Mac Genie tip - how to enable the slow Genie effect

Have you ever seen Steve Jobs (or anyone else) do the "slow Genie" effect when minimizing a window on Mac OS X, and wondered how they did that?

Turns out it's pretty simple: just hold down the Shift key when clicking the yellow minimize button on any Mac OS X window. Assuming you have the Genie effect enabled (see your Dock preferences), the Genie effect will still work, but it will send your window to the Dock very slowly. This may not be too useful for everyday work, but it is kinda cool for presentations. :)


Mac - VoodooPad review

VoodooPad is a really interesting application for Mac OS X users. As stand-alone applications go I don't know any good comparisons. But when you compare it to web applications it's easy to say, "Oh, it's a wiki." But really, it's a personal, one-user wiki, written as a fat client instead of a web application, with a few extra features thrown in for good measure.

TaskPaper product review

As I mentioned in a review of the Easy Task Manager for Mac OS X, I've come to prefer an application named TaskPaper.

TaskPaper takes an interesting approach of letting you work on a plain-text file with custom tags. Possibly the best features about TaskPaper is that it looks like the normal paper lists I normally make, and also lets you cross completed tasks off the list, giving you that good old feeling of accomplishment.

Two cool Mac applications from Hog Bay Software

I took a little time today to review two applications from hog bay software, and so far I like them. TaskPaper is a very simple to-do list "getting things done" application. It seems like a very minimalist application, and in some ways I want it to do more -- especially for the price -- but I do like scratching items off my list, the fact that it stores the data as plain old text, and a simple tag approach. It looks like it offers printing and archiving of tasks, but I haven't tried those yet.

TextMate product review

As general-purpose text editors go, TextMate on Mac OS X is probably one of the best I've ever used. Favorite features are the built-in spell-checking, solid macro support, and a clean UI that stays out of the way. It also offers syntax highlighting for many different languages out of the box, which is nice when because I work in HTML, Java, and Ruby a lot. Smart tabs generally work very well also.

Sample Mac Jar Bundler Ant build script

I was going to write a little tutorial on how to use the Jar Bundler Ant task for Mac OS X, but I don't have the time to do that right now.

So, I'll just share my Mac OS X Java Ant build script, which includes the JarBundler task. You should be able to use this Ant build script to build a Java application so it appears to the user to be a native Mac OS X application, even though it's really a Java application under the covers.

AppleScript error: Can't make (handler) into type string

If you ever get the following error message in an AppleScript program (at least while editing the program in the ScriptEditor):

Can't make (handler) into type string

fear not, it seems to be pretty simple to cure. In my case I got this more-specific error message:

Can't make (handler getDayOfWeek) into type string

This error just means that I tried to call a function like this:

Create Mac "icns" icon files with Icon Composer

If you need to create icons for an application on a Mac OS X system, Apple provides a small application named "Icon Composer". If you have the Xcode tools installed, this application is in the /Developer/Applications/Utilites/Icon Composer folder on your system. (Choose Macintosh HD, then Developer, Applications, Utilities, and then the Icon Composer application.) More to the point, this utility program helps you create icons in Apple's "icns" format from icon images in other formats.

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