Saturday, July 26, 2008

Wii Remote for Mac

Just got a Wii console and tried to use Wii Remote to control my iMac computer. The free program is called as DarwiiRemote and it is available from (popular open source web page).

The program is very easy to install but not so easy to use for starters. However, I tried for about 1 hour to figure it out. Basically, I think you have to start it each time when you turn on your computer. Then from WiiRmote Event Log window, click on "Find Wiimote" button to search for it (you have to press 1 and 2 buttons simultaneously). After it is detected, you can use it.

By default, there is only one profile available, "Apple Remote", which is for Apple remote to control Font Row. You can configure your Wii remote buttons there for Apple remote. To use Wii remote controller as a mouse for iMac, you have to create one. I created one "Mouse" from DarWiiRemote's Preference, and do the same thing to configure buttons.

I find out it is not a good idea to use Wii remote controler to simulate mouse movement, which could be set in WiiRemote Event Log window. If you do that, your real mouse will compete with the Wii remote controler and it is not easy to control mouse movement. I lose it all the time. It keeps sliding down and moving out of my screen. However, you can use Wii remote to simulate mouse buttons, but it is very basic simulation. For example, Down button could move your FireFox window's content down, but you have to keep press and release it if you want keeping down. It does not simulate down continuously.

All in all, it is fun to play it. If you don't have Font Row or Apple Remote control, Wii may be good alternative to browse your movie, music and photos. I am going to get a MacBook Pro and do not have to pay $50.oo for Apple Remote.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Fluid and Mac Icons

Fluid is a very interesting and good web browser based program. I like it very much. Basically, you can create a Site Specific Browser application just like a desktop application. Then you can launch it to access the SSB in one browser for that site.

One trick about this is that in most cases, you would have to set its preference to Allowing browsing any URL. Otherwise, if you click on one link to another location, the default browser, Safari in iMac, would be opened. Of course, you can add URLs to matching pattern list. However, that's too much work to figure out what URLs in the SSB you will be interested.

By default, the icon for the SSB application is in low resolution. It is recommended to update icons for it. You can google "Fluid Icons". The first one is Flickr Icons. There are some good icons there, but they are mostly image files. You have to copy the image and paste it to SSB's icon (through General Info or Command + I key). There are also some free Mac icons available. The following are some links:

Icons are important part of OS. Mac Icons are really cool and fun to have. They are also very important for developers. By using good icons, your application will shine,

By the way, I realize that Fluid SSB applications do take considerable HD spaces. Each app takes about 10MB. Fluid itself is very small, about 3.5MB to download. I think that Fluid is using the default browser actually. The SSB may be a light weighted of the default browser. If I change my default browser to Firefox, I would image the SSB is Firefox like. I don't think I'll create too many SSBs. You just cannot manager more than 10 or 20 applications. Just a few for my blogger and emails is good enough.

However, SSBs are really convenient to use. For example, I created a SSB for my blogger. So I don't need to open my Firefox browser to view or to create a blog any more. I can launch it by Spotlight key (Command+Space) and type in (only first few words). Then the SSB is specific for my blogger. In Firefox, I have to tab back and forth to get some site information. With Fluid SSB, I can open my browser and blogger SSB at the same time overlapped.

As recommended by ScreenCastsOnLine (one podcast video show on Fluid), all Fluid SSBs are prefixed with f_ for easy access and distinguish them from other applications.