Intro to Mac class – coming up!

Thanks to our work at ByMUG, Tom and I were approached in early January by a Digital Literacy Librarian at the Ottawa Public Library, and as a result we are offering Intro to Mac classes again.. The classes will be free, and limited to one hour of instruction and one hour of questions, per session. If all goes well we will rotate through various branches to make this course available to a larger audience.

Interested? Read more and sign up for the sessions on the OPL site at Learn more about Mac computers!

Capture all tabs in Safari as URLs to the clipboard

Sometimes you’re doing research and have a pile of tabs (and windows) open and need to get them into a document to share with coworkers… so I went digging and tweaking and found an Applescript that does the job:

tell application “Safari”
set docText to “”
set windowCount to count (every window where visible is true)
repeat with x from 1 to windowCount
set tabCount to number of tabs in window x
repeat with y from 1 to tabCount
set tabName to name of tab y of window x
set tabURL to URL of tab y of window x as string
set docText to docText & tabName & ” – ” & tabURL & linefeed as string
end repeat
set the clipboard to the docText
end repeat
end tell

You can save it as a standalone script and run it from there, or stick into a script item in Automator and run it as a service.. or even call it from the command line as an Osascript.

Looking up Mac specs..

Did I mention I love TextExpander? Yeah.. so, to make a long story short: clients ask me questions about their computers, upgrades, lifespans, etc. I don’t normally remember all the details of their Macs so I get them to send me the Serial Number (Open the Apple menu, click About This Mac and it should be right there.)

Once you have it you can go by Apple’s support site and look it up… but that takes too long.

Make a new TextExpander snippet with Applescript as the content type:
property theURL : ""
set theURL to "http://support.apple.com/specs/#" & (the clipboard)
do shell script "open " & theURL

Then you just copy the serial number, and anywhere you can type use !specs to invoke it and up pops open Apple spec page a few seconds later.

Opening a pile of urls all at once — updated version!

A year or so ago I wrote a post on how to use xargs to open a bunch of urls that were in your clipboard. But it turns out that in newer versions of OS X something broke, deliberately or otherwise, and that method no longer works. Well, it works fine, it’s just *too* fast. So today I needed to check about a hundred urls.. and so it was time to fix that script. I’ve been slowly working on learning Python, so I decided to use that.. and this is what I ended up with:

#! /usr/bin/python
import webbrowser
import pyperclip
import time
url_list = pyperclip.paste()
clean_list = url_list.splitlines(False)
for x in clean_list:

    webbrowser.open(x)
    time.sleep(.5)

It only took me about an hour 😉

What does it do? It grabs the clipboard, splits each line inside the clipboard at the return character, and then there is a loop which tells the browser to open the url .. wait a half second and then do it again.

I’d like to figure out how to grab the clipboard and clean it in one line.. but that’s for another day!

Back to work..