Take Screenie, Upload to Dropbox

I made this little AppleScript today which I’ve personally found to be very useful. On my Mac I have it so the script is activated by BetterTouchTool when I do a 5 finger tap. It will take a screenshot of a specific area, upload it to Dropbox, and copy a convenient bit.ly link to your clipboard. So here it is for your enjoyment:

set filename to do shell script "date '+date-%Y-%m-%d-time-%H-%M-%S'"
do shell script "screencapture -i ~/Dropbox/Public/Screenshots/" & filename & ".png"
set dropboxurl to "http://dl.dropbox.com/u/[dropbox id]/Screenshots/" & filename & ".png"
set tinyURL to (do shell script "curl --stderr /dev/null "http://bit.ly/api?url=" & dropboxurl & """)
tell application "Finder" to set the clipboard to tinyURL

If you want to use this you have to replace [dropbox id] with your Dropbox ID number. You can usually get this from any link to a shared file, for example my ID of 3759922 can be found in the url https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3759922/Screenshots/date-2010-02-02-time-23-24-48.png

EDIT: @joshbetz came up with a better solution for this tutorial. Go check it out!

Run Boot Camp Within OS X

Recently a friend of mine, Josh Betz, has been trying to get his Boot Camp partition to run as a virtual machine (VM) from OS X. It’s a great idea and I would recommend, but there are a couple of disadvantages. Let’s look at the pros and cons:

Pros

  • Able to access all of your existing files
  • Saves hard drive space by not requiring a virtual disk
  • Allows you to run Windows without restarting your Mac
  • Completely free (I will outline how to do this free with VirtualBox, but VMware can do this natively, but it costs $$$ and we don’t like that!)

Cons

  • Usually pretty slow at booting up
  • Must install Windows 7, and in a certain way (Only Windows 7 is proven to work, I haven’t tried Vista, but if you’re running Vista… well I’m sorry I just won’t help you.)
  • A few hacks need to be applied

Obviously the pros outweigh the cons, but hey, everything has some trade-offs. Anyway, this process isn’t very hard and should take the average Terminal junkie ~5 minutes. Now there are two ways we can go about this…
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Gaming in the Cloud

I’m going to have to start off this post with a little background story. Last night at approximately 8PM I lost all the data that was stored on my MacBook’s hard drive. That’s over 400GB of movies, TV shows, pictures, and music. I also lost the local copies of all of my websites. Lucky enough for me I work on all of my sites live with Coda, therefore nothing was completely lost.

How did I lose this, you ask? Well, on my MacBook Pro I had two partitions, one for Snow Leopard and the other for Windows 7.¬† Yeah yeah I know, an Apple fanboy using Windows, but let me just mention that I use it for the sole purpose of gaming. Anyway, back on topic, I noticed that my Windows partition wasn’t mounting in Snow Leopard any more, so I went to try to diagnose the problem. I went into Windows and set the active partition to the Snow Leopard partition (I deduced this solution from my days of a hackintosher), though this did not work and actually did not let me boot into Snow¬†Leopard OR Windows 7. I didn’t panic because I figured I could pop in the Windows 7 installation disc, open up a command line, and then set the Windows partition as the active partition. Little did I know that trying that would convert the whole drive to MBR, thus making both partitions unbootable and unmountable. I went through and tried to repair either of the partitions just so that I wouldn’t lose anything, but each repair procedure I tried ended in failure.

That’s when I just got pissed and frustrated and just decided to screw both installations and start from scratch. The only thing that I really REALLY wanted to save were my saved games for Oblivion. I was able to pop in the 7 install disc and grab the files off of the partition before I wiped everything. I mean, hey, I spent over 48 hours in that game. Anyway, I got everything reinstalled and kept thinking there had to be a better way to prevent this.

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