A-Z Challenge Postings - Page 13
|Earliest: April 1, 2016||Latest: May 2, 2021||Total: 133|
Mission ControlMission Control
Apple created Mission Control in OS X to give users a bird's-eye view of all your open windows, desktop spaces, full-screen apps, and Split View spaces, making it easy to switch between them. Mission Control was first introduced in 2003 as a new feature in Mac OS X 10.3 Panther.
The ultimate goal of using Mission Control is to declutter your main desktop from other Application that your not using now. You could set up a desktop for Mail, and another desktop for Graphics. If you need to do something else, you just switch to a different desktop space. Apple makes this easy with the Magic Mouse and swiping up using three or four fingers, pressing the Mission Control key, or pressing Control-Up Arrow.
Why Would Anyone Use Mission Control?
Mission Control is great when you work in different server environments. You could setup Desktops for Production, Staging, and Development. Which unique desktop backgrounds so that you know which environment that your using. This isn't something that you would do every day, but on deployment days or when you're up late doing testing it can be handy. Also, I find that using multiple Desktop functionality works best when your dealing with a bunch of applications over a few hours.
It will take some time to get used to using multiple desktops, especially if you already have a couple of monitors set up. Try using it for a while, see if it helps you stay more focus at hand.
Some tips and tricks on using Mission Control
Here are some of the things that I have learned using Mission Control:
- To open the Mission Control System Preferences, type Option-F3.
- If you're not using the Dashboard, your should turn it off in the Mission Control Preferences. Dashboard widgets take up memory space, there's no reason to waste any memory.
- If you have a Logitech MX MX518 USB Optical Mouse, you can assign some task to the buttons. For example, you could open Mission Control with the button closest to the thumb. This will make launching Mission Control faster than swiping up using three or four fingers on the Magic Mouse.
- To move any window to a different desktop, simply click on the top window, hold and drag to the top of the screen. (I found that I had to 'bounce' to the top of the screen to enable the Mission Control.) Then move the window to any other screen.
- To create a new Desktop in Misson Control, simply click on the '+' on the top left. Apple did put in a 16 Desktop limit, but I don't think you would need more than 5.
- To remove a Desktop, in Mission Control, hold down the Option key, then click next to space in the Spaces Bar. Any windows in that space will get promoted to another open space. (So you're effectively closing out space, not the application.)
So if you're using Chrome, Firefox, Pixelmator, Evernote, iTerm, pgAdmin and other applications right now, you should think about how Mission Control could help make you more productive.
Leif Ericsson Statue
There are many monuments and statues around Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. Near the Charlesgate overpass stands a life size statue of Leif Erikson.
Many people believe that Leif Ericsson, a Norse explorer, was the first European to step on North American soil in the year 1000. This theory was made popular in 1838 when the accounts of the journey were translated into English. Once Americans learned about Leif's adventures Leif became popular.
In 1887, Boston philanthropist Eben N. Horsford commissioned the statue. According to various newspaper articles published at the time, the location was selected because that is where he believes where the keel of Erikson's ship grated on the shore of Boston's Back Bay. This was the first Leif Ericsson statue in America.
The statue was created by Anne Whitney, a notable Boston sculptor that also created a duplicate Leif Ericsson statue for Juneau Park, Milwaukee. If you look at Leif Erikson statue's left foot you can see Anne Whitney's name and date of work (1885) . Next to the name is SC - which stands for sculptor.
The statue has the following inscription on the front:
In runic letters, which were used to write various Germanic languages before the adoption of the Latin alphabet:
Leif, son of Erik the Red
On the back, which is slightly hard to read, says:
On the right side of the statue is a bronze plaque showing the Ericsson crew landing on the rocky shore.
On the left side of the statue is bronze plaque showing the crew sharing the story of the discovery.
You can find the statue on the Commonwealth Ave. Mall, near Charlesgate East. The best time to see the statue is late afternoon so you can get an unshaded picture of the statue.
Anne Whitney's name on the Leif Ericsson statue.
Here are a some quick keyboard modifications that you can do to help improve your Mac OS X experience.
Change the Default Screen Shot Keyboard Combination
If you're using Apple screen shots, you may find it difficult to remember all the different keyboard combinations. Fortunately, Apple made it easy for you to change the shortcut to whatever keyboard combination that suits your style.
- Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Keyboard, then click Shortcuts.
- Click on the 'Screen Shots' in the left panel
- Double-click the current shortcut, then press the new key combination you want to use.
Create a Keyboard Short Cut to quickly convert legacy videos
Wouldn't it be productive if you could just convert all the legacy videos to the current format standards by selecting the file and then some custom keyboard combination? That is what this following will do:
- Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Keyboard, then click Shortcuts.
