#211 Automator for Quitting Apps, iPhone Accessibility, Syrinx and Broken iPhone 3G S

Dumb Question Corner covers how to quit applications using Launchbar or a simple Automator script (Shaun’s Quit All Apps Workflow) and why are groups so important in Twitter clients? And finally we need help figuring out how Ken can keep his icons arranged the way he wants! We have a very interesting interview with Shane Jackson on how he uses the iPhone accessibility features – and it works well! In Chit Chat Across the Pond Bart and I talk about what Twitter clients tell you where those short urls are going, an in depth look at the Twitter client Syrinx from mrrsoftware.com and Allison explains just how pleased she was with Apple’s service on her brand new and yet useless iPhone 3G S.

Listen to the Podcast Once (1hr 10 min)

Today is Sunday June 28th, 2009 and this show number 211. This is a fun packed show with tons of Dumb Questions AND even a bunch of answers (how did that happen?) and a very very cool interview I know you’ll enjoy plus a big improvement in Chit Chat Across the Pond! Let’s dig in.

Dumb Question Corner
Redux on quit apps
I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a narrower topic with such rabid interest than the Dumb Question from last week where Greg asked if there was a quick way to quit all applications. I got tons of responses on this! Jason Hyde said that he quits all of his applications at once using LaunchBar and that this has been built in since at least version 4. He has LB set to cmd-space, so he hits that, and then simply types QAA. This brings up the Quit All Applications ‘action’. You can have this run on a quick return keystroke or hang on the last key and it runs. It quits everything in the dock that is running except LaunchBar. Menu apps and system apps keep running. He said you can enable it in the Index if it doesn’t run (it is installed by default anyway). He attached a few screenshots so we can see what he means. LB is one of his must have apps! That’s a pretty cool solution, I haven’t tried Launcbar since about 1957, must give it a try again some time. But listen up for even MORE solutions to this problem.

Redux Redux on Quitting Applications
Nick also wrote in with a suggestion:

    Here is a quick tip I thought I would share as last week you were talking about closing applications. I heard you mention printers as it stays in the dock when you print something. If you right click on the printer icon you will see an auto quit option so once it prints it automatically get culled from the dock.

Well that’s pretty cool, why let the printer keeping our RAM tied up?

Redux Redux Redux on Quitting Applications
But wait, there’s more! Here’s a really cool entry in the “how can I quit all my apps” category! I bet you thought we were done with this, didn’t you? Steven Laws suggested using Automator, but I didn’t know how to do that. then David Hill sent the exact instructions on how to do it using Automator, made an audio recording for us AND a ScreenSteps tutorial. But then an amazing thing happened – Shaun Peterson sent in a nearly IDENTICAL solution – he used Automator, made an audio recording AND a ScreenSteps tutorial! What are the chance of that??? So here’s the compromise I came up with – I’m going to play David’s audio, then I’ll tell you about a slight improvement on it that Shaun came up with and I’ll put his ScreenSteps tutorial in the shownotes. So let’s listen to David’s solution:
==========INSERT DAVID HILL AUDIO==========
Isn’t that simple? I love how easy this is – I followed his instructions and in about 1 minute I had my very own quit all apps solution. Shaun’s tutorial takes it one step further, he shows how you can set a few apps to not quit, just in case that’s a need you have, and he shows how to get easy access to your new automator script too. I can’t believe these three guys came up with the same solution, and two of them made audio recordings and both made ScreenSteps tutorials! Thanks guys – really appreciate your efforts!

Shaun’s Quit All Apps Workflow

DQC – Groups in Twitter Clients
I think we’re finally done with Quitting apps – how about a brand new dumb question from Will that I can answer? Will says:

    I’ve been listening to half the twitterverse talk about how much they like Tweetie/Twitterrific/Twhirl/Bluebird/Canary/Beak/Syrinx/etc. except for their lack of groups. I don’t see why you want groups. It seems like you’re just creating more places you need to look to see your tweets. If I don’t want to see somebody’s tweets, I unfollow them, and if I do, I refollow. I’ve tried a few times to set up groups, and had no idea where to start. Could you explain why you’d want such a thing?

