June 17, 2013

Grabbox “Waiting for Link” Work around

A favorite, indispensable Mac OS X utility of mine is Grabbox for Dropbox. It watches your Mac desktop for screenshots, moves them to a Dropbox/Public/Screenshots folder, and then automatically copies the Dropbox public sharing URL to your clipboard, all in one fell swoop. Amazingly useful.

I just set it up on a new Mac I’ve migrated to. It choked during the setup process. There’s no fix posted at the developer’s website, and not much in the Google. A tweet however, explains the fix. I’ll report that fix here, more verbosely, for better Google juice. The short story is: Dropbox changed the link’s URL. Grabbox hasn’t been updated. The old structure still works, and as such we have this workaround. PS - you need a Public folder on Dropbox for this to work. Those aren’t enabled by default on new Dropbox accounts, but you can enable them.

To fix Grabbox hanging at setup with the “Waiting for Link”, do the following:

  1. Copy Public Link from a file in your Dropbox/Public folder
  2. Paste this link into a blank text file.
  3. Replace whatever it says before the .com so it reads dl.dropbox.com—leave the rest of the link alone!
  4. Copy this new link (and nothing else)
  5. Grabbox’s setup window should recognize the tweaked link in the pasteboard and finish its setup automatically.

Then you can continue forth.

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December 4, 2012
Roundhouse

Roundhouse

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October 16, 2012
I wish cameras could capture the colors like we can with our eyes. (Taken with Instagram)

I wish cameras could capture the colors like we can with our eyes. (Taken with Instagram)

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September 20, 2012

Two Innovative Mac Apps for Programming

Also gleaned from that same Systematic Podcast episode (see my previous post about it) with Brett Terpstra and Gabe Weatherhead: two apps from KrillApps that both look awesome especially for people attempting to learn programming:

Coderunner is a Mac OS X app for writing and running code from any programming/scripting language all within one clean app. No need to jump out of the app to see if your code works. You can also interact live with your program while it’s running. Extensible, if you know bash scripting.

Patterns is a Mac OS X app for writing RegEx (regular expressions). It features code snippets, full cheat sheets, syntax coloring, and real-time results matching your expressions against whatever you’re planning to search through with your RegEx. Then it allows you to grab the code for use in your script or elsewhere.

Again, I haven’t used either app, but I’m very tempted to download both!

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Impressive Coding Apps for iOS?

Impressive iOS coding apps I was introduced to today by listening to episode nine of Brett Terpstra’s Systematic Podcast with guest Gabe Weatherhead:

  • Pythonista

    • code Python from your iPad or iPhone
  • Kodiak for iPad

    • code PHP from your iPad
    • impressive auto-playing demo on the website — checkout the custom cursor movement and text selection widget

Full disclosure: I have not used either of these, they just look worthy of checking out. And they’re silly-cheap.

If you’re not familiar with these two guys, their sites are treasure troves of useful resources on getting stuff done with a Mac:

Brett Terpstra

Gabe Weatherhead

Thanks for all the resources, guys. Keep up the good work.

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September 18, 2012

Are my parents living in the future?

My dad, who’s turning 70 in a month and a half asked me the other day to look into what getting an iPhone would cost. The research I did for him turned out significantly more interesting than I could have predicted.

My parents aren’t early adopters by any means. They’ve only had broadband for a couple of years now. Before that, they used AOL dialup. My father still clings to his AOL account, although, I’ve just last month got him to stop using their Mac desktop software.

My mother wanted a first generation iPad and got one. She uses it mostly for reading, both iBooks, digital borrowing from her local library, light Internet browsing, and light email usage. Oh, and solitaire-like games. It’s the perfect computer for her.

They have have sub 1Mbps DSL at home (no cable, they use satellite, which they just upgraded to HD this year, to go with a bought-from-a-friend, 1st generation CRT HDTV—it doesn’t even have an HDMI port!) They have Comcast’s entry-level cable internet at their retail hardware store. For those of you who don’t know me well, my parents own and operate a literal “Mom and Pop” hardware store in a semi-rural southeastern Connecticut shoreline town.

They have a pre-pay flip phone for when they’re out and about, and the trips to see the grandchildren.

So how could they possibly qualify as “living in the future?” It all starts with that iPhone request.

I looked into what it would cost them to buy an iPhone on Verizon (AT&T coverage at their home is terrible, I can personally attest). 1 phone, with the smallest contract would be about $80+tax. Dad said they’d consider buying two phones, depending upon the cost. That’s where things got interesting.

A share plan would cost them $140 a month for 2GB of data across two iPhones. They’re very rarely apart, and the case for having two phones is not so strong. But, what if we remove one iPhone from the account and add in an LTE mobile hotspot? Then things get surprisingly interesting.

The per month cost drops to $110. According to Verizon’s coverage maps, their home and store both are very close to maximum LTE coverage, and are solidly into their “pretty good, but occasionally falls back to 3G data” coverage. Theoretically, if tests with actual hardware on site panned out, they could drop both their home and store wireline Internet connections, replacing them with the wireless hotspot.

Let’s look at those costs:

  • $20/month for 768kbps DSL
  • $50/month for 5Mbps cable

That’s $80 right there, or about 73% of the cost of the LTE account’s monthly costs… for comparable or better performance. That actually is better because it can follow them anywhere in the United States, and should have them paying fewer taxes on one account, instead of taxes across two.

But wait, they’d also be dropping their pre-paid flip phone, gaining more talk time, gaining SMS service, and all the benefits of an iPhone (GPS, any one?). But that also is another monthly cost that gets replaced by the LTE account… let’s say it’s $20 a month to keep that phone full:

$20 (DSL) + $50 (cable internet) + $20 (cell phone) = $90… they’re currently paying 82% of the cost of the LTE account already… for inferior services.

Theoretically, they could also drop their home phone service, as well, which is at least $30 a month. They won’t, but if they did, they would actually save money by going with a minimum Verizon LTE Share Anything plan.

Why this works for them is that they don’t use a lot of data. 2GB would be sufficient for their current usage. But, even if they started streaming more video, it would be a small added cost to increase their data cap, and still affordable compared to their current setup.

If the coverage and speeds hold up, this would be a very cool thing for them. And they’d be living in the future!

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September 6, 2012
elizabethwarrenma:

We face a real choice in this country between the Republicans’ “I’ve got mine” approach and the belief that, as a nation, we reward success and hard work — keeping the playing field level so that everyone with a good idea, a dream of making it big and plenty of determination has a chance to make it.

elizabethwarrenma:

We face a real choice in this country between the Republicans’ “I’ve got mine” approach and the belief that, as a nation, we reward success and hard work — keeping the playing field level so that everyone with a good idea, a dream of making it big and plenty of determination has a chance to make it.

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August 29, 2012
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August 28, 2012

TGD:

You have a lot of experience under your belt. If you could give a piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would you tell them?

Jeffrey Zeldman:

Write. You don’t know what you think if you don’t write. And teach. At least teach your coworkers some new technique you learned today.

The Great Discontent: Jeffrey Zeldman

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July 22, 2012
Ostrich @ Salisbury’s free zoo. (Taken with Instagram at Salisbury Zoo & Park)

Ostrich @ Salisbury’s free zoo. (Taken with Instagram at Salisbury Zoo & Park)

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