My iPhone 4 has a broken lock button. This is really annoying, because I can’t just press a button to lock the phone. I found a workaround, which makes it possible (though still clumsy) to lock the phone.
Settings | General | Accessibility | Physical & Motor | AssistiveTouch | On
This adds a small circle area that you can tap on and then it brings up a little popup in which you hit “Device” and then “Lock Screen”. This is still clumsy because it requires multiple taps and also because that little circle is constantly in my way – you can drag it around, but there’s no area of the screen where it’s not annoying some of the time. I have “Triple-click Home” set to AssistiveTouch so I can do a triple click to toggle the dot, but it’s hard to get the device to recognize the triple tap and it tends to be very laggy. Honestly, it’s almost worse than having the dot there all the time.
Another problem that I only recently solved a few days ago is how to take a screenshot on a lock-button-challenged device. On a normal device, you hold down the home button and hit the lock button to take a screenshot. This doesn’t work when your lock button doesn’t work of course. But it turns out that the virtual lock button in AssistiveTouch will emulate a lock button for the purpose of taking a screenshot as well! So to take a screenshot:
- Tap the AssistiveTouch dot.
- Tap “Device”.
- Hold down the Home button while tapping “Lock Screen”.
There is some more info about the AssistiveTouch feature (including a video) at the Assistive Technology Blog.
I hacked this up and then discovered via a tweet from Ken Case of the OmniGroup that it’s completely unnecessary, because you can convert a task into a project in OmniFocus simply by using the outlining outdent shortcut of Command-[. I thought I’d post it anyway, in case anyone finds it to be a useful example of scripting OmniFocus (which I found somewhat hard to get started with) and also because I feel bad about wasting time on writing this thing and publishing it somewhere kind of sort of justifies the effort.
I recently got turned on to TextExpander by the Mac Power Users podcast.
One of my ideas was to use snippets in OmniFocus to create certain repetitive multi-action sequences. For example, when a project involves emailing someone and then waiting for a reply, it would be nice to type a short abbreviation and then enter a fill-in for the name of the person and then have TextExpander create two actions in OmniFocus; one called “Email
” with a context of “Online” followed by another called “Waiting for reply from
” with a context of “Waiting”. I theorized this should be doable because TextExpander lets you insert key presses like Tab and Enter into snippets.
Well, it didn’t work for me as expected. Strangely, it works with the first action; I get the title and context that I want. For the second action, however, I cannot get it to set the context. No matter how many tabs I insert into my snippet expansion, any text that I try to make it put in the context field of the second task seems to go in the title instead. Strange.
Here is the snippet:
If you get it to work or have any insights, please let me know…
I thought others might find a couple of my custom searches and fallback searches for Alfred.app interesting. When I type some text that doesn’t match anything, here’s what I get:
Marc’s Alfred.app custom and fallback searches
The “Jira search” entry searches my company’s local Jira server. You can add one for yourself by clicking this link and editing the URL in Alfred Preferences | Features | Web & URL | Custom Searches (this is in Alfred.app version 1.3.1).
The “OF Inbox” entry uses an omnifocus:// URL to send the text to your OmniFocus Inbox. Here’s a link to add this to your Alfred config.
I just upgraded my work laptop to Lion recently.
After the reversed scrolling behavior, the next big annoyance was that when I launch apps they open with all of the documents that were open when I quit them. This was particularly noticeable and annoying with Preview.app and Microsoft Word, because I typically open these to quickly look at something and then I quit them.
If you’re wondering how to turn this behavior off, uncheck the box shown below in System Preferences | General | Restore windows when quitting and re-opening apps:
I replaced a defective Seagate GoFlex portable hard drive a few days ago and the new one that Seagate sent me had Memeo backup software on it. I decided to give it a whirl.
I got it configured, but judging from how long it appears to take to do a complete backup, I don’t think it will be sticking around long.
22,023 hours remaining?!?!
I already have Carbon Copy Cloner for cloning my whole drive to a USB hard drive and I have Carbonite for doing backups of various important files such as pictures and music to the cloud. That is probably good enough.
I whipped up a quick little extension for Alfred that lets me very quickly jot down time-stamped text. The hope is that if I make it ridiculously easy to log what I’m doing and when, then maybe I can have better records of what I’m doing and it will be easier for me to switch back to task after interruptions. I can also look at where I’m spending my time.
I have this extension mapped to the keyword “nj” (for “nvALT Journal”). I activate Alfred and type “nj <text>” and the extension automatically opens up nvALT and makes sure that there’s a note with the current date in the form “YYYY-mm-dd” and then appends my text to the end of the note with a 24 hour timestamp in front of it. It then switches back to the application that I was previously in so I can go immediately back to whatever I was doing.