This website, like all of my sites now, has an Webclip Bookmark Icon. That means that if you use the webclip feature of an iPhone or an iPod Touch to “Add to Home Screen”, you get a nice little icon in your home screen instead of just a miniature screenshot of the site itself.

How does this work? Pretty simple:

  1. Create an icon for your site at 57x57px. Mobile Safari will automatically composite the icon with the standard “glassy” overlay so it looks like a built-in iPhone or iPod application — so you might not want to use an already-glossy icon, as that will give you a double-dose of lickable glossiness and actually ends up looking pretty bad. You can make it a different size if you really want, but it will be scaled to this size and, again, probably will look crappy because of the scaling.

    UPDATE: Then again, some are reporting that a 60×60 icon is resulting in a crisper-looking image, so feel free to experiment.

  2. Save it as a PNG called “apple-touch-icon.png”, and upload it to the root directory of your server, just like how maybe you have a “favicon.ico” for your site icon in web browsers.

  3. Profit!

If you want to have a different bookmark icon for a specific web page, insert a element similar to within the element of the page.

HowTube 008: Markdown Cheat Sheet

The post below is out of date. See the latest version here.

In the words of its creator, John Gruber, “Markdown is a text-to-HTML conversion tool for web writers. Markdown allows you to write using an easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text format, then convert it to structurally valid XHTML (or HTML).”

I’ve known about Markdown for quite some time, but for some reason, I’ve always just stuck with writing up my blog posts in plain ol’ HTML. Since I’m now trying out MarsEdit, and it has preview functionality for Markdown, I thought I’d give it a shot. Turns out, I love it, especially the human-readability of it, which I suppose is really the entire point.

I had a really hard time, however, finding a good cheat sheet. Several links to one made by Ollieman indicate he had the best one, but as his site is currently down, I ended up making my own. Please share and enjoy!

Since I use WordPress for my blog, and I have installed PHP Markdown Extra as a plug-in, I have also included an addendum on the second page of the cheat sheet noting the additions and changes in the “Extra” version.

I would also note that several popular text editors have support for Markdown translations, such as my much beloved TextMate, in which I am writing this very post. In fact, there is an excellent screencast (30.3 MB download) which demonstrates use of the Blogging Bundle for TextMate, and gives a good overview of how Markdown can be used inside the editor, and how to export to various formats.

Many thanks to John Gruber and Aaron Swartz for creating Markdown, and Michel Fortin for creating the PHP “Extra” version.

Download here: Markdown Syntax Cheat Sheet

Getting RubyCocoa running once you install Safari 3 Beta

If, like me, you were foolish enough to install the Safari 3 beta, and are now wondering why the heck RubyCocoa won’t work (or worse yet, why the install keeps failing), check out the article Safari 2, Safari 3, Adium & forcing WebKit Frameworks from Once I went through the steps outlined here, things worked fine, where the Safari 3 Beta Uninstaller had not. (The beta Uninstaller didn’t properly restore the old version of WebKit, plus somehow wiped out my entire WebKit Headers folder.)

Having trouble mounting a removable drive? Read on…

Let me start with how Mac OS X deals with removable drives. When you plug in a FireWire or USB drive, or even toss in a CD or DVD, those drives pretty much just appear on the desktop, right?

Sure, but underneath the glossy Mac surface, the Unix system does something else. It creates an alias to the drive, and puts it in the folder at the root of the drive you start up from (your boot drive). That folder is known as /Volumes. You don’t see it? That’s because Mac OS X hides it from you — it’s a special folder that normally the system uses just fine on its own, thankyouverymuch, and doesn’t want you mucking about in it.

However, you can get to the folder by going to the menu item Finder > Go > Go to Folder…

Finder > Go > Go to Folder…” width=”495″ height=”315″ class=”size-full wp-image-2899″ /></a></p>
<p>…and in the dialogue box that pops up, type <code>/Volumes</code> (capitalization counts):</p>
<p><a href=Volumes

Then it will pop up the folder in question, and you can see what’s in it:

Volumes with Rogue Folder

Now, you can see here that my startup drive, Stone, is listed, as well as my 2 extra drives, Boulder and Pebble. Even DVD_VIDEO_RECORDER, a disc I burned on my living room DVD recorder shows up in here. Those little curved arrows in the lower left mean they’re aliases, which aren’t real folders at all, but just a pointer to the original drives.

You can also see that there is a real folder that is called FireWalkWithMe. Well, that’s the name of my portable FireWire drive, but that’s not connected to my Mac right now— so what happened?

Some of the apps that run on Mac OS X are much more in tune with the Unix side than the Mac side of things, and so if, for instance, you have set your removable drive as the default place for it to save things, the app may just assume that drive is always going to be there, instead of checking to make sure that it actually is.

In this case, the app I had been using was Azureus, which while being an otherwise great BitTorrent client, was negligent in this way. I had foolishly set the default save directory to my FireWire drive, and according to Azureus, that meant it was saving things to:


So what happens is the next time I download something with this app, it tells the system to write to that path, first the hidden Volumes folder, then the FireWalkWithMe folder, then the saved file. But if my drive isn’t attached, Azureus doesn’t know, and so the system, not smart enough to know otherwise, takes that directory at face value, and when it encounters a folder in that path that doesn’t exist, it goes ahead and creates it, hence the creation of the real FireWalkWithMe folder that is not an alias to my portable drive.

So, now I get this folder that Azureus has saved files into that has the exact same name as my FireWire drive. So, what happens the next time I connect my drive? Well, most of the time Mac OS X is smart enough to create an alias with a slightly different name, like FireWalkWithMe1, and still mount it on your desktop. However, sometimes it gets confused enough to not mount your drive at all, thinking since there’s already a folder in there with the same name, it must already be mounted. Even if it does mount okay, there still the issue that the app that mistakenly created that folder will go right on saving into that folder instead of your drive, because it’s still telling the system to look for /Volumes/FireWalkWithMe and not /Volumes/FireWalkWithMe1.

So, how do we fix this? Pretty simple, now that we know what to look for. If you Go to the /Volumes folder, and there’s a real folder in there, first check to make sure there isn’t anything inside you want to save, and then chuck that folder in the trash. The next time you connect your removable drive, it should mount with its proper alias name again. Yay!