Extract & Save High Resolution Icons from Mac OS X Apps

Jul 1, 2011 - 4 Comments

Extract High Resolution Application Icons in Mac OS X

Using the same trick to create a new image file based on clipboard contents, you can extract high resolution icons from any Mac OS X application. Preview is smart enough to extract just the icon and not try to copy the app file itself (like Windows would).

  • Select any app in Mac OS X Finder and hit Command+C to copy to clipboard
  • Launch Preview and hit Command+N to create “New from Clipboard” (alternatively, use the File menu)
  • Save the app icon as an image of your choice

This trick is great because it extracts each size variation of the icon automatically, giving you the full resolution range ranging from the tiny thumbnails up to 512×512 pixels, assuming the developer created an icon at that resolution.

Graphic designers and artists should be particularly fond of this one, as it allows you to easily inspect icons at their full resolution to see how they’re crafted.

By Paul Horowitz - Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks - 4 Comments

Huge iOS EA Game Sale: Everything is $0.99

Jul 1, 2011 - 4 Comments

EA iOS Game Sale

If you’re a gamer don’t miss Electronic Art’s huge iOS game sale this weekend, everything is just $0.99, even their most popular titles. This represents a discount of up to 90% on some titles, and EA says it’s their biggest iOS sale ever. Make it a gaming weekend!

Check out all the choices by Electronic Arts on the iOS App Store (App Store link)

The sale is in celebration of the holiday weekend and goes until July 4. Sims, Mortal Kombat, NBA Jam, Madden, it’s all there, so grab your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, and get downloading.

By Paul Horowitz - Games, iPad, iPhone - 4 Comments

Delta Terminal at JFK Offers Public iPads

Jun 30, 2011 - 4 Comments

iPad's at Deltas terminal in JFK

Apparently Delta Air Lines has placed public-use iPads at their airport terminal at JFK (no not the command line Terminal.app, an airport terminal). This is a great idea for many reasons, maybe it’s a sign of things to come at airports everywhere?

iPads are getting a wide range of uses already become restaurant menus in China and flight manuals, what’s next?

Picture found via Sachin HD, who by the way, is one of the original engineers on the Final Cut Pro project at Apple. He’s got some pretty interesting thoughts on Final Cut Pro X, it’s worth reading if you’re following the news and response associated with that application.

By Paul Horowitz - iPad - 4 Comments

Turn the iPad into an 80’s Boom Box

Jun 30, 2011 - 4 Comments

iPad Boom Box

I know what you’re thinking, the only thing missing from the iPad is the ability to throw it on your shoulder and pretend it’s a boom box, right? Well this much anticipated feature is missing no more, because now you can finally take your iPad back to the 1980’s by turning it into a retro boombox with the free Jamboxx app.

This ridiculous app mimics the appearance of the 80’s boom boxes that every cool guy and his brother had on their shoulder while cruising around the mall. It’s not just for looks though, the app actually lets you create “mixed tapes” (playlists) and offers some simple music player features too.

JamBoxx is a free download on the iOS App Store

Unfortunately the ability to breakdance and look totally awesome while rollerblading down Venice Beach comes separately. But hey, it’s a start.

Read more »

By Paul Horowitz - Fun, iPad - 4 Comments

Deleting the Mac OS X 10.7 Lion “Recovery HD” Partition

Jun 30, 2011 - 41 Comments

Lion Recovery HD If you want to remove the Mac OS X 10.7 Lion “Recovery HD” partition, you’ll need to do a little bit of work because it’s a hidden partition. Hidden means it’s not just a matter of using your dual boot to go into 10.6 and then deleting it with Disk Utility.

Quick side note for devs with Lion Developer Preview: deleting and merging the Recover HD partition may not be a necessary procedure, but we won’t know for sure until Lion is finalized and shipping. The basis of this is the brief mention in the release notes that DP4 was not upgradeable to the final version, which sort of suggests you’ll want to format and perform a clean install once OS X Lion GM is released. Because of this, we are operating under the assumption that “Recovery HD” will get updated alongside the base Lion OS install, and therefore the old dev version won’t function with the final release – again, we don’t know for sure until Lion ships though.

Finally, if you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t muck around with partitions, diskutil, merging, or anything else, you could easily screw something up and lose all of your data. Ok enough with that, let’s get started.

