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Use TextExpander To Run Shell Scripts

TextExpander is great for saving time writing repetitive text.  However, I recently discovered that you can also run scripts via a TextExpander keystroke.  To do this, create a new snippet and choose Shell Script as the Content type.  Then type your script in. In the example below, I create a simple script that makes the […]

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Freak Out Your Friends By Changing The “Ready” Message On HP Printers

How The Trick Works You create a file or enter some Terminal commands, which get sent to the printer.  Instead of printing out what you typed, the printer recognizes that the text is actually a set of instructions, known as the Printer Job Language (PJL), which are then carried out by the printer.  In this case, we tell […]

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Give Your Office Door A Star Trek “Swoosh” Sound Effect

Feel like you are entering the bridge every time you come into your office by reproducing the Star Trek “swooshing” door sound.  This trick uses a Webcam that sense motion, which triggers a script that plays the sound file.  If you want something more professional looking, check out the Star Trek Door Panel on ThinkGeek.

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Put Santa’s Face In Your Wi-Fi Network Name

Make sure Santa knows you want your presents delivered by setting your wireless network name to show his picture.  You may also want to add some presents in there so he knows that you want them.  Inspired by the spooky halloween SSID.  If Santa happens to be on his iPhone, your emojified network name will […]

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Give Your Mac A Voice-activated Self Destruct Command (Just Like Star Trek)

OS X Yosemite has a new feature called Dictation Commands.  This allows you to press Function key twice, speak your command, and then have the computer do something for you.  While there are some useful built in ones, it is much more interesting to make your own. In this example, I make a Star Trek-style […]

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Create a Set of Scripts to Say “No” Digitally

Saying “no” nicely is effective, but it’s more fun to do it digitally.  Just run these commands from Terminal or save them as a .sh  file.

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OS X or OS 10: The Answer Is Built Into Your Mac

Many IT professionals know OS X stands for Operating System 10.  But if you know anyone that thinks it is OS “ex,” you can prove to them the correct pronunciation using a simple command built into every Mac.

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Rickroll Your Terminal with the Power of the Force

Type this into Terminial: traceroute -m 254 -q1 obiwan.scrye.net traceroute  is a command line utility that displays each router on the path to a final destination.  The clever person who named each one deserves some credit!  After a few hops, you will see some familiar words:

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Turn Your Mac into a Functional Star Trek LCARS Terminal

Now you can feel like an ensign on board the enterprise every time you use your computer.  Make your Mac display LCARS-style backgrounds that move and animate.  Even listen to the ambience of the subtle “blips and bleeps” of the computer.  Now close your eyes and pretend you are on the bridge…

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Email: Why is there a “J” at the End of Some Emails?

The short answer is that the “J” in an email is actually meant to be a smiley face. This happens a lot if you receive an email from someone who uses Outlook.  Outlook uses the Wingdings font to show a smiley face.  The letter “J” in ASCII happens to be in the same location as […]