Use Geektool and Applescript to Get IOS Update Notifications

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I made an applescript for making geektool alerts when there is an update to iPhone’s OS. It won’t work forever, but it will work for a while because it’s based on checking the apple website.

You’ll need to set up a text file somewhere on your computer with open permissions and you’ll need to change the path in the second line of code to list that file.

Then, you gotta save the applescript somewhere and tell geek tool to run it and display it on your desktop. When the title of the url changes, which I assume it will do when they update, it will notify you until geektool runs again. For this reason, I made geektool only run this script every 24 hours (86,000 seconds).

I know it’s probably not the most elegant way to code this, but I was surprised how difficult it was to find a way to be notified and I wanted to quickly throw something together.

tell application "Finder"
	set saver to (path to applications folder) & "AppleScript:ScotScripts:GeekTool:TitleCheckerSaver.txt" as text -- destination file
	set HTMLText to (do shell script "curl")
	set theTitleStart to (offset of "<title>" in HTMLText) + 7
	set theTitleEnd to (offset of "</title>" in HTMLText) - 1
	set theTitle to text theTitleStart thru theTitleEnd of HTMLText
	# if theTitle is different from the saver title, send a message then reset the saver
	set theChange to ""
	if exists file saver then
		set handle to open for access saver
		set old_title to (read handle for (get eof handle) as «class utf8»)
		close access handle
		if theTitle is not equal to old_title then
			set theChange to theTitle
			write theTitle to file saver as «class utf8»
		end if
		display alert "Your Title Checker File... " & saver & " ...doesn't exist" as informational
		return -- ends script
	end if
	return theChange
end tell

New Quicksilver Menubar Icon

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If you use a mac a lot and like shortcut keys, you should know about quicksilver. If you do, you’ll know that the menubar icon doesn’t match very well.

Quicksilver menubar icon capture
So, I made a new one. [download link]

This new icon is cleaner, matches the bevel of osx icons, doesn’t include greyscale and has a nice selection highlight.

UPDATE: quicksilver is now using my icon in their newest release! b60

Requested Fixes for Mac: Addressbook & iCal

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Maybe I’m crazy, but I think things could be better. I chose apple because it is better, but two apps which they are probably not planning on changing definately need some work. If you have more ideas, please comment.

Please fix iCal

quick entry

Okay, i use ical all the time and i’ve gotten to the point where I just put all the information about a meeting or something in the name of the event because I hate dealing with the interface. As a result i have events that are named things like “JR show at viper room 10pm”. The actual event details listed in ical are whatever the defaults are.

We need a quick entry field to plop down all the info and it saves the event correctly. Like when i type “Meeting with Janis Markly at 11am friday at coffee bean larchmont . bring projector” ical should look up janis markly in my addressbook, set the correct time and date, search for “coffee bean larchmont” and give me options, then add this entire blurb to the notes for the event and ask me to confirm that it figured everything out right. This is what computers do. They churn info. Google calendar already does some of this stuff. The tech is here. I want it.

At the very least, fix how clock times are entered!

doesn’t match iphone

iCal can sync with iPhone’s calendar pretty easily in a lot of ways, but there’s a problem with urls and location.

Location will show up on the iphone, but when you tap it (if it’s an address) it will not activate as a link, so you can’t map it that way. You’ll need to cut and paste it to maps. You can, however add an address as a note and that will become a map link. There is no mapping feature from the desktop ical.

URL is the only way to put a clickable link in your ical event. Too bad it doesn’t show up in your iphone AT ALL. To have a url that shows up in your iphone, you need to put it in the notes of the event. That url will be clickable in iphone but not on desktop.

