28 February 2008


A random note. Sometime you should view this blog with a negatised screen (yes, I made up that word, but in my defence, it is on Star Wars Episode III, even though a Nemodian says it) with Nocturne. For those of you out there who are Macintosh users, it is as simple as Ctrl-Alt-Cmd-8. That is, run Nocturne and then negatise the screen. Also, Microsoft Word looks far better this way as well. Much easier on the eyes.

Changing an Icon

A few days ago I updated my system to OS X 10.5.2. In this update, they changed the attached storage device icon from the nice little globe icon on a blue disc enclosure to a picture of three stick figures holding hands on the blue disc enclosure. It disgusted me. What is that, promoting the impossible goal of world peace? Togetherness?! God forbid.

Thus began the quest. First up, finding how to change the icon.

I found a helpful tutorial at MacApper on how to do it.

First, find the image you want to make the icon. Then, if it has a background, use Photoshop to remove it, and save it as either a .png or .psd. If you already have a clear-background-ed .png image, you can skip this step. Next is to download a freeware piece of software, Icns2Rsrc (and yes, the use of "2" instead of "to" does bother me).

Next you will need the Apple Software Development Kit, specifically Icon Composer. Take the image (either .png or .psd) and drag it from finder into one of the boxes. Apply it to all of the boxes, then save it as the .icns file. Here's where you use Incs2Rsrc.

Open it, then open the .icns file and save it again as a .rsrc. Once that is completed, find the file, folder, disc, etc. of which you would like to change the icon. Right click, Get Info, and then click on the icon in the upper right-hand corner of the box, so that it is highlighted. Return to Finder, click and copy the .rsrc file that you would like to be the icon, click that icon in the upper left-hand corner, and Cmd-V. Voilà! It should be changed.

In order to find the old attached storage icon, I first went to Google Images. I looked through 42 pages of images without ever finding the correct one. I found many others, in fact I found one marvelous icon that is the default hard drive image, only with an Apple logo. I like it. But I digress. In the end, I had to boot into my second installation of Leopard, on my backup hard drive containing my Boot Camp partition and copy the image from there and bring it back to my current system.

MacApper Tutorial
Apple SDK

10 February 2008

Burn a DVD

So you made a backup copy of one of your favourite movies, and now the disc is scratched beyond all recognition. But there's one problem: how on earth are you going to burn it?

Well, ladies and gentlemen, problem solved. I shall reveal to you the way to make it work.

Once you have legally obtained non-copyrighted DVD material using Mac the Ripper, use another program called DVD Imager to take the VIDEO_TS folder and make it into a disc image. Once you have that, it's as simple as using Disk Utility to burn that image onto a DVD.

So simple... once you have the right software. But fortunate you! Thou hast found mine blog and discovered that I have done all of the legwork for you! Here follow the links to the pages where you may download these glorious programmes!

Mac the Ripper

DVD Imager

05 February 2008


Black and White.

Can you get better than black and white? Not in my opinion. That's why I was pleased to discover Nocturne, a small app from the people at Blacktree. They developed Quicksilver, another app that I did not play with much, as at a glance it seemed to be similar to the upgraded Finder, offering the features that it now has but didn't in OS X 10.4. I am sure it has many more advanced features that I did not have time to discover, but back to my previous point.

Nocturne is an app that allows you to make
your screen monochrome, in shades of black and white. It also offers a feature to invert the colours, but this can also be achieved with OS X by using the Control-Option-Command-8 trigger. It's a neat little app for when you're hunched over the screen late at night, and the colour of the screen just grits with the atmosphere.

Though it does not serve much of a practical purpose, it is a neat little app that now has a nice little place in my taskbar.

Link! Blacktree

04 February 2008

More on Keyboards

Well, I hooked up the ol' Das II keyboard again. However, this time I did it when I went into BootCamp. And when I booted back into OS X, lo and behold Macintosh surprises me again! When you reboot without the Apple keyboard attached, it puts the button to eject a disk (The main reason I had previously not used this keyboard) along the top bar! I'm sure those (nonexistent) persons who read this will be thinking "duh!" but I was surprised.

Note: I had previously only had the Das keyboard and the Apple keyboard hooked up at the same time. I had not previously disconnected the Apple keyboard. As such, I am not 100% sure that you need a reboot to have the eject button appear.

Update: Another "duh!" moment... I knew this, but had forgotten it. Holding F12 also opens the SuperDrive. You don't need an eject key or button. Duh.

MacBook Air

It has been quite a while since I last posted. I knew this would happen when I started. But since I have no readers in the first place, nothing lost. What are some things I've been doing in the time since my last post? Well thank you for asking! In that time...

The MacBook Air has come out. Everyone else is giving their take on it, now I'll throw mine out into the world wide net of obscurity. It's pretty. It's small. and It's pretty small.

Features I like:
-Small Size
-L.E.D. Backlit Screen (comes on to full brightness)
-Backlit Keyboard (this should be on all MacBook models)
-Upgraded Touchpad with iPhone-like Commands
-Small Size
and, best of all
-Solid State Drive.
*Quick Note* I have been obsessed with solid state drives for quite a while and have been dreaming of when they could be found more commonly in laptops. I believe this step will usher in a new era and hope that solid state drives soon come to all MacBook, and in fact, all Macintosh computer, models.

Features I do not like:
-Slow normal harddrive
-No CD Drive
-Very, very few ports
-No removable/replaceable battery

Apple has done their best to overcome these problems with several interesting features. The one that I'm thinking of at the moment is the nice piece of software included with the restore discs that allows you to wirelessly use another Mac or PC CD drive to install software. However, this does not allow for watching DVDs and again, only works wirelessly. That's the real point I have issue with on the MacBook Air. I know, you must compromise in order to fit everything in such a small, less-than-an-inch-thick computer that weighs three pounds. But that doesn't mean I have to like it. The lack of ports is what really would prevent me from ever purchasing a MacBook Air.

In conclusion, I personally would not buy a MacBook Air, but I think it is a wonderful piece of hardware that shows us several new features that Apple has cooked up recently. I look forward to the integration of these features (namely the solid state drives, L.E.D. backlight, and touchpad upgrades) being integrated into the whole MacBook line. I plan on purchasing a MacBook Pro when I do get a Macintosh laptop, and dearly hope that Apple soon upgrades their whole line.

-Post Script-
I want Apple to update the MacMini. I hope they do soon. Quite soon.