Er...somethin' like that.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Webcomic Viewers on Mac OS X

For the longest time, I was a faithful user of Steve Saxon's iComic 3.0. It worked great to get all of the comics I like- Dilbert, Garfield, Foxtrot, and Penny Arcade. But alas, with the arrival of Tiger came iComic crashing on startup nine times out of ten. Oh, but Steve announced that he was working on a new spiffy version of iComic that worked with Apple's new buzzword-thy Dashboard environment. So I pulled down a copy of that and installed it. It worked okay, albeit quite slow. It even recognized the vast archives I had amassed. But then I began adding all of my comics to my Dashboard and I noticed one slight problem- there's no way to consolidate multiple comics into one copy of the widget, or to collapse the copies of the widget to make them smaller. So with just the 4 comics I currently read (not counting ones I want to pick up, like Ctrl-Alt-Delete), my screen is well past completely full. And unless someone out there wants to give me a Dell 2405FPW as a late Christmas present, that's not terribly practical. So iComic is out.
I remembered another piece of software, Spiny Software's Comictastic. I'd used it to mass-download the archives of Garfield back when uComics had the entire Garfield collection (back to 1978!) up for the Garfield movie. But I'd dumped the resulting files into iComic because, well, iComic was free and Comictastic was $15. I downloaded a fresh copy of Comictastic and tried it out. Hey, this is really nice! Well worth the shareware fee! Now I just have to....damn. Between the version of Comictastic I used and 2.3.1, the latest version, Jan changed the comic cache format from an iComic-like folder of date-named JPEGs and GIFs to a folder of .ctcache files...packages that include the comic image file and a bunch of other extraneous data related to the strip. So close and yet so far!
So here's the deal, Comictastic folks: give us back the old cache format (it can stay in the new location, but back to the old "folder full of image files" way of storing it) or, better yet, code in an option to either have the extra information or not, and I'll gladly buy a license code for twice your asking price.
Alternative idea: iComic is now open source. iComic stores its' extra data inside the image file's EXIF data. Pick apart how they did that and get the best of both worlds.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Apple Store Link Bookmarklet

Jon posted a note about how hard it is to bookmark a page on the Apple Store. Based on his findings, I threw together a little bookmarklet that will transform an Apple Store session URL to a nice, tidy bookmarkable URL:

Apple Store Links

Just stick that in your bookmarks bar, and click on it at the product page. The page will refresh with your bookmarkable URL shown this time.

Fixed it! I guess reading from and writing to document.location.href at the same shot wasn't such a great idea. ;-) Now it works in Safari, Firefox, and even Internet Explorer, if you're, y'know...a masochist or something.

Oh, and props to Jesse Ruderman for his rockin' JavaScript Dev Environment and JavaScript Shell, without which writing this bookmarklet would've been a heck of a lot harder.

Update 2:
I'd intended to mention the trick that my bookmarklet uses to get the part number that it appends to the URL that Jon so helpfully provided. It turns out that the session URLs also contain the part number in a URL parameter called "nplm". For example:

My bookmarklet searches for that "nplm=" and grabs the next 11 characters after it. The slash in the part number is even already URI encoded for me.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Makes Me Dizzy...

OK, so yesterday my mom, my brother and I all got new cell phones on Cingular. This way, we'll all be on one family plan and be able to call each other as much as we like, I can call Britt as much as I like, it'll all be gravy. Got really cool phones, too.

I come to find out today that Cingular is becoming AT&T (again?)

Why can't these companies just pick one name and stick with it? I found out not too long ago that BankOne, who I'd just moved my checking account to, was becoming Chase.

Cingular: take some advice- stay as Cingular. Leave all this AT&T (Wireless or not) nonsense behind, keep playing with that quirky little orange dude and don't change your name for at least two more years. Please?