» Automagically resize your windows

Automatically resizing your application windows based on resolution is a topic that I find pretty interesting and has been covered by two of my favorite sites here and here.  The script was originally written by Jeff Kelley on his blog.  After playing with the script for a few hours I finally got something together that I like.  I wanted to post my version of the script and a few notes for people to review if they want to tweak the original script.

I will start by saying I like my windows to be as small as possible so I can have as many open apps visible at a time; but here are a few things I ran into…

1) The quotation marks are not copying correctly from the site into script editor so you will have to replace them manually prior to compiling.

2) The format of the bounds for the windows is also useful to know. First notice that the very top of the desktop (just below the menu bar) is y=0 and the very left the desktop is x=0. The window bounds follow this format (dist x left, dist y top, dist x right, dist y bottom). Distance from x(y)=0 to [window side]. If that doesn’t make sense I’ll try to make a visual diagram.

3) You can quickly find the values of distances using CMD+SHIFT+3 and looking at the coordinates as you drag the selector around the screen.

4) Because of how I like my windows I found it easier to do all of the resizing within two if-statements. ie. If Width = 1920 size the windows this way, If Width = 1440 size the windows that way.

View the full entry to see my script.

Continue reading “» Automagically resize your windows”

» Green Plug, a really good idea

Green Plug featured here and here is a new technology from the up and coming startup of the same name.  It’s mantra “One Plug. One Planet.” is indicative of the eco-friendliness on which the company is found.  Green Plug wants to change the way consumers and manufacturers think about AC adapters, batteries, and basically things that plug into the wall.  

The general idea is that all devices will use a truly universal AC adapter and that this will cut down on waste.  Green Plug takes this idea further by making their plugs “smart”.  Essentially, a Green Plug would feature an LCD status display and when paired with a compatible device provide information about the charge status.  Further, because the Green Plug-enabled device would also be “smart” the Green Plug would cut the flow of power when the battery was fully charged and thus resulting in a reduction of power usage.

Currently there is a movement to standardize mini-USB as a power plug for many devices.  An unfortunate limitation of this tech is that USB simply cannot handle the load required by most devices larger than a cell phone.  Green Plug-enabled devices would be able to notify the Green Plug of its specific power requirements and in this way it is more intelligent and more capable than the USB-powered counterparts.

Green Plug is versatile and wants to be integrated into hubs, shops, offices and even homes.  Aftermarket AC adapter providers like Targus could use Green Plug to create hubs capable of powering multiple devices at a time.  The LCD read-out would provide status information for each connected device.  Retail locations and offices could implement Green Plug to save energy and allow anyone with a Green Plug device to sip some juice from the power grid.

A big benefit that seems to be over-looked is integration with Smart Grid technology.  Smart Grid is an idea being implemented by many major power companies to provide transparency to end-users regarding real-time pricing and usage of power.  In other words, Smart Grid aims to have a household’s appliances use more power when the price of electricity is low and use less power when the price of electricity is high.  Green Plug is smart too and could be integrated with Smart Grid to reduce load based on the information provided by the user’s power company.  Some devices can be charged less quickly by limiting the amount of power that is provided.  In this way it would be possible to charge a device and specify whether charging speed or energy savings are a priority.

While Green Plug has a lot to over come it has the right idea with its focus on energy savings and universal access for the end-user.  Green Plug’s Earth first principles have come at a great time when energy prices are constantly on the rise.

» I’m a consumer whore.

And how!

But in all seriousness, I am.  Last November I bought myself an HD DVD player using my birthday money.  I was convinced that HD DVD would win the format war.  Because, I told myself, WB and Paramount are firmly situated in the red camp. AND! “HD DVD” is such a consumer friendly name that even Joe Wal-Mart would understand the concept.

Well, as it turns out, HD DVD did not win the format war.  In fact, Sony bought the format war with its late-to-the-game Playstation 3.  So bitter was I as I watched HD DVD players plummet in price along with their high definition disc buddies.  I cringed at the thought of having to admit to my home theater that a Blu-ray player would be joining the stack soon.  I assured my many components that a Sony would never be brought home.

Boy was I wrong.  Thanks to a failing economy the government tried to buy me off in an effort to assure me that “we’re not in a recession”.  Whatever – free money to spend on whatever I want.  I faithfully drove to Best Buy on that fateful Saturday with my stimulus money in hand.  After all, I had to spend it; if I didn’t, the terrorists would win!

As it turns out I quickly found myself in the Blu-ray section of the store.  There were so many options to choose, oh but I had done research.  Never content to simply ask a sales person what the best choice for me would be I have to prove I’m the smartest person ever and must know everything there is to know before making a final decision.  You see, I have an addiction – the only prescription is owning the best.  It’s a sick sad life, but as I mentioned earlier, I’m a consumer whore, so you knew this coming in.

It didn’t take long to realize Best Buy didn’t have the model I wanted and a quick search on the internet revealed to me that not only was it not yet released, it was about $200 outside my price range.  My heart sank.  The misses tried to console my broken spirit but I was a lump.

However, our story doesn’t end here!  I happened to run into a dear friend and trusted advisor.  We spoke on the matter and his recommendation shocked and appalled me.  He said he had Playstation 3 and that I should get one.  He said it was a great player and even greater value!  I was incredibly surprised by his recommendation – how could I even consider purchasing something that was a) Sony and b) not a stand-alone Blu-ray player!?

Well he was right.  I bought one and I haven’t regretted it yet.  Speaking from a purely un-objective standpoint, it’s pretty cool I have to admit.  The picture and sound quality is far and away fantastic – I was/am very surprised.  All in all, I’m very satisfied with my purchase.

What did I learn from this whole experience?  Well, first of all, I learned that I can’t stick to my “feelings” when it comes to purchasing the latest and greatest tech gear.  I need to go with the facts and not care about any loyalties or biases I may have.  For a long time I didn’t even consider the PS3 because it was a Sony product – and I think that was just lame.  I could have saved myself a lot of time if I had just opened myself up to whatever possibilities presented themselves rather than letting other things get in the way.  The other thing I learned is that I’m a consumer whore.  I don’t think that needs any explanation because it’s just a fact.  I am – deal with it.

UPDATE3000:  PS3 as Blu-ray player = teh rocks!