Well it’s very simple actually. The problem stems from the fact that I follow an awful lot of people – around 400 or so. I like having an entertaining stream of info from tons of sources, but I also like to know what Steve’s saying or Bart or other close friends and family are yakking about. Steve tends to Tweet at the crack of dawn, or technically BEFORE the crack of dawn, and by the time I roll out of bed at the late our of 5:30, his tweets have flown down the stream of east coasters and Europeans. So I like to have groups. Right now I have a few groups – family, internet friends, work and my favorite category “in real life”. The last group is very quiet, none of my real life friends have tweeted in three days! Maybe my internet friends ARE my real friends? I like to think so.

If you keep your follows down to a dozen or even 50 where they’re not very prolific, then you would never run into this problem at all, but that’s why I like groups.

DQC Desktop icon arrangement
Well when it rains it pours on dumb questions! This one is a real stumper. I’ve been going back and forth with Ken Zuckerman trying to solve his problem for over a week and I can’t for the life of me crack it! He has a set of icons he keeps on his desktop of his five kids, grandchild, nieces and nephews, Mom and Dad, and as he says, “even my wife”. I’ll have to give him a hard time about that. anyway, he has these icons set so the icon is the image of the person – which means he can see their smiling faces, and at any moment he can click on an icon and hit the spacebar to see the smiling face come up on screen. He loves this, and wants the icons arranged on his desktop to stay that way. The problem is that when he hooks up another monitor, it changes the resolution and moves his icons around. Setting “keep arranged by” there doesn’t work How can he stop them from moving?

I have wracked my brains and searched and even downloaded a few apps that promise “interesting” arrangements of your icons but so far none of them address this problem. This is a shoutout to the NosillaCast community – any ideas?

I’m wondering if I even have to DO a ScreenSteps ad this week, what with all the tutorials David and Shaun did for the show! Well how about one more? Listener Marie Boyer was so excited this week when someone asked her how to sync iPhone notes to your Mac, because that gave her the perfect excuse to use ScreenSteps to write up the instructions. See what I mean about this tool? It’s so much fun to write tutorials with it, you actually find yourself looking for excuses to use it!

The developers Greg and Trevor have been doing tons of live webinars demonstrating how to use the tool and more importantly WHY you’d want to use certain features. I find I learn something new every time I watch one. They have upcoming seminars on getting a Jumpstart on ScreenSteps, ScreenSteps Live, and my favorite title, “why your documentation is useless and how to fix it”! Isn’t that great? I put a link in the shownotes to where you can register to watch these free webinars to get excited about ScreenSteps and they usually put them up online so you can watch at your leisure too. If you’re already sold, go on over to screensteps.com and be sure to use the coupon code NOSILLA for 25% off!

Shane Jackson on accessibility of the iPhone
I’m very excited about the interview I’m about to play for you, let’s jump in!

Shane is blind since birth, and is an avid Mac user and now a happy iPhone user. He describes in this segment how the iPhone accessibility functions work and in particular how WELL they work. you can listen to Shane’s podcast at blindworldblog.blogspot.com to hear much more indepth information on how he got his iPhone and the full functionality he is able to use. In the interview I asked Shane how on earth he learned to use the iPhone, and he pointed me to the instructions at apple.com/accessibility/iphone. You can also follow Shane on Twitter at twitter.com/jack728.

Honda Bob
This week’s testimonial on Honda Bob from his 30 year picnic comes from David Lovegren. I’m not sure it will make you want to actually use Honda Bob’s services, but at least it will make you giggle!

