Alfred App Themes

Alfred AppAlfred App is a great application for quickly finding and launching things on your Mac. It’s similar to LaunchBar, Quicksilver and Google’s Quick Search Box (plus many more similar apps).

What I love about Alfred is that is quick, very quick in fact, and simply to use. I don’t really need all the extras that Lunchbar or Quicksilver offers, although they are handy — I just want to be able to quickly find stuff on Mac, launch Applications and lookup contacts — job done!

Alfred is free, but there is a paid add-on called Powerpack, and since version 0.8.1, Powerpack users could create their own colour themes. Now with version 0.8.2, you can export/import themes meaning you can now share them with friends.

tangerine theme

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How to Backup VisualHub

I recently archived and reformatted my Mac so I could do a clean install of Snow Leopard, as a result I wanted to reinstall some of the apps I used to use, one of which was VisualHub, a video conversion tool that unfortunately is no longer developed — yes I know there are plenty of other apps out there, but VisualHub works perfectly with my current setup/workflow.

After copying the app and finding my serial, I discovered it needed to download a conversion engine before it could work, but for some reason it couldn’t or wouldn’t download it, so after a search on Google I discovered I could just copy the engine from my archived Mac — although the website with the instruction eventually worked, I had to use Google’s cached file to start with.

I’m a little concerned the site might be broken or worse the information might disappear altogether so I though I would republish the instruction, which may be of use to other users?
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Update and a quick plug!

It’s scary how long ago I last updated this website.

As you will probably notice I have changed the design again! I am now using TwentyTen which will hopefully be one of the new default themes to be included with WordPress 3.0 when it is released.

I’m really updating to say I have just launched a news and information website for people using broadband the Isle of Purbeck. For some time now there has been fluctuating speeds and several Major Service Outages (MSO’s) which BT have been reluctant to acknowledge until after they had fixed them (not very professional!).

So, if you do live in the Isle of Purbeck and have experienced some weirdness with your broadband connection, please visit Purbeck Broadband and share your frustration with us.

Random Update

In an effort to move the rather amusing, yet annoying picture of bang-cock down the page a bit I have decided to write a little something and nothing…

Well, that was it… something and nothing…

Perhaps I should write a new list and review of my must have OS X (Leopard) apps?

Could Richard Brautigan be my favourite author?

I have finally sorted out some of my books that I still had packed in boxes from when I moved out of London three years ago. Like a long lost treasure, I found books I forgot I had bought, and I struggled to sort through them all without stopping to read everyone – but I managed it – just!

In sorting through two boxes I found my small collection of Richard Brautigan books and put them on the small bookcase next to my bed – which was probably a bad idea – as I haven’t stopped reading them since. But that got me thinking, could the late Mr Brautigan be my favourite author?

The slamming of screen doors and dogs barking and the rattling of breakfast pots and pans and roosters crowing and people coughing and grumbling and stirring about: getting ready to start their day beat like a drum in Billy.
It was a silver early-in-the-morning drum that would lead to the various events that would comprise 13 July 1902.
The town drunk was lying face down in the middle of the main street of town. He was passed out at peace with the summer dust. His eyes were closed. There was a mile on the side of his face. A big yellow dog was sniffing at his boots and a big black dog was sniffing at the yellow dog. They were happy dogs. Both of their tails were wagging.
A screen door slammed and a man shouted so loudly that the dogs stopped their sniffing and wagging, ‘Where in the hell is my God-damn hat!’
‘On your head, you idiot!’ was the female reply.
The dogs thought about this for a moment and then they started barking at the town drunk and woke him up.

Taken from The Drum in The Hawkline Monster (A Gothic Western), and Just one of the many reason why I think ‘yes’ he could well be my favourite author…

Tumbled reaches 200 downloads

tumbledToday I’m celebrating as my first free WordPress theme – Tumbled, has reached 200 downloads.

Now 200 is not a massive amount, but it still amazes me when I see it being used. It was my first attempt at designing a public theme and seems to have worked surprisingly well.

I have been meaning to update it since late last year, but never seemed to find the time. Now it has reached the 200 mark makes me want to do it as soon as possible, so stay tuned for an update soon.

Tumbled is a single column, no nonsense theme loosely based on the popular Block style on Tumblr, and can be found/downloaded here Tumbled – A WordPress Theme.

OS X Leopard – Are you sure you want to open it?

I think by now, every OS X Leopard users will be well acquainted with the warning message “Are you sure you want to open it?”. Apple’s over cautious security feature thats been described by some as a Vista-esque feature, but for me it’s just a real pain in the backside.

Are you sure you want to open it!?

Basically every file downloaded from the internet is tagged by the OS depending on its file type. If the download is an application or script, the OS will warn you with the above message when you first try and open it. Fine if you are opening one or two files, but not if you are trying to open up 20+ files at a time.

There is some reasoning behind this security feature, but I can’t help think that Apple should have included a way to turn it off or at least configure what file types the user deems ‘safe’ or ‘unsafe’.

After Googleing for a solution I discovered two options. The first is by Henrik (Lift the Leopard download quarantine) is a simply Apple Script folder action that you apply to your Downloads folder. Every time a file is downloaded the Apple Script removes the ‘unsafe’ tag from it and thus banishes the warning message. The only problem I can see with the script is that is dose not work its magic on files within sub-folders.

The second is by Lazeez (Changing the system’s default settings for html files (safe)) and is my preferred solution. Basically you need to create a file called with a list of the file types you consider ‘safe’, you then need to save it to the ~/Library/Preferences folder, log-out or reboot to activate the changes, and no more warning messages!

The file looks like this:-

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN"
<plist version="1.0">

You can see I have added two strings, public.html and public.php-script this allows me to open both .html and .php files without the warning. A full list of file types can be found on the Apple Developer site: System-Declared Uniform Type Identifiers.

To add more, simply add in <string></string> (The file type Identifier)

I hope this helps other Leopard users as much as it has helped me – as any unnecessary clicks can really start to slow a work flow down.

Update: Thanks to bradym for this.
The “System-Declared Uniform Type Identifiers” page has moved to: System-DeclaredUniformTypeIdentifiers.