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Finder icon to icns file

A quick way I just discovered to get an .icns file out of any Finder icon, using no third-party software.

  • Select an icon in the Finder. Copy it to the clipboard.
  • Open Preview. Hit command-N to create a document with the clipboard contents.
  • From the preview drawer, drag the top icon (labeled “Untitled Image #”) to icns Browser.
  • Note that icns Browser has no Save command. However you can drag the proxy icon from the title bar and drop it while holding down the Command or Option keys. You’ll have an icns file.

Tastes in fonts; status

Time to put on my curmudgeon hat for a second.

Glyph Lefkowitz presents a font choice as a foregone conclusion: we like the second, antialiased, version better. Some of us don’t—I’ve been using Adobe’s Helvetica, Courier and Times bitmaps since 1986 or so and don’t really see what is so wrong with them. Antialiased versions would be OK, I guess, if you like that kind of stuff, but there’s no reason to use different default fonts to the rest of the planet just because. FreeSans looks enough like Helvetica to pass at a glance, but the others don’t even come close.

I’m not saying people have to set their default Web browser fonts to Times, Helvetica and Courier—I’ve got mine set to Goudy, Univers and Screen, for example—but I’m just saying the standard fonts make more appropriate defaults, since they’ve been that way since Netscape 0.x. (I seem to remember Mosaic used a sans-serif font as the default, but my memory is a bit hazy.) One of the more irritating things about Safari’s font choices is that Lucida Grande has no italic/oblique version, so italic Lucida Grande ends up being forced Helvetica, which is quite a bit smaller. Firefox/Camino algorithmically italicize (slant) Lucida Grande, which ends up looking worse, mainly because they get the metrics wrong in the first place; a properly laid out, slanted Lucida Grande is actually not bad looking at small sizes.

Oh yeah, about all that Mac and hiptop programming I’ve been wanting to do in my “spare time”—it’s not happening any time soon. I’ve got a significant deadline at the beginning of March, and it’ll take every spare cycle I’ve got to finish on time. Luckily the research is finally stuff I’m really enjoying, and as long as I remember to take my allergy medication so I can avoid painful, headache-filled days like today, I should be all set. It might be something people outside my research area care about, too—wouldn’t that be nice? :-)

RPN calculator for hiptop OS 2.3

RPN calculator on hiptop OS 2.3

I ported Brian Swetland’s RPN calculator to the new hiptop OS 2.3, and made a few small UI changes. It’s now got a splash screen (of sorts) and an icon stolen from my favorite Mac RPN calculator, Kalk. You can check out the sources from Subversion or grab a tarball.

My overall impressions of hiptop OS 2.3: reminds me of Mac OS 8.5. It’s gaining a lot of useful features: the new text system, Web browser, and J2ME implementation are phenomenal, but the UI is starting to outgrow the device, and flakiness has begun to appear in places. The IM client is a poster child for well-intentioned but poorly-implemented features in this version: the disclosure triangles are just wrong, replacing a perfectly usable older interface, and the odd buddy icon display gets in the way, yet you can’t turn it off without disabling away messages as well. Being able to easily delete email without the keyboard is great, but the user interface sounds you get are broken.

I’m missing IRC on the hiptop already, so I’ll get cognet ported next. Need to restore the latest sources from a backup, because the CVS server Dan and I were using is no longer functional.