Mac OS: Zipping with your terminal

The basic command structure for compressing a file into the zip format with the terminal is:

zip -r <destination> <source>

If you want to compress more than one folder or item:

zip -r <destination> <source1> <source2>...

The source can be a file or folder.

Unfortunately zip is not very smart when it comes to folders and it will save not only the file, but the path to the file as well. We can fix this behavior by adding just a little bit to the original command.

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Barcodes for FileMaker, The Free and Easy Way

I wasn’t willing to pay $49, $99, or $199 to add barcodes to my databases. Luckily, we don’t have to pay for something that we can do ourselves for free!

The first step will be to insert a custom function the converts ASCII text into Code 128, which requires both a check sum and character conversion. I have supplied the necessary code at the bottom of this post, and even though it’s not my code, it’s quite awesome. Just save it as a custom function in your database with the name “cfCode128” and with inputs “pString” and “pCodeSet”.

So once you have the function setup, use it to convert data in a field and apply a Code 128 font, like this one.

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Mac OS: Command basics – “cd” and “ls”

For those out there that are new to using Terminal, or need a quick review, this is a quick overview of the “cd” and “ls” commands. These two commands are the basic tools for navigating the file structure “inside” of your Mac. Once these two are mastered, you will be able to comfortably move onto doing cooler, more complicated commands that can be run in Terminal. Continue reading Mac OS: Command basics – “cd” and “ls”

FIleMaker: Fixing The Annoying Error 101

When creating loops that traverse through all the records of a found set, most all of us use the useful “Go to Record/Request/Page [Next; Exit after last]” function. It’s quite nice, since it prevents a loop from continuing into infinity when you reach the last record of a found set. However, you will always get an Error 101 from this.

Error 101 is telling us that the record we want is not found. For this case, the record we want is the next record, which doesn’t exist because we’re already at the end. You would think the built in function would suppress this error when you select to option to exit after the last record, but the error still gets logged, and will pop-up if we use the debugger window or if we are running a server script. Continue reading FIleMaker: Fixing The Annoying Error 101

Fixing Adobe Applescript Errors

Fixing Adobe Applescript Errors

If you are still using an Adobe Photoshop CS3 or CS4, you might have run into some funky Applescript errors. These errors sometimes pop-up as, “Error loading /Library/ScriptingAdditions/Adobe Unit Types.osax”, or “Can’t make 720 into type traditional points”, or something similar.

The fix for this is easy, and is provided straight from Adobe. The error comes from a conflict between the old 32-bit component and the newer 64-bit scripting environment of Mac OS X 10.6+ (Snow Leapard, Lion, and Mountain Lion).

There are three ways to fix the issue, but simplest is to download the updated file and install it into the “/Library/ScriptingAdditions” folder of your Mac, then restart your computer.

Setting Pidgin and Google Talk (GTalk) with A Custom Domain

Pidgin IM LogoPidgin does a great job of connecting all the chat & IM protocols together, and is available on Windows, Mac, and Linux (yeah!), plus it’s open-source and free! Its interface is dead-simple, but sometimes its setup can be confusing for beginners.

If you have a custom email domain for your gmail account, setting up to use Google Talk through Pidgin needs a couple extra tweaks to the settings. Follow these easy steps to get started.

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Can’t We Come Together And Be Logical About Punctuation?

There are three things I wish for American to adopt:

  • The metric system
  • Japanese toilets
  • Logical punctuation

The first two are perhaps a bit too much for the average American to adjust too. However the last on the list, logical punctuation, specifically logical quotes, is something that I we can have. Only those sitting in the ivory tower of academia and the editorial rooms of the major publishers that are holding us back. Why should we be accepting of the definitions of “right” and “wrong” about our language by those who have vested interest to hold back change? We should not accept it, especially when the linguistic progress is pushed by logic over aesthetics.

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Mac OS: Making an ISO Image

Many people don’t know that Macs can native make an ISO disk backup without any third-party software – part of the Unix backbone of the operating system. This built-in tool allows anyone to save disc data quickly and reliably. I have included the instructions needed to make a perfect copy of any disc – simple and easy.

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Mac OS: Tweeting using cURL

Termianl-IconThe cURL function, found on most UNIX based systems, including the Mac OS, is one of the cooler functions that is also simple to use and awesomely powerful when used correctly. Check out my introduction to CURL for more information about some cool things you can do with it.

Recently I found out that it is simple and relatively easy to post new status updates to twitter through the Terminal using cURL. This opens up the doors for using Applescript, BASH or other languages to automate postings if needed.

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