I recently got a new Mac laptop at work, and as part of setting it up, I wanted to add two of the printers on the office network. As I went through the process of setting them up, I tried to remember which printer protocol was the “right” one to use these days. And when I turned to Google, and then Bing, to try to find the answer, I discovered that this information just isn’t published anywhere online. (Is it just me, or are search results becoming more and more terrible?)

Apple’s own documentation isn’t helpful. It describes the three options, but makes no recommendations. So, here’s the answer, really simple:

  1. If you have an HP printer, use HP Jetdirect - Socket.
  2. For any other modern (less than 10 years old) networked printer, use Internet Printing Protocol - IPP.
  3. If and only if that doesn’t work, try Line Printer Daemon - LPD.

Choose a network protocol for an IP printer

The explanation is simple, too. If you have an HP printer, you want to use the HP-specific protocol. Otherwise, IPP is the modern printer network protocol (and it works with HP printers, too). LPD is actually pretty ancient, technology-wise, but there are still some printers, or print spoolers, that only work with it.

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A reader question made me aware that my Load Images AppleScript for loading images in Apple Mail messages is specific to, and hard-coded for, the English language versions of Mac OS X. This is because the script is looking for a button with the text “Load Images”. Switch to any other language, and that button won’t—can’t—be found by the script. This is a limitation of using GUI Scripting to activate the button.

I’m not an expert in internationalization, and I don’t know if there’s a way to detect the active language of Mac OS X or, even better, look up the string to search for, regardless of language. If anyone knows how to do that kind of thing in AppleScript, please let me know. I’d love to add it to the script.

In the meantime, I’ve revised the script to make the text of the Load Images button easy to change. It’s one line at the start of the script, after the initial comments:

-- The text of the [Load Images] button in your version of Apple Mail.
-- If you're using a non-English version of Mac OS X, uncomment ONLY the line with your language on it, and save.
set loadImagesButtonNameTextString to "Load Images" -- English
-- set loadImagesButtonNameTextString to "Carica immagini" -- Italiano
-- set loadImagesButtonNameTextString to "Cargar imágenes" -- Español

If you want to use the script with a non-English version of Mac OS X, simply uncomment the line that has the right button name for your language, and save the revised script.

These are just the languages for which I could type the button name on my keyboard. For other languages, I had no idea how to type them on my US English keyboard! If you can contribute additional strings for the Load Images button in other languages, I would be grateful to add them, and will credit you for the addition. Just send them to me using the email in the sidebar.

The project page has the download link, and the script contains the version history, and a lot of details in the comments.

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Courtesy of “Tripp”, here’s a great tip for making it super fast to Print to PDF in any application. Once you’ve set this up, you just press Command-P twice to go directly to the Save as PDF dialog. Read the rest of this entry (201 words) »

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I’ve updated the Load Images AppleScript that lets you load images in a Mail.app message via a keystroke, to be compatible with Mac OS X 10.9 “Mavericks”. The original post has the download link, and the script contains the version history, and a lot of details in the comments.

There are some important changes to the script’s behavior in Mavericks. If you’re using the script with Mac OS X 10.9, you need to give the script permission to control your Mac, and the process isn’t as intuitive or as clear as it could be. Read the rest of this entry (519 words) »

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Recommended: The Palace Job

by Michael Alderete on 11/18/2013 · 0 comments

The Palace Job is, by far, the best audiobook I’ve listened to in at least a year. Think Leverage meets Firefly meets The Wizard of Oz. (If you know Steven Brust’s Dragaera, it’s a better fit than Oz.) The book is fun, funny, and thrilling from start to finish.

The Palace Job

First, the novel itself is terrific, with a great cast of characters, very-good-occasionally-awesome dialog, and lots of clever ideas. There are many laugh-out-loud moments, and it’s one of those books you power through, and then re-read sections, just to re-live the fun. I re-listened to the second half of the book (~5 hours) the day after finishing it, and found lots of neat, tight-fitting details that I had missed the first time.

