links for 2008-05-31

Saturday, May 31, 2008

links for 2008-05-29

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Updated: Resizer AppleScript

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

After looking at my AppleScript to resize windows, I’ve decided to make a few updates.  Instead of manually doing the math for each resolution, I’ve created a new variable, desired_width, which is exactly what it sounds like: how wide you want your windows to be.  I’ve also made the other variable names more human-friendly: _nl and _nr are now left_bound and right_bound, respectively, for example.  After adding iTunes to my script, I noticed that it was being resized behind the menubar, so instead of setting the upper bound for all windows at 0, I’ve defined the variable top_bound, which defaults to 22 to account for the height of the menu bar.  If you find that this setting is incorrect (e.g. if you’ve enabled some accessibility settings that change font sizes and therefore the size of the menu bar) you may need to change it; I haven’t found a way to get the height of the menu bar in AppleScript yet—so far I’ve only found it in Java—so if anyone knows feel free to leave a comment.  Finally, after seeing this post by Jamie Matthews, I added some functionality to automatically set bottom_bound to the height of the Dock.

After all of these updates, the script now takes a desired width and moves applications that support AppleScript such that they range horizontally to your desired width, centered on the screen, and stretching from the bottom of the menu bar to the top of the Dock.  In the future, I’d like to make a separate application, perhaps AppleScript-based, that will allow for user customization of how the windows are arranged, allow for custom application settings, and perhaps Spaces integration.

links for 2008-05-28

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My Favorite Computer Setup

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My Favorite Computer Setup

Anti-Airline Post

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I’ve thought for a while now that the airline industry is failing us Americans. Aside from the countless delays, cancellations, and the inevitable holiday news report of people stranded in airports, flights are expensive, it takes way too long to board a plane, and each airline has its own points system to try to foster some semblance of brand loyalty. I don’t think the average person is too attached to any one airline; there are those that we avoid because their food is horrible, they’re always late, or they crash, but I don’t really care which one I’m on as long as I get from point A to point B in a timely, economical manner.

It isn’t just the fact that they always delay their flights or trap customers into points systems. What’s worse is the massive amounts of money hemorrhaging from the industry. In 2001, the government sunk $5 billion into the industry because it simply didn’t have enough money. I fail to see how an airline is unprofitable. You’ve got a pretty much captive group of people who need your service; businessmen can’t always just videoconference their pals in Tokyo. I don’t make a ton of money, but the University is paying for me to fly to WWDC in San Francisco. There are countless others doing similar things. The money is there, so why the billions and billions in government aid?

The way I see it, if the government is going to pay for the whole thing anyway, they might as well run it. I’m not sure that the bureaucracy of the government would do anything about the delays, but I can see it working out in a few key areas:

  • Unions: if the government is behind the airlines, then the security personnel, pilots, stewardesses, etc. are all government workers. I’m no lawyer, but I think that could help avoid all the strikes.
  • Frequent Flyer Miles, WorldPerks, etc.: if the government owns all the airlines, there’s only one points system. Easy enough.
  • Security: Instead of having the government watch over airline security, have it be an integral part of airline security.

There are a million more reasons where that came from. I don’t necessarily want “big government” as this post may suggest, but I believe that if there’s a service that some portion of the public relies on, that service should be available, reliable, and inexpensive. I think that the airlines are failing on all three counts, and so making them governmet-run would alleviate the problem.

links for 2008-05-27

Tuesday, May 27, 2008