SkyQuotaX 3.0 Released

February 15th, 2006

This application only works up to MacOSX version 10.4.
No new versions will be released.

I finally got around to updating SkyQuotaX so that it works again Belgacom Skynet accounts. Get the latest version here!

Thanks to Nicolas Dupont for helping debug and test this latest version.

Telenet support has been removed. I no longer have access to a Telenet account to implement and test their new Telemeter service.

Hissing audio output Mac Mini

January 16th, 2006

It’s not something I’ve come across with other Mac users, but the standard audio headphone output on my Mac Mini has a very annoying background hiss. My sound system is hooked up to my Mac Mini and especially during softer music, the hiss is very audible and extremely annoying. Things get really bad if one of my neighbours use the elevator – a very high pitched, ear-piercing noise blares through my speakers. Perhaps my system is an exception or my home is plagued with higher than usual electronic/magnetic interference. :s

Luckily, I found a solution — Griffin’s iMic completely got rid of the problem. With a bonus audio input capability thrown in. :)

I use the free and excellent SoundSource to quickly switch from the iMic USB Audio System to the Built-in Audio for fast switching between headphones and sound system.

Video Podcast of Disabling and Stopping the Dashboard

January 11th, 2006

There is a video podcast up at Myvideopodcast with a hands-on explanation of the different ways to disable or stop the Dashboard, both manually and with the utilities found on this site.

StopDashboard Widget

October 18th, 2005

Stop Dashboard WidgetA reader asked for a version of the DisableDashboard widget which only kills the Dashboard without losing the ability to restart using F12. So here’s a StopDashboard widget, basically a modified version of the DisableDashboard widget.

All this widget does is kill the Dock process (which Dashboard is a part of). MacOSX will automatically restart the Dock but without Dashboard in memory. Press F12 to start it up again.


Download StopDashboard Widget

The DisableDashboard Widget – the only widget you’ll ever need! :p

August 5th, 2005

Disable Dashboard widgetSomeone jokingly commented that I should make a widget out of the DisableEnableDashboard utility. Actually, it’s not that crazy an idea as it sounds.. I rarely use the Dashboard, there are maybe 1 or 2 widgets I use once a week, so it would be handy to be able to launch the EnableDashboard utility, popup Dashboard, use a widget and then hit the “Disable Dashboard” button in the DisableDashboard-widget .. and voila, no trace of Dashboard in memory.

Download DisableDashboard widget

Clicking the “Disable Dashboard” button disables the Dashboard (F12 or the Dashboard icon in the Dock will no longer work) and quits the Dashboard.

Disable Dashboard widgetI’ve included the EnableDashboard utility to re-enable the Dashboard (uhm.. this is obviously not a widget).

It’s been commented elsewhere that running “killall dock” and never launching the Dashboard basically has the same effect. This is true but I prefer to disable the Dashboard altogether to prevent accidentally starting it up.

Note: as a user at MacOSX hints pointed out : “It’s probably also a good idea (that if you’ve disabled Dashboard and/or Spotlight), to remember that you’ve disabled them and re-enable them (just in case) before applying any system updates. I remember reading that some were having problems with the 10.4.1 update because they had disabled Spotlight beforehand.”

SkyQuotaX 2.0 Released – with Telenet support !

August 1st, 2005

SkyQuotaX 2.0 is available and it supports Telenet accounts. As with Skynet accounts, you can choose whether you want to see the used or remaining qouta. As Telenet differentiates between download en upload limits, the upload quota is also displayed in the Growl messages. The menubar contains the total used or remaining quota.

“Connection log” retrieval will be coming soon. “Webspage usage” will not be implemented for Telenet users. I made use of the official Telemeter4Tools server API that Telenet provides (I wish Skynet had something like it).

Download it here: SkyQuotaX.

‘Disable & Enable Dashboard’ Utility

July 30th, 2005

Disable / enable dashboardWhile the Dashboard in MacOSX is a neat utility, I basically stopped using it after the novelty wore off (I prefer to have my widgets on the Desktop itself, and thus switched to the now free Konfabulator).

Since I prefer not to have unused applications running and taking up memory, I tracked down this MacOSX hint to disable & enable the dashboard. It’s been commented elsewhere that running “killall dock” and never launching the Dashboard basically has the same effect. This is true but I prefer to disable the Dashboard altogether to prevent accidentally starting it up (requiring a logout & login to get Dashboard out of memory).

Using ScriptGUI I packaged both scripts into an executable which can be placed right on the Desktop or in your Applications or Utilities folder. Running “Disable Dashboard” removes it from memory and disables F12 and the Dashboard icon. Running “Enable Dashboard” restores it (with the previously running widgets still in place).

Download ‘Disable/Enable Dashboard’

Update: I have now also released a DisableDashboard-widget.

Note: as a user at MacOSX hints pointed out : “It’s probably also a good idea (that if you’ve disabled Dashboard and/or Spotlight), to remember that you’ve disabled them and re-enable them (just in case) before applying any system updates. I remember reading that some were having problems with the 10.4.1 update because they had disabled Spotlight beforehand.”

SkyQuotaX 1.6 Released

July 7th, 2005

I finally got to releasing an updated version of SkyQuotaX. Belgacom Skynet entirely updated their account management web interface so that it broke SkyQuotaX.

It’s a pity Skynet doesn’t offer a SOAP service to their account management yet. It would make it a lot easier for third-party tools to download account usage statistics which in turn makes for good promotion for Skynet. Telenet does offer this service with Telemeter4Tools. I’ve been thinking of including support for Telenet accounts in SkyQuotaX (in fact I have an already functional SOAP parser which works with Telemeter4Tools) but the service unfortunately disallows multiple requests within a certain time-frame. This would require some kind of storing of the account data on the user’s machine — if the user restarts the program within the time-frame, it won’t be able to download the stats again. Which, IMO, kind of defeats the point. Why release a service which dramatically reduces server traffic by using SOAP, but then disadvantage new tools which make use of this service? Alas! (Edit: Apparently the time-frame restriction has been removed. SkyQuotaX now supports telenet accounts)