Improve your posture with Nekoze

Everyday, many of us spend hours sitting on a chair staring at a screen, be it at work or at home. The average Briton now spends more than 20 hours a day sitting down. In fact, spending more than 6 hours a day sitting can increase your risk of heart attack by more than 50%.

Now I could list a bunch of statistics from surveys and experiments that may or may not be soundly executed, or scare you with how bad sitting posture can misallign bones and cause serious muscle ache, but I’m not going to do that. Why? Because I’m not a f*cking doctor and don’t know enough about the subject to question those claims, that’s why (and for those who do know what about the topic, please share your insights in the comments).

Regardless, evidence for good posture leading to a healthier lifestyle does exist, so for those of you who want to better themselves, you should get ergonomic chairs, or a standing desk perhaps. If you can’t afford that, you may as well give Nekoze a shot (it’s free!).

Nekoze

Nekoze is a lightweight menubar item of a f*cking cat, which may suck if you hate cats. Otherwise, you’re in luck, because you now have a cat that will piss you off everytime you f*ck up and start slouching, which is good.

By identifying a straight posture when setting up, Nekoze uses your webcam to monitor your posture. If you start to slouch, it will meow at you. What a nightmare. You want this cat to stop meowing at you, right? So sit the f*ck up and it will. What a great cat. Keep on slouching, and it will show an on-screen alert of it being pissed off at you.

Now for those of you who are thinking, this is bullsh*t, I don’t want a cat telling me what to do – too bad, suck it up, it’s for your own good. If you insist on being a wimp about it, you can adjust the settings of how harsh it is on you, and how often it gets pissy.

Screen Shot 2013-10-15 at 9.21.02 PM

You can also disable the sound if you have coworkers frowning at you every time your computer meows. Not such a bad cat after all.

Screen Shot 2013-10-15 at 9.21.07 PM

Download Nekoze for free here.

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Quickly get word definitions

Gone are the days for searching word definitions, now, all you have to do is select the word you want a definition for (be it on Safari or any application that allows you to display and select text), and just 3-finger tap it on your trackpad.

For those who like using their keyboard a lot over the mouse, I highly recommend one of my favourite productivity- boosting applications, Alfred, where you can simply type ‘define ______’.

Remove Dock Delay

For those of you with the auto-hide feature enabled for their dock, here’s a tip found via AddictiveTips, that allows you to remove the delay time.

Just copy this code into terminal and hit enter

defaults write com.apple.Dock autohide-delay -float 0

killall Dock

and there you have it, 0 delay time for dock pop-up when you mouse over at the bottom of your screen!

To revert back to the previous setting, just enter this code into terminal and hit enter again

defaults delete com.apple.Dock autohide-delay

killall Dock

Quickly insert foreign characters

Here’s a small tip for quickly adding in foreign characters while typing, such as é, or ä.

All you have to do is hold the letter you want with whichever foreign accent it is you’re looking for, and a pop-up window will appear above it with all the options available, where you can click on the one you want using your mouse, or use the corresponding number key as a shortcut.

No but seriously, who ate all the crêpes?

How To: Survive Using Your Keyboard Only

How to survive using your keyboard only; here are some shortcuts.

Users with MacBooks need to include the function (fn) key in commands involving F#-keys.

ctrl + F2

opens access to your menu bar, which is navigated with arrows, enter, or letters (for a shortcut, type the first letter of the menu item you want to access.

ctrl + F3

opens up access to your dock, which can be navigated in the same way as the menu bar.

NOTE: If those actions are not working, then press

ctrl + F1

to activate/deactivate the commands.

Don’t forget the simple shortcuts too, like

Command + Shift + A

which opens your applications folder (only works when on Finder; Safari for instance, gives you autofill preferences…)

Other shortcuts you must know are:

Empty trash: Command + Shift + Delete
Quit application: Command + Q
Close current window: Command + W

UPDATE: oli4 reminded me with his comment; to see a directory of shortcuts, go to System Preferences > Keyboard & Mouse > Keyboard Shortcuts

UPDATE #2: Learned a new shortcut! When on Safari, select a word and press

ctrl + Command + D

and you will get a quick definition show up as a tool tip window.

Feel free to share your tips and shortcuts in the comments below!

Or you can just forget about memorizing altogether.

Tricking out QuickLook

Found two great plugins to trick out QuickLook, for all you Leopard users!