- Click on the 'Services' in the left panel
- Scroll down and under 'File and Folders' Double-click on 'Encode Selected Video Files', then press the new key combination you want to use.
Now when you copy old Quicktime movies, you can just select the file, or Folder and then your custom keyboard combination and the conversion will automatically happen. No more right-click and searching through the Services sub-menu.
If you're looking for a good Gluten Free snacking food, you can't go wrong with Jelly Belly brand jelly beans. Sure carrots and grapes are healthier for you, but nothing beats the yummy flavor of a Jelly Belly.
You can create a mixed variety at just about any pay by the pound candy shop. Not every shop is the same, so some places will have bigger selection than others.
In Boston, Sugar Heaven is your candy source for a large selection of bulk Jelly Beans . You don't have to live by the standard 42 flavors. You can pick which flavors work for you. Another good place to go is Yankee Candle in Deerfield, Massachusetts.
For the ultimate combination you'll have to go to the factory. In Fairfield, California the Jelly Belly Factory has the largest selection of bulk flavor Jelly Belly beans. You can even mix in some of their newest flavors with your favorites.
One of the nice things about the factory is they have Jelly Belly flops bags. Basically, they are selling factory rejects jelly beans. They get rejected because some beans might have stuck to other beans or not in the perfect jelly bean shape. You never know what flavors they have in the bag but they are still Jelly Belly so it will still be yummy. (Perfect for any office candy jar)
If you do visit their Fairfield store, celiacs should be aware of the following:
We make over 150 different candies and a few of our products use gluten-containing ingredients. These items include Chocolate Malt Balls, Chocolate Deluxe Mix, Seasonal Malt Balls, Licorice Bridge Mix, and Licorice Pastels.
Jelly Belly jelly beans are free of gluten ingredients.
It's A Small World
It's a world of laughter, a world of tears. It's a world of hopes, and a world of fears. -It's A Small World
Along with Carousel of Progress, the "Its a small World" ride made its premiere at the 1964 World Fair. After the fair was over the ride was re-assembled at Disneyland.
The "It's a small world" is an attraction that people have a love-hate relationship with. When you visit Disney you feel obligated to go on the ride, and then you spend the rest of the trip hating the ride because you keep singing the theme song over and over again.
Here are some notable facts about this ride:
- This is the only water ride in DisneyWorld where you won't get wet.
- In Walt Disney World the power for It's a Small World and Haunted Mansion is from the same source. So if there is a power issue at one ride, it will impact the other ride.
- The exterior design are different between the two parks. In Disneyland, the clock display is very visible to people walking around Fantasyland. In DisneyWorld, you can't see the clock display unless you're in the inside waiting area.
- The display gets a Christmas seasonal makeover, which causes the attraction to be closed. When the Christmas season is over, the ride is shut down for a couple of days to change the The ride is also closed when Disney has to take down the display.
- Disney spends a lot of effort on the clock, plan your ride so that you can see the hourly time show.
- After you get on the boat, be sure to wave at the security people. They are always waving and making sure everyone is sitting before the boat moves.
- You can buy an "It's a Small World" boat toy at the Emporium Shop on Main Street USA. Simply ask a cast member for it. It's a perfect tub toy for any preschool.
- At Disneyland, the turrets and gold colored ornaments on the outside of the Small World Ride are an actual 22K gold leaf. Normal gold tone paint had been used early on when the ride first opened but the paint would oxidize very quickly and need to be replaced on a continual basis. While initially expensive to gold leaf, the gold is actually more cost effective in the long run.
- At the end of It's a Small World, there are signs with the word "Goodbye" in different languages from all over the world. However the sign that supposedly represents Japan is the Japanese word "Arigato" meaning "Thank You".
- In "It's a Small World" in Disneyland, there is a clown holding a "Help Me!" sign. The clown holding it is the only character in the whole ride that is not smiling - he has a little frown. The sign is just to keep him in character.
- There are no American Small World scenes in Walt Disney World's the Magic Kingdom. There's one in Disneyland Paris.
- All seven princesses are someplace on the ride. This is a fun thing for little ones to search for. Tip: Expect them to be in the lands where the character appears in.
- Total uninterrupted ride time is 10:30, this tends to be slightly longer when it's extremely busy as the boats bump into each other as the waiting queue causes a backup.
- Listen closely during the grand finale of the Muppet Show when all the soldiers come out carrying the different countries flags. At one point you can hear them softly singing "It's A Small World!"
Homepage - 18 years later!
On April 9, 1998, I purchase this domain: cryan.com. I would have never guessed that I would still own the domain name 18 years later.
At lot has changed on the internet during that time. When I started, sites like AltaVista and Excite were the most popular search engines. Nobody did any search optimization to get on the front page.
A special thanks to Hurricane Electric, my exclusive hosting provider during the past 18 years. They have done a great job making sure the site has always was accessible. I don't think they are accepting any new hosting accounts, but I certainly do recommend them.
