Friday Link Review

Is a bookmark still useful a month after I post it? You be the judge.

Any Color AnyBar


I like AnyBar. It couldn’t be simpler to put a little splash of color in your Mac’s menubar for whatever reason you want. It comes with a bunch of pretty built in colors, but what if you want your own? You can add your own images to ~/.AnyBar and it’ll happily pick them when you specify them… but who wants to create an image every time they want to use a different color. I wanted to specify any hex color and have it displayed.

I’m sure this is possible to do by modifying the source itself. You could probably GCRectMake a colorWithNamedRedComponent something or other, but I’m not really an Objective-C programmer. But I do know ImageMagick…

So I put together this little script:


if [[ $1 == "#"* ]]; then

  if [ ! -f $FILE ]; then
    convert -size 38x38 xc:none -fill "#$HEX" -draw "circle 19,19 28,19" $FILE

echo -n $COLOR | /usr/bin/nc -4u -w0 localhost ${2:-1738};

Save it somewhere like ~/bin/anybar and make sure to chmod +x it!

It works similar to the bash alias in the project’s README, but supports specifying a custom color (prefixed with #, as hex colors are:

$ anybar red       # use the built in colors
$ anybar '#036'    # taste the rainbow!
$ anybar '#003366' # same as above...

It’s not perfect, if you compare the images generated with AnyBar’s stock images you’ll find they don’t 100% line up, but it scratched an itch and might be useful to you!

2015 Desktop

I took the opportunity of the new year to give my programming environments a fresh look and try out some new things. Check it out:


I’ve tried a few times before, but I’m making a real attempt to ditch bash and give zsh a try this year. Some cool things so far:

  • I set REPORTTIME=2 which will automatically output how long a command took if it took more than 2 seconds (this is awesome! I used to try to prepend time unless of course when I forgot and I wished I did!)
  • zsh-git-prompt for useful indicators for git repos (current branch, changed files, etc.)

I’m using a fairly minimal config, eschewing oh-my-zsh and whatnot as I learn more about “stock” zsh. Follow along with my config files on GitHub.

Dark Theme

For the past couple years, I’ve used a light theme for Sublime Text. I’ve decided to try a darker theme hoping it’ll reduce eye strain when staring at code for long hours.

Menubar Apps

For reference, here’s whats currently up in my menubar.

  • Twitter - I still use the official Twitter client. I don’t love it, but don’t use it enough to look for any non-obvious replacements
  • Dropbox
  • TextExpander
  • 1Password
  • Freckle - New timer app, helps me keep track of hours for billing
  • Degrees - Weather
  • Plex - Media center
  • CCMenu - (Almost) real-time status of various CI builds (Drone, Jenkins, and Travis CI)
  • Fantastical - Quick viewing and entry of calendar items
  • Visitors - Real-time gauge of how many people are on a site, powered by Google Analytics
  • Usage - Lightweight way tokeep track of how much time you spend in various apps
  • Creative Cloud - I have the Photography plan, $10 a month for Photoshop and Lightroom