As a follow up to the Palm IRSync hint, I have information on how to get your Handspring Visor or Visor Deluxe to IR sync in OS X.
First, go to Palm's IR Enhancement download site and download the IR Enhancement package in zip format (to make it easier to open). Expand it on the desktop (or wherever) and install Serialirpnl.prc and Serircommlib.prc to your Visor via the USB Cradle.
Next, download the beam sync enabler package. It includes a more descriptive text file that explains everything in it. Expand the package and install bsync-e.prc onto your Visor.
Restart the Visor when prompted and go into your Preferences panel. Turn on Beam Sync-ing and follow the rest of the original tip on doing IRSyncs with Palm Desktop 4.0!
I've just completed a Cocoa batch encoder for OS X. It's really a GUI front end for LAME, with the potential to easily support other codecs (like Vorbis). It's called RipBeak (312K); here's a screenshot.
I wrote this app because it's something I wanted that did not yet exist (to my knowledge). I'm releasing it for free because I think it's something a lot of other people would like to use.
[Editor's note: I have not used this encoder myself, but thought it might be of general interest given the strong feedback on a previous hint regarding an AppleScript that works with the LAME encoder.]
While you could use ObectFarmSpell for an embedded spell checker in Cocoa apps, that leaves Carbon apps without support.
I use a system of Excalibur and CopyPaste-X. Excalibur is a freeware spell checker which has more specialized dictionaries than you can imagine, will spell check the clipboard, and has some technical capacities related to the print industry (it is LaTeX aware which I never use).
CopyPaste-X is a shareware application which allows multiple clipboards. It has different capabilities than the OS9.x versions, including a Clipboard Editor which is activated when you double click on a clipboard (even an empty clipboard). Excalibur works with the last item copied.
The reason I'm mentioning that is because you can use Excalibur in any application just by the standard highlight, copy to clipboard via the keyboard, and then run Excalibur's File > Open Clipboard (Command + T). Or if you want to post to a forum, for example, you can double click on an empty clipboard in a CopyPaste palette, either the Clipboard Recorder or Clipboard Extender, compose your message, highlight it and run Excalibur. Close the Clipboard Editor, and the message is ready to be pasted into any forum text box or form. It's like having your own preview and spell checker always available.
[Editor's note: I have not tried this combination of products to create a global spell checker, but it sounds intriguing...]
The Palm website gives instructions on how to sync via IrDA but they are woefully incomplete. After spending a few hours tinkering with different configurations I finally got it to work.
You must first make sure that you have Palm OS 3.5.3 installed. Otherwise the hotsync will begin and then quit as it will try to install the 3.5.3 update and then die. I had to install the update from a PC, since I couldn't sync on my powerbook. It is probably possible to install it with Palm HotSync for OS 9 but I never tried this. Palm has a web page that talks about not being able to hotsync pdb's or prc's via IrDA.
Read the rest of the article for the step-by-step to sync via IrDA in OS X...
I don't know how long its been there, but you can enable/disable iTunes plugins by simply getting information on the application, then choosing Plugins in the drop-down menu. I found this out while searching for a way to make my external burner supported in iTunes (it's supported by Toast and Disk Burner, but iTunes says no).
I was removing MP3's from my iTunes list and it was giving me the "remove from library?" window. I was removing tons of songs and got sick of using the mouse, so I hit 'Y' and Bam! it worked. 'N' also works for no. Found out that 'C' works for cancel. Not sure which other apps may support these keys.
[Editor's note: This doesn't seem to work on open/save dialogs, as the "Go" data entry box captures your keystrokes. It may be restricted to warning dialogs only, but I haven't come across one to test with yet.]
I discovered this in MS Word, but it might apply to other X applications. I was using an old Word Perfect converted document in Word X, and when I tried to print, Word constantly and unexpectedly quit.
I realized the document's name had a date in it in this format: mm/dd/yy. Word doesn't allow forward slashes (/) in filenames anymore (although the Finder does). The document printed perfectly after I renamed it with this date format: mm-dd-yy. Is this a Windows compatibility "feature?"
[Editor's note: Anyone have any information on officially allowed filenames, either in Office or OS X in general?]
While browsing the Macworld forums this afternoon, I noticed a post stating that the Microsoft Mouse drivers had been released. The servers are actually in the midst of being updated right now, but I dug around a bit and found a viable download URL.
You need to pop-up the operating system choices to see the OS X version. The final choice is "OS X 10.1.2". I'd call this a very quiet release, at least so far (there's no information on Mactopia about it).
The mouse program installs into /Applications, with no way to specify a directory that I saw. It is, however, just a program, so it should work fine if moved. Note that a restart is required after installing the driver.
When you launch the mouse program, you can select tabs to control the mouse pointer speed (max setting is pretty quick, but not as fast as you can get with the Turbo Mouse preferences panel), buttons (all programmable), and wheel (how many lines to scroll). With the drivers installed, my side and wheel buttons are now once again usable in OS X! It's so nice going "forward" and "back" using the two side buttons again.
I've only had it running for about 45 minutes now, but I haven't noticed any problems as of yet. Running top in the terminal shows a "Microsoft Mouse Helper" background app, but it was taking 0.0% of the CPU the whole time I watched (even while actively using the mouse).
As a side benefit, the MS driver has fixed a longstanding OS X issue for me. Previously, if I switched my mouse and keyboard over to my other machine, when I returned to the Mac the mouse would be very slow, and I'd have to manually reset the speed in the preference panel. Now, the speed setting is retained when I return to the Mac.
So if you have a Microsoft Mouse, head on over to the download site to grab the new drivers. The Macworld forum post also implied that the keyboard driver would be released next month.
Today I was drawing in VectorWorks 9.5.0 and I needed to print in a custom paper size. But I own an Epson Stylus Color 777 and the drivers for OS X don't allow you to create custom paper sizes, at least at this time.
But I discovered that you can actually create them!
I drew what I needed, saved it and quit VectorWorks. I was decided to print it in the Classic environment, because I have my printer installed in OS 9 and there custom sizes are allowed. So I went to start Classic but first I went to the VW folder and selected the VW icon, pressed command + i for file info and checked the option to start up it in Classic (although not recommended by VW's manufacturer). Then I launched Classic and then VW.
Of course, here I was allowed to create a custom paper size, and I made a 24 x 110 cm page. I printed it succesfully (but slowly), and quit VW, quit the Classic environment and then again went to the VW icon to uncheck the "startup in Classic option".
Only because of curiosity, I launched VW again (now in native OS X, not Classic) and opened the drawing I was working on. Went to page setup and ... surprise! The custom paper size I had made in Classic appeared selected! I tried to print in a paper of that size, and... it was printed succesfully!!!
So, VW 9.5.0 keeps custom paper sizes from OS 9 to OS X, and you can print in custom sizes in X.
After you create a custom paper size, do not delete that file. Just clear its contents and paste whatever you want to print, because that custom size is available only for that file. But VW accepts lots of image formats, text, and others, so if you have it, you can use it for creating custom papers if you have an Epson printer. I think it should work with other X supported Epson models.