Finder Catalog Numbers

Stick with me, folks. This is going to get super nerdy and may take a while to explain. It’s also going to cover some of my favorite topics: a custom-built Mac app, a small server-side script, Keyboard Maestro, the command line, and URL schemes.

Let’s talk about the stuff you need to do and the files, supporting documents, and reference material you need to accomplish those tasks.

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Mortal Mac App Sins

Maybe I’m just an ornery old man yelling at the new kids running through my lawn. Maybe I should be content to retrain myself to hit ⌘H instead of ⌘W when I no longer want to see a non-document-based app but want to keep it running.

Maybe Apple has done the research and realized that a decade-plus of relearning computers with iOS had taught the over-60 crowd that fullscreen apps are the be-all-end-all. And Gen-Z, who grew up with touch screens, intuits that as well. Maybe there are diminishing numbers of us in the middle reluctantly dragging overlapping windows around like cave people?

Regardless, there is one specific UX sin that interrupts my workflow and annoys me more than anything else on macOS. I want to call out a few of those offending apps now before offering my dumb solution.

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Calendar Hero

Let’s be honest. I’m an idiot. If it weren’t for technology holding my hand and functioning as a second brain, I wouldn’t be able to make it through this modern world.

That’s why I trust software to remember all the things I would otherwise forget.

And with the number of meetings I’m in now, it really helps if my calendar is front and center.

So, another week, another app. This time it’s a small little open-source calendar for your macOS Desktop I call Calendar Hero. I made it last week after I was late to a meeting because, well, I was vacuuming and not thinking about the day ahead.

I used another Mac app to do this, but it stopped working for me sometime during Catalina in 2019. I missed what it did, so I reimplemented a simple version of it last week.

This is Calendar Hero.

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Receipts

Ten months ago I drafted a post about how incredible the Apple ecosystem is when all the pieces fit together. It was a month into the pandemic and I found myself walking through a real-life Apple commercial in the grocery store.

I was a bit stunned when I got back to my car and it sorta hit me just how well the entire end-to-end experience worked. As a lifelong adherent of the positive influence and power that well made software and hardware can have over our lives, I was taken aback.

And so while I was planning on finishing my thank-you post to Apple this weekend, that’s not going to happen.

Instead, let’s talk about receipts.

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Roundabout Syncing

I don’t mean for this blog post to only be more complaining. It’s just my dumb solution to a Finder bug I’ve been running into for years. And also a great example of how a little bit of automation can go a long way. (And an even better example of how unique the macOS ecosystem is that tools like this can exist – and how scared I am that (despite assurances) we seem to be headed in a direction where powerful and clever apps are not wanted.)

Anyway, something must have broken in Finder around when Apple integrated iCloud Drive into macOS Sierra in 2016. That’s when I noticed that the files on my Desktop would stop appearing on…my Desktop.

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Standup.app

Standup.app is a tiny little Mac app that I made last week because I needed it in my day job. I’m not sure what to do with it or what will ultimately become of it, but, as usual, I figured I should make the app available in case anyone else finds it useful.

It helps facilitate the super-short standup call I run with my team every morning.

It also serves double-duty as a weird, helpful presentation utility for the seemingly never-ending stream of video meetings I have throughout the day.

I know there are other solutions out there, but this one is mine and built to my odd specifications.

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The Apple Hero 2020 Needs

Rakhim is the hero we need in 2020.

Please don’t let the comedic nature of the video turn you away. I’m not sure if there is a better way he could have presented this.

Stay for the entire trainwreck so you can appreciate the focus of a two-trillion dollar company that says subscription services revenue is the future.

He really does make some excellent observations about usability, attention to detail, care, and obviousness in software.

I cackled for the full 18 minutes.

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Does Not Contain

I occassioanlly need to scan a folder and all of its subdirectories to see if any of them DO NOT contain files of a certain type.

I’m fully aware you can do this with some combination of shell commands, but I always spent 20 minutes googling for how to do it again every time I needed to. It was faster just to write this small utility myself.

I call it dnc, which stands for “does not contain”. You can download the source or a pre-built binary on GitHub. The builds aren’t notarized. So be sure to ask Apple if it’s OK to run this on your Mac.

Read the full post for an example of why I need this script.

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