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Entries in os x (3)


A Popclip extension to dial a number using OS X Jabber Client


Popclip is a nice little OS X app that adds iOS style copy/paste popups on the Mac desktop ($4.99 in Mac App store regularly, but only $2.99 until Jan 31). The real beauty of Popclip is in a number of plug-in extensions that can then also be quickly applied to any selected text (some favorites of mine include open hyperlink, and create note in Evernote).

Popclip - Open Hyperlink extension

Extensions are also pretty easy to create and tied to a Mac OS X service, AppleScript, Shell Script, URL, or Keypress. We use Jabber integrated with the Cisco UC platform at work, so I thought it would be nice to be able to quickly dial a selected phone number using a Popclip extension.

Call Jenny

To use the the Popclip extension, make sure the “Dial with Jabber” service is installed and active (the service is installed with the Address Book plug-in — from the Cisco Jabber menu choose Cisco Jabber > Preferences > General and click Install Mac Address Book Plug-in).

Dial with Jabber

Jabber also needs to be configured to control an associated Cisco IP phone or as a softphone. The extension (unsigned for now - sorry) can be download from GitHub. Grab the “” file, un-archive, and double-click on the dialjabber.popclipext icon to install the extension (Popclip has to be installed first).

Then dial-away!

Hope you find this useful.

— Klaus


Automatically convert PowerPoints to PDF in OS X with Automator

I much prefer viewing presentations (especially other’s slide decks) as PDFs since it does a much nicer job of preserving the formatting especially when opening them on an iPad. Often when I get a presentation to review I immediately open it in PowerPoint and then just save it as a PDF to a DropBox folder so that I can access it later.

One of the many hidden powerful features in Mac OS X that I haven’t played much up until now is Automator. I was happy to find that there is an easy way to automate PPT to PDF conversions using a simple Automator Workflow.

I created a new Folder Action workflow in Automator with one simple action - “Convert Format of PowerPoint Presentations” with an option of PDF as the output format. The Folder Action is applied to a “convert ppt to pdf” folder stored on the Desktop.

'Convert PPT to PDF' Automator workflow
‘Convert PPT to PDF’ Automator workflow

Now I can simply drag a PowerPoint file to the “convert ppt to pdf” folder and a PDF copy is automatically created in the directory as well.

I think I need to play with Automator a lot more.


OS X command line tricks for SSH and serial console connections

One of the things I love about Mac OS X is having the UNIX-like command line available via Terminal. I tend to just use Terminal for ssh and console access to routers and switches and the like. I do however like to have my output automatically logged to a text file, so I created TextExpander snippets to pipe output to the "tee" command with automatically set a date-stampted filename.

For SSH the looks like:

 ssh user@ | tee /Users/klaus/ssh_logs/%Y-%m-%d-%H%M%S-ssh.txt

For console via USB to serial this becomes:

 screen /dev/tty.KeySerial1 | tee /Users/klaus/ssh_logs/%Y-%m-%d-%H%M%S-console.txt

Works pretty well so far