Streamline Your Keyboard Shortcuts

Maybe it’s just because I have a 12” PowerBook, but I keep running out of Fkeys. And besides, it’s hard to remember that F10’s this kind of Exposé, and this Fkey is Dashboard… It’s a bother.

So, to keep my Fkeys free and keep ‘em a little more understandable, I remapped them so that one key (F11) controls Exposé, and another key (F11) handles Yahoo Widget Engine’s heads-up display as well as Dashboard.

How? Well, I just added modifier keys. So F11 shows the desktop (my most common Expose command), CMD+F11 shows all windows (my second most often used command) and CMD+OPT+F11 shows all the windows in the current application.

With Dashboard/Konspose, I did roughly the same thing: F12 for Konspose (excuse me, Yahoo Widget Heads Up Display Manager Widget or whatever the heck Yahoo wants to call it), and CMD+F12 for Dashboard.

I also trimmed down the menu commands for universal access and dictionary, because I hardly need a keyboard shortcut to invert my screen.

All of this is handled through the wonderful Keyboard & Mouse preference pane.

Written on May 8, 2006

OmniOutliner Pro

OmniOutliner Icon Welcome to Nik’s Picks. This is a little spot where I’ll devote some time to mentioning some of the best Mac-related hardware and software out there.

To begin with, I figured I’d mention the single application that keeps my life in order, gathers my thoughts, and spits them out in an orderly fashion: OmniOutliner Professional.

OmniOutliner Professional is a top notch outlining , list keeping and personal productivity application.

Okay, what the heck does that mean?

Let’s say you want to keep a list with some measure of organization. Well, OmniOutliner’s great for that. You can even add notes to items in the list. Pretty slick, eh?

Okay, I admit, that wasn’t too impressive. Let’s say that list is, instead, a list of important dates you need to memorize for a history test. So you can add a date column and keep a date in there.

Or, maybe it’s a hierarchy of people you know and how much they earn. Add a number column, maybe a job-title column, and you have a wonderful, sortable list. You can also record sound into the application, add URLs, images, and even embed whole files in there!

But sure, there’s tons of outlining and snippet keeping applications out there. What makes OmniOutliner so impressive?

Well, it’s the little things that add up to big things. The custom columns are a dream. Spotlight and automator actions and an amazing Applescript dictionary. (So good, in fact, that you can make whole applications, using nothing but it’s Applescript dictionary!) Great user interface, responsive support, and it’s native on MacIntels! (That’s “Universal Binary” in official Apple terms.)

Written on May 5, 2006

Search for Mail Thread

This handy script takes a selected message in Apple’s Mail application and does a spotlight search for other messages with the same subject heading. It’s an easy way to find every related message, even if they’re scattered out among multiple folders (e.g. Sent, Trash, and the Inbox).

Written on May 4, 2006

BinRunner

An Applescript for your Startup Items. This simply executes every shell script in your ~/bin/sh/ directory when the script is run. Useful as an alternative to creating launchd agents to just fire off a handful of scripts as a group.

Written on May 4, 2006

Super Oda Dice Roller

Super Oda Dice Roller is an unobtrusive but powerful dice rolling program for use with tabletop role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons. It accepts text input as dice strings and rolls numerous dice with lightning speed!

*Example: 4d6+3d8+(4d8-5+2d6)/1d20*

It gets even better (and more “geektacular”) if you use the included Applescript in concert with LaunchBar or Quicksilver and growl. Together, they turn your Mac into a dice rolling monster, capable of rolling dice without ever leaving your current application! How cool is THAT?!

**Requirements**

* MacOS X (tested on version 10.4.3, but should work on earlier versions)
* Ruby (tested on version 1.8.2 which comes with MacOS X 10.4 and later)

Optional:

• [Growl](http://growl.info/)
• [LaunchBar](http://www.obdev.at/products/launchbar/index.html) or [Quicksilver](http://quicksilver.blacktree.com/) to run the included Applescripts for easy launching.

**Version History**

* 0.2.1b: First public release.
* 0.3b: Combined LaunchBar and Quicksilver scripts. Added interactive Applescript ability. Streamlined code. Added error trapping in Applescripts for bad rolls.
* 0.4b: Eliminated the wacky QS/LB/terminal/interfaceless functioning and rebuilt as an Applescript Studio application! Now it has a window and all kinds of good stuff. Version 0.3b is still available for command line wonks and people who like Quicksilver/Launchbar integration. You can get it here:
* 0.5b: Added Growl notification support (optional). Bundled an Applescript, “Roll Super Oda Dice.scpt” which restores the Quicksilver/Launchbar functionality. Added an awesome icon, courtesy of Forrest Walter.

Written on May 4, 2006

Legacy Software

Here’s where you can find old scripts and goodies that, in many cases, have outlived their usefulness. They’re here in for those who still rely on them, eager and willing to work as well as they did on the day they saw daylight.

They are, however, entirely unsupported. Let the downloader beware.

In many cases, there are good alternatives, specifically:

Written on December 4, 1975