Developing software in the Real World

Keyboard control of Big Sur notification alerts

With the release of Big Sur, my scripts for keyboard control of macOS notification alerts stopped working. With a bit of experimentation and help from Google, I have written new ones. Closing an alert To close a notification alert on Big Sur, conceptually we want to press the X button that appears when you hover over it. The AppleScript to do this is:

This is much more complicated than just clicking button 1 of… continue reading.

Add Apple Watch authentication to sudo

Since 1Password added Apple Watch unlock I've wondered if there are other situations when I need to enter my password where it instead require a click of my Watch instead. I recently came across an article about how to make sudo work with Touch ID, which is nice, but my iMac Pro doesn't have Touch ID. I went searching though and found pam-watchid! This is a PAM module for using the Watch – exactly what… continue reading.

Prevent an external drive from auto mounting on macOS

I have an external drive attached to the USB hub on my Thunderbolt Display that I use to clone my laptop's internal drive every night using the schedule feature of SuperDuper!. At the appointed time, SuperDuper! will mount the external drive, clone the internal drive and then unmount the external drive again which is very convenient. However, whenever I plug in my laptop, the drive automatically mounts. This doesn't particularly worry me, but when I… continue reading.

Keyboard shortcut to mirror displays on a Touch Bar Mac

One feature of the 16" MacBook Pro that was new to me is the Touch Bar. This thing replaces the F-keys with a touch pad that adjusts itself to the app in use in order to provide useful shortcuts you can just touch. This is all well and good, but when presenting, I use the cmd+F1 keyboard shortcut to toggle display mirroring. A useful Stack Overflow answer tells me that I can use cmd+{dim brightness}… continue reading.

Dark and light mode blog images with MarsEdit

As dark mode is more popular than ever now that the iPhone supports it, I've been working out how to get the browser to render a dark image in dark mode and a light image in light mode. It turns out that the way to do this simply is to use the <picture> element like this:

As I use MarsEdit to write my posts, I created a Media Markup Template that does the heavy… continue reading.

HTML encode selected text on Mac

When writing blog posts, I write directly in HTML, mostly from habit and because I've not set up mark-up text processing on WordPress. I'm comfortable enough with simple HTML that it's never seemed important enough to sort out, especially with MarsEdit's macros for common HTML tags. One thing that I need to do relatively regularly is to HTML encode code snippets for use in <tt> and <pre> tags. I have been doing this via a… continue reading.

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.