Thursday
Sep302010

Quicksilver, Twitter, and OAuth

A few years ago, I discovered this wonderful way to tweet from Quicksilver. But then Twitter changed something something OAuth something something at the end of August 2010. I stumbled upon this workaround:

1. sign up on SuperTweet.net and authorize it with your twitter account.
2. open up Keychain Access and make a new entry (just enter SuperTweet as the item name, SuperTweet username, SuperTweet password)
3. edit your current Tweet script to something like shown below (basically changing references from Twitter.com to api.SuperTweet.net). Bonus tip: you can hard-code geolocation to your tweet, which is useful if you always Quicksilverly tweet from the same place/s, or if you feel like lying about where you are.


  using terms from application "Quicksilver"
	on process text tweet
		tell application "Keychain Scripting"
			set twitter_key to first generic key of current keychain whose name is "SuperTweet"
			set twitter_login to quoted form of (account of twitter_key & ":" & password of twitter_key)
		end tell
		set twitter_status to quoted form of ("source=qucs&lat=21.510625&long=-157.969311&status=" & tweet)
		set results to do shell script "curl --user " & twitter_login & " --data-binary " & twitter_status & " http://api.supertweet.net/statuses/update.json"
		-- display dialog results
		return nothing
	end process text
end using terms from  


I would have liked if the tweet entry still said “via Quicksilver” like the good old days, but “via MyAuth API proxy” sounds nerdy enough for me. It’ll do for now, I guess.

UPDATE November 11 2011:
Since I upgraded to OS X 10.7 Lion, the original script above failed because Apple got rid of the Keychain Scripting app (probably for security reasons). So, you’ll just need to hardcode the username and password for SuperTweet into the applescript directly, instead of trying to fetch it from the Keychain. And, no, that’s not my real password:
using terms from application "Quicksilver"
	on process text tweet
		set twitter_status to quoted form of ("status=" & tweet)
		set results to do shell script "curl --user jaysin:passw0rd" & " --data-binary " & twitter_status & " http://api.supertweet.net/statuses/update.json"
		-- display dialog results
		return nothing
	end process text
end using terms from 




http://jay.si/qstweet

Monday
Sep272010

Stubborn iTunes Mini Player

This has been bugging me for a couple of iterations now. It may have been the switch from Tiger to Leopard, or it could have been some small point-release update somewhere in between. The problem started after I decided to keep my iTunes mini player in the lower right corner of my screen. It seemed the best place for it ever since I moved the dock to the lower left corner. And then I solidified my decision when I added a few nerdy GeekTool stats to my desktop.

Then one day after an OS update, it just wouldn’t work right anymore. I couldn’t move the Mini Player below the height of my dock. The bigger the dock was, the larger the restricted area was. I would drag the mini player down to the corner, and it would annoyingly jump back up by 50 pixels. Even though the dock was way over on the other side of the screen, it still selfishly hogged up the entire bottom 50 pixels. Stupid. It was so stupid. I just wanted it to go back to the way it was.

So for a while, I just dealt with it. I either hid iTunes (which sucked if I wanted to see the currently playing song), or just left iTunes open as a full-size background window, which seemed cluttered to me. It was lame. Then I figured out that if I set the dock to auto-hide, the lower-50 was no longer No-Man’s land. So then I would be able to keep iTunes in the bottom corner, but then my dock was hidden. Lame. Since my dock is much longer than the mini player, this method resulted in much more empty/wasted space on the left side. As you can tell, this was deeply disturbing to my inner being. But whatever, I dealt with it for a while.

The behavior changed back and forth a bit between 10.x and 10.x.x upgrades. I just dealt with whichever workaround worked. Right now, it lets me drag the window below the threshold, but it just won’t remember its position if I go from full window to mini player. Clicking the green button, selecting Window ➔ Zoom, or using my keyboard shortcut for Zoom (currently ⌘-Control-Z) all result in the same aggravating jump-up-50-pixels behavior. Until recently.

