Monday, August 31, 2009

Reducing Mac screen brightness even further

While I generally love my iMac, one thing I always hated from the first day was the insufficient range within which you can regulate the screen brightness.

Especially at night when the surroundings are dark, even the lowest setting is still too bright and both illuminates the whole room and also hurts the eyes after a while.

Today I found a simple tool with the even simpler name Brightness Control that allows you to tune down the screen backlight brightness in a much wider range than the built-in Mac OS brightness control. Unfortunately you cannot have it disappear completely - its icon will stay in the dock while running - but this a small price for the added comfort.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Eclipse: ClassFile cannot be cast to ICompilationUnit

Today, checking out from the repository, I got this error message from Eclipse:

org.eclipse.jdt.internal.core.ClassFile cannot be cast to org.eclipse.jdt.core.ICompilationUnit

To save anybody getting the same message from wondering and poking around what it means, here is the simple reason. A colleague had accidentally checked in a .class file in a source folder, causing my Eclipse to try and process (compile) this presumed Java source file.

Deleting it from disk made the problem go away. Thinking about installing a pre-commit hook on the repository server to prevent this from happening again.

Monday, August 17, 2009

myTexts with Keymote – a nice combo

Some time ago I wrote about Using Pages ‘09 in “WriteRoom” Mode, but since then I found myTexts from MOApp Software and bought it. I like the idea of having a document storage inside the application without having to worry about file handling – which is one of those things I do not want to think about while writing.

However, the (intentionally) spartan design of pure writing applications like this has a slight drawback: In order to activate certain functions you either have to take your hands away from the keyboard to grab a mouse, or learn the keyboard shortcuts. Usually I am a very keyboard centric person, but just yesterday I found Keymote, a universal Mac remote for the iPhone/iPod Touch from icedcocoa which made my life even easier.

My writing deskIt has got its fair share of (most favorable) coverage already, but I think this little program is still worth another positive mention. For me, this is what an iPhone application should be like. It offers clearly defined and useful functionality while at the same time being both beautiful to look at and self-explanatory to use. Even though the homepage contains some tutorial screencasts, I did not have any problems  getting everything to do what I wanted.

The big picture show my writing desk with my iPod Touch placed behind my keyboard for easy access. The closeup below has the layout I created for the shortcuts most commonly used when writing in myTexts.

myTexts keyset closeupThis is the first application I have seen (personally) that makes use of the new iPhone OS 3.0 in-app store functionality, and it was a pleasurable experience. They allow people to share their keysets – currently they are all free – and there already is one for many popular applications already. I just created and shared a keyset for myTexts and uploaded it. This worked pretty much instantaneously, and while version 1.0.0 still has a little localization problem (which is already being worked on according to the support forum) I think this tool is worth every cent of its €2,99 price!

I definitely recommend you go to their website and have a look at the tutorial and the promotion videos – you’ll probably be excited as well.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Bud Spencer Gedächtnislache

Just stumbled across an old Bud Spender movie snippet and got here per related links:

This is the German dubbing voice of Bud Spencer (and a few others as well: John Rhys-Davies, Charles Bronson, Oliver Reed, etc.) and I just *love* the laughing right at the beginning...