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Geoff Taylor

technology, photography and other interests

A feed by Geoff Taylor

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Blue Feather

Permalink - Posted on 2018-10-02 22:18

Blue feather
Blue feather


Airborne Sunset

Permalink - Posted on 2018-09-04 04:00

Airborne sunset
The VSCO preset that I used is appropriately called Sunset.


Butterfly on flower

Permalink - Posted on 2018-08-26 23:04

Butterfly on flower


Butterfly and pink flowers

Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-01 19:07

Butterfly and pink flowers
Butterfly and pink flowers


Raindrops on leaf

Permalink - Posted on 2018-06-17 13:28

Raindrops on leaf


Raspberry

Permalink - Posted on 2018-06-14 23:44

Raspberry
Raspberry


Sad flower. Nice colors, though.

Permalink - Posted on 2018-06-14 22:57

Sad flower. Nice colors, though.
Sad flower. Nice colors, though.


Rotary Telephone, L'Ouest Hôtel

Permalink - Posted on 2018-05-10 03:03

Rotary Telephone, L'Ouest Hôtel
Rotary Telephone, L'Ouest Hôtel


Keyboard Maestro: RSA Archer Deep Link

Permalink - Posted on 2018-03-18 15:35

This macro will only be of interest to RSA Archer users, but it’s pretty useful to me, so I thought I’d share it. The macro asks for the tracking ID of an Archer record and creates a deep link to the record.

In this example, I have the macro configured to create a link to a Finding, so I set the trigger to the string fdl. When that string is typed, the macro asks for the tracking ID of the record, constructs the link and pastes it into the application where I typed the trigger string.

In a deep link, Archer percent-encodes any character that isn’t alphanumeric. But I had trouble getting the Keyboard Maestro variables (since they contain percent signs) to play nicely with the percent-encoded URL. I solved this problem by setting the RecordLink variable to a path that’s not percent-encoded: /GenericContent/Record.aspx?id=%Variable%TrackingID%&moduleId=%Variable%ModuleID%. It contains the tokens for the TrackingID and ModuleID variables.

The Execute Shell Script action uses Python 3 to percent-encode the characters that Archer expects to be percent-encoded. (There are other ways to do this; I just used Python because it’s familiar to me.) You may need to update the path to Python in that action.

Here’s a screenshot of the Keyboard Mastro Editor:

Keyboard Maestro screen shot

Here it is in action:

Keyboard Maestro animated demo

You can download the macro here. Change the value of the ArcherURL variable to the URL of your Archer instance. (Don’t include a trailing slash.) Change the value of the ModuleID variable to the ID of the application you want to link to.


Email, Then and Now

Permalink - Posted on 2018-01-20 10:15

Sometime during the mid to late ’90s, I watched an episode of a TV show that I didn’t regularly watch. (Since I can’t even remember the name of the show, I’m guessing that’s the only episode I ever watched.) The only thing I remember about it is that one character gave another character a gift — printed copies of every email they had ever exchanged. Email was regarded as a temporary, passing trend — something that should be preserved on paper.

Now, in 2018, I delete dozens of emails on a daily basis, without a second thought (mainly newsletters, to be fair; I get very few personal emails these days). But ironically, I wish I had printed and saved my earliest emails, particularly the one I received from the CEO of Rickenbacker. In the mid ’90s, email was still was a novelty to most people, and I guess even CEOs received so little of it that personal replies were possible. But I didn’t foresee that I would go through a dozen or more email accounts in my lifetime, losing a little history each time I switched, and it never occurred to me to save or print those emails until I no longer had access to them.


Frozen Fountain

Permalink - Posted on 2018-01-07 18:59

Over several days of subfreezing temperatures, the fountain in the courtyard of my apartment building froze. The falling water wasn’t actually frozen, but it kind of looks that way in the picture.

  Frozen fountain
Frozen fountain
  Frozen fountain closeup
Frozen fountain closeup


Getting Old

Permalink - Posted on 2018-01-04 14:53

A sure sign that I’m getting old: I immediately downloaded Brighter and Bigger after reading this post by Dr. Drang.


