'One Dark' Theme For TextMate

After over a year using Atom and putting up with its high resource usage and inability to open large files I’ve switched back to TextMate - it’s fast, stable and doesn’t kill my battery (even if it is missing some of the niceties of Atom).

However, after the switch I started missing the ‘One Dark’ theme from Atom, I find it to be far better than anything TextMate includes nowadays (even my old favourite ‘Blackboard’) so I created a very basic port.

The port includes both standard and ‘bright’ versions (previews below). If you’re interested you can get it as a TextMate bundle from GitHub: https://github.com/digitalpardoe/One-Dark.tmbundle.

Open Sourcing A Few Projects

I’ve finally gotten around to it, writing another blog post, almost one year since the last post containing any meaningful content. Rather than apologising for the hiatus and promising to blog more I will instead move on to something more interesting.

Last year I took the decision to open source two of my main projects, iSyncIt and Set Icon. I didn’t make a big deal about doing it, in fact, I didn’t make any ‘deal’ at all, I just set the GitHub repos to ‘public’. Consider this the (6 months late) announcement of their open sourcing.

The iSyncIt repository contains almost the complete history of iSyncIt development. Unfortunately I started development of iSyncIt before I discovered version control and as a result some of the history is only available as source code bundles in the downloads area.

Fortunately Set Icon development started after I had discovered the advantages of version control so its full development history can be seen in the GitHub repository.

Both of the projects have a fairly non-restrictive license, you can read it in either repository. The downloads section on GitHub for both projects also contains all of the versions of the applications I have ever publicly released.

Now for something a little more current.

This afternoon I flicked the switch that open sourced my final-year university project, Chroma32 (under the same license as the other two). The original idea was to create a (dissertation-grand sounding) ‘photographic asset management system’, the scope eventually morphed into creating a document management system that was as extensible as possible.

The whole project was built around alpha & beta versions of Rails 3 and the alpha-version gems that go along with it. Overall I ended up with a themeable system with reasonably tight integration for complex plugins.

If you want to discover more, clone a copy from its GitHub repo and hack away.

Check back soon, go on, it might actually be worth it from now on. I promise.

Software Updates

I’ve finally gotten round to updating iSyncIt and Set Icon for Snow Leopard, as always you can download iSyncIt here and Set Icon here.

The new release of iSyncIt fixes the only bug I could find under Snow Leopard – the icon not changing correctly under bluetooth on / off conditions.

The Set Icon release fixes the problem of the application not performing its one and only function – setting a drive icon. Along with the bug fix I modified the image conversion to prevent the (frankly awful) stretching of non-square images to fill a 512×512 icon, images now scale nicely. I also removed the terrible tool-tips that show up when you start the application I used to think they were ‘cool’ but soon realised the error of my ways. However, in place of this I added some ‘brilliant’ window resizing when you remove an icon – we’ll see how long that lasts. Oh, the application will also run as a 64 bit application now – not that that makes any difference what-so-ever, I just did it because I could.

Check back soon.

Updates, Updates, Updates

Again, it has been quite a while since my last post (almost a month in fact) and quite a lot has happened since then. Any regular visitors to the website will have noticed the new theme, the website maintains the new layout released a couple of months ago but the colour scheme has changed to something a bit more minimal. Along with the new theme I have re-introduced some small adverts to the bottom of pages and modified the URL of the blog feed to allow tracking through FeedBurner.

The other main updates to the website are the introduction of My Book Icons 0.8 and My Passport Icons 0.3. The My Book Icons update includes a new icon for the Western Digital My Book Studio II drive. Both of the icon sets now include icons in Windows ICO format and Linux PNG format. On the Mac side of the icon sets, after popular demand, I have added copy & pasteable icons to allow setting of icons using the “Get Info” window in Finder.

You can download My Book Icons here and My Passport Icons here

That’s all for now, check back soon.

My Passport Icons

By popular demand, but a little late, I have released a set of icons to represent the Western Digital My Passport range of external hard drives, this release was driven primarily by requests that I have received and the fact that I have just purchased a WD My Passport drive myself.

