Give me my Save As… back!!

No, I don’t want any “Duplicate”. I don’t want to duplicate anything! The work I have done on the file makes it different than the original file. NOT A DUPLICATE! I want to simply Save [my work] As… [different file]. Understood, Apple?! NO, I don’t want to push Command + Shift + Option + S (thanks God somebody kicked your butt so that at least the function is back there again!) – this is not a convenient shortcut for one of the often used functions. Neither is fiddling with mouse and keyboard (alt key) at the same time. Will you get it?

So much for the rant. Now a (partial but still good) solution to this small part of Apple’s-After-Leopard loss of reason, by tjluoma:

$ defaults write -globalDomain NSUserKeyEquivalents -dict-add 'Save As...' '@$S'

Gosh… thank you TJ!

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Woes of an Android “switcher” – continued

OK – so here’s another one. If you run e.g. one of the Samsung Android phones and suddenly realise that you don’t receive any notifications whenever new text message (SMS based) arrives, and you tried everything, including rebooting, taking out battery, wiping cache partitions (Gosh! How Microsoft® Windows™ – alike all this is), every trick you read on the web or remember from your Symbian/Windows times, and still no luck (and no SMS messages notifications) – then…

When everything else fails, you may still try the one below. It helped restoring proper SMS messages notifications from the built-in “Messaging” application on a Galaxy S4 mini.

The thing you’d never thought of… Google’s “Hangouts” (how “socially” desperate Google has to be in order to invent such  names for their applications/services?!). Find Google’s “Hangouts” application (hint: it might be in a folder called “useless stuff” or it might be one of those that don’t show in the list of applications because you decided long time ago to hide it), open it and double check if you haven’t happily agreed (and even more happily forgot about it) to the irresistible offer to receive SMS messages with “Hangouts”. Of course at the time when you agreed, you thought it would be like with any other SMS application you can find in the Android Market… erm… “Playstore” or whatever it is called now, even if there are many people who never “played” with anything from there. Unfortunately this time you were wrong. Google’s “Hangouts” in its ultimate desperation to take over Facebook messaging, takes over all your incoming SMS activity on the way. And if you turned off notifications there (because you thought that whatever application you are going to use in the end, will notify you anyway) then you are out of  luck and Samsung’s “Messaging” will not inform you about incoming SMS messages, regardless of how many times you try to turn its notification settings “on”.

What you have to do in such case is to disable receiving SMS with Google’s “Hangouts”. After that you can safely hide it again or keep it in the “useless” folder…

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Get MPEG-2 footage into FCPX

So.. you got that important video from somebody. He gave you the files and asked politely “just do it quick!”. Video is stored nicely in some MPEG-2 based transport stream files (typical thing with some Canon, SONY, whatever… cameras). You try to import those files into your latest and greatest version of Final Cut Pro and it seems… that you just simply can’t! FCPX doesn’t want to let your footage in urgent need for edit into its powerful editing domain. No matter how you try to adapt, demux, convert to mpeg, headed mpeg, ts, vid, rec, m2v, dit (damned it!), yni (you name it) the file is not accepted by your shiny iMovieX.. erm, sorry… Final Cut Pro X.

Sure, you can follow smart people’s advice and convert all the footage to another format, like Apple’s ProRes for example, at some sizeable cost of time and storage space. But what if both of those are at premium in your situation? Or you don’t have any software that could do that outside of FCPX? Or you don’t have enough knowledge or administrative privileges to install FFmpeg? Or you have the (fantastic tool, BTW) MPEG Streamclip from Squared 5 but you don’t have (and can no longer buy) the QuickTimeMPEG2.component required by MPEG Streamclip in order to be able to handle MPEG-2 data. Or..

So what now?

OK, a little background first: “traditional” UNIX (or Amiga) way of recognising what the file contains, is… to check what the file contains (sic!). Strange? Yeah, I think so too. But that’s what people had been doing with their data for a long time, before the dark times, before the Empire… but with MS-DOS popularity and everything that followed from Microsoft® Corp, computers no longer check what the content of the file is in order to know what the content of the file is. What they do in order to know what the content of the file is, is they check the name of the file! Then they take whatever the guy in a severe katzenjammer state incidentally typed into the filename field, as the ultimate pronouncement about what kind of data the given file contains. As illogical as it sounds – file’s name (metadata) is one thing and file’s content (actual data) is a very different thing – this is what the brightest minds from Redmond endowed the world with. And you know what? The world accepted it! Impossible to imagine but true. Even the rebel GNU/Linux systems more and more bow to this brain-dead approach. Apple is not an exception either. Quite the contrary. It wholeheartedly embraced this utter stupidity long time ago.

