Eric Roller's blog

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I see from my web-server log that people like to guess the path to phpMyAdmin in all different variations, colours, shapes and sizes. Now, this is exactly why I have not installed it in a fashion that makes it visible to anyone other than me. Better yet, come to think of it, I have not installed it at all and I don’t think I ever will. But if I do, you should probably search for all variations, colours, shapes and sizes of phpMyNeatlyStashedAwayAndHiddenInstallationOfMyAdmin.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Using launchd to schedule an app to start later

While it is convenient to add applications to the Login Items* list, it is also annoying when it takes ages for all of them to launch before you can do any meaningful work.

(*) In the Settings applications, select Accounts, your account and then the Login Items tab.

It occurred to me that one or the other application does not need to be available at login, but it would be nice to load it later. For instance, I don’t use Skype during the day, but more in the evenings to contact my friends. So how about launching Skype at 5 p.m.?

[Read More…]

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Using Keynote as a vector drawing tool

After having spent half an hour looking for a drawing program for vector graphics on the Mac, it occurred to me that I already had one: Keynote.

Obviously, it is aimed at creating stunning presentations, but there is no reason why it cannot be used for any other kind of drawing. When finished, a drawing can be exported as an image file (JPEG, PNG, or TIFF) or simply grabbed from the screen with a screen shot (just use shift-cmd-4 and draw a rectangle).

Keynote is bundles with all new Macs but it is also available separately from the Mac App Store ($20). This price compares well to other graphics applications like OmniGraffle (standard $100, pro $200).

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Updating Xcode through the Mac AppStore

Trying to update Xcode 4.0.1 from within the Mac AppStore application, I was greeted with this error message:

You have updates available for other accounts
Sign in to (null) to update applications for that account.

There exist numerous forum entries on Apple’s discussion board on that subject and the recommended solution is to trash the “Install Xcode” application and then to re-launch the AppStore, selecting to re-install Xcode.

I trashed “Install Xcode” but AppStore produced the same message. Relaunched one additional time and it allowed me to update (note: not install). However, when it was finished, there was no new “Install Xcode” in the Applications folder!

It turns out, the AppStore had located and updated a different copy of the software on a separate drive where I had made a backup, even though I had renamed it to “Install Xcode-4.0.1”. Its info window revealed that it had been modified and that its version number now was 4.0.2.

Installation from that modified backup worked correctly.

The old backup could be restored from the version that I had put into the trash.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Google Search Tips

Added this blog post to get that piece of scrap paper off my desk and also to remember these tips by means of typing them in.

apples oranges
Search for pages with both apples and oranges.
apples OR oranges -worms
Either or, not others.
“candied apples”
Exact phrase.
+fruit filetype:ppt
Only the exact word, in PowerPoint presentations.
~fruit site:meals.com
Include synonyms, but only on that site.
Search after definitions.
BMW 318…328
Search for ranges, e.g. not the bad 316 model.
Search after sites linking to macworld.com.
Show information about apple.se.
Search for similar sites.
All words beginning with mac, e.g. macworld, macintosh
Search for routes between airports.
Harry Potter
For books with harry potter, select the book icon.
Stock information.
weather Stockholm
Search for weather information.
time Cupertino
Get the current time for other places.
sunrise Kuusamo
Get the sunrise times, try also “sunset”.
5*9+(sqrt 10)^3=
Evaluate calculations.
10.5 cm in inches
Unit conversions.
66 GBP in EUR
Currency conversions.
Shakespeare wrote *
Let Google fill in the blanks.

P.S. Of course, Google has its own help page on this topic.