Second, the narrator, Justine Eyre, is awesome. I pretty much never give a narrator the “golden voice” badge after just one book, but this performance was so strong, I was awarding it before the novel was half finished. Indeed, it was her voice on the 5 minute sample that convinced me I wanted to purchase and listen to the book sooner rather than later. She easily handles the two dozen or so distinct characters, with clear differences in tone and accent that make it easy to tell who’s speaking at any given time. And her performance really takes the humor to the next level, particularly with the dialog.

Who This Book is For

The book feels, in the best possible way, more like Firefly than anything I’ve come across. The characters, their relationships with each other, and a captain who never set out to be the good guy, but kind of ends up being one anyway. If you loved Firefly, as I did, you will love this novel.

My wife is a fan of Leverage, which I absorb by osmosis, and it has a bit of that feel, too. Action, capers, revenge, and humor. If you like Leverage, you’ll like this book.

Someone, maybe Greg Rucka, described the book as Ocean’s Eleven with a unicorn. That works, too, and if you like Ocean’s Eleven, or (forgive me) horny unicorns, you might like this book, too.

At any rate, the author is already working on a second book, in what I hope will be a long series. This first book stands alone, but I’m very excited to know there will be more.

Highly recommended.

Update: Here’s another review of The Palace Job, from Sigrid Ellis. He notes the same qualities I did, even down to the Leverage comparison. And writes “If you are the audience for this book, you will ab-so-freakin-lute-ly love it to pieces” — which I absolutely am, and did. :-)

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Free Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey

by Michael Alderete on 6/14/2013 · 0 comments

So you remember how I recommended Downpour.com in a prior post? Here’s why you should go there right now and sign up:

downpour-cowboy

When I was younger, a lot younger, my first real job was working in a book store. I took care of a number of different sections, and one of them was Westerns. And, for some reason, this novel was the one I latched onto, as the Western. No idea why, and to this day I still hear “Riders on the Storm” by The Doors when I think of this title. Again, no good reason.

Don’t miss out, this is good only until the 19th. Go now!

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Recommended: AppleTV (3rd generation)

by Michael Alderete on 6/13/2013 · 0 comments

I currently own four AppleTVs. I bought a 1st generation AppleTV used, years ago. I hooked it up and played with it for an hour. Disconnected it, and put it in my pile of tech to get rid of. Not useful.

I bought a 2nd generation AppleTV shortly after they were released, and liked it well enough. It’s a great Netflix client, and we used it regularly. AppleTV is still the best way to watch Netflix that I’ve used.[^1] If you have a streaming Netflix subscription, that alone makes AppleTV worth getting.

When the 3rd generation AppleTV came out, I got one of those for full HD (1080p) on the large TV, and moved the older AppleTV to the small television we have above our treadmill. And there, it found its calling. Read the rest of this entry (396 words) »

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Based on some feedback from people who tried it, I’ve updated the Load Images AppleScript that I use with Apple Mail to load images in email messages using a keyboard shortcut.

The new version deals better with older versions of Mail, and adapts to several different configurations of Mail for Mac OS X 10.7 and 10.8. It should work reliably for a lot more people.

The original post has the download link, and the script contains the version history, and a lot of details in the comments.

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Recommended: Downpour.com

May 23, 2013

If you’re an audiobook fan, I recommend heading over to Downpour.com and signing up for their newsletter. The weekly deals have been terrific, with free or inexpensive unabridged audiobooks offered regularly.

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I Fixed the Link to My Email for Aldo on Audiobooks

May 23, 2013

Whoops. Apparently when I set up with my new hosting provider, I didn’t create the dedicated email address I use for Aldo on Audiobooks. If you emailed me in the past two months and it bounced back, I’m sorry! No wonder no one had any new questions! Try me again, and I’ll try to do […]

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Add a Keyboard Shortcut to Mail’s Load Images Button

May 6, 2013

The Load Images button in Apple Mail on Mac OS X doesn’t have a keyboard shortcut, and there’s no easy way to add one. This is very annoying. This article shows how to add one, using AppleScript and FastScripts.

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Well, That Was Interesting…

March 26, 2013

I’m sorry for the extended outage, my hosting provider basically pulled the plug on the server this site was on, with no notice to customers. I was not the only one knocked offline. The site is back now, and I believe in better hands.

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