Delete the Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Recovery HD Partition

There are a few ways to go about doing this, all methods will result in data loss which is the intention here, but I’ll point that out anyway. We’ll cover two methods: using the command line tool diskutil, and using the GUI app Disk Utility.

Deleting and merging a partition with diskutil from the command line
This is the most precise method I know of to remove the partition since it targets the recovery disk directly and merges it with the full Lion partition – if you’re not comfortable with the command line this is not for you.

  • Launch the Terminal and type the following into the command line:
  • diskutil list

  • This will print out your drives partition scheme and look something like this:
  • diskutil list

  • Look for “Recovery HD” and see which identifier it is using, it this screenshot it’s disk0s4
  • To remove that partition we use the following command (you can also use the volume name):
  • diskutil eraseVolume HFS+ Blank /dev/disk0s4

  • The partition will be erased, you might want to do this with your standard Lion partition as well since you’ll be wiping the entire thing anyway. Regardless, you’ll now have a blank partition sitting around, so you’ll want to merge that with your other Lion partition:
  • diskutil mergePartitions HFS+ Lion disk0s3 disk0s4

  • This will merge the two partitions, with disk0s3 absorbing the space from disk0s4 and expanding, it causes data loss so don’t expect this to preserve anything

The next approach is much more invasive because it formats the entire disk.
Read more »

Show your IP Address in the Menu Bar

Jun 30, 2011 - 4 Comments

IP Address in the Menu Bar

Do you need your IP address often? If so, IPMenulet is likely the quickest way to have the number handy all the time, it’s a free and simple menu item that displays your current external IP address in the Mac OS X menu bar, there’s no other frills or features.

You can download IPMenulet now (direct .dmg download) or visit the developers website for more information and to view the simple tools source code.

Little utilities like this are really useful if you have a dynamic IP or just find yourself frequently moving around to different networks, although if you fall into the second category and need to allow local connections, you’d probably benefit from using a service like DynDNS, but that’s another topic.

You can always find your IP address in Mac OS X through System Preferences, using the command line, or accessing a web site like whatismyip.org too.

By Paul Horowitz - Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks - 4 Comments

Thunderbolt Supports External Boot Disks

Jun 29, 2011 - 7 Comments

Thunderboot Supports External Boot Drives

Thunderbolt equipped Macs are able to boot from external Thunderbolt drives. This means that you could run a full Mac OS X, Windows, or Linux installation from an external drive connected to a Mac with Thunderbolt connectivity, and because of Thunderbolts speed, it would be extremely fast. How fast? Theoretically, Mac OS X running on an external Thunderbolt drive should be just as fast as booting from an internal drive, but using an external SSD would actually be faster than an internal spinning hard drive.

This also opens the door for further OS X dual booting options, multiple OS booting, and general ultra-fast expansion on hardware that is otherwise limited with internal expansion options. Currently, Thunderbolt comes on the MacBook Pro and iMac, but it is expected to gain further traction with inclusion on upcoming MacBook Air, Mac Mini, and Mac Pro hardware refreshes.

Bootability has been confirmed by Anandtech, who verified that external Thunderbolt drives are bootable when researching the massive Pegasus 12TB RAID setup, shown above attached to a MacBook Pro.

This was found via MacRumors, they also mention that Thunderbolt supports Target Disk Mode, an option that was otherwise limited to Firewire equipped Macs.

Update: Demonstrating the speed of Thunderbolt vs FireWire and USB 2.0 is this recent benchmark chart from MacWorld that shows off an external Thunderbolt drives incredible speeds:

Thunderbolt Benchmarks

Those read and write speeds are as fast if not faster than many internal SSD’s!

By Matt Chan - Mac, Mac OS X, News - 7 Comments

Convert Text to Spoken Audio in Mac OS X the Easy Way

Jun 29, 2011 - 11 Comments

Convert Text to Spoken Audio the Easy Way

If you have a lengthy amount of text to read or review that you don’t have time to actually read, another alternative is to convert that text into an audio track. This is kind of like making an audiobook out of any text block, and it can be as long or as short as you need it to be. Of course it sounds complex to convert text into audio files, but it’s not at all, Mac OS X makes it extremely simple. In a few moments, you’ll have a fresh MP3 audio file from the origin document, added to iTunes that you can then sync to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Sounds awesome right? It is, here’s how to use it in all versions of OS X.