This year has been a busy blogging year, I am approaching 100 days of non-stop blogging. I have noticed a slight pickup in Traffic during this time too.
Remembering the Past
Here are a couple of screen shots of what the homepage looked like back in 1997 and 2013, I'll look for more screen shots and share them when I find them.
This is what the site looked like in 1996.
The is the homepage back in 2013.
Gold Digger Game
Once upon a time Gold Digger was my addictive Macintosh application. I remember coming home from work and spending a couple of hours playing the game, trying to beat my high score. I didn't play it all the time, but it was a lot of fun when I had time to kill.
Oh this was back in the late 1990s. Is it possible to play the game again?
I recently found one of the binary files and decided to see if I remembered how to play the game on my Powerbook G3. I knew that it wouldn't work on my iMac since it needed OS 9 for it to work. Here is the spec from the documentation:
The game runs on any Macintosh or Power Macintosh running System 6.0.3 or later, and with at least 2.5MB RAM available for color or 1.5MB RAM available for black & white. For best performance, a 68030 CPU or newer is recommended. For the best-looking graphics at least 256 colors and a screen 600 X 380 or larger is recommended.
To get this working, I had to adjust my laptop display to use 256 colors instead of the Millions that it was set to. That takes me back to the early days of Macintosh software where I had to adjust the display just to get it working.
Once I did that everything pretty much worked from there. I was surprised that all my high scores were still there.
I did encounter an issue playing the game, looks like that I needed to use an extended keyboard because I wasn't able to move my character. None of the keys would work. When I checked the configurations it looks like that it's looking for Keypad inputs.
The only way I was able to get this game in my G3 was from a CD that I burned a few years ago. I tried FTPing the file and it wasn't working,the files weren't being copied as Binary files. I tried to stuff it and that didn't work also.
Here are some notes of things that make Fenway Park in Boston Massachusetts, a special place to visit.
Game Time - Gates open 1 xBD hours before game time. Season ticket holders and Red Sox Nation members may enter at Gate C 2 xBD hours before each game.
Teddy Ballgame's Seat - In Seat 21 in row 37 of section 42 of the bleachers marks the spot where, in 1946, Ted Williams knocked the longest in-park home run in the park's history. The ball ended up landing in and ruining the straw hat of Joe Boucher, a Yankee fan. The seat where Joe Boucher sat was 502 feet from home plate. The red seat back was installed in 1984 by then Red Sox owner Haywood Sullivan.
Morse Code - Two of the scoreboard's vertical lines contain the initials TAY and JRY -- for Tom Yawkey and Jean Yawkey -- appear in Morse code in two vertical stripes on the scoreboard.
Pesky's Pole - Just one of many examples of Fenway's uniqueness is the right field foul pole, which is placed closer than in most big-league stadiums at 302 feet. It was officially designated Pesky's pole on September 27, 2006, which was Pesky's 87th birthday. There is a commemorative plaque at the base of the pole.
Manually Operated Scoreboard - The only one left in the Majors, the game's score is kept by two operators who sit inside the Green Monster and monitor the game by radio. The numbers used on scoreboard are 13-by-16 inch plates that are at about 2 pounds.
The Monster's Ladder - There is a ladder 13 feet up the wall in left center. In the past, it was used by groundskeepers to fetch balls hit into the net over the giant green wall. But now with the four new rows of seats on top of the Green Monster, its function is obsolete. If a ball should hit the ladder the ball is in play, there has been three known inside the park home runs as a result of hitting the Monster Ladder.
Day Game Seats - During daylight games Bleacher section 34 and 35 are blocked off to provide a solid batter's eye backdrop for the hitters.
TV Seats - If you're looking for the seats that get you on Television during a game, you'll want to sit in section Field Box 35 rows 4 and 5. There is a Field Box Usher that will check your tickets to prevent people from seat squatting in this area. In addition, the camera tends to catch people sitting over Field Box 58 and 57.
Catching a Foul Ball - In all the years that I have been going to Fenway, there are a few Sections where I kept seeing foul balls land. The best sections to catch a foul ball is Lodge Box 112 (Rows A-D) for right-hand hitters and Lodge Box 147 (Rows A-D) for left-hand hitters.
No matter where you sit if you can see the field, the ball can get to you. Just remember to be alert at all times during gameplay.
Obstructed View Seats - Being one of the oldest parks in baseball does have one drawback, obstructed view seats. These are the worst seat locations in Fenway Park. You won't be able to see the batter or the pitcher.
Sound of Music - Music is a big part of the game at Fenway Park. Immediately after a volunteer yells out "Play Ball" the song "Play Ball" by J. Bristol is played through the park. During the game, the Red Sox hitters get to pick the music as they walk to the batter's box.