For now the release contains only two icons, they are for the red and black “Essential” variants of the My Passport drive. I will be releasing icons for the remaining drives shortly so if you don’t have one of the two drives included keep checking the website.

You can download the icons here.

I will be writing a post shortly to explain why my presence has been lacking recently and why releases are so slow in coming too, so, check back soon.

Just A Few Updates

It’s been almost a month since my last post and a lot has happened since then so I thought I’d bring any readers of my blog up to date.

If you are a frequent visitor to the website you may have noticed the new layout (implemented about 20 days ago now). The layout is much simplified over the old layout. It makes use of a single column layout with items from the old sidebar in the top corners. For now the advertising and Last.fm widgets have been removed whilst I decide if they should make an appearance in the new website. The visual changes comes with a fairly comprehensive code re-write that should drastically improve the performance and security of the website, the changes come thanks to a series of Rails podcasts I have discovered, you can find them here.

A quick list of the main changes to the website are as follows; the removal of all AJAX & AJAX-like functionality (other than Lightbox), everything now works statically for increased accessibility, the blog can now be browsed by category. More user feedback has been introduced. The appearance of forms has been improved and the website now makes sole us of PNG and JPEG images for transparency and quality.

The secondary reason for this post is to officially announce the availability of iSyncIt 1.5, you can download it here. This release, whilst not been too far detached visually from version 1.3.1 comes with a boat load of code improvements. The main changes are as follows; a new preferences system, doesn’t look any different but it’s easier for me to manage. The move to Leopard only. A fix for the problems that were caused in version 1.3 by Growl notifications. You can now enable & disable the login item from within the application. Updates to Sparkle & Growl. Menus now update properly. Scheduling now functions better and the control of bluetooth is improved.

Finally, an unfortunate side-effect of the iSyncIt re-write is the loss of German localization. I will be getting in touch with my friendly volunteer translator shortly to see if he will be willing to re-localize the application for me.

That’s all for now, check back soon.

About Time Too

It’s been well over a month since I managed to write a post now so I thought it was about time I started the cogs whirring again, especially as all my assignments are now finished and handed in.

Even though there has been a lack of posts in the recent month there hasn’t been a lack of feverish activity. First on the books was the release of Set Icon 0.2, this release just bought basic bug fixes and a much improved authentication system. This was followed in recent weeks by the release of Set Icon 0.3, in this release I fixed yet more bugs and introduce an option to remove a custom icon from a hard drive. You can, as always, download Set Icon from its download page.

On a more website orientated note, I have moved the website to new servers. Prime Hosting weren’t terribly Ruby on Rails centric in the end, hence the continual website downtime. The website is now hosted with media72. They have proven themselves over the last month to be far more reliable hosts than Prime, even though I am hosted on their beta testing server.

Along with the change of host I have modified the way in which the website is run, updates to the website are now performed via Capistrano, I hope to write a little more on this system in a later post to explain how it can help improve your Ruby on Rails development.

Don’t expect too many posts or software updates over the next two weeks, unfortunately I have a series of exams that require some serious revision, however, if I get really bored of revising you might see some posts / software appearing.

I’ve also recently acquired a new lens for my camera, a Tokina 12-24mm f/4. As part of my endeavor to expand what I write about I will hopefully (assuming I remember) write a small review about the lens as it took me a long time to find any concrete opinions on it before I purchased it.

That’s all I can think of to write for now, no doubt I will think of something else eventually.

Check back soon.

Set Icon, The Initial Release

After literally tens of emails from people having problems applying the ‘My Book Icons’ to their external hard drives I came to the decision that I needed to write some software to make the whole process a little easier. The result of this decision and a couple of (short) days work is Set Icon.

You may remember from my previous tutorial that setting a custom hard drive icon (correctly) required some Terminal wizardry and some extra command line tools. Set Icon provides and all in one, drag and drop way of setting a custom (ICNS format) icon for a hard drive (including your internal hard drive), without the need for any external tools.

The advantages of using Set Icon rather than copy & paste are; the icon will appear correctly in the Finder sidebar under Leopard, will appear correctly when the hard drive is mounted over a network and will appear correctly in the Boot Camp chooser.