Folder List

The Folder List QuickLook plugin is a plugin that allows you to view the contents of the folder, and information about all of the files (date modified, size, etc…). You can find out more about this plugin over here.

BetterZip

BetterZip Quick Look Generator 1.1 is a very similar plugin. It works the same way, only you view the contents of archived files. This is particularly useful if it’s a big archive, and you don’t feel like unzipping the damn thing to see what’s inside. More info about BetterZip over here.

Download Folder List plugin here.

Download BetterZip Quick Look Generator 1.1 here.

Screenshots in Mac OS X

A complete and concise guide about screenshots in Mac OS X, and everything you need to know about them.

Let’s begin, shall we?

Full Screenshot: Fairly well known, by pressing Command () + Shift + 3 you will get a full screenshot.

Selective Screenshot: Much less known than the Full Screenshot, by pressing Command () + Shift + 4 your mouse will turn into a sort of cross-hair that will allow you to select the portion of the screen which you would like to capture.

Perfect Selective Screenshot: Barely anyone knows this sucker! Press the same key combination used for a Selective Screenshot, but before selecting the portion you want to capture, press space. Your mouse cursor will turn into a camera and simply mouseover whatever you want (i.e. windows, icons) and it will take the screenshot to the exact pixel!

Taking a screenshot of a webpage: While you can do this with a Selective or Perfect Selective Screenshot, sometimes, the whole webpage is just too big to capture the whole thing in one screenshot. That’s when Paparazzi! comes in. This handy freeware application will take a screenshot of the full webpage, all you have to do is enter the URL of the webpage, and leave the rest to Paparazzi! It also allows you to change the size of the image you want, and has a cropping feature.

Get Paparazzi! here.

Other information concerning screenshots:

Changing the image format: The default image format of screenshots in Mac OS X is PNG. However, you can easily change the format to any other image format with a customization/maintenance application. Might I recommend Onyx?

Get Onyx here.

For those who want to use an application to take screenshots, I recommend SnapNDrag, you can also select the image format you want when taking the screenshot.

Get SnapNDrag here.

Well, that’s everything you need to know about taking screenshots in Mac OS X!

How to: Optimize your Mac’s performance in just eight simple steps

This is a list of ways for you to easily boost your Mac‘s performance. Some ideas were taken from other lists, and some are improved variations of existing methods.

1. Get rid of those login items. If you don’t use them, then begone with them. You can check what you have as your login items by going to: System Preferences>Accounts>Login Items. Seriously, this really cuts the lag of your computer, especially when starting up.

2. Look at the Other section of your System Preferences. If you don’t use those prefpanes, then disable them, or simply delete them. Also, Universal Access uses up precious RAM, so if you don’t use it, disable it in the System Preferences. Other things that you might not use is Internet Sharing, Speech Recognition, and Bluetooth. If you don’t, turn them off!

3. Macs come with lots of languages available for use. Like, LOTS of languages. As in odds are you’ll only be using one or two out of the available hundred something languages. Get rid of them, you save up a lot of Hard Drive space. A good app for this task is Monolingual.

4. Clean out all of that useless junk. Look, sooner or later, your Hard Disk will get full. I know, I’ve been there. Many, many times. Look for apps or files which you don’t need/use. Believe me, when you delete 4 GB of space in one go, you begin to feel a much faster load.

5. Run maintenance checks on your computer! Lots of computers slow down (and lose memory space) because they don’t have their cache cleaned out! Run maintenance apps such as MainMenu, or Onyx to clean out your cache, and to verify and repair disk permissions.

6. Widgets. Man oh man, widgets. Even if your dashboard is hidden, widgets will take up RAM. I emptied out most of my active widgets. Now, I only keep three running. Believe me, this helps. If you don’t use dashboard, then simply disable it with an application like MainMenu, Onyx, or TinkerTool.

7. Periodially check your Activity Monitor, which is located in the Utilities folder. See if there’s something that’s suckin up the RAM, yet your not using it. If there is, deactivate it.

8. Finally, if you really want your Mac to be powered up, and battery life is of no concern to you, then go to System Preferences>Energy Saver>Options and set your processor performance to Highest.

With these eight steps, your Mac will most definitely perform better. Always be sure to run maintenance checks every now and then, and check the Activity Monitor too!