In the middle of the 7th inning the crowd will sing "Take me Out to the Ballgame." At the middle of the 8th inning, diehard Red Sox fans start singing "Sweet Caroline."
When the Red Sox win, the following songs are played throughout the stadium: "Tessie" by the Dropkick Murphys, "Dirty Water" by The Standells and "Joy to the World" by Three Dog Night.
Support the Outside Vendors - Since the 1990's the Boston City Council has been slowly phasing out the cart vendors around Fenway Park. The vendors will be allowed to continue to operate until they die or retire, but their operating permits will not be allowed to pass on to anyone else.
Currently there are 16 outside vendors around the park. Once they leave, only Aramark will be the sole vendor around Fenway Park.
Personally I like getting the Peanuts from Nicholas "Nicky" Jacobs who sells them at their family cart by the Gate A. The family has been selling peanuts at the same spot since 1912.
Fenway First Timer Perks: If you have never been to Fenway Park before make sure that you stop into one of the Fan Services booths -- located at Gate E, Gate D, and Gate B -- to receive your "First Timers" fan items.
When they check your ticket, simply ask the directions to get your Fenway First Timer Perk!
Huntington Avenue Ground
If you like this post, check out my post about the location ofHuntington Avenue Grounds, it's the ballpark the Red Sox used before going to Fenway Park.
Evernote as a Backup Source
In this week's post, I want to show how easy it is to create note in EverNote using TextExpander and AppleScript. I do a lot of my development work in BBEdit and this would be a very handy thing to have. Because once in a while, when I make some major code changes, I want to back up the existing file in case my change doesn't work. In the past, I would just copy the file to the desktop, and as a result, I had a lot of files on my desktop.
I thought there must be an easy way to backup files that I am working on. With a some simple AppleScript and TextExpander, I am now able to backup my working document to Evernote.
Make it easy to backup whatever file I am working on in BBEdit into a new note EverNote with the filename as the title of the note.
Create a TextExpander Snippet to copy whatever file I am working on in BBEdit to a new note in EverNote.
TextExpander's AppleScript Snippet
I created a new BBEdit group and set it up so that any snippet that is in the group will only expand in BBEdit. This way if I accidentally type the abbreviation it won't create an empty Evernote Note.
This is the Snippet that I came up with:
tell application "BBEdit" set docname to name of text window 1 set doctext to contents of window 1 end tell tell application "Evernote" create note title docname with text doctext end tell
I selected the following abbreviation: qz
How its Implemented
Now when I am in BBEdit, and I want to create a backup copy of my file, I just type in qz. That's it! A new note will be created in my default Notebook in Evernote. It will have the filename as the title.
Using this method as a backup makes it easy to do back up now, and I get the power of Evernote search and date feature. So I can easily find previous versions of my files whenever I need them.
Technical Note: I know this could have been implemented as an AppleScript menu item within BBEdit, but I wanted to show how you could apply this to other text editor applications other than BBEdit.
Delicious Gluten Free Cookies
Just because you have to eat gluten free does not mean that you have to eat blah cookies or be a master chief at mixing flour-like ingredients. Thanks to the 'Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix' by Betty Crocker, you can make delicious yummy cookies at home.
We have tried other gluten free cookies and some of them come out good. What makes Betty Crocker better is that its Betty Crocker. It tastes the same as any other batch of cookies that we use to make from Betty Crocker. Nobody will ever know that they are gluten free. In fact, I would recommend getting two boxes because these cookies will disappear very quickly.
You can find a box of the "Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix" at most major supermarkets; Stop and Shop, Market Baskets, Shaws, and Wegmans. It's usually stocked in the regular baking aisle. Some stores will put them on the top shelf.
It easy to make the cookie dough, simply add a stick of soft butter, an egg and a teaspoon of vanilla to the cookie dough. The only tricky thing with the Betty Crocker baking mix is remembering the vanilla extract. Many other cookie mixes that we used didn't require that.
We add a couple of things to make the cookies really special. Some tips:
- We use unsalted Stop and Shop brand butter. I soften the butter stick by putting it in the microwave for about 45 seconds.
- To mix the dough, it's much easier to just roll up your sleeve and use you both hand to mix it up. I find that it goes much faster and mixes better than using any stirring device.
- To add some addition flavor we wrap some of the cookies around Hershey's kisses. Basically, you take a Hershey Kiss and make it the center of a dough ball. The chocolate melts very nice in the oven.
- There's nothing special about cooking it in the oven, it takes about 13 minutes to cook. Parchment paper works best and what most bakeries use when they make cookies. We have had delicious cookies using Pam sprayed on a regular cookie sheet.
- Clean up is easy and quick.
A box of Betty Crocker makes about 18 medium size cookies. They are best when eaten minutes after taking them out of the oven.