My current workaround (on 10.6.4) that seems marginally okay for daily use is as follows: Set the dock to auto-hide with a key combo that’s similar to the Zoom key combo. Now, all i have to do in order to go from full iTunes window to mini player in its correct place without jumping up is press ⌘-Ctrl-D ⌘-Ctrl-Z ⌘-Ctrl-D. Dock hides, window zooms to mini player, and Dock unhides. Easy breezy. Sometimes i forget to hide the dock, but that doesn’t happen very often, and I can just drag the window back down. It was just upsetting me enough for so long that I needed to put this up on the internet, since I wasn’t able to find any fix for it online anywhere. I didn’t even find any complaints. Maybe it’s just my machine. Oh well. It’s fixed. For the most part.



http://jay.si/itunes

Friday
Aug272010

Dead Again

I just got a call from my sister in Milwaukee saying that the computer won’t turn on now. All I know is that it was working fine yesterday. I turned it off and on a bunch of times to make sure it was working, and it was. It was happily plugged in at my desk this afternoon, then it was unplugged and taken to Milwaukee, where it now will not turn on. What the frak. So it’s on it’s way back to me now, so I can work on it tonight before I get on a plane to New York tomorrow morning. Great.

Wednesday
Aug252010

Mission Accomplished

The Sweet Green Ring of Power

I think I finally got it. After all those painstaking weeks of messing with these two stupid computers, I think I may have actually solved the initial issue: a broken power adapter port. The intermediate solution of having her use an old 12-inch PowerBook didn’t work out exactly, since that little guy had power-on issues of its own. And it had a noticeably smaller screen. One $10 ribbon cable and one $80 DC power board later, I think my mission is complete.

I’m glad it’s over. It seemed like every time I was about to make some progress, there would be some sort of roadblock hindering me in some way. First, I didn’t even want to do it at all. Then I started on it, but I didn’t have a small enough Phillip’s head screwdriver. Then I didn’t have a Torx screwdriver, which I didn’t realize until I was right in the middle of dismantling it. Then I chipped off some tiny piece of something or other while removing the keyboard. Then I needed an ever-so-slightly-larger Torx screwdriver. Seriously, why were there 289 different types of screws in these things? Then I needed to buy a different hard drive ribbon cable because the 12-inch PowerBook doesn’t have the same one as the 15-inch. After moving the hard drive to the 12-inch, I eventually had to move it back to the 15-inch. More dismantling occurred. Then I needed thermal paste to reapply to the heat sink. Then I needed to buy some isopropyl alcohol because the old paste wasn’t coming off. Then I didn’t have time to finish it all before my sister left for college again. Did I mention that I dismantled and reassembled the computers every time this happened? That was stupid and unnecessary.

“Why didn’t you just read all the directions first?”
“Um, I did. But the steps for taking it apart are different than putting it back together. And things like thermal paste and alcohol weren’t mentioned as being required at the beginning of the instructions. So there.”

But now I’m done. I’m pretty sure. The brand new power board is working great, although I did have one small scare when I was trying to plug in an older power adapter (that already didn’t work). When I realized I was using the old flakey plug, I plugged in the newer one and it clicked in so satisfyingly and lit up that oh-so-familiar green ring of light. Too bad the battery is so old and worn out that it won’t hold a charge anymore. But whatever, the computer is in better condition than when it got to me, so I feel accomplished.



http://jay.si/mission

Wednesday
Aug182010

Old & Charred vs. the New Hotness

So for whatever reason, the 12-inch PowerBook was merely a temporary fix. Apparently, it likes to not turn on sometimes. Lame. So I went back to the drawing board and decided to invest in a new DC power board for the original 15-incher. So after a while of researching on eBay for used ones, I found a website selling new ones. It even cost less than some used ones, interestingly enough. So that arrived, and I began to re-dismantle the 15-inch for the 657th time. But this time, I had to go even deeper and basically dismantle the entire thing.

About halfway through, I realized that I didn’t have the appropriate screwdriver to continue. So I was stuck there for a couple days as I searched for the right one. All I needed was a T8 Torx screwdriver. I found a T7, but that was of course too small, and just barely so. But luckily, I stumbled upon the right-sized one at work and brought it home. So I resumed the dismemberment of the old machine and got all the way to the last step, removing the old power board. Yay!

Too bad I now need some thermal paste in order to put the thing back together. If I don’t apply a new coating to the heat sink, the processor is going to overheat and cause more headaches later. So now there are screws all over my desk, arranged in a highly organized and delicate manner, and the laptop is in huge pieces on my floor. I can’t wait for this to finally be over. Oh, and here’s a picture comparing the old power connector (left) with the new hotness (right).



http://jay.si/charred