Read more »

By William Pearson - Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks - 11 Comments

Free Final Cut Pro X Video Training Tutorial

Jun 29, 2011 - 4 Comments

Free Intro to Final Cut Pro X Tutorial

Interested in learning how to use the all-new Final Cut Pro X? Don’t miss this free video learning tutorial set from IzzyVideo. There’s no signups or strings attached (other than owning Final Cut Pro X of course), just set aside some time and start learning.

The video training tutorial does a good job of showing you how to use Final Cut Pro X and all it’s new features. Coming in at 2 hours and 39 minutes in total length, the tutorials are broken into 26 different video segments for easy viewing, covering everything from the new interface, to different types of edits, tools, precision editor, transitions, titles, transformations, various effects, storylines, adjusting video timing, color correction, importing from a camera, and much more.

Watch the entire FCP X training set for free at IzzyVideo.com

In related news, Apple published a new FAQ on the app to help address some of the questions and FCP X’s mixed response since launching.

Thanks for sending this in Darren

By Paul Horowitz - Tips & Tricks - 4 Comments

Quickly Create a New Image File from Clipboard Contents with Preview

Jun 29, 2011 - 8 Comments

Create new image from clipboard

With Preview you can quickly create a new image file from your clipboard contents. On it’s own that might not be too enthralling, but this feature extends beyond Preview, meaning any image that you have copied from anywhere using Command+C will work as the source image to create a new image file. This includes images copied from all web browsers, other Mac apps, and even files in the Mac OS X Finder.

Once you have an image copied to the clipboard:

  • Open Preview
  • Hit Command+N to create a new image based on the clipboard (or access via the File menu as screenshot demonstrates)
  • Save the File as usual in your preferred format

I use this frequently when saving images from the web since it cuts out any digging around in the Finder for a saved image file. Instead, I can just copy an image to my clipboard from Safari, and go straight to Preview to create a new file which can instantly be edited or converted.

By Paul Horowitz - Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks - 8 Comments

How to Convert a Text File into a Spoken Audio File via Command Line

Jun 28, 2011 - 14 Comments

terminal Using Mac OS X Text to Speech tools, we can convert any .RTF or .TXT file into a spoken audio file which can then be transferred to your iPod or iPhone for later listening.

Update: There is an easier way to do a text to audio file conversion using the OS X Services menu, the resulting spoken audio track goes directly into iTunes, you may want to try that first if you do not prefer the command line approach we cover here.

Read more »

By William Pearson - Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks - 14 Comments

Convert Flash SWF to HTML5 with Google’s Swiffy Tool

Jun 28, 2011 - 2 Comments

SWF to HTML5 Swiffy is a new experimental tool from Google that easily converts SWF Flash files to HTML5, making Flash-only content accessible to hardware like the iPhone and iPad in just a few seconds. This should be a really useful utility for designers and it’s well worth a bookmark if you work with HTML5 and Flash content for the web or elsewhere.

Google explains how Swiffy works:

A SWF file is converted in two phases: the Swiffy compiler (which you can use on this website) processes the SWF file and generates a JSON file. A client-side JavaScript runtime loads that JSON file and renders it using HTML, SVG and CSS.

Swiffy conversion works best if you export Flash animations as Flash 5 files, and the output currently only works in Webkit browsers (Safari and Chrome, for example). The results are fairly impressive and Google included a small gallery showcasing a few examples including a converted ad unit and two simple games. I’d be really interested to see how this performs with more complex SWF files, I’m sure we’ll find that out soon enough.

Check out Google Labs: Swiffy

The release of Swiffy from Google is kind of interesting and shows that HTML5 really is the future of web animation, and regardless of Google’s reasons this is a welcome utility for Mac and Apple users. It’s no secret that Flash is a pretty miserable experience on the Mac, which is exactly why Steve Jobs gave a big ‘no’ to including it on the iPad and iPhone. It’s also why we generally recommend using things like ClickToFlash, Click-to-Play, and to some extent even selectively using ad blockers, it just makes for a better web experience on the Mac, at least until HTML5 has finally pushed Flash the way of the dinosaurs.

By Paul Horowitz - Tips & Tricks - 2 Comments

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