Design General Handy Interface Technical

Make a true background app in one step

The goods:

defaults write /Applications/ LSUIElement 1

What a busy week it’s been in the cloud file hosting world.

I don’t like ‘set and forget’ apps cluttering up my Dock/app switcher. So since that’s exactly what the SkyDrive preview is doing on my Mac, that little one liner is how to fix it.

(Assuming you’ve already downloaded and installed the preview into /Applications/, pop open a Terminal and hook up that one-liner. Tested on Lion 10.7.3. Bonus hack: The Info.plist file also is where the minimum OS requirement is stored. i.e. you might be able to get to work on <10.7 if you poke around in that file, but whatever consequences that has are definitely on you.)
Change your mind?

defaults write /Applications/ LSUIElement 0

will set things back to default, or just download a new copy.

Surely there are some big challenges in building a project like So hey MacBU, or whoever’s on this, good work so far. But in case it’s not already in the pipeline, here’s one user’s humble request to put that checkbox in the prefs where it belongs.

[Shout out to you classy LaunchBar folks Рthe basis for this hack dates back to those halcyon days.]



Wonderful video. The back story is posted on the Vimeo page.

Cool General Humor

Perhaps my all-time favorite movie monologue

Why shouldn’t I work for the NSA? That’s a tough one. But I’ll take a shot. Say I’m working at the NSA, and somebody puts a code on my desk, something no one else can break. Maybe I take a shot at it, and maybe I break it. And I’m real happy with myself, ’cause I did my job well.

But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East, and once they have that location, they bomb the village where the rebels are hiding. Fifteen hundred people that I never met, never had no problem with, get killed.

Now the politicians are saying, “Oh, send in the marines to secure the area,” ’cause they don’t give a shit. It won’t be their kid over there getting shot, just like it wasn’t them when their number got called, ’cause they were pulling a tour in the National Guard. It’ll be some kid from Southie over there taking shrapnel in the ass.

He comes back to find that the plant he used to work at got exported to the country he just got back from. And the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job, ’cause he’ll work for fifteen cents a day and no bathroom breaks.

Meanwhile, he realizes the only reason he was over there in the first place was so that we could install a government that would sell us oil at a good price. And of course the oil companies used the little skirmish over there to scare up domestic oil prices — a cute little ancillary benefit for them, but it ain’t helping my buddy at two-fifty a gallon.

They’re taking their sweet time bringing the oil back, of course. Maybe they even took the liberty of hiring an alcoholic skipper who likes to drink martinis and fuckin’ play slalom with the icebergs. It ain’t too long ’till he hits one, spills the oil, and kills all the sea life in the North Atlantic.

So now my buddy’s out of work. He can’t afford to drive, so he’s walking to the fuckin’ job interviews, which sucks because the shrapnel in his ass is giving him chronic hemorrhoids. And meanwhile he’s starving, ’cause every time he tries to get a bite to eat the only blue plate special they’re serving is North Atlantic scrod with Quaker State.

So what did I think? I’m holding out for something better. I figure: fuck it, while I’m at it, why not just shoot my buddy, take his job, give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe, and join the National Guard? I could be elected President.


missed connection

Remember the October 2010 Washington DC John Stewart rally? I’m told John Stewart grew up in my former stomping ground in central NJ.

The humbling thing about attending this rally was meeting and hearing about numerous awesome friends and acquaintances from New York, San Fran, Rochester, Philly & New Jersey – i.e. people from a significant range of my lifetime made the trip out here that day. Give us a shout out if you were there too; I left comments open. Probably the densest slice of humanity I’ve encountered in America. Lots of fervent redditors, and great to be reminded of the playa in a slice of default world.

Incidentally this was also the first and only day this art car entered my vision until I saw it again on playa in 2011. (this is the dragon I remember best from 2010.)


Calling Safari 6. Dinner’s ready.

I had an idea for a new web project with a front-end focus and have been stepping up my JavaScript game. Progress has been fine but it turns out several aspects of JavaScript are a disheartening mess, not least the drag and drop disaster.

The project employs the service of File, FormData, and XHR2 objects and avoids popular JS libraries (for now). It turns out Firefox and Chrome have both supported the File and FormData APIs for at least a year, but IE 9 (ha!) and to my surprise Safari 5 do not. Telling my Safari users to download WebKit nightlies is pretty lame. Worse, if I cared about IE users I’d have to point them to IE10, which at the time of writing is only publicly available on Windows 8.

For a company in such a hurry to see Flash die, Apple is keeping Safari in a weird limbo right now. It got slower with Lion (I’m not alone noticing this) and despite a history of innovation is lagging FF and Chrome’s JS support. (I eagerly await the day IE counts as competition again.)

Safari 6, get here already. My project is awesome and wants you, yes you!