Posts Tagged mac

The coolest program ever!

Synergy is freakin’ awesome!

A Vista box w/ 23" samsung and MBP w/ 21.5" vertical.

A Vista box w/ 23" samsung and MBP w/ 21.5" vertical.

So I was setup with Vista box @ work today to do IAR/VC++ stuff… so that meant another keyboard and another mouse on my desk. Well that kinda sucks. I have this issue at home too.. I have my desktop and my laptop. I’m usually using both at the same time and I need to switch between keyboards… and blah, its just a mess. I had an idea I was considering for my senior project to develop something like this… because I had no idea it existed! But today one of my co-workers showed me this awesome program called Synergy!

So how does Synergy work?  It allows you to take the keyboard and mouse of one computer and over the network control any number of other computers as though they were additional monitors connected to your first computer.  So for example… I have my vista box on the left of my macbook pro.  As my mouse goes off the left edge of the macbook pro, it comes on to the right edge of the vista box.  HOW AWESOME IS THAT!

The cool thing about it is that it also works cross platform too! I’m so excited to set this up on all my computers at home :).

(The photo is a panorama shot before I set up Synergy, I’ll have to get another shot of my desk with the new setup when I go back in on Monday. The photo was shot using in-phone panorama mode)

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Lock Screen For Your Mac

For OS X.

In the dorms I used to have my mac lock itself as soon as it entered screensaver mode but now that I don’t have the constant mischievous pranks looming around the corner I don’t bother with that. So what I’m looking for is a way to lock my mac without having to ALWAYS enable it when in screensaver. The solution is in Keychain Access (Applications > Utilities). Launch the program and under Keychain Access:Preferences in the General tab, select “Show Status in Menu Bar”. Now a lock icon appears in your tray and the first option in the menu is “Lock Screen”. Sweet!

Note: you can move these icons around by holding down the apple key and dragging.

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Mac OS X Shortcuts / Commands

Apple Screen Grab Shortcuts

Grab Screen to file

  • Apple+Shift+3

Grab Area

  • Apple+Shift+4

Move Grab Area

  • Apple+Shift+4
  • Then… Drag (to select and hold mouse down and) hit space Space… move mouse.

Grab Window

  • Apple+Shift+4
  • Then… Space


Hold Ctrl on click goes to clipboard instead of desktop.

Ctrl+Cmd+D: Dictionary

Chrome Mac
Hold Shift + Click Green (+) will maximize to fill screen

Random Commands

open . – opens a finder window at current location

say – speak

jot  – count

say -v Chellos ` jot 100 `

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Backup Solution

I’ve been looking around for some time now for a suitable off-site backup solution.  The big thing I’ve been looking for is something that works on Linux, Mac and Windows.  It is rare to find a solution that works well on all three, and supports headless operation on Linux.

SpiderOak ( offers 2Gb of free storage with unlimited machines and then $10 per additional 100Gb per month.  I am currently testing out their free account on my Mac and it works well!  It features a nicely designed UI which is very intuitive and easy to use.

I have not had the chance to test the client on Windows or Linux yet but I’m very excited to see how well it is able to operate on Linux (headless).

But on a side note, they say on their website that they’ve contributed back to the open source community (See   I think that’s very cool!

So the conclusion is: I think this will satisfy my needs for a normal backup solution for important data (being documents and files).  I still have over 200Gbs of photos on my server which I’m not willing to pay $20/mo to store on a web-based service.  My plan for those files is just to take an external drive offsite each month (unless anyone wants to suggest a better idea!).

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