Friday, 17 February 2006, 9:43:03 EST

How about some Apple stuff to break up the silence?

If you are using OS X, you owe it to yourself to check out Quicksilver. Quicksilver is one of the applications that convinced me to buy a Mac. Just reading about it, I knew I would love it. The application is hard to describe, though. It is sort of a local search engine for your computer; one that learns your query habits. But it can also be a file manager, or hotkey engine, or whatever. It is very powerful and very fast. I mostly use it to launch applications. I don't like digging through my filesystem to find the application I want to run and then double clicking it. Typing the first letter or two of the application name and then pressing enter to launch it is much faster. I have been expanding my knowledge of Quicksilver past using it for an application launcher, recently.

I've added the shelf, a couple of triggers, and some application specific searches to my repertoire. The shelf is great for moving files in conjunction with the Finder. Using a trigger that I defined, I can pull up the shelf at any time, drop some files (or really anything) onto it, navigate to the location I want to place the files, and then drag the files from the shelf to the new location. It is much easier that using drag-and-drop in conjunction with Finder's "spring loaded folders." And using Quicksilver to immediately go to my Cyberduck favorites is awesome. Instead of using Quicksilver to launch Cyberduck and then open the favorite from its sidebar, or using the slow Spotlight search to find the favorite, I can use Quicksilver to directly launch Cyberduck to the FTP/SFTP site I want to open. Absolutely wonderful.

That description of Quicksilver doesn't even scratch the surface. The program can be used for much, much more. For some better descriptions, and tutorials, check out the Quicksilver Tutorials Round-up post over at The Apple Blog. The first tutorial in the list does a really good job of describing what Quicksilver is and what it can do.

I also want to point out something else I find neat. When I wrote the latest "theme" for this website I encountered some quirks with various browsers. One of them was very much a bug with Safari's CSS support. So, I reported it. The report sort of sat there for a while not getting any attention, then someone verified it and posted a test case. It then went dormant again for a couple months. All of a sudden the thing gets noticed, patched, and submitted for review. It is nice to see the reports sent to Apple don't get overlooked no matter how minor they are.