Archive for the ‘OS X’ Category

5.5.1 Pedias, The macOS Sierra Version

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

Version 5.5.1 is now live and ready for download.

macOS Sierra

This is mainly full of smaller fixes for macOS Sierra that were hard to catch before the final release of the Sierra gold master. We ran the Sierra betas and added any fixes into version 5.5 and released this before Sierra so that users would not even notice any issues when the the Sierra release came.

But bugs are always lurking around corners and a few drawing issues and edge cases made it through the cracks or were introduced in 10.12.1. All that is now fixed in this release.

As usual the self update should take care of updating for you, either our own or the Mac App Store. Otherwise click the links below and replace your current version:

Bookpedia
CDpedia
DVDpedia
Gamepedia

Thank you to the all the beta testers and all the users that wrote in reporting Sierra bugs. We consider 5.5.1 our 100% Sierra version, but if you do run into any issues do be sure to write in and will get it fixed.

A Bag of Random Menus

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

From time to time we receive requests that are easy to implement but don’t really fit in with the programs because they seem very specific to one user’s needs.

But maybe we’re wrong to think that others wouldn’t enjoy these little fixes too. So I have started a new plugin that is a repository of several commands created for specific users to share them with all. You can install the plugin automatically by clicking here or download it and double-click to install. The installer is specific to DVDpedia, but the plugin will work in the other programs as well. Just download the file and change the ending from “.pediaextra_d” to “.pediaextra_b” (Bookpedia), “.pediaextra_c” (CDpedia) or “.pediaextra_g” (Gamepedia) and double-click the file to install.

The plugin is called Title Case after the command that initially started it all and the commands will appear under the menu Movie (Book, Album, Game) > Fixes / Links as well as in the contextual menu for an entry.

Title Case: Will replace the current title on the selection with the properly capitalized version based on the John Gruber algorithm. I used the Objective-C port kindly created by Marshall Elfstrand (I couldn’t resist a website with such a great name).

Languages and Subtitles Alphabetically: Places the languages and subtitles in DVDpedia in alphabetical order.

Fix Spaces: Turns dashes into spaces and removes double spaces from the title.

Duration to Hours: Changes duration from 123 to 2:03.

Rename Linked File to Title: Updates the name of the linked file to reflect the title. So a file called AAA-1023.mp4 linked to a DVDpedia entry Star Wars: Episode III -Revenge of the Sith will become Star Wars: Episode III -Revenge of the Sith
.mp4

Show in Finder: Reveals the linked file in a Finder window.

Create Cover from File: Replaces the cover image with a screen grab 10 seconds into the linked film.

The source code is clean and if you’re looking to add a new command to the Pedias this might be the plugin to start from as it will facilitate a lot of the boiler code by simply copy pasting one of the existing menu commands.

It might also be useful to rebuild the plugin if you find yourself using a command frequently as this would allow you to add a keyboard shortcut to the command. For example to make command-shift-L the keyboard shortcut you would add:

[renameFile setKeyEquivalent:@"L"];
[renameFile setKeyEquivalentModifierMask:NSCommandKeyMask];

Currently the source code is available as a zip format, in the future it will be up on a version control system so that we can all update it. In the meantime do send any useful improvements for inclusion.

Update: New menu command under Links that creates cover images from linked files that QuickTime can understand. This new command make the plugin 10.7+ only as it requires the AVFoundation.framework included in Lion.

I Don’t Want to Be Counted, I Just Want Links

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

I am an avid Google user and even though the quality of results has suffered in the last few years, I still use Google almost exclusively when researching a topic. When the question is simple, a visit to Wikipedia or Stackoverflow will suffice but when things get complicated I tend to open several of the search results for browsing. Inevitably the time comes when I realize I want to open a previous result that was prematurely closed but is now key – unfortunately Google has left my history useless.

I’ll never find that page even though I distinctly remember having “Step by Step” in the title and a favicon that had some sort of diagonal stripes.

Why is my history so useless? Is my computer broken or has Google broken the internet? Google actually displays the actual link under each title of the page to let users know what page they will be visiting. The link is also the actual href attribute of the link and is displayed at the footer status bar during a mouse over. But why isn’t it the link I get when I click or copy it? Because when the time comes to use a link Google uses Javascript to replace the link with a redirect to their own servers in order to keep track of what links users are clicking on (except when the link points to their own Google domain like images or maps).

