Posts tagged with "mac"


The Return of a Macintosh Shareware Classic

In the heady days of Macintosh shareware gaming, Ray Dunakin was a star. His 1990 world-hopping adventure title Ray's Maze puzzled and delighted Mac gamers the world over, despite it having been made with an early black-and-white Mac program called World Builder, and his later games Another Fine Mess, A Mess O' Trouble, and Twisted! only added to his reputation. But fate conspired to force the games into oblivion as Apple moved the Mac into OS X and then over to Intel processors.

Until now. Marc Khadpe is Ray's biggest fan. He's been the proprietor of the Ray's Maze Page since he created it in 1996. And he's spent the past decade, on and off, rewriting the World Builder engine for OS X.

Over at US Gamer, Richard Moss tells the story of Ray Dunakin's games, icons of Macintosh gaming in the early '90s recently re-released with OS X compatibility on the Mac App Store.

Make sure to check out the original and restored games here, and if you're into classic Macintosh gaming grab A Mess O’ Trouble from the Mac App Store at $4.99.

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How to Configure Gmail with OS X Yosemite Mail

My friend Amy is having her first experience with using Gmail, and, it, um, isn’t going as well as she’d like. The good news is that although Apple's Mail.app and Gmail have had a rocky relationship in the past, Mail.app in Yosemite works pretty well with Gmail, but there are some things that you should understand before you proceed.

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StretchLink Unshortens and Cleans URLs from Your Menu Bar

Brett Terpstra, writing about StretchLink 1.0:

It’s an easy-to-use tool for expanding shortened links, fixing redirects, and cleaning out referrer junk from Google Analytics and others. StretchLink runs in the OS X menu bar. You can click the icon to open the main panel from which it can expand and clean links on demand with a single click. Even better, it can be set to silently watch your clipboard. You can turn this on with a switch from the main panel, or just right click the menu bar icon to toggle it.

StretchLink 1.0 is priced at $1.99, with a free trial available on the website. An introductory sale of $0.99 (50% off) starts now and goes through the end of May. StretchLink didn’t get a beta round, but it’s been tested on a variety of my own machines. If you do run into issues, don’t hesitate to contact me. A Mac App Store release is planned for the near future, if all goes well.

As a shell script nerd who loves automation and clean URLS, I had, of course, written my own shell script to expand and clean URLs. I installed StretchLink last night, and I am sure that I will never use my script again. That’s how much better Brett’s app is.

My biggest criteria (after, of course, that it actually works) is how fast would it work. So I did what any self-respecting geek would do: I wrote a shell script to test how fast it would expand a given URL. The result was that StretchLink expanded it in less than 1 second. 1

You can download StretchLink here.

P.S. If you’re looking for something similar on iOS, checkout Clean Links.


  1. If you want more details about how I tested this, I posted my script as a gist. Because of course I did.  ↩

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Scenery for Mac: Quickly Generate Marketing Photos of your App or Website

Launching today, Scenery is a new Mac app that can quickly create professional looking photos of your app or website on a device for marketing purposes. Developed by Unsigned Integer, the makers of Deckset, Scenery essentially allows developers and marketers to skip the expensive and time consuming process of taking their own photos or spending hours in Photoshop.

The Scenery app is free and comes with 3 starter templates (two iPhone 6 templates and one Samsung Galaxy S5 template). Additional template packages can then be purchased from prices ranging from $15 to $100. Each template package has a particular theme such as ‘Around the House’, ‘Wooden Benchtop’ or ‘Flat White Workspace’ and can include various devices such as iPhones, iPads, Macs and Android smartphones. At launch there are 14 template packages available for purchase.

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Arq for Mac Adds Support for Dropbox Backups

Arq 4.8 is now available, and it includes support for backing up to your own Dropbox account!

If you already have a Dropbox with 1TB of space, now you can use that space for your Arq backups. The Arq backups go into the folder /Apps/Arq in your Dropbox account.

I've always wanted to try Arq and use the space I have in my Dropbox account. The latest Arq adds support for Dropbox backups and it even lets you combine multiple destinations (such as Dropbox + Google Drive or Dropbox + Amazon S3) to have specific files in locations you choose. Version 4.8 is a free update for existing customers.

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Make Keyboard Shortcuts for Two Menu Items with the Same Name

OS X has an easy way to add keyboard shortcuts: in System Preferences.app go to the “Keyboard” preference pane, click on “Shortcuts” and then “App Shortcuts”. You can create a “global” keyboard shortcut (which will work in any application which has a matching menu item), or you can create an app specific shortcut which will only work in one particular application.

That’s great, but what happens if an application has two menu items with the same name? How can you tell which menu item will be used for the keyboard shortcut? Turns out there’s an easy way to do this, but one that I had never heard of, and I’m guessing others might not have known it either. I’m going to use 1Password as an example, but this will work in any OS X app.

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How I Control My Mac with Automatic + IFTTT + Dropbox

The other day, Federico asked about why people use web services such as IFTTT. I have a few of these that I use frequently, but the geekiest one is this: controlling my Mac with my car.

More specifically, when I turn my car’s ignition on or off in the parking lot at my office, Automatic triggers an IFTTT recipe, creating a text file in a special Dropbox folder which is monitored by launchd[1] and runs a shell script depending on which file is created.

It sounds more complicated than it is. No, really.

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The Mac Gamer

A great retrospective on Mac gaming by Jeremy Parish:

Mac games were actually pretty weird and unique in the olden days, and I actually could see someone being a Macintosh-exclusive gamer in the ’80s. The platform offered (1) mouse-based controls and (2) no color, or at least no guarantee of color support until they stopped selling the Mac SE and pre-PPC PowerBook lines in the mid-’90s. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Mac games felt a little different from console and DOS counterparts. Another factor there came from the fact that Macintosh had system-level support for graphics, it using a visual interface and all, whereas other computers kind of needed to be tricked in various degrees before they’d display images.

I'd argue that the Mac App Store has helped in facilitating distribution of modern Mac games, although, from a gamer's perspective, it's still inferior to other services – especially for clarifying hardware requirements.

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