In pursuit of textual glory

Month: February, 2006

Abracadabra Triggers

Oh boy, another day and another awesome Quicksilver plugin. I came back from work and noticed that there were a few Quicksilver updates. Of interest was an update to the iPhoto plugin, but more importantly there is a new “abracadabra plugin” and it does what exactly it says!

Get the plugin by going to your Quicksilver preferences, in plugins, choose “other plugins” to find plugins that aren’t installed and check the box next to Abracadabra. Make sure that  “Enable advanced features” is on and the app is set to Beta in the Application settings.

you should see something like this,

Select the abracadabra plugin from the main preference pane and add the sounds you want to hear when you do a gesture that is recognized or when you make a mistake or do an unknown gesture. You’ll also want to pick a key to use with Abracadabra. I selected “option”. There is another key that lets you select from mouse keys 3,4,5. I have only a single mouse button and hence omitted that. I am not really sure about the function of this drop down box.

You would see something like this,

Now set up a new trigger from the main triggers panel choosing the plus sign at the bottom then doing something you might normally do in Quicksilver such as, in my case launching the app Imagewell. Now change the Trigger type to Gesture ( by clicking on the area next to the key icon), and in the drawer that slides out, draw the gesture you’d like to make in order to perform the action, in my case , the gesture is the number 7.

When you change the trigger type to gesture you would get something like this,

And here is the gesture assosciated with opening Imagewell.

Now you are all set for the smoke and mirrors. Try it out by holding down option (or whatever key you chose) and performing the gesture. If you did it right, you’ll get cool green stars and the trigger is activated,otherwise red stars come up indicating that the trigger has not been recognised.


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Beware the Google spam creator

It is easy to dismiss the new phenomena of Google mania as unique to geeks, the like of which could never be experienced by modern, savvy, scientifically informed denizens of our society. But I couldn’t be more wrong. Psychologically, any new Google service seems to inflict upon us, a state of mass hysteria not vastly different from that conjured by priests and alchemists of centuries past.

The cause of the present commotion is “Google Page creator”. It promises to serve up your profile and thoughts in all its CSS glory for the wide web to see. Words fail me when I see that within moments of appearance the exodus of wannabe users managed to emasculate the server!
Not very different from the likes of myspace.com, there are a few glaring differences.

  • Doesnt seem to work with Safari, not that I expected a Google service to.

  • Uses CSS but does not validate well.

  • The URL includes your Gmail login name for the wide world to see. Get the initial name and add @gmail.com and hey you have a new address to spam! Obviously the tag line to this would be ” All your spam are belong to us”.

  • Whats the deal with allowing users a page. How does this fit in with Blogger?

In our struggle to stay abreast of the next cool thing, our focus is so intensely upon the present and immediate future, that we neglect the lessons of the past. But here lies a serious error in thinking – for although technology changes rapidly, people do not. For example, throughout history there are numerous examples of large groups of people succumbing to mass panics, group delusions and popular myths used by spammers. Do not be carried away by a gimmick, one that will land your email address in the hands of the Viagra sellers.


Adopting new technologies is easy, but changing work practices is hard. Technologies are “out there” but work practices are distinctly personal. And new technologies promise immediate gratification by way of satisfying the hunger for novelty. One such glaring example is the case of RSS or really simple syndication.

The very act of browsing as practiced by the majority of the connected populace is also an exercise in killing time, a source of entertainment, akin to a walk in the park, for its ability to entice and enthrall with bits of information and the visuals. The design and layout carrying as much hubris as the information being served. In this context partial RSS feeds would serve the process of enticing the reader to visit the website, a much more enjoyable experience than the lines of text in the feed aggregator. A thought that is lost on some of us.

Os X Book

Amit Singh, of kernelthread.com fame, along with two of his buddies have put up a new site by the name of osxbook.com along with an accompanying blog.

Kernelthread.com was one of the most informative sites about OS X that I have ever read. Amit along with friends have succeeded in running Knoppix on an Intel i Mac, and have also laid claim to the distinction of being able to run Windows XP via VMware on Knoppix.

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