Semibold keyboard shortcut in Pages


So… Turns out there is no shortcut to turn text to semibold in Apple Pages, from the iWork suite. There are shortcuts for bold and italic respectively, but not semibold (or light / ultralight for that matter) even for the fonts that support it. The closest thing to a solution that I found is through Character Style: Select a piece of text, make it semibold In the Styles Drawer, under Character Styles, click on the little arrow next to “none” and “Create New Character Style From Selection” Assign a Hot Key to the newly created Character Style, by clicking the arrow next to it and Hot Key.

Automatically restart applications on OS X


I use GimmeSomeTune to provide hotkeys and some other goodies for iTunes. It works alright, but is veeeery crashy – usually every dozen hours or so on my machine. How to fix that? Let's relaunch it as soon as it crashes. Simple! In a terminal: for (( ; ; )); do open -W /Applications/Multimedia/; done open is the bash command to launch applications on OS X. It works with all kinds of files: open somefile.

Ye old Dock: Leopard-style Exposé under Snow Leopard


Samuel Clay shares an awesome little tweak: replace Snow Leopard's by the from a beta version of SL, and Exposé will get back to the way it acted on Leopard, i.e. the size of the thumbnail is proportional to the size of its window. And it rocks.

Synchronize and backup Address Book contacts with Dropbox


A nice way to synchronize contacts between your Macs without having to buy a MobileMe account is to have them on your Dropbox. Basically, it boils down to moving the folder containing your Address Book data on your Dropbox, then adding a symbolic link to it so Address Book will know where to find its data. Let's go on bash! Move the folder: $ mv -v ~/Library/Application\ Support/AddressBook ~/Dropbox/ Add a symbolic link:

A keyboard shortcut to change files colours in the Finder?


My usual habit (some would call it an intermittent OCD, but meh) of sorting and organizing files and folders to a great extend and my almost as severe relentless longing for optimisation recently met in an existential question: is it possible to colour files in the Finder through a keyboard shortcut? OS X lets you add colours -or “labels”- to a file by right-click or in the Finder's File menu. GUI are cool, but get in the way of efficiency once you know your keyboard inside and out.

Get database size in phpMyAdmin

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It looks like phpMyAdmin doesn't include a way to see how much space takes the MySQL database. I found that a bit weird, but hey, if phpMyAdmin doesn't do it, let's cut to the chase and go SQL! The most straightforward way to get your database size from phpMyAdmin is the following SQL query: SELECT table_schema "Data Base Name", sum( data_length + index_length ) / 1024 / 1024 "Data Base Size in MB" FROM information_schema.

Changing an application icon under OS X


I don't like the default icon for in OS X. The sight of that child, giving me this creepy grin, sitting here in the Dock while I'm browsing pictures, is just weird. There are two ways to make him go away. The hard way I call this method the hard way because it involves having another .icns file (the filetype for OS X icons), and navigating through folders supposed to be hidden.

Put OS X to sleep via command-line


When connecting to an OS X box via SSH, you may want to put it to sleep after you're done. This is no system call to put the computer to sleep that I know of. However, Applescript can do it, and it is trivial to call the OSAScript interpreter in bash. The following script puts the computer to sleep: #!/bin/bash osascript -e 'tell application "System Events" to sleep' Edit: found a better way!

On designing mockups


As part of a group project, I am currently involved in designing an application from the ground up. Designing the UI first drafts, before even chosing a programming language or environment, is something that should be easy and straightforward. We needed a tool that allows easy sharing between people, regardless of operating system. Please welcome Mockingbird. An amazing web application to design sleek and elegant UIs, Mockingbird is Javascript-based (no Flash!

Screenshots and OS X: capturing a single window


One pretty awesomely simple thing under Mac OS is making great screenshots. You might already be familiar with Mac OS X's classical shortcuts for screenshots, Shift+Cmd+3 (full screen) and Shift+Cmd+4 (selection). But did you know you can shoot a single window without the hassle of selecting it from edge to edge, or worse, cropping from a full screenshot? Press Shift+Cmd+4, then press the space bar. A little camera appears, and allows you to capture the highlighted window of your choice.