Cleveland Marriott Downtown Lobby

Permalink - Posted on 2017-12-22 23:15

Lobby of the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center
Cleveland Marriott Downtown Lobby


How to mute alerts in Fantastical

Permalink - Posted on 2017-12-10 08:35

If you have a shared Reminders list, Fantastical for Mac will notify you if someone else updates it. I don’t need to see these notifications, but it took me a little while to discover how to mute alerts for specific Reminders lists.

It’s not, as one might suspect, unders Preferences > Alerts. You actually mute the alerts under Preferences > Calendars, and it’s not at all obvious that this is where you do it.

First, open Preferences (Fantastical > Preferences or ⌘,). Then go to Calendars and right-click the Reminders list that you want to mute. Select Get Info.

  Fantastical preferences screen

Check Ignore alerts and Ignore shared calendar notifications as shown in the screen shot below. Then click OK button.

  Fantastical preferences screen

This method also works for muting alerts from individual calendars.


Snowy Night at One Atlantic Center

Permalink - Posted on 2017-12-09 19:51

Snowy Night at One Atlantic Center
Snowy Night at One Atlantic Center


House-hunting workflows

Permalink - Posted on 2017-12-09 11:53

My wife and I are looking for a new house, and I quickly realized there were two common things that took a little more effort than I liked. First, collecting the important information (address, list price, Realtor.com URL) about each house in a place I could easily find it later, and second, searching for the nearest supermarket, pharmacy and other stores and services. Using Workflow, I was able to automate these tasks.

Save House to Bear

The first workflow is called Save House to Bear. It takes the information exported to in the share sheet by the Realtor.com app and saves it to a new note in Bear. The property address becomes the note’s title, and if the Realtor.com app exports a photo in the share sheet (it usually does), the photo will be added to the note.

  Animated GIF showing the workflow
Running the workflow from the share sheet in the Realtor.com app
  Property listing saved in a Bear note
A property listing saved in Bear

Search Near Address

The second workflow is called Search Near Address. When the workflow runs, it will ask you for the source of the search address. If you ran the workflow using the Run Workflow extension and Workflow detected an input address, it will ask you if you want to use the input address, the clipboard or a manually entered address. If no input address was detected, or if you didn’t run the workflow using the Run Workflow extension, it will ask if you want to use the clipboard or a manually entered address.

The workflow will then ask you for search terms, and it will show you businesses matching the search terms near the search address. Selecting one of the search results will open it in the Maps app.

  Address selection screen
Select the search address
  Search results
Search results


Automatically mount a network share using Keyboard Maestro

Permalink - Posted on 2017-10-21 11:41

Because of some constant issues with Time Machine that I just couldn’t resolve, I switched to Arq, which offers a similar “go back in time” backup solution. I’ve had a generally positive experience with Arq; it’s been much faster and more reliable than Time Machine for me.

The only problem — and this is unrelated to Arq itself — was that my network share would disconnect when my MacBook went to sleep, and I couldn’t find a simple, reliable way to automatically remount the share when waking my MacBook. Then, I happened to find this postfrom Gabe Weatherhead. The post is five years old, but his solution using Keyboard Maestro still works perfectly.

I added one condition to his setup: My MacBook must be connected to my home Wi-Fi network.

  Screenshot of Keyboard Maestro macro

I had tried Keyboard Maestro in the past, but I had never really found a compelling reason to purchase it. This simple macro has changed my mind, though, and I’m now a paying customer. Now to find more uses for it…


Lake Michigan Sunset 2

Permalink - Posted on 2017-10-14 01:19

Sunset over Lake Michigan as seen from an airplane
Lake Michigan sunset


Lake Michigan Sunset 1

Permalink - Posted on 2017-10-14 01:16

Sunset over Lake Michigan as seen from an airplane
Lake Michigan sunset


Gizmodo's field guide to RSS

Permalink - Posted on 2017-09-12 12:26

This is a good introduction to RSS (or a refresher for a lot of people) from Gizmodo. For following blogs, it really is better than Twitter or Facebook because you never miss a post.

(Here’s my RSS feed. 🙂)