Computing

Create custom Adjix short URLs with Alfred

Alfred.app Logo Although I use it all the time it turns I haven't written here about Adjix. There is one mention in some issues but nothing that spells out just how awesome it is. The short version is Adjix is hands down the single best URL shortener out there. While it deserves it's own post suffice it to say you can use its power and still retain a copy of your links on your own S3 drive. Future proofing at its best.

But this post isn't about that. It's about using your own custom domain and setting up a URL shortener that works from Alfred. Alfred is itself another awesome tool that deserves yet another post. Inspired by a post on Dirt Don I set out to create a url shortening shortcut. (Recursion is encouraged).

So based on this post I setup a quick shell script shortcut in Alfred. The properties end up looking something like this:

Tools of the trade: Dropbox

Dropbox logo Over the course of talking to computer users each day I'm consistently amazed at the varied ways we use the same tools. More often than not an exchange ensues where we share our favorite tools and tricks. Here I'll start an occasional series of posts on the tools I use that make the dozen hours a day I'm in front of a screen pass quicker. First up on that list is Dropbox.

Dropbox

At first glance Dropbox is an application that provides a network-syncronized file directory. The rich feature set doesn't disappoint. With everything from a solid web interface to an iPhone app the methods of accessing your directory. It's also possible to upload photos and videos from the iPhone as well as all kinds of files from the web interface.

While there are network file systems that are shared file systems Dropbox is a little different. It runs a small application that watches your local directory and synchronizes any changes to the network. All of this leads to several handy ways of using Dropbox.

Changing email from lines

I need a solution for re-writing the from fields of inbound emails. There are a few correspondents in the various areas of life who insist on not putting their full names in their email clients. In the cases where I've talked to people this is often in the mistaken belief that it will help keep them from getting spam. In reality it makes spam filters much more suspicious of the email and ultimately only makes it harder on the ultimate recipients.

Apple Mail does a decent job when you're looking at the individual message. As long as the user's real name is in the address book it shows their real name even if they've supplied something else. But in the list views there's a bigger problem. It is not much fun to try and figure out which of the 3 Mikes sent an email in a list where it would have been much easier if they'd had the courtesy to include their full name. Along the way perhaps there will be more education about not looking like spam. And then again maybe I'll get mail more than the once-weekly trip to the spam filters.

The ultimate computer case

Reading the RSS feeds tonight an item about wooden iPod cases jumped out at me. Just an hour earlier on the way home from dinner I found my mind wandering to the cool Signature Suit leather cases for Mac Book's and wondering how long it would take to come up with a similar product from a nice brown saddle leather. The Signature Suit cases look great, but I want one that looks like just an old, natural, leather book.

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