Developing software in the Real World

Automatically mounting a network drive on Mac

I have so many photos that I can't store them all on my hard drive and keep them on my NAS. While on my home network, it would be convenient to automatically mount the NAS folder onto my Mac as I keep forgetting before I open Lightroom. Usually I would use automount to do this, but Lightroom cannot see automounted folders, so I decided to use a combination of AppleScript and Keyboard Maestro. Mount a… continue reading.

Keyboard shortcut to Save as PDF on Mac

I regularly print to PDF on my Mac, This is done from the print dialog by selecting Save as PDF from the drop down in the bottom left of the dialog which is a bit of a pain to get using the mouse. I recently discovered that I could create a keyboard shortcut to make this much easier. In System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts -> App Shortcuts you can create a keyboard shortcut to… continue reading.

Keyboard control of macOS notification alerts

I use Apple's Reminders app to remind me about things that I need to do. It has the useful feature of syncing across my Mac, iPad and iPhone and I can add to it via Siri in my car. When I am notified on my Mac, a notification alert appears with two buttons: Complete and Later. Clicking Later offers a set of options to dismiss the alert and have it reappear in 5 minutes, in… continue reading.

Upgrading to Bash 4 on macOS

Incredibly, macOS Mojave comes with Bash 3.22 by default still. Apparently this is due to licensing reasons, however Bash 4 has lots of lovely features including associative arrays that I'd like use. Hence, after reading the Internet for a bit, I've installed it on my Mac. This turned out to require just 3 commands:

Close the terminal and open a new one which now has Bash 4! Using Bash 4 in scripts Any script… continue reading.

Pretty print curl -i

My favourite tool for working with APIs is curl, though I recognise that lots of people like HTTPie and seem very keen to tell about it every time I mention curl… With curl, I particularly like using the -i switch to view the status line and headers too without the additional cruft of -v: This generates an output that looks like this:

What I would like to do is pretty print the body if… continue reading.

Autocomplete Composer script names on the command line

As I add more and more of my own script targets to my composer.json files, I find that it would be helpful to have tab autocomplete in bash. I asked on Twitter and didn't get an immediate solution and as I had already done something similar for Phing, I rolled up my sleeves and wrote my own. Start by creating a new bash completion file called composer in the bash_completion.d directory. This file needs executable… continue reading.

Automatically converting PDF to Keynote

I use rst2pdf to create presentations which provides me with a PDF file. When it comes to presenting on stage, on Linux there are tools such as pdfpc and on Mac there's Keynote. Keynote doesn't read PDF files by default, so we have to convert them and the tool I use for this is Melissa O'Neill's PDF to Keynote. This is a GUI tool, so I manually create the Keynote file when I need it… continue reading.

Keyboard shortcut to resize Finder columns

I like to use Finder in Column mode (⌘+3). i.e. this view: One feature of this view is that you can resize all the columns to fit by alt+double clicking on the move handle between each column. There doesn't appear to be a keyboard shortcut for this operation though, so I created one using Keyboard Maestro. Keyboard Maestro can move the mouse around the screen and click with it which is exactly what I need.… continue reading.

Making Slack accessible on macOS

I've written before about how I tend to use my Mac via the keyboard as much as possible to minimise pain in my arm. Possibly the best application on macOS to facilitate this is Shortcat which enables me to point and click at any UI element in any native Mac app. I rely on it a lot and it makes nearly every app I use accessible to me. Recently, Slack updated their desktop app so… continue reading.

Automatic OCR with Hazel and PDFPen

I have a useful scanner as part of my networked HP printer that will scan directly to a shared directory on my computer. Once there, I want the file to be renamed to the current date and the document OCR'd so that I can search it. To do this, I use Hazel and PDFPen and this is a note to ensure that I can remember to do it again if I ever need to! Firstly,… continue reading.