Slowsilver- Heads up for Mac lovers


If you like your Mac like I do and you spend a fair amount of time doing things with it and noticed the mouse or trackpoint thing slows you down then you’ve probably run across an app called QuickSilver. Now assuming you’ve used QuickSilver for, oh let’s say a month or so and you’re the type that needs to read up on the customization options on things like remote controls, microwave ovens, and television sets then you probably found your way into QuickSilver’s catalog system. That’s where today’s tip begins. For those who don’t venture outside of the stock packaging on the products they use I’ll explain a bit. QuickSilver is an application that allows you to find things on your Macintosh computer like the Microsoft Excel program, that Flickr multi-file upload tool, the song you couldn’t remember the name of but found and downloaded from Rhapsody and then forgot the name of, or that power point presentation tucked away in your “Documents” folder somewhere. You can usually find these lost articles by typing the first couple characters of a name, or some acronym of the file. If you don’t use a Mac and use Windows instead there’s another toy called Launchy that works the same though not as cool as QuickSilver. (Also if you run Linux you can look at Katapult for KDE which is almost as cool as QuickSilver but missing some features.)

At any rate, assume you have QuickSilver and you’ve managed to dive into the catalog and decided you want to index some other folders. In my case I wanted to use QuickSilver to launch GroovyConsole. What I did was add the unzipped groovy folder to the catalog and hit the refresh/re-index button. I then brought up QuickSilver (Ctrl+Apple+Space, because the default key mapping collided with auto-complete in Idea) and typed “groov”. That brought up a long list of everything under the Groovy distribution. I arrowed down about 57 times until I found the groovyConsole shell script and hit enter. “Off da’ chains!”, I thought as I began to get my groove on within my favorite scripting environment. Later on I decided to bring up QuickSilver to find the Groovy In Action pdf lingering somewhere on my hard drive and I dunno where because QuickSilver makes me so lazy that I never care to remember the locations of where I save things. I hit Ctrl+Apple+Space and nothing gives. I try it a few more times then try various other key combos thinking I was confusing my hot keys again. (I tend to use several apps that all seem to prefer the same Ctrl+space or Command+space combo) I then right click the QuickSilver icon from the OSX bar and tell it to quit. QuickSilver laughs at me refusing to shut down. Then it dawns on me. QuickSilver must be blocked on the process running my GroovyConsole! I quit GroovyConsole and then down goes QuickSilver with a prompt that it quit unexpectedly and an option to restart. Lesson to be learned… using QuickSilver to launch shell scripts could cause undesirable behavior. Better stated, leave the factory setting on all of your software. Otherwise said, leave well enough alone. Or just stop folling with configs and get your real work done…

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