Manchester Bus Lanes – ouch!

The city of my birth, Manchester, has decided to get tough on drivers who illegally use bus lanes. The solution is simple, drive in the bus lane when you’re not supposed to and they’ll deploy their secret weapon from below the surface of the road causing your vehicle to make an abrupt stop! For those of you who are wondering if perhaps some of the drivers in this movie are not just making an honest mistake take note of the big flashing signs in the start of the clip that warn the transgressor of the pending danger ( and almost certain wanker status on youtube). I’d love to see this in the US but somehow I don’t think that it would go down here too well! (note how the last guy makes a pretty little circular pattern on his van’s windshield by applying his forehead to to it)

South African Flag, not the Amtrak logo silly

I remember how a friend once asked me if the funny multi colored sticker I had on the back of my car was the Amtrak logo. Before I comment on their transgression let’s take a look at the two items in question.

Firstly, here is the (old) Amtrak logo:



Now here is the South African Flag:

As you can see they are different but now you mention it I can see some similarities. I’m sure if I asked a patriotic American if that funny stripy starry bumper sicker on the back of their car was some type of corporate logo they’d also get a little miffed too. Then again, if I didn’t know what the bloody US flag looked like then Houston, we may have a problemo! But thanks to the power Al Gores Internets you now know the difference. Fascinating, quite fascinating!

The little car the could – Chevy Sprint jumps 36 feet!

In this vid from YouTube see how anyone can launch their piece of shite car on a homemade ramp and jump an extraordinary 36 feet narrowly missing certain death by rollover. Note how the door opens when the mother ship hits the ground. Camera work gets an F, pure hoonary an A+. Well done blokes and next time you’re about to do the stunt of the century get a proper camera will you.

How to Dial a US Cellphone from South africa

Phones are easy to use and we all know that a phone number is composed of an area code and seven digits. Now if you’ve ever called overseas you’ll realize that the whole numbering systems falls apart. You’re completely lost as what numbers to add and what numbers of the original phone number not to dial. Here is my experience in trying to get my mom who lives in sunny South Africa to dial my cell phone in the US.

We figured out that she needed to first dialed the US country code 1 (she had to add two zeros to the beginning of it, god knows why) then she dialed my cell number. So this is what she dialed:

001 303 531 1234

Simple right! Now for me to call/SMS her cellphone (her number is 083 429 1234) I had no bloody idea what number to dial but she sent me an SMS from her cell to mine. This is what phone number came up:

+ 27 83 429 1234

So drop the zero (for cell phones 83 not 083) and add the South Africa country code 27 and the plus sign, yes the plus sign! The hardest part of the entire process may be in-fact figuring out how to get your mobile phone to spit out a plus sign on the screen. I have a Crackberry 7100 and to dial plus I simply hold down the zero key for a few seconds and up comes the elusive plus symbol on the screen. For other phones you’ll have to consult your owners manual (you know, the one you thew away or is in that box in the attic) or call up customer service. I think in place of the plus sign you can just dial 011 but I’ll have to confirm that. Why should it be that simple 🙂
So in summary to call a US cell from SA:

(001)(cell phone number with area code)

To call a South African cell phone number from a USA cellphone:

(+)(27)(cell phone number with zero removed from beginning)

Happy calling and if in doubt call your cellphone provider and ask them what codes to dial. Now go and revel in the simplicity of email and the easy of calling someone using Skype!

OS X scroll through Apps and Windows within Apps- Command tab and Command Tilde

Every user of a personal computer knows that the easiest way to switch between programs is by pressing and holding down the Command key (Also know as Apple key ) and then pressing Tab key as many times it take to get to the required application. This is similar to the ALT tab key strokes on windows.

An annoyance is OS X is that is that these keys cycle through applications only not open windows within those application. So say you have two Word documents open and you Command Tab to Safari to check on your Apple stock then Command Tab back to Word to work on the other document you will by default be back to the document you were just working on not the other document. To get to this other document you select it from the Window menu. This can get quite annoying when you have a ton of Word documents open and are use to Command Tabbing around like a Command Tabbing fool! Well, the good news is that you can switch between windows in an application by liberal use of the Command Tilde keys. The Tilde key is above the tab key so in the senario above once you Command Tabbed back to Word you’d Command Tilde to the other word document. Wow, it’s that easy and this is also new to me after being some what of a OS X power user for over a year and a half.

You can also switch between Applications and Application Windows at the same time by using but this requires a mouse and I like using keys to switch between windows and apps. So off you go then and get Command Tabbin and Tildering.

Quicktime Full Screen Mode without Pro Upgrade

After turning an old 2001 power mac G4 (500Mhz) into a media center computer I was frustrated with the inability of Quicktime to go into full screen mode. I have the Pro Versions on my other Mac’s (after spending $1200 on final cut studio I bloody well better!) but this machine had the humble free version of Quicktime only. After poking around on the internet I came upon an old apple script hack that allows Quicktime to play in full screen mode without needing the Pro (paid) upgraded version. So without further ado here is the hack.

1) Open up the Apple script editor (hint, you can find it under Applications > Applescript > Script Editor.app)

2) Type in (or if your lazy like me copy and paste) the following magic code into the Script Editor.app program:

tell application “QuickTime Player”
present front movie scale screen
end tell

3) Now do a File > Save As and choose a name for this little script (Full Screen may be a good name) and save it as an application. You can save it to the Desktop so you can easily find it.

4) Open the movie you want to view in full screen in Quicktime and then double-click on the apple script application you created.

5) Enjoy full screen goodness.

I soon figured out that it’s a little inconvenient once you have the movie in the foreground to have to then go to finder, then to the desktop and then click on the little app you’ve just created. I read that you can put this little app in the Script Menu. When activated, the Script Menu displays a small script icon in the upper right of the menu bar. So all you’ll need to do now once you have the movie opened in quicktime is to click the script menu icon then the script you created – full screen movie mode goodness baby!

Here are the additional steps to get the script into the Script Menu:

1) To install the Script Menu, launch the Install Script Menu application located in the Applications > AppleScript folder.

2) Now drag your full screen script to the Example Scripts folder that is located under Applications > Applescript.

3) Your full screen script is now in the Script Menu and can easily be accessed by clicking on the Script Menu in the upper right of the menu bar.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the latest editions of Top Gear in full screen!