Basically, you have to put urls in both the url field and the notes field of all new events and only put the location in the notes because it does absolutely no good in the location field.

better location fields

I think they should make the location fields work and they should make them better. The location should have 4 fields. Location Name, Location Address, Location City, Location Country. This would be more to fill out, but it should be automated. Having this stuff will help with precise mapping and will reduce mistakes.

continuous grid

Okay, this is really stupid. The broadest view in ical is monthly. You don’t plan events by month, you plan them by day. eg: if I set up a date for the first Monday in December, I have to click the tiny arrow button (i hate tiny buttons) to skip ahead. Why not scroll down? We’re obviously not afraid of losing the sanctity of month divisions, because there is a day from last month and 4 days from next month showing on my Nov’10 grid. Make a continuous grid! It’s not that hard. You’ll have to do some loading and unloading ajax style and maybe make a new scrollbar, but c’mon we live in the future!

Continuous Grid Example.

Address Book

quick entry

Just like iCal needs it, Address Book really needs it. Usually contact info is written pretty neatly somewhere and would be easy for a computer to interpret. Should be, click a plus button and a single field pops open where you can simply paste in some text. Then, address book could show you where it thinks the stuff goes and put it together accurately. If connected to the internet, it could test mailing addresses. pretty simple. You could also type all the stuff out really fast in that box and address book would figure it out. nicer than weird tabbing or clicking on each field.

auto from email

I don’t know what this feature is called, but it’s supposed to pull contact info from a message and figure out how it fits in your address book. It sucks pretty bad. It doesn’t enter the country ever, it adds every phone number as “work” and it adds my own contact info.

If i send an email to someone asking for their info, they’ll reply with my quoted text (including my own contact info). I think my mac should be smart enough to find that contact info (like my email address) is already in my address book and discard it or at least ask me if it should be duplicated. It doesn’t.

using the info

I wish mail would learn that I use my Mom’s email address more than i use Mo Mandel’s so I could type mom and it would be the first result.

Also, I wish that there were 3 buttons visible and easy to single click in every contact. “Send Email” “Share Contact” and “Map it” I know the features are there, but why not make them easily available like in the iphone?

defaults and autofill

It would take some playing with to figure out the right way to do it, but there should at least be a default city and state and country. This could be figured out by the user’s location or whatever. It’s a pain to have to enter this every time. I use text expander to enter the Los Angeles faster, but it’s still stupid.

If someone works for the same company as someone else, it should be easy enough for address book to offer to autofill in that person’s work address.

Both of them

Shortcut keys to edit. How about if you stick to CMD+E to edit, CMD+S to save? Seems simple. iCal is CMD+E to edit and CMD+E to save. AddressBook is CMD+L to edit and CMD+S to save. Stupid.

Copying and pasting is a bitch. Currently, i have to edit either the event or the contact in order to make the text selectable for copy and paste.

Sometimes i feel like i’m working to appease these two apps and I think of all the people in the world running through the same sand. I hope someone fixes this stuff so they work for us.

NYT Best movies in my pants

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I took the NY Times 1000 best movies and put them in “My Pants” for your convenience. Now leave my twitter feed alone!

A Nous la Liberte In My Pants
About Schmidt In My Pants
Absence of Malice In My Pants
Adam’s Rib In My Pants
Adaptation In My Pants
The Adjuster In My Pants
The Adventures of Robin Hood In My Pants
Affliction In My Pants
Read more »

My Desktop: Geektool and Folder actions

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Hey, I customized my desktop with custom icons and geektool scripts that I wrote.

attached is a screen shot (there’s also a clean screen shot in the zip)

I like to keep my computer clean, so the folders tell me if they’re full and the menu bar is as slim as possible. I don’t use the dock. I use CMD+Tab and quicksilver. Spirited away also helps keep things tidy.

Download scripts and icons «

SilverPing v0.3

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mac os only: I worked to update SilverPing to v0.3. Now, it allows you to type special characters like “+” and “&” into your status updates, it has an installer program, icons, and a confirm dialog so you don’t accidentally post stuff.

Silverping is a super easy way for you to post status updates to twitter, linkedin, facebook and more.

Background Info is a service that allows you to post your status update once and have it updated on myspace, facebook, twitter & more.

Quicksilver is an mac application for making everything (applications, web pages, repetitive tasks) very quick and accessible from your keyboard.