Casual Hex

Uncertain about goals, impulsive in online activities.

App Santa Is Back For 2014

App Santa 2014

30 of the best iOS apps are on sale through December 26th. Yeah, that reads like a million other "App Sale" lists posted everywhere, every day, but many of the apps on the App Santa list this year are the crème de la crème.

Tweetbot 3, Screens, PCalc, Launch Center Pro, Day One, Deliveries, Next, Soulver, TextExpander 3, Drafts 4 and a whole heck of a lot more.

I will be purchasing Screens (for iOS and OS X), which I mentioned just the other day. I'm constantly reading about the value of applications and how app developers deserve more for their work. I wholeheartedly agree. But who doesn't mentally double-check their wallet before purchasing something? I know I do. I have to, with a mortgage, car payments, five kids, etc. It is never a matter of how much value there is in an extremely useful application. There are many developers I'd love to throw money at. But my wallet says otherwise, and that's that. Saving $$$ whenever I can– whenever you can– is smart.

SIMBL Is Dead, Long Live SIMBL!

I haven't used a SIMBL hack in a long time. So long, that I'd forgotten about such things and for some reason I thought SIMBL hacks were something of the past, with the release of Lion. Turns out one SIMBL hack I depended on years ago is still around and breathing. There's also a somewhat breathing community of other SIMBL hacks floating around.

My old favorite, SafariStand, is still around and kicking so I downloaded the latest version and EasySIMBL just to see what sort of features are available. I swear, I just wanted to see what SafariStand had to offer these days. I wasn't going to keep using it. But seeing the options, I'm tempted– very tempted.

SafariStand options

Having favicons back in my tabs is extremely nice. That alone makes me want to keep SafariStand. Plus, another SIMBL hack, cosytabs brings back standard-sized tabs that start on the left– no more centered, dynamic width tabs. Another nice touch is the SafariStand Console Panel. It has my open tabs list, all bookmarks with search, downloads, and something called 'Search It Later' which works with SafariStand's own custom search shortcuts.

SafariStand Console Panel

As you'll see in the image above, cDock is another app I've tried recently. Turns out it uses part of EasySIMBL. How it uses it will block a full install of EasySIMBL and any plug-ins from working. I had to uninstall cDock, install EasySIMBL and the plug-ins above, then put cDock back in place.

Lastly, there's one more plug-in I'm trying, by the name of CustomNC. It has customization options for system notifications. The one that caught my eye is tweaking Growl notifications to use app icon's instead of Growl's own.

All of the SIMBL hacks I'm mentioned seem to work just fine in the latest OS X Yosemite 10.10.1 release. I can't speak for long term stability, but I've got my fingers crossed.

NASA: "There's your new spacecraft, America!"

As a space-loving geek, this is awesome. As a U.S. citizen, even more so. Living in Huntsville, AL, where everything is either DOD or NASA, I'm beaming with pride. Yes, we do have more than crazed pastors1 here.

1. Reference to a comment made by Brett Terpstra, during episode 22 of his podcast, Overtired. The segment I'm referring to starts around the 15:15 mark. Please note, I'm joking in mentioning it here. I found it quite funny, to be honest.

Split Screen

I've had my iMac 5K for a week now. I still haven't written up anything about it or how it compares to my Mac Pro purchases of the past. But this is also the first time that I have had two systems set up at my desk, with two displays sitting side by side.

While I set up my new system, I have the old display, an Asus 24" 1080p model, sitting to the left of my big, giant, huge iMac. At first I was using Synergy, but as great as it sounds, it was rather flaky. So, next I tried actually connecting the Asus to my iMac and using Yosemite's built-in Screen Sharing, which was much better. But still, a little rough around the edge. So I gave Screens a go. Now, remember, I'm not trying to access my systems from afar, or even the other room, so my expectations are not the same as others may have for Screens. As a side-by-side, it was nice, but not worth the money.

Next! Jump Desktop. What an ugly icon. But everything else is nice for my situation. It's a 14-day trial and by the time my trial is up I won't be needing it any more as my Mac Pro (early 2009) will be making its way to my daughter's room for the kids all to share. Yeah, my daughter will have a Mac Pro. My kid-self is extremely jealous.

Here's my iMac 5K setup, as ordered. I did change out the RAM for 32GB, of course.

My iMac Retina 5K

Vertigo: Not Just Another "Snake" Game

Vertigo is a modern retake on the old mobile phone "Snake" classic game. I'm sure there have been all sorts of remakes and reboots of "Snake" but I can't say much about all of those. Vertigo has simple controls, fantastic minimal, but spiffy graphics, and the music really is something– everything from catchy piano tunes to quirky electronic beats. I discovered the game at AppAdvice this morning and have been truly impressed with it.