click on the Move ... Element then click in the Shortcut Column and press Apple-X to assign your Automator Action a Keyboard Shortcut.
  • Thats it. Now, as long as Fast Scripts Lite is running you can use Apple-X to move your files!

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

iStat Pro 3.0 Beta Has Core Duo Temp Monitor

iStat Pro Mac Intel Core Duo Temp Monitor Widget
iSlayer has come out with the latest version of itsiStat Pro computer monitoring widget. The iStat Pro version 3.0 Beta improvements include built-in Intel Core Duo Temp monitoring and many graphical and skinning upgrades.

iStat Pro is a very popular widget that allows you to keep track of whats going on with your Mac. I have been a huge fan of this widget since I first got my Mac Book Pro and now that it has a built in Core Duo Temperature readout, I have gone back to having it as my main system monitor.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Running Beyond Compare on a Mac Book Pro

The Problem: No Mac OSX software exists that halfway compares to Scooter Software's Beyond Compare FTP & dif program all in one. Since I recently switched to a Mac, I have been unable to find anything close.

I tried using Panic's Transmit for FTP but once the demo ran out I really had no desire to continue using it. I then switched to Fetch Softwork's Fetch FTP client. I like Fetch better but the necessity of having a separate Finder window open was annoying and I still don't have half the functionality of Beyond Compare.

Why is Beyond Compare so great?
  • Connected file tree browsing with remote FTP and local files liked. So, when you expand or minimize a folder, Beyond Compare does the same action on the Remote/Local. This is an AMAZING time saver.
  • Built in dif functionality. Beyond Compare is able to link the file systems because it compares the contents of the folders and their names using its dif engine. Even if you have folders locally or remotely that have no pair, Beyond Compare links up the paired folders. When you need to sync local with remote, it is a snap to see the changed files then, if necessary, double click to view the detailed documents in a side by side dif display with the differences highlighted.

The Solution: Parallels + Windows XP + Shared My Documents Magic == Beyond Compare goodness on a Mac.

Running Beyond Compare on a Mac Using ParallelsThe Details: Although this seems like a very difficult way to run a program, with Parallels and OSX its really easy to set up and once you have XP up and running there are lots of other uses for the framework.
  • Step 1: Buy & Install Parallels. Really its as easy as that. Download, Double Click the DMG, and Install.
  • Step 2: Start Parallels and create a New Virtual Machine for a Windows XP Install. There is a wizard and I pretty much used the defaults. NOTE: I have read that if you bump up the RAM over 512 your actually loose performance but you can always adjust those after the machine has been created.
  • Step 3: Put in the Windows XP Disk, Start the Virtual Machine, and Install Windows. Again it was as easy as that for me.
  • Step 4: Reset your My Documents Folder to be shared with your OSX Documents location. This allows you to work on the Code from OSX then just switch to your Parallels XP Machine running Beyond Compare to manage your uploads.
  • Step 5:Install Beyond Compare and enjoy!

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Monday, July 10, 2006

iAlertU -- Alarm system for your Mac Book & MBP laptops

An awesome app which uses the included IR remote to arm and disarm an alarm for your laptop. The alarm works through the motion sensor, mouse, and/or power in your Mac Book or Mac Book Pro. It also takes an iSight picture of the thief if set off!

Also, make sure you pair your Mac Book IR remote with your PC so some devious theif or co-worker ^_^ can't disarm or arm it. To pair your remote: Aim your remote at the infrared port on the front of your MacBook. Next, press and hold the Play/Pause button and the MENU button at the same time until the paired graphic appears on your screen. To unpair your remote launch System Preference select the Security icon and press the Unpair button.

Video of iAlertU Mac Book Alarm System in use on a Mac Book and a Mac Book Pro LaptopiAlertU iSight Alarm
The Preferences for iAlertU includes a Camera tab which displays the image capture taken during the last alarm.

NOTE: People in the iSight Capture shot altered to protect the guilty!

Download iAlertU | digg story

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