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Notes on configuring Sencha Touch, Nginx, and Play on Mac OS X

These are a few notes on how I set up my Mac OS X development environment for my Radio Pi Mobile application (RPM). The app uses Sencha Touch for the front end, the Scala Play Framework for the backend server, and Nginx to glue them together.

The Play server

The server component of RPM is written using the Scala Play Framework. It runs on port 9000, and I configure it in Nginx like this:

How to kill/disable the Dashboard in Mac OS X 10.9

OS X 10.9 is sucking the life out of my old Mac, a 2008 iMac. Like turning off everything on Star Trek’s Enterprise so you can give power to something else (like the engines or shields), I keep looking for ways to bring a little life back to it. One way I’ve read about is to kill the Dashboard on 10.9.

You can kill the Dashboard with this Mac OSX defaults command, issued in a Mac Terminal window:

The Mac OS X 10.9 "won't shutdown" (slow shutdown) problem

Since upgrading to Mac OS X 10.9 I’ve experienced the problem other people have reported, where their Mac won’t shutdown, or shuts down very slowly. We had a huge lightning storm roll in a few days ago, and when my 2008 iMac didn’t shut down after three minutes of waiting, I finally had to press and hold the button on the back to force it to shut down.

Since then I’m glad to say that the following series of defaults write commands has helped my iMac to shut down much more quickly:

A Python screensaver for xscreensaver (Linux)

I know remarkably little about Python and GTK, but from the two URLs shown in the source code below I was able to piece together a working, “Well, world” screensaver. Well, calling it a screensaver is a stretch, because what it will really do is burn the characters “Hello, world” into your monitor; but at least I cracked the code on how to get this started.

To try this on your own Linux system running xscreensaver, first save the following source code somewhere. I’ll assume that you’ve saved it to /home/al/hello.py:

AlRadio

I’ll write more about this as time goes on, but I’ve finished the first round of software (and hardware) development on my “AlRadio” project. This project lets me play local FM radio stations, online radio streams, recorded radio streams, and podcasts, all from a little Raspberry Pi (RPI) computing system.

First, here’s a short video of my RPI Radio in action:

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