Saturday, 23 July 2016

Flic button support in LIFXstyle and Hue-topia

Although it seems slightly ironic to install smart bulbs and then buy a physical button to switch them on/off, a 'smart button' is something I've been searching for for some time.

A LIFXstyle user asked me about support for Flic buttons and they looked just like what I've been looking for. And they've lived up to the promise. There's nothing for scale in the picture below. The buttons are pretty small, around an inch in diameter. They have a small battery within, which is said to have a life of 5 years and then is replaceable. They come with a fabulous sticky back and can be stuck onto a surface, pulled off and stuck to something else apparently ad infinitum (the sticky surface is washable). There's an optional clip which can be fitted if you want to wear the button.

(Let me say right out that I've had to buy my buttons like everyone else, and I'm not earning any kind of commission).

I should also point out that Flic buttons can work Hue and LIFX bulbs without my software, but maybe you're like me and would rather not be connecting your buttons and your bulbs to cloud services.

They've turned out to be very easy to use and integrate into my apps. Support on a Mac involves running the Flic Service which is currently beta.

There's now a window within LIFXstyle and Hue-topia which allows you to add and configure your buttons.

The above window is called up using the menu item View > Flic Manager (cmd-4)
Note also the Menu item LIFXstyle > Connect to Flic Service / Disconnect from Flic Service. Connection should be made automatically, but you can try toggling this if you have problems.
If your button isn't in the list, use the 'Scan' button and press your Flic button. It should appear in the Flic Manager list if it's discoverable. (Your computer may also ask for permission to pair if you've not already paired that button with the computer.) Stop scanning and check the box to tell LIFXstyle/Hue-topia you want to connect to it.
For each button in the list, choose presets (or 'All on / All off') for each action (single, double-click, hold)
Edit your button's name. If you use the keywords white, black, green, blue or yellow in the name (eg 'My black button #1') then the 'ready' icon will appear in the right colour.

The Flic service requires MacOS 10.10 or higher. Without using the Flic functionality, LIFXstyle should run on 10.9 or higher, Hue-topia should run on 10.8 or above.

All of this is available in v2.0 beta of both LIFXstyle and Hue-topia. At present these aren't available for download on the site, but please contact me if you'd like to help test either.


Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Retro button style in OSX cocoa

While developing a 'breadcrumb' or NSPathControl type class, I created some buttons programmatically -  initially very quick and dirty;  [[NSButton alloc] initWithFrame] and not bothering to set anything.

This may be the first time I've ever done that because I wasn't prepared for what happened:
It takes me back to Amiga Workbench, and some interesting times that I had to use Windows at various day jobs.

It makes sense; I haven't set any button type or border style. But I would have thought I'd get the basic push button (the ones you get for OK and Cancel in alerts etc).

This isn't a complaint at all, I'm just bemused to see OSX drawing these retro-looking buttons.

[Update]  it's not looking bad...

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Scrutiny v7

Scrutiny v7 is in the 'thinking' stage.

Current plans involve a more streamlined UI, organising sites into folders, a combined 'summary / tasks' screen following the site selection (which offers the 'settings' as a choice rather than being presented with them every time). Breadcrumb widget rather than the next / previous system.

If you're a v5 or v6 user with any thoughts on this, I'd love your input - please get in touch.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

New Project - WebScraper for OSX

WebScraper application icon - an earth scraper I love starting new things. This project uses the Integrity V6 Engine for the crawling which means that I could get right on and build the output functionality.

I noticed that this is something people have been trying to use Scrutiny's search functionality to achieve. Scrutiny will report which pages contain (or don't contain) your term in the text or the entire code. And you can export results to csv and choose columns.

But Scrutiny (currently) can't extract data from particular css classes or ids.

This is where WebScraper comes in. It quickly scan a website, and can output the data (currently) as csv or json. (Anyone want xml?) The output can include various meta data (more choices to be added), the entire content of each page (as text, html or markdown) and can extract parts of the pages (currently a named class or id of divs or spans).

Webscraper is new and in beta. Please use it for free and please get in touch with any requests, bug reports or observations.

There's a short demo video here

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

OSX uses 1000 bytes = 1kb

I've just noticed that OSX is reporting its file sizes using 1000 bytes = 1kb (incorrectly IMHO, 1kb = 1024 bytes which is a nice round number in binary and hex)

Apparently this has been the case since Snow Leopard, never noticed.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Reselling opportunity - Scrutiny for Mac

Scrutiny is a suite of webmaster tools for Mac.

It extends the link checkers Integrity and Integrity Plus, adding SEO / scraping functionality, spelling and grammar checking (in a choice of languages), sitemap visualisation, page speed analysis, site sucking, scanning sites that require authentication, and much more.

Scrutiny retails for a one-off $95, and I believe it is a serious competitor for other tools that are more expensive or have ongoing charges.

It's a native (ie not Java) desktop app (ie not online). You install the app on your Mac, enter the licence key. You own it and it will always work. (There may be fees for upgrades but I've rarely done this and it would be a major new version.) We offer good support and that's free.

If you're interested in re-selling Scrutiny (you offer the product at a discounted price, and keep a generous share of the sale price) then please contact me.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Easy clipboard sharing added to ClipAssist

Clipassist has had a bit of a makeover, it's now easier to manage those standard clips of text and organise them into folders. But it has a much more exciting new feature.

If, like me you like to run more than one mac then you very quickly feel the need to access a snippet of text on a different computer.

There are ways to achieve this, such as creating a text file and saving it to the other computer. As straightforward as that is, it's overkill if you have just an email address, so you type it on the other computer and risk a typo.

Copy and paste (cmd-C and cmd-V) are so fundamental to computing. We do it without thinking.

So why  shouldn't it be simple to just copy on one mac and paste on another? In fact in the past I've attempted to do this without realising I've switched computers.

I've found a way to share your 'copy' with other Macs on the local network, ready to just 'paste' at the other keyboard. Without any messy connecting / logging in.

Simply run ClipAssist v4 or higher on all Macs, set the send/receive preferences as appropriate and you're ready to go.
This applies to anything you copy to the general clipboard, not just within ClipAssist.

10.6 and upwards are supported, in line with our policy of supporting other fans of the beautiful Snow Leopard.

This is all new. You're welcome to download v4 and try it (please let me know how you get on) under the caveat that this is still beta.