Personalize your MacBook with Uncover

Loving these custom laser cut screen cases for the mac, developed by Uncover

The Dutch developer Uncover offers Apple MacBook owners a way to personalize their system. It turns out that beneath the aluminium unibody of the MacBook, there´s an entire illuminated panel, used to backlight the Apple logo. This gave Uncover the idea to produce unique covers for the device, thus providing consumers with their own personal look.

The Stashboard for Apple monitors

Stashboard | Quirky Products

Stashboard | Quirky Products

Here’s a useful little addon for iMac or Cinema Display users, the Stashboard makes use of the gap between stand and monitor to hold tools or hide your keyboard…

Its clear plastic frame clips directly to your iMac stand, with rubber grips to ensure a secure fit without risking damage. The shelf hovers tactfully beneath your screen, with a light, glass-like aesthetic that makes your objects appear to be floating. Whether youre looking for extra keyboard storage, or just a place for your iPhone and hard drive, youll never find yourself without a helping hand.

How to create a bookmark app for OSX

eBay app

Here’s an interesting little guide from Stack Overflow, to allow you to create AppleScript code that will allow you to create a Mac app that will open a URL in Chrome.

For the last few months I have been using Gmail Dock, a great little app that acts as a shortcut to Gmail in the browser (together with advanced features like unread email flags).

I wanted the same for eBay, something I use many times a day, as it turned out, using this script, the process was pretty simple to create a dedicated eBay App. To build your own begin by opening up AppleScript and pasting in this example…

set site to “http://my.ebay.co.uk”
tell application “Google Chrome”
reopen
activate
tell window 1
make new tab with properties {URL:site}
end tell
end tell

Then just change the URL to what ever you want it to be. Save the script (just in case you want to change it again later), then got to File > Export, change the file format from script to Application and then hit Save.

This will produce a grey app with a generic icon, if you launch it, you should see the resulting site open up in Chrome. You will want to give it a nice high quality icon, I created one in Photoshop, made sure the background was transparent, saved it as a PNG, then opened it in Preview, select all, copy, then go back to your new app.

Right click over the newly created app, this hit Get Info. This will open the file details, then click once on the icon in the top left of that window, it will have a halo around the icon, now paste your new artwork.

If you have done it right the icon should updated to your new artwork. Finally, move the finish app into the Applications folder, then drag it onto your Dock to finalise the installation.

There you have it, one pretty Dock app which will launch your new site in Chrome. Magic!

Mac Mini server rack

I love the ingenuity of network admins to come up with a great solution to a very niche problem, in this case, what happens when you need a rack full of Apple test machines. Bring on the custom made shelf containing four Mac Minis per 1u shelf, giving you a 160 machines per rack!

I had to add a 10Gb SFP+ Ethernet card to the XServe, and now I can NetBoot all 160 machines at the same time.. It works so well that all of the machines are back up and running within 45 seconds….  That’s fast for a NetBoot..  Here are some final pics of the cabinet.

They are even working on a six machine rack to boost that to 240! More details on Steve’s Blog.

Multiple output volume control for the mac

sound

I found PTHVolume, a handy little utility that allows you easy control over multiple audio outputs on the mac. I have a setup where I use a usb sound card to avoid having to plug and unplug every cable into the mac when docked, it works really well but occasionally I want to switch between sources, this is the perfect tool for that…

Multiple Output Device Control. The Mac OS X 10.5 volume widget works for changing the volume if you only have a single audio device connected to your computer. But what happens when you have multiple audio devices? This is where PTHVolume 2 excels, you can individually control the volume of multiple devices without opening up System Preferences.

Recommended: Gmail Dock for Mac

gmail-dock

I’m always on the look out for a better way of working with email, after getting burnt by Sparrow and its sale to Google, I was on the look out for something simple, that integrates with Gmail and the can flag up new messages in a subtle way (to avoid email overload and distractions).

I ended up finding, using and loving an app from the mac app store called Gmail Dock. It’s the anti email client, only shows previews of messages in the notifications panel, and forms a icon link to opening Gmail in your browser of choice.

It’s so stupidly simple, always up to date (because it is after all just Gmail’s site), well worth a look.