As wonderful as that information might be to Google in improving their results rankings and knowing what results I favor most, it’s messing with my history as well as my ability to copy and paste a link (“Copy Link” shown above picks up the modified link) for a blog post or to email to a friend.

There must be a way to get the old direct-to-result Google back. There are no options to disable this behavior that I could find, not even in the name of privacy. After some searching I ran into a Japanese gentleman with the same linking sensibilities as mine who has written a Grease Monkey script that solves the issue. But in this day and age I want a simple Safari Extension that I can install and manage natively in Safari. After poking around for such a script (Dear Apple, could we please have search functionality in the extension gallery) I decided to build my own. I know nothing about Safari Extensions or programming one, but I am a Mac developer and I know what I want, so I started developing.

One hour and three lines of code later I present to you Google Direct. The Safari Extension that will remove the redirects from the Google links by stripping the “onmouseover” events Google uses to trick the href link into the replacement link.

With Google Direct Safari extension installed I am a happy camper, my history is looking unique and identifiable (the same results but now with names and favicons).

‘Copy link’ also gives me the crisp, short, original URL instead of a indecipherable mess:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croissant

Vs.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=croisants&source=web&cd=1&
ved=0CCgQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cooks.com%2Frec%2Fsearch%2F0%2C1-
0%2Ccroisants%2CFF.html&ei=cCG4TtSiI6TX0QHD5NTRBw&usg
=AFQjCNF7fQtjSwE9hpdNkIV9Ytl7orz-Og

Are there any downsides? Depends on where you stand. I am indeed depriving Google of knowing what links I followed and approximating how long I stayed (how long it took me to come back and click on another link of the same result set). On my side of the fence, where I usually stand, it’s an added bonus that I now also control a little more of my privacy with my new extension.

P.S. I ended up using Fine Cooking Classic Croissants recipe for making croissants. Now it has an elegant white orange hat and a title that was easy to spot in my history when I went back two days later – after tasting the results – to add it to my permanent bookmarks.

I Coulda Been a Contender

Friday, January 15th, 2010

I just read the interesting article by Dan Moren at Macworld about the possible text input methods for the probably upcoming Apple tablet (it could after all be something completely different). I expected a mention of the haptic feedback system that Apple patented a while ago. But it was not to be heard of. In the internet age anything that happened a few months ago is no longer of any relevance to the future; even if Macworld happened to write about it themselves.

So while we wait for the expected event let me, under the guise of an internet historian, dust the archives from yesteryear. I propose the possibility of an onscreen keyboard a la iPhone but one where the keys are also felt. The keyboard appears on the iPhone when needed in a number of configurations. Why not have the texture that delimits the keys also appear to match. It would eliminate the need to look down since users could feel the placement of the fingers, even include the dashes on the “F” and “J”. Knowing Apple it would probably feel natural. It still leaves the issue of having to put down the tablet when typing fast and a painfully hard surface. But it’s a small price to pay for a keyboard that physically appears and vanishes as if by magic. Given that this is the only other method I can think of that Dan Moren hasn’t already mentioned, I only have a single horse. Odds: 1 to 1.

It’s a technology one wishes one had thought of but aren’t most Apple products.

Who Can it Be Now?

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

I’ve been enjoying the Snow Leopard betas and am looking forward to Friday’s official release. Our programs are up to date and ready for the new OS X. However, I do have a small gripe. John Gruber over at Daring Fireball seems to think all changes are for the better but I must disagree in the sound department.

As humans we rely heavily on our sight to recognize objects by their shape, size and color. Our other senses come into play when we can’t see the object. I know when someone is calling by the ringing of my telephone. I have a different ring than my neighbor so that I know it’s my phone without having to think about the location of the noise. I even have different ringtones for different callers so I can identify them just by the sound. Since installing Snow Leopard I have been hearing the incoming SMS message tone but when I reach for my iPhone there is no message. Turns out the installer on Snow Leopard makes the same noise as an incoming SMS on the iPhone. Reaching for my iPhone and then noticing I’ve been deceived leaves me a little sad at not getting a message and a little angry at whoever is in charge of OS X system sounds.

DVDpedia and your home theatre

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

If you’re using DVDpedia to launch your movies then Washable Dry Ink has the post for you – how to launch VLC Full Screen with no windows/controller.

Washable Dry Ink is a blog about (mostly) building a home theater around Leopard. And of course, they use DVDpedia as part of their set up. If this is up your alley, make sure you take a look at our HT Guys post as well.