The upgrade to 10.9 Mavericks has been mostly free of headaches for me, with one notable exception–Apple quietly updated Ruby to version 2.0, which has unfortunately resulted in some broken scripts that I depend on every day. Even more unfortunately, I don’t really know much about Ruby. I’ve tweaked other people’s code to my liking here and there, but there are a lot of things about it I just haven’t yet had the time to learn about. This combination of circumstances left me with a bunch of broken workflows and no idea how to fix them.
I got a chance to do a little searching this weekend, and I finally found the tip I was looking for thanks to a search on app.net; all one has to do in order to use Ruby 1.8 is to employ the following shebang in one’s scripts:
This is just a quick tip for those users of Alfred 2 who might not have thought of it yet: I put together a couple of dead-simple workflows which allow me to open the Web sites I use most with a keyboard shortcut. For example, I can open this site–from anywhere in OS X–with ⌘-J. I open my webcomic’s site with ^-⌘-R.
Here’s how to accomplish this:
Create a new workflow in Alfred’s preferences, and name it whatever you like.
Hit the + sign and add a hotkey trigger.
Then just add an open URL action and include the URL you want to reach.
It’s a simple enough thing, but it saves me tons of aggravation on a daily basis.
Brett Terpstra’s nvremind is an incredibly useful Ruby script which scans a given folder of plain text files looking for @remind(YYYY-mm-dd HH:MM) tags. When the script runs (it’s designed to be run on a regular basis–every half-hour, by default–via launchd), it sends the user a notification via a variety of methods, and edits the found tag to @reminded(YYYY-mm-dd HH:MM). It’s a really versatile and handy way to turn your existing plain-text notes into a giant, always-nagging monstrosity, and I love it.
The script is designed to scan an entire folder, and I have been using those @remind(YYYY-mm-dd HH:MM) tags throughout all of my notes. However, I’ve also found it useful to dump all of my new reminders into a single “To-Do” file, which I process later on as necessary. This practice gives one the option of setting up quick, automated ways of entering new reminders on both iOS and OS X; for these purposes I’m using Drafts and Alfred 2.
In a previous post, I outlined my method for rapidly firing off a DayOne entry using Drafts for iOS. I’d like to follow up with a couple of methods I’ve devised for doing what amounts to the same thing when I’m sitting at my Mac. Sure, it’s not that big a deal to open up DayOne, wait for the app to load, enter a passcode, hit the ‘new entry’ button…but all of that takes a little longer than I’d like it to when I just want to jot something down quickly and then get right back into what I was doing. So I’ve come up with two solutions to this problem: one is a very simple workflow for Alfred 2, and the other is an OS X System Service.
I have an incredibly geeky need to log information about my life–for my own uses, mind you–and a big part of how I address that need is in journaling with DayOne, an app with variants on both OS X and iOS. It syncs flawlessly across devices and (Apple’s) platforms, and has a well-designed interface which makes it a joy to use. The act of writing stuff in DayOne is great for me, which is why I have to find some problem with it.
Sometimes I just want to dash off a thought really quickly–without launching DayOne, waiting for it to open, entering my passcode, tapping to begin a new entry, and so on and so on. I decided I’d find a quicker way to add entries to my journal. Luckily, the developer of DayOne has implemented a pretty handy (if basic) command-line interface, which means that it’s easy to script and automate the app. What I ended up with is this: I type my markdown-formatted entry in Drafts, fire a Dropbox action, and…that’s it. It doesn’t open another app. It just adds the entry to my journal in the background. It takes a little bit of work to set it up, but it’ll save you a lot of time over the long haul. It’s awesome.
In Mac OS X […] an en dash can be obtained by typing ⌥+-, while an em dash can be typed with ⌥+⇧+-.
In Microsoft Windows running on a computer whose keyboard has a numeric keypad, an en or em dash may be typed into most text areas by using their respective Alt code by holding down the Alt key and pressing either 0150 or 0151. The numbers must be typed on the numeric keypad with Num Lock enabled. In addition, the Character Map utility included with MS Windows can be used to copy and paste en and em dash characters into most applications—along with accented letters and other non-English language characters.
I needed a way to batch-convert a bunch of Markdown files to corresponding HTML files, so I wrote this simple OS X system service which does just that. I thought it might be helpful to others, so here you go. Happy nerding.