Make your mornings suck less with a alarm clock (for Mac)

I don’t do mornings. I really don’t. I’ll stay up until them, sure, but I do not want to wake up to them.

Using OS X Mountain Lion, here we go: for the impatient, just read the bold.

Edit: I realize that bold doesn’t show up well with my current configuration. I’ll work on that.

  1. Visit in your default web browser, which will be the same browser that the following alarm clock script will work with, sign in to your Pandora account, and choose the radio station you want to play every AM. I play general Trip Hop, but that’s just me. Close Pandora, but DO NOT LOG OUT of your account.
  2. Fire up Automater (it’s included with the OS) and create a new Calendar Alarm.
  3. For your first Automator Workflow step, Select Actions > Utilities > Set Computer Volume.
  4. Set your Output volume where you like. I set mine as follows: Output volume: 50%; Alert volume: 0%; Input volume: 0%. I didn’t want to be jolted out of bed.
  5. For the next step in your Workflow, choose: Actions > Internet > Get Specified URLs.
  6. Change the “” to “”
  7. For your last Workflow step, select: Actions > Internet > Display Webpages. Your Workflow should now resemble this:
  8. Screenshot of the Automator Workflow to launch as a morning alarm clock
  9. At this point you are done editing your Workflow. (Hooray beer!) Chose File > Save and give your Calendar Alarm a descriptive name. Once saved, the native Calendar application should fire up and you should see your Alarm in the current day. You should also see the “Automator” calendar under “On My Mac.”
  10. Specify the time that you want your Internet radio to start playing by right-clicking on the Alarm, choosing Get Info and setting the time. Also set “repeat” to “Every day” or whatever works for you. If you only work every other day, week, or month, that’s awesome.

Protip: To reduce clutter in the Calendar app you can uncheck the box next to the Automator to hide it. The Alarm should still go off as scheduled (it did during my testing). Or use Google Calendar for all your events and meetings. Also, if your default web browser (USE CHROME!) is already running when your alarm goes off–which is the case for me because I always have an obsessive amount of tabs open even though I use Pocket–this script will simply spawn a new tab. If you already have Pandora running, I have no idea what will happen. Good luck brave soul.

After looking through other Automator actions it appears that you could also do this with an iTunes playlist (and a lot of other applications), but I haven’t tried anything out other than what is above out so you will have to DIY. There was also some talk on the ‘net about using Pandora’s desktop application (via Adobe Air) for this. If you used launchd instead, awesome. Tell us about it. Post your solution in the comments.

Note that the first step you created in the Automator Workflow controls the volume of your Mac. If you are using external speakers with their own volume control (like I am) then you will need to adjust those to your liking as well.

Site update: This is the first post in the Life Automation series that I hope to continue posting to. I had an awesome boss that was the master of automation and he got me hooked on attempting to automate everything in life.

Once you’re out of bed, get some Powerthirst.

Disclaimer: Just bought a Mac so this may not be the most optimal way to go about doing this.


A Dictionary with Google Images for Definitions

As reported by TechCrunch, two artists have taken the thousands of terms from your average dictionary and defined them with words pictures. In an automated manner they scraped the first image result from Google Images for a given term and created a physical book.

Google Images Dictionary

So what if the images are not the best representation of the term or if the images become obsolete the second the dictionary is printed? It’s simply beautiful and a great reflection of today’s Internet culture. I can’t wait to get my copy.


Image Not Displayed In Internet Explorer 7 – Red X

Are you not seeing pictures in Internet Explorer, but instead getting a red X? It could be due to a number of factors, including “Show Pictures” not checked in Internet Options, or sloppy XHTML coding (make sure to close your tags). But this was not the case for me. Everything was working perfectly in Mozilla (which I use primarily), but I was just double checking in other browsers. Here is the reason:


Interesting. I could not find that answer anywhere on the net, but decided to start back at the beginning in Adobe Photoshop CS4. Reopened the JPEG (seen below) and noticed that it was still in the CMYK color model because I was working on business card designs for commercial print.

Be sure to transform your images back into RGB if they will be viewed on the net or in IE7 (or probably any version of I.E. for that matter). This is also important if there is the possibility that your client uses Internet Explorer to preview images.

Pretty cool design I was working on last night for myself, and the cause of today’s troubles.
Click for larger view with subtle details.
G. S. McNamara Company Logo

Need a business card designed? Request An Estimate.

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Color Isolation in Grayscale, Signature, and Business Card with Mirror Effect in Photoshop

Had a bit of fun in Photoshop recently. Tested out how to correctly isolate certain colors in an image and change the rest to gray scale. I was also was able to scan in my signature, clean it up, vectorize it, and make it a custom shape for use in work down the road. Finally, I delved into the mirror effect that is now pretty popular for text and images. I’ll use it on the front of my business card.

Porsche in red.
This image is also viewable on my deviantART page. I will probably upload most of my work there in the future.

I had to track down this font from GIMP 2.6 and install it for use in Photoshop. Now to find a printer for these business cards . . .

Web 2.0 Business Card

Grab a copy of Photoshop for yourself and give it a try.

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Elite Technologies WiFi Project,,

These three things recently came to my attention while I was conversing with others.

First up to bat is Elite Technologies, based in Terre Haute, Indiana. They are a group of computer enthusiasts that focus their energy and skill on wired and wireless networking among about ten other listed capabilities. Their business staff consists of volunteers so far.

They have an benevolent outreach project that began in 2007 and aims to construct a WiFi network for everyone in the Wabash Valley. People are donating portions of their bandwidth and a section of their buildings in order to mount antennas. They state originally was going to donate a large sum of cash towards the project but subsequently backed out. They can be reached at:
Keep up the good work guys, I like projects like this.

Next, lets switch over to the arts.

A link to came to me pretty late tonight and I was intrigued. Apparently it is a website that hosts a large interactive flash canvas that you can mark up at will. A wall for virtual graffiti, claim some real estate while you can. I of course wrote MAVERICKBLOGGING.COM on there somewhere, see if you can find it. (Near 12 O’clock)

Additionally, has a web-based image editor that I will definitely fall back upon if I ever find myself without access to a proper program. Next time I am caught unprepared or don’t want to install a program on the machine I am using, I will certainly hit up this website.

Apparently Adobe has an online version of Photoshop, but it requires a subscription. I haven’t looked into this one at the moment, but will.

I will get back to what I need to be doing now, but felt that these were some noteworthy links. Contact me if you know of other cool stuff I should check out.


Site Changes: Added OpenSearch, Ico file, and Amazon and Google Search Engines

This Linux weekend isnt all that bad. I am picking things up pretty quickly.

As you can see, there is now an ICO file for this website. You will see it next to the URL and in your bookmarks if you choose add it. It was very easy to make in GIMP. Additionally, I added OpenSearch compatibility. So if you have a built in searchbar on your browser, you can likely add this site as a search location from its drop down menu. Finally, I added a new page that contains my custom Amazon and Google search engines, and I will be referring to it in future posts when appropriate.

And, as always, I am tweaking small things behind the scenes that I am not happy with. For instance, you can actually now see the navigation menu for the pages of this site at top center above the content. So if something seems jacked up, it probably is my fault. Please shoot me an email to make sure that I am aware of it. Thanks.