mac

How to fire MacOS notifications with AppleScript and Scala

Table of Contents1 - A “Hello, world” MacOS AppleScript notification2 - AppleScript: Mac notification with a sound3 - How to add a title and subtitle to your notification4 - Running from Scala (or Java)5 - See also6 - Summary

Summary: This tutorial demonstrates how to fire MacOS system notifications with AppleScript and Scala (or Java).

In this article it helps if you already know a little bit about AppleScript, though that’s not completely necessary. Near the end of the tutorial I show how to invoke the AppleScript code using Scala, so feel free to skip down to there if you just want to see that — you can always read the stuff at the top for reference later.

Scala shell scripts hang indefinitely on MacOS 10.13 and 10.14 (won’t run)

If you run into a problem where a Scala shell script won’t run on MacOS — it hangs indefinitely without doing anything — hopefully this bug report will help. The solution is to change this line at the beginning of the Scala shell script:

exec scala -savecompiled "$0" "$@"

to this:

exec scala -nocompdaemon -savecompiled "$0" "$@"

I just had this problem with Scala 2.12.x and Java 8 running on MacOS 10.14.4, and I can confirm that adding -nocompdaemon solved the problem for me.

A shell script to change between MacOS dark mode and light mode

If you want to create a shell script so you can change between MacOS dark mode and light mode from the Terminal (Unix) command line, put this source code in a file and name it something like dark:

osascript -e \
'tell application "System Events" to tell appearance preferences to set dark mode to not dark mode'

Then make that file executable, and make sure it’s on your PATH. Now you can type dark to toggle back and forth between dark mode and the regular light mode:

How to batch-convert Mac BMP, JPG, PNG image files, free

Mac batch image conversion FAQ: How can I “batch convert” images from one image format to another on a Mac, such as BMP to JPG, or PNG to JPG?

As I mentioned in my earlier Mac batch image resizing tutorial, the Mac OS X Automator application is my new best friend. Besides letting you easily batch resize images very easily, the Automator also lets you easily batch create thumbnails for images, and also lets you convert images from one image format to another (BMP to JPG, PNG to JPG, etc.).

Here’s a quick look at how to use the Mac Automator to “batch convert” images from one file format to another, including image file formats like BMP, GIF, JPEG, and PNG.

Jeyes, a Java version of Xeyes

Jeyes, a Java version of Xeyes

In my spare time back in 2011 I created a Java version of the old Unix/X-Windows “Xeyes” application. If you ever used Xeyes, you know it as a set of eyes that are displayed on-screen, and follow the mouse cursor as you move it around.

Now in 2019 I just brought it back to life, and here’s a 56-second video that shows how it works:

Scala code to find (and move or remove) duplicate files

My MacBook recently told me I was running out of disk space. I knew that the way I was backing up my iPhone was resulting in me having multiple copies of photos and videos, so I finally decided to fix that problem by getting rid of all of the duplicate copies of those files.

So I wrote a little Scala program to find all the duplicates and move them to another location, where I could check them before deleting them. The short story is that I started with over 28,000 photos and videos, and the code shown below helped me find nearly 5,000 duplicate photos and videos under my ~/Pictures directory that were taking up over 18GB of storage space. (Put another way, deleting those files saved me 18GB of storage.)

Great tech review of Apple’s iPad A12X system

Kudos to Samuel Axon of Ars Technica for writing a very good tech review of the hardware behind Apple’s new iPad Pro (2018). As I was reading it, it reminded me of the old style of solid writing that I used to get when I bought print copies of magazines.

One of the nuggets of the article is shown in the image I’ve attached here, where you can see that the 2018 iPad Pro is faster than every MacBook Pro in existence other than its 2018 model, at least in terms of the Geekbench multi-core performance tests. If you dig through the images in the article you’ll see that the story isn’t quite as powerful in the single-core benchmark, where the iPad Pro lags the 2018 MacBook Pro by up to 16%. But in those tests the iPad Pro is roughly the equivalent of a 2018 Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 model. (The older Macs use Intel Core i7 and Xeon W processors, and the Dell model uses an Intel Core i7. The 2018 MacBook Pro uses an Intel Core i9.)

These numbers — comparing a tablet to i7 and i9 processors — make one think that Apple will be using their own chips inside Mac computer systems some time soon.

How to easily determine the blocksize of a filesystem

I just saw that this is a way you can easily determine the blocksize of a filesystem, at least a Mac/Unix/Linux filesystem:

$ echo foo > foo

$ du -h foo
4.0K    foo

I tried to do the same thing with touch foo, but that didn’t work. Without digging into it more, the key seems to be in having very little text in the file, at which point the du command shows the minimum block size for the file.