Make Safari Open Links in New Tab [Terminal Tip]

28 02 2009

One of the major gripes I have with Safari is that when you click a link, it opens the page in a new window. I find this totally throws me off and I end up with a bunch of windows and a cluttered mess. Luckily, there’s a quick workaround.

First, quit Safari by going to Safari>Quit Safari (or ⌘Q). Next, open up the Terminal, which can be found in Applications>Utilities> Then all you have to do is copy the following text and hit enter.

defaults write TargetedClicksCreateTabs -bool true

Once you hit enter, you can quit the Terminal and relaunch Safari. Now you will notice that all licked links open in tabs instead of new windows!

My Desktop

27 02 2009


This is my desktop as of current. The window in the center along with the list on the side are just a skinned Adium with some tweaks in the settings; The wallpaper I made; The list on the paper is a combination of GeekTool and iCalBuddy; the date at the top of the “page” is GeekTool as well; The album cover in the bottom left is from CoverSutra. The circle in the bottom right is from DropCopy. Any more questions, feel free to ask.

Things To-Do Manager for OS X

5 12 2008

thingsWhile there is no shortage of to-do lists for OS X,  many don’t fit the requirements that I need to have one that suits my needs. TaskPaper oversimplifies it, OmniFocus is fairly expensive and more complex than necessary and the built-in To-Do list for OS X doesn’t have enough features. This is where Things comes in.

Things, by the folks at Cultured Code, is a very simple and organized task manager that works with most users’ needs for a task manager. The Things sidebar is broken down into three main sections: Collect, Focus and Organize. Let’s start with Collect.

The Collect section in Things is where new to-dos that haven’t been sorted will be sent to. In short, it’s your dumping ground for to-dos. Once you’ve inputted all of your things that need to be done, it’s times to move into the second section, Focus.

The Focus section of Things is where you’ll be spending most of your time, and is also what makes Things so great to use. It’s divided into four main parts: Today, Next, Scheduled and Someday. Any tasks that you feel you should be able to complete that day, you can place in the Today section. The checkbox to the left of it will turn yellow indicating that it should be completed today. The Next area is where you will place items that you can complete once you’ve finished everything in your Today section. Scheduled is used if you want to repeat to-do items more than once on a regular basis or want a specific to-do to appear on a ceartain date. For example, you have to ask your boss something at work, but you aren’t able to do it because it’s the weekend and your boss is away, so you move it to the scheduled section and set it to appear on Monday in your Today section. Very handy. Finally, the Someday section is used for items that you don’t want to accomplish right now, but will want to eventually – such as re-doing the basement, but you don’t have the money right now so you file it under Someday.

Now for the final section: Organize. In here, you can create Projects and Areas. A project is basically a multi-step goal that you have that can be accomplished. An area on the other hand, is that can not actually ever be finished. Taking the previous example of building a kitchen, lets say you finally have the money to do it. You would make a project  called “Redo Kitchen” and place all your to-dos for that inside there such as “Pick out backsplash” or “Find nice cupboards” etc. If you were to have a Work folder, you wouldn’t make it a project because it can’t actually be completed. This is what the Areas section is for. You can make a new area called “Work” and place all of your to-dos for it in there.

And that is the gist of how Things works as a to-do list manager. There are some other neat features that Things also has. First of all, you can invoke the Quick Entry panel using the hotkey of your choice (I use F5), which brings up a nice HUD for inputting all the things you need for a new to-do: title, tags, notes, due date and its location inside of Things. They also save your data in an open XML file format which means that third parties are able to communicate with Things and your to-do list is viewable using any modern browser, regardless of operating system. Cultured Code also has built a beautiful iPhone/iPod touch application that’s available through iTunes for $9.99 [iTunes link]. The app syncs over-the-air with your Mac as long as the application is open on both systems. The only issues I have dfound with the app would be the lack of support for Areas or tags for to-dos. To get around the Areas issue, I just use Projects section instead, which I haven’t found any issues with.

Overall, Things is a very solid application – and now with the ability to access it on your iPod/iPhone – quite versatile. My ONE complaint? No web-syncing.

Things is currently available as a free preview until 1.0 is released at the Macworld Expo ’09  on January 6. The price for version 1.0 will be $49, but if you sign up to their newsletter before it’s official release, you’ll gain a 20% discount bringing the cost down to $39.

Scour Combines Top Three Search Engines, Pays You

10 08 2008

A recently introduced search engine by the name of Scour has surfaced and I, personally, am a fan. The first thing you may notice when you enter a search are the small icons next to each result with the Google, Yahoo! and MSN logos and a number next to each. This indicates the “rank” on each search engine. So for example, below, you can see that there is a 1 next to the Google logo. The “1” indicates that if you were to search the same phrase in Google, it would turn that link up as the first result. This is a great feature that helps to weed out the poor links and give you the best results from all of the main search engines. You also have the option to show the results as they would appear in each search engine separately, leaving almost no excuse not to use this as an alternative to your current engine.

Another feature used to help weed out the poor results is a voting system. Next to each result and the footer of each clicked result you have the option to give the page a thumbs up or a thumbs down. It is also optional to leave a comment as to why it was a good/bad site. After enough votes, the listings will move down in rank, placing the relevant ones where they should be, according to the users. When using Scour, you can read comments left by other users about websites based on your keyword. This takes a lot of the guesswork out of looking for the right link.

The way that Scour encourages you to vote and comment is by using a points system. If you sign up with Scour (it’s free and optional) you will receive one point for each search, two points for a vote and three points for leaving a comment. They also allow referral points where you receive 25% of the points they make. Once you achieve 6,500 points, Scour will send you a $25 Visa gift card.

