GeekTool and Twitter = Desktop Bliss

Duhhhh…

That’s the sound of realizing that I’ve been missing out on the most obvious use of GeekTool, one of my favorite OS X applications.

So now that I’ve caught up to where the cool kids were last year, here’s the result:

How’s it done?

Setting up a twitter shell script is pretty well documented and there are plenty of posts on it. I started with an article by Diminished Effect and changed it slightly to meet my formatting needs:

#!/bin/bash
curl -s -u USER:PASSWORD http://twitter.com/statuses/friends_timeline.rss | egrep "<title>" | sed -e 's/<title>\(.*\)</title>/\1/g' | sed G

To wrap this up:

  1. Save that code snippet as a script, like ‘mytweets.sh’
  2. Put the full path to the script in the command input in a new Command Geeklet. For example /Users/yourname/bin/mytweets.sh.
  3. Set the font face, color and size to your liking!
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TextMate Setup for Web Development

A quick post to cover my TextMate setup for web development:

Basic Toolset

  • TextMate 1.5.8
  • jQuery 1.3+
  • Subversion 1.6+

TextMate Additions

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Daring Fireball Interested in CrashPlan

I have to say – this is pretty impressive. John Gruber, a.k.a Daring Fireball, commented on Nathaniel Iron’s review of CrashPlan

Regular off-site backup is the biggest hole in my current system. CrashPlan sounds great.

http://daringfireball.net/linked/2010/03/22/irons-crashplan

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Eclipse: Class filename must end with .class

Just recently upgraded to Eclipse 3.5.1 RC1 and started getting this error in the console when trying to search for classes:

eclipse-index-error

I tried cleaning, closing projects and even downgrading to Eclipse 3.5. No luck. Found this post on stackoverflow.com with the solution:

  1. Close Eclipse
  2. Open/cd into workspace folder
  3. Delete .metadata/.plugins/org.eclipse.jdt.core/*.index
  4. Delete .metadata/.plugins/org.eclipse.jdt.core/savedIndexNames.txt
  5. Start Eclipse again

Followed those instructions and eclipse is happy to search for classes again.

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GeekTool – How did I not know?

One of the coolest apps I’ve found recently is Geektool. Its been around awhile and I’m ashamed to admit I just found out about it.

That said, a number of my uber-geek friends didn’t know about it either so I’m not sure what to make of that. Either Geektool is a gem hidden in the weeds or my circle of nerds is seriously out of touch…

Moving forward! Geektool lets you watch a log file, image or the output of a shell command on your desktop background like so:

geektool image

geektool image

NOTE – Make sure to read the FAQ if you want to run ‘top’ in GeekTool.

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Snow Leopard Terminal Split Window Feature

Ok – this was a nice surprise while mucking around with Snow Leopard’s Terminal. Check out the split/collapse window buttons here above the scroll bar:

split-terminal-closeup

Click the top “split” button and now you’ve got your window split into two usable panes like so:

splitwindow

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Macbook PRO 17″ and OCZ Vertex SSD

This article is meant to share the great work my business partner Matthew did to make this process as easy as can be. I take no credit for figuring this stuff out.

I just upgraded to the 2.8 ghz Core 2 Duo Macbook PRO 17″ with one special enhancement – an OCZ Vertex 120GB SSD swapped in place of the stock 500GB 5400RPM drive.

abbout this mac
OCZ vertex

There are plenty of articles on the net showing how to do this. That said, these are the steps I went through to get it all working:

  • First buy an OCZ Vertex SSD. Don’t get the Mac specific version as it costs more and you don’t need it!
  • Use Disk Utility to burn an image of the OCZ Vertex firmware update to CD. Get the Mac compatible ISO image from http://ocztechnology.com.
  • Replace the stock drive with your nice OCZ Vertex drive.
  • Put in your ISO CD and reboot. Hold the ‘C’ key during boot.
  • Type FWUPDATE at the prompt and type ‘Y’ for all subsequent questions – be patient it takes a few moments for the FWUPDATE to recognize the drive.
  • Reboot with an OS X Snow Leopard Installation Disc and follow install.
  • IMPORTANT! Once you get to the ‘Select where to install…” step, use Disk Utility to partition the drive so you have a volume to install Snow Leopard on. Disk Utility is available in the Menubar. Use HFS+ with a GUID Partition table.

OK – After all of this is done, be prepared for the fastest machine you have ever used, unless you have already used a machine built on SSDs before.

This thing screams. iPhoto, Illustrator, Eclipse – they load INSTANTLY. My initial reaction was that something was wrong because these windows just appeared. It took me a second to realize the application was already UP.

For $359 after rebate, I now have a machine that feels, and literally is, 3x times faster for operations that really count – disk I/O.

Matthew insisted that upgrading to a 3.06 GHz CPU ($300) is a total waste when you can spend an additional $60 for an INSANE performance improvement.

I couldn’t agree more.

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