Auto-lock your Mac, and pause your music when you leave your desk.

Auto-lock your Mac, and pause your music when you leave your desk.

I’m horrible at locking my workstation at work, and I work in an environment of practical jokers who love to play games with unattented workstations.

My solution? EventScrips and a bit of AppleScripting. The event we are going to watch for is a bluetooth device leaving the area.

I’ve configured the scripts to work with ether Radium or iTunes. whichever is running will get pause and play commands.

Here is the setup:

EventScripts

And here are the AppleScripts, The Last one DisableScreensaverPassword is optional I dont like entering my password every time the screensaver is activated. and when my applescript enables the screensaver it sets the passwrod to wake to true first. So when I’m away a password is required to disable to screensaver. I tried disabling the password and screensaver when the bluetoothe device is recognized again but it turns out OS X gets a bit cranky when you try and adjust security settings while the screensaver is activated.

Lock&Pause:

tell application "System Events"
    tell security preferences
        set require password to wake to true
    end tell
end tell

delay 1

if application "Radium" is running then
    tell application "Radium" to pause
end if

if application "iTunes" is running then
    tell application "iTunes" to pause
end if

Play:

if application "Radium" is running then
    tell application "Radium" to play
end if

if application "iTunes" is running then
    tell application "iTunes" to play
end if

DisableScreensaverPassword

tell application "System Events"
    tell security preferences
        set require password to wake to false
    end tell
end tell
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iPad 2… On the way.

So my birthday is coming up next month and my parents surprised me with the news of an iPad on its way. They live about 5 hours away from me and the unit was shipped to them, I’ll get my hands on it this weekend. And I’ll be sure to write a follow up post to this one with my thoughts on the device.

I never had the first iPad but I had the opportunity to play with it on a few occasions. I was impressed but in the end I decided I would be better off waiting for Apples 2nd try. FaceTime made my wait worth it. I’m not a big FaceTime user but occasionally its nice to phone home and talk face to face with the family.

I’m excited to have a much more lightweight device to replace a lot of what I’ve been caring my MacBook around for. Email and even some remote Linux work. I’ve been able to do a lot of work from iSSH but the screen is to small for everything I need to do. The larger screen real estate should make things a bit easier.

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OS X Quick Tip: Screen Capture Shortcuts

Ever wonder how to capture a screenshot on OS X, its not quite as easy as a windows box (Print Screen button).

It may not be as easy to capture a screen shot on OS X but its ability is more powerful, first there are 2 different ways to capture a screenshot, you can have it automatically saved as a PNG file on your desktop (Command-Shift-3) or if you’d rather it function like windows you can save the screenshot directly to your clipboard (Control-Command-Shift-3).

However it doesn’t end there, OS X takes it a step further, if you use Command-Shift-4 you will get a crosshair icon, this will let you drag a section box around the area on the screen you want to save. and of course if you use Control-Command-Shift-4 you will also get a crosshair, anything you drag the selection box around will be saved to your clipboard.

So the basic rundown on your screen-shotting ability in OS X:

  • Command-Shift-3:
    • Save Entire screen to PNG on your desktop.
  • Control-Command-Shift-3:
    • Save selection to PNG on your desktop.
  • Command-Shift-4:
    • Save Entire screen to your clipboard.
  • Control-Command-Shift-4:
    • Save selection to your clipboard.
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Half Life 2 out on mac Today

Thats right, Steam was released for Mac 2 weeks ago and now Valve’s flagship franchise is no longer bound to run on only Windows based machines. So far Steam has been releasing new titles every Wednesday, and today we get HL2 added to the mix.

If you have yet to play I recommend picking it up, if your a bit of a story buff pick up the first one when its made available and get the backstory on Gordon Freeman. I already own a license back from when I was using a Windows machine and if you already have a steam account I believe (don’t quote me, I’ll verify this later in the day) they will be respecting that you already purchased the game and not force you to pick it up again.

If you do not own a license it will be on sale for $19.99 and once again I recommend it. This is one of the best-reviewed and best selling games of all time.

So whats your thoughts on HL2 and its availability to the Mac community.

Edit: Confirmed you will not need to purchase a new license if you previously purchased Half-Lift 2 on a windows platform through steam.

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Mac’s Vs PC’s

I’ve tried to stay out of the whole Mac Vs. PC argument.

Which actually is no longer the Mac Vs. PC argument. Mac’s are now Intel based, so they are PC’s.

So it’s now the Mac’s Vs. Windows Argument.

I’ve still tried to keep my head out of it because I don’t think one’s better than the other, both serve their purpose. Windows just serves a purpose that does not suit me anymore, so I stay away from it except for at work. (OK, that’s only half true. I  do quite a bit of work on my Linux box even at work. I love the network diagnostic abilities resident in Linux).

A perfect example.Want to play games on your computer? Don’t bother with a Mac. I don’t really play to0 many games on my computers anymore, and the few I do play all actually have Mac clients, so I’m good. But Windows currently holds the edge in the gaming market, way above Apple.

Anyway, let’s get down to the point. I recently got a comment on my MySpace profile (yea yea I know Myspace, Ewww. but If I want to communicate with my friends up north that refuse to use any other communications means other than MySpace, so I’m stuck). He writes:

“so you finally did it! you went to the dark side and went full on mac?! well since i now know someone that knows computers, can you tell me this? what makes mac’s better than pc?”

And My responce:

“I don’t play the Mac’s are better than PC’s game, they both have their purpose. For you since you play games you’re better off with a PC. I like Macs better because they are full on 64 bit (processor and OS), granted you very well may have a 64 bit CPU but until you get a 64 bit OS it’s useless (of course this is not PC’s fault this is Windows failing to keep up with hardware, you can always run Linux and you’re set.) Yes I know windows has a 64 bit version but hardly any applications are actually compatible with it.

Second reason, Mac software is reasonably priced.

How many Vista versions are there? 6 versions.

How many Versions of Mac OS X? One it does it all. How much? $129.

The best part? My step-dad has an iMac and a MacBook, my sister has a iMac and a Macbook, and my Mom has a iMac. Thats 5 Macs in my parents house.

Let’s see, doing a quick search on Amazon, I see I can get Windows Vista Home Premium for a Mere $117.99. Oh dang. we need 5 copies. That comes out to $589.95 for the basic version of Vista. Ultimate? Yea, that’s going to cost you $1199.95

How much for the OS X Ultimate? Oh wait, that’s right, only one version of OS X, 649.95? Nope, go grab the family pack for $199 and you’re all set.

Got 4 gigs of ram like I do in my Mac? Oh wait,  you can’t use it all because the 32 bit version of Windows doesn’t know how. Got the 64 bit version? Sweet. Oh dang, now you can’t install anything because its not compatible.

I just got tired of dealing with it all. My Mac just works, all the time, whenever I want it to, it works and works well. Am I saying its better than PC’s? No I can’t even say that since everything after OS X is Intel based which means Mac’s ARE PC’s. I can even load Windows on it if I need to, but why load an OS on my Mac that can’t even utilize the hardware to its potential? The only game I currently play on the computer is EVE Online and it has a Mac client. Oh yea, ditto on World of Warcraft, Mac client works fine.

I actually have an AMD Athlon 64 Dual Core 4600+ box laying around that had windows on it but I don’t game enough on the PC platform anymore to need it. And I got sick of Windows so it’s now running Ubuntu Linux.

No more blue screen of death and I don’t have to reformat and reload every 6 months (or more often if I’m lucky).

So, Am I saying My Mac is better than your PC? Nope But I sure prefer it. =)”

Any other thoughts?

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