Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Undefined Value Has Moved
The Undefined Value blog has moved to http://undefinedvalue.com/.
Many thanks to everyone who has read my blog here on Blogspot. I hope you'll follow me to the new site.
Monday, April 06, 2009
Menubar Countdown 1.0 for Mac OS X Released
Lately, I've been experimenting with the Pomodoro Technique for time management. The basic idea is that you work in focused 25-minute bursts, with short breaks between bursts. You are supposed to use a kitchen timer to avoid getting distracted by looking at the clock.
Of course, as a computer guy I'd like my timer to be on my computer. I looked around for an application that would provide an unobtrusive 25-minute countdown timer, but I didn't find any that I liked. So I decided to write my own.
Menubar Countdown is the result of that effort. It displays a countdown timer on the right side of the menu bar. It has menu items that allow you the user to start, stop, or resume the timer.
There are three options for what you want to happen when the timer reaches 00:00:00:
- Play the system alert sound (which I never notice).
- Display an alert window (which is effective, but you may not like the abrupt interruption.
- Speak. This is my favorite option. You can specify what you want the application to say.
It's free software, distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License.
Source code is included. Other neophyte Cocoa programmers might find it useful as an example of using such classes as NSStatusBar, NSStatusItem and NSUserDefaultsController, or for measuring absolute time in a Mac application.
You can download the application from my snazzy new corporate web site: Menubar Countdown product page.
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Giving Drupal a Try
I've been playing around with Drupal as a possible treatment for my I-don't-have-time-to-make-a-real-website-itis. If that works out, then my blog will probably move, and I'll finally put some content on my corporate website.
I'm impressed with how easy it is to throw up a functional website with a content management system like Drupal. Sure beats creating a website with Emacs, which has been my solution up to now. (Yeah, as far as the WWW thing goes, I'm living in the Dark Ages.)
Here's my playground, if anyone is interested in seeing what a Drupal-based site looks like with very little customization or administration expertise: http://kristopherjohnson.net/content/.
And in related news, my corporation now has a real website: Capable Hands Technologies, Inc..