Changes 1.0

Changes is a new file modification application. Looks to be really nice. It’s Leopard only, so I’m going to have to wait until I upgrade to try it out.

I’ve been looking for a good application like this ever since I found my self writing a diff-based app in Automator to check for differences between my iTunes libraries. This one looks like it will do that and a lot more. It also integrates with my favorite text editor, TextMate. For the old school folks, it works with BBEdit as well.

Take Screenshots From the Command Line

There is a command for Terminal in OS X which allows you to take screenshots from the command line. Creepy creepy. Here is the format:

screencapture -x FileToSaveAs

The -x option tells it not to make the shutter click sound. There is also an -i option which triggers an interactive mode, although I’m not sure why you would use the Terminal to do that.

There is also a cute little tidbit in the man page for screencapture:

Screencapture bug in man page

Finding a Good CMS Solution

There is a pretty good discussion going on over at 456 Berea Street about “Looking for open source CMS and portal software options“.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this for the last couple of months. I’ve worked extensively with WordPress (for this blog and a few others) and I really feel comfortable with it. I am confident that I can work with it and bend it to do most things I want with a little effort.

Currently I’m using WordPress for a contract job to create a smallish website managed by a CMS. The client wanted to use WordPress, and I am reasonably confident that it will achieve their goals. That said, I think they’re getting uncomfortably close to WordPress’s limits. There’s always a point when you are extending software that you have to stop and consider, “Am I really using the right tool for this job?”

I’d really like to branch out and learn some other content management systems that are more powerful than WordPress and also more geared towards CMS rather than blogging out of the box. I tried using Drupal a few months ago, and like many of the peopling commenting on 456 Berea Street, I found the admin interface to be absolutly overwhelming. It’s definitely designed with the mentality that more is better. I had a very clear vision in mind for what I wanted to accomplish with my Drupal site, but I ended up stumbling on some key things that felt like they should be very easy. Primarily dealing with attachment links.

That said, I was very impressed in general with Drupal. It seemed liked the sky was the limit as far what could be accomplished with it. The user roles were also a welcome departure from more restrictive systems like WordPress.

In the end, I was left with the impression that given a lot of time and energy (to learn Drupal) I could make some very cool sites. I wonder, are there other solutions that are better?

KJ’s Birthday

Happy Birthday KJ!

Huggie Bear Animated GIF

Surprise: Bush’s Proposed Budget Would Increase Deficit

Redink 190 Graphic from the New York Times

The big news today in Washington (other than that other big news) is that President Bush’s new proposed budget would increase the deficit.

President Bush sent Congress a $3.1 trillion budget on Monday that would increase military spending and curb the growth of Medicare and Medicaid but raise the federal deficit by nearly $250 billion, a major setback for a president who is trying to restore his credentials as a fiscal conservative.

Hardly surprising news for anyone that’s been alive for last seven years, I would say. Nevertheless, one graphic in the New York Times that really hit me was this one that tracks the deficit for the last four presidents (shown on the right).

This is a really good illustration of just how ridiculous it is when Republicans call Democrats big spenders. It kind of makes them look like monkeys.

Reading further into the article, I came across another gem (Emphasis mine):

If the Defense Department’s proposed $515.4 billion budget is approved in full, it will mean that, when adjusted for inflation, annual military spending will reach its highest level since World War II. The figure does not include spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the war on terror and supplemental items.

Okay, so the military budget does not include the two eternal wars that the US is engaged in, the “War on Terror” (which can and has encompassed just about everything), and supplemental items. What’s left? Didn’t the last emergency spending bill for Afghanistan and Iraq come in at about $100 billion alone. This makes me think again about the The Federal Budget: the Public’s Priorities.