Category Archives: Computers

Using Sublime Text with LilyPond on Mac OS X

Way back in 2009 I wrote up some instructions on how to use LilyPond with jEdit on Mac OS X. I never much attached myself to jEdit, but it was serviceable for LilyPond at least. Today however I use Sublime Text for just about all my coding, and it makes a perfectly fine replacement for the LilyPond app’s built-in editor, with a bit of configuration. Here’s how I have mine set up:

  1. Install SubLilyPond into Sublime Text via Package Control

  2. Add a build system to Sublime Text (Tools → Build System → New Build System…) based on these nice instructions. Specifically, I named my file lilypond.sublime-build and it had this code in it, which specifies the exact path to the Mac LilyPond binary in my Applications directory:

Now .ly files will get syntax highlighting in Sublime Text, and the F7 or ⌘+B keystroke will build my PDF file. I then keep the working PDF loaded in Google Chrome (which has a built-in PDF viewer), and just hit refresh on that window every time I want to view the results of the build.

Google Chrome: Getting from dev channel to stable

As a developer, I tend to enjoy tinkering with the newest and shiniest of toys. Pretty pretty shiny shiny. Anyway, it turns out sometimes the newest and shiniest isn’t always so shiny and in fact is sometimes actually broken. Yes, I know that may come as a surprise to most of you, but indeed it is true. This actually happened to my Google Chrome recently on the dev channel with some broken page layout issues whenever I use page zoom, which these days is pretty much permanent. Wanting to keep Chrome as the default browser for several reasons, I decided I didn’t wanna be on the dev channel anymore. I reported the layout bug and set about finding my way back to the stable channel.

Boromir: One does not simply walk off the dev channel

The way to do this properly wasn’t really apparent from any Google searches I found – admittedly a very brief search, so I just decided to download the stable version of Chrome to see what happened. Worked, except I got this semi-cryptic error message:

Your profile can not be used because it is from a newer version of Google Chrome. Some features may be unavailable. Please specify a different profile directory or use a newer version of Chrome.

Yeah so how do you do that? Turns out it’s easily solved as discovered by searching on the error message text as I discovered on the Google Chrome Product Forum. Deleting the old profile works well enough if you are logged in to Google Chrome or don’t mind clobbering all your preferences and settings. The profile folder is found thusly:

  • Windows: %UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default
  • Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default/
  • Linux: ~/.config/google-chrome/Default

Quit Chrome, delete the folder, launch your newly-installed stable version, log back in to Chrome, and you’re good to go.

TL; DR:

  1. Sign in to Chrome and make sure the preference to synchronize everything is turned on
  2. Download and install stable channel of Chrome
  3. Quit any running instances of Chrome
  4. Delete your profile folder
  5. Install and launch your stable version of Chrome
  6. Log back in to Chrome to get your settings back

Macworld ’08 Announcements

I think the MacBook Air is a beautiful piece of industrial design. Beautiful. I probably wouldn’t buy one, but I really admire it. I bet Yingwen would like it though. It is a sexy machine that is more about portability and fashion than functionality.

I know I am a power user at heart, and I’m always going to have my eye on the higher end systems that have long-term expansion capability, but I have to say that Apple did a good job on the specs given the space limitations. For one, the soldered RAM is set to 2 GB, so thanks for maxing it out. And 3 pounds for a full-size keyboard and screen is right there about the single most important reason I’d actually consider blowing upwards of two grand after tax and add-ons on such a machine. If I were still a hard-core BART commuter, this would make it a no-brainer.

Apple TV now looks cool now that it no longer requires a computer to connect to online services and they dropped the price, but the 24 hour limitation for rental downloads is too short. Yeah I know on-demand rentals from cable and satellite are about the same duration, and the iTunes downloads are a lot cheaper overall, but the current on-demand rental durations are too short anyway. Well, maybe it’s no big deal – I suppose the difference between paying $3.99 for a 24 hour rental and $12.99 for the full rights are pretty minimal in the long run. Ultimately I think the Apple TV features are pretty cool – especially with Flickr and Youtube connectivity. I was still hoping for an Apple TV that was actually a TV, and maybe with a built-in DVD player too. Less boxes and wires and stuff hanging off the back – something I could just stick on the wall. The only remaining complaint I have is that they still to this day have not implemented subtitles. Seems like a major failure on the part of accessibility here.

The iPhone updates were welcome. I think the most significant of these is the Maps app, where it now tries to triangulate your location. It actually works! Not perfectly accurate, but it seems to find me within the range of the circle that it renders. So much easier to now use “current location” as the starting point for generating driving directions.

I don’t get why they would charge $20 to iPod Touch users to get the software upgrade that gives them the same basic app suite as iPhone. Boo. Just give it to them already. Come on.

Time Capsule seems like a great idea, and certainly makes a lot of sense when used in conjunction with MacBook Air as a backup solution. This is a nice and convenient luxury item: If I had $500 bucks to burn, sure I’d go for a 1TB box. Otherwise I’d probably look for a decent tethered backup drive. UPDATE: Now that I look around and price these things, it isn’t that much more expensive than a standard off-the-shelf enclosed 1TB drive, and if you factor in the convenience of ubiquitous wireless backups, it is an attractive offer.

All in all it was a nice suite of announcements. Couple all that with last week’s Mac Pro/XServe items, and it is actually quite a lot of cool gadgetry. Apple TV seems the most significant to me at this point, and I hope they eventually make me my Apple HDTV already.

Apple Wireless Keyboard

Just a quick note about the new Apple Wireless Keyboard: It is notably more compact than its wired counterpart. More “laptop-like.” More “couch-top” like. This clearly was thought out as “hey, if we’re going to do a wireless keyboard, then what are people going to want to do with it?”

Clearly they’re going to want to sit on their couch and operate their Apple HDTV with it…

Ah, well that’s what I want to do anyway. With the addition of a trackpad, this would be a no-brainer.

Set up XML Schema as XML in TextMate

Odd that this was not set by default, but TextMate did not include XML Schema (.xsd) documents to be recognized as XML. No matter – TextMate is beautifully extensible. This is easy to set using TextMate’s Bundle Editor for this and any other document extension that you’d like to be recognized as XML:

  1. In TextMate, choose Bundles > Bundle Editor > Edit Languages. This filters bundles to only show language options.
  2. In the Bundle Editor, expand the XML category and select the XML language icon.
  3. The second line sets a variable for “fileTypes”. Add .xsd to the comma-separated list.
  4. Close the Bundle Editor and you’re done.

The Bundle Editor in TextMate is a really powerful utility for customizing the handling of any language coding. This is a simple example, but it certainly opens the door to much more customization and functionality.