Murphy Mac - Screencasts and Tutorials » Posts in 'Windows' category

Twitter While You Sleep

TwitterWait until you see what a clever pun this title is. Using the sleep command in Terminal you can update your Twitter status while you’re away. Or sleeping.

Apple has jumped around a little with regards to command line scheduling tools, but the sleep command is still dead-simple to use. (Read more about scheduling with lingon and launchd here)

Suppose you have a command you want to run once, at a future time. Use sleep followed by the number of seconds to wait. Then use a semi-colon to separate the command to run at the appointed time.

sleep 30 ; command

The above example will execute command 30 seconds after you hit the return key. 3600 seconds is an hour. 86,400 seconds in each and every day.

So now you just need a command to update Twitter. The curl command comes with your Mac. Twitter Development Talk boasts the easiest way to update Twitter from the command line. Scroll down to The Easiest Way to Play Around with the Twitter API. Christopher Penn has a post on it too, but the command is cut-off on his blog.

The command should look like this:

curl -u username:password -d status=”your message here” http://twitter.com/statuses/update.xml

Enter that all on one line. It would be better to make it into a shell script. Just copy that line into a text file, maybe name it tw.sh, and replace the your message here part with $1. Then use chmod to make it executable.

Note: Don’t know how to make it executable? Read more about making a shell script. Learn even more about shell scripts: make an interactive shell script.

From there you can enter the following in the Terminal:

./tw.sh “Looking into starting my own airline…”

And you’ve updated your Twitter status.  You can make that cleaner by setting an alias for your shell script.

Finally, to have your tweet post onto Twitter hours later you could enter something like this in the Terminal:

sleep 7200; ./tw.sh “I’m sleeping” (you’ll need to leave your Mac on)

If you’re a stickler about your Twittering and want to be accurate, this is the way to go. Schedule that I’m in the shower tweet in advance. People need to know.

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Disable Windows XP Notification Bubbles / Balloons

Disable XP BalloonsIf you use Windows you might not be overly fond of the little bubbles that pop up down on your Task Bar. You know the ones — warnings about your firewall and unused items on your desktop?

A simple registry edit will stop the bubbles, for all applications. You can watch the screencast to see two ways to make the change. You can either make the edit manually using regedit, a registry editor that comes with Windows. Or you can download a file from Murphy and double-click it. The file will make the change.

You don’t have much to worry about. In fact, you can right-click the file (after unzipping it), select Edit, and you’ll see it’s just a couple lines of text. The change is easily undone. Simply delete the entry from your registry.

The balloons will stop appearing for all applications – only for the user you’re logged in as when you make the change. Log out and back in to test your results.

If you’re comfortable in the registry go ahead and make this entry:

Add a DWORD value in the following key, and name it EnableBalloonTips. Set its hex value to zero.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\

CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

Not a registry person? Watch the screencast.

I don’t even know if they have bubbles in Vista…

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Dual Layer DVD+R = Fusion VM Backed Up

duplicate a dvdI picked up a stack of Sony DVD+R DL disks this morning in preparation for my first attempt at DL burning. The objective: Backing up my Fusion install of Windows XP onto two disks.

The XP vm is about 15 GB. I don’t back it up with Time Machine, but I have a separate volume on the Time Machine drive where a copy of the vm is kept. Now I can delete it if I feel the need. The way I use Windows doesn’t require updating the backup with something like SuperDuper. I’m just saving myself from ever enduring the install process by storing a copy.

Burning more than 8.5 GB ? Use Split.

First I dumped the vm folder into a .sparseimage file created with Disk Utility. Then I used the split command in Terminal to split the sparse image into two files. That was simple enough, apart from the annoying difference between GB and GiB.

The disks have 8.5 GB stamped on their tops. That’s the manufacturer’s way of making the capacity look bigger – using decimal notation instead of binary. OS X reported the blank disk as having 7.96GB free.

The disks burnt well, no coasters. If I ever need to restore the XP vm I can copy the files from my dvd+R dl disks and reconstitute them with the cat command. For two bucks I reclaimed 15 GB on my external drive. Not bad. That’s thirteen cents per GB compared with around twenty-five cents per GB on an external HDD.

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Webkit

zip

Quick post in case you haven’t seen this:

I’ll be the first to admit I knew nothing of Webkit until I saw it mentioned on Digg. I always forget to look at Digg. Murphy does too.

Then I read this glowing review by Seth Weintraub over at ComputerWorld. What is Webkit? It’s a developmental version of Safari you can get your hands on right now. I’ll let the post speak for itself, but in summary Seth thinks Webkit is seriously fast. More importantly, the often-ornery Digg comment crowd seems to agree.

When you start Webkit up you’ll see all your links and bookmarks. Basically, jumping back and forth between Webkit and Safari should be more or less transparent. I only played with it for a few minutes. Gmail wasn’t doing so well with auto-fill on the address line. Let us know how you do in the comments.

Here’s the link to Webkit’s nightly builds.

NOTE: Murphy could use a little help on an Applescript with regard to captured text, paths, and spaces in file names. If you have the required expertise please drop an email to murphy at murphymac dot com.  Thanks.

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Wake Your Mac Across the Internet – Port Forwarding Explained

If you’re looking for a simple way to wake your Mac up across the Internets try out this website. You’ll need to know two things: the IP address your isp has assigned you and the MAC address of your Mac. What’s the MAC address of your Mac? A MAC address is a unique identifier assigned to your ethernet card by the manufacturer. You’ll find it in System Preferences. Click on Network, click on Advanced, click on Ethernet – like you see below.

wake up

Then click on on the Ethernet tab at the top right. The number listed as the Ethernet ID is your MAC address.

wake up

The MAC address and the IP address assigned by your ISP are the only two pieces of information you need to wake your Mac using this site: dslreports.com/wakeup

But there’s a catch. Your router needs to let traffic through on UDP port 9. Which brings us to… Read more »

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