Now, what all of this has to do with Final Cut Pro not being able to import your MPEG based footage? Well – as found out by one smart and persistent dude – all you have to do to get your MPEG-2 transport streams into FCPX is to… yes, rename the files you want to import (or should I say more politically correct: “unshare”?)!

So… go ahead change the names of the files in such way that they end with a sequence of a dot, a letter “M”, a letter “O” and a letter “D” and you should be an all happy video editor in no time. Just don’t say that out loud to anyone! Somebody at Apple may hear it and decide that files, which have their names ending with “.MOD” sequence of characters must be banned from Final Cut Pro domain too…

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Eh… woes of an Android “switcher”

To make the long (many hours) story short – if you suffer from “this account isn’t being synced”/“sync disabled”/“sync is experiencing problems” syndrome on your Android device and miss important events due to the fact that calendar entries entered on the phone are not propagated to your Google account – there are two forum posts you may want to look at. This one is the first worth checking. You may need to use different combination of keys though. I needed Volume UP/HOME/PWR. YMMV. For me this method of course didn’t work. Meaning, it didn’t bring the proper syncing to the phone. Why should it?

So I lost even MORE precious HOURS trying to find the right answer. Found it eventually here.

[...] Settings > Data Usage > tap menu soft key > select “Auto sync data” from pop up menu. Now go back to settings> accounts and sync has been re-enabled. [...]

Gosh!

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Why I just can’t stand AppleEdgeResize…

Summary:
Since OS X 10.7 there is a “new” way of resizing windows across the whole OS. It mimics one of the most un-productive inventions made for some other operating systems. Not only it is distracting when the cursor/pointer constantly changes its shape when being moved close to the window’s edges but this approach bears also many other Usability issues. Among many of them, the most annoying are:

  • unwanted window resizing whenever window move was intended (lost productivity, time, focus… the user has to first resize the window back to its intended size and only then try again to move it: smooth workflow broken)
  • unwanted window resizing whenever click’n drag/selecting text portion close to the window’s edge was intended (lost time, focus, nerves, … the user has to stop what she was doing, resize the window back and only then try to select the text again – slowly and accurately: smooth workflow broken)
  • unwanted changes of the cursor/pointer shape stealing attention
  • lack of visual clue, whether the window is actually resizable or not. The user has to employ a trial-and-error approach in order to know whether the window is resizable or not instead of knowing it beyond any doubt thanks to the presence (or lack of) of the “resize” gadget in the lower-right corner of the window

Steps to Reproduce:
Try to work quickly and effectively, doing many operations with windows – organising, resizing, moving, selecting parts of the contents, etc.

Expected Results:
The OS doesn’t “get in the way”. It presents unambiguous clues about resizability of the windows, doesn’t distract, doesn’t steal attention and helps the user by preventing common unwanted actions from happening

Actual Results:
The OS unnecessarily steals attention (unnecessary visual distractions) and time needed to correct the results of common, unwanted actions that could be easily prevented from happening. The OS steals time needed to verify by trial-and-error whether given window or windows is/are resizable

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phpMyAdmin blank page after login using Safari

It took quite a bit of time…

Using Safari 5.1.9 on OSX 10.6.8, logging into phpMyAdmin 3.5.8.1

After installing ubuntu 13.04 server with PHP, MySQL and phpMyAdmin everything seemed fine until I tried to log-in. I received blank page only. Checking the page source revealed that there was a normal content with all what was needed, except that the page didn’t render anything. To make the long story short:

the whole problem was with CSP headers sent to the browser. Interpretation of them lead to Safari refusing to load frames’ content and Javascripts.

Since I had no time to debug Safari and all stuff around CSP there, a quick and ugly workaround is to find a file named:

header_http.inc.php

inside

/usr/share/phpmyadmin/libraries/

and comment out the whole CSP headers block…

/* Prevent against ClickJacking by allowing frames only from same origin */
/*
if (!$GLOBALS['cfg']['AllowThirdPartyFraming']) {
header('X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN');
header("X-Content-Security-Policy: allow 'self' ; options inline-script eval-script; frame-ancestors 'self'; img-src 'self' data:");
if (PMA_USR_BROWSER_AGENT == 'SAFARI' && PMA_USR_BROWSER_VER < '6.0.0') {
header("X-WebKit-CSP: allow 'self'; options inline-script eval-script");
} else {
header("X-WebKit-CSP: default-src 'self'; script-src 'self' 'unsafe-inline' 'unsafe-eval'; style-src 'self' 'unsafe-inline'");
}
}
*/

Of course you WON’T do this on any publicly available production server, will you?

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CBM Quick Look generator – reloaded

CBM Quick Look generator got rewritten from scratch and updated with tons of features. It got even its own page on the web ;-)

http://e4aws.silverdr.com/soft_projects/emufiles_qlgenerator/

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