There are a few extra features I plan on adding to Set Icon and I also plan on creating a Tiger compatible version in the near future so all you Tiger users don’t feel left out.

You can download Set Icon from its software page. If you like the software please consider making a donation using the button on the right hand side of the website.

That’s all the news for now, check back soon.

My Book Icons 0.7

It must be that time of the year again, I’m on holiday so I’ve started to update all of the downloads I maintain. The first of these updates, and the one most requested, are the vertical orientation icons for the new Western Digital My Book drives. You can download the new version of these icons from the downloads page. I am planning on updating iSyncIt in the next few weeks too.

The website has also undergone a bit of an update, nothing major, just a few tweaks to make things work a little better now. For example when you login, you will no longer be sent to a confirmation page, you will be returned to the page you were on. Much more convenient when posting comments.

P.S. If you are having trouble applying the icons see if this tutorial helps: Setting Hard Drive Icons In OS X.

That’s all for now, check back soon.

More Western Digital Icons

That’s right, I’m home for Christmas and I’ve added some new icons to the set. Just as I promised. The main additions to the set are icons for the WD My Book World line of drives, both vertical and horizontal as always. Unfortunately there are no Vista variants for now, because I don’t have Vista installed at the moment, but if anyone would like to donate copy of Parallels or Fusion to me, feel free.

There have been a few more requests for icons for the set, the obvious ones are the icons for the new style WD My Book drives, I will, all being well, have those added in the next week. I’ve also had a request for icons for the WD Passport drives, I will see what I can do.

You can download the new icons set from here. Check back soon for more improvements.

Issue with 1.3 [Updated x2]

I have received several bug reports about version 1.3 of iSyncIt closing after the sync has been completed. I have now narrowed down the cause of this problem and will rectify it ASAP. For the moment you can use the previous version of iSyncIt by downloading it from:

https://files.pardoe.io/iSyncIt_121.dmg

Update: The crash appears only to affect Intel Macs, I’m looking into the issue and hope to have a fix sooner rather than later.

Update: I have now (at least I think) fixed the bug that has been plaguing iSyncIt on Intel macs. The new version of iSyncIt is 1.3.1 and you can download it here.

Check back soon.

New Version Available

Version 1.3 of iSyncIt has been released, this release adds Growl support and will be the last release for Mac OS X Tiger. This is due to the fact I only have one machine for testing and it now runs Leopard. You can download the new version here.

From my preliminary tests iSyncIt appears to work in Leopard, but it will still be undergoing a re-write to take advantage of Objective-C 2.0 and the new Interface Builder palettes. The next release may be in development for a little longer than normal, but I promise I won’t forget about it.

That’s all for now, check back soon.

Hi, Again

After a flurry of activity over the summer it would appear that moving back to university has taken me out of my stride as far as developing and maintaining the website goes. However I am going to try and manage my time better in the coming weeks and increase the activity on the website. Hopefully what I write below will help to clarify this.

In regards to iSyncIt, the 1.3 release is moving on well, albeit a little slowly at the moment, I am aiming to release it within the next week if my workload and university commitments don’t pile up to quickly. In a sort of executive decision I have decided, with Leopard dropping onto my doorstep next Friday that 1.3 will be the last release for Tiger, assuming there are no major problems. My main reason for doing this is that I don’t really have the time to simultaneously maintain two versions of the software, nor do I wish to run two different OSs.

Again, workload permitting, I am hoping to update the Western Digital My Book icon set to incorporate the new style drives that have been announced by Western Digital. It would appear that my current set are quite popular and I don’t want to disappoint.

Finally, the website went through a short migration earlier this week, hence a small amount of downtime (yet again). Everything appears to be working fine, but if you notice some unusual glitches please contact me.

I think that’s about all I have to vent about for now. Check back soon and roll on Leopard.

Problems

I am aware that there were a few problems with the website earlier today and most visitors that weren’t downloading files received “HTTP 500” errors. The problem turned out to be a rouge FastCGI process that was created and wouldn’t shut down or handle requests, I have shut the process down manually now and all systems should be running fine.

