Archive for the Software Category

Radio Schedule Changes

Posted in Hosting, LBR, Mac, Projects, Software on 2010/03/28 by Dashiell Barlow

I changed the schedule for Lunar Blade tonight. You can see the changes on the station website. I knocked down the live hours a good amount, and I knocked down the auto-casting hours to nothing. I had a couple of reasons for this decision.

First of all, I haven’t been keeping up with the live hours. I believe it is better to have less live broadcasts scheduled and more of the actual schedule fulfilled.

As for killing auto-cast hours, well, I have a few interconnected reasons for that as well. Registration for my next semester of classes starts on the 5th of April, which is just around the corner. I have classes after that. I am trying to find a job as well.

So, a great deal more time spent out of the house, and the majority of that time I will need my MacBook with me. My broadcasting software is OS X-only; there is no Windows port. My music is on an Mac OS Extended (Journaled)-formatted drive, which, if I recall correctly, Windows doesn’t particularly like to play nice with. I have no other OS X machine in the house, and I cannot afford a Mac Mini to fix that.

Long story short — my MacBook can’t be in two places at once.

I’m sorry about this cut. I’ll expand hours again when I can afford the solutions necessary.

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Retrolink USB P&P SNES Controller (Review) (Two Updates)

Posted in Emulation, Games, Mac, Retrogames, SNES9X, Software on 2010/01/23 by Dashiell Barlow

I got in a new product (from ToyWiz through Amazon) the other day, and I decided I was going to review. Here it is, in the box.

Photo on 2010-01-22 at 14.58 #2.jpg

There are two things, right on the box, which are important. First? USB. Your favorite general-use standard cable. No need for boxy adaptors or messy custom wiring. Second? Plug and play! Your favorite kind of device! No searching for drivers, no installation of drivers, no maintenance of drivers.

In the box are 2 things — a plastic frame that holds the controller, and the controller itself. No messy un-boxing, no extra papers, none of that. Everything except the controller is toss-able and forgettable.

The controller is lighter than I remember SNES controllers being (though I think the size is the same). The plastic is smoother. It feels pretty solid. I think I could snap this thing in half between the SELECT and START buttons if I really wanted to — but I’m certainly not going to do it accidentally. The D-Pad, and each and every button is much higher than the SNES was, if I recall correctly. Also, the X & Y buttons on the original controllers had a depressed dome — by which I mean, the tops curved down –, and the A & B buttons curved the other way. Again, if I recall correctly. The four buttons on the Retrolink controller are all flat. It has no turbo functions or buttons.

In actual use, with SNES9X and various ROMs over the course of today, I found that the controller performs solidly, if not perfectly. The START button in particular is slightly finicky. The response time, however, is great. I noticed no issues during gameplay of Terranigma, Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past, Super Mario World, Super Mario All-Stars, Starfox, and other classics.

All together, very functional controller. Could benefit from heavier construction and mimicking original button design details like height and top curvatures a little better.

I’ll give it 9 stars out of 10. For $25 + Shipping? Buy it.

UPDATE: Two weeks or so this died on me. Completely, and with no warning, nor any sign of damage. I’m going to see if a friend of mine can figured out what the issue is, someone more versed with peripheral guts then I am. My recommendation has changed to: Find another. This dies quick.

SECOND UPDATE: It’s working again. I don’t know what was up earlier.

iTweetMyTunes (Review)

Posted in Mac, Music, Software, Twitter on 2010/01/20 by Dashiell Barlow

I recently found a new utility for tweeting my iTunes tracks. This is actually something I’ve been looking around to find for a while, now.

I had been using an inelegant, clumsy, and buggy AppleScript to update my iTunes twitter account (which is @dmbarlowsiTunes, by the way(.

Now? Well, now I’m using a much better solution.

It’s called iTweetMyTunes.

Using iTweetMyTunes is an easy, behind-my-notice experience, which is exactly what I want from a solution for this.

The preference window is the only actual UI that’s associated with the program. Here’s an image of it.

Screen shot 2010-01-20 at 8.45.32 PM.png

Setup is painless – just put in your Twitter account, choose between Automatic (and a number of minutes) and manual updates.

