Here I Go Again…

The Musings & Ramblings of Mark Lilback

MacBook Pro GPU Monitoring

I just found a really great app called gfxCardStatus that works with any 2008 or later MacBook Pro. It is a menu-bar app that shows you which GPU is currently being used. Keeping it down to the Intel GPU decreases the heat generated and increases battery life.

I was amazed to find that one of the apps I always have running, NetNewsWire, switches to the Nvidia GPU when running. Which means my usage pattern was causing a lot of heat and reducing my battery life.

Another great feature of gfxCardStatus is that you can turn off dynamic GPU switching and force a particular one to be used. I’m leaving mine on dynamic for a while, just to see which apps cause a switch. But I imagine that soon my normal procedure will be to disable dynamic switching.

I Love My New MacBook Pro Retina

just got my Mac Book Pro Retina and without a doubt it is the best computer I’ve every owned. My vision is pretty crappy, and I can’t make out heads or tails on a MacBook Air screen at the default resolution (glasses make no difference). But the MBP retina display is so crisp and sharp that I can even read the text from a few feet away. I had really thought I’d never be able to comfortably view a laptop screen again.

Yojimbo Syncing via Dropbox With Multiple Macs

Ben Brooks wrote about the problems with using Dropbox and multiple Macs, offering a solution using Keyboard Maestro. Here is the solution I’ve been using for a while. Save the following AppleScript and set it up as a Folder Action in your Dropbox on each machine (you must do it on both machines if you want it to work both ways).

Safari vs. Chrome as Default Browser

I’ve noticed more and more of the bloggers I read prefer Chrome over Safari (the two I remember off the top of my head are MG Siegler and Justin Williams.) So last month I decided to give it a try.

In general, I like Chrome better. However, I switched back to Safari after a few weeks because of one problem: bookmark syncing. With Safari’s use of iCloud, I can add a bookmark at home, work, on my laptop, on my iPad, or on my iPhone and it shows up on all of them. Chrome can’t do this.

Sure, Wipe Out My Bookmarks. Thanks, Apple.

Earlier today Xcode downloaded a documentation update for Lion. I didn’t think anything of it, until I needed to look up something. All of a sudden, none of my bookmarks in Xcode work!

I know Xcode bookmarks really suck. I have to remember Mac OX bookmarks are above iOS bookmarks since you can’t rename them. Theoretically I could have four links to “Foundation Framework Reference” and have no way to distinguish which is which. But I still make use of them. But in my mind, blowing away a crapload of bookmarks like this must mean that no one at Apple uses them. Which in my mind, just confirms how bad they suck.

Automatic updates are nice, but not when they blow away your data and screw up your workflow.

Some of Us Remember 9/11 Everyday

I purposely avoided ground zero this weekend. I would have liked to visit on my first trip back to NYC in almost six years, but it will always be a deeply personal affair for me, one I can’t share with the callous, sensationalistic press and disgusting politicians faking tears for votes.

As I’ve passed newsstands with full page pictures of the burning towers, as I’ve heard younger passengers on the bus I’m on say that 9/11 doesn’t mean anything specific to them, I can’t help but get upset. Not at the youth. Vietnam never meant anything to me, and I don’t expect 9/11 to mean much to them. But at the media, the politicians, the greedy trying to make a profit.

OmniGraffle Line Endiings

I was wondering what some of the line endings in OmniGraffle were called, but I couldn’t find them documented anywhere in the Manual or even via a Google search. So I made up this list using OmniGraffle.

I Love the Reliability of Unix

I love how reliable and depenedable Mac OS X and its Unix underpinnings are. I was wondering when I last rebooted (I try to reboot every week or so) and got the following:

mlilback@pebbles$uptime
1:05  up 29 days, 14:49, 2 users, load averages: 0.54 0.72 0.70

And the only reason I rebooted 29 days ago was a system update that required a restart. And this is on my MacBook Pro. How many windoze laptops out there run that long without a reboot?

And I can never go back to a conventional hard drive again. I’ve got a 260 GB SSD drive and things are so freaking fast. At work I just got a 4-core iMac with a SSD and it is even faster. I can compile pretty much anything in under 5 minutes, even MacSQL which used to take 30 minutes for a clean build.

Help Me Name a Product

New App Icon

I’m finally getting close to shipping my first iPad app but have run into one roadblock. What should I call it?

Right now I call it iMusicVideoPlayer because that’s what it does. However, I need something with more pizazz. So if you think you can help me out with a name (and get a credit in the app and on the product’s website), read on.