IBM has an cool article detailing some techniques you can use to quickly build robots with common materials. Wireless robotics: Fast robot prototyping shows you how to use foam core, plexiglass, Erector set parts, and cardboard to put together a robot platform to build upon without breaking the bank on a design that’s likely to change. Neat stuff — I wasn’t even aware IBM published articles like this.
Tristan Pemble has posted some cool iTunes Music Store hacks, which include one tool that can grab the full size album artwork from any given album. All you have to do is find the album on iTMS, right click the title, choose Copy iTunes Music Store URL, and paste it into the field. It’s great for filling in missing artwork on ripped/downloaded music. Other cool hacks include a music video and movie trailer tool, and also one to view the raw XML response from iTunes’ servers (for debugging or general poking around).
Update: This method no longer works, but try my new PHP script here.
I’ve got a few more iPod hacks planned if I can come up with the hardware. So, I’m on the hunt for more dead or “injured” iPods, preferably 3rd or 4th Gen…although 2nd might do. If anyone has an iPod with a dead hard drive they’re willing to part with, send me an email using the link on the right :-) I’ll also happily do iPod battery installations, if anyone’s in need of a quick repair.
MacMerc has an interesting story about an iPod nano that survived a trip through a washing machine and partial dryer cycle. I would have waited at least three days to let it dry, but they went ahead and powered it up much sooner than that — and its functionality came back, little by little. Read on for the full story, complete with pictures.
Recently I discovered the blog at Wishingline Design Studios, and they got me started messing with the new QuickPicks options for Backup 3, which are pre-built lists of files and folders to backup. They allow you to quickly choose a set of items for backup without having to navigate to the folder on disk, much less know where it exists.
QuickPicks are surprisingly easy to create. If you’re interested in making your own, you can browse through the contents of any QuickPick bundle and edit a copy to make your own. I’ve created sets for two of my favorite bits of software, NetNewsWire and Little Snitch, and decided to share them here. You can download these two QuickPicks and install them by unzipping the archive and placing the two in the /Library/Application Support/Backup/QuickPicks/ folder (along with all the other QuickPicks). Enjoy!
Update: Added several more QuickPicks to the pack, bringing the full list to:
- Little Snitch
Backs up your Little Snitch firewall settings
Backs up Apache webserver settings at /etc/apache2/
Backs up your ~/.bash_login file (Terminal users rejoice!)
- SSH Keys
Backs up your SSH keys from ~/.ssh
Backs up your Xcode preferences, key bindings, and color settings
Backs up your NetNewsWire subscriptions and settings