==========INSERT DAVID LOVEGREN=========

So if you’re new to the show I should explain that Honda Bob is an amazing mechanic who only works on Hondas and Acuras and only works in the LA and Orange county areas, but if you’re lucky enough to meet those two criteria you can actually have the luxury of having Honda Bob drive to your actual house and fix your car while you relax in your own home! Give him a call at (562)531-2321 or shoot him an email at [email protected]. Remember, HDA Bob’s Mobile Service is not affiliated with Honda, Acura or Honda Worldwide.

Chit Chat Across the Pond

Prelude – Bart gets new Mic

  • I’ve been podcasting with a cheap Logitech headset for years now – it works, but not ideal
  • Stu Helm of IMP donated his old Samson CO1U (complete with shock-mount) to me – yay! and thanks!
  • Stu also sold me a second hand mic stand so I can podcast like a pro now
  • I won’t hear the difference on my end – but I hope the listeners appreciate the new-found quality!

Pictures of Bart’s New Podcasting setup and podcasting in Bart’s kitchen with Stu and David and Justin.

Security Light

Short URL Services in Twitter followups:

  • From Pierre Bourgeois:

Re: Tweetie and viewing the full URL – security light follow-up

Go to preferences / advanced / preview short url’s

Now when you click on a shortened url it gives you the choice of view immediately or if you wait a second you get the expanded url

(I am guessing that Don McAllister likely answered this one for you before me).

  • Nambu does it too – just by hovering over the url.
  • From Al van Seventer (@van7ter)

Hi Bart, heard you on @podfeet talk about short url dangers, well twitterfox now gives real url when you hover over short url

  • Aside – reports out this week of links to a Windows & Mac DNS Trojan being spread on Twitter through accounts that have been in some way compromised – another reason to be careful!


  • Free OS X native Twitter client from mrrsoftware.com
  • Heard about it right here on the NosillaCast and decided to give it a go!
  • Good points:
    • is OS X native so integrates with Key Chain to store your password
    • uses Growl – and does so very well. All tweets get popped up, but only mentions and DMs have to be dismissed
    • Their bookmarking system for remembering read and unread tweets works well … once you get the hang of it – there is a button in the menu bar that marks all tweets to now as read. Clicking this button when you’re happy you’re up-to-date is the key to a happy existance with this app
  • Less good points:
    • The app feels new and a little un-polished. Thankfully it is under active development, with fixes coming out regularly – had three already, and only using it for about 3 weeks!
    • Some of the interface elements are poor
      • Not easy to re-tweet
      • The DM view is confusing because when you "reply" to a DM it does NOT send a DM, instead, it sends an @reply – potentially very embarrassing! Has caught me out twice now
      • You have to click on a tweet to get options for it – not hover like Twhirl
      • No easy way to see a user’s timeline – have to double-click on their icon to bring up another window with your contacts, then click a button to open their profile in a browser – this REALLY annoys me, more than anything else TBH – Syrinx need to be better here
      • To add to the last problem, Syrinx doesn’t let you delete posts you make by mistake
    • It did die at the tweetpocalypse – which worries me. Clients that died are those that didn’t think about their data-types, and not thinking about your data properly leads to buffer over runs and similar security problems – in fairness MANY clients died at the tweetpocalypse – WAY too many
    • have to use command-shift-u to shorten urls

Al’s broken iPhone 3G S rant

  • Couple days ago Zoom turned on by itself (really hard to get to controls to turn off)
  • Yesterday the screen became unresponsive
  • Called Applecare after resetting and restoring
  • They gave me an appt at genius bar (even tho store said none available)
  • Quick diagnosis was that they’d give me a new one
  • Then the troubles began
  • Even though they were selling brand new ones next to me, said they didn’t have any in stock – the replacement ones are a different part number
  • Offered to do a replacement but said there’d be no point of sale so I wouldn’t have the right serial number, which could mess things up forever!
  • I had a great time this week, hope you enjoyed the show too! Remember to keep those dumb questions coming, along with comments, suggestions and even complaints (I read those last) by emailing me at [email protected], and follow me on Twitter to hear my nonsense all week long at twitter.com/podfeet. Thanks for listening, and stay subscribed.

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