On another note regarding problems, I have been made aware of a bug in iSyncIt that causes iSyncIt to crash under certain circumstances. I have only had one actual report of this but if you have also being experiencing problems please contact me through the website. Please include details of your system, language etc. in your bug report. I am working on a fix as you read this.

Thanks in advance, check back soon.

Small Update

iSyncIt has been updated yet again, just a few localization corrections, not much else. Download it here.

Check back soon.

New iSyncIt

Well, I’m posting this a little late, I had completely forgotten about posting information about the update on my own website, yet I’d posted on everyone else’s. That’s right iSyncIt 1.2 has been released and as always you can download it here. The main changes in this release are the introduction of German localization, to match this iSyncIt is now bundled with the localized version of the Sparkle update engine. As for interface enhancements the time of last sync is now shown in the menu, this time comes from iSyncIt’s own records rather than iSync’s records. I have also introduced a menu bar icon that changes depending on the current bluetooth status again this is a work in progress but works well if you use iSyncIt to control your bluetooth power.

That’s all for now, check back soon.

Another Update

I’m pushing them out as fast as I possibly can now. iSyncIt has been updated yet again (download here) to version 1.1. The main emphasis for this version was a revised scheduling system. I was happy with the previous system but after many emails I felt it was necessary to implement a time based system as well as the current timer based system. This new system makes the program much more useable and should cater for the needs of many more people. It may also have introduced a few bugs so feel free to email me with them using the contact form.

My plans for the next release of iSyncIt include a menu bar item that will change depending on the current bluetooth status, unfortunately this requires a re-write of my older, less well formed menu bar code so this release will take a little longer to push out than recent releases, but please bear with me.

Check back soon.

More Java & TextMate [Updated]

Update: Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to work any more.

A while ago I wrote a short post (here) about some additions that I had made to TextMate in order to improve its compiling of Java applications, I had made the changes because I had started programming in Java at university and wasn’t happy with the way that TextMate handled the files. In the post I promised a follow up post detailing some other improvements I had made to the Java bundle, finally, that post is here, sort of.

I’ve made so many changes to various bundles and themes it has become to difficult / long winded to document the changes in a post so instead, I have decided to release the changes as a small download from the website. You can find the files you will need on the relevant software page (this does not work anymore, read the update at the top of the page). The main changes are some slight tweaks of the Blackboard theme, the main theme I use and the addition of some new snippets, the compiling shortcuts from my previous post & some menu reordering in the Java bundle.

Make sure that you follow the instructions on the download page or in the README file when installing the files, I don’t want you to go breaking your computer now.

Sorry for the delay in this one, hope it satisfies you appetite, check back soon.

Scheduling & Photos

Things appear to be moving along more quickly than expected this week, I posted my main application iSyncIt and the My Book Icons on a few forums and the Apple software website and suddenly the visits to my website have rocketed from 200 a day up to 700 hits or more a day. Not as massive as some websites but it’s certainly an incentive for me to do some more work.

After many requests I have started to implement a more suitable scheduling system in iSyncIt, I added the original system for people that change their calendar and contacts very often but it seems people want more flexibility so I am currently coding something more suitable and user programmable.

Also, partially as an experiment and partially due to me wanting to unify my websites into a single website I have today programmed and uploaded a photography section to the website. This portion of the website showcases some of the better photographs that I take, for other people to see. It has been created using the ‘rflickr’ gem and my Flickr Photostream. I had several problems creating the section due to the lack of documentation for the ‘rflickr’ gem, so I will be writing a tutorial in the coming days to help other people who want to create something similar.

Well, thats all for now, check back soon.

The Dark Side

Today I have done the unexpected and moved to the dark side, well, for a few minutes anyway while I release version 0.4 of My Book Icons, the main change for this set of icons is the inclusion of Windows versions of all the icons, including resources for Vista. My main reason for doing this is to give people some consistency between their OS X and Boot Camp / virtualization installations of Windows. But I don’t object to pure Windows users using the icons either, so, anyone that wants them, feel free to download them here.

Now you have recovered from the shock of reading the above I can tell you about a couple of other changes, to the website mainly. In order to try any fund the website and my software / graphics development I have introduced Google Ads to the website, I’m not particularly fond of Google Adverts so I’ve tried to make them as minimal and tasteful as possible, you will only see adverts in the header above and at the bottom of blog and software pages in the form of text ads.

