Posts tagged with os x

Pretty Print JSON From Curl

This post is just a short tidbit, a tip how to pretty print JSON when using Curl.

The Solution

As an example, I'll request my latest post as JSON and pretty print it.

curl -H "Accept: application/json" | python -m json.tool

In the example, we first make a HTTP GET request with Curl. Additionally, I set Curl only to accept application/json. This way my site will produce json, not html which is the default. Then I pipe the result of the request to a python's json library. This approach should work as long as you have Curl and Python installed (as is the case with OS X and most *nix systems).


How To Prevent Wacom Sketch Manager Automatically Starting in OS X

Wacom makes great drawing tablets and fun drawing tools like the Inkling. Unfortunately I have been less than impressed with their Sketch Manager application in OS X, the software that comes bundled with the Inkling pen. When I login after a restart, the Sketch Manager starts automatically. This can get annoying and it's not the way this kind of OS X application should behave.

Sketch Manager


Mac Tip: Managing BibTex References with BibDesk

In academic writing having good, relevant references is very important. Managing anything more than a few references manually is very labor intensive and not the best use of writers time. In academia, especially in mathematics and sciences, papers are often done using LaTeX. This because of its ability to handle complicated equations and large collection of references.

The references in those documents are typically stored in BibTeX formatted text files. Again, you could manage the references manually, but why would you when there are good free tools, such as BibDesk available.

BibDesk bibliography manager

I discovered BibDesk when I was writing my thesis last year. As the name hint’s, BibDesk managesBibTex-references but it can also manage and store the articles that you are referencing to.

BibDesk handles creating consistent reference-names automatically, provides a clean UI to view the references and makes it easy to insert cite-commands to the LaTeX-documents. It can also create groups and smart groups that can be used to organize-references. The smart groups are familiar for any iTunes user. The smart group is a dynamic collection of references that match certain user determined criteria. This feature was especially important for me, since I needed to arrange papers by year, category, research type and so on.

BibDesk is a free and open source project, hosted at SourceForge. The site is sourcefourgesky unappealing, but the application itself is full-featured and a valuable tool for any OS X user who also use LaTeX and BibTeX.

You can find BibDesk at


Mac Tip: Turn Bluetooth On Without a Mouse

My main day-to-day computer is my snazzy MacBook Pro that I often hook up on a external display when I arrive at home. The lid is closed as I connect it to the monitor and then I notice I have my bluetooth off and I need it to use my mouse.

Now there are couple of solutions to overcome this serious issue. First off you need a keyboard with a cord. If you also use a bluetooth keyboard these tips won’t help you, but automating the whole process with ControlPlane could.