They also have browser search plugins for Firefox and IE with Opera arriving soon; start page search widgets for Netvibes, Pageflakes and iGoogle (all arriving soon); and Desktop search widgets for Windows, OS X and Yahoo! Widgets (all arriving soon).

I honestly can find no good reason as to why not to use this browser as an alternative. If I don’t like the “Scour” results, I can change it to Google, Yahoo! or MSN-only results while being paid. I honestly can’t think of a better way of attracting users to a search engine than this.

The link for Scour is here.

Highlight Items in Grid View of Stacks

17 07 2008

In OS X Leopard, we have something called a “stack”. Basically, this is just a quick, accessible way to specific folders in the dock. Within this there are a couple view options including a list or grid. In the grid view, you are greeted with a plethora of chaotic info thrown at you (assuming you have a large amount of files in that folder) and its hard to find the exact thing you want.

Apple has included a highlight feature that works when you use either the arrow keys or press command and the letter the item begins with. To turn on this feature permanently to use with your mouse, all that is required is to open up the OS X Terminal (/Applications/Utilities/Terminal) and type the following italic words: (note they are two separate lines)

defaults write mouse-over-hilte-stack -boolean yes

killall Dock

That’s all there is to it. Check out your stacks and see the newly-added highlight feature in grid view.

To undo this feature just type the same commands as above in the terminal and replace “yes” with “no”

[Via TUAW]

SketchBox – Sticky Notes on Steroids [Cool Mac App]

16 06 2008

Mac OS X Only: Here’s a neat little app that takes the simple of an idea of a sticky note, digitizes it and adds some really neat features.

SketchBox, by omz:software, allows you to first of all, type generic sticky notes that can be neatly organized in their sleek user interface and sorted into corresponding folders. They’ve also incorporated a drawing mechanism so that you can draw little doodles, take handwritten notes or make wacky shapes because you’re bored. Also included with this feature is tablet pressure sensitivity, line thickness variation and an eraser. If that wasn’t enough, wach sticky note has the ability to take a screenshot, which they implemented quite ingeniously. If you click the camera button in the bottom right of the sticky note, it transforms the entire note into a resizable frame where you can take your photo. Finally, the last feature (that I’m aware of) is a timer that you can set to go to a maximum of 30 days, 23 hours and 60 minutes.

Combine all of these features into one small package and you’ve got yourself one killer app, my friend. Also, as a final note, I programmed Quicksilver to invoke SketchBox when I press alt+cmd+z, that way I can call it up whenever I find anything interesting and take a quick screenshot and type up a few notes. Overall a fantastic tool for any mac user to have in their arsenal of productivity applications.

You can download SketchBox from omz:software here, and if you enjoy it, be sure to leave a donation.

Why I Chose Opera Over Firefox, Safari

14 06 2008

Ever since I bought my iMac, I’ve debated between what browser was the best. At first I thought the choice was obvious and decided to go with Safari. I soon realized that it was not my favorite though, as the new Firefox 3 rolled into town and I gave that a whirl. I also tried Camino, based on some recommendations from friends, but I wasn’t very happy with it (I didn’t like the bookmarking system). Finally I thought Flock was the answer to my prayers – my favorite Web 2.0 sites built right in, but the interface soon became clunky and over-complicated. Yesterday, I read about the new Opera release, 9.5, and decided to try it out. To my amazement, it was almost perfect. Below are listed some of my favorite things about Opera 9.5 and some reasons why you might want to consider it.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Firefox is incredible and I’m not surprised in the least that many people use it as their primary browser. I personally used to think this before I tested out Opera 9.5. The main things I’ve noticed in Opera are the sleek blending into the OS X interface, the minimalist look, and the incredible speed.

Firefox 3 has tried to blend their browser into the OS X and Windows Vista interfaces and have done a fairly good job of that – more specifically with OS X. I personally just feel that Firefox can get a little chunky at the top which may sound surprising, but just wait until you check out Opera’s sleek user interface. This is a similar point to it being very “minimalist”. And when I say minimalist, I mean it. Since there is no Bookmarks Toolbar in Opera, that space is eliminated. Also, the main header, which contains the main controls and address bar is extremely small and can fit two times over inside of Firefox’s. It is pretty much equivalent to Safari’s but once again, has no Bookmarks Toolbar. Now this feature may shock some of you, because I know it shocked me. Instead, Opera has opted to go with a “speed-dial” which basically places your favorite sites in thumbnails that are clickable when a new tab is opened. The initial amount of programmable sites is nine, but is easily modified to larger numbers (I will be covering this in a later article).

Finally, this brings me to my final point, which is speed; one of the most important aspects of a successful browser. Kevin Purdy of Lifehacker did some testing with the leading web browsers and came up with some great results that point to Opera. In every test that he conducted, Opera came in either first or second, which none of the other browsers can tote.

Now on to the favorite features!

As I previously mentioned, the Speed-Dial feature in Opera is really nice, though it does take some getting used to. It also gives each site a keyboard shortcut depending on which spot it is placed in, ranging from Cmd+1 to how ever high you set it to. Another feature which is great is the trash can, located on the right of the tab bar. This allows you to go through and find tabs that you may have closed accidentally and wanted to re-open – very handy. And yes I know Firefox has this capability as well, but its not as neat and welcoming as the Opera version. Finally, built into the browser are things called widgets, which are simply put, almost identical to Dashboard widgets – just from Opera. They are free-floating mini applications that handle everything from the weather to your to-do’s and they sit neatly on your desktop.

After reading this article, I hope you consider giving Opera 9.5 a chance, and it’s definitely far from last place in the browser war. You can check out there web site here and it will run on OS X, Windows and Linux. Happy browsing.

%d bloggers like this: