Alvin Alexander | Java, Scala, Unix, Perl, Mac OS X

Question: In a Java Swing application I open a JFrame that displays some contents in a JTextArea, and has a Close button (a JButton) at the bottom of the JFrame. I've tried a lot of things, but I can't get initial focus on that JButton component. This is happening on a Mac OS X system, but I'll assume it has the same problem on Windows. Any suggestions?

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.

I just had a problem using Ant on Mac OS X 10.4.x. As I was trying to get the jarbundler task to run, the jarbundler help text said to copy the jarbundler.jar file to the /Developer/Java/Ant/lib directory. Turns out this isn't right for my system, but I didn't know where Ant was getting its libraries from.

My exact error was:

taskdef class net.sourceforge.jarbundler.JarBundler cannot be found

Fortunately the following Ant command gave me all the output I needed, and much more:

I recently purchased an Acer X191W monitor, a flat-screen 19 inch monitor. While I have no complaints about the screen itself -- it's a very good picture -- the design of the stand is horrible. There is absolutely no flexibility at all in positioning the angle of the monitor. To get around this problem I currently have it resting on top of two books, with a deck of cards under the front portion of the monitor stand so it will tilt back to an angle that works well for me. I've never had a monitor that was this inflexible.

I just finished a short tutorial on using an open source JDBC framework named SQLProcessor. The SQLProcessor is a facade for some of the JDBC API. It's very cool on a variety of levels, including reducing coding errors, simplifying your Java code, and providing great debug output. The tutorial is available here.

 

I just posted a new tutorial titled How to bundle a Mac Java application on Mac OS X using Xcode's Jar Bundler. This tutorial demonstrates how to use the Mac OS X Jar Bundler utility to configure a Java application to install like a native Mac application, and look right in the Finder, the Dock, and the Get Info window. It also starts to look at using an Ant task to automate the bundling process.

 

I know that a lot of people who used previous versions of iMovie don't like iMovie '08, but as someone just getting started in creating and editing videos, I find it to be very easy to use, and seems to work the way I think. Step 1, load my video files. Step 2, extract clips from existing videos to create the desired video, add effects, etc.

Mac Mighty Mouse FAQ: Help, my Apple wireless Mighty Mouse clicks but won't track properly; what's going on?

I’ve had a lot of problems with batteries with my Apple Bluetooth (wireless) Mighty Mouse, including this “tracking” problem, but fortunately everything just came to a happy conclusion.

Mac Olympus DS-30 review: Here's my quick take on the Olympus DS-30, from the perspective of a Mac user.

If anyone is looking at an Olympus DS-30 voice recorder, and wondering if it will work with Mac OS X (in particular for making podcasts), the answer is both yes and no (with a little extra emphasis on the "no").

Summary: The Toyota RAV, 2006 model and newer, have become famous for a steering column klunking sound. Toyota then saddles the RAV4 owner with an $800 repair bill.

The question is, why isn't there a Toyota recall on this steering column klunking sound problem?

As I continue working on a text editor built for an audience of one (me) I've written a tutorial on how to make a Java/Swing application look like a native Mac OS X application.

My goal is to take this as far as I can, trying to make a complicated Java application look and feel like a Mac Cocoa application, but, I want to do this without severely compromising the cross-platform benefits of Java.

Mac ISO burning FAQ: How do I burn an ISO image on Mac OS X?

It seems like lately all I'm doing is burning stuff to a CD or DVD on my Mac OS X system, first backups, and now I'm burning ISO images.

If you've never burned an ISO image to a CD or DVD on a Mac before, it's pretty easy. Here's how I just burned a Fedora ISO image on my MacBook Pro, which is a Mac OS X 10.4.10 system.

Wow, I missed this news from last year: the Mac OS X Cocoa-Java API is deprecated.

I know that when I was reading Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X earlier this year the author (Hillegass) said not to use it, but I didn't realize it was a total no-no. As the first link says, use JNI instead.

 

Mac OS X Finder FAQ: What keyboard shortcuts can I use with the Mac OS X Finder?

Mac OS X Finder keyboard shortcuts (keystrokes)

Wow, once I learned a few Mac OS X Finder keyboard shortcuts, I like the Finder much more. It was freaking me out that the [Enter] key doesn’t actually open a file or directory, it just lets you change the name. The keystrokes are much different than Windows, and it takes a while to get used to them. But once you start using them, they’re easy to remember.

I've published a new software cost estimating tutorial. As much as any tutorial I've ever written, this one is a work in progress.

That being said, I hope it's off to a good start. As mentioned in the tutorial, I'll update several items when I can get to some IFPUG documents that are currently stored in a box about 5,000 miles from my current location.

I just updated my tutorial titled Mac CD/DVD backup using Mac OS X Burn Folders. I've found the Mac burn folder approach so effective I actually make Mac CD and DVD backups on a regular basis these days. :)

On a related note, as opposed to burning Mac backups to CD or DVD, I've also been researching Mac online backup services, and I'm documenting those findings in these Mac backup articles:

My third installment on creating podcasts on the Mac with GarageBand is now online.

For now that's the final installment, unless I get a bunch of requests to cover some other features. This installation covers splitting clips, joining clips, importing audio files, adding tracks, and working with background clips.

 

A few days ago I sat down and talked to myself (you can do that a lot in a small cabin in Alaska) and tried to think if there were any ways I could be more productive.

The biggest thing that was bothering me (the problem statement) was the time it takes after I've "finished" writing a long, multi-page tutorial before it can be published. I prefer writing longer tutorials, but they do take a fair amount of effort.

Mac batch image resizing FAQ: Is there a built-in Mac OS X command I can use to batch resize images and photos on my Mac OS X  computer?

This article shows a “Mac batch image resize” approach you can use from the Mac Terminal command line, and in the link I share below I also show to how to batch resize images using a Mac GUI tool.

Here's a Unix shell script that converts all "*.png" files in the current directory to lower-case names. In my case I had files named "Slide1.png", etc., and I wanted them to be named "slide1.png", and this script did the trick.