Processing: InitSketch


Today in Processing there’s no code, but we’ll still talk about code… code editing that is.

If you love your editor, then you love your editor, and it’s not fun or easy to switch, so writing code in the Processing IDE is fine, but you start to miss your editor and all the tricks it has. One of the tricks is templates. Well, the InitSketch Processing Tool takes care of that. It gets rid of the tedium of starting from a previous sketch, copying and pasting in a new one, and then deleting all the stuff you don’t want.

InitSketch adds an item to the Tools menu which will pre-fill a new sketch based on a template you create. It’s a small thing, but it’s handy. (I do wish it handled multiple template files, though.)

I was also interested to learn that Processing is somewhat based on jEdit, my long time text editor, which is pretty cool, and I may end up digging into jEdit as and External IDE as well.


Open Source Jumble

I’m a fan of open source… I’m a user of open source… I’m still a believer in open source… but I don’t always use open source. So by The Book of Doug, I’m a sinner…

I own/admin at least 5 Linux servers, have a Linux netbook, use Firefox, Thunderbird, OpenOffice, NeoOffice, Perl, PHP, MySQL, Adium, jEdit, VLC, ffmpeg, Audacity, Apache HTTP Server, WordPress, Drupal, and on and on… I’ve also contributed to open source software projects, typically not with code (since I’m just a hacker) but with support, add-ons, and even monetarily. I’ve written and released applications, code, scripts, and various media (photos, video, audio/music, words) under open source and open content licenses.

Look… I use Mac OS X, and I know it’s not open source… I’m a sinner. Please forgive me. I do my best by installing and promoting open source software on Mac OS X. Every Mac I set up has the best open source software on it for the user that will use it.

It’s still not enough. Doug wants me to try harder.

I’ve also worked towards putting on things like BarCampMilwaukee, in fact, we just had the 4th one, but Doug wasn’t happy because of “Microsoft putting their dirty paws on events like BarCampMilwaukee4…”

I’m not sure what they did, other than helped feed everyone there. Like all other sponsors, they supported the event financially, and go no special treatment in return. No keynote, no booth, no 20 foot wide banner. I heard no reports of Larry Clarkin forcing anyone to install Windows or insulting Linux. If anything, Brennan pushed more Microsoft propaganda my way, and he doesn’t even work for Microsoft! And Doug, I’ve asked open source companies, including Red Hat, to sponsor BarCampMilwaukee in the past, and never got any response.

Oh yeah, back to Doug… I like Doug, I really do… His intentions seem honorable, but he seems frustrated, and is convinced that talking to people won’t change things. Still, he writes a blog post about it. Doug, don’t give up! Talk is cheap, but discussion has value! Try talking to people, not at them, and follow it all up with action, but be nice about it. Nobody likes a jerk talking at them, but plenty of people like a friend talking to them.

Now go open some source and bridge that open-closed divide!


Mac Apps

A few months back David from Korporate Media sent an email to a few folks titled “Dear Macintosh users, let’s talk apps” and a bunch of people replied. It took a while to compile, but here’s my list. Some of these I don’t use much anymore in Mac OS X 10.5 but still do in Mac OS X 10.4, and some of these I almost never use, but still think they might be useful to others…

(Oh, and Perl, which does everything else.)


Asus Eee PC: vCards and jEdit

I have not gotten to do as much Eee PC hacking as I’d like to, but I have been experimenting…

Eee PC Address Book

I took all of the vCards from Apple’s Address and exported them to a single file. I then use the ‘PIM’ application on the Eee PC to open it. It loaded them up ok, but not all fields are treated the same. In Address you can have multiple ‘home pages’ for an entry, but that gets all munged up in the Eee PC’s PIM application. I may have exported as a version 2.1 file, so I should try a 3.0, maybe that will bring the photos along as well. Still, a good first attempt. (The photo you see was taken with the Eee PC’s built-in camera.)

jEdit on the Eee PC

Our second bit of fun was getting jEdit installed. Luckily, I’m not the first, so following this Eeeuser forum thread made it pretty simple. Now I can run my favorite text editor anywhere…


Computing Like it’s 2002!

Since the iBook died (R.I.P. and if you are keeping track, that’s 2 Macs that have died so far in 2007) it was time to revive the old Powerbook G3 (Wallstreet) and get computing!

The last time I even mentioned it was 2004 when the power adapter needed repair. After that I had a G3 iBook from work to use, until I didn’t, then I just stuck the old Wallstreet in the office to be forgotten, except when I stole RAM from it last year.

Well, it’s back folks! I am now using a Powerbook G3 running Mac OS X 10.1.5, and I’m trying to get apps on it. So far I have Firefox 1.0.7, and jEdit 4.1something on it, and am trying to find a version of Adium or Fire that will run on it. I think I’m stuck with over iTerm too… Sheesh, talk about the dark ages! I don’t even want to think about Thunderbird.

Wifi? Well, sort of… thanks to and an old wifi card I had laying around. One problem, the card does not work with WEP, so while I can use it in my own house (by turning off WEP and restricting to MAC addresses) using it out and about is pretty much impossible without an ethernet cable. I also tried a USB PC card and a USB wifi adapter, but that didn’t work. I’d actually consider getting a wifi card that would work with WEP (and Mac OS X 10.1.5) if I could find one for cheap enough.

Anyway, I am mobile again… if you consider “mobile” sitting on the couch browsing the web very slowly.