No notifications, full screen, no screen saver applescript

flickr photo shared by David Allen Wizardgold under a Creative Commons ( BY-ND ) license I saw this exchange on Twitter yesterday. hear me out. "netflix mode" keyboard shortcut that auto full screens, disables all notifications & suspends screensaver — Tressie Mc (@tressiemcphd) August 10, 2015 It seemed like something I could do in Applescript for those on the Mac. This example works in 10.10.4 (and could form the basis for something similar that’d work in other OS versions). Note, at the moment it doesn’t turn things back on afterwards. If I see any interest, I’ll add that kind of thing. Currently, it also assumes you want Chrome to go full screen but it’d be easy to change that to whatever application you want. To try it out, open up Applications>Script Editor. Cut and paste this in and hit the play button. If it does what you want, you can save it as an App and then just click it to launch.

Keynote “Flowing Ribbon” Tutorial

This is just one of those weird little things that might come in handy for someone someday plus I’m always happy to see software do things that are just a bit off standard. Part of our online summer courses is creating course trailers. One of the instructors wanted to portray the connection between stages in a persons’s life as connected by a moving ribbon that links different representational photographs together. A cool idea and one that I wanted to support. Given we’re dealing with a large number of people, the goal was to do something that was quick and relatively easy. I may yet choose another piece of1 software but I managed to do the example above in Keynote (Apple’s version of PowerPoint). I’m pretty sure you could do it in PPT as well. Step one is to put the image in and draw some lines with the vector tool. It’ll be easiest if you end the ribbon in one of the main directions of movement (up, down, left, right). In this case I chose down. The vector drawing tool in Keynote is quite different from what you’re used to in Illustrator or Photoshop or anything I’ve ever used. I kind of like it but it’s different. Once you have that set up, select the line and click on “Build […]

Minor Workflow Tip for Apple’s Preview

I have a beautiful new laptop but I have yet to transfer over my actual drawing programs (Omnigraffle, Photoshop, Illustrator). I had the need for a few icons for a website I’m working on and Keynote 6 is on this machine so I gave it a shot. I was very pleasantly surprised by the vector drawing tool. It’s different in a way that’s hard to articulate but I think people who are not familiar with vector drawing will really like it (and it probably won’t make the others too angry either). One minor trick worth knowing is that if you copy items, vector items in this case, in Keynote (and other programs) and flip over to Preview, you can create a new image with just that selection by choosing File>New From Clipboard. That saves you a few steps and in this case gives you a nice PNG file with alpha transparencies with no effort. The results look something like this. No muss, no fuss. The icons are on Flickr if there of any interest and if you choose the original size you’ll get the PNG files with transparency.

IOGraphica: It had to be done

I blame D’Arcy for this. I kept thinking that it’d be interesting to take the results of IOGraphica and make it into stop motion animation. I looked for ways to download the image every X minutes but failed to find any way to do that in the program. I then thought, I could just remember to do this every hour or so. Then I realized I’d never do that even with a calendar reminder and besides, computers are supposed to do this stuff for me. My next attempt was to search for AppleScripts that might have been written to do this for me. I wandered around quite a bit and found nothing. I then looked to see if IOGraphica had anything in the AppleScript Dictionary (While running Script Editor>File>Open Dictionary> choose the App you want). Nothing there. Now I was stuck. I had invested nearly an hour last night searching for the answer. I saw a few other people interested in a solution. So, I dusted off a few of my old AppleScripting bookmarks in delicious1. The hassle with Applescripting applications without dictionaries is that you are pretty much shooting blind . . . unless you use the amazingly useful UI Browser. If AppleScripting were a class the teacher would ban the UI Browser. It not only helps you find […]

Working Hard at Being Lazy with Automator

We just got a few new beautiful MacBook Pros in our office. I hated to see their desktops get all junked up like the old computers were- some people cover every inch of desktop until files overlap. So to amuse myself and to play around with Automator I decided I’d make something that makes a folder for the current date in your Documents folder takes all the crap off your desktop and puts it there then deletes all the stuff on your desktop It took about 30 minutes to do, mainly because I couldn’t get the contents of the Finder to get refreshed before it selected what to delete 1. So I’d watch it copy to the right folder but then it’d erase the desktop and the contents of the Documents folder. It was strange but I eventually just broke the action into two parts 2. It’s my first time using Automator so constructive criticism is welcome. I’m running 10.5.6 so I’ll say it works on that if both the app files are in the Applications folder and assuming your Documents folder is in the normal location. I put it in my Dock with a soap icon from Fight Club. You could also have iCal activate it automatically through the open file option under alarms. If you’re interested in seeing […]

iPod Touch Hack for iCal

I got an iPod Touch as a gift recently and was thrilled. As I started playing around with it I found I really wanted to be able to do more- like some of the stuff the iPhone could do. I especially wanted to be able to add to my calendar on the fly and to take notes. So the first thing I did was use iJailbreak which required no brains on my part. It’s really just restarting a few times- no coding, no terminal, nothing difficult at all. That got me the iPhone apps and the option to install more programs later (assuming the next update doesn’t kill the iPod). I still could not add events to iCal and that was nagging at me so I found this hack. All you’re doing is adding one small chunk of xml to a specific plist file (/System/Library/CoreServices/ on your iPod. That turned out to be fairly easy as well. I got the IP address for my iPod (under Settings>WiFi>then click the blue arrow to the right of your network) I opened Cyberduck and opened a new connection using SFTP to that IP with the user name root and the password alpine I then navigated to /System/Library/CoreServices/ (Cyberduck may open your window in something other than the root view so make sure you […]

Awesome – Univ. of South Florida on iTunesU

If you haven’t checked out iTunes U, I strongly recommend you go there immediately and look at the University of South Florida’s College of Education content. I’m amazed at what they’ve been up to. It’s lots of high quality video content covering tech integration lesson plans, student centered audio books in English and Spanish and a variety of tech tips covering social bookmarking, flickr and a lot more. This is a huge amount of content and virtually all of would be incredibly useful for staff development in school systems anywhere. It makes me wonder how much awesome work is going on between colleges and school systems that could be applied nationally but isn’t for lack of a publicized and easily searchable distribution network. That brings us back to the whole idea of universal tagging . . . and this comment by Tarmo Toikkanen (my new hero- really go look at the concept map). I didn’t see it for a while because it was caught in the spam net but it means that far smarter people have been working on this for a while and re-inventing the wheel might not be necessary. Worth thinking about anyway. Regarding this tagging issue, I’d like to point you to the CALIBRATE project ( and specifically the work carried out in work package 1 ( […]

WWDC Keynote Bingo

If you are an UberMacDork like Tom and I, you may be feeling a bit of excitement right now over Steve Job’s WWDC Keynote scheduled for tomorrow. This may be the cherry on top: Keynote Bingo. Available as a PDF or program. via TUAW

Other Uses for Comic Life

I’ve been using Comic Life for a while now (which is probably pretty obvious to anyone who reads regularly) BUT I’m trying to help get a site license approved for the county so I made up two quick examples of other types of uses today and figured I’d post them. If anyone has done anything cool with Comic Life and feels like sharing some examples of student or teacher work I’d appreciate it. The history example hits on SOLs 6c and 6d dealing the Revolutionary War and why the colonists won. This example is meant to show how it can make relatively dull vocabulary work more entertaining. Sure, could do something similar in Word BUT the key is that Comic Life makes this both very easy and very fun. I seem to recall that fun things work better with kids.