Author Archives: smittytone

About smittytone

Tech Author and Writer

Just released: imageprep 6.2.0 with powerful new features

imageprep, my command line tool for batch-processing picture files, had a big update a week or so back — and now it has another one. With the second update imminent, I didn’t announce the first, 6.1.0, which I released to coincide with my post on writing command line utilities in Swift. That done, it’s time to shout about imageprep 6.2.0.

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How To Write macOS Command Line Tools with Swift

I’ve spent a lot of time of late working on several macOS command line tools written in Swift. So I’ve gathered together the key points I’ve learned while creating and updating pdfmaker and imageprep: some best practices and ways to deliver many of the features common to programs the run at the command line.

imageprep running in Terminal
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Released: MNU and other updates

I’ve just posted updates to a couple of applications. Both can be grabbed from my website or installed using Homebrew.

MNU 1.4.6 provides quick and easy access to your frequently accessed command-line tools
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Out now: a Swift-ier version of imageprep

I’ve just released version 6.0.0 of imageprep, my macOS command line tool for processing batches of images. Born a shell script, imageprep has now not only finished school and graduated from college, but also has gained employment as a fully compiled application. It’s written in Swift so it’s quicker these days.

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Double Dabble for a Compact Clock

I like clocks, and the digital variety make fun little projects. Here’s an example: a tiny LED timepiece based on a trio of Adafruit Feather parts.

Compact time-teller
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App updates support Apple Silicon

These apps will now run natively on Apple’s M1 chip:

All of them are available as downloads from the links above, and all but PreviewMarkdown, which is available from the Mac App Store, can be installed and updated through Homebrew.

Apple Silicon survival notes — day one with an ARM Mac

You have to take your hat off to Apple: it knows how to transition from one processor architecture to another, completely incompatible one. It did it in the mid-1990s with the switch from the Motorola 680×0 series to PowerPC, then again a decade or so later when it put Intel inside new Macs. Now we get ARM.

Apple Silicon ARM-based MacBook Pro
ARM-our plated
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Look, ma, no SD! Boot a Raspberry Pi from USB only

The Raspberry Pi 4 is now capable of booting from a USB Flash drive without requiring an SD card to kick-start the process. Here’s how you set it up.

USB disk, yes (left) — SD card, no (right)
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A cure for Raspberry Pi ‘Slow USB Mouse Syndrome’

I don’t quite know how I missed this, but I’m guessing plenty of Pi users might have missed it too so here it is. If you’re tired of the Raspbian desktop’s too, too laggy mouse performance, there’s a very easy cure. Poor mouse responsivity was the only thing preventing me from using the Raspbian desktop on a regular basis. Here’s how to fix it.

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Released: revamped and expanded Python drivers for your micro projects

I have revised my Python drivers for the Holtek HT16K33 display controller, combining Micropython and Circuitpython versions into one and adding support for Adafruit’s Bi-colour 8×8 Matrix in the process.

Display useful information on a matrix LED
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