Musings about technology and other neat stuff

BrT random header image

Using automator to download desktop pictures (howto)

December 6th, 2008 · No Comments

I get most of my desktop background pictures from either vladstudio or the NASA Image of the Day site, both excellent sources of fantastic images. To make it easier to fetch a particular image, I have created two Automator workflows, which you can download here:
Get image from
Get image from NASA image of the
To [...]

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Booting from an external DVD drive using Firewire Target Disk Mode

November 30th, 2008 · No Comments

This is documented by Apple but I had never realized it: if you put a Mac in Firewire Target Disk Mode, its DVD drive is also available, and it can be used to boot, for example, a machine that does not have a DVD drive (hold down Option while turning the machine on to access [...]

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EmacsWiki: Mac OSTweaks – Tips for using and integrating Emacs on Mac OS X. Particularly nice is the tip for integrating with the Mac OS X print dialog. (tags: emacs tips howto macosx printing )

How to display random header images in a Wordpress theme

November 3rd, 2008 · 8 Comments

I saw an article on describing how to display a random header image in a Wordpress blog. While the code shown works, it is a bit verbose and hard to maintain, so I thought I’d show how the random image in the header of this blog is done.
Note: you may need to adjust some [...]

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How to trick an RHEL5 client install to use server RPMs

October 22nd, 2008 · No Comments

For one of my projects at work, I am using a test install of RHEL5 in “workstation” mode, but I needed to install some packages that are only available in the “server” package list. To temporarily make yum search the server repositories, just change the following line in /etc/sysconfig/rhn/up2date:
(normally the value [...]

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Synchronizing 1Password data between two local accounts (howto)

September 29th, 2008 · No Comments

I am a big fan of the incredibly useful 1Password. The latest beta release (2.8.3.BETA-11) introduces a new keychain format that, among other things, allows 1Password to detect changes made to the file by other programs and reload the changes on the fly. I am using this now to keep my 1P data synchronized between my work and [...]

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Fixing character encoding problems with iWeb pages – In trying iWeb, I noticed that accented characters were displayed incorrectly. It seems the problem is that my web server (over which I have no control) is setting the encoding to Latin1, whereas iWeb pages are encoded in UTF-8. The fix is simple: in .htaccess, specify the correct encoding (tags: howto iweb utf-8 macosx )

Big Nerd Ranch Weblog PagePacker makes pocket-sized books – Little gem of an app to put anything into PocketMod format. Despite the warnings in the page, the downloadable version is not expired, and it works fine in Leopard. (tags: pocketmod productivity macosx tools howto )

El Tramo » Building Fancy DMG Images on Mac OS X – How to build fancy disk images (with background images ,etc.) on Mac OS X, plus some ways to automate the process from the command line (tags: macosx dmg image howto reference )

Tim Dysinger Installing GIT on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard – Instructions for building git from source, a link to the pre-built git installer package, and (most valuable for me) a list of interesting configuration settings for git. (tags: git howto tutorial macosx tips programming )