If you like the work I produce I would also like you to consider making a donation using the button to the right (on the website if you are viewing this through RSS), any amount you choose to donate would be helpful to me.

Any money raised through adverts / donations will go towards funding the website and my development of software / graphics. In terms of development the money will be used for my Intel Mac fund so I can develop Universal applications that I can test properly as at the moment all my development is completed on a 12” PowerBook.

Thanks for you time, check back soon.

So Many Changes

Well, it looks like I lied, the iSyncIt release took longer than expected, due in part to my own laziness when it comes to programming but I put the effort in and iSyncIt 1.0 has finally been released. You can download it here.

The main changes to iSyncIt are the removal of the function to remove files installed by versions less than 0.4, the introduction of a preference to change the menu bar icon to one with a little more colour – this is at the request of several people that have emailed me. The final and largest change is the introduction of scheduling for your syncs, this means that you can now tell your computer to sync with your devices every 15, 30, 60 or 120 minutes, it even takes into account your bluetooth control preference. Along with the release of iSyncIt I have also re-vamped some of my smaller applications.

Kill Dashboard, Web Server Management and Kill Front Row have all gone to version 0.2, the main changes to these applications are improved workflow and brand new icons so you can actually keep them in the dock. I’ve also had a little fun with the icons for Kill Dashboard & Kill Front Row.

To continue the theme of making new icons I have released the My Books icons I created for my own external drive to the internet. After very high demand for the icons and a large number of requests I have added the larger My Book drives, vertical versions of the icons and Leopard 512×512 resources to the icon package. You can download them here.

I don’t think I have any other news at the moment, I’m sure i’ll think of something though whilst trying to come up with my next project and more features for iSyncIt. Check back soon.

Progress

I thought it was about time that I posted again to show that I am still alive and kicking. I am making progress with the 1.0 release of iSyncIt but the progress has been slow due to the fact I have to learn Java for university, don’t worry I will be keeping my applications in Obj-C for now but any new applications will probably grow a Java back end. I haven’t really done much work on the previously announced Aliquando but I will try and do some more soon because I could really do with the program for myself. Well, I hope that’s enough to keep you going for now.

We're Almost There

iSyncIt 0.9 has been released, the last minor update before the big 1.0 & feature unfrozen release. If you have any particular requests for features then you can contact me and I will see what I can do. I cannot see any obvious problems withe 0.9 release but if there are bugs then they will be corrected in incremental 0.9 upgrades then the necessary code migrated to 1.0.

For those of you that are interested, the current features that are in the works for 1.0 are:

  • Scheduled Syncing
  • Localization
  • Dashboard Widget

Not many features but hopefully enough to keep you users happy for a while.

(I am trying to get .Mac to sync as well but this is proving to be more difficult, if I can work it out, this will also be in the 1.0 release.)

Another New Month

These months just seem to come round faster and faster. First of all I will start of by saying that iSyncIt development is moving along steadily and I will be implementing a few features that people have emailed me in the next few releases, especially in the 1.0 release that will be coming up very soon.

Secondly, development will slow down a little at the end of this month as I will be moving to Aberystwyth University to do Internet Engineering. Hopefully this will give me the grounds to write some even better applications.

Thirdly, because of my move to Aberystwyth I have decided that I need to be more organized and, being the geek that I am, I decided to write an application to do it all for me. Of course, it will be published and made available to everyone, hopefully sometime this month.

Finally, if anyone that reads this blog attends or will be attending Aberystwyth Uni let me know through the contact page. I want to know if any one (soon to be) local to me finds my stuff useful.

It's Finally Out The Door

At last iSyncIt 0.8 has been released. The main issue fixed with this version are the crashes that occurred, especially when syncing more than once, if you find any more problems don’t hesitate to contact me. I have also created new icons for the software, a more dock friendly (if you choose to put it on your dock) and more ‘Mac’ main icon and a more individual menu bar icon, unfortunately it is still not animated but i’m working on it. So download and enjoy.