Automatic will mean that iTweetMyTunes will tweet your song at the mark of however many minutes you chose on the slider.

Manual means that iTweetMyTunes only updates when you click a menu bar item.

I really like this piece of software. It’s well done, it’s painless, it does what it is supposed to.

I do, however, have 2 suggestions for the developer that I feel would improve this little utility.

1 – Add a Automatic per-track option. As in, every time a track change & plays for, say, 20 seconds, send a tweet. That play time is important because often one will flip through songs, and that’s not necessary to tweet.

2 – An option to have this run as a menubar utility. I for one, would prefer to have iTweetMyTunes run up in my menubar. With so little UI, and as a utility, I feel it ought to have that option.

In any case.

If you want to tweet from iTunes, this is the single best solution I have found.

Dragon Age: Origins announced for the Mac

Posted in Games, Mac, Software on 2009/12/14 by Dashiell Barlow

Article

“Dragon Age: Origins is coming to the Mac later this month.”

(Via Macworld.)

FUCK AND YES.

Unacceptable Behavior: Microsoft Edition

Posted in Software on 2009/12/14 by Dashiell Barlow

Microsoft China rips off Asia’s No. 1 Microblogging Service « Plurk Labs:

“Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but blatant theft of code, design, and UI elements is just not cool, especially when the infringing party is the biggest software company in the world. Yes, we’re talking about Microsoft. Blerg.”

—–

What the hell is happening here?

MicroSoft, as much I personally may hate them, has to have dozens and dozens of at least competent programmers.

There is zero reason for them to entirely rip off UI AND CODE from a much smaller company.

This is blatantly unacceptable behavior. Though, historically, this is the way MicroSoft operates.

Fluid.App Issues

Posted in Mac, Software on 2009/12/14 by Dashiell Barlow

Very odd. I tried to make a Pandora Radio app, in fact I tried twice, and got the same issue.

Here’s the error box, by the way.

Screen shot 2009-12-14 at 5.55.33 PM.png

So, yeah, I’m not going to be post anything about Fluid until and unless it works properly.

Is this a Fluid issue or a Snow Leopard issue? Does anybody know?

Mac Programs

Posted in iPhone, Mac, Smarphone, Software on 2009/11/24 by Dashiell Barlow

I’ve been seeing a few of these lately.

Here’s a link to one from MacStories that links to a few other, relevant ones.

I’ve heard a lot about how other Mac users, beginners and not, use the Dock and the Applications folder, and it’s strange, because very few use them the same way I do.

And that’s what this post is about — how I use the (OS X) Dock and how I manage my applications. Because, frankly, you other Mac users are very very odd. Oh, by the waw, I run a MacBook with unfortunately limited RAM and HDD space. 2.1 GHz dual core Intel processor.

I only have 3 apps pinned to my Dock. My browser (Firefox), my IM solution (Adium), and my Twitter solution (Tweetie).

How do I quickly get to other apps I need? I generally don’t use Spotlight as a launcher. Let’s look at the other side of my Dock!

3 folders. From left to right: “Common Apps” “Documents” and “Downloads”. Common Apps is the interesting one. Inside there are five folders. “Acquisition” “Communication” “Creation” “Entertainment” and “Information”. Each of these folders contains programs or aliases to programs, and more folders.

That’s my quicklaunch solution. I can quickly hit the dock, hit that folder, and navigate (“stacks” as it were) to the app I need.

((

And yes.

I want the ability to do something similar on my iPod Touch.

))

Managing apps though… I hear that various big names in the Mac sphere keep everything open all the time…

I do not do that. What’s open is what I am using right at that moment.

Why are the three pinned programs pinned? Because 95+% of the time when I am online I am using them. Other apps get quit as soon as the purpose is done.

To give two examples:

I love my music, but there are lots of times I am not listening.. so iTunes will never be pinned.

Mail is open most of the day and shut most of the night (when I’m logged in to my computer).

Neither fits my criteria for being pinned.

So, yes, I’m different, but I like to believe this is a more logical way of handling my programs, especially considering my limited system resources.

I’m out.

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