While Lab Tick is a very useful application to take control over your backlit keyboard, Stefan Werner has taken a different approach to backlit keyboards.
His applications iSpazz and keySpazz are fun little apps that will illuminate your keyboard through other means than simply a boring slider.
iSpazz will have your keyboard light up to the beat of the music that is currently playing in iTunes and comes as a plugin for said application. keySpazz, on the other hand, lights up your keyboard on every single key press, while holding the shift key gives you a light glow. Of course, you will need to turn Lab Tick off to fully experience these effects.
Over the past few weeks, on every Mac-related website, forum and blog you could read a lot about people's experience with new features in Leopard, but there is one feature which was rarely ever mentioned at all.
Perhaps you know that you can take a screenshot of any window in Mac OS X by pressing Command+Shift+4, followed by the space bar. The cursor will change to a camera and highlight the window which you're about to take a screenshot of. This behaviour has been improved quite a bit with Leopard's release.
In an article about a new Mac Developer Network, Daniel Jalkut comes pretty close to my sentiments about localization of Mac software: "One question I raised in the show was whether the new ‘ibtool’ (formerly nibtool) in Leopard makes the whole process of automated localization any easier. To be honest, I resist localized versions for many of my applications largely because the hassle of integrating localization updates has always seemed really awkward to me. I’d love to get into a position where I could easily integrate updates to localizations without having to hand tweak things all the time. I know there are some existing solutions using nibtool but I wonder if things have gotten even better in Leopard?
Chris Liscio has some tips for developers on "paging in", a concept that is really simple, but perhaps not clear to everyone:
Paging in work: "Improving FuzzMeasure to take advantage of Leopard under the hood was an exercise in patience and self-discipline. When I first learned about Objective-C 2.0, I wanted to just leap in and change every single accessor to use properties and turn for into for-each loops.
However, I didn't have the time to ..."
As the beta testers for Lab Tick 0.7 came back with no serious issues, just some hints on how to improve a few things, I will soon be able to ship this version. There are basically only aesthetickal questions left at this point, and I should be able to sort those out soon. Read More
I have completed a first beta version of Lab Tick 0.7 which includes the hotkey feature I promised a long time ago. If you would like to help me test this version, please feel free to download it but keep in mind that this is a work-in-progress which may contain a bunch of bugs or may not even work for you at all.
Feel free to download the beta and please let me know how it works out for you, and what kind of configuration you are running (using the comment feature on this blog). Thank you very much!
Important: if you are on Tiger and you're using this version, clicking the Lab Tick menu bar icon may not always work. This seems to be related to the transparency of the icon. I am working on a fix for that, meanwhile you can try to always click exactly on one of the black areas in the icon.
For a long time (122 posts, to be precise), I have resisted using a desktop application for maintaining this blog. The result was that I did not update as much as I liked, simply because a web interface is a lot slower and a lot harder to use than a desktop application (which is why I don't like stuff such as Ajax-driven office applications, but that's a different story).
I know that I have promised global hotkeys to control Lab Tick quite a while ago, but so far I did not deliver - mostly due to personal and work issues which have kept me from focusing on continued development of Lab Tick during the last year or so.
Today, however, I have been able to make some progress on this issue. I have implemented shortcutrecorder, a user interface control to record key combinations, so hopefully I will have a preview of this available shortly.