Custom keyboard shortcuts on Mac OS X

UPDATE: There finally is a better solution. Introducing CustomShortcuts.

On Mac OS X it is easy to set custom keyboard shortcuts for just about any menu item. Still this great feature is often overlooked.

  • Don’t like one of the default keyboard shortcuts in HoudahSpot?
  • Find yourself using the same HoudahGeo menu item over and over again?
  • Do you want to switch the Mail.app From: account without having to reach for the mouse?

Learn how to set up custom keyboard shortcuts for menu items in any Mac OS X application.

Continue reading Custom keyboard shortcuts on Mac OS X

Copy File Search Results as Tab Delimited Text

This post refers to HoudahSpot 3. The same general ideas apply to HoudahSpot 4.

HoudahSpot makes it easy to create detailed queries to find the exact files you are looking for. You can preview found files, open them, etc. Continue reading Copy File Search Results as Tab Delimited Text

Automatic geocoding: Camera clock setup

Digital cameras record the exact time each photo was taken. HoudahGeo relies on this information to match photos to a GPS tracklog. Unfortunately, most digital cameras fail to specify which time zone the recorded time is expressed in. I.e for a photo taken at noon, HoudahGeo cannot tell if it was noon in Los Angeles, or in Luxembourg, etc.

HoudahGeo thus needs a little help to make sense of the camera timestamps. Getting camera clock setup right is essential for automatic geocoding to work.

Continue reading Automatic geocoding: Camera clock setup

Select several filter values

Tembo helps you sort through search results by providing context-sensitive filters. The drill-down views for different groups show different filters. Most filters provide a list of values found in the current search results. Select a value to see only results matching that value.

E.g. the filter sidebar for the Documents group list file types. The PDF Documents group can be filtered by author. Images can be filtered by resolution and file type. Etc.

Continue reading Select several filter values

Start a Tembo search from LaunchBar

This post applies to Tembo 1.x. Please refer to the newer blog post for the updated URL scheme used by Tembo 2.

Tembo implements a custom URL scheme. This can be used with LaunchBar search templates to quickly start Tembo searches from within LaunchBar.

Tembo search URLs have the following format:

tmbo://search?searchString=Houdah&groupKey=DOCUMENTS&queryFocus=name

Such URLs can be invoked by any application, launcher, script, etc. In this article we will look at setting up a search template in LaunchBar.

Continue reading Start a Tembo search from LaunchBar

Play & master Sudoko

Improve your Sudoku Uno skills by accepting the occasional hint. Sudoku Uno gives you the reasoning behind hints so that you can learn and apply new solving techniques.

Sudoku Uno includes a powerful solver. Unlike most Sudoku solvers, Sudoku Uno solely relies on human logic. It does not brute force the game to find a solution. Instead it applies that same techniques you would apply.

This gives Sudoku Uno the unique ability to explain the reasoning behind the hints it gives you. When you ask Sudoku Uno for a hint your are not (only) cheating. You can actually improve your skills by learning the techniques used to solve Sudoku grids.

Continue reading Play & master Sudoko

Automate Type2Phone

If you prefer to use a keyboard to type on your iPhone, iPad or Apple TV but don’t want to actually buy one, Type2Phone will allow you to use your Mac instead. Not only did you not need to buy an extra keyboard, but you also have one less keyboard cluttering up your desk.

Using your Mac as a keyboard has many more advantages:

  • Copy-paste text to your device (command-shift-v)
  • Use Mac OS X dictation
  • Set up custom keyboard shortcuts
  • Quickly switch between Mac and iPhone. Just command-tab

There is much more you can do by combining the power of Type2Phone with that of other utilities on your Mac.

Continue reading Automate Type2Phone

Tembo: Hidden features and settings

Tembo includes a couple of hidden features and settings. Read on for instructions to enable or configure these features.

  • Default search scope
  • List mounted volumes
  • Maximum result count
  • Sort by date added
  • Grouped results: Date and time values
  • Show results with no value for the sort attribute

These settings are intentionally hidden.
If things go wrong, you may need to trash your Tembo preferences file.

Continue reading Tembo: Hidden features and settings

Geocoding using iPhone reference photos

HoudahGeo offers several options for geocoding your photos: automatic using GPS track logs, using GPS waypoints, using built-in maps, using Google Earth, etc.

One of the lesser known options is geocoding from reference photos (aka. gap fill geocoding). The basic idea behind this technique is pretty simple. Your iPhone creates geocoded photos. You may however find the camera lacking when compared to your regular digital camera. Your preferred camera on the other hand lacks a GPS chip. HoudahGeo can match up geocoded photos from your iPhone with photos taken around the same time using your regular camera. It can thus assume both were taken at the same location.

Continue reading Geocoding using iPhone reference photos